From MOD Oracle website and courtesy of the Guardian. "The army has nearly 200 more senior officers, including up to triple the number of generals, than the official requirement, figures released today show. The surplus of top brass has emerged as the army is having to cut manning costs because of a severe budgetary crisis facing the armed forces. Figures obtained by Paul Keetch, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, show that there were six full generals in the army this year while the official requirement is just two. There are 43 major generals while the requirement is for only 27. The number of lieutenant generals, brigadiers, colonels, and lieutenant colonels are also over the official strength. Mr Keetch said last night: "When many soldiers are feeling the pressure of manning cuts in the army, it looks pretty unfair that there are so many surplus officers. If the MoD is planning on cutting personnel numbers, it should not ignore the top of the tree as well". The extra senior officers appear to be partly explained by the fact that some army units are "brigades" in name only while others are merely administrative conveniences for handling "scattered tasks", the Liberal Democrats say. The MoD said yesterday there was no such thing as "surplus senior officers". They were created only if they had jobs to do, a spokesman said. He added that the army had worldwide commitments and British staff officers were reckoned to be the best in the world. They were "in high demand". Meanwhile, a leaked memo seen by Mr Keetch says the army expects to save £10m by the end of this month by cutting manning costs. The memo, from the army's chief accountant, suggests there should be cuts in full-time reserves and in the use of bounties for soldiers who rejoin the army. The memo suggests there is a high level of soldiers "classified sick" after serving in Iraq. It also refers to an unplanned "overspend" as a result of the army starting to acquire a new communications system called Bowman which has been delayed for many years. It proposes switching expenditure on such items as ammunition from one part of the defence budget to another. The MoD is facing a £1bn shortfall in running costs, partly the result of a new resource accounting system forced on the ministry by the Treasury. The Treasury says the MoD should include the value of its assets in its budget and that the ministry undervalued them." This must take the biscuit and be really comforting to those juniors who are being 'requested' to leave against their wishes to save on the wage and pension bill. Well done Mr Keetch for getting this into the public eye and keeping it there. I may not agree with all his policies but highlighting this is one I do agree with.