TA upper age limit?

Long time lurker.

Canadian copper (dual UK/Canadian citizen), taking career break and coming to UK to work a similar job, probably in the greater London area. Prior military service in Canada many moons ago. I'd like to enlist in the TA for at least the 2-3 years I anticipate being on said career break. I'm 43....super fit and switched on. Does anyone know, unofficially, how open to negotiation the TA is on the upper age limit for enlisted recruits? I know what the website says, I am curious if anyone can advise if it's different at the unit level...or have they got sufficient numbers of switched on 20 year olds that they don't need to grant an age exemption to let me in for 3 years? I'm thinking HAC as a first choice.

Thanks in advance....
i remember training a 42year old in the cheshires but that was back in the early nineties-he was similiar to you and could run most of the younger ones on the cadre into the ground- he was still in when i left in 96
My humble advice would be to write to the Commanding Officer. Explain your situation and your eagerness to serve the Queen. He will be able to advise you on the regulations, and will also perhaps be able to give you some advice. I would like to thank you for being willing to serve this very great nation.

Jeez, you are moving FROM Canada TO the UK? Are you subject to some form of deportation?


Book Reviewer
I think its 42 now unless you have some previous they like - raf regt is 55 still which might suit. not sure which will be the closest if there are units in the city but there is benson if you fancy working with chopper support.

good luck though.
43 is the normal upper age limit on joining the TA, contact the HAC directly to see if they wold be willing to enlist you


Book Reviewer
Straight from the Army Briefing Note (my bold):

Serial No: 44-12
Source: DM(A)
Date: 22 May 12


A. TA Regulations 1978 Amendment 35.

1. The age limits contained in Reference A have generated confusion and inconsistency following piecemeal amendment over an extended period. This ABN will simplify and make clear TA age limits; further changes may follow after New Employment Model (NEM) and Army 2020 announcements later this year.

2. All Army Commanders, Staff and Personnel serving in or supporting the OTC / TA.

  • The minimum age for Soldier recruitment is raised from 17 ½ to 18 years.
  • The Upper Age limit for ex-Regular soldier and civilian recruitment is unchanged at 43 years. Waivers for ex-Regular soldiers will be considered by DM(A)
  • Previously Commissioned Officers may still join up to the age of 57 for a single appointment.
  • The Upper Age for TA Direct Entry Commissioning is unchanged at 35. No further waivers will be considered.
  • The lower limit for TA Commissioning from SNCO or WO was formerly not explicitly stated. It will now be 35 with an upper limit of 50.
  • The Upper Age for Specialist Commissioning is raised from 45 to 50.
  • The upper limit of 50 is also applicable to soldiers recruited into Specialist roles.
  • The TA Normal Retirement Ages were raised in 2007. They are unchanged at 55 for soldiers and 60 for officers.


3. This policy is effective from 20 May 2012 and Reference A will be updated at the next routine amendment. Previous age related eligibility criteria in Reference A are revoked. This policy applies to all TA Gp A personnel except PQOs (including Medical and Dental Officers employed on Common Terms of Service1). The terms of service (ToS) for TA Gp B and C personnel are unaffected.

4. TA Age limits will:

  • Be consistent with Regular Army regulation and employment unless a compelling reason for difference exists
  • Ensure consistency and equality of opportunity across all TA Group A ToS by cohort (PQO, DE, LE and Specialist).
  • Enable the application of age related manning controls to flex the size of the TA according to Defence need
  • Not unduly constrain access to highly skilled specialist staff for niche employments Policy Development

6. Increase in Soldier Recruitment Lower Age Limit. The age limit for enlistment and initiating the recruitment process is raised to 18 years; soldiers may no longer be recruited at 17 or 17 ½. This change recognises the difficulty in providing the mandatory special processes and resources needed to support young people in sub-units and units. It will therefore reduce the administrative burden, avoid compromising protective legislation and ensure that TA Soldiers are treated and employed in a manner similar to Regular Soldiers2. Reference A, Paras 5.023 and 5.025 and Annex C/5 are revoked. Only those attested before 18 May 2012 may continue Phase 1 and 2 training; they must remain in an untrained PID until reaching the age of 18.

