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Armed Forces: Discharges

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel left (a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force because of (i) premature voluntary release, (ii) redundancy, (iii) retirement and (iv) other reasons in each year since 1997; and what percentage of each category were (A) single, (B) married without children, (C) married with children, (D) divorced without children and (E) divorced with children. (165793)

The following table shows outflow data from the UK Regular Armed Forces for each service by exit reason and marital status in each financial year from 1997-98.

Outflow figures broken down by marital status are not available for Army and RAF officers.

Figures relating to dependent children are only available for Army Other Ranks.

Due to the way marital status was recorded in personnel databases, Naval Service figures for married personnel do not include those married personnel not in receipt of a married person’s allowance, while single and divorced personnel cannot be shown separately.

Information relating to marital status is not held centrally for RAF after 1 March 2006, Naval Service after 1 October 2006, and for Army after 1 March 2007, following the phased implementation of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system.

The term Premature Voluntary Release (PVR) is now known as Voluntary Outflow (VO) although the methodology remains the same. Time Expiry includes all personnel completing their contracted period of service. Other wastage includes outflow due to medical reasons, for misconduct, dismissals and death, among others.

Outflow from UK Regular Forces by Service and Marital Status

Number and percentage

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Naval Service1

5,270

5,530

5,800

5,030

5,800

5,290

4,770

4,630

4,490

24,310

Officer

620

540

570

480

530

510

470

510

520

2500

Trained

500

450

500

410

450

390

380

420

430

2400

Voluntary Outflow

170

160

240

170

230

170

160

170

190

2210

Married (%)

75

81

76

77

80

70

70

71

74

n/a

Time Expiry

290

260

220

200

180

180

190

190

190

2160

Married (%)

79

81

79

84

81

88

84

82

85

n/a

Redundancy

2

Married (%)

n/a

Other wastage

40

30

50

40

40

50

30

60

50

240

Married (%)

53

61

65

70

73

61

48

65

70

n/a

Untrained

120

80

70

80

80

120

90

90

90

2100

Ranks

4,650

4,990

5,230

4,550

5,270

4,780

4,300

4,130

3,960

23,810

Trained

3,560

3,600

3,610

3,120

3,580

3,160

3,060

3,170

2,870

22,790

Voluntary Outflow

1,750

1,710

1,680

1,330

1,970

1,590

1,680

1,860

1,700

21,750

Married (%)

37

40

43

43

38

34

32

33

33

n/a

Time Expiry

1,190

1,170

1,110

1,000

880

880

740

580

420

2420

Married (%)

80

81

78

78

74

77

74

75

76

n/a

Redundancy

Married (%)

Other wastage

620

730

820

790

730

690

630

730

750

2620

Married (%)

42

38

36

31

33

29

24

28

24

n/a

Untrained

1,080

1,390

1,610

1,430

1,680

1,620

1,250

960

1,100

21,020

Army

14,470

17,050

16,200

15,230

14,380

14,560

14,600

15,070

14,190

215,780

Officer

1,040

1,310

1,120

1,150

1,090

980

950

1,100

1,070

21,330

Trained

960

1,050

890

900

900

800

780

900

980

21,110

Voluntary Outflow

460

510

440

530

540

440

500

530

590

n/a

Time Expiry

450

470

370

320

320

300

240

320

340

n/a

Redundancy

n/a

Other wastage

40

60

80

50

40

50

40

50

50

n/a

Untrained

80

260

220

260

190

180

170

200

90

2220

Ranks

13,430

15,740

15,090

14,080

13,290

13,580

13,640

13,970

13,120

214,440

Trained

9,250

9,710

9,110

9,180

9,090

8,870

8,790

9,840

9,520

29,820

Voluntary Outflow

5,740

5,950

5,310

5,310

4,980

4,610

4,500

4,880

4,620

n/a

Single (%)

51

50

54

55

59

60

61

61

62

n/a

Married without children

20

20

19

18

18

16

15

15

14

n/a

Married with children (%)

25

26

23

23

20

21

20

21

20

n/a

Divorced without children (%)

2

1

2

2

2

1

2

2

1

n/a

Divorced with children (%)

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

n/a

Time Expiry

1,560

1,720

1,770

1,730

1,690

1,810

1,570

1,840

2,290

n/a

Single (%)

11

13

8

8

6

6

5

6

6

n/a

Married without children (%)

9

10

9

9

8

8

10

10

9

n/a

Married with children (%)

74

69

75

73

78

77

74

75

74

n/a

Divorced without children (%)

2

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

n/a

Divorced with children (%)

4

5

5

7

7

7

8

7

8

n/a

Redundancy

n/a

Married without children

n/a

Divorced with children

n/a

Other wastage

1,940

2,050

2,030

2,130

2,410

2,460

2,720

3,110

2,610

n/a

Single (%)

61

66

68

74

78

76

81

81

79

n/a

Married without children (%)

13

11

11

9

7

9

7

7

8

n/a

Married with children (%)

24

21

19

15

13

14

11

10

12

n/a

Divorced without children (%)

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

n/a

Divorced with children (%)

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

n/a

Untrained

4,180

6,030

5,980

4,900

4,200

4,700

4,850

4,130

3,600

24,620

RAF

4,610

4,890

4,620

4,680

4,530

4,250

4,040

3,730

4,590

5,070

Officer

620

660

600

660

670

580

620

700

700

850

Trained

580

610

560

610

620

530

580

640

670

800

Voluntary Outflow

220

240

210

240

280

200

200

240

230

260

Time Expiry

340

330

310

340

310

310

330

360

350

370

Redundancy

40

110

Other wastage

30

30

40

30

30

20

40

40

50

60

Untrained

40

50

40

40

50

50

40

60

30

50

Ranks

3,990

4,230

4,020

4,020

3,860

3,670

3,410

3,020

3,890

4,220

Trained

3,540

3,590

3,380

3,380

3,290

3,090

2,880

2,630

3,670

3,930

Voluntary Outflow

1,560

1,740

1,760

1,690

1,740

1,530

1,440

1,490

1,840

1,640

Single

35

31

27

33

34

30

36

38

46

n/a

Married

61

64

68

62

62

65

59

57

50

n/a

Divorced

4

4

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

n/a

Time Expiry

1,630

1,590

1,320

1,400

1,290

1,180

820

640

870

890

Single (%)

24

23

27

19

18

15

15

13

16

n/a

Married (%)

71

71

74

74

75

78

79

78

75

n/a

Divorced (%)

5

6

6

8

7

7

6

9

9

n/a

Redundancy

490

1,060

Single (%)

4

n/a

Married (%)

88

n/a

Divorced (%)

8

n/a

Other wastage

350

260

300

300

260

380

620

490

470

360

Single (%)

30

34

40

41

41

72

62

65

59

n/a

Married (%)

66

60

57

53

55

25

33

33

38

n/a

Divorced (%)

5

6

4

6

3

3

5

2

2

n/a

Untrained

450

640

640

640

570

580

530

400

220

280

n/a = Unavailable

— = zero or rounded to zero.

1 Naval Service includes Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

2 Provisional.

Notes:

1. Due to the rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

2. Percentages are calculated from unrounded data.

3. Due to ongoing validation of data from the new Joint Personnel Administration system, Naval Service statistics for 1 October 2006 onwards and Army statistics for 1 March 2007 onwards are provisional and subject to review.