As said go in to the ACIO or log onto www.armyjobs.mod.uk and chat to an online recruiter.
Regarding where you come from the majority of lads and lasses in the forces are NOMADS and we all are n the same sh*te together. When you get in hopefully it doesnt matter where you come from your all equal. Youll get the banter Thieving Scouse CNUT, Shandy drinking Southerner, Sweaty Sock, WelshTart etc but by the end of the day lads you can tust to watch your back. After nearly 20 years Im still in contact (oops sorry ) with lads I joined up with and I bet the same for Gnr_D whos done slightly longer. Good luck and go for it.
As the iron says mate, the people you meet in the army will be friends for life. After the first couple of years serving, you will probably find that you wont go back home that often, but when you do, just have a cover story prepared for when people ask where youve been like: Ive been away training dolphins or something simmilar.
Good luck mate.
Mate to be honest, i take my hat off to you. If that's what you want to do you go for it, however i would just advise you to use a bit of common sense about it. Having done several tours there, i know what a volatile and hostile place it can be and just because we don't hear much anymore doesn't mean the nasty boys have thrown in the towel and welcome military personnel with open arms.
Be cautious, tell only close family on a need to know basis and when you go on leave keep a low profile.
thanks very much lads for honesty, wants even more crazy is that i have a brother thats in the irish army! i was thinkin of joining them, but they mostly do crappy stuff for nato. one of my biggest reasons to join the brits is cuz i want to go to places like iraq, im a politics student as well and i know its a nightmare at the moment but i have so much request for the lads who have done tours overseas. please god let me get in.
if you're a student you've got a ready made cover story till you're forty!
MA's, an MSc in Reseach Studies and then a PhD. fantastic excuse for dissapearing for long periods of time and then appearing with an armfull of washing at no notice.
take the advice above seriously, we may have 'official' peace, but NI is still full of 'young republicans' (Celtic jersey wearing morons who wouldn't understand - or indeed couldn't spell - Republicanism if it shagged them in the arrse, but who now feel the need to commit petty vandalism and assualt to assuage their ego's now that PIRA his given up providing them with emotional masturbation) who'll gladly throw bricks at your parents windows if they find out you're a squaddie.
the groups, CIRA, RIRA, INLA are less of a persistant threat, and will probably leave it to the 'young republicans' to hassle your family rather than attracting police attention to themselves, but CIRA particularly have in recent months proved to be both hideously violent and pretty much out of control.