About

Before You Sign Up is for young people who are thinking of joining the British army, and for their parents. It is also for soldiers who are thinking of leaving the army.

The army is not like the cadets or any other job. This site was built because army recruiters tend to present upsides of army life but not the downsides.

The purpose is to provide balanced information about the army, so that you can make the choice that’s best for you.


This site was created and is managed voluntarily by me, David Gee. In consultation with veterans throughout, I have researched several reports covering aspects of military recruitment and employment, including Informed choice? Armed forces recruitment practice in the United Kingdom (2008), The last ambush? Aspects of mental health in the UK armed forces (2013), The first ambush? Effects of army training and employment (2017), and Why 18 matters: A rights-based analysis of child recruitment (2018).

Thanks to many veterans and friends for advice on the content and style of this site, and for spreading the word.

A list of the main sources used for this website is on the sources page.