Army 'to axe injured soldiers'

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“Army ‘to axe injured soldiers'”

Up to 5,000 troops could be discharged from the armed forces because they are medically unfit for combat duties, including many injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was reported.

The Sunday Times quoted a leaked Ministry of Defence document as saying that 5% of the Army‘s 102,000 personnel were no longer fit to be deployed in action.

The newspaper suggested that the worst affected 1,500 troops were in line to be discharged first, with 750 following in each of the next few years. While “only a proportion of those discharged are likely to have been injured on operations… this number is likely to grow as operations in Afghanistan continue”, the document said.

The MoD refused to comment on the leaked document, but a spokesman played down suggestions that a mass cull of injured troops was in the offing and insisted there was no quota for numbers to leave the Army.

“The number of soldiers medically discharged is done on a case by case basis and it is inappropriate to speculate on future numbers,” said the spokesman.

Earlier this year, the MoD unveiled a £70 million project to help injured troops to either remain in the forces or make a transition to civilian life.

The Army Recovery Capability scheme envisaged 12 “personnel recovery units” around the UK providing programmes aimed at either getting them fit to return to a military post or preparing them for life outside the Armed Forces.

Launching the programme in February, General Sir David Richards, the head of the Army, said: “I confidently expect that no soldier who thinks it is in his interest to stay will be forced out.”

But the new document, drawn up by a civil servant at UK Land Forces HQ in Wiltshire and circulated to ministers, senior MoD officials and Army top brass, suggested that the discharge of injured troops was likely to prove controversial.

Entitled Management of Army Personnel who are Medically Unfit for Service, it conceded that discharges of injured troops may be seen as the “MoD discarding those who have sacrificed much on our behalf”, said the Sunday Times. And it added: “Difficult decisions will inevitably need to be made about individuals who already have a significant media profile. These will require careful handling.”

I bet these smack heads are all civil servants who would never think of helping their country. Or stepping outside their plush offices in downtown London…

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