Yank looking to join British Army one day

#1
Hey all,

I am currently 21 years old. I understand that you must be a citizen of the UK to join. Does this include Commonwealth nations? Canada? Australia, etc? Could I hypothetically go to Canada, live there for three years, become a Canadian citizen, and then fill out an overseas application for British Army service?

Reason why I want to join: From all that I have read the British Army has harder training, but at the same time, your standards are lower. Here in the US, the tiniest medical issue can disqualify you from serving. If you tell the doctor you had heartburn once, he diagnoses you right there with acid reflux. If you say you had a headache once, you get diagnosed with recurrent migraines. It's completely ridiculous. Almost everyone has to lie to get in, and as much as I wouldn't mind that, that's not an option if you have medical records that can be looked up by them.

I browsed the JSP medical standards documents and I would qualify under your standards. There is nothing more that I want than the military lifestyle, and would gladly change countries to obtain it. I also have a great admiration for your country and its culture.

P.S. One of those horror stories came from a friend who was discharged fraudulently. Would this be an option for him too? Would a negative discharge from the US mil have any impact on joining the British Army? I apologize if this has been addressed but i saw nothing on it in FAQs.
 
#2
About being a canadian citizen first, i believe that should work. But don't pin your hopes on our medical standards been lower than the American system. With the recession in full swing in the UK the army really are not struggling to get British recruits through there doors. So they can afford to be as picky as they want. I am not an expert but if you have the smallest thing wrong with you it could go against you.

Although i am not an expert on this i am happy to give you any more advice if you want it.
 
#3
Before you worry about any medical issues, you need to determine your eligibility to join the British Army, which I think for you as an American citizen is not at all (I believe) as it stands currently. Even if you attain this eligibility, the current recruiting climate is very saturated and waiting times are high, they can afford to be choosy and therefore drop you at any sign of medical problems. Any previous service in other militaries will be questioned and may very well bar entry.

I've met many a person from all around the world in British Army, but never an American.

Please note, I am not a recruiter nor an official word on any of these matters.
 
#4
From all that I have read the British Army has harder training, but at the same time, your standards are lower. Here in the US, the tiniest medical issue can disqualify you from serving.
I humbly suggest you do a bit more reading. Until then I will restrain myself from further comment, especially on the other highlighted items.
 
#5
Stop sucking up and do more research. And try to be clinical about it. Otherwise, apply to join one of the cavalry regiments, you might get to share a horse with someone.
 
#6
Stop sucking up and do more research. And try to be clinical about it. Otherwise, apply to join one of the cavalry regiments, you might get to share a horse with someone.
Erm....aren't you forgetting Para mortars--they are always on the lookout for young fresh talent are they not?
 
#7
Erm....aren't you forgetting Para mortars--they are always on the lookout for young fresh talent are they not?

Oh yes, I quite forgot the "maidens of the mortar", good point, well presented, JJH! Take heed young Blake, there/s a wonderful opportunity for you - and the "training" will probably be harder than any that is allowed in the US military.
 
#8
I apologize for anyone I offended, I should have been a little more specific:

When I said the 'standards' are lower, I meant that there are things mentioned in the JSP 346 that wouldn't be permissable by US military med standards in a million years. A few examples I noticed was that if someone cuts, you let them in but only if they did it once. If someone has asthma, they only need be without an inhaler for four years. If someone was diagnosed with depression, they only need to be symptom and doctor free for 3 years. These kinds of things would get you turned away in the recruiter's office. Unless that document is wrong?

Secondly when I said the training is harder I wasn't trying to start a 'my dad can beat up your dad'-esque kind of thing. But it remains a fact that British Army basic training is a longer process than what any of the American services have to offer. My perception or misperception of 'whos got it tougher' isnt the reason why I want to join, I merely pointed that out because I didn't want readers here thinking I was insinuating that because the med standards are lower, British military personnel aren't up to par. I could've come in here just saying 'hi i want to join your medical standards are lower than the US' but I wouldn't want that statement misconstrued to mean something else.

Also to the Recon Marine, I was only referring to initial training, not specialized MOSes.

Lastly yeah, the US military tightened up because of the economy too. But I didn't say I was going to start this process tomorrow. I said 'one day' and wanted to get an idea regarding timeframe. I'm not too worried about it this minute, just thought I'd scrounge for info for now though.

Are there British Army recruiters that frequent this forum? Or other online resources where you can chat with one kind of like at goarmy.com for the US?
 
#9
I apologize for anyone I offended, I should have been a little more specific:

When I said the 'standards' are lower, I meant that there are things mentioned in the JSP 346 that wouldn't be permissable by US military med standards in a million years. A few examples I noticed was that if someone cuts, you let them in but only if they did it once. If someone has asthma, they only need be without an inhaler for four years. If someone was diagnosed with depression, they only need to be symptom and doctor free for 3 years. These kinds of things would get you turned away in the recruiter's office. Unless that document is wrong?

Secondly when I said the training is harder I wasn't trying to start a 'my dad can beat up your dad'-esque kind of thing. But it remains a fact that British Army basic training is a longer process than what any of the American services have to offer. My perception or misperception of 'whos got it tougher' isnt the reason why I want to join, I merely pointed that out because I didn't want readers here thinking I was insinuating that because the med standards are lower, British military personnel aren't up to par.

Also to the Recon Marine, I was only referring to initial training, not specialized MOSes.

Lastly yeah, the US military tightened up because of the economy too. But I didn't say I was going to start this process tomorrow. I said 'one day' and wanted to get an idea regarding timeframe. I'm not too worried about it this minute, just thought I'd scrounge for info for now though.

