The Army Rumour Service

The Army Rumour Service

Infobox Website
name = ARRSE
url =

commercial = Yes
type = Community
registration = Free
owner = The COs
author = The COs

"The Army Rumour Service" (ARRSE) is an unofficial British Army website and forum. Known colloquially as ARRSE - a moniker derived from the British ARmy Rumour SErvice - the site styles itself as the unofficial voice of the British Army. It gets more than 5 million page hits per month; is regularly mentioned and quoted [ [ BBC NEWS | Politics | Unease over Afghan duty ] ] in the national press; [ [ Mick Smith - Times Online - WBLG ] ] a significant contributor to a debate on service voting in the House of Lords; [ [ Debate ] ] supporter of various charities [] and read by the full spectrum of the British Army from the most junior to extremely senior.

The official view and concept

The site has never had any official communication with the Ministry of Defence. [ [ Ministry of Defence | home ] ] Reactions have been mixed to the sudden limelight given by the web presence and open discussion as this was completely new to a traditional and by nature cautious organisation. The site was certainly the first time the British Forces had a high profile web presence. The success of the site has led to it doubling in size every eight months or so. The content is interesting - despite the inevitable soldiers' griping (all soldiers complain - it's almost a duty) the site certainly illustrates a huge pride and interest in the British Army. The chance to voice these feelings publicly and in a slightly 'rebellious' way, was and is very attractive.


The aim of ARRSE (insofar that it has one) is to provide a useful, informative and amusing site for people with an interest in the British Army. Users can expect to find both reasoned argument and general chatter within the site.


The site is divided into several sections

* Forums
* An image gallery
* Chat rooms
* An Instant Message facility.
* A Military equipment online shop
* A list of members
* The ARRSEPedia. [ [ Main Page - ARRSEpedia ] ] A somewhat irreverent military encyclopedia using Mediawiki. In their own words "The content is humorous, serious, sensible, stupid, decent and just occasionally a touch offensive."


ARRSE came into being in January 2002 and was created using MS Frontpage. It soon became apparent that this was not up to the task and this was soon replaced by YaBB (Yet Another Bulletin Board). This was a significant improvement and supported the rapid expansion of the site. Unfortunately it was based on a flat file structure which created vast numbers of individual files that soon made backing up a nightmare.

The next upgrade to the site in saw it move to a fully fledged content management system named PHP-Nuke. This operated on a Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP system and gave a significant improvement in functionality, reliability and speed. Unfortunately PHPNuke also had a reputation for poor security and this led to the site being hacked by some Brazilian hackers in May 2004. After almost a week of downtime the site was restored and since then security has been the number one priority of the site administrators. The drive for increased security led to a further change of software to CPGNuke, an offshoot of PHPNuke.

The latest version of ARRSE operates using [ DragonflyCMS] version 9.6.1 and also uses the following Open Source projects for other parts of the site:
* [ Media Wiki]
* [ OTRS] Ticket Response System
* [ SQL-Ledger] Accountancy Software


External links

* [ The ARRSE site]
* [ Rear Party] - the site for spouses, partners and 'significant others' of serving British servicemen and women
* [ Rum Ration] - the sister site to ARRSE for members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines
* [ ArmyNET] - the British Army's official secure online information exchange service
* [ E Goat] - the RAF's unofficial online community
* [ MODoracle] Ministry of Defence/British forces unofficial online community

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