MORE than 15,000 soldiers quit the British Army last year as commanders struggled against falling morale.
The shocking figure represents almost one in five of the 83,340 soldiers serving and is thought to be the greatest single fall in 20 years.
According to official Ministry of Defence figures only 1,759 of the 15,325 regular troops to have left in the year leading to November did so because their time was up.
Nearly half – 7,439 – quit early, exceeding the 7,260 who left the Armed Forces during the previous year. There are now concerns that worsening conditions and a lack of “operational tempo” is failing to keep soldiers motivated.
The situation was exacerbated by 3,325 who were sacked on disciplinary grounds. A further 2,337 were “medically discharged”.
Former defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth MP said: “There is little doubt morale is under enormous pressure. Soldiers are concerned about the Future Accommodation Model, which may see them forced to rent or buy properties when what families actually want is to live in an Army environment.
“Particularly concerning is the effect of ‘historic war crime’ allegations. There is an increasing feeling that soldiers or veterans who find themselves arraigned for doing what they thought was right for their country are pretty much on their own.
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