Today, 4,450 Army personnel, of whom 3,740 (84%) are applicants, are due to be notified of their selection for redundancy. Personnel selected for redundancy will be told face-to-face by their commanding officer, or by telephone.
These redundancies are not new. The Strategic Defence and Security Review announced a reduction of 17,000 posts in the Regular Armed Forces (5,000 each from the Navy and RAF, and 7,000 from the Army). A further reduction of 12,000 to the Army was announced in 2011.
The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said:
Today we have announced the third tranche of redundancies as we restructure the British Army to the size and configuration set out under the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
It is with great regret that we have had to make redundancies to deliver the reduction in the size of the Armed Forces, but unfortunately they were unavoidable due to the size of the defence deficit that this government inherited.
Although smaller, our Armed Forces will be more flexible and agile to reflect the challenges of the future with the protection and equipment they need. They will continue to be the bedrock of our society and provide extremely rewarding and exciting careers for future recruits.
Personnel who are preparing for or are on combat operations, or are recovering from a combat operation, were not considered for redundancy in Tranche 3 unless they applied. So those formally warned for deployment to Afghanistan in Autumn 2013 were exempt from Tranche 3 unless they applied.
Personnel who are currently deployed on combat operations were only eligible for redundancy as applicants.
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, said:
This redundancy scheme is a difficult but essential step towards our Army 2020 structure. We owe our sincere gratitude to those leaving the Army for their service over such a demanding period of operations.
We will support them and their families as best we can on their path to civilian life. Meanwhile we continue to need plenty of young and talented recruits to ensure the Army is fit to meet the challenges of the future.
Applicants will serve up to 6 months’ notice before leaving the Armed Forces while non-applicants will serve up to 12 months’ notice.
Every year around 24,000 personnel leave the Armed Forces. The Army and MOD know the transition into civilian life can be daunting which is why there is a robust resettlement programme which is used by the vast majority of personnel.
Around 85% of Service leavers are employed within 6 months of leaving the Armed Forces. This is particularly notable when compared to an employment rate of 70% in the general UK population.
The Army will need to make further reductions to reach its final strength target of 82,000. It is likely that this will require a further tranche for Army personnel and a small number of medical and dental personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
Those selected for redundancy will be encouraged to apply for a transfer to other areas of the Army, and the other Services, if they meet the selection criteria, where a manning shortfall is forecast in the future. All Service leavers, not just redundees, are being encouraged to consider a part-time military career in the Reserves.