BBC reports 1 in 5 soldiers unfit to fight

#1
According to an article on the BBC news site, "Almost 5,000 soldiers and officers - or one in five army infantry personnel - are unfit for frontline combat duties, figures from the Ministry of Defence show"

Does anyone know how that compares to a peacetime figure? Or what the state is with non infantry units.
Sounds like the Opposition are trying to make the government look crap. Which, in fairness, they are.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8453369.stm



Edited to make (marginally) more sensible remarks now that I have actually read the article and realised they weren't suggesting, as I first thought, that 5000 men made up 20% of the whole British Army.
 
#2
Lies, damned lies and statistics.

From what the BBC reports - there seems to be some distortion of the facts.

The 5,000 seems to be across the whole of the Army not just the Infantry as implied. It includes pregnant, compassionate and under 18s so hardly equates to 20% of manned strength.

Not good enough - show again
 
#3
The data from a Parliamentary written answer showed 19 battalions had fewer than 500 fully deployable soldiers.

Surely this fact is wrong as well? Or is it a misprint?

C_of_J
 

Andy_S

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
That last issue - that 19 (of, I believe, 38 btns in the army) - are understrength seems perfectly feasible.

Inf btns are traditionally understrength and have needed to be beefed up to 'war footing' when sent on major operations. Moreover:
The infantry take the bulk of casualties in Afghan, meaning many, many are in rehab;
Infantry companies are routinely detached from their parent btns and added to battegroups as augmentating units, or to serve as OMLTs
Individual soldiers and officers are also being taken away from parent btns and rotated through Afghan as needs on the ground dictate
 
#5
We kind of got on to this debate on the Amputee Bn thread a while ago.

http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=140607.html

Look at the info about hearing loss in returning troops and the % figures (the 1 in 5 comment) given in this answer may suddenly become a little more believable because, frankly, from what I have heard, it is accurate.

Whether the 5000 figure is correct is another matter as it would increase the % of sick infantry. If it is and I'd like to see the source, the figures becomes really worrying.
 
#7
Does this figure include those temporarily downgraded or on sick leave for minor operations or just long term biff chits??
 
#8
mokaroux said:
too fat to fight. lol

this figure cant be right - unless we are counting the RLC in this
is that the same RLC that are boxing champions, football champions, rugby runners up, dominate nordic skiing and triathlon, have several olympic track and field and winter athletes in the ranks...or another RLC?

Yes we have a lot of fat (and sometimes useless) cu'nts in our corps, but we are nearly 20% of the Army in one capbadge...from the Inf Bns i've worked with, if you replicated the Bn demographics to 20% of the Army i think that you would see very similar results!
 
#9
It also seems that the effect of hearing loss is being assessed more significantly than in the past.. WHAT???

I don't know if they have raised the standard of the hearing test or reduced what you can do with a hearing loss, but more people seem to be being caught with this than in the past. The limit is being applied to both REMFS and front liners these days.

Mind you, by not supplying active hearing protection unitil very recently, what would you expect...? I would think any sustained fire fight without ear defenders would have an effect. Yet another case of slamming the door after the horse has bolted...!
 
#10
Is that a bite there Danny?

And mokaroux - lol? What are we on Facebook now?

Nice to see a post more related to military matters though. I suspect the figures cant be far wrong. Although I'd say the figures relate to people that are DG, on sick or maternity leave etc - and not necessarily non-deployable. But since this is the media, and as eluded to earlier in the thread, an opportunity to have a swipe from the opposition maybe?
 
#11
HE117 said:
It also seems that the effect of hearing loss is being assessed more significantly than in the past.. WHAT???

I don't know if they have raised the standard of the hearing test or reduced what you can do with a hearing loss, but more people seem to be being caught with this than in the past. The limit is being applied to both REMFS and front liners these days.

Mind you, by not supplying active hearing protection unitil very recently, what would you expect...? I would think any sustained fire fight without ear defenders would have an effect. Yet another case of slamming the door after the horse has bolted...!
Say again, over?
 
