The Student Room Group

Joining the British army - should I tell my family or not?

Since I was 11 years old I have been wanting to join the British army. However, there was one problem that was stopping me, my family. Every single family member in my family are all left when it comes to politics except me, I consider myself a conservative.

My family are anti armed forces, I still don't understand why they are. I tried to join when I was 15 or 16 but my mother did refuse to sign the papers.

This September I will be starting university, whilst waiting for university to start I have also been thinking a lot about the joining the British army now that I have a chance to join as a British army officer.

The issue is 2 years ago my mother passed away when I was 20, my oldest sister considers her self my NOK, however, I have a best friend who I've put as my NOK she knows about this but won't accept it.

My sister has always said she would disown anyone who joined the armed forces as she says they're a bunch of terrorists - this really hurt me but mainly angered me.

I'm thinking about starting an application in September to join as an officer, but I don't know if I should tell my family as soon as I start the application or leave it till the day.

My best friend knows I'm going to apply, he is keeping it quiet and I haven't asked him for advice as I don't want him to get involved in the family drama, my best mate don't like my siblings and my siblings don't like him.

I do have a long term medical condition and I got in contact with the army to see if it was disqualified they went to check then got back to me and they said I wouldn't be disqualified from joining with the medical condition I have.

I am planning on applying for scholarships/grants to help my university costs and I sort of have it planned out. I can't decide if I should or shouldn't tell my family as my oldest sister is quite controlling. Even my GP knows about her controlling behaviour.

I also feel like not telling my family because of my sister being controlling and the family threatening to disown people if anyone joined the army. I'm not going to lie, if I didn't tell my family I was joining the British army I feel like I would have a fresh start.

It may seem harsh but I wouldn't care if I had no contact with them.

I would appereciate any suggestions you may have - I would go to my best friend normally but I prefer him to stay out of this, he has also told me why he don't like my siblings and all the reasons he's given are actually true.
Reply 1
First, a word of caution. The only people who can say for definite whether or not a medical condition will bar you from entry are the medical professionals. Even if it came via AFCO staff, understand that only general advice can be provided, but not comment on individual cases as it leaves them open to censure, and I'm speaking as an ex-RAF recruiter.

Second, on the personal side, there is a long way to go between making an application and successfully passing training. Whilst you say you wouldn't care about contact again with your family, you are leaving yourself open to more criticism if you told them when you applied, but subsequently didn't get in. I suggest you wait until you are much further through uni and the selection process before raising it, even at the point of graduation and/or ready to attend Officer training.

Look at joining OTC whilst at uni and make the most of any opportunities to boost your chances of joining up. All the best!

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