Good people of the Infantry, I'm an ex-reg from a small capbadge who's a little confused by the recruitment process a friend of mine is experiencing. I work with a 26 year old South African lad who, having experienced my style and panache first hand, has decided he wants to join the army. Infantry in particular for some reason. He initially wanted to go to Sandhurst but didn't quite make some of the educational requirements. So he now wants to join as a soldier, and if the possibility arises, perhaps apply for a commission from the ranks. However, the last letter he got from the civvy feckers at ATRA states: "Once you have returned the information as requested, your details will be held on our database for 12 months. Should a vacancy arise, for which you meet the eligibility criteria, within the 12 month period, we will send you an application form... If a suitable vacancy does not arise within the next 12 months, you are required to re-register your interest for consideration during the next 12 month period." Is this for real? I'd be very grateful if you could give me a realistic timeframe of how long it would take him to get his foot through the gates of an ATR as a potential Infanteer? I know we're cutting battalions but the idea that a 'vacancy' might not arise in 12 months seems fecking bananas to me, but then I know nothing about the infantry selection process. All info gratefully received.