Quarterly service personnel statistics 1 July 2022 – GOV.UK

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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/quarterly-service-personnel-statistics-2022/quarterly-service-personnel-statistics-1-july-2022
This publication provides information on the number of Military Personnel (defined as the strength), joining (intake) and leaving (outflow) the UK Armed Forces. Detail is provided for both the Full-time Armed Forces (AF) and Reserves. Further statistics can be found in the Excel tables.
The historic trends in Reserve personnel numbers in this report relate to the targets outlined in the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) programme. Following the Integrated Review and Spending Review, the previous future workforce requirements for the Armed Forces are no longer applicable. A Written Ministerial Statement is being prepared to announce the introduction of an Indicative Planned Strength figure for the Armed Forces Regular Full-Time Trade Trained Strength later this year.
Some of the statistics previously published in the following publications can now be found in this release:
Responsible Statistician: Tri-Service Head of Branch
Email: Analysis-Tri-Hd@mod.gov.uk
Further information/mailing list: Analysis-Tri-Service@mod.gov.uk
Would you like to be added to our contact list, so that we can inform you about updates to these statistics and consult you if we are thinking of making changes? You can subscribe to updates by emailing Analysis-Tri-Service@mod.gov.uk.
Background Quality Report: Background Quality Report
This publication contains information on the strength, intake, outflow and gains to trained strength for the UK Armed Forces overall and each of the Services; Royal Navy/Royal Marines (RN/RM), Army and Royal Air Force (RAF).
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced on 29 June 2016 that it was changing the Army trained, disciplined service personnel by changing the definition of Trained Strength to include those in the Army who have completed Phase 1 training. This affects some Tri-Service totals. This does not affect the Naval Service or the RAF in any way. The MOD held a public consultation on SDSR Resilience: Trained strength definition for the Army and resultant changes to Ministry of Defence Armed Forces personnel statistics, between 11 July and 21 January 2017. A consultation response was published on 7 November 2016. The changes outlined in the consultation and response have been incorporated into this publication from the 1 October 2016 edition onwards. This affects statistics in some of the accompanying Excel tables, specifically tables: 3a, 3e, 5a, 5b, 5c, 5d, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b and 7c. Terminology has also been updated in Excel tables 3c and 4.
Detailed statistics, including unrounded figures, and historic time series can be found in the Excel tables. These include quarterly statistics on the number of Service and Civilian Personnel, Separated Service (the proportion of personnel breaching harmony guidelines), Applications to each of the Services and Military Salaries. Further historic statistics will be added in due course; in the meantime, historic statistics can be found in the following archived publications:
The glossary contains definitions of terminology used in this publication.
A calendar of upcoming MOD statistical releases can be found on GOV.UK
A National Statistics publication
The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:
Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.
The main factors affecting decisions about the size of the Armed Forces required by the MOD to achieve success in its military tasks include:
The Service Personnel Statistics in previous versions of this publication are reported against the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), released in November 2015. Prior to SDSR 2015, publications reported against the planned Future Force 2020, as set out in the SDSR 2010 which planned to reduce the size of the Armed Forces.
On 29 June 2016, the MOD announced that the Army planned to use Regular and Reserve Phase 1 Trained personnel in response to crises within the UK. Following this, the term ‘Trained Strength’ would include all Army personnel Trained in the core function of their Service (i.e. those who have completed Phase 1 training). The MOD has consulted on these changes and the resultant impact they will have on this publication and a consultation response was published on 7 October 2016.
From the 1 October 2016 edition onwards, Army personnel who have completed Phase 1 training (basic Service training) but not Phase 2 training (trade training), are considered trained personnel. This change enabled the Army to meet the SDSR 15 commitment to improve support to UK resilience. The Trained Strength definition for the Royal Navy, RAF, Maritime Reserve and RAF Reserves has not changed, reflecting the requirement for their personnel to complete Phase 2 training to be able to fulfil the core function of their respective Services.
Army personnel who have completed Phase 2 training are now called ‘Trade Trained’. This population aligns with the old definition of trained personnel, therefore maintaining the continuity of the statistical time series.
The Army have undertaken a review of training requirements and Royal Engineers Other Ranks personnel joining from 1 July 2019 will become Trade Trained after Initial Trade Training (ITT) and will join the Full-time Trade Trained Strength (FTTTS), and therefore we may see a change in the trend.
