The new Ministry of Defence figures has revealed that the size of Britain’s armed forces has fallen for the ninth consecutive year. The Army, the RAF and the Royal Navy have all seen a decline in the number of fully-trained personnel and the Army experiencing the biggest fall.
The government called it a “crisis” in recruitment and retention. It has been claimed by the Ministry of Defence that the armed forces continued to meet all their operational requirements. A recently revealed report showed that there was a shortage of 7,000 troops in the government’s target of 82,000.
Last year there were 76,880 troops while in July the number reduced to 74,440 full-time and fully-trained troops. The same kind of situation was also found in the RAF as well as navy but they also failed to meet target strength.
The RAF acquires 29,930 troops currently while its requirement is 31,840. The Royal Navy and Royal Marines dropped to 29,090 of the required 30,600. The MoD stated that applications to join the Army were at a five-year high and that it is trying its best to improve recruitment.
The Army raised eyebrows with its recruitment campaign at the start of the year, which used stereotypical images of millennials, including “snowflake”, and “selfie addicts”, on its posters.
Meanwhile, in recent data, it has been shown that 13,520 people had joined the regular armed forces in the last 12 months which is 1,593 more compared to last year. However, 14,880 people also left – up from 14,860 in 2018.
Shadow defense secretary Nia Griffith said, “Ministers are either in complete denial about this crisis in recruitment and retention, or they are actively in favor of cutting the armed forces to these historically low levels.”