SAS facing recruitment crisis

#1
SAS facing recruitment crisis
Applications to join the SAS have fallen by more than a third, according to reports.


By Ian Johnston
Published: 10:32AM BST 14 Jun 2009

About 150 soldiers a year usually seek to join the elite regiment, but this year that number fell to 93 with only eight making it through the selection process.

A source told the Sunday Mirror that during times of relative peace, joining the SAS is seen as an attractive proposition by soldiers who are eager to see some action.But as ordinary regiments are now experiencing more fighting in Afghanistan, there is little need to do so, creating manpower problems for the SAS which have been exacerbated by a high casualty rate.

The source said: "Before, when the regular Army rarely saw any real fighting, everyone wanted to join the SAS.

"It meant you would get to do what you joined up to do: fight. Now you get that in any front line infantry regiment.

"The fall in people coming forward for selections is putting the [SAS] regiment under increasing strain.

"If you have a dramatic drop-off of people, it will inevitably lead to problems.

"If you add that to the high casualty rate the SAS suffered in Baghdad during the surge, then you are looking at a recruitment crisis.

"Senior officers are now desperately trying to persuade more and more people to remain in the SAS. One possibility is to offer a cash incentive."

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said it did not comment on "anything to do with Special Forces".
Telegraph link



I can't vouch for it, make of this what you will gents.
 
#2
I'm always dubious about media reports on the SAS.

Look like the gutter press filling their columns again.
 
#3
The numbers are way out, but I'd not be surprised to find there's some truth behind it. There was a time when joining UKSF was the only way to guarantee you'd see some "action", but that's well and truly over now.
 
#6
Don't get me wrong I always wanted to go that way (although chances are that I would not pass selection but I would give it a good go) but the job has fundamentally changed and put me off.

Some people have quite a romantic notion of what the SF do. It is a bloody hard job that would probably take its toll of any man.
 
#7
milkmclane said:
but how long before uksf is the only way to see real fighting? my guess is 3 years!
Not sure I follow? With our Afghan commitment, anyone joining the Infantry is likely to wind up on the front line.
 
#8
Yeah of course, like they always have.... :roll:
 
#9
Ord_Sgt said:
Yeah of course, like they always have.... :roll:
Exactly. You only have to do the maths; two Selections every year. If there is an average of 300 people in total attempting Selection, perhaps 30 will be Badged, or even less.

Balanced against this is SAS soldiers retiring, being injured, RTU'd or KIA. It does'nt take Brianiac to figure out that Them are always going to be under-staffed. :roll:
 
#10
what with the state of the economy, and conservatives likely to be in power soon, i dont think we will be in afghanistan for much longer. the army has already been switched from direct combat to training the ANA, in my view that decision was just the beginning of many that will lead to a pull out, similar to what happened in basra.
 
#11
dingerr said:
I'm always dubious about media reports on the SAS.

Look like the gutter press filling their columns again.
I completely agree. The regiment will be doing fine, this is most likely a small leaked gossip that's been escalated to paper column news simply because it involves those 3 magic letters that have people "oooing and aahhing".
 
#12
Obviously I don't think the death toll of the sas in 2008-2009 is easily availible so im not going to use figures, but if 8 people got through then is that all bad,

I mean if only 8 people got exepted into the infantry this year the fair enough but the sas isn't exactly the main fighting force of the british army.

If it affects opsec in any way then don't answer but how big, numbers wise, is the sas. wiki p says 3 regements but thats kinda vaige, but then agen it's openly edited.

I think its a good sign that the numbers were low because if 93/93 got through then i'd think it was a bit sad that standards were sliping a bit.

I have a confession, i had to look up mcfly on wiki p to find out how to spell obviously.

I have anouther confession, I know mcfly sung a song called Obviously
 
#13
GhillieTheKid said:
Obviously I don't think the death toll of the sas in 2008-2009 is easily availible so im not going to use figures, but if 8 people got through then is that all bad,

I mean if only 8 people got exepted into the infantry this year the fair enough but the sas isn't exactly the main fighting force of the british army.

If it affects opsec in any way then don't answer but how big, numbers wise, is the sas. wiki p says 3 regements but thats kinda vaige, but then agen it's openly edited.

I think its a good sign that the numbers were low because if 93/93 got through then i'd think it was a bit sad that standards were sliping a bit.

I have a confession, i had to look up mcfly on wiki p to find out how to spell obviously.

I have anouther confession, I know mcfly sung a song called Obviously
I read somewhere that the total Badged strength was approx. 400 all ranks, not counting 21/23. But that could very well be a load of b0llocks. :roll:
 
#15
BevisRory said:
I've a solution, make selection easier!
Obviously your trying to push someones buttons there Bevis.

Dropping quality lines is always a dangerous game. Maybe they could have pre-SAS beat up. I would love to see the kind of characters who tipped up for that.
 
#17
BevisRory said:
I've a solution, make selection easier!
Lowering standards is never the answer - except for school teachers !!

If current numbers are a problem they maybe less commitments would see them through - like leaving the Politicians to protect themselves!!

I don't know about exact numbers either but I thought 22 Regiment had 4 squadrons of 4 troops (16 per troop), so with HQ and others I guess about 300. Don't know about the TA Regiments - but I assume their recruiting figures were not part of the 'news' item.
 
#18
JJ_Wrinkly_Old_Git said:
BevisRory said:
I've a solution, make selection easier!
Lowering standards is never the answer - except for school teachers !!

If current numbers are a problem they maybe less commitments would see them through - like leaving the Politicians to protect themselves!!

I don't know about exact numbers either but I thought 22 Regiment had 4 squadrons of 4 troops (16 per troop), so with HQ and others I guess about 300. Don't know about the TA Regiments - but I assume their recruiting figures were not part of the 'news' item.
Bevis, don't get greedy - you've got two on the hook, now start reeling them in! :D

I was under the impression that politicians were protected by the Met, not Them.

There was a Thread on here a few weeks back about an announcment by some Minister who said the UKSF would be expanded. Have'nt read or heard anything else though. And the minister did not make it clear if it would be the SAS/SBS who were expanding or support elements like SFSG and 18 Sigs...
 
#20
Ok, maybe talking out of my arrse as I have never even been a remote candidate for SF selection but.....

if people are coming in numbers (and 150 is a fair number) but only 8 or 9 are passing can training be put into place to get more through selection. The SAS seems largeley self selecting and persumably a fair number of people rule themselves out without even getting the train to Hereford. If there was a course designed to produce a competent candidate (rather than a beat up style extra filter) you may get more.

Also could you widen the selection pool by allowing candidates from commonwealth countries ....or even (shock horror) the police?

Trotsky

edited for word blindness
 

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