In order to meet the personnel reduction targets set out in SDSR 2010, the Three Month Exercise (3ME) and Army 2020 (A2020), a redundancy programme coupled with adjusted recruiting (intake) and contract extensions, were set. The aforementioned redundancy programme is now complete.
On 23 November 2015, MOD published the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015. SDSR 2015 outlined plans to uplift the size of the Regular Armed Forces, setting targets for a strength of 82,000 for the Army, and increasing the Royal Navy/Royal Marines and Royal Air Force by a total of 700 personnel. The SDSR 2015 Defence Key Facts booklet announced new targets for 2020 for each of the Services.
The Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) programme aimed to increase the size of the Reserve Forces. Further information on the growth of the Reserves can be found in the Policy Background section of previous Monthly Service Personnel Statistics publications.
As a result of the changes to Army Trained Strength (referred to above) and their impact on the Army Reserve, the MOD released a Written Ministerial Statement containing revised Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) strength growth profiles on 8 November 2016. Reporting of the growth of the Reserves will be based on strength profiles only.
There has been no formal announcement of new targets beyond 31 March 2019. However, the Ministry of Defence’s recruitment campaign is a long-term programme.
Following initial plans to freeze FR20 data as at 1 April 2022, extensive consultation with internal stakeholders within MOD has identified an ongoing need to publish FR20 statistics. As a result, we will continue to publish tables on the FR20 population in Service Personnel Stats until further notice.  This decision will be reviewed in 2023 and further feedback may be sought from users at this time.
The Reserve Forces 2030 (RF30) Review does not include a target for additional personnel numbers beyond those in the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) programme.
RF30 builds on the work carried out by FR20; the RF30 Review offers 18 recommendations grouped into four key areas in which the Reserves will need to continue to adapt in order to develop their utility.  These are: redefining the Reserves’ relationship with society; expanding the role of the Reserves; unlocking the potential of reservists; and transforming support to the Reserves.
The Ministry of Defence has established an implementation programme to consider the RF30 recommendations.  A formal response, or responses, to the RF30 Review will follow the RF30 implementation programme’s detailed analysis of the recommendations.
Strength is the number of personnel.

UK Regulars are Full-Time Service personnel, including Nursing Services, excluding FTRS personnel, Gurkhas, mobilised Reservists, Military Provost Guarding Service (MPGS), Locally Engaged Personnel (LEP), and Non Regular Permanent Service (NRPS).

Volunteer Reserves voluntarily accept an annual training commitment and are liable to be mobilised to deploy on operations. They can be utilised on a part-time or Full-Time basis to provide support to the Regular Forces at home and overseas.

UK Service Personnel comprise the total strength of the military personnel employed by the Ministry of Defence ( Excel tables, Table 1). The current Strength of the UK Armed Forces is 193,890 which includes:
The total strength of the UK Forces1 has decreased between 1 July 2021 and 1 July 2022 by 2.5 per cent (4,910 personnel), as shown in Table 1. Since 1 April 2021, the Gurkhas and Other Personnel Strengths have both increased, however the UK Regular Forces and Volunteer Reserves Strengths have decreased.
Table 1: Trends in UK Forces Strength1
The FTTS and FTTTS total has decreased between 1 July 2021 and 1 July 2022 by 0.9 per cent (1,220 personnel). The RN/RM remained stable, the Army decreased by 1.4 per cent and the RAF has decreased by 0.6 per cent as shown in Table 2.
Table 2: FTTS and FTTTS
The FTTS and FTTTS total gradually increased between 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021 but has been decreasing since, as shown below in Figure 1.
FTTS and FTTTS includes all UK Regular personnel, Gurkhas and the relevant elements of the Full-Time Reserve Service (FTRS) (see glossary for more detail).

Figure 1: FTTS and FTTTS
Table 3: Comparison FTTS and FTTTS (Army)
Figure 2: FTTS & FTTTS in the Army since Trained Strength definition change in October 16
As can be seen from Figure 2 above, Army FTTS saw an increase between 1 April 2019 and 1 October 2021, but has decreased between 1 October 2021 and 1 July 2022. The Army FTTTS increased between 1 October 2019 and 1 July 2021 but has seen a decrease between 1 July 2021 and 1 July 2022. The Army FTTS at 1 July 2022 is lower than at 1 July 2021 by 2.0 per cent and the Army FTTTS has decreased by 1.4 per cent over the same period.
