What do soldiers say about the army? How many like it? What happens in training? What are the risks?

Get the facts here before you sign up. There's some advice for parents too.

And if you're in the army now and want to leave, this site sets out your options.

BeforeYouSignUp.info is independent and aims to be honest about army life.

 


Some soldiers love the army - others regret signing up. Why?

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Surveys of soldiers show that about 4 in 10 like being in the army, and about 3 in 10 don't. The rest are somewhere in the middle. 

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You can get a better deal from army life if you join at 18 or older. Here's why.

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The jobs you get to choose from depend on how fit you are when you apply - physically and mentally.

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After the first few months you are 'locked in' to the army for at least four years and sometimes longer, so make sure you know the rules before you sign up.

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Army training has to do three things to turn you into a soldier:
  1) It gets you to do exactly as you're told, without question;
  2) It makes sure you will kill another person if ordered to; and
  3) It teaches you a soldier's basic skills.

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Most soldiers get through training but a lot leave - either because they want to or the army tells them to. 1 in 3 of the youngest recruits drops out during training - you've a better chance of getting through it if you join when you're over 18.

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The courses you get to do in the army vary hugely, depending on the job you sign up for. If you want training that you can use later, sign up for an army trade (mechanic, electrician, welder...).

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If soldiers get through training then they stay in the army for an average of about 8 years. That's a lot longer than most people in other jobs.

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How dangerous it is for soldiers depends on the kind of job they have in the army and whether they're sent to war. Here are a few things to think about before you sign up.

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Any soldier might have to kill at close range and all are trained to do so. Some soldiers are more likely than others to kill people in war, especially the infantry.

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Soldiers often complain about their pay, saying it doesn't make up for the hardships of the army, but there are some perks, like a free pension and free dental treatment.

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Are you ready to deal with any bullying in the army? Most soldiers aren't bullied but it does happen and it can be rough - the army is trying to deal with it but the problem hasn't gone away.

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Visit these sites to find out more about army life from (very) different points of view:

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