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16 Aug, 2019 14:12

UK military strength down for 9th straight year, is MoD’s ‘millennials’ recruitment drive failing?

UK military strength down for 9th straight year, is MoD’s ‘millennials’ recruitment drive failing?

Britain’s military strength has declined for the ninth consecutive year despite calls from officials for increased defense activity in the Gulf and Arctic and a recruitment strategy targeting ‘millennials’ over the past 12 months.

The British Army, Royal Navy and RAF have all seen dwindling numbers in their fully-trained personnel, with the army suffering the biggest losses, according to figures released by the Ministry of Defence.

In July, there were 74,440 army personnel, down 2,440 on the previous year’s total and 7,000 troops short of the UK government’s target.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines numbers dropped to 29,090 of the required 30,600, despite rhetoric from British defense officials, past and present, signalling an increased military presence in hostile areas.

In September 2018, former defense secretary Gavin Williamson announced that the MoD would “enhance” its focus on the Arctic to deal with the “threats” posed by Russia. While in July of this year Britain sent one solitary ship to the Persian Gulf to maintain its “commitment to promoting peace and stability,” in the region in a response to the Iran oil tanker crisis.

Britain had a globe-spanning empire and the largest navy in the world a century ago, but today’s Royal Navy is down to just 13 frigates and six destroyers, not all of which are fully operational. Its flagship, aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, won’t have an air wing for several years.

Also on rt.com UK calls for EU-led armada in Persian Gulf over tanker tensions with Iran

If the downward spiral continues, it ostensibly calls into question the effectiveness of the MoD’s recruitment drive to hire millennials who are “snowflakes” and “selfie addicts” who were the target of a promotional advertising campaign launched in January.

The campaign, which came in for heavy criticism was the MoD’s attempt to attract young people to join the UK forces by claiming the army is looking for special skills such as those obsessed with their phones and passion for video games.

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