When will I get my joining instructions?

This varies, it is different for everyone. Ask your AFCO, they will be able to inform you if they know and will hopefully give you further details.

What can I expect in the medical?

They will do a variety of different tests. These range from eyesight tests, BMI tests, a urine sample, Hearing test, physical examination of your body. They will also go through all your previous medial history. This is a general overview and more can be found on the relevant recruitment pages.

How can I prepare myself for the fitness standards of phase 1 training?

By simply doing as much physical exercise as possible. There is plenty of online videos and tutorials to go by, YouTube is a great place to start. During your fitness preparation for training, it is recommended you go running between 3-4 times per week across multiple terrains to increase fitness levels. If you follow our social media/YouTube pages and frequently check our site we will be posting regular content in relation to joining the military.

For the fitness tests should I stop and give up when I reach the suitable standard for my age?

No, part of being in the military is pushing yourself to do better, you must give 110% in all tasks during training. You want to excel in your group, if instructors sense that you aren’t giving it your best effort, they will ensure that you are worked harder.

Is there a gym I can use in my own time during training?

Different forces and bases have their own rules that they followed by, generally across the military the use of gyms is not permitted, in some cases it is allowed after a few weeks into training without the use of weights. However, phase 1 training is tough, its long days and long nights and you will need rest to recover, so its most likely you won’t even want to use a gym.

Can I take supplements with me?

We advise that you don’t. Some training bases do not allow supplements on Phase 1 training. You are only recommended to take supplements which are on informed sports. You will be briefed more about this when you arrive. However for what it’s worth just get through your training without taking any supplements.

How can I reduce the chances of me getting “re-flighted”?

Well first things first. What is being “re-coursed”/ “re-flighted”? Being “re-coursed”/ “re-flighted” is you being taken off your current course due to bad performance or injury and being put back to the next available course which will follow a few weeks later, in some cases it can take a few months. You may be put on a special wing/ division until you can improve in what you failed in or improve your performance. With Injury they will put you on a rehab flight until you recover.

How long can I expect to not see my family for during training?

You won’t see your family for the first 4-6 weeks, however this varies in different forces, training bases and also depends on holiday breaks which may interfere with your training. Most people joining the military are signing up for the same reasons as you, you are all in the same boat and are assured to make friends.

Is it easy to make friends?

You will make friends without a doubt. You will remember these friends for the rest of your life as well! Just remember to help each other out and work as a team. Training staff don’t look for individuals they look for team efforts.

Will I be able to use my phone and keep it on me?

You won’t be allowed your phone on you during the day (unless you need to for specified important reasons). Phones are to be up put away in your locker and switched off. You will get time at night to call friends and family. Make sure you get all your personal admin done first though!

The drill looks like it could be hard, I don’t know if I can learn in?

Some find it easy and some find it hard. However, the training team will make sure you get to a good standard before you parade at the end of your training in front of all your friends and family.

Is there a shop on base?

Yes there is a shop on most bases. Just be careful, make sure you have all your kit and more importantly the correct kit. Good quality items which are fit for purpose will save you time and money as the shops on base are very expensive. There will be items not on the kit lists that you will then be advised to buy when you get there. Our complete package contains all the essential and correct items on the military kit list.

Is there the opportunity to pray etc?

There is a Padre on base who will be there to assist you. You will be allowed time to pray at suitable times during your training syllabus.

I need to get my haircut what can I get (male) ?

All males will simply have the same haircut. You will have a 2 all over. Make sure you have cash for the day you arrive, £5 will cover this for most of the training establishments. Don’t try and do it yourself as many recruits get this wrong and get it too short or try and get it shorter on the sides. The training staff are not stupid, you will likely get told off. You will all look the same so don’t worry about what you look like.

Can I expect much down time

No, you will be sleep deprived, especially if you like a lay in at home. The better you are at doing your kit and your jobs/duties for that night the quicker you get to bed. Help others but make sure you have your stuff done first.

How can I prepare myself for washing and ironing?

Practise at home. Practise a variety of different items from shirts to trousers. The more you do at home the easier your training will be.

Can I bring caffeine based products?

This varies for each of the training establishments. We recommend trying to cut back on your caffeine intake as much as possible. Some training facilities do not allow caffeine at all during training. We know RAF Halton has a complete ban, including in the messes. You have to think everyone will be fatigued and tired. When out in the field in your future roles and careers you may be tired and have no caffeine. You will have to let your body adjust to this naturally.

Washing powder or washing tablets?

Washing powder or washing gel is best. Why? Because majority of the time the washing machines don’t get hot enough to melt the capsules, so we advise you stick with gel or powder.

Combination locks or key locks?

Combination locks for sure. You will most likely lose your key and you will need to march down to the guard room to get bolt cutters. This can be embarrassing and also time consuming.

Good iron/ironing board or a cheap iron/ ironing board?

You may think your saving by getting a bargain deal at Tesco’s or the NAFFI store on base for a £15 iron and ironing board combo. However, you will end up being behind everyone else as ironing tasks take up a large part of your day and cheap irons/ironing boards will increase the time and defect the quality of standards. This can result in recruits getting re-coursed. You want a good steam iron which produces plenty of steam, has a long lead and a big tank for water. Your ironing board will need to be of a good size, and have a padded area, colour and pattern really will not matter.

What sort of polish should I bring?

This can vary depending on the base and force you are training for. Your AFCO may tell you one thing and previous recruits may tell you another. One thing everyone agrees on is that the Arlberg Leder Gris provides the best waterproofing and is the best all round boot polish for the job.

What if I don’t use some of the stuff at home on the kit list?

You will still need it. It’s better to have it than not to have it. You can never have to much stuff. All the items will be not just essential for your basic training but used for the rest of your military career.

Shaving gel or shaving foam?

Saving gel is best. Why? During inspections foam can seep out and you can fail for this. Gel doesn’t and will make your inspection time a lot less stressful.

What watch is best recommended for my training?

We recommend getting a cheap, simple Cassio watch that will be waterproof and robust. You can also go for something like a G-Shock which is more expensive, however they are durable.

General Tips

Always be on time and follow the 5 minute rule. You have to always deduct 5 minutes from the time you should be there. You will learn this in training.

When you catch an instructor’s attention don’t start looking round. Compose yourself self and stay completely still.

Learn the rank structure before you turn up to training, you will learn it when you arrive but it will be of great benefit to yourself if you take the time to learn beforehand.

Always carry your pen and notepad where possible.

Always have your water bottle with you and ensure it’s always full, especially during physical tasks.

Never answer back and NEVER EVER ROLL YOUR EYES.

Always when you are talking to a member of the training team and anyone around base you use there rank and treat them with respect.

Don’t mess around when walking around base you may not think you are being watched but the chances are you will be.

Help your mates out and work together. Make sure you have your stuff sorted first.

Be safe with your security, you probably want everyone to know you have joined the military, but make sure you are safe. Ensure your social media has good privacy settings and don’t go giving any information on timings and personal details online. You don’t know who could be looking at them. Don’t be putting any pictures on social media. You will have a security brief that will go into lots of detail, pay attention!

Drugs are completely banned in the military. Drug tests are random and no one knows when they come around. Make sure you only take drugs that are prescribed by an authorised doctor and check with your instructor to see if they are deemed acceptable. With supplements if you decide to take them, we recommend getting the informed sports approved ones. All this will be briefed in further detail at the start of phase 1 training.

Make sure you enjoy yourself and take in everything the training staff has to teach you.