Table 4: Army Officers and Other Ranks by Training Status
Since 1 July 2021, the FTTS and FTTTS Officers have decreased by 0.7 per cent and 0.3 per cent respectively. The FTTS and FTTTS Other Ranks have decreased by 2.2 per cent and 1.6 per cent respectively since 1 July 2021, as can be seen from Table 4 above.
As at 1 July 2022, the Trained and Untrained Strength of the UK Regular Forces was 146,270. The Service split for this figure can be found in Table 5 below.
There are 10,520 Untrained personnel in the UK Regular Forces, of which 4,340 are in the RN/RM, 2,660 in the Army and 3,520 are in the RAF. The Untrained Strength reflects the number of personnel who can potentially join the Trained Strength.
Table 5: UK Regular Forces by Service and Training Status
In the 12 months to 30 June 2022, when comparing Intake and Outflow, there was a net reduction of 2,930 personnel in the UK Regular Forces. Comparing to the 12 months to 30 June 2021, there was a net increase of 4,480 personnel. Outflow has increased by 20.6 per cent and Intake has decreased by 27.4 per cent, since 30 June 2021.
Figure 3: Intake to and Outflow from the UK Regular Forces over rolling 12-month periods from 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2022
Voluntary Outflow (VO) encompasses all Trained (RN/RM & RAF) and Trade Trained (Army) personnel who voluntarily exit before the end of their agreed engagement or commission period.
Time Expiry is a term used to describe those in the Armed Services who reach the end of their engagement or commission and then leave.
Other includes Outflow from the Trained (RN/RM & RAF) and Trade Trained (Army) strength due to, amongst others, medical reasons, misconduct, compassionate, dismissals and death.
VO Rate is the number of personnel voluntarily Outflowing as a proportion of the average Trained Strength for the Outflow period.
Outflow from the Trained and Untrained UK Regular Forces was 15,520 in the 12 months to 30 June 2022; up from 12,870 in the 12 months to 30 June 2021.
Across all Services, VO was the most common reason for Outflow of Trained (RN/RM & RAF) and Trade Trained (Army) personnel, accounting for 58.0 per cent of Outflow in the 12 months to 30 June 2022 (See Figure 4).
In the 12 months to 30 June 2022, 6,760 Trained (RN/RM & RAF) and Trade Trained (Army) personnel left through VO; the VO rate was 5.1 per cent. The VO Rate for the RN/RM was 5.3 per cent, for the Army it was 5.3 per cent and for the RAF it was 4.4 per cent.
In the 12 months to 30 June 2022, the VO rate amongst Other Ranks and Officers was 5.3 per cent and 4.1 per cent respectively.
There is no single reason why personnel leave on Voluntary Outflow, but the personnel who completed the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey indicated reasons for leaving the Armed Forces included the impact of Service life on family and personal life and opportunities outside the Armed Forces.
Figure 4: Outflow of Trained (RN/RM & RAF) and Trade Trained (Army) UK Regulars by exit reason (12 months to 30 June 2022)
Gains to Trained Strength (GTS) figures comprise all Regular personnel who complete Phase 2 training and those that enter directly into the Phase 2 Trained strength. It excludes those returning to the Phase 2 Trained strength from Long Term Absence (LTA).
Trained Outflow figures show Phase 2 Trained Outflow from UK Regular Forces, including personnel leaving the Services, deaths and recalled reservists on release. They do not include promotion from Ranks to Officers or flows between Services.
Gains to Trained Strength and Trained Outflow
In the 12 months to 30 June 2022, the number of personnel joining the Trained (RN/RM & RAF) and Trade Trained Strength (Army) UK Regular Forces was 930 lower than the number leaving. This represents a net loss to the Phase 2 trained population of the Armed Forces. The overall Full Time Trained/Trade Trained Strength as at 1 July 2022 (after accounting for other flows such as promotion from Ranks to Officers or flows between Services) was 1,220 lower than as at 1 July 2021.
Figure 5: GTS and Outflow from the UK Trained Regular Forces 12 month ending across the Armed Forces from 1 July 2015 – 30 June 2022
Future Reserves 2020 includes Volunteer Reserves who are mobilised, High Readiness Reserves and those Volunteer Reserves serving on Full-time Reserve Service (FTRS) and Additional Duties Commitment (ADC). Sponsored Reserves who provide a more cost effective solution than Volunteer Reserves are also included in the Army Reserve FR20.
