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Sharp rise in military personnel wanting to quit armed forces

By Jack Hardy

Published 23/05/2015

Nato forces have stepped up their exercises in the Baltics and other Eastern European nations
Nato forces have stepped up their exercises in the Baltics and other Eastern European nations

A quarter of British military personnel want to quit the armed forces, a survey by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has found.

Those who plan to leave or have put in their notice increased by 9% since 2011, with the number planning to stay in the job long-term also down.

In total, 25% of personnel across the Navy, Army, Marines and RAF said they planned to leave before the end of their "current engagement or commission, or as soon as they can, or have put in notice to leave". The figure was 16% in the 2011 survey.

Those planning to stay in the service for as long as they can has fallen 7% since 2011 to 34%.

The number of personnel who expressed dissatisfaction with service life is borne out in the figures, which were released as part of the armed forces' annual attitude survey. The figure has risen 5% since last year to 32%.

The findings come as the armed forces prepare for £35bn of budget cuts in the next decade and the loss of up to 30,000 troops, according to research by The Royal United Services Institute.

The attitudes survey also indicated only 5% of respondents had actually handed in their notice and the MoD said the "total outflow of personnel" had been falling. Morale among officers has also risen, but less than half still rated their morale as "high" - with 45% saying so, compared to 41% in 2014.

The 2015 Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey was responded to by 11,877 personnel between October 2014 and February 2015.

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