The total number of rejections over the last five years was 125,861, with 23,763 Commonwealth applicants turned away due to “lack of vacancies” and 76,187 rejected on medical grounds over the period.

Over the span of the past five years, ‘medical reasons’ have emerged as the foremost cause for rejection in the British Army, with a total of 76,187 applicants disqualified on this basis.

Following closely behind, oddly, the challenge of limited vacancies has notably impacted Commonwealth applicants, accounting for a total of 23,763 rejections during the same period. This considerable figure points to the intense competition for positions available to Commonwealth applicants within the Army, suggesting either an uptick in interest from Commonwealth nations or a reduction in available spots within the Army’s recruitment framework.

Administrative issues, particularly the non-completion of required forms, has also been a significant barrier to entry.

Here’s the data.

Army Application Rejection Reasons by Year

ReasonRY19/20RY20/21RY21/22RY22/23RY23/24
Age – Over Age43803942131
Age – Under Age5~6617
Alcohol~131913
AOSB Briefing Failure~~6
AOSB Main Board Fail~~
Appeal in Progress
Appeal Outcome9116~~
Assessment Centre Fail4723181920
Attitude/Maturity801281069363
Authority Rejection11191372739
Basic Skills829~
BMI232162095
Candidate not selected by APC Glasgow1413~
Clearance – Care Order~5~~
Clearance – Counter Terrorist Check (CTC)~~
Clearance – Crime~7~350245
Clearance – Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS)~
Clearance – Financial Issues~~
Clearance – Nationality6846152552
Clearance – Non completion of Forms2166136011401097
Clearance – Piercings170127722435
Clearance – Residency186129452062
Clearance – Tattoos143149102252173
Clearance – Visa505877287293
Commonwealth – No current vacancies4636207483245577707
Commonwealth – Unsuitable for entry8522219114239
Consent Form not provided~7~~
Continuing Education
Criminal Convictions/Crime~~~
Current Operations9
Delinquency/Crime53462933639
Discipline955~~
Drugs6711~~
Education~~~
Failed Basic Eligibility4750279260280179
Failed to Attend Event(s)33523619918894
Finance~~
Fitness1938201911
Family Origin Questionnaire Consent not given (SCT)251949
Joining Other Service – Royal Air Force~~~
Joining Other Service – Royal Marines~~~
Joining Other Service – Royal Navy~~
Language Ability – English Speaking & Listening~~~~
Medical1744318180138321465612076
Motivation/Commitment11041420111665
No Vacancy Available~71763712
Non-Productive Enquiry/Lack of Contact~
None~~~
Other non-Military Employment2413
Prior Service Check Rejection83813741055671674
Psychometric Test Result~~~~
Refusal of Parental Consent
Start New Stream20~
Terms and Conditions of Service~~
Unsuitable at Interview16287~~
Unsuitable for Job Choice~
Waiver Refused78~~
Total2575030657231892310023175

 

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago

Very interesting. So the problem is really internally created. I never realised I had asthma so it wasn’t on my medical records. Didn’t stop me being very fit and competing for England in an obscure sport. The problem was that my asthma made my aerobic capacity drop from exceptional to very good….. There is a big difference between chronic conditions and ones that can be easily managed. The commonwealth thing is a head scratcher…..that isn’t Gurkhas in the wrong column? If you are short of people you are short of people…….then you take the next cut down……absolute standards make no… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago

SB ,I got in the Andrew (Navy) with asthma, and a Penicillin allergy I noticed on the list was Tattoos, I would assume Face and hands and piercings that’s a new one I take it that those candidates were interviewed by non military and not like the old Careers office military personnel

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Generally face and hands is off limits, but there’s a degree of case by case judgment. Anything that’s offensive (eg Swastikas) tends to get you disqualified pretty quickly too. Piercings is baisically “anything that doesn’t look professional.” So you can have a septum piercing just fine, since you can take it out at work, but if you have a massive stretched hole in your earlobe that’s will still be there when you have taken the piercing out, it’s a disqualification (funny story when I was in Phase 1 we had one guy who every week had to have the hole… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Cheers Dern just watched Forces News ,and the Beard question should they be allowed or not cannot wait for the next one Nail extension painted or plain ?

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Honestly why not? If a female soldier wants to paint her nails is that a big deal? I mean it’s hardly more colour than her TRF after all, and much like beards if the colour is that bright CC1 we are deploying on ops only delpy with subdued nail varnish please (most of the time you’re supposed to be wearing gloves anyway).

Jon
Jon
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Allowed Dazzle while serving on a River class.

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Jon

If I’m on HMS Dragon can I get dragon themed nail art?

