Army cannot afford to recruit

#1
From the Telegraph

Army cannot afford to recruit
By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
(Filed: 06/07/2004)


The MoD is deliberately keeping the Army down to 102,000 soldiers, 5,000 below its proper strength, because of a cash crisis.

The Army has been short of soldiers for a decade and the rapid increase in overseas operations over the past few years has left it overstretched and unable to cope.

Army chiefs complain that the training cycle has been completely disrupted, with some regiments having served in both Afghanistan and Iraq while others are already returning for their second tour in Iraq.

They were pleased to find recruitment booming in the wake of the war in Iraq, offering potential respite from the problems of overstretch as well as a move towards a fully manned army of 107,000 men.

But, with recruitment booming and the Army's strength approaching 103,000, they were told by the MoD that there was not enough money in the defence budget to cope with more than 102,000 troops.

Furious Army chiefs realised they had only two options: take money from other areas of their budget to pay for the extra 1,000 soldiers or slow down recruitment and accelerate the discharge of soldiers.

The Army Board decided that, with cuts in other areas likely only to damage morale, they had no choice but to order Lt-Gen Sir Alistair Irwin, the Adjutant-General, to bring numbers down to the 102,000 figure they could afford.

Sir Alistair's response was to ban infantry recruitment from May to October to keep numbers down to the level they could afford.

The move has infuriated officers in battalions threatened by defence cuts expected next week because the argument for axing them was lack of recruits but they are currently banned from recruiting.

Battalions set to be axed include the Black Watch and the Royal Scots, both of which have severe shortages. The Black Watch is about a third short while the Royal Scots has kept its numbers higher only by recruiting troops from Fiji. Overstretch has put immense pressure on the Army's more experienced NCOs and officers, most of whom have wives and families and do not want to spend long periods separated from them.

Large numbers of those men, vital to the efficiency of regiments, have left but not enough to satisfy the civil servants. The ban on recruitment was accompanied by a series of measures to speed up the number leaving.

Army personnel chiefs had already instigated active measures to get rid of soldiers under a system known as "manning control".

That involved tearing up the contracts of soldiers due to serve 22 years, when they would receive an immediate pension, and forcing them out early. But, faced with hundreds of legal challenges, they have now resorted to other measures.

Any soldier putting in his notice is likely to be told he must leave immediately, whether or not he has had time to sort out a new job, to bring the number down to the 102,000 level that can be paid for, one defence source said.

"There is an undisclosed, conscious policy to reduce further the size of the Army; ostensibly by the very same people - the Army Board - who supposedly tell ministers how overstretched the Army is," the source said.


And we're surprised? At least it is being said. :roll:
 

X-Inf

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#2
At least the word is starting to be spread by the media although this has been discussed fully in ARRSE previously in several threads.

As ARRSE are so far ahead of the media reporting the 'news' perhaps the title of the site should change to Facts Underpinning Costs Keeping Underfilled Posts, or Some News Always Filters Upwards.
 
#3
The endangered species of the Scottish Division were within 62 recruits of full manning in financial year 2003-04, according to a written Commons reply by the MoD to an SNP question yesterday. Then came the "capping" of recruitment and uncertainty over the future and the numbers have plummeted again. Not rocket science. The Royal Scots are really struggling. The Highlanders are saying privately a number of units are being set up for the chop by manipulation of policy. The MoD's only going down this road because its misuse of manning control and S-type contracts was exposed by the media. Great credit to the 2 Para website campaign on this one.
 
#4
Its not just the Infantry the cut backs will hit either.

If (sorry, when!) the RAF bring in their redundancies, most speculate the Med branch may get hit, especially the Tech branches (X-ray, Lab and theatres). If this is so, then the the rest of the DMS will have to fill the void and already with the RAF helping we are struggling and seriously so.

I find it astonishing that this is even being considered in the current climate and burden on the forces. History has a lot to teach us and unfortunately it looks as if our current political masters have not learned that lesson.

As PTP says, " Regime change begins at home" remember that :evil:
 
#5
Lieutenant-Col Kevin Beaton, the BW battlegroup senior MO, said last year on the outskirts of Basra that the casualties from a single sustained firefight would overwhelm the frontline medical services "within 24 hours". He called the Telic 1 medical provision "a one-shot wonder". As Du-Lai says, what happens on future deployments if the overworked and overstretched medics are cut even more? Don't want to think about it. Goin' back to me pit. :cry:
 
#6
Claymore,

I did Telic 1&2 and if we had sustained serious casualties then we would have struggled and seriously so. And before somebody says it, the AMS TA are a joke as an organisation. They have to trawl all TA AMS units to get enough for 1 Field Hospital, imagine if we needed 3!!!!!!!

