Number of new Army recruits increases by 9.2% in 2005

The number of people joining the Army last year rose by 9.2%, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

A total of 11,460 people enlisted as soldiers last year, an increase of 1,060 on the previous financial year.

Army recruiters have attributed the rise in part to a high-profile advertising campaign, which centered particularly on boosting infantry numbers.

However, an MoD spokesman confirmed that the Army still missed its target of recruiting 12,626 soldiers last year by more than 1,000 people. And, despite the recruitment campaign, the infantry still missed its target of enlisting 2,835 soldiers by 175.

The Army has also moved to quash rumours that it will have to cut training and consequently put the lives of soldiers at risk.

A confidential document, leaked to the Sunday Telegraph<I>, details plans by defence chiefs to instigate “high impact” cost-cutting measures that would result in “severe impediment to the delivery of operational capability”. This includes training exercises to prepare soldiers to fight anywhere in the world.

The document prompted reports of top brass complaining the lives of soldiers would be put at risk by the cuts.

An Army spokesman told Personnel Today<I>that training was not being cancelled, but postponed until next year.

“Some training will be affected but it’s not being cancelled – this is a reprioritisation exercise,” he said. “This will not put lives at risk.”

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