British soldiers recruited to fill the ranks Down Under By Nick Squires in Sydney - Daily Telegraph (Filed: 15/07/2005) First it was British bobbies, now Australia wants to recruit British soldiers. Months after more than 80 police officers started a new life in Australia, the country's army has announced plans to poach up to 300 British Army personnel a year to fill gaps in its ranks. An Australian military team visited London last month to interview 45 officers and 15 from other ranks who expressed an interest in swapping their berets for the distinctive slouch hat of the Australian "digger". Most of the applications were approved and the recruits are expected to arrive in Australia by the end of the year, many bringing their families with them. Their visas will be fast-tracked under a special arrangement with Australia's immigration department. The soldiers' relocation costs will be paid and they will be required to serve in the Australian army for a minimum of four years. While the scheme is open to Commonwealth countries such as Canada and New Zealand, the bulk of recruits are expected to be British.