Branches of the Military: Army, Royal Navy (including
Royal Marines), Royal Air Force
Military Budget: $42,836.5 million (2003)
The first permanent standing British army was established
in the 17th century. Today the army consists of infantry,
or foot soldiers; cavalry, initially soldiers on horses,
now soldiers in tanks and armored vehicles; and the
Army Air Corps, which operates helicopters and other
aircraft. The army also includes a force of some 4,000
Gurkhas, mercenaries or professional soldiers from
the country of Nepal in Asia. The Gurkha regiment
dates from the early 19th century. The Territorial
Army, also known as the militia or volunteer force,
is a general reserve force. The army is controlled
by the Defense Council through the Army Board, composed
of both civilian and military members. Official
Site of the British Army
The British Army's mission is:
To provide protection for the United Kingdom by
securing its airspace, land, sea interest and jurisdictions.
To act as an international peacekeeper.
To provide humanitarian aid to governments and
people in need.
To provide support to civil authorities in order
to provide the protection and support needed to
sustain the United Kingdom's national interest and
To provide support during national emergencies
by assisting civil authorities in maintaining a
reasonable level of emergency preparedness throughout
To be a positive force, whose mission is to carry
out essential work both in the UK and overseas.
requirements to enlist in the British Army are:
Be eligible if they are a resident of the United
Kingdom or the Irish Republic or are one of the
following: A British citizen; a citizen of the British
dependent territories; a British overseas citizen;
a British subject under the British Nationality
Act 1981; a citizen of an independent Commonwealth
country; British Protected Person; Citizen of the
Be at least 16 years old. Candidates under 18
must have parental consent.
Except for those who wish to train in certain
technical employment, an applicant's eligibility
for service and/or to qualify for a particular form
of training will be determined by the results achieved
on the Army Entrance Test (known as BARB). The test
assesses an applicant's ability for training by
using computer touch screen question and answer
Be physically and medically fit.
Enlist on an Open Engagement. As a general rule,
all recruits enlist on an Open Engagement. This
allows a recruit to serve for 22 years from their
18th birthday or date of attestation, whichever
is the later, and so qualify for a pension.
British Army contributes to international security by:
The Army is currently deployed in over 80 countries
around the world. Deployments vary in strength from
single military advisors to full operational deployments.
The British Army is the key land component in NATO’s
rapid reaction forces.
Britain also contributes to United Nations operations
and has deployed troops to Iraq, Bosnia, Cyprus,
Kuwait, and Angola. British military instructors
are active in many countries, and thousands of military
students from around the world attend military training
courses in Britain.