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Latest UK Armed Forces Manning Figures Released

Ministry Of Defence (UK)

Latest UK Armed Forces manning figures released

Today's publication of the Ministry of Defence's latest Armed Forces manning figures shows that the UK Armed Forces are currently at 97.0 per cent of their full time trained strength requirement.

As at 1 April 2008, the full time trained strength of the UK Armed Forces was 173,960 against a target of 179,270. This comprises 168,620 UK regular forces, 1,750 full time reserve service personnel and 3,590 Gurkhas. There were also 18,440 untrained UK regulars and 270 untraianed Gurkhas.

There has been an 8.3 per cent increase (1,600 people) in the number of new recruits who have joined the Armed Forces in the 12 months to 31 March 2008, compared to the previous year. There has been an increase (830 people) in the number of recruits who have joined the trained strength of the Armed Forces compared with the same period last year.

Overall, the number of people leaving the trained strength of the Armed Forces in the 12 months to 31 March 2008 has decreased by 1.3 per cent compared with the 12 months to 31 March 2007.

Defence Minister Baroness Ann Taylor said:

"It is encouraging to see from the latest statistics that the number of people leaving the Armed Forces has fallen whilst recruitment has risen. Furthermore, an increasing number of people are completing their training and joining the trained strength of the Armed Forces. We are recruiting and retaining more and more highly valued and skilled people.

"We continually monitor the Armed Forces manpower situation so we can look at trends and take action where necessary.

"Recent initiatives include pay rises, increased operational allowances, the introduction of increased commitment bonuses of up to £15,000 to reward longer service, and a new £20million pilot scheme to offer more affordable home ownership."

Since 1 April 2007, the proportion of females in the UK regular forces has risen 0.3 percentage points to 11.9 per cent for officers and 0.1 percentage point to 8.9 per cent for other ranks.

The percentage of UK regular forces from ethnic minority backgrounds continues to rise; at 1 April 2008 ethnic minorities accounted for 6.1 per cent of UK Regular Forces compared to 5.8 per cent at the same point last year.


1. Due to the introduction of JPA, Naval Service and RAF strength statistics from the 1st May 2007 and Army strength statistics from the 1st April 2007 are provisional and subject to revision while data validation continues.

2. Similarly all Naval Service flow statistics are provisional from period ending 31 October 2006; all Army flow statistics are provisional from period ending 31 March 2007; and all RAF flow statistics are provisional from period ending 30 April 2007.

3. April 07 was the first ever tri-service pay run for HM Armed Forces, resulting in a 99.2% accuracy rate and figures for both May and June 07 have achieved over 99.5% accuracy. JPA is a major business change programme (similar to the People Programme for civilians) and one of the most complex ever to be undertaken in either the private or public sector. The supporting computer software application is one of the largest Oracle HR implementations worldwide, that makes the fullest use of the functionality of the software, and is the largest single payroll. The system contains around 350,000 records (nearly 1 million if pensioners are included) and supports 300,000 users worldwide from the regular and reserve forces. Nowhere has a more complex dataset - around 24 million lines of data - been so successfully migrated.

4. JPA is accessible from anywhere in the world and allows individuals to update on-line certain pieces of personal information, such as bank details and their home address. JPA also allows individuals to access their pay statements, apply for leave, submit travel, allowances and expense claims and undertake other basic personnel tasks.

5. The Service Personnel Plan 2006 provides a structure for the prioritisation and delivery of Service personnel policy over the next 15 years. It reflects the challenges and opportunities that the operational environment, demographic changes and the changing expectations of personnel and their families present to our aim of delivering sufficient, capable and motivated Armed Forces personnel. Under the auspices of the Service Personnel Plan, work is underway to ensure the effective delivery of remuneration to meet the need to recruit, retain and motivate sufficient, capable individuals to meet manning requirements.

6. The total Armed Forces manning requirement has decreased due to previously announced restructuring across the Services. This restructuring is designed to improve capability and flexibility in order to meet the demands of current and future operations.

7. All figures and percentages exclude the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and Reservists mobilised for service.

8. The quarterly statistics (TSP4) are available on the DASA website

9. For further information, please visit the MoD website at

Client ref 095/2008
COI ref 161396P


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