Vincentians and other Commonwealth nationals will now have to live in the United Kingdom for five years before they can join Britain’s Armed Forces.

The changes, which came into effect on Wednesday, prevent Commonwealth citizens from joining immediately, as was the case before.

The change comes as the U.K tries to trim some 30,000 troops.

Reports in the British media say that about 500 Commonwealth soldiers are among the 7,000 new recruits joining the British Armed Forces every year.

Britain’s Armed Forces Minister, Mark Francois, said the rule was unavoidable as the military coped with sweeping cuts.

Colonel Richard Kemp, who commanded British forces in Afghanistan, said Britain’s Armed Forces had “depended heavily” on Commonwealth troops to bring units up to strength and accused the Ministry of Defence of using ineffective recruiting techniques.

But he added: “However, at a time when our Armed Forces are reducing to the lowest levels in more than a century, it is right that priority should be given to British citizens.”

Over the past 10 years, 24 Commonwealth soldiers serving in Britain’s Armed Forces have been killed in conflict and dozens more have been wounded.

4 replies on “Vincentians, Commonwealth citizens now have to live in UK for 5 years to join armed forces”

  1. RONALD, yes to all branchs of the forces. Its certainly another nail of the coffin of our young people. What a blow to our youth.

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