The army has reported that it is still having difficulties recruiting new soldiers. Major General Chris Tickell, in charge of army recruitment, says that the ground branch of the armed forces has missed all of its own targets in nine out of the last ten years.

But after spending millions of pounds on campaigns advertising army jobs, he is convinced that things are about to take a turn for the better, despite the fact that the army is down from 100,000 soldiers to 82,230 at the latest reports, 4,300 less than the required number.

Army officers are currently touring universities to attempt to attract more officers, and Maj Gen Tickell wants to emphasise the fact that the army is more than just a combat force and that its role extends far beyond its work in Afghanistan over the last ten years.

“In the past two years we have done some fantastic work in Sierra Leone combating the Ebola crisis,” he said.

A new plan to attract new recruits to the army will be launched in 2016.