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FAQs About the Armed Forces... Answered!


Q. How many soldiers are there in the British army?

A. Total Regular Forces 180,940
(Figures are for trained and untrained personnel and include small numbers of Full Time Reserves). Army Figure includes about 2,700 Gurkhas By 2020, Regular Forces levels are planned to be about: Army 82,000, Royal Navy 30,000, Royal Air Force 33,000, Army Reserves 20,480


Q. How many years do you have to stay in the military?

A. The initial length of your army contract is a fixed 4 years. For those who wish to stay in the Army for longer, bonuses exist so you can stay as long as you would like. If staying, once you have been in the Army for 4 to 8 years, you are eligible for lump sum bonus payments.

Q. Can you leave the army?

A. Military Discharge. There is no way to simply quit the Army once you are on active duty. You are contractually, and perhaps morally, obligated to see your commitment through. However, you could be discharged from duty early if you are physically or psychologically unable to perform your Army duties.

Q. What age do you have to be to join the army?

A. You can join the ADF at 17 but start your application earlier if you wish. To apply for a career in the Navy, Army or Air Force you must be at least 16 years and 6 months old, though you can start thinking about a career in the ADF much earlier (see below).

Q. Why is it not the royal army?

A. THE REASON for the British Army not having the prefix 'Royal' is because only certain regiments and corps are called 'Royal'. The prefix Royal before the title of a unit is considered an award in much the same way as a battle honour.

Q. How did the army come about?

A. As the largest and senior branch of the U.S. military, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed (14 June 1775) to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the U.S. was established as a country.

Q. How much is a military pension?

A. While they do live frugally in relatively low-cost St. Louis, the primary reason they were able to retire is that they each served for 20 years in the military and now receive a pension of £48,500 per year. They will receive this amount, adjusted for inflation, for the rest of their lives!

Q. How long is a contract with the military?

A. The Army has gone as low as two years of active duty service, with the balance served on Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR). The Navy and Army have both offered 3 year contracts, followed by inactive service. The most common enlistment contract is a 4 year contract, with 4 more years on IRR.

Q. How many years do you have to serve in the British army?

A. Those joining under the age of 18, the contract last until the day before your 22 nd Birthday. For those over 18 the contract term is 4 years and 3 months. If you'd like to serve longer, then you can do up to a maximum of 22 years.

Q. How many vacation days do you get in the military?

A. Unlike any other job you will find, the U.S. Armed Forces offer their members 30 Days of fully paid vacation (leave) each year, starting the first year of your enlistment. In fact, you can take leave the day after you graduate from basic training!