A third of officers progress from ranks, Fallon extolls

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has revealed figures showing that almost 30 per cent of officers in the Armed Forces progressed from the lower military ranks.

Fallon cited the figures as he met would-be officers at the Ministry of Defence’s London HQ.

The statistics showed that a third of Army officers, a fifth of Royal Navy officers, and a quarter of RAF officers - commissioned having not joined at that level. Instead, over 1800 serving officers over a five year period have taken the development
opportunities available to them in the military to reach their full potential at that rank later in their career.

During the event, Fallon spoke with students in week nine of the Potential Officer Development Programme (PODP), a 12 week intensive course which runs three times a year, aimed at catapulting soldiers from diverse backgrounds into the officer ranks.

Fallon said: “The Armed Forces offer opportunities for everyone to reach their full potential, whatever their background. We are encouraging people to aim higher and teaching them valuable skills and become tomorrow’s officers.

The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, added: “The Army is a modern, inclusive employer and I want every recruit to be given the opportunity to fulfil their potential. Second Lieutenant Cousland is a tremendous example of how schemes like this can give those who don’t have the best possible start in life a leg up, while helping us maximise the talent of everyone in the Army.”

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