7. Soldier Entry Officer Candidates. Soldier Entry officer candidates are defined as soldiers who are Phase 2 trained and have completed a period of enlisted service. They are commissioned through either the ‘Direct Entry’ (DE) process by attending the standard TA Commissioning Course (TACC) or the ‘Late Entry’ (LE) process with attendance at the LE Officers Course (LEOC(V)) depending on their age, rank and length of service. Both are selected by AOSB

  • ‘Direct Entry’. The upper age limit for DE commissioning is unchanged at 35 years. The Future Officer Structure reduced the Regular DE Commissioning Age to 26 with an upper limit of 29 for certain cap badges. The higher minimum age for TA DE Commissioning has been retained at 35 years recognising the different career profiles of TA officers driven by their civilian careers. This can lead to the circumstance of TA officers commissioned for employment in identical roles to their Regular counterparts but 6-9 years later. Current experience indicates this is sustainable; however the upper age limit will not be raised further to prevent increased divergence from Regular ToS and to permit those commissioned at 35 a full career with the possibility of promotion to OF5. Consequently, DM(A) will no longer consider overage waivers for DE Commissioning.
  • ‘Late Entry’. A new lower age limit for TA LE commissioning of 35 is imposed (it was hitherto undefined). This ensures the LE and DE commissioning routes do not have an overlap. An upper age limit for commissioning of 50 is also imposed to permit at least 2 full tours post commissioning. The TA LE employment group will be reviewed post Army 2020; until this iscomplete DM(A) will not grant waivers to the age eligibility. The LE candidate selection process and eligibility criteria will be detailed in a separate DIN.

8. Specialists. The age limit for commissioning Specialists was formally 45 and this is now raised to 50 to increase the catchment of those with essential skills for the Army. TA serving soldiers or ex-Regular soldiers with the necessary skills may be recruited into Specialist roles up to the age of 50. Waivers of these limits may be considered by DM(A). DM(A) is currently developing a TA Specialist Career Stream for both Officers and Soldiers and detail will be issued in a separate DIN by Jul 12. This will replace 2010DIN01-103 which only covered Specialist Commissioning.

9. Normal Retirement Age (NRA). There is no change in the NRA of 55 for soldiers and 60 for officers. This will not be reviewed until post Army 2020 and NEM. DM(A) will consider applications for extensions for a maximum of 12 months for up to 5 years beyond NRA; the process in support of extended TA service beyond NRA will be issued separately.

10. Point of Contact. Queries should be addressed to Maj Kris Beauman, SO2 Res ToS, DM(A), 94393 6137 / 01264 335949, LF-Manning(A)-Pol-Res-SO2.

1 In accordance with JSP 527.
2 Regular soldiers under 18 are only employed at training establishments specifically equipped and staffed to be compliant with the legislation
Thanks to all for the informative responses thus far. I really have nothing to lose by applying, I suppose. I guess I could also re-enlist here and then immediately put in for a secondment/ attachment/whatever it might be called, to a TA unit. I just really would like to go as high speed as possible and HAC seems `it'. I believe I would have a slim chance of passing TA SAS selection if I had the five years of prior residency in the UK they want you to have prior to even putting in the paperwork...but I don't.
I like their professional reputation, and the hybrid of ceremonial and operational role. I have worked with FOO before as an infantry recce rifleman and I think the small unit/sneaky beaky thing appeals. Also, I want to dine at Armoury House and protect the Lord Mayor with a pike. Or halberd. Whatever. :)
Fair enough, thank you for replying.

You might find it worth checking out F Coy 7 Rifles, right by Bond St Tube; 0207 629 3674.

Fair bit of ceremonial as well as a cracking degree of recent operational experience.

I might just. I have always thought the Rifles/Light Infantry/Green Jackets were `the shit' in terms of infantry. (Note; that is a Canadian term for immense admiration and approval, just FYI). I just want to avoid mech or armoured infantry at all costs- I HATE bouncing around inside an APC....

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