RUSI JournalVolume 161Issue 6members only

Is it Counterproductive to Enlist Minors into the Army?


The arguments in favour of early enlistment fail to stand up to scrutiny, and the British military should reassess this policy.

As most states now restrict military enlistment to adults from the age of eighteen, the UK’s policy of recruiting from the age of sixteen is unusual. In this article, David Gee and Rachel Taylor discuss whether the policy effectively meets the needs of young people and the army itself, and examine the feasibility of a transition to an all-adult force.

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