Special Air Service Reserves (SAS (R)) comprising of 21 SAS(R) and 23 SAS(R) were formed in 1947 and 1959 respectively. SAS(R) are tasked to the highest level and can operate in difficult and often changing circumstances, sometimes in absence of guidance and within situations that have significant operational and strategic importance.
The kind of individuals required to operate successfully in these circumstances are not found in abundance. The selection process for entry into SAS(R) seeks to identify the qualities and potential of those suitable for service within SAS(R).
Volunteers for SAS(R)
SAS(R) accept male volunteers who have no previous military service aged 18 to 32 or male volunteers who have had previous military service with any part of the Regular or Reserve Armed Forces (RN, RM, Army, and RAF) up to the age of 34. Volunteers must be able to commit to considerable training demands and willing to deploy overseas.
SAS(R) Support Staff are not required to pass selection however must maintain a level of fitness and commitment. The specific trades required in support of SAS(R) are:
Drivers, Chefs, Vehicle Mechanics and Clerical staff willing to transfer to the units.
Medical Staff are also required however they must have either previous military service with qualifications to CMT1 level or a civilian who holds a national qualification in emergency response or nursing.
What Is SAS(R) Selection?
The SAS(R) Selection Course is run twice per year. It is both physically and mentally demanding and comprises of 2 main components:
Aptitude is a progressively arduous phase, requiring greater expenditure of physical energy, designed to select volunteers with the right qualities. It is emphasised to stand any chance of success you must be physically fit at the start of the course. The qualities required are:
Physically and mentally robust
Able to work alone
Able to assimilate information and new skills
On passing aptitude you will undertake continuation training which is an intensive period of instruction and assessment on Special Forces tactics, techniques and procedures, including weapons and standard operating procedures (SOP’s). This is progressive with the emphasis on individuals assimilating new skills while under physical and mental pressure. At the end of the continuation you will be trained to an operationally deployable status.
You will require a very high level of commitment and determination as both Aptitude and Continuation are conducted over a set number of weekends and periods of continuous training totalling approximately 80 days over a 12 month period. Such commitment is dependant on the support of your employer and family.
Within 12 months of completing Selection candidates will enter a period of probation which will require the completion of a basic parachute course and a communication course. On completion of these courses and the probation period candidates will be eligible for mobilisation. Throughout your career training and skill development will be continuous as soldiers are required to maintain a high level of proficiency in a diverse range of skills.
SAS(R) units are located throughout the UK. To contact your nearest location use the contact form within the Recruitment page of this site or the listed telephone points of contact. Those wishing to transfer as a support staff member are also required to complete the contact form.
Recruit Induction Day (RID)
On completing the contact form a number of initial interest forms will be sent to you for completion and return. Based on the information supplied you will be invited to attend a RID where further details about the course, including dates, will be given.
Initial Medical and Physical Criteria
Volunteers with no military experience and those re-entering the services are required to comply with the Initial Medical and Physical Criteria for joining the Army. You will be required to complete an additional questionnaire that is initiated by you and completed by you doctor. There are a number of conditions that will make a person permanently unsuitable for entry into the Army and these can be found in the AFCOForm 5 (downloadable from the right-hand column).
Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
You will be required to give details of any civil convictions you may have which are considered ‘unspent’ under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 before your application to join the Army can be considered. A form giving advice to applicants joining HM Armed Forces giving specific details will be sent for completion.
Nationality and Residency
You must meet the following requirements:
You must be a British, Commonwealth, British Protected Citizen or an Irish National or hold Dual nationality with one on the fore-mentioned.
You must have resided in the UK for a period of 5 years immediately prior to making an application.
SAS(R) provides an opportunity for soldiers to work within a unique, independent organisation which takes pride in its heritage, role and professionalism. Service is physically and intellectually challenging, but the rewards are significant. In addition to a strong sense of purpose in embracing the challenges of a complex world, SAS(R) provides challenge and adventure with the additional benefit of Special Forces pay rates. It also provides an excellent grounding for those who aspire to serve with the Regular UKSF units.
Who dares wins?
Corporal Scott Dyson, who ran through enemy fire to give first aid to a casualty wounded by an insurgent bomb, has been recognised for his heroism.
Corporal Dyson, of 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment was on a joint patrol with the Afghan National Army (ANA) in the village of Llara Kalay in Nahr-e Saraj when the ANA platoon came under fire.
The soldiers were besieged with a hail of machine gun and small arms fire, as well as rifle-launched grenades.
Dyson, from Leeds, reacted instinctively and began marshalling the ANA in how to suppress the enemy fire and protect their flanks while the remainder of his own platoon, in a separate patrol that had been providing support, had to take cover from the continued attack on their position 200 metres away.
