In the UK Army’s fourth and final round of redundancies as part of their defence cuts announced in 2010, around 1,400 soldiers are set to lose their jobs. Any soldiers currently serving or about to serve in Afghanistan will be exempt from the cuts.
The Army is cutting the number of regulars from 102,000 in 2010 to 82,000 by 2017, with further plans to cut the Royal Navy from 35,500 regulars in 2010 to 30,000 in 2020 and the RAF from 40,130 regulars in 2010 to 35,000 in 2020. Once this final round of cuts has been made, the Army will be able to focus on recruiting for the future, but this has proved a challenge in itself as a £3million campaign to boost regular and reserve forces has been launched. As the number of regular forces decreases, the aim is to increase the number of reservists from 19,000 to 30,000, but this target has yet to be met.
Falklands veteran Simon Weston says he would never have joined the army as it currently stands, arguing that “the way the guys were given their redundancies on the front line last year, that’s some thank you for the job you have taken on, dedicated your life to, risked your life for, as many have done”.
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