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Armed Forces: Discharges

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 165545, tabled on 9 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average length of service was for officers leaving the armed forces, by branch, in each of the last five years.

Answered on

12 March 2021

The requested information is provided in the following table:

Average Length of Service (years) for UK Regulars leaving the UK Armed Forces by Service, Rank and Financial Year (FY)

Years

FY15/16

FY16/17

FY17/18

FY18/19

FY19/20

All Services

10

9

10

10

10

Officer

17

17

18

17

18

Rank

9

8

9

9

9

RN/RM

10

9

10

10

10

Officer

17

17

17

17

17

Rank

9

8

9

9

8

Army

9

8

8

9

9

Officer

16

16

17

17

17

Rank

8

7

7

8

8

RAF

15

15

15

14

15

Officer

19

19

20

19

20

Rank

15

13

14

14

14

Table notes:

  1. Length of service has been calculated using entry date. There are known problems with the entry date information extracted from the Joint Personnel Administration system. If personnel have transferred from one Service to another Service, have served under an alternative assignment type (e.g. Reserve Forces), are re-entrants or have transferred from Other Ranks to Officers, their entry date may correspond to any of these events. The resulting length of service (LOS) may reflect their current period of service, include previous service, or it may be the time that has elapsed since they first joined the Armed Forces, irrespective of any break in service. It will invariably include time spent on untrained strength.
  2. UK Regulars comprise Full time Service personnel, including Nursing Services, but excluding Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) personnel, Gurkhas, mobilised Reservists, Military Provost Guard Service (MPGS), Locally Engaged Personnel (LEP), Non Regular Permanent Staff (NRPS), High Readiness Reserve (HRR) and Expeditionary Forces Institute (EFI) personnel. Figures include trained and untrained personnel.
  3. Outflow is derived by month-on-month comparisons of strength. These figures include outflow to civil life and outflow to other non-serving and serving parts of the Armed Forces, excluding the UK Regular Forces. Personnel flowing from the Trained to the Untrained Strengths are not captured in this table.
  4. Figures for Officers include both Direct Entry (DE) and Late Entry (LE) personnel. DE and LE Officers have different career paths. For the Army (only), the LOS for LE Officers has known data quality issues as the fields from which data is drawn are inconsistent and sometimes reflects the Officer only LOS and sometimes both the Soldier and Officer LOS combined. This means that the inclusion of LE in the overall figure for Army Officers could result in the average LOS for those Officers at rank of Lt Col and below as appearing lower than if analysing DE only.
Named day
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