To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2014, UIN 208084, on Army Reserve, what the current size of the Regular Army Reserve of Officers (RARO) is; if he will encourage RARO to join the Army Reserve as part of the plans to increase the strength of the reserve; and if he will make a statement.
At 1 April 2014, there were 8,970 members of the Regular Army Reserve of Officers.
The Army encourages those who are eligible when leaving the Service to consider joining the Army Reserve. This includes an attachment or visit to a Reserve unit to provide awareness of the reserve opportunities in the area where they have chosen to live. Reserve service is also promoted at employment fairs for service leavers, Career Transition Workshops and as part of interviews by Regimental Careers Management Officers.
Following discharge from the Regular Army, both officers (Captain and below) and soldiers are actively encouraged to join the Army Reserve as part of the annual reporting letter which they receive on the anniversary of their discharge from the Army. This includes advice on the financial incentives available to individuals who may wish to join the Army Reserve including up to £10,000 for ex-regular officers and soldiers who undertake a full reservist commitment of a minimum of 27 days training per annum and the tax-free bounty available to those undertaking a reduced commitment of 19 days annual training.
Between 1 April 2013 and 30 June 2014, 265 ex-regular officers have joined the trained strength of the Army Reserve.