I'm 48 and looking to join the Army Reserves. Some questions.

Many years ago, when I were a lad, I mentioned to my family that I was considering joining the forces. Both my parents had done national service and absolutely hated it and my dad told me in no uncertain terms that I shouldn't join up. I was young and impressionable so I followed his instructions.

Fast forward thirty years or so. I grew up, got married, we have a couple of kids and I put on bucketloads of weight. Over the last two years, I've lost the weight and am now a healthy 11st 7lb.

I discovered a couple of weeks ago that I'm still within the age limits for joining the Army Reserves which absolutely amazed me so I've decided to give it a go. I have a background in radio communications (I've been a radio amateur for over thirty years) and I work in IT so I think that a signals role would suit me.

I'm working on my fitness now. I can walk very quickly and for hours at a time with no real effort whatsoever. I've started muscular training as per the Army fitness app and I've got a pushbike on the way as well.

My only concern is making the move from walking fast to running. I've done a couple of long charity walks and although they're not races, I've finished them both ahead of everyone else by quite large margins. I can walk at 12min/mile which isn't hanging about. I've never really tried running.

I'm 48 years old, 49 in a couple of months so if I'm going to do this, I need to do it now.

All last week I was working on a base and staying in the Officer's Mess. I spent the evenings chatting to people there and they were all very supportive of what I want to do but there was some confusion over the fitness levels needed. Some said that they're a little relaxed for Reservists and also that as one gets older, the requirements are also relaxed a bit further. But others said differently.

I've discussed this with my wife and she's told me that I should go for it because if I don't, I'll regret not having tried.

So I guess my questions are simple. I know I'm just within the age limits but what are my actual chances of getting in, bearing in mind I reckon I'll be a lot older than everyone else.

Should I hit the submit button on my application now, or wait until I've built my fitness up a bit and started running?

Realistically at my age, is this a good thing to do?

Thanks.
 
Off the top of my head...

The risk reduction run to start training is 1.5mi in 14 minutes (which is basically a brisk walk). Once you're a trained soldier, you'd get 12:30 to complete your PFA - again, 1.5mi best effort. If you can manage 12min/mi walking, you should be fine with the AFT - 8mi in 2hrs with weight. I left the signals a few years ago, but I think it was 15kg. Again, a bimble, unless it's a really cheeky route.

With your background you should all over the trade stuff. Again, its changed a bit since I left, but it was very IT heavy. Managing a Bowman network will also benefit from understanding TCP/IP networking.

At your age, its definitely doable (for the record, on my infantry PJNCO's course, the top student was a 44 year old Para). Give it a go...what's the worst that could happen?
 

HE117

LE
To be honest, there are so many variable here that it is difficult to be specific with advice.

I would suggest that you need to pick your unit with some care, and that joining a specialist unit where you existing civvy skills are relevant will help. Unless you have an over developed masochistic streak, I would steer well clear of any infantry units where you will really struggle fitness wise..

You will need to be able to pass the fitness and medical tests, which are role and age related. Provided you are not carrying any medical issues, these are do-able by most normal folk. As a rough guide, you should be able to clear 3 miles in around 25 - 30mins in running shoes.

You are the only one that can judge.. have a go - try hard and see where you get to!

Basic training will be "an experience" for the more mature, but in many ways, better life experience can compensate to some extent for youthful energy!

..best of luck!
 
Sounds very positive, thanks. I think a few weeks to build some muscular strength and try and get started running and I should be good to hit the button.

I suppose the best way to find any units near me would be to pop into a recruiting office and ask? As previously said, I'd be looking for something Signals or IT related and I have absolutely no idea what's where.

/edit - It looks like this unit is close to me and would probably be ideal: 36 (Essex Yeomanry) Signal Squadron.
 
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Do you have a Britmilfit near you? As well as military orientated training you'll also get some good advice.
 

X59

LE
There's always Reserve SF, but beware, the course is a killer.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
So we are not allowed to ask what use a 48 year old private is in the big scheme of things?
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Basic training will be "an experience" for the more mature
Ain't that the truth. Going from living in your own house to sharing a room with 30 odd teens/twenties with their questionable taste in music is one thing but being told when you can eat/knock off/run may be a wee bit of a struggle if you're at all independently minded.

I'm not quite sure what you hope to gain from joining though.

Good luck if you give it a go.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
Ain't that the truth. Going from living in your own house to sharing a room with 30 odd teens/twenties with their questionable taste in music is one thing but being told when you can eat/knock off/run may be a wee bit of a struggle if you're at all independently minded.

I'm not quite sure what you hope to gain from joining though.

Good luck if you give it a go.
I think it may have moved on from you day, 30 to a room?
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer

Maded

Crow
Age is just a number!
As long as you have no mega illness or injury then you should pass the medical, i think the Army still use the BMI test which has always been shite!
I left the regulars in 2013 after 15 years in the Medical Corps, as a rule we aimed at doing 50 Press ups in 2 min and 50 sit ups in 2 min and the 1.5 mile run for my age 38 was 11min 30sec again i used to aim for 11 min.

As for your walking you need to be doing a 15 min mile pace carrying 15-20kg. The CFT (forced march) is 8 miles we had to do it in 1 hour 50 min carrying 20 kg.

Im not sure what the reserves requirement is, however if the shit hits the fan and you get deployed with a regular unit then thats what you can expect.

Check out these links for help and advice:
www.weightlossresources.co.uk
www.runnersworld.co.uk
www.menshealth.co.uk/workout
www.britmilfit.com

Good luck
 
The phys is one thing - its the being told what to do and being able to switch into green mode and do it that can be the clincher for the more mature. Bear in mind that a lot of JNCO's will be about half your age, with not a lot of experience of life outside the green machine - as will a lot of the lads you rub shoulders with.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
National/Specialist TA, transit camp = 32 man rooms.
If that is true, no wonder we have problems recruiting. I did TA basic at Grantham in 1980, 8 man rooms. Regular basic Catterick, 8 man rooms. RMAS - got my **** pit at last.

If they are subjecting new recruits, in this day and age, to Pollsmoor quality, no wonder we have problems.
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
If that is true, no wonder we have problems recruiting. I did TA basic at Grantham in 1980, 8 man rooms. Regular basic Catterick, 8 man rooms. RMAS - got my **** pit at last.

If they are subjecting new recruits, in this day and age, to Pollsmoor quality, no wonder we have problems.
PWoG bks? If so yes; this was 2006 and we definitely had 32 man rooms (block just past the drill square and fairly near the railway training type bit)
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
PWoG bks? If so yes; this was 2006 and we definitely had 32 man rooms (block just past the drill square and fairly near the railway training type bit)
Was that Basic Training?
 

Maded

Crow
Surely basic training is just that training...its what life is like at the unit is what counts and as for being told what to do by the younger bods surely a gent at 48 would have the strength of mind to deal with that?
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
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