Army cuts 'not causing officer exodus'
02 July 2012
The Ministry of Defence has denied reports that some of the British Army's most senior officers are leaving early or taking voluntary redundancy in response to planned army cuts.
A report in The Daily Telegraph suggested that a number of senior officers had left ahead of the announcement of the MoD's Army 2020 plans, which will set out how the force will be re-shaped to take account of the loss of 20,000 regular soldiers and a large increase in the number of reservists.
Army 2020 is reportedly set to be announced on 5 July by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.
A report in The Telegraph claimed that Major General Jonathan Shaw, the officer in charge of cyber security at the Ministry of Defence, as well as Major Generals Mungo Melvin, Andy Kennett and Patrick Marriott had quit in reaction to restructuring plans in recent weeks.
Others who have left include Andrew Gregory, the Director General of Personnel, and General Sir John McColl, the report said.
The report also named Major General Lamont Kirkland, who left the army upon retirement in January, and Brigadier Nicky Moffat, 49, armed forces head of pay and strategic manning at the Ministry of Defence. Moffat, once tipped as potentially becoming the UK's first female General, has since issued a statement saying her decision to leave was "nothing whatsoever to do with Army 2020 cuts".
At least two of the individuals named are said to be still serving with no intention of leaving the army before retirement, according to a defence source.
An MoD spokesperson said: "More than 24,000 people leave the Armed Forces every year; including senior officers who come to the natural end of their careers. The MoD has long been criticised for being top heavy with too many senior officers, and is soon to announce a reduction in senior posts to ensure the services are balanced, streamlined and effective.
"By 2020 the army will be restructured to become an integrated regular and reserve force of 120,000 personnel. We are investing £1.8bn over 10 years to enhance the capability and strength of the reserves and better integrate them with the regular component, providing a committed and transformed reserve that is manned, trained and equipped as part of the whole force in a way that has never been seen before."
HAVE YOUR SAY
02 July 2012
You are absolutely right on this. Very few of our senior officers would ever have the moral fibre to quit on a matter of principle. They are far too busy furthering their own ambitions and using the conflict in Afghanistan as a catalyst to promotion. I can only suspect they have been told that their time has come.
Paul - Uk
02 July 2012
Look at SO2 level. The ship is listing as they rush for the door!
Pete - UK Defence Contractor
03 July 2012
They are more likely to be quitting over the pension changes than policy. They will need to find another job before they get too old.
Wibble - UK