The Army, Royal Navy and RAF have all seen a drop in fully trained regular forces, with the Army falling the furthest short of its target compared to the other services. It now has just 77,440 fully trained regular soldiers; however, the target is 82,000.
Overall the armed forces are 5.6% below their target strength. The Army is 6.3% below, the RAF 5.8% and the Royal Navy 3.5%. Fewer people also joined up over the past year - down by almost 1400.
The Ministry of Defence stats do, however, show there's been a small increase in the number of trained reserves - up 1500 over the past year.
-- The deficit against the planned number of personnel needed has increased from -4.3% to -5.6%
-- People Joining the UK Regular Armed Forces
The total strength of the UK Armed Forces has decreased. This has been slightly offset by an increase in the reserves population and Gurkhas. However, the total strength has decreased by 1380 personnel, which is 0.7%.
-- People left the UK Regular Armed Forces
People leaving the trained and untrained UK Regular Forces was 15,010 in the 12 months to 30th September 2017; down from 15,580 in the 12 months to 30th September 2016. Across all service leaving voluntarily was the most common reason for leaving.
-- Future Reservists 2020
Future Reservists 2020, includes volunteer reserves who are mobilised, High Readiness Reserves and those volunteer reserves serving on Full-Time Reserve Service, the total trained and untrained strength is at 36,880. This is an increase of 1350 (+3.8%) since 1st October 2017.
-- Applications to the Armed Forces
The number of applications to join the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Regulars has increased. Last year between 1st October 2015 – 30th September 2016 13,310 Regulars applied.
This year between 1st October 2016 – 30th September 2017 14,230 applied. This has increased by 920 applications.
However, the same trend did not follow for the reserves, the applications have decreased by 240.