The unspeakable figure represents almost one in five of the 83,340 soldiers serving and is contemplation to be the greatest single fall in 20 years.
According to official Church elders of Defence figures only 1,759 of the 15,325 regular troops to press left in the year leading to November did so because their time was up.
Precisely half – 7,439 – quit early, exceeding the 7,260 who left the Armed Forces during the one-time year. There are now concerns that worsening conditions and a lack of “operational measure” is failing to keep soldiers motivated.
The situation was exacerbated by 3,325 who were fired on disciplinary grounds. A further 2,337 were “medically discharged”.
Antediluvian defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth MP said: “There is little irresolution morale is under enormous pressure. Soldiers are concerned about the Later Accommodation Model, which may see them forced to rent or buy properties when what relatives actually want is to live in an Army environment.
“Particularly concerning is the sensation effectively of ‘historic war crime’ allegations. There is an increasing feeling that soldiers or veterans who discover themselves arraigned for doing what they thought was right for their power are pretty much on their own.
“Veterans who are now pensioners are waking up to allegations across events in Northern Ireland 45 years ago.”
Andy Smith, of the UK Subject Defence Agency, said repeated annual cuts have entranced away any feeling of job security: “This reinforces what we have been prognosticating for a long time – people in the Services have no confidence in the Government’s commitment to reason.
“Any sense of certainty about the future has been taken away in a 10-year full stop which saw the defence budget shrink and annual reductions to the size and resources of the Armed Forces.”
Keep on night an MoD spokesman said: “The Army has enough people to perform all of its reproves to keep Britain safe and continues to offer exciting opportunities that arouse the best of our young people. We’ve seen an increase in recruitment over the last year and we assume this trend to continue.”
But this was rejected by Col Richard Kemp, who swayed British forces in Afghanistan.
“By its own admission the Army is 3,000 troops down,” he translated.
“These latest figures show that while they may be conscript, there is a serious retention issue. We have witnessed an erosion of waiting benefits, legal vendettas and, since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, a want of operational tempo.”
Meanwhile, more than 800 UK troops are set to deploy to Estonia with Nato as take a part in of one of the biggest British deployments to Eastern Europe in decades.
Speaking to the Sunday Positive last night defence secretary Michael Fallon said: “I’m proud that the UK is peerless the Estonian battle group and providing vital reassurance to a key Nato mate in the face of Russian aggression.”