before you enlist

Useful organisations & websites

Before you sign upAn independent website, setting out the pros and cons of enlisting in the UK armed forces. The site includes information and important questions for consideration for potential recruits to the Army, Navy/Marine and the RAF, those already in the forces, as well as parents and teachers. With many useful resources, including information on recruiting in schools and a lessons plan exploring issues around army recruitment, this site should be read by everyone before they sign up. 

AT EASE is an advice service to those in the armed forces and family members which has been running since the 1980s. It is staffed by volunteers. There is a telephone helpline or you can send an email. There is information on various terms of service issues and conscientious objection on the website.

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other things to look at

If you want to join the Army make sure you know ALL the facts before you sign up.Don’t find out the hard way!

Information from AT EASE for young people and to be given to young people.

2011 update, U.S. 14 minutes

A 14 minute film made by the American Friends Service Committee and Veterans for Peace, updated in 2011. An informative deconstruction of a US army recruitment video and moving reflection on the effects of going to war. With testimony from a number of young and older veterans.

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June 2011

New legislation (from 22 July 2011) which grants under 18s the right to leave after a 'cooling off' period. Prior to this, discharge of 'unhappy minors' was at the discretion of the commanding officer.

This right is additional to an individual's Discharge As Of Right (DAOR) between the 2nd and 6th month of starting service.

Under 18s in all branches of the forces may now give 3 months' notice to leave (i.e. leave the regular service and join the Reserves) if they give notice in writing to their commanding officer any time before their 18th birthday. By mutual consent the 3 months' notice may be reduced. 

The recruit can change their mind about leaving if they do so within the notice period and they can still give notice later on.

Additionally, the legislation also allows adults the possibility of having their 12 month notice period reduced by up to 6 months as long as it is done within one month of notice being given. This is at the discretion of the commanding officer.

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January 2011

Manual of Service Law (MSL) Version 2.0 January 2011
This manual replaced, with effect from 31 October 2009, the Manual of Naval Law, the Manual of Military Law and the Manual of Air Force Law. It is a guide to the legislation and subordinate legislation which was introduced in the Armed Forces Act 2006.

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2008

winter soldierThe Winter Soldier project, organised by the United States based group, Iraq Veterans Against War, details eyewitness accounts from Iraq and Afghanistan. Much of the testimony focuses on the individual soldier’s experience and how they felt about their participation and actions. Six episodes have been created for web viewing (or can be downloaded), e.g. Broken Soldier which tells the stories of 3 soldiers.

November 2007

An independent report, published in 2007, highlighting the risks posed to young people through joining the military, how young people from disadvantaged communities are targeted, how information available to potential recruits is often misleading and how the terms of service are complicated, confusing and severely restricting. The research found that a large proportion join for negative reasons, including the lack of civilian career options.

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2007

There are many active veterans groups in the US. The Veterans’ Education and Outreach Project has produced a guide called Advice From Veterans on Military Service and Recruiting Practices. Although much of the information in the guide is mainly relevant to the United States, it does cover a number of important considerations for those considering enlisting in any army such as Conscientious Objection and War and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

2006

Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg (Editor) with Cindy Sheehan (Introduction)

 New Press

THE 10 REASONS
  • You May Be Killed
  • You May Kill Others Who Do Not Deserve to Die
  • You May Be Injured
  • You May Not Receive Proper Medical Care
  • You May Suffer Long-term Health Problems
  • You May Be Lied To
  • You May Face Discrimination
  • You May Be Asked to Do Things Against Your Beliefs
  • You May Find It Difficult to Leave the Military
  • You Have Other Choices

Before you sign upAn independent website, setting out the pros and cons of enlisting in the UK armed forces. The site includes information and important questions for consideration for potential recruits to the Army, Navy/Marine and the RAF, those already in the forces, as well as parents and teachers. With many useful resources, including information on recruiting in schools and a lessons plan exploring issues around army recruitment, this site should be read by everyone before they sign up. 

AT EASE is an advice service to those in the armed forces and family members which has been running since the 1980s. It is staffed by volunteers. There is a telephone helpline or you can send an email. There is information on various terms of service issues and conscientious objection on the website.

Read more >>