The Territorial Army is the British Armed Forces' Reserves. Under the Reserve Forces Act 1996, trained members of the TA are liable to be called into action during times of crises. This is not a decision taken lightly. Reserves may also volunteer for peacekeeping action - 10% of the troopers in Bosnia and Kosovo are in the TA.

In an Independent Unit of the TA, you are obliged to attend a minimum of 27 days training a year, with 15 consecutive days at camp. Your local TA centre will also hold weekly training sessions. In a Specialist Unit, you are obliged to attend 19 days training a year, with 15 days of this being annual camp.

To join the TA as a soldier, you must be between the ages of 17 and 32, unless you have a specialist skill to offer or previous military experience, in which case the upwards age boundary may be waived. To join as an officer, the minimum age is 18 (you may begin officer training at the age of 17 1/2, however), and the maximum is 30. No academic qualifcations are needed: you are assessed on your ability to be a soldier. Also, extreme physical fitness is not required: but you must be prepared to get fit.

In the TA, you receieve pay on the rate of a regular soldier. On successfully completing your annual training requirements you will also be eligible for a tax-free financial bonus of £300 per year, rising to £1050 after 5 years. This will increase with your rank.

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