Neil Young
Neil Young
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

They are called rules. Stop trying to change them. You’re supposed to be a soldier not a glamour model.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Neil Young

Oh dear better get my powdered wig then.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I see you cut yourself shaving hence the plaster on you face….etc, etc….

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago

Forces News yesterday was talking about the Beard question should they be allowed or not We were told that you couldn’t get an airtight seal when wearing an AGR so beards were a no no in the Army but neither could us Jack’s but we still kept Our Beards and wore them very odd

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Plenty of individuals in the Army are allowed beards: Sikhs, Muslims, Pagans, Pioneer Sergeants, anyone with a shaving chit. All of them manage just fine with beards, even on operations and in respirator confidence training. The Respirator Seal is entirely a excuse various dinosaurs hide behind because they know the real reason they don’t want it sounds a bit pathetic: They don’t like how it looks. (Even if it was an issue you’d just issue a order that you’re going into a CBRN threat and you must shave now. I know it takes less time to apply a pair of… Read more »

pete
pete
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

A soldier used to rub brasso in his face to get a an excused shaving chit for rashes to piss off the Sergeant Major, they called the SM moses and ayatollah due to the mass exodus after his promotion. While guiding vehicles at night on exercise they used to try and run him over. Funny how power goes to some peoples heads !

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  pete

On the other end of the spectrum I’ve seen CSM’s ask their medics to go on a No Shaving Chit spree when OM’s on exercise complained that their troops where unshaven.

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Cheers Dern yeah the Army hierarchy needs too realise that ,in the Navy if you wished to discontinue Shaving put in a chit turn up Clean shaven and then you had 28 days if did the Beard didn’t meet requirements there’s even a Regulation on that you had to remove it

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I know, it’s not like there isn’t a perfect set of rules the Army could just crib. But as usual they’ve turned a nice easy “win” into agony.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

It’s got too be signed off in triplicate placed in the must do tray where it will gather dust until the question is raised again by another Government and the reply will be ” we are looking into this pressing matter” .

George
George
13 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I know a potential recruit who has been rejected for spurious medical reasons. A single episode of a skin rash which just happened to appear days before he attended selection. Subsequent dermatological testing revealed a previously unknown allergy to nickel and a balsam food spice. He worked at a restaurant chain as an assistant manager. His fellow employees ALL developed a rash when they used one particular type of elbow length heat resistant glove. That have now been reported and replaced. The lad is well into his 20’s but remains keen to join the army for all the right reasons.… Read more »

Dern
Dern
13 days ago
Reply to  George

Sorry, medical rejections is not something I have much experience of from either side of the equation. Even if I did, trying to do so off a second hand account would probably be a bit irresponsible.

Maybe talk to your GP and see what they say?

George
George
12 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Well, thanks for taking the time to respond. It is appreciated. I’m suggesting he takes it to his GP and local MP. While seeking a second opinion from a consultant dermatologist/immunologist. Possibly as a last resort, involving a journalist who has reported on the recruiting problem.

Callum
Callum
17 days ago

It’s definitely time for an in-depth review of what medical conditions really stop you being a modern soldier.

As you said, some conditions like asthma can be managed and shouldn’t immediately exclude anyone, but also how many roles don’t require absolute peak fitness? Every soldier should be fit enough to fight if need be, but logistics and support arms don’t need the same rigorous standards as close combat troops

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
17 days ago
Reply to  Callum

I have heard that applicants can get failed for having broken a bone in childhood or having had acne.

I served 1975-2009. There was then no relaxation of standard for logistics and support arms for either the 6-monthly Basic Fitness Test (BFT) or the annual APFA. the matra we had in REME was: you are a soldiers first, tradesman second. All had to be fit to fight.
Combat Fitness Test (CFT) was different – Infantry did have a tougher time target.

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

When I joined in 2014 the actual JOINING starndards for CS and CSS where lowered, but when the PFA time came rolling around there wasn’t a different standard based on cap badge, as you said CFT Infantry was different (I think they had more weight though not a faster time target) Now the SCR is universal, but the RFT has slightly different standards depending on Cap Badge and Job Role.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks mate. Good to have the latest info.

Got me thinking about APWT – we had iron sight on SA80 in REME – I guess there was therefore a different standard to achieve?

