Army recruitment soars during recession

The recession has inspired more young people to join the armed forces, according to a senior recruitment officer.

The Guardian has reported that military chiefs suspect that ongoing joblessness and a renewed sense of patriotism have encouraged young people to join the Army.

Ministry of Defence figures show that the number of recruits has risen by a quarter this year.

In the three months to July 3,840 recruits signed up, compared with 2,810 during the same period in 2008.

Colonel Jonathan Calder-Smith, who helps to run the army unit responsible for recruitment, said: “We are able to select the better candidates rather than previously when we were required, through necessity, to load anyone into training who passed the mandatory aptitude and physical tests.”

The recession has had a big impact on the numbers coming forward, said Calder-Smith.”We are happy to see an increase in candidates as long as they have the ability and skills to make it through the training and succeed in the army.”

Earlier this year the Army launched its first online recruitment drive with its ‘Start Thinking Soldier’ campaign. It also opened three “showrooms” where potential recruits can drive a virtual tank or take part in pretend battles.

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