Very important question

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by England, Jun 28, 2007.

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  1. Hi,
    I'm 22 yrs old and I'm looking to sign up to the army. I've gone through the information packs that have been sent to me today. I have a slight problem though. I'm a vegan due to an eating disorder I was born with, therefore the only food I can actually is basically vegetables. I consulted them at and they said that it "may be a problem on the fields but they try to cater for all dietery needs."

    Basically I've GOT to stick with it. I cannot eat meat, fish, eggs etc AT ALL. Just mainly vegetables. So I'm just wondering WILL they cater for my dietery needs or will they not? My dad served in the Light Infantry in the 70s through to the early 90s. Would the army life be compatible for me?

    My medical condition is called "phenylketonuria." At one time I had to weigh my food such as chips and potatoes but now that's not the case as my brain has stopped growing. If I eat meat, eggs, cheese, fish or anything like that it effects my nervous system and my immune system. I don't need ANY treatment or anything else apart from not eating the foods I have mentioned.

    Any help with this will be appreciated.

  2. I take it you havn't spoken to a recruiter yet. they have vegitarian rat packs but you seem to be a special case. i suggest you get intouch with the ACIO/AFCO and seek their advice. they are the ones at the coal face. If you are in the forces your body will need a lot of Calories which veg alone wont be able to prodvide.

    I have had vegitarians pile in on exercise due to lack of energy.
  3. Oh right ok so it sounds like I'll have trouble. I'll go through it anyway. There's no harm in trying. Unlike normal vegetarians though I have the BEST vitamin supplements given to me by the NHS which give me these vitamins and calories that I don't get from meat. The problem I might face is would probably be getting those supplements to me every 3 months or so I guess. I'll go to the army careers guidance centre and explain it.

  4. you said "BEST" and "NHS" in tha same sentence. remember the lowest price wins in supply.
  5. lol well they do cost £246 for a box (2-3 months supply) if I was to BUY it so I would assume they are the best. They're specially formulated for my disorder.
  6. I can see that the NHS would really like you join up.... For the same reason, I can see that the Army might not be so keen.

    I cannot see how you would survive on a truly vegan diet within the Army. And there would be an issue on operations, because you would have to eat whatever was available, or starve. Starvation would quickly reduce your operational effectiveness and you would have to be removed from theatre - for which there is a considerable cost!

    I also wonder if PAYD is geared towards providing such food?

    I sympathise with your position, but the Army is geared towards providing standard fare for its soldiers, particularly on operations. Dietary requirements such as yours will place a severe strain on the medical and catering services at a time when they are already stretched (but not over-stretched... :D ).

    You will be given a medical and the opportunity to discuss this with the doctor, and maybe a specialist, but I would not raise your hopes too high. Talk to the ACIO!

  7. Scenario - youre on a long exercise, say six weeks in Poland.

    its the last two weeks of a major brigade exercise

    weather is sh1t - loggies are having real problems resupplying your unit in a remote area of the exercise.

    all the G4 side have left in store are standard ration pack (no veggie/halal/ghurka packs)

    question1 - what are you gonna do for food?

    question 2 - what happens if you get separated from your tablets for a week or two?

    question 3 - are you going to become a liability instead of an asset to your local command?

    if the answer to question 3 is yes - then you wil have difficulty passing the medical

  8. Senario 2

    Middle of jungle

    River Crossing bergan goes down stream mit tablets

    Comms aint workin

    no spare tabs

    medic forgets his portable Pharmacy

    What Then
  9. They're not tablets, they're drinks in packet-like containers. I recognise the fact that I'm just going to get turned away. I've asked others from another army forum and they've all said the same thing, some have said "no chance, forget it."

    Quite dissapointed really, the prospect of signing up has been on my mind for quite a while and more intensely this past week than ever. I was quite excited about doing it. I'm quite sure I could have passed the training despite me not eating meat but the main problem as has been stated would be on the fields and probably wouldn't be fair on the others. It would have been something I'd have been proud about. Life's life I guess. I might just look into firefighting as one of you have advised.

    All the respect to the British troops. Doing a Great job and doing the country proud!
  10. I think you'd be an asset to the Army with your outlook on life, I really don't think you should throw in the towel just yet. Why not ask the questions first. Or why not just give it a go and see how you get on. I think that the only way you'll truly find out if the Army can give you what you need is to join it. If it doesn't work out then c'est la vie. How much would you regret not doing it later in life? I know of lots of people who would have 'loved to have been in the Army/Navy/RAF and in some cases bitterly regret not taking the plunge.

    Samuel Johnson: "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea"
  11. Alright then, I'll do that, thanks! I'm not going to build up my hopes though. I'll contact them on Monday and ask them about it. Whats "ACIO?" Is that a totally different place to the Army careers guidance centre?
  12. At my last unit, I had a vegan(not through choice) who was allergic to meat, but he still managed to do yhe job and was one of the fittest lads there, a bit anaemic looking, but he managed to work in the FRG of a REME unit which is not an easy job. He used to eat pasta, rice and quorn in varying combinations and on exercise he was well looked after by myself(ex-chef, yeah, go on say it, bloody sloppy) as we knew all about his dietary needs, so go ahead and ask questions, it might be worth it.
  13. I would have thought any problems you may have will be highlighted in basic training before you reach your designated unit. That way if they can be adressed they can be if not at least you know you've tried.

    You also seen pretty switched on about your condition and nutrition, you'll also see how you cope as you pickup your pre entry fitness training, you don;t mention your current fitness level/regime.

    Good luck with it
  14. Join as a chef, at least you know what you will be getting.
  15. Alright then no problem, thanks. I won't give up just yet but I'm not going to build up my hopes either. I'll find out about it on Monday.

    I'm not particularly interested in being a chef to be honest. I would prefer to be on the field fighting the enemy, serving the country, something that I'll forever be proud about. Where I can hold my head up high walking down the streets. It would give me a buzz. I don't just want to say "I've been to (Iraq/Afghanistan/maybe Iran)" I'd prefer to say "I fought in...."

    If I'm unable to do it I'll see if the Royal Navy is any different.