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Is APWT the old version of the Annual Combat Marksmanship Test? We still had iron sights in Phase 1, and when I did my PNCO and one of my Jungle Exs we got given iron sights, but otherwise everything was SUSAT, ACOG, LDS and others magnification sights, never had a different shooting standard applied, even when going down ranges with different cap badges, so I guess that got changed?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Making me feel old! I’ve never heard of ACMT. Seems like it replaced Annual Personal Weapons Test (APWT) from 1 Jan 2010. Got some lines from ARRSEpedia, as my memory fails me on the details of APWT: “APWT is a test that every soldier should take once a year and reach a certain standard. Shots are fired from a variety of ranges and firing positions, (100,200,300m)and in the case of the infantry (using the SA80) 400m. For the standard test 50 rounds are used, those with iron sights need to obtain a score of 39/50 to pass, those with SUSATs… Read more »

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Huh, seems like the firing from 400m was dropped but we do a few shoots from 50m and I think (I shoot a lot so I might be getting mixed up here) from 25m.
I’m guessing there was a APWT for GMPG, Pistol, whatever came before the Sharpshooter, 40mm UGL etc too?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

There was an APWT for everything that was a Personal Weapon. As an officer I usually did mine on 9mm Browning. But going to Afghan in Nov 2008, I did a SA80 APWT as that was my pers weapon over there.

Don’t know about annual APWT tests on GPMG, UGL etc.

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Lucky. I’m supposed to do at least 5 or 6 ACMTs every year (which is why I struggle to remember what shoots are on each one). Plus mandatory LFTT’s and then the odd CQB range thrown in.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks. Why are there so many ACMTs per year?

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Usually aren’t. But I have to do mine on L85, Sharpshooter, GPMG, Glock, and UGL

Last edited 15 days ago by Dern
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks mate. Great to get up to date info on all this.

Dern
Dern
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Just to clarify most personnel won’t have to do that many ACMT’s, my job role is an exception since we kind of expect everyone to be able to jump onto any weapon system.

Airborne
Airborne
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That’s true mate, read my dit I posted, my daughter had a bad back when young, no broken bones even just soft tissue damage, got chinned off a few times for the reserves because of it!

Alex
Alex
17 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

Have an old troopy of mine telling me his son who plays Rugby Union at a fairly high level has been turned down for Reserves because he had Kidney Stones 4 years ago. WTF.?

Airborne
Airborne
16 days ago
Reply to  Alex

Crazy nonsense mate for sure!

pete
pete
17 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

CFT should be repeated day after to give a meaningful result

Jonathan
Jonathan
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

A fractured lower shaft tib and fib from a sporting accident will do it. They were right it did cause a serious problem, but not for 20 years.

Ron
Ron
17 days ago
Reply to  Callum

Not always quite true, I am ex Royal Signals, there is a reason that our stable belt is dark green, dark blue and light blue. By Land, by sea and by air. We supported not only the land forces but the RAF, RM,SAS and Paras , sometimes also the RN. I did P Company/ RN and Diver training became a Master Diver Royal Signals and was also offered my commission in the RN. Which I did find funny as I was constantly in conflict with my WRAC OC in charge of a combat sig squadron and saw so many STAGS… Read more »

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Ron

I always find it kind of funny when people say that, because you don’t actually know where a CS or CSS soldier might end up. Yes a Medic in a Med Reg can probably get away with being a bit fat, but their career might take them to the MSU where they can not. A logie might be counting blankets or they might be going on supply runs through insurgent infested hinterlands to FOBs. A Gunner… well they always have to be fit don’t they, humping and dumping shells, but they might end up being a Forward Observer, embedded with… Read more »

Mel price
Mel price
17 days ago
Reply to  Callum

Go into a gas tent with asthma and you’ll find out why you aren’t selected

Marius
Marius
16 days ago
Reply to  Callum

Sense and sensibility, you are so right! Modern day armed forces do not need 100% Rambo style personnel. On the contrary!

Dern
Dern
17 days ago

Double posting because I included a link to the relevant website and that got it into admin hell: My understanding has always been that there’s a limited % of the army that can be Foreign and Commonwealth at any point. So not specific pids, stand fast Gurkhas, but as in if more than 15% of the army is FC they’ll stop hiring FC to prevent the mercenary-fication of the armed forces. This is from the Army Jobs website: I’m from the CommonwealthCommonwealth soldiers are, and always will be, an important and valued part of the fabric of the British Army.… Read more »

Ron
Ron
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Here here, refemeber on of my training Staffies from Harrogate, a Fijian a huge MF briliant at rugby and someone who us apprentice traidsmen trusted. All round good guy. So here to the Commonwealth troops.

Ron
Ron
17 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Blooming spell checks.

Marius
Marius
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

If the British Army (indeed armed forces) have dreams of maintaining an Anglo-Saxon look it’s deluded. War in Europe is on the horizon, turning away able bodied volunteers, Commonwealth or whatever, is plain wrong. Reference the French Foreign Legion or some other International Brigade.