#13
The beeb article also says:

Maj Gen Patrick Cordingley, who commanded the Desert Rats in the first Gulf War, says he is deeply concerned by the figures and warns that difficult decisions lie ahead.
Really? In the 90's he commanded a unit disbanded in the 50's?

Or am I being a pedant?
 
Z

Zarathustra

Guest
#14
I don't think 5000 infantry soldiers being unfit to fight is far off. It's not only people with injuries from combat (serious or otherwise) but sporing injuries, injuries from exercises, injuries from other stuff such as car accidents.

The article didn't make it clear if it was 5000 people who were P7 HO or combination of everyone who is downgraded for however long and what level.
 
#16
Clerk_of_Jerks said:
The data from a Parliamentary written answer showed 19 battalions had fewer than 500 fully deployable soldiers.

Surely this fact is wrong as well? Or is it a misprint?

C_of_J
500 / 19 = 26, this has to be an error surely each battalion has more than 26 deployable soldiers??

What are the gunna report next, the RAF and Navy being replaced by Airfix Models?? :roll:
 
#17
i thought they were mixing two things for dramatic effect, but i might be wrong:

a. 5000 soldiers in the british army are "unfit to fight" (whatever that means - P3LE? P7HO?). i read that as 5000 out of 100,000 in the entire army.

b. the number 5000 is 20% of the strength of the infantry.

they can't seriously be suggesting that 5000 out of 25,000 infanteers are unfit to fight - especially as the same article stated "More than 1,000 servicemen and women have suffered combat injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001."

so 1000 servicemen in total, not just 1000 infanteers injured - and many will now be back to FE. another 4000 across the whole army seems reasonable for other downgrade reasons.

i would conclude it's 5000 across the whole army, and somebody has compared that figure to the size of the corps of infantry, for dramatic effect.
 
#18
Danny_Dravot said:
mokaroux said:
too fat to fight. lol

this figure cant be right - unless we are counting the RLC in this
is that the same RLC that are boxing champions, football champions, rugby runners up, dominate nordic skiing and triathlon, have several olympic track and field and winter athletes in the ranks...or another RLC?
Yes we have a lot of fat (and sometimes useless) cu'nts in our corps, but we are nearly 20% of the Army in one capbadge...from the Inf Bns i've worked with, if you replicated the Bn demographics to 20% of the Army i think that you would see very similar results!
Not too fat to fight then just too busy doing sport
 
#19
No, these figures are Infantry only. The tabled question from Hansard:

Question

"Mr Bernard Jenkin (North Essex): To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 10 December 2009, Official Report, columns 522-4, on armed forces: manpower, how many personnel in each infantry battalion were unfit for combat duty on the latest date for which figures are available. "

And the answer:

Answer

The figures are presented by Bn and if you add them up you get just shy of 5000.

I apologise in advance if I have VOR'd the Outrage Bus by providing the facts.
 
#20
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
i thought they were mixing two things for dramatic effect, but i might be wrong:

a. 5000 soldiers in the british army are "unfit to fight" (whatever that means - P3LE? P7HO?). i read that as 5000 out of 100,000 in the entire army.

b. the number 5000 is 20% of the strength of the infantry.

they can't seriously be suggesting that 5000 out of 25,000 infanteers are unfit to fight - especially as the same article stated "More than 1,000 servicemen and women have suffered combat injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001."

so 1000 servicemen in total, not just 1000 infanteers injured - and many will now be back to FE. another 4000 across the whole army seems reasonable for other downgrade reasons.

i would conclude it's 5000 across the whole army, and somebody has compared that figure to the size of the corps of infantry, for dramatic effect.
Agreed, and I'm surprised the editor didn't tear it up and throw it in the writer's face, much less publish it.

However, it would be interesting to see a proper breakdown of how many people aren't deployable and why.
 

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