How can an American join the British military?

I’m an American citizen who, for various reasons, wishes to join the Queen’s army or navy. I would not mind living within the UK as well, of course. However, while being from a former colony I’m not a citizen of any Commonwealth nations, so the easydoor is closed to me. On my father’s side I am a third generation Scot, 1901abouts, so that may or may not matter as far as repatriation/emigration circumstances go (I heard birthrate-declining European nations give benefits to descendants who return, but that may be very false and it’s neither here-nor-there).

I’ve been told an American could join the British military as late as 1940. It took me a couple minutes to catch on to that. What’s the quickest/easiest route to enlistment while I’m still young and fit?

Hahah, wouldn’t mind living in Britain? But you might find yourself in Iraq insteador Afghanistan instead, you know. :smiley:

Oh, well, just in case you are serious, given that you have not mentioned which country you are from, best I can do right now is to point you towards the Immigration & Nationality people.
And welcome to the SDMB. :slight_smile:
(If you would happen to be a Gurkha, for instance, that would be fine. :slight_smile: Or a former colony, but not Commonwealth like ZImbabwe (being the first example that comes to mind) would work too.
I’m sure you are making some sort of joke, though. :slight_smile:

Guess you didn’t read the thread title.

Or the first line of the OP. It says here that you must be a citizen of a British territory or a Commonwealth country, or Ireland (!?). That’s the Army, don’t know about the other services.

:smack: :smack: Eek. Sorry, yeah, I did read the title, then open reply window, than stuff got in the way, like coffee, which obviously ought to have been made stronger), and so I was mostly focussed on only what was said in the O.P., and oh, yes, the dog ate my homework and … all right, no excuses - me is dimwit. Apologies. :slight_smile:

Bah! You’re right too. Lesson is that I should never post when distracted, and should always use the “quote” function instead of typing into an empty reply box.

My head will now hurt with all this :smack: Again, sorry. :frowning:

:stuck_out_tongue: I really appreciate the post and the help.
Do you know if they have a “service guarantees citizenship” sort of policy at all? Or rather, if I move to the UK would it be possible to join the military soon afterward/have enlistment speed up citizenship process/anything of the sort?
I’ll admit many of my reasons for wanting to do this may seem a bit silly (recentish Scottish heritage, love of British humor, love of nearly all things British), but if this dream of mine is attainable I totally intend to give it a shot as soon as I have means to travel to Britain.

The Royal Navy also seems to have a citizenship requirement before joining.
They recommend you live in Britain for three years prior to joining, although it says that if “the country of residence is one where security checks can be carried out, a shorter period of residence may be accepted.” I would assume that you could shorten the 3 year period that way.

The Royal Air Force is the strictest, only allowing in people who have been British, Commonwealth, or Irish citizens since birth or people with dual citizenship in Britain and another country. They also have a 3 year residency requirement.
Looks like you won’t have any luck in any of the major branches of the British military unless you move their first and get citizenship. Sorry :frowning:

If you’re being a tiny wee bit sarcastic there, I would not blame you in the least. :slight_smile: But I did genuinely wonder how serious you were - sorry. It just struck me as odd to have a wish to join the armed forces of a country not your own, that was all. I didn’t mean any offence.

Now, on THAT issue, there has actually been a bit of a brouhaha over here just recently - something to do with people (from Jamaica, if I recall correctly) serving in the U.K. forces but it was either that the servicemen were getting a raw deal in terms of right of abode or of full citizenship, or that their wives were somehow being denied a right to remain. I will try to find the story.

3 years? Maybe less since I’m an American and background checks are easy to do (same language and all)? That’s not so bad.

Now I’ll just have to concoct a scheme to move to the UK… :cool:

Back from that thought. How would I go about that, exactly?

But how else will we Merkins ever get the opportunity to have a job where we can say “lefftenant”? Lefftenant. Lefftenant, lefftenant, lefftenant. It’s just so bizarre. :slight_smile:

UK-Yankee is a site run by American expats in the UK. There is a ton of information on immigration procedures there, and there are very active forums full of helpful types.

It can be very funny sometimes. One man asked if he could bring his washing machine, dryer and other large appliances to the UK and rewire his whole house for 110 volt / 60 Hz operation. Another asked about the law on carrying concealed weapons.

The latter isn’t that strange, is it? The British Army were hardly going to turf out every Irish-born soldier in 1922, and the issues surrounding citizenship of those from northern Ireland didn’t settle down overnight. And perhaps there’s since been an attitude of ‘if it ain’t broke’. (I’ve no doubt that there’s heavy security checks on an Irish citizen wanting to join!)

The Royal Irish Regiment recruits from the Republic of Ireland. From the link -

During the recent troubles there were more then a few R.O.I. citizens not just in the British Army but naming no names in some of the outfits most hated by the republicans.
Incase you suspect that they were maybe infiltrators for the I.R.A. they werent ,they were incredibly proud of their units and were bigger bastards to the terrorists then were the Brits.

One told me that his family in Dublin had no idea what he was really doing but thought that he was working in a holiday camp in England.

I don’t object to it, I suppose it’s a bit like the French Foreign Legion. Just seems like a loose-end from the old days that has never been cleared up. And it didn’t really occur to me that somebody from the South might want to join the British army.

Well if you do becomae a naturalised Briton that’s just the first hurdle. There are many other obstacles facing you, here are just a few.

1, You have to learn to love Fish 'n Chips AND mushy peas with a passion
2, You must abhore American football, baseball and basketball
3. You must love real football aka soccer
4. Pronounce “Isn’t it” as “innit”
5 Dislike of Manchester United FC is mandatory

Master these 5 and you’re almost there, not quite. but almost

You don’t have to be from the south to be Irish.