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All Army Reserve soldiers’ complete basic or Initial Training often referred to as Initial (Phase1) training. Initial Soldier Training is conducted at a number of sites around the country depending on how and where they want to complete their training. Learn more about the training commitment on this page.

Initial (Phase 1) training

Initial training is challenging and enjoyable. The intensive package will teach you the basics of everything you need to know to become an effective soldier and to fulfill your role within the Army Reserve. The emphasis is very much on physical fitness, weapon handling and fieldcraft, but also understanding military terminology, drill, how to wear your uniform first aid and map reading.

All Army Reserve recruits attend the combined arms Phase 1 (Alpha) over 4 weekends at regionally based Army Training Units (ATUs). Alternatively if time allows Reserve recruits can undertake this training in a 7 day consolidated period at selected ATU locations, or at a Regular Army Phase 1 training establishment.

Upon successful completion of Phase 1 (Alpha) soldiers of the Army Reserve then go on to attend the 15.5 day residential, Phase 1 (Bravo) course at either the Army Training Centre (Pirbright) or Army Training Regiment (Grantham), provided predominantly by Regular Army instructors. Recruits pass out of these Training Centres on day 15 with a formal parade to which family and friends are made most welcome to celebrate and share your success.

Phase 1 (Alpha)

All Reserve Recruits complete an initial course of four training weekends over an 8 week period (excluding public holidays) at appointed Army Training Units around the country and usually local to their home and selected Army Reserve unit.

The instruction at Army Training Units is delivered by fully qualified Army Reserve Instructors. Alternatively if employment or personal circumstances allow, Army Reserve Recruits are encouraged to complete this part of the training in a single 7 day consolidated period. This training is often conducted at Army Training Centre (Pirbright), or Army Training Regiment (Grantham) and is delivered by Regular Army Instructors.

However, as with the weekend option, this can occasionally be delivered at the regionally located Army Training Units. The Phase 1 (Alpha) course is designed to lay the foundations of military character for recruits and forms the first stage in your initial training. Recruits will normally be expected to progress to the next part of the training – Phase 1 (Bravo) within 8 weeks of completing Phase 1 (Alpha) – sooner if time permits.

You will be provided with full uniform and equipment before you commence this training. You will also receive full details of where you need to be, and when before you attend. Your parent Army Reserve unit will you to and from your selected Army Reserve Centre to the nominated training establishment for all training.

Phase 1 (Bravo)

Following completion of Phase1 (Alpha) comes the 15.5 day Phase1 (Bravo) in which Recruits are trained and mentored by expert Regular Army staff. This is consolidation and continuation of the training undertaken at Phase 1 (Alpha) with more training on subjects already covered, with further military topics also introduced. You will also deploy into the field on 2 Field Training Exercises during this phase.

Basic training is designed to teach everything an Army Reserve Recruit will need to know to become an effective soldier and fulfill their role within the Army Reserve. It concludes - for those who pass - with a prestigious passing-out parade in front of family, friends and unit representatives on the last Sunday of the course.

Phase 1 (Bravo) courses are conducted at Regular Army training establishments, Army Training Centre (Pirbright) and Army Training Regiment (Grantham). On occasion these courses may also be conducted at regional Army Training Unit locations by staff from either Pirbright or Grantham.

Phase 1 instructors are of the highest calibre and have been selected and trained to the highest standard specifically for this role. Their primary task is to lead Recruits through the training and assist them with passing all aspects of the course. Attendees on the course must be prepared to work hard - but they are not tested on anything that is not taught.

As with attendance at Phase 1 (Alpha) recruits will be notified of which training establishment they are to attend for Phase 1 (Bravo) with full dates provided, with full detail of what kit and equipment must be brought. As with Phase 1 (Alpha) it is usual that your selected Army Reserve unit will deliver and indeed collect you from the training once complete.

More information can be found on the Pre-arrival Information page and in the Information and kit list for Army Reserve Recruits coming to TSC(B) at ATC Pirbright. Follow the ATC Pirbright link in the right-hand panel.

Army Training Units

There are 9 ATUs across the country, each being centres of training excellence, providing Phase 1 and specialist Phase 3 courses.