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What should I ask army recruiters? Print E-mail


As much as you can - get your parents or another trusted adult to ask questions too. Ask them some of the questions on this web site and see what answers you get. You should definitely ask about:

  • The rules on leaving the army if you didn't like it
  • Whether your chosen job would involve a front-line combat role
  • Whether your job would get you posted overseas, where this would be, and whether your wife/husband/partner/children could come with you
Here's a list of questions to ask recruiters and another list to ask yourself.  These are some of the tough questions, which are worth asking so you know what some of the challenges would be.

What to ask recruiters

  • When could I leave if I didn't like it?
  • What is the difference between 'regular service' and 'reserve service' and how much of each would I have to do?
  • What happens if a recruit leaves before they reach the end of their minimum term of service?
  • What educational opportunities would I get in my chosen job?
  • Would I have to serve for longer if I went on a training course? How much longer?
  • Would I have to kill as part of my job?
  • Would I come under fire as part of my job?
  • How much adventurous training would I get to do?
  • What would a typical working day involve in my chosen job?
  • How many recruits drop out of training and why?
  • How much bullying is there in the armed forces and what could I do about it if I had problems?
  • How likely is it that I'd be posted overseas in my chosen job?
  • How likely is it that I'd be posted to a war zone, such as Afghanistan or Iraq?
  • What's the pay like and how easy/hard is it to get promoted?
  • What is 'conscientious objection to military service'?
  • What support can recruits get if they feel homesickness, depression, stress etc?
  • How often could I visit home a) during training b) after training?
  • What do I do if I need to make a complaint about something?
  • How much of a shock is the change to a military lifestyle for new recruits?

What to ask yourself

  • Why do you want to join?
  • Are you fully aware of the rules for when you can and can't leave the armed forces, and that there are normally no exceptions to these rules?
  • Are you aware that you would have to serve in 'the reserve' after leaving regular service and what that means?
  • After enlistment there are a few months during which you can leave the armed forces altogether. Are you aware of exactly when this period would begin and end? Do you know how to apply to leave if you needed to? Do you know that the end of this period would be an absolute deadline?
  • How would you feel about having to kill as part of your job (which you may have to do even if you were not in a front-line role)?
  • How would you feel about coming under fire and being at risk of losing your life (which is possible for all personnel even if not in a front-line role)?
  • Are you aware of the risks of combat stress and other mental health problems? How would you cope with a problem like that?
  • Are you aware that the armed forces have a problem with bullying and sexual harassment - how would you cope with that?
  • Most recruits get a shock when they find that military life is very different from civilian life - how do you think you would manage?
  • You might have to spend a long time away from home, missing family and friends - how do you feel about that?
  • Are you aware that if you took training courses you would probably have to serve for longer?
  • Are you aware that if your started to feel that military operations were wrong, you might be able to claim 'conscientious objector' status and be honourably discharged?
  • Are you aware that the drop-out rate during training is high and many people leave as soon as their minimum service period is over - what would make you different?
  • What are the best and worst things about a military career, do you think?

Discuss these questions with a trusted friend. If you have good answers to all of them then you are probably better prepared than most to deal with problems that could arise, but you should still get as much information as possible from this site before you sign up, and if you're under 18 ask advice from parents / teachers / youth workers etc. They can help you to make the decision that's best for you.


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Last Updated on Friday, 19 October 2012 23:48

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