Ministry of Defence
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Rebalancing Army manpower

Rebalancing Army manpower

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 22 March 2010

The Army is closer to full strength than it has been for a number of years. However, within the total numbers, the Army needs to ensure that is has the right balance of skills and experience to meet the challenges of current operations in Afghanistan. This balance is also crucial to preserving opportunities for progression through the ranks, which is an important factor in the Army’s ability to retain those with the greatest potential.

This combination of operational imperatives and the recent rapid but uneven growth in its strength means that the Army needs to make modest adjustments to its structures and the balance of its capabilities. In part this will be achieved through retraining, but some soldiers are likely to have to leave the Army through what is know as Manning Control Points (MCPs). MCPs are an effective and focused means of achieving these important adjustments. They are part of soldiers’ Terms of Service and have been used when required since the days of National Service. Although they have not been needed recently when the Army has been under strength, over the last 25 years well over 3,000 soldiers have been discharged using this mechanism. With the Army now close to full strength, Manning Control Points are a necessary tool to enable the Army to manage its structure more effectively.

While Manning Control Points give the Army the opportunity of terminating the service of soldiers at the end of three, six, nine, 12 or 15 years service, the current intention is to focus on the 12 and 15 year groups only. In determining those who are eligible for MCPs, each case will be considered on its own merits and in terms of what is best for the Army. Where individuals are selected to leave under MCPs, the Army will provide appropriate support with the transition to civilian life. Focussing on the 12 and 15 year groups means that all those leaving will qualify for a resettlement grant of about £10,000 (30 days Graduated Resettlement Time, an individual Resettlement Training Costs grant £534 (non-taxable) and a Resettlement Grant £9573 (non-taxable). In addition, regardless of the time served, all would have an accrued pension which they would be able to draw at retirement age.

Commander in Chief Land Forces, General Sir Peter Wall

“The Army is close to being fully manned for the first time in some years. This is great news, but size is only part of the picture. We need to ensure that there is the right balance of soldiers in different arms and services, ranks and trades so that we are in the best possible shape for current operations.

The fact is that the Army has grown unevenly and we now need to take make some adjustments. Part of this is about giving some of our people the opportunity to retrain with the Service, so that they can make their contributions in areas where our need is greater. But a relatively small number of soldiers will also be required to leave the Army under the Manning Control Points mechanism in order to balance the Army.

Manning Control Points have been used routinely by the Army for this purpose for decades, although not since 2002. Manning Control Points have not been used since 2002 because the Army has been in a sustained period of undermanning. All those leaving will be given 12 months notice and will receive help with resettlement, including a grant of £10,000. ”

Note to Editors:

Please call Mohammed Hussein or Tom Bennett in the MOD Press Office on 0207 2187909 or 0207 2187931


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