British Army morale is now claimed to be at an "unprecedented" low ebb. Soldiers interviewed by the official British Army magazine, quoted in the Daily Telegraph, have expressed "previously unheard" views on the state of the Army.
"I would say the future looks gloomy," a soldier in the RE told the magazine. "People are worried about losing their place in the British Army."
A private in the Royal Welsh suggested the Army would shrink to 50,000 men, the size of the Australian army. "It's not a good idea to reduce the size of the Army at all," he said. "Regardless of equipment, we still need men to make the kit work. Soon we will become a force more like the Australian army than the British Army."
With the next round of Army redundancies due early in the New Year, another Royal Welsh soldier said that "It (redundancy) is pretty sad for lads. Lots of people joined up for a 22-year career and ended up getting a nasty letter. It will result in a downsized force with less manpower and resources."
Author and commentator Colonel Richard Kemp told the Telegraph that "There is an atmosphere of gloom the extent of which I have not seen before," he said. "I was in the Army during some very tough times in the Eighties ... but it appears considerably worse now. There are people who joined the Army with expectations that simply will not be fulfilled."
- Full article by Daily Telegraph Defence Correspondent Thomas Harding - Our future is gloomy, says soldier as Army speaks out for the first time"
- Soldier magazine website