Resources

Young age at Army enlistment is associated with greater war zone risks: An analysis of British Army fatalities in Afghanistan

August 2013
This paper, published by ForcesWatch and Child Soldiers International, indicates that the risk of fatality in Afghanistan for British Army recruits aged 16 and completed training has been twice as high as it has for those enlisting at 18 or above.

ForcesWatch submission to Defence Select Committee Future Army 2020 inquiry

June 2013
ForcesWatch's submission to the Defence Committee's inquiry Future Army 2020, which recomments an evaluation of the case for an independent review of the minimum age of recruitment into the Army with a view to recruiting only adults (aged 18 and above) in the future, looking at five reasons why the time is right for this.

One Step Forward: The case for ending recruitment of minors by the British armed forces

April 2013
This report published by Child Soldiers International and ForcesWatch outlines the numerous ethical and legal concerns related to rhe recruitment of under-18s, including the disproportionately high level of risk they face and long-term consequences for their employability, as well as detailing how much more it costs than recruiting only adults.

Ministry of Defence statistics

The Ministry of Defence publishes statistics on a range of defence related topics.

Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey

Published by the MoD It provides a tri-Service perspective of Service personnel attitudes, opinions and circumstances on important Service conditions. The survey is one of the MoD's main vehicles to collect attitudinal information; it informs changes to Service personnel policies across MOD.

Ministry of Defence freedom of information releases

Disclosures under the FOI Act. Also see FOI releases published via whatdotheyknow.com

Recruit Trainee Survey

An annual survey of trainees in the army, navy and air force. Covers background, perceptions of training and how the experience compares to perceptions prior to recruitment, facilities and food, support, fairness of treatment and hopes for the future.

ForcesWatch briefing: Expanding the Cadets and ‘military ethos’ in UK schools

December 2012
A ForcesWatch briefing on the Government policy of expanding cadets and promoting 'military skills and ethos' in schools.

Mind the Gap: Education for minors in the British armed forces

July 2012
Published by Child Soldiers International. This report concludes that the impact of recruitment below the age of 18 opens up a number of gaps that have long term significance, not only for the armed forces but also for the young people that they recruit. At a time of considerable downsizing of the army in particular, the large gap between the cost of training minors (who cannot be deployed operationally) and adults (who can) is difficult to sustain. But perhaps the most significant cost is in the detrimental impact that the gaps identified have on the future prospects of minors recruited by our armed forces.

ForcesWatch briefing: Questioning the presence of armed forces in schools

May 2012
This ForcesWatch briefing is for parents, students and teachers concerned with military activities in their school.

Report of Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces

May 2008
Published by the Labour Government in 2008, the report made forty recommendations for 'increasing visibility', 'improving contact', 'building understanding' and 'encouraging support' for the Armed Forces.

The Armed Forces (Terms of Service) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

June 2011
New legislation (from 22 July 2011) which grants under 18s the right to leave after a 'cooling off' period. Prior to this, discharge of 'unhappy minors' was at the discretion of the commanding officer.

Before You Sign Up

An independent website, setting out the pros and cons of enlisting in the UK armed forces and other advice. Contact us for a batch of these cards. Go to beforeyousignup.info

Before you enlist: the film

2018 update, USA
Featured Video Play Icon “Before You Enlist!” provides a rational voice to counter the seductive and often deceptive recruiting practices of the U.S. military. The message is not “don’t enlist” but rather to provide young people and their families a more complete picture of the life-altering consequences of joining the military – especially in wartime. Latest version: 2018. This short film is from the US so many of the details about recruitment are different from the UK, but the general questions to ask 'before you enlist' are similar.