Mind you that is if they are medically fit and are actually capable of the job the TA have them employed as!!!!!

Note I didn't say trained 8O
 
#7
Not only would the frontline medical services not be able to cope with sustained serious casualties, Telic 1 proved that the NHS + what was left of DMS couldn't cope as planned with the relatively few casualties from Telic 1. The RAMP plan fell apart in very short order, and the NHS was unable to provide beds where they were needed.
 
#8
As much as it pains me to write this but...............

Let the system fail!

Not until the tri services has taken a severe battering with mass casualties will change happen. It saddens me to think this way but thats how it is!

Maybe we should stop recruiting altogether. But the British Services will always make do. And failure is never an option.

Recently visited my old Unit. When I left moral was low, on return return 6 months later they have been issued shovles and have started to dig. I left again very downhearted.

Monty wrote:
"What manner of men are these,"

"Very pissed off I think, sir" :(
 
#9
SKJOLD said:
As much as it pains me to write this but...............

Let the system fail!

Not until the tri services has taken a severe battering with mass casualties will change happen. It saddens me to think this way but thats how it is!
You going to volunteer to be one of those mass casualties? You are right, it is the only way to let them know just how bad the govt is f@*king it up but this isn't some blue chip company where if everything goes wrong some people get fired and some shareholders portfolios drop in value. Catch 22 really - needs to go horribly wrong, but must try hardest to ensure that doesn't happen. :cry: :cry:
Maybe if the entire army signed off at the same time it would give them a bit of a shock - labour would prob think it was some sort of victory for them though - last "class-based" institution finally gotten rid off and all that....
 
#10
The MoD is deliberately keeping the Army down to 102,000 soldiers, 5,000 below its proper strength, because of a cash crisis.
And there in itself is the problem. We , as the 4th richest nation in the world, and the Head of the Commonwealth , have 102,000 Soldiers total.

We are the 7th biggest spender on Defence on the planet (2002) , behind France , Japan and Germany . I haven't taken into account the spending cuts for FY2004-5 , which should put us behind Italy,Israel, India, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Brazil.

For comparison

The JSDF currently has 145,000 troops available
Egypt - 320,000
Iran - 300,000 incl. Pasdaran
Indonesia - 200,000
Pakistan - 500,000 with a RR of another 500000 8O
India - 300000 , plus 40000 Terriers and another 200000 second line
Israel 104,000 + 400,000 trained RR
Syria - 200,000+ and 4000+ Tanks 8O

I wonder if the Politicos look at that figure, as do the lay public and think "That's 102,000 Bayonets available for offensive, defensive or projective operations"

Of that figure, how many are sick,medically downgraded, on resettlement , PVR'ing , transferring , in the Glasshouse, Pregnant or leaving the Army before the end of the recruitment freeze?

Does 102,000 include Soldiers in ATR , Phase 1 or 2 etc?

This Government, is seeking to actively reduce the size of the Army, and really throw us in the pocket of "stronger allies"

How long before those stronger allies , start looking at us in the way Australian Defence Forces currently regards New Zealand Forces?

There is far too much spending on comfy chairs , dreamland projects, wastrel systems providers and so called "Force Multipliers"

The rot needs to stop, and stop quickly.

This is an interesting article

http://www.sfu.ca/casr/id-army-org.htm

Originally written by 2 Canadian Army CORPORALS , it was published in the Canadian Defence review, in spite of the fact the authors were NCO's , because it contained so much good stuff.

Yes it is Canada-centric , but it is well worth a read under the "There is nothing new under the Sun" clause.

Rant switch to safe.
 
#11
Mass termination of colour service! 8O
Now theres an idea !

But now we approaching the realms mutiny. And that is not what this ARRSE site is for.
 
#12
PartTimePongo said:
For comparison

The JSDF currently has 145,000 troops available
Egypt - 320,000
Iran - 300,000 incl. Pasdaran
Indonesia - 200,000
Pakistan - 500,000 with a RR of another 500000 8O
India - 300000 , plus 40000 Terriers and another 200000 second line
Israel 104,000 + 400,000 trained RR
Syria - 200,000+ and 4000+ Tanks 8O
An even more interesting comparison: how many civil servants do the above countries have in their defence ministries?
 
