Army short of soldiers takes strain off recruits

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The Independent Online
The army yesterday launched its new motto: "Build - Don't Break. Train - Don't Select", and introduced measures to increase recruitment. Despite being 5,000 soldiers short, John Reid, the armed forces minister, denied that the army would lower the standards expected of trained troops.

"Army training needs modernisation not mollycoddling", Dr Reid said. "Recruits will do more training, not less." Dr Reid was speaking at the launch of the new Army Training and Recruitment Agency at Pirbright, Surrey. This agency has been set up in the hope that the army will not only get enough recruits but keep them.

As part of the recruitment drive, the army will increase "pre-training" to a possible six weeks. Until last year, when pre-training was first introduced, 25 per cent of recruits were completely failing the basic training. Pre-training reduced that level to 17 per cent.

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