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Armed Forces: Officers

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of levels of officer retention in the armed forces over the last 10 years. (236453)

Taking the armed forces as a whole, retention rates for officers are relatively stable and we have seen no sudden outflow of personnel in the last 10 years. There is real concern, however, that in some important areas exit rates are too high and appear to be increasing, if only slightly, year on year. These areas are continuously monitored closely and focused action taken to continue to improve recruitment and retention. The recent Command Paper set out over 40 measures aimed at addressing many of the disadvantages of service life while the Government’s response to the Report of Inquiry into National Recognition of our Armed Forces has now been presented to Parliament detailing how we have accepted the majority of recommendations. In addition, a wide range of measures are in place to improve retention including: career management, improvement to conditions of service and work/life balance, commitment bonuses and targeted financial retention initiatives.

Overall officer outflow and voluntary outflow rates from the armed forces are published by the Defence Analytical Services and Advice (DASA) organisation and can be found at their website: