Acing Your Military Application: A Step-by-step Guide
9 months ago

Whether you're interested in joining the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force or the Marines, being prepared for the application process is crucial. 

At COPA we run a military awareness course which prepares young people for future careers in the uniformed services.  We’ve helped hundreds of young people to ace their military applications – and we watch on with pride as they progress their chosen careers in the services. 

If a career in the military appeals to you, here are some suggestions for acing your application!

  1. Research your options

Before diving into the application process, take the time to research what’s involved in joining the services.  Understand their respective roles, requirements, and the kind of work they undertake. Reflect on your own strengths, weaknesses, and interests to determine which service aligns best with your goals and abilities. 

There are a huge range of roles on offer across the services, from combat to engineering, healthcare, and logistics. Your choice will affect your training and responsibilities, so pick one that resonates with you.

  1. Check basic eligibility criteria

Each service and role will have specific eligibility requirements, including age, qualifications, and nationality and health. Ensure you meet these criteria before proceeding with your application. If you have any medical issues, a doctor will be able to say if they’re going to hold you back.

  1. Educational qualifications

Make sure you have the required qualifications or are working towards obtaining them. If you don’t have required qualifications, organisations like COPA can help you to identify ways to get to the necessary level. 

  1. Get fit fit fit

Physical fitness is a fundamental aspect of military life. Begin a structured fitness routine that includes cardio, strength training and flexibility exercises. Your chosen service will have specific standards you’ll be expected to achieve from the get go.  

  1. Prepare for the selection process

The selection process can be challenging, consisting of aptitude tests, interviews and assessments. Consider how you can prepare – course like those from COPA are designed to help.  You’ll need to develop strong problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership skills as these qualities are highly sought in the military.

  1. Seek guidance

Connect with individuals who’ve had successful careers in the military and have recently been through the application process. They can provide valuable insights, tips and advice. Contact military recruiters who can answer questions and guide you through the process.

  1. Documents and checks 


Collect all necessary documents, including identification, educational certificates, and references. Ensure they are up to date and readily accessible for the application process.

You’ll need have background checks and go through security clearances. This is to ensure applicants are trustworthy and have no criminal history that could compromise national security. Be honest and forthcoming during this process.

  1. Write a stellar personal statement

Most military applications require a personal statement. Use this opportunity to showcase your motivation, skills, and commitment to the military. Highlight relevant experiences, such as volunteer work, part-time jobs, or leadership roles in school or community organisations.

  1. Prepare for your interview and assessment

If you are selected for an interview, prepare thoroughly. Research thoroughly and practice answering common interview questions. Be punctual, professional, and confident during the interview.

Caidan recently completed the Military Awareness Course offered by COPA, during which we prepared him for his interview and assessment.  Caidan was a good team player and always willing to help other members of the group when completing command tasks and the physical tasks.  He has now started his basic training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, North Yorkshire.

  1. Prepare for basic training

Assuming you’re successful with your application, you’ll head off to basic training.  You might have to wait for a few weeks before you start.  While you’re waiting, continue to maintain your physical fitness and mentally prepare for the challenges ahead. 

The application process is competitive, so put yourself in the best place for success.  Stay motivated and resilient throughout your journey.  It is a fulfilling and impactful career choice. 

Good luck!


I’m Roger Snaith, and I’m a tutor on COPA’s military awareness course.  Our course is for anyone aged 16-19 who is interested in joining any of the uniformed services. Our course helps learners from the application stage right through to starting basic training.


The course focusses on building up fitness, basic military lessons – navigation, drill, first aid. We work with participants on team building and problem-solving challenges.  We work with members of the Armed Forces and have external speakers who give talks on drug and alcohol abuse, conflict management, gambling issues and loads more!

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