squaddies with a disability



what do you guys think of a way to relieve staff shortages in the army , by employing disabled ex-servicemen and possibly some able bodied disabled persons off civvie street like those who are hearing aid users but can speak/hear quite well , to do some logistics work , office and other minor military roles within the army.......... of course for practical reasons they cannot serve in the battle zone.

what do you guys think ?



minor roles , admin, mechanics, warehouse, medics, driving lorries,software engineers and other general non combat duties i would imagine
I think this was discussed over 10 years ago within the three services.  The problem is or was, that to covert each and every barracks/building/room to be accessible for disabled persons would cost millions.  Don't know the outcome, but I never saw anything implemented in my time.  Excellent idea to keep a service person on, even if they have been disabled, whether on or off duty.  Would certainly free up more able bodied persons.


theory is good, but then what is "disabled"? it could be that someone who fails the BFT is classed as "disabled".

I think it would cause too many problems, when you have a set standard of physical fitness and some are not capable of attaining it then getting promoted etc, too much hard work for redresses to be actioned!! unless all "disabled" people will only stay as a private?

Just my thoughts
Employing soldiers with any form of physical impairment is impractical and potentially dangerous to the individual.

Although not directly "combative", all soldiers in CSS roles need to be deployable to support the teeth arms. That requires that they are able to function as an infantry soldier should they have to do so. If a Trog gets bumped on an MSR, he/she will have to fight through to secure their escape or continue the mission. They would also have to be able to meet the NBC training requirements in the instance of attack.

All support elements that do not require deployable resources have already been contracted out. As for retired personnel, they have the option of enlisting with the Armed Forces Guard Service, a non-deployable, armed and "military" guard force that is part of the AGC establishment. Slight impairments such as those mentioned may not necessarily exclude enlistment in the AFGS, but there is a requirement that candidates have served at least 3 years in the regular or 5 years in the TA and been honourably discharged.


mmm food for thought , just my 10 pence worth , i wanted to simulate a debate on this subject as it did come up a few times when i have been talking to some disabled individuals..........


War Hero
A good question.

The Army has a manning level to which it is funded. I do not think many would object if an additional funding line and career path was provided to cater for disabled servicemen/women or civilians employed in appropriate jobs according to their disability.

The crux is that disabled manning figures would not count against our overall manning levels, and therefore would not affect our military capability.

Interesting to note that all new barrack accommodation including messes by law have to have lifts, disabled access and special loos. So the infra structure is there already !
I've been away for a bit, but I have a strange feeling of Deja vu here.  Has this thread not kicked off some months ago.

There used to be a serving soldier in the Kremlin with a brain the size of the planet.  His analytical work was of the highest order, ( and desparately needed).

When he left the Army he went on to do political science at Exeter.  Having been involved in countering Marxist insurgency, he "ran " circles around his tutors.

The disabled chief clerk in another SF unit, would beat any contemparary document management system, hands down.  Better to have a guy who has taken incoming supporting the guy's in the field, than some shiney, who has never left the Abbey wood, Salisbury Andover triangle.

My own capbadge employed a diabetic WO for years, who was, and now a civvy, still is one of the best ISTAR systems analysts around.

In my view, disabled individuals with specialist or operational experience certainly have a vital part to play in todays hard pressed, over streched Army.

Much respect  to the CO's and APC desk officers who are prepared to go the extra mile to allow thses folks to continue to give sterling service to their units.


I seem to recall a few years ago that a one legged soldier enlisted into the RAMC (lost the leg as a child I believe).  Can't recall the exact details but I do remember he had a specially made leg and could run a BFT in about 9 mins!

Was this just a PR exercise at the time do you think or will the Army actively recruit "disabled" personnel if the disability doesn't impair operational effectiveness?
Depending on your definition of 'disabled', we already have many non-FE soldiers and officers.

How many serving regulars do you know who are 'permanently downgraded'? The military is actually pretty good at keeping serving individuals who become non-deployable (I know a former gunner CO who lost his leg several years ago, and has been retained in non-deployable staff jobs).

What would be more controversial is actively recruiting non-deployable individuals in the first place. It sounds like the sort of idea that sounds splendid to a country that has grown used to long periods of peace, punctuated by peacekeeping ops and a ten yearly major war that lasts for only a few weeks and can be taken care of with a one shot deployment, with no roulement. Whether it makes sense looking coldly and objectively at just what sort of an organisation the military is, and what function it is supposed to fulfill, is another matter.

As an aside: as you might expect I take umbrage at the suggestion by Vespa that 'medics', among others, play a minor role...!  ;)


War Hero
I know of one man in particular who had his foot blown off...we joined up together and others who after the down south life firing exercise who were retained after disabilities

that was RM and I knew it broke regs.......but some how they turned a blind eye god bless em

That RAMC soldier mentioned earlier transferred to the AGC.

it is true that he ran a BFT in just over 9mins. The only thing he ever had trouble with was the CFT.

I had the pleasure of working with him in london a few years back, He worked in MOD main bldg, good lad, but a bloody fitness freak ::).

He is now a SGT...........


As an aside: as you might expect I take umbrage at the suggestion by Vespa that 'medics', among others, play a minor role...!  ;)

perhaps the word i should have used is non-deployable roles


Doesn't ATR churn out enough spackers without having to recruit from those unfortunate to have a genuine disability? :-/



Trust a Royal Engineer to reply with something so insensitive.

Laughed so much, I think I've just followed through ;D ;D ;D


There have been a couple of riggers at the Red Devils freefall team who have been short of a leg. Did their job brilliantly and were every bit as good at it as anyone with both pegs.

Anyway, anything's better than some civil servant :-/

Latest Threads