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Armed Forces: Training

Volume 495: debated on Monday 6 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of army recruits passed through phase (a) 1 and (b) 2 training without taking the military swim test in the most recent period for which figures are available. (284520)

There is no requirement for entrants to the British Army to be able to swim but swimming training is compulsory for all regular army personnel. All British Army recruits are required to take the military swimming test during phase 1 or phase 2 training.

During financial year 2008-09, approximately 2,500 personnel, or 20 per cent. of those completing phase 2 training and entering the Field Army, did not pass the military swimming test.

Weak and non-swimmers have their personnel records annotated accordingly to identify when further swimming training is appropriate, and to ensure proper risk assessments can made during further training.