UK Army’s most senior female officer quits amid cuts anger

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  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    The Army’s most senior female officer has resigned just days before the announcement of a restructuring programme which will see the service drastically reduced in size, with some historic battalions disappearing.



    Brigadier Nicky Moffat, who just six months ago declared that there was “no better time” for women to join the Army, is understood to have become despondent at the depth and severity of the Government’s cuts.

    On Thursday, ministers will announce a package of changes which will see the Army manpower reduced from around 100,000 soldiers to 82,000 by 2020, its smallest size in a century.

    Brig Moffat, 50, has told her bosses that she wanted to take voluntary redundancy after 26 years service.

    The brigadier, who is the Armed Forces head of pay and strategic manning at the Ministry of Defence, joined the now defunct Women’s Royal Army Corps after leaving the University of Liverpool and has since enjoyed a series of promotions to her current position. Her roles have included a spell as military private secretary to former defence secretary Geoff Hoon. She was widely expected to become the first female general in British military history and her departure is said to have left many colleagues stunned.

    Her resignation has been followed by that of another high-ranking officer, Brigadier Justin Maciejewski, the director of combat, who has also taken voluntary redundancy. He is also understood to have become disillusioned by the extent of the cuts.


    Brig Maciejewski, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order after leading The Rifles in Basra in 2007, is regarded as one of the best officers of his generation and was earmarked as a future Chief of the General Staff. Both officers, who have been in the Army for the past 26 years, will leave in the next six months with redundancy packages worth around £190,000.

    The high profile resignations underline the growing resentment in all ranks of the military after months of cuts and redundancies.

    Presentations are being given to soldiers by Major General James Everard, the Assistant Chief of the General Staff, in which they are warned of the “great challenges” which still lie ahead as part of the restructuring, which include a reduction in manpower of 6,000 in 2013 and a further 5,000 in 2014.

    One senior officer last night told The Sunday Telegraph: “I have never seen morale as low as this. There has been a complete breakdown down of trust and faith between the Army and the government.”

    As part of the restructuring - known as Future Force 2020 - the number of infantry battalions is expected to reduce from 36 to 25. Full details of the cuts were due to be made several weeks ago but, much to the frustration of Army chiefs, the announcement has been delayed by Downing Street.

    The Government is seeking an agreement which, according to one senior official, will “give the Army something they can live with and will be presentationally acceptable”.

    However, The Sunday Telegraph understands that while some infantry battalions will be axed, such as those suffering from historically poor recruitment or those with a high proportion of foreign or Commonwealth troops, others have been earmarked as “untouchables”.

    These are thought to include the entire Household Division, which is composed of the five Foot Guard battalions — the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards — as well as the Household Cavalry, composed of the Blues and Royals and the Life Guards.

    The Parachute Regiment, which supplies more than half the troops to the SAS and the majority of soldiers for the Special Forces Support Group, will remain as a three-battalion regiment. The Royal Irish Regiment, the last single-battalion regiment in the Army, will also escape the axe.

    Beyond the infantry, the Royal Logistic Corps is facing a cut of 25 per cent down to 12,000 soldiers, although its bomb disposal arm, which has grown in recent years to deal with the improvised explosive device threat in Afghanistan, will remain untouched.

    The Corps of Royal Engineers will be reduced by 30 per cent to 5,500 troops, with a similar cut to fall on the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

    The 15 Royal Artillery regiments will be reduced by a third to 5,000 troops, with almost its entire fleet of AS90 self-propelled guns being mothballed or held at “readiness” by Territorial Army units.

    The five tank and five reconnaissance regiments of the Royal Armoured Corps are also facing a similar reduction, with many of their vehicles also being passed to the TA, so they can be brought into action when needed.

    The Army Air Corps will see some of its older helicopters, such as the Lynx, being axed, but its fleet of Apaches, which counts Prince Harry among its pilots, will not face any reductions.

    The infantry units at greatest risk of cuts are those of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, which will lose one or possibly two of its five battalions. The regiment has struggled to recruit for many years.

