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Armed Forces: Recruitment

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 153783, tabled on 14 April 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the latest average time was between first inquiry and subsequent enlistment for candidates wishing to serve in the (a) Royal Navy, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) British Army.

Answered on

26 April 2022

The requested information is as follows:

Royal Navy


Royal Air Force

373 days

344 days

456 days


- Averages have been calculated using data from 1 January–31 December 2021 and have been calculated using the mean.

- The Services do not routinely or uniformly record the date of first enquiry, and each has a different set of intake pathways. Representative calculations have necessarily been made therefore using the following parameters:

- Royal Navy (both Royal Navy/Royal Marines): time taken from application to joining. - Army: time taken from application to the start of basic training. - Royal Air Force: time taken from application to receipt of both offer of service and phase one training course date.

- There are several variables that may impact the time it takes to progress through the recruitment pipeline, including but are not limited to, timely individual participation in the recruitment process, medical/fitness issues, aptitude testing success, and availability of training places.