Military chief shocked at army cuts
Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall has spoken of the "shock" he felt at the moment he learned that the army was to be reduced in size.
Gen Wall said David Cameron told him about the changes - which will see the army cut from 102,000 to 82,000 personnel - last July.
He warned of a "welter of unhappiness" as up to 10% of personnel are made compulsorily redundant.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Gen Wall said: "It was very stressful at first, it came as a shock.
"It is not straightforward to do something like this when you are in the middle of an overseas campaign."
Thursday's announcement that the army is to lose 17 major units, including five infantry battalions, was met with anger by many but Gen Wall insisted that there was no truth in rumours that generals were quitting over it.
He said: "I'm confident that I've got the senior leadership of the army down to divisional and brigade level behind me on this. We've certainly given everyone the opportunity to protest."
But he added: "If you had said to me when I took over as head of the army two years ago that this was the situation I was going to have to deal with, I'd have said 'Crikey that's going to be a bit challenging'."
Gen Wall said that following the Afghanistan conflict, it was unlikely the UK would undertake a similar campaign soon and so the army would be concentrating on other tasks such as training foreign armies to better manage their national security and helping support civil authorities in times of emergency.
He told the paper: "We are creating an adaptable force with a broader repertoire of tasks."