MoD looking at cap on foreigners in armed forces

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#1
The Ministry of Defence is considering imposing a ceiling on the number of foreigners recruited for the UK's armed forces because senior officers fear that the growing influx of overseas volunteers could dilute the essential "Britishness" of the Army, The Herald can reveal.

Top brass are also worried about the perception that they are encouraging the employment of mercenaries at a time when they want the services to reflect British "norms and values".

Including 3500 Gurkhas and more than 7000 Commonwealth and other foreigners already in the ranks, more than 10% of current Army manpower is composed of foreign nationals.

The number of overseas soldiers who enlisted in the Army, Navy and RAF rose by 790 last year to 7240. By comparison, the famous French Foreign Legion employs 7600 non-French troops.

Britain's unofficial "legion" includes 2030 Fijians, 600 Zimbabweans and 460 from the tiny Caribbean island state of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

There are also 880 from South Africa, 140 from Kenya and 170 from Australian and New Zealand. Another 80 are from Canada. Almost one-in-10 of the soldiers in the Royal Regiment of Scotland is Fijian.

Political or social unrest in some countries and high unemployment, almost 25% in most Caribbean islands, appear to be the main driving forces behind the enlistments.

The number of Caribbean volunteers has soared, with the St Vincent contingent rising from 280 in 2006 to 460 last year. South African volunteers rose from 720 to 880, while Trinidad and Tobago's contribution to British numbers increased from 70 to just over 100. Zimbabwe, now in economic and political meltdown, produced a 20% rise.

With almost every battalion in the Army an average of 70 to 90 men below frontline "bayonet strength", the influx of willing volunteers means there are foreigners in most units, with the highest concentration in the hard-pressed infantry.

The MoD admits the Army is 3800 men below complement, a shortfall worsened by the number of experienced soldiers of all ranks choosing to leave, largely because of the family pressures resulting from repeated combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The main problem is that without the overseas contingent, the already overstretched Army would be unable to sustain the 7800-strong garrison in Afghanistan and the 4100 in Iraq.

The MoD's quarterly report, published earlier this week, admitted it could not meet government readiness targets as a result of the continuing tempo of operations.

Forces are supposed to ensure that at least 73% of units have no "serious or critical weaknesses". A total of 58% barely met that target in their peacetime readiness levels, falling to just 53% in the last three months of 2007.

The MoD is supposed to be able to generate forces which can be "deployed, sustained and recovered at the scales of effort required to meet the government's strategic objectives".

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth yesterday confirmed the MoD review: "We are proud to recruit high-quality recruits from countries with close historical and political ties.

"While no decision has been taken to introduce a cap on Commonwealth and Republic of Ireland citizens, we are looking at the rising levels within the armed forces."
The Herald
 
#3
Great idea! Because we're just HEAVING with potential recruits from the UK... :roll:

Morons. :evil:
 
#4
Would this have a bearing on someone like me, I'm hoping to get into the RM?
 
#5
One name springs to mind, that sums up why this is wrong.

Pvt Johnson Beharry VC.

Many Commonwealth citizens have a higher regard for British Values and Britishness than UK residents. Recruit more, I say.
 
#6
I'm glad to hear it.

We can't have all our Commonwealth soldiers running around bareheaded, it just wouldn't look right.





I'll get my coat....
 
#7
FrankCastle said:
Great idea! Because we're just HEAVING with potential recruits from the UK... :roll:

Morons. :evil:
With a recession just around the corner I wouldn't be so sure. Perhaps they are preempting it?
 
#8
Proximo said:
oldbaldy said:
Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth yesterday confirmed the MoD review: "We are proud to recruit high-quality recruits from countries with close historical and political ties.
The Herald
But presumably not proud enough to give them citizenship, eh Bob?
Burgger you beat me to it. It might be worth paying attention to as news if anybody remotely believed Ainsworth knew what the feck he was talking about - or could identify his arrse from his elbow.

As immigrants, these are EXACTLY the type of people we want here; ambitious, giving more than a passing feck about societal values and probably of more value to the country per capita than 10 chavs/chavettes ever will be and.........

Cease Loading, End of Rant!
 
#9
Speedy said:
FrankCastle said:
Great idea! Because we're just HEAVING with potential recruits from the UK... :roll:

Morons. :evil:
With a recession just around the corner I wouldn't be so sure. Perhaps they are preempting it?
So the choice is A)Live on benefits, at least until a new Tesco opens in you're street and you can get a job stacking shelves or B)Get shot at and possible lose limbs or, indeed, you're life in some Sandy sh1thole?

Somehow, I don't forsee a massive rush to the recruiting office... :roll:
 
#10
I am not sure why this is even an issue. The report cites shadowy 'senior officers' expressing unease at the numbers of foreigners in the british army and concerns about the 'britishness' of the british army.

What do they mean? Or is this just made up nonsense / or the idle gossip of people with too much time on their hands?

If there are communication issues, then simply raise entry standards for foreigners in the british army. Say they need GCSE/ 'O' Level english at grade C or above to join. Problem solved.
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Could well be that the "senior officer" is the equivalent of Flag Officer Car Parks (RN).

And cutting down the numbers of foreign recruits is a bad idea in my opinion. The army rugby team is one of the best amature teams worldwide thanks to having a number of Fijians available to be props. Those big scary buggers can be a front row by themselves.
 
#12
FrankCastle said:
Great idea! Because we're just HEAVING with potential recruits from the UK... :roll:

Morons. :evil:
Personally speaking, it pisses me off that we have to recruit so many foreign and commonwealth, but there isnt any other alternative seeing as it doesnt seem to be viewed as a first choice career option for great number of young brits.

I think its mint!! 8O :D
 
#13
LOOSE_HET said:
FrankCastle said:
Great idea! Because we're just HEAVING with potential recruits from the UK... :roll:

Morons. :evil:
Personally speaking, it pisses me off that we have to recruit so many foreign and commonwealth, but there isnt any other alternative seeing as it doesnt seem to be viewed as a first choice career option for great number of young brits.

I think its mint!! 8O :D
 
#16
I'm certain that the Herald, Mail and Express have all run this story over the last few years at various times. It's the type of story that is dusted down and run when all is quiet elsewhere!

We can't afford to lose our "foreign" soldiers!

I think we should set up our recruiting booths in Kent; if you can make it through the security at Dover etc, then you can join the Army, serve 5 years with an exemplary conduct sheet, and gain citizenship!

Litotes
 

Trans-sane

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Litotes said:
I'm certain that the Herald, Mail and Express have all run this story over the last few years at various times. It's the type of story that is dusted down and run when all is quiet elsewhere!

We can't afford to lose our "foreign" soldiers!

I think we should set up our recruiting booths in Kent; if you can make it through the security at Dover etc, then you can join the Army, serve 5 years with an exemplary conduct sheet, and gain citizenship!

Litotes
They will already be proficient at command tasks at least. Is there realy a problem with large numbers of Commonwealth citizens joining? In the days of empire we had entire divisions of Indian Sepoys (who were pretty damn good by any standards), Gurkhas by the battalion, the Kings German Legion at one point and in the RN probably hundreds of "foreign" born ratings, many of whom were escaped and rescued slaves.

Many of the commonwealth recruits seem to be the best and brightest, just lacking in top level education due to ecconomic hardship. Surely anybody that dedicated and motivated to improve their and their families lot is a gift for any military operating at a stretch?
 

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