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Army: Officers

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 7 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the actual strength of Army officers of each rank is; and if he will make a statement on the position and retention of captains. (202970)

The Army officers’ strength as at 1 March 2008 is provided as follows:

Army Officers strength according to paid rank at 1 March 2008 1

Number

Major General to General

60

Brigadier

180

Colonel

580

Lieutenant Colonel

1,750

Major

4,710

Captain

4,690

Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant

1,710

1 All figures are provisional and are rounded in accordance with Defence Analytical Services and Advice conventions. Figures are for trained regular strengths only and therefore exclude Full Time Reserve Service, Gurkhas and Home Service Personnel of the Royal Irish Regiment.

Since 2004 there has been an increase in the number of Army Captains seeking Voluntary Outflow (VO) from service but the total number in service has actually increased, resulting in a reduction of the deficit against requirement.

The Army continues to monitor VO carefully, and is looking at a number of positive measures to improve retention and further reduce the deficit of captains. These include examination of the officer career management structure and conditions of service, and the commissioning of a greater number of officers both from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and from the non-commissioned ranks.