Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Enlisting is an engagement or undertaking to serve as a private soldier or sailor, either for an indefinite time, or for a certain fixed time, on receipt of pay therefor. It is voluntary, and in that respect differs from enrolment, which is compulsory, or at least is so under some circumstances, as in the case of men who are selected by ballot for the Militia, or by the conscription for military service on the Continent. The statutes which at present regulate the enlistment, etc., of soldiers, are the 42 & 43 Vict. c. 33, amended by the "Regulation of the Forces Act, 1881," and repealed and re-enacted with amendments by the "Army Act, 1881," which last statute is directed to come into force during the continuance of an annual Act to be passed for that purpose, but for no longer period ; and to be subject, moreover (when so brought into force), to such provisions as may be specified or referred to in the annual Act. In this military code provision is made for the manner in which the troops are to be enlisted, and "billeted" - i.e. dispersed among the several innkeepers and victuallers throughout the kingdom, and regulations are therein laid down for the government of the Army, and for every person subject to military law. As to sailors, the practice is closely analogous to that established for the government of the Army - the scheme of naval discipline (comprised in what are known as "The Articles of the Navy"), was embodied in a statute of Geo. II. (amended by subsequent Acts), and is now laid down in the "Naval Discipline Act, 1866," which is, like its predecessors, permanent in its character, and does not require (as in the case of the Army) to be brought into force by an annual Act. This curious distinction probably arose from the perpetual establishment of the Navy, which rendered a permanent law for its regulation expedient as against the temporary duration of the army.