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Mobilisation occurs in one of three circumstances:

  1. When the Army realises that you have a useful skill.
  1. When the Army cocks up and thinks that you have a useful skill, but you actually don't.
  1. When you are stupid enough to volunteer.

Being a student does not exempt you

You will receive the legendary brown envelope and have 2-3 weeks notice to report for duty. (Not always a given, 6 days in the case of one of my L/Cpls and has been as little as 24 hours.)

What Happens

The Mobilisation process varies depending on when and where you go. However, all mobilised soldiers go through the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC) at Chilwell in Nottingham.

Upon arriving at Chilwell, you will have £485 (tax free) shoved in your general direction (your 'Call-Out Gratuity') and a form to claim the petrol (one way) for the trip. Upon advising the clerks that you needed to be dropped off and could you have petrol for a 2 way trip, you will be told to F off.

Following the F'ing off, you will do a round robin of clothing store, medical, dental and Pay. In actual fact, you don't get the Call Out Gratuity until you are accepted in to service - and that is after you have been pronounced fit and been through some truly dull lectures.

Points to note for pay when mobilised:

  • you get the Regular Army pay for your rank and trade


  • Your Civvy Pay + Last years TA Pay (not including Bounty) + 5% (to account for lost bonuses, etc).

Don't get pushed out of the admin office until you are completely satisfied with your pay!!!

Long Distance, Serving Separation Allowance (LSSA) is paid for every day that you are in theatre. The first 300 days is £5.50 ish, 300-600 days is £7.50 and 600+ days is just over £10 a day. This figure is cumulative, so once a few tours are packed in, you can really start to earn some cash.

However, to qualify for LSSA, you must have received the previous 2 years bounty, so beware if you are a newbie or missed a year's qualification.

Recent Changes

You now do your mobilisation paperwork and pay under JPA. Best of luck, you'll need it. You will also be entitled (Iraq or Afghanistan & a few other places) to the tax-free Operational Allowance (£12.31 per day) - which you don't get until you get back.

Following the first day of admin, you will complete your bounty tests at Chilwell.

Following that, you will be shipped off to theatre. Good Luck...

More Points to Note

  • Don't expect to receive any LSSA until you finish the tour.
  • Don't expect to get your medal for years afterwards.
  • You can delay mobilisation for a few months. E.G. my baby is about to be born.