John Baron MP slams latest Army Reserve recruitment figures

November 13, 2014
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MP says Government plans have created capability gaps and false economies

Today the MoD released the latest UK Armed Forces Quarterly Personnel Report, which confirms that recruitment into the Army Reserve is actually going backwards. In the period from 1st April 2013 to 1st October 2014 the Army Reserve lost 70 soldiers, and in the three months to 1st October only 20 new Reservists were recruited – fewer than seven per month. In order to achieve its plans, around 11,000 Reservists will need to sign up by 2019/20.

John Baron MP has consistently criticised the Government’s Army reforms, believing the decision to replace 20,000 Regulars with 30,000 Reservists is unviable and will not prove cost-effective, and has led to the loss of otherwise well-recruited and historic units such as 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. On 20th November 2013, John tabled an amendment to the Defence Reform Bill, calling for a reappraisal of the plan. Though supported by Labour, Nationalists and some Conservatives, the amendment was defeated by the Government.

John said,

“These latest figures confirm that plans to replace 20,000 Regulars with 30,000 Reservists are a shambles. Government attempts to get our defence on the cheap are on the ropes.”

“The regulars have gone, yet the Trained Strength of the Army Reserve has actually decreased since April 2013, despite media recruitment campaigns. This not only creates severe capability gaps, but also false economies as the MoD throws more money at the problem.”

“The Government should now ditch this disastrous plan before more money is wasted. It is easier to recruit Regulars than Reservists, and the British Army should be taken back up to 100,000 Regulars. Recent international events should remind us of the need for strong defence.”

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