Notices to be handed out today

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Indy Politics
SOME OF THOSE who are summoned to see their commanding officer at 9am today will be serving in Bosnia or Northern Ireland.

Eight officers and 125 other ranks among the 2,400 serving in Croatia and Bosnia applied for redundancy. The other ranks were over-subscribed, so not all 125 will be given notice, but 16 officers will - only half of them volunteers.

Those handed their notice will also receive an information pack. 'It's the same wherever it is in the world. Standard man-management. It's not a thin brown envelope through the letter box,' an officer said. The redundancies will not take effect for eight months if voluntary and 12 if compulsory - long after those on 'emergency tours' in Bosnia and Northern Ireland have finished them.

The Cheshire Regiment, which forms the core of the 2,400-strong Bosnia force, is being replaced in April or May.

In practice, if redundancy comes as an unpleasant surprise to people serving in Bosnia or Northern Ireland, commanding officers are likely to allow them to go home as soon as possible.

Today's round of notices is the second phase of a planned 10,000 Army redundancies. The redundancies affect a fair cross-section of the Army's officers - mostly captains, majors and lieutenant-colonels. A number will be those on 'Quartermaster' commissions - older men who climbed through the ranks to sergeant-major and were then commissioned directly as officers.

Notices will also be issued to 436 Naval officers (69 of them compulsory) and 836 sailors (80 compulsory). The RAF has so far had 150 redundancies, all voluntary, although another 1,900 are planned in the two years from April.