joining the army with criminal convictions

The army doesnt want or need thugs, we want people who use controlled aggression. But dont lie, all applicants will have security checks done on them, be honest if asked, and reference your newer charge if you havent been charged yet, then dont declare it, it may not happen.


War Hero
They will ask at the careers office..wheter you declare them or not, they will find out. The army are part of government services, so of course they are vetted...the paras themselves dont vet you though!!

I think it says in the application form however,if you have anything pending so they might not recruit you until its been sorted out.
The army complies with the rehabilitation of offenders act..each conviction has a different time frame depending on the crime.

To be honest sound a bit of a pain in the arrse!!...


Standards are not lowered simply because an elite Regiment is short of a few blokes!

Cases such as yours may be treated on a case-by-case basis, and there are one or two users of this site who work at various Army Recruiting Offices. Hopefully one of them will see this and respond.

Top tip however to reinforce what has already been stated: declare all your history. While it may result in longer recruitment process and more interviews, to be found lying or ommitting facts would destroy you at a later date. How would you like to be three days from completing your basic training and getting sacked for lying? Want to explain that to a future employer?

Be open, candid and admit your mistakes. If you are a bit too ready with your fists then I suggest that the British Army is not for you. If you believe that you are fit enough for the Paras but get rejected then join the French Foriegn Legion. A willingness to scrap will serve you well with all the eastern block muppets there.
If I remember Correctly, when you make your application, you will have to declare all convictions, whether spent or not. This is certainly true of the vetting process, and I would imagine that all members of the para's would need an SC at least and not just a BC.
If you don't delcare them, they will still find out about them as part of the vetting process, so, just declare it and have done with it. Better to be honest. If you lie, you certainly won't get in.


Rules have recently changed. You're allowed up to a maximum of 3 offences.
Bear in mind an offence is only deemed as a conviction if it was handed down by a Judge or Magistrate.
Don't bother lying, it will come to light sooner rather than later, and you'll be out on your arse.


War Hero
Firstly, everyone who joins the Armed Forces, in keeping with most other Government departments, requires a minimum of Basic Check security vetting. This is the only clearance you will need for many jobs in the Army including most Para trades, although if you want to start specialising, you may need higher security vetting depending on the job.
The BC Check, as it says in the accompanying blurb that they will send you, includes a criminal record check, so there is absolutely no point trying to hide your past. The consequences of doing so are far worse, because it indicates a lack of integrity, and someone will recommend that you be sacked immediately.


War Hero
Don't'll come back to bite your arrse.

But to those people who are coming the high and mighty about the Army not wanting "mindless thugs" etc etc...have you ever been around an Airborne unit? For that matter, it applies equally to any infantry regt or Corps in HM Forces, this guy is just unlucky enough to have been caught.

I've been out the of Army for over three years and I haven't been in a single fight. While I was in you could almost guarentee one a month in whatever NAAFI you happened to be drinking in..don't be hypocritical boys, you've all been there...
If you are well educated and have a bit of common sense about you then I suggest that you rethink the whole issue. To be dishonest and withhold information on a government questionaire is asking for [real] trouble.

Fighting within the army will also get you into trouble. Like someone mentioned before - the army do not need thugs or people that cannot control their aggression. Perhaps taking anger management classes would suit you better...
legal_eagle, yes, I have been there BUT... I was in the army at the time... Getting in is the hardest bit , next hardest bit is the getting kicked out bit.

An airborne unit has tough guys in it but we are controlled when we need to be and are not thugs!


War Hero
Any offences will be on the police national computer and crimianl record bureau- whats the point in lying if your not going to get away with it.?..

The army realizes people make mistakes, but the vetting process is set by the government and MoD. The fact that the army is rather short on volunteers, will not affect the basic recruitment criteria.

The recruitment office staff are there to recruit, so helping someone join the army is part of their job. But they still have guidelines to follow, I was in there recently for rejoining matters, and one lad got turned away because sufficient time had not elapased since his offence.

The recruitment staff wont judge you and theyve seen many people in your position.

Youve had good guidance on this thread, I would take the advice given.


themaadone said:
legal_eagle, yes, I have been there BUT... I was in the army at the time... Getting in is the hardest bit , next hardest bit is the getting kicked out bit.

An airborne unit has tough guys in it but we are controlled when we need to be and are not thugs!
Good grief. I guess the time spent at Depot RCT Aldershot trying to avoid getting the living sh1te kicked out of me by random Paras on a Friday night was just in my imagination. 8O

No problem with it, kept my BFT times down, but rose tinted and spectacles comes to mind.


War Hero
It is best to be honest with them for if they find out later on through a security check you can be slung out on your ear for making false application. The thing is to convince them that you have changed your ways and this was phase much earlier in your life
Gnr_Darbyshire said:
Rules have recently changed. You're allowed up to a maximum of 3 offences.
Bear in mind an offence is only deemed as a conviction if it was handed down by a Judge or Magistrate.
Id take notice of this one aswell because its somebody in the know at the time as RI's (Recruiting Instructions) change all the time. I know a couple of aplicants who decided to keep thing quiet and not mention things about their past.
One applicant going through the system denied he had any convictions during my interview until the senior Recruiter asked him if he had seen the local paper with a nice piece in it about a court case he'd been found guilty in. Another lad I knew of got kicked out during phase 2 training when once again he featured in a local paper for an offence he'd kept quiet and was kicked out for lying.

Be honest on your application and the Recruiter can work out your Rehabilitaton periods for Spent/Unspent and your waiting periods in RI's. It might be ok with the new rules depending on what the outcome is- but you cant go ahead with your enlistment until court case/police investigation complete.


War Hero
A few facts to bear in mind.

PNC is a database, it hold all convictions and cautions for persons over 17 years (a number of offences but not all are deleted if commited under age of 17). there WILL be a record of yoru offences there.

CRB is an organistaion not a data base, so you can't be "registered" there they check sex offenders registers as well as other closed sources along with PNC to provide a check for approved orgainstions who ask. A vetting agency of sorts.

To join the Army as a soldier you will be processed under a BC (background Check) It is very very basic, I wont list what it checks against, but it isnt much. It DOES however include PNC.

So, accepting that no matter what you put on your form convictions will be detected, the question remains what is to be gained by not declaring them? I would suggest nothing.

Therefore if the question is do I declare my criminal record spent or otherwise, the answer, rather pragmatically is yes.

Now despite some of the advice on the forums and the idea that somehow the Army expects a higher moral standard, the truth is that apart from a VERY short list, it will take anyone with any background and history without thinking twice. Your conviction will make no differnce at all, the fact it is spent (if it is) only adds further support.

Will Para Regt take you with a spent conviction, yes most certainly if you make their grade. They wont be interested.

Your only problems are, making the grade at RSC and basic and PCoy - much harder than it may appear! And your current criminal investigation. The Army may well take you while its ongoing, depends on severity, and G1 guidlines from Upavon. I can think of cases where they have (1 for a sexual offence!) but they may not.

Advice on that would be, sort the situation out first. Para trg is hard enough as it is and you want your mind on that not some saga from civvi street.

Finally, as another poster pointed out, every soldier has punched someone on the piss, unless they are gay, jack or cowards. Without knowing the facts of your case its fair to say any one of us could have been convicted of an assualt at any of these times had things not gone their way, so dont pay too much attention to the slagging and get on and sort your personal life and sign up, if its what you want.

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