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Marius

Wow. Okay. So not what we’re talking about. This isn’t about keeping a “Anglo Saxon look.” This is about keeping a army that is British Nationals rather than Mercenaries. Nobody is being turned away for being “brown” or “ethnic” or just “not having the Anglo-Saxon look”. But Pakistan spend the last twenty years actively supporting the Taliban, South Africa is pro-Russian, a large portion of Indians are nationalists who *hate* the UK. All of these are Commonwealth Countries. That is why there is a cap of Foreigners entering serive into the UK. Even mentioning the FFL is a point against… Read more »

Marius
Marius
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

The FFL a point against me? Pah!
The British Army sorely needs a unit similar to the FFL. Highly motivated, fit for a fight, no wokes in their ranks. Contrast the woke infestation of the British armed forces, low morale, low esprit de corps, shabby readiness levels, self inflicted low recruiting numbers, and you have a recipe for disaster. The disaster is already very visible.
Yes, I get you on undesirable elements, but the quest for bespoke recruitment, is just as undesirable.

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Marius

Thank you for not bothering to read, makes you look pretty silly.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
17 days ago

Commonwealth countries… No vacancies. Really, so all the advertised positions are filled are they?

Louis
Louis
17 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Must be a cap on non Brits joining the forces I guess. Bizarre that it’s so low though as way to many are being rejected for it.

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

No. There’s a certain % of the Army that Foreign and Commonwealth soldiers can fill up (I don’t know what it is off the top of my head), after that they start getting rejected so that the army doesn’t become a foreign mercenary force essentially.

DaSaint
DaSaint
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

They’re Commonwealth! They should be allowed to join with no restrictions as long as they’re up to the remaining physical and psychological standards.

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  DaSaint

No. They should not. Commonwealth or not (And being in the Commonwealth certainly does not mean that a Nation is on “Our Side”) they are still foreign Nationals and the Army should remain majority British citizens.

DaSaint
DaSaint
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Well then don’t complain when you can’t recruit enough ‘majority British citizens’.

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  DaSaint

No? There two seperate issues and both can be complained about and resolutions sought. Are you even real?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Loius and Dern,
Two reports have been leaked this week. One is the British Army Race Action Plan which deals with what to do with recriutment by race and the other on understanding diversity in the workplace. Both are MOD issued instructios. Have a read and then wonder at why people are not joining up.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

If you have ab argument to make why not make it instead of asking me to imagine what your position is?

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I have no idea what you’re talking about. I merely pointed it out as it might have been of interest. Evidently not.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Have a read and then wonder at why people are not joining up.

Suggests that I should automatically share your opinion on it, and that you’d want me to? If it’s just an interest piece fine but it felt like you wanted a specific conclusion to be drawn.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

It would also suggest that if I recommended a magazine article to you I am asking you to agree with me on it’s content, no matter how outlandish the comment might be. Why would I? I’m sure you’re more intelligent than to be thus lead without forming your own opinion.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Put it this way:
If you want to discuss it, tell me your opinions and then I can tell you if I disagree with them, or agree with them, and explain why I do. If you just show me an article then I’ll read it, but if you do not advance an opinion on it I’m not going to try to imagine your position.
Edit: And it would be foolish of me to try to imagine your position; since it would be uncharitable to assume we disagree, and perhaps pretentious to assume we’d have the same opinion.

Last edited 16 days ago by Dern
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Okay, I think. 🙄

simon
simon
17 days ago

Shame I’m glad I dodged a bullet when I applied at nineteen the rate of pay is about the same as someone flipping burgers at macdonalds

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
17 days ago

Apparently, returning military personnel to recruitment offices has been cited as boosting applications of late.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
17 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Amazing – none us on here would have guessed that…..no never.

Thing is yiu don’t need to improve % at each stage if pipeline much and rates of processing to make dramatic changes.,

pete
pete
17 days ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Are they homeless , seems to be a lot of ex-forces living on streets !

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  pete

Sad too say yes Portsmouth South MP had a wobblie about that very same Question Pete and he is a Labour MP who can see it with his own eyes

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
16 days ago
Reply to  pete

What, the applicants – or the military personnel found inside the centres? Either way, I wonder if any are adapt at push starting warships😌

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
17 days ago

Hmmm…anyone willing to wager whether artificial recruiting constraints will be revised/eliminated, once hostilities commence? 🤔😉

J c
J c
17 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I wonder how many “british” citizens would try to scarper back to their original homelands once hostilities commenced to avoid fighting for this country

Alex
Alex
17 days ago
Reply to  J c

They will never leave, too many benefits. Will be a stream of lawyers waiting to tell us how it offends them, or is a breach of their human rights to fight for a foreign nation.

