A leaked internal memo to the senior officers in Afghanistan has revealed the army's plans to cut up to 16,500 soldiers under its new redundancy plan by April 2015, it has been reported.
This is supposed to cover 2500 wounded soldiers including 350 who have lost their limbs in the war field. Interestingly, the plan came to light on the day when the nation was paying tribute to its war dead at a poignant ceremony on Armistice Day. The event was especially significant at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan, where soldiers marked the death of 385 British servicemen killed since 2001.
The memo states that wounded soldiers who have been "temporarily downgraded will not be exempt." They could be dismissed in the next round of cuts, likely to start after Christmas, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The soldiers serving in the frontline in Afghanistan are outraged at the memo which suggests that they could be made redundant if they are wounded. It has been pointed out that the Army's fighting strength is diminished because it carries a large number of wounded soldiers, and able-bodied recruits are being turned away.
However, Army sources have not confirmed the matter. "There is absolutely no plan to change our treatment of service personnel who are wounded, injured or sick," said the Head of army planning Brig. Richard Nugee, as quoted by the newspaper.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) responded to the leak saying that it was still considering the matter. "The Army is still considering the criteria including size and shape for Tranche 2 and any subsequent redundancy and nothing has yet been agreed," said an MoD statement.
"We have been clear throughout the redundancy and have made clear in the House of Commons that every case of wounded, injured or sick will be assessed individually. No one will leave the armed forces through redundancy or otherwise until they have reached a point in their recovery where leaving the armed forces is the right decision, however long it takes," Nugee added.
The move has angered the wounded soldiers and their families.