Following consultation on changes to the Army Trained Strength definition and the removal of the FR20 Intake targets, the MOD released Future Reserves 2020 Trained Strength growth profiles in a Written Ministerial Statement on 8 November 2016. Reporting of the growth of the Reserves will be based on Trained Strength profiles only.
Following initial plans to freeze FR20 data as at 1 April 2022, extensive consultation with internal stakeholders within MOD has identified an ongoing need to publish FR20 statistics. As a result, we will continue to publish tables on the FR20 population in Service Personnel Stats until further notice.  This decision will be reviewed in 2023 and further feedback may be sought from users at this time.
Following this, progress against FR20 population Trained Strength targets are reported in Table 6a of the Excel tables. The total Trained and Untrained Strength of the Tri-Service Future Reserves 2020 at 1 July 2022 was 35,270, a decrease of 2,020 personnel or 5.4 per cent since 1 July 2021.
Figure 6 shows that the Maritime Reserve Trained Strength was 2,820 as at 1 July 2022. This is a decrease of 70 personnel (2.4 per cent) since 1 July 2021.
The Maritime Reserve total Strength as at 1 July 2022 was 3,670. This is a decrease of 460 personnel (11.1 per cent) since 1 July 2021.
Figure 6: Maritime Reserve Trained Strength
Figure 7 shows that the Army Reserve Trained Strength was 25,500 as at 1 July 2022. This is a decrease of 1,010 (3.8 per cent) since 1 July 2021.
The Army Reserve total Strength as at 1 July 2022 was 28,370. This is a decrease of 1,520 (5.1 per cent) since 1 July 2021.
Figure 7: Army Reserve Trained Strength
Figure 8 shows that as at 1 July 2022 the RAF Reserve Trained Strength was 2,900. This is an increase of 30 personnel (0.9 per cent) since 1 July 2021.
The RAF Reserve total Strength as at 1 July 2022 was 3,240. This is a decrease of 40 personnel (1.3 per cent) since 1 July 2021.
Figure 8: RAF Reserve Trained Strength
Intake and Outflow statistics report how many people have left or joined the Trained or Untrained Strengths. As well as leavers and new recruits, this can include personnel transferring to or from the Regular Forces, other Reserve populations, or Reserve re-joiners.
The total Intake rates for each Service in the 12 months to 30 June 2022 are as follows:
Figure 9: Total Intake rate by Service
The total Outflow rates for each Service in the 12 months ending 30 June 2022 are as follows:
Figure 10: Total outflow rate by Service
Figure 11: Intake to and Outflow from the FR20 Reserves over rolling 12-month periods ending from 1 July 2017 – 30 June 2022
Separated Service concerns personnel who are serving away from their usual place of duty or are unable to enjoy leisure at their normal place of duty or residence at place of duty.
Individual Harmony is the freedom to enjoy leisure at the normal place of duty or residence at place of duty; this includes leave and adventurous training.
Separated service measures absence from normal place of duty. The time an individual experiences separated service is compared against each Service’s “Individual Harmony” guidelines to ensure a balance between duty and leisure for all Service personnel.
A breach of individual harmony guidelines occurs when Service personnel experience separated service for longer than the period outlined in individual harmony guidelines, which are based on the structures and organisation of that Service. The guidelines are measured over a 36 month period and the limits are:
Using 1 April 2021 as an example, the formula for the breach rate is as follows:
The percentage breaching harmony has increased for the RN/RM (0.3 per cent), remained stable for the Army (1.2 per cent) and increased for the RAF (0.3 per cent) as at 1 April 2022 compared to the previous quarter, 1 January 2022.
Separated service data can be found in Table 10 of the accompanying Excel tables.
Figure 12: Percentage of UK Regular Forces breaching harmony (1 April 2014 – 31 March 2022)
The figures in this publication include applications to the UK Regular and Volunteer Reserve Forces. They are broken down by Service, and by Officers and Other Ranks.
Whilst application counts for each service are based on online applications submitted by an individual and accepted by Defence Recruitment System (DRS), work is ongoing to verify that application processes and definitions are consistent and we would recommend that numbers should not be aggregated to show Armed Forces totals (hence separate tables and graphs are provided).

The number of applications received does not directly relate to intake figures, since:

There is a break in the time series between 1 October 2017 and 1 July 2019 due to the change in recruiting systems from the Training Administration and Financial Management Information System (TAFMIS) to DRS and due to the need to ensure consistency of the start date for reintroduced data between the single Services.