Ron
Ron
17 days ago

Can we just do it the old fashioned way, careers office, test, if passed test three days at a recruitment center, more tests including medical, results and then the offer if good enough. For me yes it was found I had an issue with my skin so RCT or REME VM was not possible instead AAC Harrogate and became a telemech. Great fun traveled the world and as a civie traveled even more leading $100+ million projects. Good training good possibilities. Remember meeting some guys from the French Foriegn Legion, they did some really bad things in earlier life, one… Read more »

Gary
Gary
17 days ago

Prior Service Check Rejection ?? Are we now rejecting people who have previous service ??
People do mature with age so someone who had issues when serving previously may just have needed a break to “grow up”

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Gary

I think if someone has been discharged and told their service is no longer required that should really be a barrier to re-entry.

Ron
Ron
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Depends on why! I have seen good people with service no longer required because they stood up to the OC or CO for trying to do things with equipment that should never been done. I have seen SSMs leaving under the no longer required because his men were being pushed beyond tiered.I even saw once a Regt loosing over 30% of the man power from either buying themselves out or causing themselves to be discharged due to an officer trying to prove a point and a CO backing up the officer. I have even seen the following, a squaddie brought… Read more »

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Sure, but also people are discharged for drug abuse, for violence, etc etc. If you’re “getting yourself discharged” I think that’s pretty silly instead of signing off tbh. But each to their own.

Ron
Ron
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I agree, drug abuse, violence etc should not have the possibility to rejoin but to say that ‘servicies no longer requried’ is a general no go might be wrong. Sometimes other reasons happens.

WSM
WSM
16 days ago
Reply to  Ron

It does seem an unusually high figure of ex-service applicants being rejected – they can’t all have been SNLR psychos! 🤔

JOHN MELLING
JOHN MELLING
17 days ago

What on earth is this list of nonsense

Commonwealth – No current vacancies

23,763 Commonwealth applicants turned away due to “lack of vacancies” 

Silly list of excuses that’s all

If you want perfection ask the “model” agencies

We need people who want to join and help people and yes fight if need be

Sexy looks and the ability to do press-ups is not a battle-winner

Let’s end this “Be the Best” recruitment rubbish

I’m ashamed of the way our armed forces are!

Last edited 17 days ago by JOHN MELLING
Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  JOHN MELLING

So you’ve decided not to bother reading the comments I take it?

JOHN MELLING
JOHN MELLING
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Certainly have read the comments!

“discharged for drug abuse, for violence” etc.. fair enough

The rest are just silly and the definition of what makes a soldier, sailor, etc is being lost

Clearance – Piercings

Sorry Sir is my nose ring going to get in the way of pulling that trigger 🤔

And other stuff on that list is a pile of BS

Makes me sick to read daily about the armed forces being ruined

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  JOHN MELLING

So thanks for confirming that you haven’t bothered to read the comments since if you’d had you’d have seen the bit where I specifically pointed out why there are no vacancies for Foreign and Commonwealth Soldiers and you’d have seen specifically the point where I said that a Nose Piercing is not something you’re application would be rejected for.

JOHN MELLING
JOHN MELLING
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

This one you mean – And its still a load of BS Its makes no sense at all to limit to what you say is 15% ” My understanding has always been that there’s a limited % of the army that can be Foreign and Commonwealth at any point. So not specific pids, stand fast Gurkhas, but as in if more than 15% of the army is FC they’ll stop hiring FC to prevent the mercenary-faction of the armed forces. This is from the Army Jobs website: I’m from the Commonwealth Commonwealth soldiers are, and always will be, an important… Read more »

Dern
Dern
17 days ago
Reply to  JOHN MELLING

So you’ve copied and pasted it, but you’ve not bothered to engage with what I’ve said (And I suspect you’ve only read it now that I’ve specifically called you out on it and are now trying to retroactively justify yourself): Having too many foreign soldiers in the Army is, for obvious reason, a National Security risk and so it’s policy to keep a certain ratio of British to Foreign troops. That is not a BS reason, it’s a very valid National Security Reason. But tbh I don’t think you care about the reasons, you’re just looking for a reason to… Read more »

Last edited 17 days ago by Dern
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Dern

👍

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Sky News today Sunday Grant Shnapps was furious with the Army about lower Security Clearance for the sake of Diversity and Inclusion he’s not a happy bunny

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I question his grasp on the situation. SC is not something that’s required to work in the Armed Forces, it’s a fairly involved process that’s costs money and people are only put through when there is a need. But he’s got a culture war drum to beat because that’s the only thing the Conservatives have left before the next general election as evidenced by the fact that he thinks “nobody should be offended by having to attend christian rememberance services.” Frankly, as an Atheist serving Regular, Mr Schnapps can take his opinion and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine,… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

SC protocol I had to be Pre Vetted, then Vetted for a job taking Documents from my base in Portsmouth up to Whitehall what a parlaver Every aspect of my life was put under scrutiny

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Same. Also coming from a family that was separated hunting down the details of 2x the usual number of “immediate” family.

Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Being a Left footer (Catholic) but no Irish roots and it was the height of the troubles did raise concerns if it happened now I’d claim Human rights violation just too be a pain

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Tbf, although as a godless heathen I’ve not really paid attention most of the time Catholics seem to be catered for. Stand fast when your in a field and the Padre claims to be holding a non denominational service for all faiths but still is Anglican so does a shitty job at keeping his stick “faith neutral” and all. At least as a recruit there was a separate Catholic church for the papists. Godless heathens like me and other faiths had to get up earlier than everyone else to go to generic “ethics” classes to make up for our lack… Read more »

Last edited 16 days ago by Dern
Tommo
Tommo
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I never brought the faith which I was Baptised in to , into my time with the Navy didn’t feel the need too no tambourine bashing whilst I served if anything had happened the only thing that would seperate me from the rest was I’d be laid in the Catholic section not the Anglican section Whoopy Doo

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Transferring from Inf to MP took 9 months, I’d had a cousin named Kevin… around 1916, the Army had taken a profound dislike to him 😉

However, Civil Service are taking 3 months for basic security checks.

Expat
Expat
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

So your saying no SC is required to join. So that means that you have people joining that you have no idea about or their affiliations and could share things they learn I training like equipment short comings, actually ranges of weapons etc. Quite frankly that’s bonkers and has huge potential to be exploited.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Okay so you’re falling into the trap that they’re trying to set for the Layman: SC is not a generic term for a background check, it’s a specific level of clearance that you can be given by the government (and its a government wide standard AFAIK). Most soldiers will never get SC as most soldiering jobs do not require the in depth background check that SC entails, but they’ll still get a background check. Just a less in depth one, does that make sense? Pte Atkins does not need SC clearance because the effective range of the GPMG is, frankly,… Read more »

Expat
Expat
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

It nakes sense if you can actually excute background checks. But how do you do a background check for some one who.lives in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, you get the idea theres a fairly extensive list of countries where it would be extremely challenging. Its easy to checks on Canadians or Australians for instance but you won’t hit diversity targets recruiting from these nations easily. I had to be SC cleared for very basic access. And part of the security training they demonstrated how adversaries build a picture by collecting fragments of data. Its not just about equipment they capture names… Read more »

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

The thing is if you can’t do a basic background check that will result in a failure of your application. I suspect it would fall under “Commonwealth Unsuitable for Entry”

Grizzler
Grizzler
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

So do you feel Rememberance Sunday is a Christian service ..and if so are you offended by it.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Grizzler

I feel making it a Christian Service is in violation of what King George V wanted it to be. I also think it is extremely disrespectful to any soldiers who have died on Operations who are not Christian (either because they are of another faith, Sikh Muslim etc or because they have no faith). So if Remembrance Day is about the dead it should be faith agnostic in order to include ALL who gave their lives, not just the ones who happened to be Christian. If on the other hand Remembrance Day is for the living then it should still… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
17 days ago

The medical grounds rejection is not surprising, as it’s not fit for purpose! I mentioned this before but my eldest daughter went to join, but had had a bad back at the age of 15/16 or so! She was late 20s when she applied for the reserves and after a number of medical rejection due to this “serious back problem” (went to A&E at the time, quick Look, some pain relief and a few days off school, right as rain) and put up with an 18 month period with a lot of fighting against the shite online recruiting system, to… Read more »

Jon
Jon
17 days ago

Are the other services rejecting for similar reasons?

Peter S
Peter S
17 days ago

I understand that applications run at @ 100,000 per year. So 25+% are rejected for the reasons set out. That still leaves @75000 not rejected, but we still fail to recruit the 10/15000 we need to maintain overall numbers. It’s the failure to convert those non rejected applications into actual recruits that is the biggest problem.

Alex
Alex
17 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Google it. Only about 6-8% fail basic.

Peter S
Peter S
16 days ago
Reply to  Alex

So presumably the rest drop out during the recruitment process?

Brian
Brian
17 days ago

I wonder how many would be declined if conscription returned.

Alex
Alex
17 days ago
Reply to  Brian

Depends on whether they are needed or not. If there was actual conscription aka Ukraine, would the fact that you had a spliff in the last month stop you from being put to use to defend the Nation?

Tommo
Tommo
17 days ago
Reply to  Brian

Afraid too say Brain they’d probably be a large proportion requesting Irish Passports claiming citizenship because their GGG cousin was from the emerald Isle

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
16 days ago

So much for rehabilitation of offenders. 838 rejected due to criminal records. Unless they were rapists and murders I’m not clear why the armed forces would reject them. 238 rejected due to obesity, surprised it’s not more than that. 17,000 rejected on medical. Why was that? Not fit enough or underlying asthma, diabetes or epilepsy? Does seem they are rejected so many that it is no wonder the armed forces are shrinking. Some of those individuals would be fine and would get fitter. They just need the opportunity to join and a longer basic training programme to get them upto… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
16 days ago

+7000 rejected from the commonwealth as no vacancies or places.
Wtf? Is this because of governmental targets and Brexit?
The armed forces clearly have vacancies. Ergo this reason is just mind numbingly stupid.

