Minimum age upon joining the UK Armed Forces

Ninja_Stoker

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A potential AIB discussion topic, all opinions welcome:

As most are aware, the minimum age to apply to join the Corps is 15 years 9 months, with parental consent.

Therefore those in Year 11 of secondary education, even if they have already left, cannot join before July in the academic year that their peers leave education and cannot commence Recruit Training under the age of 16.

Very soon, the minimum age for leaving secondary education is increasing to 18 - unless you enter further education or an apprenticeship. Currently Royal Marines Recruits gain a Uniform Services qualification (*See below), so are technically in education & cannot deploy operationally until age 18 in any case.

A government report states the following:

The recruitment of under 18s into the UK armed forces said:
The UK is the only country in Europe which routinely recruits minors into the armed forces. Worldwide, 134 countries have prohibited the practice. 37 countries recruit from the age of 17.

The UK is one of only 20 countries in the world to recruit 16-year-olds. These countries include no other member of NATO and no other permanent member of the UN Security Council.

But they do include several regimes with little respect for human rights, including Iran, Zimbabwe and North Korea

Source: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/...fing_from_Forces_Watch_age_of_recruitment.pdf

This being the case, and the fact that those under 18 (and over age 30) have a significantly higher risk of failing training, can we continue to justify recruiting those under age 18?










*Qualifications available to recruits:

Public Services Level 2 Apprenticeship Includes key skills Application of Number (AoN) and Communication @ Level 1 and Improving own Learning and Working with Others @ Level 2 British Computer Society Level 1 Certificate for IT Users (ECDL Part 1)

First Aid at Work HSE Certificate for Hunter Coy personnel

Problem Solving key skill Level 2 for Hunter Coy personnel

AoN and Communication Level 2 for Hunter Coy personnel
 

Ninja_Stoker

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C'mon chaps - what do you reckon? Should we continue to recruit 16 year-olds?
 

Old Man

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C'mon chaps - what do you reckon? Should we continue to recruit 16 year-olds?

Is there a difference I wonder, between 'recruiting' under-18s, and 'allowing' them to join?

Do we in fact actively recruit people, as in 'don't do that, do this' mode, or simply recruit people who want to join up?

Do the various display type teams attempt to persuade, or are they simply explaining an option available, that otherwise might not have been thought of?

When recruiting under-18s, is there anything at interview that's looked at more closely, or differently, because of their age?

My son joined at 16. I can't honestly say that he was in any way 'recruited'. He knew what he wanted to do and wasn't open to persuasion. He made the first move, not the recruiters. Any encouragement from me, was encouraging him to do what he wanted to do.

Many of us here have witnessed youngsters succeed and youngsters wrap. We've seen the same from the over-18s. Maturity is not necessarily a matter of age.

Depriving highly-motivated people of a chance of starting their careers because of an arbitary age barrier is, in my opinion, not a good idea.
 

Mozdog

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A friend of mine joined the Parachute Regiment upon leaving school (we both left last year). He started training when he was 16 and a half, and to my knowledge has recently passed out.
This lad was an aggressive, but driven guy, and just wanted to be in the Army. He made the decision of his own accord to go into the AFCO, to train, to join up and to stick at it.Why should he be prevented from doing this because of government regulation?
I handed in my first application when I was sixteen. My brother passed out when he was 17, my grandad joined the RAF when he was 16. By the time you'e sixteen, you're more or less a man. You're physically a man, and though some would say you're still mentally a child, you'll find a lot of 20 and 30 year olds who about as clever as kids themselves.
If you are physically capable and mentally competent of making a decision that affects you, and do so without being under duress, you should not be stopped from pursuing the job you want to do.
I'm sure there will be serving marines who disagree with me, but I don't see the problem with allowing 16 and 17 year olds to be sent on operations. They're trained, qualified, and it's what they joined up to do.
The raising of the school leaving age is ridiculous enough, but trying to curtail employment opportunities by keeping kids wrapped in cotton wool and refusing to allow them to grow up, we're stepping into the realm of nanny state nonsense.
Mozdog out.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Is there a difference I wonder, between 'recruiting' under-18s, and 'allowing' them to join?

