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son wants to join up

(17 Posts)
shouldnobetter Sat 13-Jan-18 08:07:55

My youngest son is 16. He has had a few problems to do with anxiety and school refusal and gained no real qualifications at school. He also has mild asthma, although he has not had an 'attack' for years.

He is really keen to join the army or the navy and he has been to the Army Recruitment Office for more details, filled in an online form and so on.

However, there are strict regulations regarding mental ill health, asthma and behavioural issues, in the forces. AIBU to support my son with his application or should I tell him that he just is not ready yet? This is the first thing he has enthused about for years.

Booboobooboo84 Sat 13-Jan-18 08:11:56

Support him fully. If he is enthused about it then he should go for it

newmumwithquestions Sat 13-Jan-18 08:21:31

If he’s enthused then definitely support him!
He needs to be up front about about any potential blockers to him joining, but the forces might give him the structure that he needs.

Collaborate Sat 13-Jan-18 08:24:55

Our children need and are entitled to our full support for anything they have decided to do (within reason!). Why wouldn't you give him unconditional support for this?

Sleephead1 Sat 13-Jan-18 08:33:47

I work in a surgery and one of the doctor's does army medical but I believe before they have this the army contacts their doctor with their consent and the doctor has to fill a form in from their medical records so his asthma and if it is known he has anxiety the doctor will put that in the form. I'm not sure what happens from there but I would maybe just make your so aware that it will be disclosed and you are not sure what the outcome is but you support him applying.

LokiBear Sat 13-Jan-18 08:41:37

A pupil I taught successfully joined the army. His behaviour record included a managed move to another school to avoid permanent exclusion and then being put on 'gardening leave' before his exams because he was too disruptive (again, to avoid permanent exclusion). He successfully completed 12 months before leaving by mutual agreement. His behaviour issues didn't count against him, but he didn't like being told what to do by his army superiors any more than he did his teachers.

Id support your son, but make sure his eyes are wide open as to the army's expectations.

outofmydepth45 Sat 13-Jan-18 08:42:58

Support him 100%

Mushypeasontoast Sat 13-Jan-18 08:44:41

My Ds is also 16 and going through the recruitment process. I would support him but be realistic about the medical conditions. They may prevent him from getting in the army (not sure about navy).
With ds we have a couple of back up plans running alongside his application in case it all goes wrong. I think it's important to keep all options open for as long as possible.

Definitely support him though, in return my ds has supported me when I had a cry filling in his parents permission paperwork.

pasturesgreen Sat 13-Jan-18 08:44:45


shouldnobetter Sat 13-Jan-18 09:14:14

Thank you. This is so encouraging. I am proud of my son and see the forces as having the potential to help him turn his life around. I am just scared of 'setting him up to fail'.

We are doing the Navy application today and a back up plan could include: the Prince's Trust, Maths and English tuition, the NCS and the Reserves.

TheFairyCaravan Sat 13-Jan-18 09:25:05

DS1 is in the army. We supported him 100% in his application and we support him 100% in his career in the same way we support DS2 who is training to be a nurse.

From DS1 filling in the application form on line to him getting in it was about 6 or 7 months and that was fast. I would be encouraging your son to work on his fitness. DS1 was one of the fittest at selection which meant he was graded high and given a date to join soon after. It will, also, stand him in good stead for Phase 1.

You will have people telling you not to let him do it, he will be a ‘trained killer’ and all sorts of other bollocks but just ignore them. Look into all the regiment’s and see what your son wants to do, there’s more to it than the Infantry.

There’s a lot of opportunities in the Forces. DS1 has been in 3.5 years, he’s been promoted recently. He’s been to France, Austria, Cyprus and America doing sports with his regiment. He’s away a lot, and it’s worrying for me at times, but he loves it and I’m really proud of him.

Booboobooboo84 Sat 13-Jan-18 09:27:02

Being turned down on medical grounds isn’t a failure. That’s what you need to instill in him. One frank conversation about how his medical issues may hold him back at crunch time but that you are behind him all the way. That’s all he needs.

Psychobabble123 Sat 13-Jan-18 09:40:56

Unfortunately both anxiety and asthma are criteria for non selection so I would be working hard to manage his expectations so that when he gets turned down he is not devastated because he has pinned all his hopes on it. Great plan working on back up options.

lljkk Sat 13-Jan-18 09:54:44

DS passes out as a junior soldier soon (he joined last yr).
The medical is pretty thorough (we had problems b/c DS confessed to knee pain a few times in past yrs).d
Any treatment for asthma in last 4 yrs would be an out: I think that includes a prescription inhaler.
Has he been formally diagnosed or treated for the anxiety? tbh, anxiety & military life don't seem to go together in my life.

Behaviour issues not such a bar, they get plenty of that at entry. They care more about you having a good attitude once there. They will do remedial math-English while a junior soldier to get to a minimum standard, too.

I agree with everyone else about exploring this as much as you can but also come up with a load of back up plans. There's a high percentage of people who lead cadets or Prince's Trust who are in the other service type occupations, such as fire-fighters & police & PCSOs.

lljkk Sat 13-Jan-18 09:57:26

sorry for the typos! I meant ..".go together in my mind"...
DS is very anti-snowflake. People getting het up over vague stuff isn't a great fit for putting up with strangers trying to shoot at you & your colleagues being bastards on the same day (easily happens).

shouldnobetter Sat 13-Jan-18 11:39:54

Thank you. You are right. He had a diagnosis of GAD about two years ago, but he has worked hard to overcome his anxiety. If his application is rejected, I hope he can take it positively and look at other options.

One thing that the experience has shown us so far is that DS feels he has the strength to cope in extremely challenging situations, so that may be a huge step forward with respect to him trying other challenges if the forces are not appropriate at the moment.

Booboobooboo84 Sat 13-Jan-18 14:23:18

The application could be a stepping stone to something more suitable. So you could encourage him to do princes trust, ncs etc to support his application and he may find his passion isn’t the armed forces at all

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