More military recruits complain of mistreatment in forces

The number of new armed forces recruits who felt they had been badly or unfairly treated has jumped by a third, official figures have revealed.

The latest Armed Forces Recruit Trainee Survey showed a rise in recruits who felt they had been badly or unfairly treated, up from 9% to 12%.

The survey, which uses data collected between October 2006 and November 2007, compiles views from thousands of new recruits on a range of topics from food and accommodation to recreational activities.

Armed forces minister Bob Ainsworth said: “We do not tolerate poor behaviour of any kind in the armed forces. We recognise it has a negative impact on both individuals and teams.

“We are constantly improving our processes, for example, at the beginning of this year we made a number of changes to the service complaints procedure, including the introduction of an independent service complaints commissioner.”

Air Commodore Tim Winstanley, director of training and education at the Ministry of Defence, added: “The armed forces are training their people for service in the some of the harshest and most dangerous environments. This requires an appropriate degree of toughness in the training process.”

The survey did show that 89% of armed forces recruits would recommend joining up to their friends and families, and 88% felt they personally benefited from the training.

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