Armed Forces Day - Saturday 26th June 2021
Today we observe the annual Armed Forces Day, and we thought it was appropriate to write about why we acknowledge and thank the brave and selfless service of the men and women from every aspect of the Armed Forces community.
The day itself (26th June) is not necessarily a day for our Armed Forces to present themselves for our benefit with lavish displays, such as at a military Tattoo or Airshow. Armed Forces Day is in fact a day for us to stand up and show our thanks and support to them. The occasion also gives us an opportunity to remember those who have served in our Armed Forces in days gone by, and it is certainly only right and proper that we also take a moment to reflect upon those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the ongoing pursuit of peace.
Naturally, we should not take peace for granted and that is why we specifically acknowledge our Armed Forces today; as they continue to ensure we can all enjoy the safety and wellbeing afforded to us by the service of our ancestors. As we look forward to our country healing as we emerge from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, it is appropriate for us to also show our appreciation of our Armed Forces in relation to their involvement during this difficult time. As the country has fought against an invisible enemy, as well as our keyworkers, emergency services, NHS and health care workers, so have all branches of our Armed Forces and together they have once more helped protect the nation.
So on this year’s Armed Forces Day, spare a moment to think about our Armed Forces and show your support for the service they give us. Interesting facts about the British Armed Forces taken from “UK Defence Personnel Statistics” published on 8th March 2021:
1. The total strength of the full-time UK Armed Forces (trained and untrained) at 1st January 2021 was just under 156,600. Most personnel were within the Army (56%) with the remainder being equally split between the Royal Navy/Royal Marines and the RAF.
2. Across all services there were 30,150 officers (19%) and 126,400 personnel with other ranks (81%). The distribution of officers to other ranks varied across each service: a quarter of all RAF personnel were an officer (25%) compared to less than a fifth (17%) in the Army.
3. At 1st October 2020, 25% of UK Regular Forces personnel were under the age of 25. The average age of all Officers was 37, while the average age of all other ranks was 30. The overall average age was 31.
4. At 1st October 2020, 64% of UK Regular Forces personnel declared a Christian religion. Around 32% of personnel declared no religion. The next largest religion declared was Hindu (1%) followed by Buddhist (0.7%). Around 0.4% of personnel declared they were Muslim. Other faiths (Druid, Pagan, Rastafarian, Spiritualist, Zoroastrian, Wicca, Baha’i and others) accounted for 0.9%.
5. As at 1st April 2020, most personnel were stationed in the United Kingdom (around 96%). Of the 10,500 personnel stationed overseas the majority were in Europe (63%), followed by North America (16%) and North Africa and the Middle East (8%). Around 13% of personnel were stationed elsewhere in the world.
Photos courtesy of: ©UK MOD Crown Copyright 2020