Do we in fact actively recruit people, as in 'don't do that, do this' mode, or simply recruit people who want to join up?

Do the various display type teams attempt to persuade, or are they simply explaining an option available, that otherwise might not have been thought of?

When recruiting under-18s, is there anything at interview that's looked at more closely, or differently, because of their age?

My son joined at 16. I can't honestly say that he was in any way 'recruited'. He knew what he wanted to do and wasn't open to persuasion. He made the first move, not the recruiters. Any encouragement from me, was encouraging him to do what he wanted to do.

Many of us here have witnessed youngsters succeed and youngsters wrap. We've seen the same from the over-18s. Maturity is not necessarily a matter of age.

Depriving highly-motivated people of a chance of starting their careers because of an arbitary age barrier is, in my opinion, not a good idea.

I'm inclined to agree.

We don't discriminate between those within the accepted age parameters however by the nature of the individuals age & life experience a younger candidate will be more closely scrutinised with regard education whereas an older applicant will be more closely scrutinised with regard work experience (unless they are a "professional academic").

A recruit commencing RT on his 16th birthday, if he passes out as an original, will be 16 weeks short of his 17th birthday when he joins his unit & undeployable, but fully employable in UK for 12 months. During that 12 months there are a variety of courses available to further develop their skillset.

The Army has a college (Harrogate) for those under 18, before they join their mainstream units, but the RN & RM no longer have "Juniors" and don't discriminate beyond their deployability operationally.

With the change in school leaving age and the fact that recruits are technically "in education", it's perhaps arguable they should not join until age 17 years 4 months, but again that would only be to appease "Human Rights" sensibilities than practicalities. The other fact is younger recruits, due largely to the fact they are still developing physically and mentally, are statistically the group least likely to achieve success - but then, there's always the exception.

The other major consideration is that almost one quarter of all enquirers for the Royal Marines are under the age of 18.
 

Cian

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The Army has a college (Harrogate) for those under 18, before they join their mainstream units, but the RN & RM no longer have "Juniors" and don't discriminate beyond their deployability operationally.

Just speaking of AFC Harrogate, Ninja. I had originall wanted to go to that college when I was 16 but both parents and careers teacher in my school shot me down and told me it was a no go. My argument was that I was joining at 18 anyway I might aswell go there and get some form of education out of it rather than be in my current situation (adult entry, not an A-Level to my name and a school leaver).

They should of listened :/
 

sellby_1996

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I'm hoping to pass out before my 17th birthday and for me that would be a dream come true. I think sometimes it's attitude/personality before age as I in no way act or look like some of the lads I went to school with.

I've always been told that my head is pretty screwed on for a 16 year old and while most of my mates are off to sixth form in September il be in RT. I've come across some very immature twenty-something's (some post on this forum not mentioning any names) who are applying but I really do question their attitude towards certain subjects of RM life or the application process.

I think with the right attitude age is irrelevant from my point of view.
 

Old Man

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As a slight aside, with all the talk of feral youth in the media and with my experience of my own teenage children, I'm somewhat amazed at the amount of youngsters who appear to take notice of their parents.
 

Mozdog

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I'm hoping to pass out before my 17th birthday and for me that would be a dream come true. I think sometimes it's attitude/personality before age as I in no way act or look like some of the lads I went to school with.

I've always been told that my head is pretty screwed on for a 16 year old and while most of my mates are off to sixth form in September il be in RT. I've come across some very immature twenty-something's (some post on this forum not mentioning any names) who are applying but I really do question their attitude towards certain subjects of RM life or the application process.

I think with the right attitude age is irrelevant from my point of view.

You've got the attitude of wanting to crack on, get the job done, and get green lidded.
You're not expecting us to be in awe of how young you are, or expecting special treatment for being a youngin.
It seems like you just don't care, see yourself as any other recruit, and just want to crack it.
And with attitude, you will.
 

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