What is the King’s Shilling?

Introduction The King’s shilling, known as the Queen’s shilling when the Sovereign is female, is a historical slang term referring to the earnest payment of one shilling given to recruits to the Armed forces of the United Kingdom in the 18th and 19th centuries, although the practice dates back to the end of the English… Read More

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What Medical Issues Could Stop Me Joining the British Army?

Why Does a Medical Assessment Matter? Working in the British Army is challenging, both physically and mentally, and, therefore, a history of health problems or the presence of health conditions that usually do not affect your everyday life, can mean that you are not able to join, or you might have to wait to join.… Read More

The Impact of COVID on Gurkha Selection

The latest intake of Gurkha recruits have completed the selection process despite coronavirus restrictions. A total of 340 aspiring soldiers were due to arrive in Catterick as this issue went to press, having been whittled down from 1,600 hopefuls in their native Nepal. With social distancing and regular hand washing becoming the norm, applicants quickly… Read More

Royal Navy Recruit Influx & Training Delivery Changes

Regulars In January 2021, Royal Navy (RN) recruits began training at HMS Collingwood for the first time in decades, and this is down to a response to both the growing RN and a surge in interest in joining up during the COVID-19 pandemic. As 2020 ended, applications to join the RN, Royal Marines (RM) and… Read More

Reasons for Candidates Disengaging from the Army Recruitment Pipeline (2013-2019)

The first table outlines the general reasons for candidates disengaging from the British Army’s recruitment pipeline, whilst the second table outlines the top 5 reasons. Applications 13/14 % 14/15 % 15/16 % 16/17 % 17/18 % 18/19 % Withdrawn 76,640 66.2 76,300 60.3 72,380 57.4 116,210 60.7 71,190 60.4 54,680 58.9 Rejected 24,220 21.2 34,590… Read More

What is Impressment?

Introduction Impressment, colloquially “the press” or the “press gang”, is the taking of men into a military or naval force by compulsion, with or without notice. European navies of several nations used forced recruitment by various means. The large size of the British Royal Navy in the Age of Sail meant impressment was most commonly… Read More

What is Economic Conscription?

Introduction First used around 1915, economic conscription is the mechanism for recruitment of personnel for the armed forces through the use of economic conditions, particularly when geographical areas within a country are neglected in terms of their economic development, leading to a situation where a high proportion of young people consider a career within the… Read More