As the other patrol tried to occupy a compound they struck a large Improvised Explosive Device (IED), critically wounding two soldiers.
The scene of the explosion was chaotic with the blast blowing one of the casualties on to ground that had not been cleared of IEDs.
Ignoring the risk to himself, Scott ran through enemy fire across the 200 metres of uncleared ground and waded through a ditch to get to the stranded casualties and administer first aid.
The 29-year-old said: “I was worried there were more IEDs but I decided I had to help the casualties.
“There were four guys involved. I went to the one who had initiated the IED first but there was nothing I could do for him.
“Two others were dazed and a third was out cold and had serious injuries to the back of his legs. The first two regained their senses and we got the unconscious guy on a stretcher and extracted him.”
As incoming fire targeted the patrol Scott treated the casualties and arranged their evacuation to an emergency helicopter.
He said: “I went back to the soldier who had been killed and from the crater caused by the IED, pulled him across to me. At this point, I started thinking ‘I’m pushing my luck here’.
“I got him onto a stretcher and covered him up. The gunfire had stopped by now. I take my hat off to the ANA. They suppressed the enemy enough to allow the extraction.
“And later that day, the Afghan National Police went back and recovered kit that we couldn’t find at the time to stop it falling into insurgent hands and returned it to us, which really showed how our relationship had developed.”
Scott also paid tribute to the soldiers who played their part in ensuring no further casualties were suffered. “Without them, it wouldn’t have been possible,” he added.
His citation concludes: “Dyson displayed outstanding leadership and personal courage when responding to the fatal IED blast whilst under insurgent fire. Through outstanding personal example and prompt action in the face of grave danger, Dyson ensured that control of this chaos was regained, despite the personal danger he was in. His actions had a galvanising effect on the other soldiers involved and saved the life of another soldier.”
The Mention in Despatches is one of the oldest forms of recognition for gallantry within the UK Armed Forces. Since 1993 the Mention in Despatches has been reserved for gallantry during active operations.
The announcement was made today with the release of the latest operational honours and awards list, which includes 106 personnel. The awards are for actions roughly during the period 1 September 2011 to March 31 2012 during Operation HERRICK 15.
The Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Jonathan Eric Kups, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) died in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan on Friday 21 September 2012.
Sergeant Jonathan Eric Kups
Sergeant Kups was from Nuneaton, Warwickshire. He was born on 28 October 1973 and joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in June 1992 where he trained as an electronics technician. In the early years of his career, he specialised in radar and ground to air weapons, completing an operational tour in Northern Ireland.
As he progressed through his career he turned his expertise to the operation and repair of Electronic Warfare systems, subsequently completing a number of deployments with 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare).
In 2011 Sergeant Kups moved to 104 Force Support Battalion REME before being attached to 4 Close Support Battalion REME for its deployment on Operation HERRICK 16.
With his vast experience, Sergeant Kups was able to effectively lead and develop his soldiers in a very busy electronic repair section. A man of considerable military experience, Sergeant Kups was well respected by his section and by the unit as a whole.
Sergeant Kups’ untimely death is a great loss to his family and the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He leaves behind his wife and three children.
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must announce the death of Captain James Anthony Townley from the Corps of Royal Engineers. He died in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan from wounds sustained whilst serving at Forward Operating Base Shawqat on Friday 21st September 2012.
Captain James Townley was born on 22 September 1982 in Tunbridge Wells. He grew up near Glastonbury in Somerset, going to school in the local area. Having received a first-class degree in Engineering and Computer Science from University College Oxford, he worked as a tax associate for Price Waterhouse Coopers before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in January 2007.
He commissioned into the Corps of Royal Engineers in December 2007 and promoted to Lieutenant soon after completing his Royal Engineer Troop Commanders’ Course before serving in 28 Engineer Regiment, based in Hameln, Germany.
Captain Townley was an avid sportsman who enjoyed a wide variety of sports including skiing, mountain biking, kite surfing and sailing. Having rowed for his college at university, he later went on to represent the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and his regiment.
Captain Townley was attached to 21 Engineer Regiment from 28 Engineer Regiment for the duration of Operation Herrick 17. He deployed to Afghanistan on 5th September 2012 with 4 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 21 Engineer Regiment and was based in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province as the Battle Group Engineer supporting 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.
Upon arrival, he immediately immersed himself in operations that directly supported the transition to Afghan-led security, providing specialist advice on engineer tasks and capabilities. He had quickly established himself as a professional and charismatic officer.
