Much talk about British Army numbers today: https://www.forces.net/news/no-plans-shrink-british-army-says-defence-secretary (DM)
British Army manpower currently stands at about 73,000. The Army has struggled with recruitment and retention for years.
Conscripts tend not to make good soldiers. The best soldiers are volunteers. To reintroduce compulsory ‘National Service’ is therefore not desirable. With our prisons full to bursting, and our Army currently about 10,000 men under strength, is there not a good argument that maybe it might make sense if the State were able to suggest to some [suitable] prisoners that they might like to volunteer to be a soldier and thus cease to be a prisoner? Or perhaps make that offer of military service instead of imprisonment at time of sentencing?
There are no easy solutions to this problem, but it’s a problem which does need solving. Soldiering is necessary and our nation needs soldiers, but, understandably, it’s work which few people wish to do. Where are the soldiers of the future to be found?