DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE.
The army is nothing like the army brochures and the videos you see online.
Military accommodation is basic and you will spend your spare time polishing every inch of it.
You pay for your food in the army. Range stew, rare chicken, deep fried spam, hot salad and cofftea are all on the “menu”.
Other action packed activities include but are not limited to:
Standing on parade for hours.
Picking up litter.
Digging trenches and filling them back in again.
Waiting around for hours on end for no obvious reason.
Counting things in the stores and then counting them again.
Sweeping, the army have large areas of ground that must be kept immaculate at all times.
DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T LOSE YOUR RIGHTS.
Soldiers don’t have the rights that civilians have. The army can lock you in for several years, which would be illegal in a civilian job.
Other rights that soldiers lose:
You lose the right to have your interests protected by a union.
You lose the right not to be subject to forced labour.
You lose the right to be tried in the juvenile justice system if charged with an offence.
You lose the right to speak your own mind if this could embarrass the army – and you can be put in prison for it.
You lose the right to choose your work in the way a civilian can – you can be put in prison for trying to leave the army.
You can’t change your job in the army without the army’s permission but the army can move you to another job without your permission.
You lose the right to say ‘no’ to your boss – you can be put in prison for saying ‘no’ to an order.
You lose the right to live where you want – you can be sent anywhere in the world.
DON’T LOSE YOUR RIGHTS, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T GET LEFT BEHIND.
The Army Foundation College in Yorkshire is really just an army training camp and it only does three courses; English, maths, ICT. The courses aren’t GCSEs, they’re less than half as long, and so basic that they’re almost worthless. Most employers have never heard of them.
The army might enrol you on an apprenticeship in ‘Public Services’. The title sounds good but it’s just your basic soldier training dressed up to look like an apprenticeship. It teaches you to ‘operate and maintain small arms and team weapons’, ‘perform ceremonial duties’ and ‘meet physical fitness requirements’, it’s pretty useless for anything except the army.
The army says that you can finish your Phase 1 training as long as you’ve reached ‘Entry Level 3’ in your English and maths, that means a reading age of a 9-11 year old. That’s good enough for the army, but is it good enough for you?
GET A PROPER EDUCATION, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T FOLLOW ORDERS.
Every soldier is expected to follow orders without question. This will be beaten into you during basic training.
Here are a few examples of orders you will have to obey if you join the army.
“Paint that vehicle, I don’t care if it is raining.”
“Clean those shit covered toilets.”
“Report to the officers mess, they need a waiter tonight.”
“Stick your chin out, I am going to punch you.”
“You are not going home this weekend you are on guard instead.”
“You are being transferred to a different unit.”
DON’T BLINDLY FOLLOW ORDERS, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T BECOME A HATER.
Soldiers are encouraged to hate. You will be encouraged to:
Hate soldiers in other regiments.
Hate people in the Royal Air Force.
Hate the Royal Navy.
Hate civilians (that means your friends and family).
This is all done to make you feel that you are in a special gang and that all of the people in your gang are special.
This feeling will then be exploited to get you to carry out tasks you would never have done otherwise. Like attacking people in their homes at night.
DON’T BECOME A HATER, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T BECOME A KILLER.
If you join the infantry you will be put through six months of deep psychological manipulation. The way your brain functions will be changed, forever.
By the end of your training your ambition in life will be to go to war and kill the enemy. Any war, any enemy.
The rest of the army exists to enable the infantry to close with and kill the enemy, so even if you don’t join the infantry you will be helping them to kill.
DON’T BECOME A KILLER, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T GET SEXUALLY ABUSED.
Sexual abuse is rife within the army. The army accepts that sexual abuse is higher in the army than in civvy jobs.
Women in the army are twice as likely to be sexually abused compared to women in civvy jobs.
Women soldiers of low rank are the most common target for sexual abuse.
Male soldiers are often subjected to initiation ceremonies by other males that amount to sexual abuse.
DON’T GET SEXUALLY ABUSED, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T GO TO WAR.
All the talk you have heard about the army defending Queen and Country or keeping the people of Britain safe is bollocks. The British Army exists to go to war on behalf of the UK Government.
Since 2001 the British Army has been used covertly or overtly to attack Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. None of these countries posed a threat to the people of Britain. Our wars have nothing to do with defending the people of the British Isles.
DON’T GO TO WAR, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T GET PTSD.
The Army will tell you that very few soldiers are affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
However a great many soldiers and veterans report that they have been deeply affected by:
Being attacked by the enemy.
Attacks they have carried out on other people.
DON’T GET PTSD, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T BECOME A CASUALTY.
For the period 1 January 2006 to 31 March 2013 records show that:
2,116 UK military and civilian personnel were admitted to UK Field Hospitals and categorised as Wounded in Action.
293 UK personnel were categorised as Very Seriously Injured.
298 UK personnel were categorised as Seriously Injured.
6,663 UK personnel were aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan on medical grounds.
DON’T BECOME A CASUALTY, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T DIE YOUNG.
179 British servicemen and women were killed in Iraq.
456 British servicemen and women were killed in Afghanistan.
The vast majority of those killed were serving in the army.
British Army infantry soldiers were six times more likely than the rest of the army to die in Afghanistan.
Don’t leave your family without their son or daughter.
DON’T DIE YOUNG, DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
Do you still want to join the army?
Watch this video featuring Ben Griffin. He served in the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service on operations in N Ireland, Macedonia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
DON’T JOIN THE ARMY.
BECOME A BETTER YOU.
Don’t Join the Army’ is a project of Veterans For Peace UK. It is a response to the Army’s consistently misleading and exploitative recruitment campaigns aimed at young people.
Based on the experiences of hundreds of veterans, Don’t Join the Army provides young people with information about military service often missing from the official recruitment material.