In his time with 28 Engineer Regiment he shone as an intelligent, experienced and highly competent individual who had great plans for the future. With unrivalled commitment to his soldiers, he combined consummate professionalism and ability with a personable, humorous and approachable character. Extremely popular with his fellow officers, Captain Townley lived life to the full and was at the heart of the Regiment both professionally and socially.
Above everything else, he will be remembered for his selfless commitment to every undertaking, his strength of character and his faultless integrity.
Captain James Townley, was a remarkable young man. He leaves behind his parents Peter and Jacqui, his brother Nick, and girlfriend Helen.
James’s family said:
“James was a wonderful, loving and caring son and brother. He was devoted to his girlfriend Helen. He was our guardian angel and our hero. We were so proud of him. He touched every part of our lives and his loss has left a huge chasm that we can never fill.
“James will never be forgotten and always in our hearts and thoughts.”
Remember: explore your options; get in touch with us and, if you do decide you would prefer to come and have a chat to one of our Army Careers Advisers; don’t worry about dressing up too much for the occasion. That comes later for your initial interview where you will be advised on what to wear and how it works beforehand.
Once you’ve decided to take your application to the next level, you will be invited for an interview with an Army Careers Adviser. The interview allows you to get answers to any further questions you may have about the Army, the joining process and how to prepare, as well as giving the Army Careers Adviser the chance to confirm your suitability for the Army.
To make sure you’re given the best advice, you’ll need to do same basic numeracy, literacy and reasoning tests. This will help find out which Army jobs are really best for you.
Providing you meet all the standards required and your medical report is favorable, you will be invited to attend two-days at an Army Development and Selection Centres (ADSCs). Here you will be tested to see if you have the potential to be a soldier. You will also be given a further Army medical to make sure you are fit and well enough to start your initial Phase 1 training. Watch the films below to find out more.
In order to prepare yourself for the ADSC medical you should be refreshed, get a good night’s sleep beforehand, drink plenty of water and avoid fizzy drinks as these can raise your heart rate.
Having completed the Army Development and Selection Centre you’ll be given a grade. This will directly affect how long it will be before you are invited to start your initial training, know as Phase 1. Another factor that will affect this process is the number of places the Army has to offer for each specific trade. Therefore it is important you discuss your result with your Army Careers Adviser.
Where you conduct your Phase 1 training will depend on how old you are and which job you’ll be doing. If you are under the age of 17 years and 5 months you will be classified as a Junior Soldier and do either a six-month or 12-month course. If you are older than 17 years and 5 months you will conduct a 14-week package. Recruits joining the Infantry must complete a combined Phase 1 and Phase 2 course that lasts 28 weeks.
After completing Phase 1 training you will be considered a trained soldier and will be posted to a specialist training centre. There you will be taught the key skills required to perform your initial job. Phase 2 training can take from a few months to more than a year to complete depending on your job.
And the most important part… ENJOY IT!
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s) (3 YORKS) were killed in Afghanistan on Saturday 15 September 2012.
The two men were shot and fatally wounded by a rogue Afghan Local Policeman in Checkpoint Tora in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.
Both men served proudly and in the highest traditions of The Yorkshire Regiment. They will never be forgotten.
Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said:
“I was saddened to hear of this cowardly act by a man wearing an Afghan Local Police uniform, which has taken the lives of two brave British soldiers.
“All of our thoughts are with the families of Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe. They gave their lives protecting Britain’s national security, helping to make sure that Afghanistan never again becomes a haven for international terrorism.”
It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Duane Groom, The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed in Afghanistan on Friday 14 September 2012.
Lance Corporal Groom was killed in action when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Lance Corporal Duane Groom
Born on 7 April 1980 in Suva City, Fiji, Lance Corporal Groom joined the British Army in 2007. Having completed the Combat Infantryman’s Course at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick, he moved to Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, where he participated in public duties and ceremonial tasks at the Royal Palaces.
Two years later he joined 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, participating in an overseas training exercise in Kenya before deploying to Afghanistan in September 2009 with The Queen’s Company.
Upon his return he made full use of his time, taking part in the Infantry Skiing Championships in early 2011 and attending a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer Cadre in January 2012. Newly promoted, he deployed to Afghanistan for his second tour of duty on 7 April 2012 as a member of the Operations Company for Combined Force Nahr-e Saraj (North).
As well as working with his parent company, for seven weeks of the tour he provided force protection for British military advisors to the Afghan National Army. It was in this role, while protecting his Afghan and British colleagues as they extracted from a successful operation that he was sadly killed.
Lance Corporal Groom was a superb soldier. Fit, conscientious and extremely hard-working, he displayed great potential. Operationally experienced, he was always willing to help others and was widely respected and liked by all. Although quiet and reserved, he possessed a great sense of humour and always had a smile on his face. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.