London, June 18 (IANS) In what is being termed as the biggest single cut to the size of the British army, 4,480 soldiers have been handed redundancy notices after they applied for it, a media report said Tuesday.
The number of personnel will be reduced to 82,000 by 2018 from more than 100,000 three years ago, the Guardian daily reported.
The defence ministry said Tuesday that 84 percent of those affected had applied for redundancy.
No personnel preparing for, serving on, or recovering from deployment lost their jobs unless they applied for redundancy.
Personnel recovering from serious injuries sustained on operations were also exempt from the cuts.
However, officials said staff in these categories could be made redundant in the final round of cuts next year.
Those who applied for voluntary redundancy will leave on or before Dec 17, and those who did not will leave on or before June 17, 2014.
The army says it will continue to attract new recruits — around 10,000 soldiers and officers this year — to keep a balanced rank structure and age range, the daily said.
The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy have already cut their numbers by 5,000 each and have no plans to make further cuts.