    Both the Yorkshire Regiment and the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment – which recently had members killed in Afghanistan – and The Rifles are also thought to be vulnerable.

    There is also a growing view within the Army that the Gurkhas should be axed before “any British regiments go to the wall” .

    After 2020, the regular Army’s 82,000 soldiers will be supported by 30,000 territorial troops. It will be composed of five multi-role brigades together with 16 Air Assault Brigade, the Army’s high-readiness rapid-response unit.

    Under the new structure commanders will move away from “enduring operations” such as Iraq or Afghanistan, and instead focus on short-term “contingency operations” such as in Libya, where Special Forces supported rebels.

    The Army will remain committed to “homeland resilience”, such as supplying assistance to the Government during strikes or times of national crisis, such as the foot and mouth epidemic.

    A special cadre will also be created to provide what has been called “upstream engagement” — where military trainers deploy to foreign countries in an attempt to prevent future conflicts.

    A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The army is reducing in size to become an integrated regular and reserve force of 120,000 by 2020, which was necessary to tackle the Defence deficit. Any change of this size is bound to create uncertainty; however, the resilience of our soldiers should not be underestimated.

    “The last decade of campaigning has been tough but the Army has emerged stronger and remains focused on doing their job, whether it is in Afghanistan or at home in the UK for the Olympics. While we cannot comment on the individual circumstances of those leaving under redundancy terms, we do not accept that it is a reflection of morale of the Army.”

    Army’s most senior female officer quits amid cuts anger - Telegraph
     
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  3. agentperry

    agentperry Senior Member Senior Member

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    see how empire fails.
     
    The Messiah likes this.
  4. sky

    sky Regular Member

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    I'll be honest with you and say the only real threat britain faces are:

    Radical Islam - which is supported by pakistani's home grown and from pureland .

    Illegal immigration - which the cop's and border security will have too deal with .

    And man made war's started by the USA , our support to them after 9/11 and the shit that's happened after that has left all feeling rather sober.

    Britain is surround by lot's of water so it will be tough ask for any aggressor , even a army of reduced strength is plenty for our need's.
     
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  5. Predator

    Predator Regular Member

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    This is why I'm against employing women in defence forces, its in their nature to make rash emotional decisions.
     
  6. Bhadra

    Bhadra Defence Professionals Defence Professionals Senior Member

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    Brig Moffat has turned "Moonh _ fat"....!!! and says she is not "Mooffat.."
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    The cuts are a serious matter with the British Armed Forces.
     
  8. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Future Force 2020 is turning more into Petite Force 2020. 80,000 Army isn't enough to meet the Afghanistan commitment much less doing another Falklands campaign. Only spending £1.8 billion over ten years to train and equip 30,000 loafer TAs is laughable. Tornadoes are extinct by 2019 and F-35s not replacing them for several years. 53 Tranche 1 Typhoons being withdrawn in 2015 reducing RAF to 117 combat jets by 2019. CVF isn't going to have worked up air arm until 2022-23. RN got the early end of the stick but comes out better in the end. RAF and Army are completely gutted.
     
  9. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Just had a interesting debate on UK police force, Its quite strange that only 7000 police are authorized to carry sidearms ?
     
  10. sky

    sky Regular Member

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    I feel that's rather stupid personally , and the protection they get is very light . It's up to the police federation to ask for more officers to carry taser guns or any other weapon that could help them .

    Being a cynic , the police seem to be an army of paper pushers rather then beat bobbies these day's .
     
  11. sky

    sky Regular Member

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    I had the police come to my house last year because my neighbour said she was called a paki by her next door neighbour [black family] .

    They spent 45 mins with me after which i asked don't they have more pressing thing's to do ,to which they replied race hate crime's are a priority .

    When i spoke to the black family later that week to find out what happened , the guy's wife who was white exploded saying the muslim neighbour who made the complaint took her 19 daughter to a muslim convention . And is trying to get her to convert , i didn't feel quite so sorry for her after that .
     

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