The MoD Turns Its Attention To Diversity Within The Armed Forces

The Ministry of Defence is turning its attention to diversity for regular and reserve military recruitment.

The Ministry of Defence is turning its attention to diversity for regular and reserve military recruitment. 

The aim is to raise the number of black and minority ethnic backgrounds serving as Armed Forces personnel from 7.2%, as it stands currently, to 10% in the next three years.

They hope to do this through the use of engagement teams, who will build links with ethnic minority communities.

Today the Defence Secretary visited HMS Presidents and was greeted by a guard of Sea Cadets from East London 

His visit coincided with Black History Month, which is a celebration of black history, arts and culture.

He said:

"We are working hard to ensure the Armed Forces, like our cadets, better represent the society they serve but there is still much more to do. We want more sailors, soldiers and airmen to come from minority and ethnic communities.

More diverse armed forces are a stronger armed forces; that has to start amongst the junior ranks and work all the way up to chief of the defence staff".

Fallon meeting Cadets onboard HMS President

The cadet force is another area where the MoD are setting themselves targets.

The last census showed that 14% of the UK population now identify with black and minority ethnic groups. 

For both the cadets and the regular and reserve forces the aim is now to bring recruitment more in line with the makeup of the UK today.

The cadet expansion programme aims to have 500 cadet units parading in schools in the next 3 years. 17 cadet units have been approved in London schools.

Evadne Gordon, Royal Navy's longest serving female reservist

Sir Michael Fallon was also there to congratulate the Royal Navy’s longest-serving female reservist Chief Petty Officer Evadne Gordon who joined 40 years ago and whose family moved from Jamaica to the UK in the 1950s.

Unveiling of the African and Caribbean War Memorial in Windrush Square 220617

In June the Defence Secretary attended the unveiling of the first ever memorial to African and Caribbean servicemen and women during the First and Second World Wars.

During the First World War 55,000 men from Africa fought for the British and  15,000 soldiers from the West Indies Regiment saw action in France, Palestine, Egypt and Italy.