The shadow defence minister, Kevan Jones, called on the government to embark on a review of the size of the highest tier of the armed forces, saying proposals for slimming it down, set out by ministers, did not go far enough.
"Figures show that just one in 20 of the most senior officers in all three services have lost their jobs, while 20% of more junior ranks will lose their jobs as 30,000 service personnel are axed," Jones said.
If our armed forces are to be reshaped there will need to be disproportionate reductions of senior officers. We now need a review which has this as its premise. It is right to demand efficiency of those at the bottom, but we cannot do so while protecting those at the top, he said.
The Ministry of Defence is planning to undertake a cull of generals, admirals and air vice marshals under structural changes recommended by Lord Levene last year.
In December, an internal MoD document which set out why the military had become so bloated in recent years was leaked to the Guardian.
The paper – written by Jonathan Slater, the department's director general of transformation strategy – called for 700 senior ranking military and civilian posts to be axed in the next three years, and another 335 before 2020.
Slater declared: "The simple truth is that the defence senior cadre is larger than we can afford, [and] is judged to be out of proportion with a reducing manpower base and also with modern working practices and societal tolerances."
He set out minimum requirements for job losses – but Labour said targets did not go far enough. ...
- Full article, by Nick Hopkins, The Guardian - Military top brass being protected from cuts, Labour says
Back in October Frank Ledwidge (author of Losing Small Wars) was criticised by another writer for supposedly exaggerating the number of senior officers employed in the armed forces, but his figures turned out to be as published by the Ministry of Defence's own statistics agency.
The MoD said in response to a recent Daily Telegraph story (6th February) that:
The MOD is making reductions in the numbers of civilian and military personnel, including senior officers. Work already undertaken by the Single Services has included the reduction of some two-star roles and individuals. Importantly, in line with Lord Levene's recommendation, the Department is currently conducting a review of all senior posts to determine where those reductions can sensibly be made.
Two-stars and above are not included in the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme as they serve under different terms and conditions of service than those of one-star rank and below - they are employed on a post-by-post basis and can be released without any redundancy compensation at the end of their existing posting. Where an individual's post is cut during their expected posting length they are considered for equivalent redundancy compensation.
- Telegraph 06 Feb - Armed forces chiefs dodge redundancies
BAFF is an all-ranks organisation. The most senior serving officers to have joined BAFF so far are of full Colonel rank or equivalent. Retired officers of star rank have also joined.