Army alarm at surge in number of officers resigning

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#1
The Army lost almost 1350 experienced officers in the last six months of 2007 in an exodus sparked by overstretch, underfunding and equipment shortages, The Herald can reveal.

Many of those who voted with their feet were key middle-ranking captains and majors, although the list also included the commanding officer of a parachute battalion which had just returned from six months of heavy fighting in Afghanistan.

The exit rate for those resigning their commissions was more than double that of the previous 12 months and is understood to be causing alarm among senior commanders.

Since the Iraq invasion in 2003, Defence Analytical Service Agency tables show 5790 officers have quit, while only 4500 have joined. Many of these are still in training.

Figures obtained by The Herald also show the Territorial Army, a vital source of manpower to plug gaps in the regular Army, has managed to recruit and retain only 677 of the 1290 junior officers it needs since 2003.

News of the haemorrhage of the field officers follows accusations by five distinguished former chiefs of the defence staff last month that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was treating the armed forces with contempt.

One in 10 of Britain's soldiers is in breach of "harmony guidelines" established by the Ministry of Defence to limit maximum time service personnel spend away from home and family.

Despite government denials the forces are operating beyond capacity to cope with simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost 10,000 soldiers are currently exceeding service limits.

Guidelines say a soldier should do no more than 415 days away in any 30-month period. Latest MoD statistics state 10.3% of the Army is over that limit - amounting to 9935 troops from an overall force of fewer than 100,000.

An MoD statement said: "Retention initiatives are proving successful - more than 2000 soldiers have recently signed up to the Infantry Financial Retention Initiative to stay in the Army for an additional two years.

"The latest quarterly manning report showed there had been a 4.3% increase - 810 people - in the number of new recruits who have joined the forces in the 12 months to September 30, 2007."

The figures come a day after the Army was accused of subjecting potential recruits to a "misleading" picture of life in the forces by glamorising warfare. Claims made by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust were dismissed by the MoD as inaccurate.
http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/new..._at_surge_in_number_of_officers_resigning.php

Not exactly surprising but promotion prospects must be good for those who stay :wink:
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
I don't see why that article support that supposition. In many cases people are leaving because with a shrinking military the opportunities for command and promotion are also reducing!
 
#3
"Here's to a bloody war, or a foul pestilence".

Or an intransigent government with no understanding of the realities of service life and death.
 
#5
A2_Matelot said:
I don't see why that article support that supposition. In many cases people are leaving because with a shrinking military the opportunities for command and promotion are also reducing!
Agreed, plus the increase bureaucracy and brown nosing need to move up - for me spending 9 months out of 12 away from home - plus if you're going to have to drive the old mahogany chariot you might as well get a better quality of life for it :wink:
 
#6
Mmm. Promotion prospects increasing if your aspiration is to reach giddy ranks of captain and major.
 
#8
An MoD statement said: "Retention initiatives are proving successful - more than 2000 soldiers have recently signed up to the Infantry Financial Retention Initiative to stay in the Army for an additional two years.

"The latest quarterly manning report showed there had been a 4.3% increase - 810 people - in the number of new recruits who have joined the forces in the 12 months to September 30, 2007."


MoD laying down smoke as usual.

"2000 soldiers" - yet the article is about loss of officers

"4.3 increase" in those joining - what about those leaving? This doesn't equate to a 4.3% increase in actual manpower at all. And again, this doesn't relate to officers' recruitment and/or retention.

How thick do they think we all are? When will they stop politicing and start doing the job?
 
#9
I wonder if anyone has contacted the members of the CAPTAINS SIGNED OFF MASSIF group on Facebook to ask why...
 
#10
crabtastic said:
I wonder if anyone has contacted the members of the CAPTAINS SIGNED OFF MASSIF group on Facebook to ask why...
Let's face it, until poor retention is going to impact on your OJAR, no-one is going to give a toss.

msr
 
#11
Is this more or less than the total of officers that left in 2006 - I seem to remember an article claiming many more that 1400.

How many of the 2007 out-take are passed over majors and captains that have reached the end of their short service engagements.
 
#12
I doubt there loss will have any impact as the back bone of the army has and always and will be run by the NCO's. (dont worry too much) the Armed forces have been taking abit of a battering recently they will bounce back, stronger and better as usual (that includes the horroficers) :D
 
#14
I guess they all saw what Captain Blunt, formerly of the Household Cavalry did. They now want to try for themselves. Must 've seen Blunt on Top Gear getting all matey with Clarkson.

Who can blame them, I'd want to get all matey with Clarkson. But then I'm just a lowly noncom and will never even be allowed near Horseguards or the Stig...
 
#16
The_Rattler said:
I doubt there loss will have any impact as the back bone of the army has and always and will be run by the NCO's. (dont worry too much) the Armed forces have been taking abit of a battering recently they will bounce back, stronger and better as usual (that includes the horroficers) :D
My bolding.

Possibly, but only up to a certain point. I doubt there is a JNCO, SNCO or WO that is capable of commanding a Brigade (maybe even a battlegroup) or higher formation on short notice.

Losing mid-level officers means less choice on the quality of future generals.
 
#17
Does anyone know ehat the figures are like for ORs signing off?

At the moment, in my unit some 15-odd % of the total strength of ORs are signed off.

Is that normal/representative?

Tubs

Edited for clarity
 
#18
#19
Thanks MSR - that is bloody worrying - Of course, Brown and Co. will be long gone by the time that the current dicking about with numbers impacts operationally - granted, it has already, maybe not clearly enough for HMG to understand.
 
#20
What would an acceptable or natural exodus of commissioned officers be per year? When we were flush what were the totals?
 

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