Ministry of Defence

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:07 pm on 26th February 2018.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Chair, Defence Sub-Committee 5:07 pm, 26th February 2018

My hon. Friend is right, and this is also making them so much easier to be bought off by companies who seek the expertise and qualifications they achieve in the military. They feel dissatisfaction when they see the forces they joined—particularly the Army—being hollowed out. That is leading many more to consider leaving.

I shall make one final comment. I have spoken to a young man who was working as a full-time reservist when I first met him. He has told me that a lot of his time as a full-time reservist was spent going out and trying to recruit. He said that one of the most frightening things was that so many of the youngsters he spoke to about joining the armed forces had no understanding of military life. They had no idea of what NATO stood for, for example. This is a wider problem that we as a country need to tackle. We need to get the message out about how invaluable our armed forces are and how critical it is that our young people should seek the life, the experience, the skills, the challenge and the satisfaction of a military career, whether as a reservist or full time.