ONE in ten forces personnel is not fit enough to be deployed overseas.
Medical issues stop about 13,000 from going abroad as the military faces a recruitment crisis, figures show.
The group, known as Medically Not Deployable, may still be fit for UK-based work.
There are 6,702 in the Army, 2,684 in the Navy and 3,480 in the RAF.
The total number of services personnel was 134,304 this April. A further 14,248 are fit for duty but may have minor medical conditions such as sports injuries or muscle sprain.
Meanwhile recruitment targets have been missed for nine years.
The Army is more than 7,000 troops short of its 82,000 target.
MPs have criticised the firm Capita which is in charge of recruitment.
MOST READ IN POLITICS
Nia Griffith MP, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “This just shows the importance of recruiting enough military personnel.”
The MoD said: “Individuals are medically downgraded for a wide variety of reasons, most of which are temporary, minor health concerns.
“The Armed Forces have enough people to keep Britain safe.”
Smoking ban for Army recruits
TEEN Army recruits will be barred from smoking this week in a bid to boost the health of our young soldiers.
The ban will affect rookies at the world- famous Army Foundation College where 16 and 17-year-olds undergo gruelling basic training.
Base chief Lt Col Richard Hall announced the ban yesterday, saying: “Most recruits don’t smoke on arrival yet most do by graduation.
“We’re banning it for recruits and will be smoke-free for all by 2020.”
He told The Sun on Sunday: “We want to develop our recruits’ health and fitness.”
The college in Harrogate, Yorks, takes in 1,300 young recruits yearly.
- GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]