Armed Forces International News - July 2008

British Army’s Caribbean Recruitment Drive

Posted by Paul Fiddian on 21/07/2008 - 15:43:36

The British Army has been targeting areas in the Caribbean in a bid to strengthen its fighting force which, according to statistics, is nearly 5,000 men/ women below the level it should be.

Officials have just completed a visit to the Islands, during which, they attracted 600 people to the force.

According to Radio Jamaica, once medical assessments and other tests had been carried out on these 600, 186 people were selected – all between 17 years and 24 years of age.

New Army Recruits

All these new recruits are scheduled to arrive in this country within four months time, the radio station added.

Saint Lucia and Grenada are among the islands supplying these new potential soldiers. Next to be visited, according to reports, is Jamaica.

Speaking to the BBC, Colonel Paul Farrar – one of those involved in the recruitment drive – likened the venture to a “preselection process.”

The MoD has not confirmed any information relating to the directive, but has highlighted how the Army is contemplating taking on more new applicants from this part of the world.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence commented: "The Armed Forces are proud to recruit high quality soldiers from countries with close historical ties."

600 people of Jamaican origin presently serve with the British Army, while MoD statistics put the total number of foreigners in the armed forces at 12,000, or around 6.5 per cent of total manpower.

Source – Armed Forces International’s Political Correspondent

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