Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has said that as part of the ‘Future Soldier’ project the British Army will be reorganised as an “expeditionary fighting force” designed to be more deployable.
The British Army will be arranged under 4 administrative divisions of infantry.
- The Queens Division
- The Union Division
- The Light Division
- The Guards & Parachute Division
“These divisions are designed to reflect historic ties, while also balancing their number of battalions and unit roles, offering greater flexibility and opportunity for soldiers of all ranks,” said Wallace.
Speaking in Parliament, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
“Let me now turn to our plans to streamline the Army force structures. For too long, historical infantry structures have inhibited our Army’s transformation. We cannot afford to be slaves to sentiment when the threat has moved on. Today I can therefore confirm a major reorganisation under four new administrative divisions of infantry: the Queen’s Division, the Union Division, the Light Division, and the Guards and Parachute Division. These divisions are designed to reflect historic ties, while balancing the numbers of battalions and unit roles, offering greater flexibility and opportunity to soldiers of all ranks.
As announced in March, these plans do not involve the deletion of any cap badges, further major unit changes or any military redundancies. Although we are significantly reducing the total number of Army personnel, we are not compromising our presence in and contribution to the devolved nations. The numbers will reduce slightly everywhere except Wales, but we are increasing the proportion of the Army based in each nation and investing millions in the defence industry and estate.
Northern Ireland will keep the same number of battalions, but host a greater proportion of the Army’s workforce and gain an additional reserve company of the Royal Irish. Scotland will be home to more battalions—going from six to seven units—and a greater proportion of the Army than today. We will be retaining Glencorse barracks and will grow in Kinloss and Leuchars, thanks to £355 million of investment in the Army estate.
Wales will see the return of the Welsh cavalry—the Queen’s Dragoon Guards—to Caerwent barracks and a new reserve company of 3rd Battalion, the Royal Welsh to be established in north Wales. The retention of the Brecon barracks and the growth of Wrexham are just part of a £320 million investment in the Army estate in Wales.
Our future Army will be as agile in the new domains of cyber and space as it is on the ground. It will contribute the most personnel of all the services to those enhanced information-age functions, such as the National Cyber Force and Defence Intelligence, which are so critical to our new integrated force. In practical terms, this amounts to an additional 500 regular personnel, taking the number from 72,500 to 73,000. Together with the more than 10,000 Army personnel who work in other parts of defence, we will now, as I said, have a figure of 73,000.”
It s understood that the British Army’s headquarters will see a reduction of around 40% of its personnel.