How to become a junior soldier: Caitlyn's story

Meet Caitlyn, 17, a junior soldier and musician. Find out more about her life in the Army. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

"My favourite bit about being a junior soldier is the fact that you get to make friends for life and you get to meet people from across the country and from different backgrounds."

  • Caitlyn follows a set routine, waking around six o'clock in the morning to get ready and then do jobs, such as cleaning and tidying around her dorm, before having breakfast with the rest of her colleagues

  • She has lessons throughout the day, such as training to develop her strength and fitness. She also learns about basic field craft to survive in the field and on exercise

  • Caitlyn has a love of music and studied it at GCSE. She joined the Army as an army musician, and could be posted out to places all over the world. Her role involves everything from performing at famous, high-profile events, to helping build morale of soldiers out on operations and creating stronger connections with other countries.

Caitlyn is a junior soldier. Once her basic training is complete, she will become a soldier. Soldiers take part in peacekeeping missions, supporting humanitarian efforts or fighting in combat zones around the world.

What to expect if you want to be a soldier

  • Soldier salary: £15,230 to £34,160 per year
  • Soldier working hours: Variable. You could work evenings, weekends and bank holidays away from home

What qualifications do you need to be a soldier?

  • Typical entry requirements: You can get into the Army by applying directly or by completing an apprenticeship. The Army offers a variety of different apprenticeship options. To find the best apprenticeship route for you, visit the Army website. For general entry, you need to be aged between 18 and 49 to apply to the Army. However, you can join the Army Foundation College from when you are 15 years and seven months old. If you're interested in the Army Foundation College, you can apply online. You don't need any specific qualifications to join the Army, unless you're applying for a technical role like engineering or communications.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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