General Article UK Defence Personnel Statistics

Topic Selected: Armed Forces Book Volume: 356

Understanding military personnel statistics

There are three main ways to measure the number of military personnel (also known as strength): the total full-time UK Armed Forces, total full-time trained UK Armed Forces, or the total full-time UK Regular Forces. 

The total full-time UK Armed Forces is the most comprehensive of the three measures. It comprises trained and untrained members of the UK Regular Forces, Gurkhas, and full-time reserve service personnel (FTRS). 

The total full-time trained UK Armed Forces is perhaps the most important measure as this is what the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (2015 SDSR) personnel targets are based on. 

The 2015 SDSR targets 

The 2015 SDSR indicated that the required number of full-time trained UK Armed Forces personnel by 2020 would be 144,200. 

The 2015 SDSR also re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to increase the size of the trained strength of the

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