UK

Senior British army roles likely to be cut

  • 24 January 2015
  • From the section UK
Gen Sir Nick Carter
Image caption The Army, led by Gen Sir Nick Carter, said it wanted to be "agile, imaginative and effective"

The British army is likely to cut the number of senior officers as part of an overhaul of its command structure.

Gen Sir Nick Carter, head of the Army, ordered the review of top roles as the latest stage of a reorganisation process called Army 2020.

The Army currently has about 200 brigadiers and generals, but it is not yet clear how many roles will go.

Under a decision already made, the number of regular personnel is being cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said Gen Carter's "main focus is to improve decision making and accountability".

Our correspondent added: "The Army recognises that mistakes were made during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that it needs to change its culture and delegate more decisions to commanders on the ground."

Future challenges

According to The Times newspaper, up to a third of the force's 500 colonels and 200 brigadiers and generals could be cut from April.

An Army source close to the report said figures were not confirmed, but said the plan was to create a "leaner more efficient headquarters".

He said: "There is an acceptance that compared to a lot of armies we are quite top heavy. Any savings we take will be reinvested into frontline resources."

In an official statement, an Army spokeswoman said the review would build on the "delegated model" that the military implemented as a result of a defence reform report by Lord Levene in 2012.

She said the Army Command Review would "ensure that the Army's command structure and its staff are best placed to meet future challenges in an agile, imaginative and effective manner".

The US Army has about 300 brigadiers and generals - 100 more than the UK for an army five times the size.

During Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron rubbished a claim that Ministry of Defence officials are examining proposals for an army of just 60,000 soldiers.

He told MPs the reports were "wholly unfounded" and said "as long as I am prime minister the regular army will remain at its current size".

Regular soldiers and reservists will be integrated for the first time into a "whole force" as part of the Army 2020 restructure.

The number of reservists is being boosted to a target of 30,000 by 2018.

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