British Army releases new recruitment campaign
According to official Ministry of Defence figures only 1,759 of the 15,325 regular troops to have left in the year leading to November did so because their time was up.
Nearly half – 7,439 – quit early, exceeding the 7,260 who left the Armed Forces during the previous year. There are now concerns that worsening conditions and a lack of “operational tempo” is failing to keep soldiers motivated.
Fallon hints UK will oppose EU army
Former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth MP said: “There is little doubt morale is under enormous pressure. Soldiers are concerned about the Future Accommodation Model, which may see them forced to rent or buy properties when what families actually want is to live in an Army environment.
“Particularly concerning is the effect of ‘historic war crime’ allegations. There is an increasing feeling that soldiers or veterans who find themselves arraigned for doing what they thought was right for their country are pretty much on their own.
While they may be recruiting, there is a serious retention issue
“Any sense of certainty about the future has been taken away in a 10-year period which saw the defence budget shrink and annual reductions to the size and resources of the Armed Forces.”
Last night an MoD spokesman said: “The Army has enough people to perform all of its tasks to keep Britain safe and continues to offer exciting opportunities that inspire the best of our young people. We’ve seen an increase in recruitment over the last year and we expect this trend to continue.”
“By its own admission the Army is 3,000 troops down,” he said.
“These latest figures show that while they may be recruiting, there is a serious retention issue. We have witnessed an erosion of service benefits, legal vendettas and, since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, a lack of operational tempo.”
Speaking to the Sunday Express last night defence secretary Michael Fallon said: “I’m proud that the UK is leading the Estonian battle group and providing vital reassurance to a key Nato partner in the face of Russian aggression.”