#13
SKJOLD said:
But now we approaching the realms mutiny. And that is not what this ARRSE site is for.
Of course - I wasn't suggesting that it be done, just that it seems (theoretically) one way to make the nuggets sit up. Plus they can't shoot the mutineers if they don't have anyone to shoot them! 8O
 
#14
notmesir said:
SKJOLD said:
But now we approaching the realms mutiny. And that is not what this ARRSE site is for.
Of course - I wasn't suggesting that it be done, just that it seems (theoretically) one way to make the nuggets sit up. Plus they can't shoot the mutineers if they don't have anyone to shoot them! 8O
I agree 100%.

But I do recall watching a programme on discovery a few years ago.

An RAF units national service blokes got pissed of at not being demobilised after the war. Fed up with playing taxi in the desert.They mutineered against their officers. Went a couple of weeks before the officers regained control.

PTP whats JSDF 8O . Im not kidding I dont know. and if you dont know ask! :)
 
#15
SKJOLD , good point. JSDF = Japanese Self Defence Forces (Army)

That's right, the Japanese have ground forces totally committed to home defence numbering 145,000

Though I believe their Parliament is talking about letting them out to play overseas now.
 
#16
145,000 troops Defending SONY. :x :D
How many Yanks defending Microsoft and OPEC? :?
Compared to Feck all troops defending Feck all industry here? :evil:

ohh well musnt grumble 8O
 
#17
claymore said:
The MoD's only going down this road because its misuse of manning control and S-type contracts was exposed by the media. Great credit to the 2 Para website campaign on this one.
You should read their Warning Order, the guys on that site know something we dont. :wink:

http://www.dream-tool.com/tools/messageview.mv?view+brownenvelope+90002+index



Army personnel chiefs had already instigated active measures to get rid of soldiers under a system known as "manning control".

That involved tearing up the contracts of soldiers due to serve 22 years, when they would receive an immediate pension, and forcing them out early. But, faced with hundreds of legal challenges, they have now resorted to other measures.
http://pages.123-reg.co.uk/eve3-37327/exparachuteregimentwebsite/id134.html

wait out for that one someone will swing for it me thinks
 
#18
This is not a new problem, Manning and recruitment , or should i say undermanning and nonrecruitment ,go back decades ,i can recall only one unit that i served in being anywhare near fully manned and that was 30 years ago 8O.
The Government Bean counters care nothing about the poor sods on the ground , Members of my old unit recieved there" brown envelopes " on the front line in GW1, this was at a time when our vehicles had to be manned by cooks and clerks we were so stretched. But as usual the job got done ,and so the cuts keept coming, as ive said before nothing changes just the Scrotes in charge.
 
#19
meanwhile, elsewhere in the world......

I thought the Labour party was supposed to look after the workers and the Conservatives were the ones that closed things down and put people on the streets !!

Liberal out there means Tory.

Reserves Need Reinforcement:

An internal Liberal Party document has warned the Howard Government that Australia's Defence Force reserves are seriously depleted and need to be doubled in size to help defend the country in an emergency such as a war or terrorist attack. The report, Revitalising the Reserves, which already has been given to Defence Minister Robert Hill and Minister for Reserves Mal Brough, cautions that there is a shortfall of personnel, particularly junior non-commissioned officers and junior officers. It also warns of a critical shortage of equipment, in particular hi-tech equipment needed by the army reserves, which has a special anti-terrorist unit. Senator Hill and Mr Brough have declined to comment on the report. However, a spokesman for Mr Brough said that in recent years legislation to mobilise reserves had been improved, the defence budget had increased and reserves had been given operational roles. The 23-page report will be made public today when it is presented to Prime Minister John Howard at the Victorian Liberal Party State Council meeting in Melbourne.

It was prepared for the Liberal Party's Victorian Division's Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence. The report authors took presentations from the Chief of the Reserves, Major-General Greg Garde, president of the Royal United Services Institution of Victoria, retired Air Commodore Mike Rawlinson, and the national executive director of the Australian Defence Association, Lieutenant-Colonel Neil James. The report, which recognises the federal Government's recent reforms including the five-year plan to increase the number of reservists and their equipment numbers, said it still was not enough to maintain the numbers needed to cope with current and future demands.

Major recommendations in the report include almost doubling Army Reserves personnel from 16,000 to 30,000, with an added budget of at least $200 million. The Navy Reserves also need to be doubled from 1750 to 3500 and "organised so the RAN is capable of having all its capital ships at sea for three months with relief crews available", it said. The committee report said the Navy and Air Force relied too heavily on former members to bolster reserve numbers. It also recommended allowing civilian pilots into active reserve. "Recognising civilian qualifications and experience would add to the depth of available pilots should an emergency or crisis occur," the report said. Committee convenor John Coughlin said: "In grim times . . . we have to think outside the square."
Source: News Limited
 

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