UK soldiers unhappy with lack of time off between tours of duty

Two out of three soldiers say they are not happy about the amount of time they have between tours of duty, the Army’s latest attitude survey shows.

More than half report that they are dissatisfied with the balance between operations and training and one out of four believe morale is low, the research found.

The results come days after the defence select committee concluded the UK’s armed services were suffering from critical shortages in specialist areas and were breaching guidelines on breaks between active duties.

Committee chairman, MP James Arbuthnot, said he was concerned that the Armed Forces were overstretched and that personnel were not getting enough time off between tours of duty.

“Short-term breaches [of time between tours to recuperate between actions] can be managed, but the Ministry of Defence must tackle the underlying causes as long-term overstretch will impact on operational effectiveness,” he said.

Lib Dem defence spokesman, Nick Harvey, said: “The impact of the war in Iraq is being felt throughout the forces: morale, retention and recruitment have all suffered.”

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