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Army Reserve: Recruitment and Retention

Volume 709: debated on Monday 21 February 2022

18. What steps his Department is taking to improve (a) recruitment and (b) retention in the officer corps of the Army Reserve. (905602)

The new Army Reserve under the future soldier programme will improve recruitment and retention across the whole reserve force. We are doing that by improving the offer and giving young officers and reserve soldiers the opportunity to train and deploy with regulars, globally and nationally.

Does my hon. Friend accept that reserve officers join in order to have opportunities to deploy and train, commanding in formed units? Why does the future soldier narrative prioritise individual augmentation over deploying formed bodies for overseas roles short of all-out war?

I agree with my hon. Friend that reserve officers seek to deploy in formed units, and we are in agreement with that. That is why it is in black and white in the future soldier programme. We should not deny the opportunity for individuals, whether they are officers or enlisted people, to deploy on operations or training to gain valuable experience.