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

It is presumably to maintain the Forces at a given %age so as to stop it turning into something of a mercenary force. Many Commonwealth countries and/or a large proportion of their citizens are not overly friendly. Although there are also a large number of individuals within the UK whose loyalty is doubtful.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
16 days ago

I think the military need to get real. The majority of roles are in support , not frontline. They can continue to let numbers drop or get real !!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
16 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I don’t get your point. Are you suggesting that there should be a lower entry standard for those going into support roles?

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
16 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Essentially yes

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

In REME we were soldiers first, tradesmen second. We would have to defend our positions in combat. You don’t want individuals in support roles with poor fitness, poor eyeight, medical issues.
Many of our officers and soldiers serve in first line REME units attached to combat arms – my first posting was to the Scots Guards then equipped with FV432.

Last edited 15 days ago by Graham Moore
Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
15 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Not suggesting we do, all I am suggesting is a relaxing of the rules regarding support roles

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

The CS CSS Corps are still soldiers, so it would dilute the capability of the army quite badly.
What rules were you thinking of relaxing?

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
14 days ago

Given the current numbers , someone with a minor ailment , which does not affect them in normal life . Is knocked out of selection.
Frankly given the state of the armed forces recruiting nothing should be ruled out.
For example, I believe piercing is a down grade? Why if the person is willing to remove them,

Dern
Dern
14 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

It’s not a downgrade, as I’ve explained elsewhere having a piercing is not a barrier to entrance. It’s if you have a piercing that either can not be removed or when removed leaves large gaps (think a piercing that is designed to stretch a hole into your earlobe) that are grounds for rejection.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

I’m not sure why. We are all soldiers and have to defend our tactical position, do stags, conduct standing patrols around our position etc. Most support soldiers in the Falklands conflict also had to to do a fair bit of tabbing.

I suggest that Capita and MoD set some realistic medical criteria for all and not reject applicants who had acne at 13 or 14 or broke a bone in childhood etc.

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Support Role or not you still have to have the ability to be on the Frontline. You might join as a Medic with the idea of working in a DPHC facility in Cyprus or the UK but then a posting doesn’t go the way you’d hoped and you’re in an Infantry Multiple patrolling.
It’s the same for almost any capbage.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
16 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Then maybe it is time for some streaming, just a thought

Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

No? First of all everyone in the army should be capable of picking up a rifle and taking the fight to the enemy. Secondly “streaming” would be retention negative as it would mean a small number of personnel would permanently be in very high tempo jobs and would never have a break. Even Front-line Infantry can expect to spend a portion of their career in non-deployable roles in the UK specifically in order to give them: A) More predictable schedules, make time for their families and just experience a more or less normal life, and B) get a broader range… Read more »

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

In my experience there is a lot of fudging of people as “deployable”. In the Reserves few would be actually deployable.

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

That’s because you’re basically civilians. 😂

Last edited 15 days ago by Dern
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

Why are few of our Reservists deployable?

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Everyone should be capable of picking up a rifle and taking the fight to the enemy. …..Might be an idea of actually training people to do that. As a Reserve medic I fired a rifle once a year and “picked up a rifle” twice.
Even more time on the DCCT would help.

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

Maybe take some ownership of your ITR’s then? You’re also a reservist so a very different kettle of fish.

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Take “ownership”? As a Reservist I can only do what I’m allowed to do. At the moment even Training Nights have been restricted, let alone anything else. I keep my fitness up, practise my nav in the hills and attend my shooting club….what else what you suggest…..

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

And that’s why I consider the Reserves, while fantastic for the individuals looking for something different, to be of limited value.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

My experience is dated but in 2008/9, I was COS Camp Bastion. Our FP Coy was found from a Rifles Bn in the South West (Devon/Cornwall). OC was TA as were 2/3 of the Toms. They were excellent and prevented at least one attack on the base. They were far better then the all-Reg RAF FP Sqn that followed and who were in place for the ‘Battle of Bastion’.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Wonder if A will read that! He’d love it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago

A or AB? Just to add to that, the TA OC Bastion FP Coy (and a good number of his Toms) had far more operational deployment experience than I (a Regular) had!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
13 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Airborne. He loves the Rock Apes with a passion.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago

I think we all do! They have even less significance since they gave up operating SAMs.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
14 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

I never heard of anyone in the army that was not ‘weapons-trained’, except padres!

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I take your point although in my Reserve RAMC unit there were a number of female CMTs who would have had questionable fitness for patrolling, and zero actual medical/patient experience (the RAF insist on civ medical qualifications and actual employment) It made me wonder what use they would be in actual operations. They were cosseted by the seniors and got more promotions etc even when only CMT2s.(I was a CMT1/ILS/BATLS/CBRN Medic/Combat Health Duties and 15 years as an NHS ambulance service Tech). I got fed up, binned all my quals and transferred to the RAF as something else.Is that the… Read more »

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

Again, reserves is a different kettle of fish, they’re basically civilians with an occasional weekend of training, they’re not going to be the equivalent of Regulars, and it’s impossible to expect them to be, and frankly probably why they never deploy formed units and just individual augmentees.

David Barry
David Barry
16 days ago

With Commonwealth, setting up a recruitment route to UK BritMil so that they could be prioritised towards gaps across the forces rather than just Army, might make sense. Just saying.

Tom
Tom
16 days ago

So 23,175 applicants were rejected for the year 23/24. So how many ‘successful’ applications were there?

If we were to make a hairbrained assumption that the 23,175 was a failure rate of 75%, that could mean that the Army in 23/24 received 30,900 applications in total.

Of that 30,900, there were 7,725 successful applications. Therefore… why is the British Army under-strength??? To me, it does not make any sense at all, other than the successful applications being deliberately held up?

If so, why, by whom, for what possible reason, and on who’s say-so?

Answers on a Post-Card to…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Tom

No Post-Card but army has been under-strength for years because poor Retention was a bigger issue than Recruitment. Outflow greatly exceeds Infow.

Tom
Tom
14 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That’s bang on Graham. To be honest, I cannot help but wonder, if anyone has any real interest in why so many are looking to leave.

When some do decide enough is enough, I do know that it can take as long as 18 months from asking for a discharged, to actually getting a date to go.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
13 days ago
Reply to  Tom

When you leave HM Forces earlier than your service-end date is (PVR), you are asked for the reasons – this is known information – and might be on OS. It can be correlated to the Continuous Attitude Survey of all personnel (not just those choosing to leave). Not sure what senior officers or Minsters do with the info – probably nothing as causes for disatisfaction are never addressed and come up time after time. I PVR’d at the age of 53 in Sep 2009 – having put in my PVR application some 6 months previously. I think all must be… Read more »

Mr M R Handley
Mr M R Handley
16 days ago

All who want to join…unless they are physically not capable…..get them signed up! asap . Increase army size.

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Mr M R Handley

Who fought and “won” the last two World Wars? White, working class soldiers and lower middle class junior officers in the main. What did they get out of it? Why would such people join now? To fight for an establishment that holds their values in contempt?

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
16 days ago

What a shambles….nothing works in this country anymore….

Steve
Steve
16 days ago

Recruitment not making targets, wars breaking out across the world and the defence ministers reaction is to attack existing soldiers by calling them woke. Good good. Can see how that will help recruitment …

I think it’s safe to say anyone that signed up to fight for their country deserves respect, not insults from their own government.

Last edited 16 days ago by Steve
Dern
Dern
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve

Not to mention retention, I know a lot of LGBT soldiers are having seconds thoughts about their service right now.

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Why?

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

Because the SoSD seems very intent on stabbing them in the back due to the clamour of some retired dinosaurs so he can score culture war points in the election.

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago
Reply to  Dern

I doubt the electorate care that much about LGB soldiers so long as they are trained and effective. Just how many votes do these dinosaurs have?

Dern
Dern
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

Unfortunately the electorate doesn’t have much say on specific policies. So when the Minister decides he wants to screw over LGBT (yes Trans soldiers exist) before the next GE, which he seems to have decided to do given his announcement this weekend of a war on woke in the MoD, how many votes the Dinosaurs have is irrelevant.

Hereward
Hereward
15 days ago

Lots of issues here.Why are so many Commonwealth applicants rejected? Could it be that the Commonwealth is so diverse and that actually a lot of it has people who do not particularly share our values and that having a large number of such people could be unwise? We could favour some CW countries (Aus, Malta, Barbados to take random examples) over others but imagine how that would go down. Nepal, from where we recruit Ghurkhas isn’t even IN the CW, although we could probably recruit twice as many as we do without much drop in quality, if any. The issue… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Hereward

I think you are being over-complicated. The info is in the table – there is no reason to speculate wildly.

Most Commonwealth applicants were rejected as there were more applicants than vacancies. 23,763 Commonwealth applicants were turned away over the 5-year period due to “lack of vacancies”.

In contrast, very few Commonwealth applicants were rejected as unsuitable – only 39 this year.

Medical standards – I don’t believe there is a different standard for different Arms and Services.