Are there British Army recruiters that frequent this forum? Or other online resources where you can chat with one kind of like at goarmy.com for the US?

Just kidding with you. I wish you luck in achieving your goals.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
You wouldn't qualify as an American with no ancestral right (e.g. a British parent or grandparent) to live or work in the United Kingdom. We have already established that the U.S. isn't a Commonwealth country, so unless you marry a Brit very soon and move over here and **eventually** acquire a passport, you have very little chance of realising your goal. Sorry, but that is the way it is.

(assuming this is no wind up of course)
 
#13
I apologize for anyone I offended, I should have been a little more specific:

When I said the 'standards' are lower, I meant that there are things mentioned in the JSP 346 that wouldn't be permissable by US military med standards in a million years. A few examples I noticed was that if someone cuts, you let them in but only if they did it once. If someone has asthma, they only need be without an inhaler for four years. If someone was diagnosed with depression, they only need to be symptom and doctor free for 3 years. These kinds of things would get you turned away in the recruiter's office. Unless that document is wrong?

Secondly when I said the training is harder I wasn't trying to start a 'my dad can beat up your dad'-esque kind of thing. But it remains a fact that British Army basic training is a longer process than what any of the American services have to offer. My perception or misperception of 'whos got it tougher' isnt the reason why I want to join, I merely pointed that out because I didn't want readers here thinking I was insinuating that because the med standards are lower, British military personnel aren't up to par. I could've come in here just saying 'hi i want to join your medical standards are lower than the US' but I wouldn't want that statement misconstrued to mean something else.

Also to the Recon Marine, I was only referring to initial training, not specialized MOSes.

Lastly yeah, the US military tightened up because of the economy too. But I didn't say I was going to start this process tomorrow. I said 'one day' and wanted to get an idea regarding timeframe. I'm not too worried about it this minute, just thought I'd scrounge for info for now though.

Are there British Army recruiters that frequent this forum? Or other online resources where you can chat with one kind of like at goarmy.com for the US?
All points accepted. good luck!
 
#14
'You have to be a British, Irish or Commonwealth Citizen in order to join'

Well, when the 250 year lease on America runs out and we get it back, he will be a Commonwealth Citizen - just hang on in there until 2026.
 
#15
I've met many a person from all around the world in British Army, but never an American.
I have met several dual nationality Brit/Americans including a couple of officers - one Gunner, one Blues and Royals. They were all "illegally" dual nationals.

However your whole premise is flawed. If you don't care which nation you serve and it is just the military life style you want, may I suggest you hop on a plane and make your way to FORT DE NOGENT, 94120 FONTENAY SOUS BOIS, PARIS FRANCE? The nice man in the kepi blanc will be only too happy to relieve you of your US passport and provide you with a nice new French military ID card. Five years military life style...job jobbed. You can even take your bum-chum with you, to act as a condom when the big butch Swedish Adjutant comes for you by night...
 
#16
IIRC there was a Canadian in the Argylls during the 1970s. He transferred over from a Canadian regiment, and got bullied rotten because he wasn't Scottish. It would be nice to think that those who throw their lot in with the British are fully accepted as friends, but they aren't always. So please do join us if you can, but also be aware that tougher units might give you a hard time for the wrong reasons.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#17
IIRC there was a Canadian in the Argylls during the 1970s. He transferred over from a Canadian regiment, and got bullied rotten because he wasn't Scottish. It would be nice to think that those who throw their lot in with the British are fully accepted as friends, but they aren't always. So please do join us if you can, but also be aware that tougher units might give you a hard time for the wrong reasons.
I'd like to think that this wouldn't happen in a civilised English Regiment.

Bloody Jocks, most racist people on Earth. :D
 

Travelgall

MIA
Kit Reviewer
#19
I'm sure I read somewhere in the Book Sniper One that there was an American serving in the British Army, and I know there was an American Para Cpl a few years back so it can be done (I suspect there could have been a dual nationality involved). Agreed with all that the training is just different in most respects - not easier or harder. However after speaking with a couple of people from Hogwarts (West Point) there does seem to be a lot less bull and humiliation in the UK Officer programme. I know JJ is looking at it from the USMC OCS Side which has a very similar officer training programme to RMAS (1 Year intensive pure military, rather than 4 year course with all the underwater basket weaving and womens studies courses that you have to minor in like in any other US University).

I also agree with the other points that the British Army is not short of recruits right now. But hey, if you want to do the British Army then go for it.

Re Bullet_Catchers point. If you are worried about an acceptance issue, have a look at Infantry Regiments or Corps that recruit either from somewhere cosmopolitan (London & the South East) or a corps with a wide variety of different people (RLC, RE, etc) . I suspect it won't be a problem in one of these units, it might be if you go for an Infantry regiment that recruits from Scotland or Northern Ireland. This may be harsh, and is nothing against Scottish or Northern Irish people but you'll stand out. In a London Regiment you won't. At the end of the day, if you're good at your job and can have a laugh I suspect it won't be a problem though. It bloody well shouldn't be.

Regiments - Army Jobs London

Roles and Regiments - Army Jobs South & South East
 
#20
Here in the US, the tiniest medical issue can disqualify you from serving. If you tell the doctor you had heartburn once, he diagnoses you right there with acid reflux. If you say you had a headache once, you get diagnosed with recurrent migraines. It's completely ridiculous. Almost everyone has to lie to get in, and as much as I wouldn't mind that, that's not an option if you have medical records that can be looked up by them.
I think the key here is not to go to your GP with every little ache & sniffle, & only to disclose & confirm information that's on your medical record.

There's honesty & then there's being a hypochondriac.
 

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