Review 'will please reservists'
Reservists should make up a far greater proportion of the UK's military capability, a Government-commissioned review is expected to recommend to Prime Minister David Cameron later this month.
A report by the deputy head of the armed forces General Sir Nick Houghton will caution against dramatic cuts in Territorial Army numbers or in their Royal Navy and RAF equivalents as part of efforts to slash defence budgets, The Times said.
Their future was placed under scrutiny at the time of last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in which Defence Secretary Liam Fox announced that warships, fast jet fighters and thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen would face the axe.
Reservists were spared any immediate reductions despite reports during the protracted negotiations over where the cuts should fall that their numbers could be slashed by as many as a third.
Instead a review of their future role and structure was ordered from the vice-chief of the defence staff - aided by Tory MP and long-time TA officer Julian Brazier and retired Lieutenant-General Sir Graeme Lamb.
Mr Brazier said there would be no backing for "overnight slashing" of personnel and that he believed the report's conclusions would please reservists - though he pointed out that the final decision lay with Mr Cameron.
"At the end of this process we want to end up with a much better relationship between the regular and reserve forces and with the reservists feeling that they are better appreciated," he told the newspaper.
"I do not think you are going to see the overnight slashing of training and personnel numbers that you have seen in the past. The size and scale of the reserves will depend upon where the Prime Minister decides to set the balance. I think what we will be announcing will please reservists."
The UK has a far lower proportion of reservist to regular soldiers than major allies - presently around 15 to every 85 full-timers compared with a 50:50 split in the United States and 40:60 in Australia.
Critics fear though that rebalancing that mix will be achieved through further reducing the size of the full-time Army beyond the 7,000 losses already announced in the SDSR - due to see manning levels drop to 95,000 by 2015.