Armed Forces shock as half of UK troops on verge of marching into sunset

Just under half of the UK’s Armed Forces personnel are on the verge of quitting, a comprehensive staff survey has revealed.

The Ministry of Defence asked thousands of service personnel whether they agreed with the statement: ‘I regularly feel like leaving the forces for good.’

In the Army, 27% said they agreed with the statement – while a further 20% said they strongly agreed. Only one in 10 strongly disagreed.

The problem is not confined to ground forces, however. In the Royal Navy, 47% agreed or strongly agreed, in the RAF 44%. The Royal Marines were slightly more content, with only 37% wanting to leave..

More than 20,000 members of the Armed Forces were surveyed for the Continuous Attitude Survey last autumn. The results were released yesterday.

Stress levels on forces personnel and their families caused by ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are believed to be the root of the dissatisfaction.

But defence secretary Derek Twigg insisted the report was no cause for alarm.

He said: “These surveys offer a useful snapshot of attitudes. They help the Armed Forces target issues that concern our people and inform changes in policy and new initiatives.

“Since the survey was conducted we have already implemented a number of important changes such as the recent pay rise, an adjustment to the operational bonus, and the introduction of childcare vouchers. Over the next 10 years we will also be spending £8.4bn on accommodation – an area that is a high priority for our personnel.”

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