Advertisement: open in new window
Morale across the armed forces has dropped significantly in the past two years, according to new figures.
Half of the UK’s military personnel believe that morale is “low” in their service, up from a third two years ago, an employee survey for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has found.
Only 6 per cent of officers and 16 per cent of troops felt that engagement was “high,” representing a fall from 22 per cent and 25 per cent respectively in 2010.
The figures come as the country’s armed forces face a wave of redundancies, which include a headcount reduction of 20,000 in the Army. The government is aiming to cut 8 per cent from the defence budget, following the strategic defence and security review in 2010.
The latest annual ‘survey of attitudes’ found that across the different services, the greatest number of personnel reporting low morale was in the RAF, at 59 per cent. This was up from 49 per cent in 2011, but a slight decrease from the 62 per cent recorded in 2011.
In the Army, 63 per cent of officers rated morale as low, compared to 43 per cent of other ranks. In the Royal Navy, only 5 per cent of officers and 8 per cent of troops said that morale was high.
Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy claimed that the figures were a “terrible reflection” of the government's defence policy.
“A botched review and cuts to vital support have made our forces feel under-valued and over-stretched,” he explained.
“Cutting the Army by 20,000 while we have so many of our forces serving in Afghanistan is a real blow,” said Murphy, adding that such difficult choices should be made “with respect not recklessness”.
However, the MoD said that “tough decisions” had to be taken regarding the defence budget and the size of the country’s military.
“Any change like this is bound to create uncertainty, but the resilience of our personnel should not be underestimated,” insisted defence minister Peter Luff.
“We are nearing the end of a very difficult period in defence and hope to see morale slowly recovering over the next couple of years. Our armed forces remain focused on doing their job, whether it is in Afghanistan or at home in the UK for the Olympics.”
There is an old saying, That in peacetime we train for War.... The Strong shall Live and the Weak will Die....Our Future looks on the decline...
Dear Mr Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy if your party hadn't squandered away the money in the good times maybe the Army wouldn't be facing such cuts!
I think the title of the article should say UK Armed Forces not Army
Having been in the army years ago and subsiquently in both public and the private sector I see the problem like this. Every organisation needs to have a goal and reason for being , be that to have the best selling product or service , or to carry out a public service as described in their business statement. In the 80s, for the Army it was all about defending the Western democracies from teh Soviet Union. Today we have our role as a NATO partner, our commitment to ,well, exactly what I'm not sure in Afghanistan and the defence of British subjects such as those in the Falklands. Th emission statement doesn't exist and resources are very stretched for the wide variety of , aid, peace keeping , offensive operations the Armed Services are required to deal with. Add to this th eincreased length of operational tours, the constant stress on soldiers due to lack of personal on those tours and inadequate pay, and you have all the recipie for rock bottom moral. <br/>If anyone now woudl ask me if they think they shoudl join the army I woudl say unles you get a trade and keep out of the firing line , then , no , don't touch it with a barge pole.
.... What really should not be underestimated is the indifference and cynicism of the politicians, like Luff, behind this.