Army

Defence written question – answered on 12th June 2014.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers who enlisted in the Army aged (a) under 18 and (b) 18 years and above dropped out before completing phase two training in the last 10 financial years.

Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

‘Enlistment’ has been interpreted as those who joined the untrained strength, for example those that begin Phase 1 training. Totals for the period between 1 April 2004 and 31 March 2014 are shown as follows:

  Untrained Strength
Age on Entry Intake Outflow
Under 18 35,190 12,300
18 and over 64,950 17,250
Unknown 430 430
Total 100,570 29,980
Source: Defence Statistics (Army)

Personnel may leave the army for a number of reasons, including medical and fitness factors, disciplinary reasons, or voluntary withdrawal. Those who join-up under 18 years of age have a statutory right to discharge from the armed forces within six months if they feel they are unsuited to service life.

The figures in the table exclude Gurkhas, Full Time Reserve Service, Mobilised Reserves, Army Reserve and all other Reserves.

Where an individual’s entry date is blank on the records, the age on entry has not been able to be calculated and is shown as ‘unknown’.

Figures have been rounded to 10; numbers ending in ‘5’ have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias. Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and so may not be the sum of their parts.

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