15 and 7 months but still in school

Hey all.

Wanted to join the army all my life and I am almost 15 and 7 months but I am in year 10 of school. I went to the careers office with my parents and the recruiters said that I could leave school to join but they did not recommend it. Either way I still want to join because its what i've always wanted to do. Suddenly I am getting told by my teachers that I can't leave school till I have finished year 11 but then isn't the legal leaving age 16? I have parents permission so that isn't a problem and they don't mind me leaving school.

Just wanted to double check whether this is possible? Because if the careers office told me I could and they even gave me an application form then why wouldn't I be able to?

Thanks :)
I would finish school and do your gcse's if i was you. That way if the army doesn't work out you have them to fall back on. At your age I was given advice by my parents and others to stick in at school and go to college which I ignored. It is something I have regretted ever since as I have been working in dead end job after dead end job and getting paid peanuts for 9 years.

On the other hand though I also wish I was looking to join up when I was your age, go for it, but do finish school first!
I believe you can leave, with your parents permission, at the age of 16.

HOWEVER. DONT. Do your bloody GCSE's. You never know what could happen and you will have nothing to fall back on.
Just do as well as you can with your GCSEs and then join. A few months is nothing and you do need to do as well as you can in your exams. I know you don't want to listen to us old blokes but it is the best thing to do.


Patience, young WolfFang, your time will come.

As the others have said, stick with the schooling a little longer. The qualifications may well come in useful at some stage in your life.
During your army career you will build up learning credits, a set amount the government will give you to put towards any course you want to do, be it andvanced pottery or astro physics. Saying that though, come into the army with as many qualifications you can get your hands on, top it up with your learning credits and it will set you up nicely when you return to civdiv in however many years it will be. Dont listen to people who say you dont need gcse's pal.
Mate I had exactly the same about 2 years ago. all I wanted to do was feck school off and start the great adventure. There are only 2 places where you can train at 16, AFC Harrogate (im sat there now) which relys on education and you do a fair bit of it here, and Winchester. The education will apparently help you later in your career. stick to it lad, you reap the benefits in later life Im sure.
Its sh*te at the time, but I can look back on school now and think yeah I tried my hardest :roll: and didnt sell myself short.
They're all right.
I joined at 15 in the Junior Leaders and had my education interspersed with military training which, I must admit, was fun.
However, to progress in this man's army you need academic qualifications (in my day it was GCE's and ACE) and let's be honest, you wouldn't want to be a private/signaler/trooper/etc. for you're whole career, would you?
WolfFang said:
I went to the careers office with my parents and the recruiters said that I could leave school to join but they did not recommend it. Either way I still want to join because its what i've always wanted to do. Suddenly I am getting told by my teachers that I can't leave school till I have finished year 11 but then isn't the legal leaving age 16? I have parents permission so that isn't a problem and they don't mind me leaving school.
My bold....straight from the horses mouth.

The very guy who will recruit you in to the Army is saying wait a bit, and get your GCSEs.

What more do you want?

Stay in school, get your GCSE's then in to the Army if you still want to. You could arrange it so that you start almost immediatly or at the end of summer leave.

The ONLY time I would say join up now, to a lad in your situation, is if you absolutly, definitily KNOW you will flunk EVERY exam.

Get your GCSE's, spend time researching what you want to do in the Army (do some look at lifes etc) ask the the ACIO about what you can do in the run up. And of course... get fit.

Join the ACF.... it wont give you a true insight in to Army life, but may whet your apptite a bit.
Read and pay attention to chocolate_frog's advice. The army will still be recruiting when you complete Year 11.

The extra year will help you so much in terms of maturity, physical growth and fitness. GCSE's are a pain while you are going through them, but it is amazing how often you will find you need the qualifications.

Use the next year wisely and you will help to set yourself up for a successful career.


Book Reviewer
See, young WolfFang. I was right this morning wasn't I? The collective wisdom of ARRSE makes a great deal of sense!

Now if only you could sort out your sleep patterns...
Stay in school. When the Recruiting Officer tells you that he "wouldn't recommend it", that means "P*ss off and come back next year". Apply some intelligent thought to this, that's what the recruiter would like to see. Cutting away early from school because you really, really love the Army will not impress anyone. That said, only you know your own personal circumstances and if you are unlikely to get any worthwhile grades from your GCSEs, then you may be doing the right thing. All I would advise is that should you choose to leave school early, it should be because there is absolutely nothing left for you to gain in the education system. Have you sat down with your parents and teachers together and discussed what your projected grades might be?

To echo an earlier point - employment in the Army is not guaranteed, you can fail a medical, get injured in training or any number of things which can dump you right back out on civvy street in short order. What will you have then?

You will not miss anything by staying in school, you might be able to join the Army at 16 but you can't deploy to a theatre of Operations until you are 18.

What kind of soldier do you want to be? There are many different trades and professions, very few will accommodate unqualified people. This is not the same Army my father joined.

It's great to see that you are keen to make something of yourself, but the British Army has limited use for people who are "all thrust and no vector". I tried to join the Army in 1994 and was turned away to finish my education first. I eventually joined in 1995 with many more options for employment.

I hope it all works out for you, let us know how you get on.

All the best.
All good advice this WolfFgang take it on board, get as much education as you can get. Like you I was in a rush to join at 15 which I did with no qualifications. Luckly for me we had to do ACE Army Certificate Of Education.

Now got a degree & a Diploma at age 49 for this I had to take out 7 years of my life.

As stated take all this on board WolfFgang..you know it makes sense.
for goodness sake the army won't run away. it'll be around next year, and the year after that too! an extra year is nothing...
I only got three c's when I left school and the rest shite, I had to do a two year course in ICT in order to get the other GCSE equivalents to go on to do my A'Levels, which may I add make GCSE's look a piece of pee.

Get a grip numnuts education is the most important aspect of life because in our day and age if you don't have a degree in most decent civi jobs then you can take a running........

Get the qualifications, me personally id advise you to get a grip and take the exams, if you flop them then id advise you to do the 1 year course which you can pick English Lit/ Lang, Maths and try to get science in your local college. Also the reason why I got my A'levels is because yes I do want to join the army, but what little time I have when I reach my first posting Im giving Open-University a call.

Don't make rash decisions because I mean in the long run what sort of example would you set for siblings or even your future children if you have any. I'll tell you something you have very understanding parents, because if I rocked up to my dad at 16(im 21) and said "im leaving school to join the army", his reaction would be "do you want me to beat it out of you now or will you go away and think about that first? lol" great man :D
A Lot of things these days require at least a C grade in subjects like Maths and English. I would carry on and pay close attention to these subjects. At least then you wont close any doors, that may come back to haunt you later on in life.
to be honest lad stay at scholl and join the army at the age of 17 :) do your exams get the grades then join , i know school can be sh1te but stick with it then join up :D

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