Select Committee on Defence First Special Report


Memorandum from the Ministry of Defence concerning a Strategy for the Army (17 November 2000)

  I am writing to inform you that the Army Board has this week endorsed a Strategy for the Army that sets out how, over the next decade, the Army will work to ensure that it can continue to sustain the capability to achieve operational success. The strategy is not a radical change or a fresh start, but builds on the SDR and our recent work on developing defence policy in the context of the predicted future Defence environment. It will be implemented over the next 10 to 12 years and will evolve with emerging defence policy.

  The strategy makes clear that people remain our top priority after current operations and that attracting and retaining high quality personnel is fundamental to sustaining operational capability. We will therefore look at how best we can run the Army to improve the quality and predictability of the lives of individuals and their families and accept and value diversity in their background, culture and lifestyles—building on the strengths of the regimental system.

  The introduction of the Formation Readiness Cycle, due to be fully established in 2002, will ensure that our forces can meet required readiness levels and bring more predictability to lives of our personnel. We will be looking across all parts of the Army, including the reserves, to ensure that we make the best possible use of the people available and meet the realistic aspirations of the individual.

  Finally, I should stress that the Army Board remains determined to retain all that is best in the Army, its war fighting skills, values and standards and the regimental fighting spirit.

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Prepared 5 February 2001