There is a reporting lag of one quarter, resulting in 1 April 2022 application data being the latest that is reported on for Army. As at 1 April 2022 Army application data is provisional and the 1 April 2022 Navy and RAF application data is currently unavailable due to technical issues (please read the footnotes in table 9a, 9b and 9c in the Excel tables for more detail). Figures are planned to be updated accordingly for the 1 October 2022 publication.
Applications that do not result in Intake
The main causes of applicant failure (i.e. no offer to join the Services given) include:
The main causes of application failure (i.e. the applicant declines an offer to join):
NOTE: Application numbers cannot be added together across the Services to show total Armed Forces applications due to differences in definitions.
Figure 13: Applications to the RN/RM split by UK Regular Forces and Volunteer Reserves
Note 1 April 2022 RN/RM application figures were unavailable at the time of the 1 July 2022 publication and should be available for the 1 October 2022 edition of the publication.
Figures from 12 months ending 30 June 2019 onwards define an application as an online application submitted by an individual and accepted by Defence Recruitment System (DRS). These figures are not comparable with the figures up until 12 months ending 30 September 2017 which are available in Table 9a of the accompanying Excel tables, which define an application as a candidate who has submitted an AF Career Officer Form 4 and sat the Recruit Test, whether this was passed or failed. Applications to the RN/RM Regular Forces in the 12 months to 31 December 2021 were 24,731, a decrease of 25.2 per cent compared to the 12 months to 31 December 2020 (33,058). Over the same period, applications to the Volunteer Reserves have decreased by 26.4 per cent, from 3,042 in the 12 months to 31 December 2020 to 2,240 in the 12 months to 31 December 2021.
Figure 14: Applications to the Army split by UK Regular Forces and Volunteer Reserves
Note 1 April 2022 Army application figures are provisional.
Figures from 12 months ending 30 June 2019 onwards define an application as an online application submitted by an individual and accepted by Defence Recruitment System (DRS). These figures are not comparable with the figures up until 12 months ending 30 September 2017 which are available in Table 9b of the accompanying Excel tables, as the data is drawn from different databases and have differing definitions of an application. Figures for the period between the introduction of DRS in November 2017 and 30 June 2019 are not available as they are not of the required validity for publication. Applications to the British Army Regular Forces in the 12 months to 31 March 2022 were 69,282, a decrease of 32.8 per cent compared to the 12 months to 31 March 2021 (103,095). Over the same period, applications to the Volunteer Reserves have decreased by 20.0 per cent, from 29,273 in the 12 months to 31 March 2021 to 23,409 in the 12 months to 31 March 2022. Commonwealth Applicants are included in the number of applications. The Commonwealth entry numbers are closely controlled. Applications may be refused if no Commonwealth headroom is available. These applicants will then be withdrawn from the pipeline but the application number will still be counted in the overall volume of applications received.
Figure 15: Applications to the RAF split by UK Regular Forces and Volunteer Reserves
Note 1 April 2022 RAF application figures were unavailable at the time of the 1 July 2022 publication and should be available for the 1 October 2022 edition of the publication.
The increase in RAF applications since the introduction of DRS is due to the previous recruitment system having a separate frontend, this was used to assist the initial application processing team in filtering out RAF ineligible applications and non-productive enquiries prior to an official application being recorded. Therefore the figures presented here are not comparable with the figures up until 12 months ending 30 September 2017 which are available in Table 9c of the accompanying Excel tables. Applications to the RAF Regular Forces in the 12 months to 31 December 2021 were 26,626, a decrease of 32.3 per cent compared to the 12 months to 31 December 2020 (39,351). Over the same period, applications to the Volunteer Reserves have decreased by 28.9 per cent, from 5,007 in the 12 months to 31 December 2020 to 3,561 in the 12 months to 31 December 2021.
Apart from the Applications section, all figures in this publication have been rounded to the nearest 10, though numbers ending in a “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent the systematic bias caused by always rounding numbers upwards. For example; a value of “25” would be rounded down to “20” and a value of “15” would be rounded up to “20”. Additionally, totals and sub-totals are rounded separately and so may not equal the sums of their rounded parts.
Percentages are calculated from unrounded data and presented to one decimal place.
Due to percentages being rounded to one decimal place, sub-totals don’t always add up to 100%.
The MOD Disclosure Control and Rounding policy is published on GOV.UK and we have applied this policy to the statistics in the accompanying Excel tables. The policy is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defence-statistics-policies
There are no revisions for this edition of the publication.
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