Being in the Armed Forces

As of 2015 the total strength of the UK forces service personnel was just under 200,000. Each year about 16,500 people leave the Armed Forces. Reservists work alongside the Regular Forces on missions in the UK and overseas. You can find out more about Reservists on all the Armed Forces websites.

Make up of the Armed Forces

The Armed Forces are made up of The British Army (representing 60% of the workforce), Royal Navy and Royal Marines (20%), and Royal Air Force (20%). Women account for 20% of the Service personnel.


Rank structure

A descriptor of the rank structure and the levels of associated responsibility can be found by clicking the links below.

For the British Army, for the Royal Navy, for the Royal Air Force.

The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) have mapped military rank to ILM qualification equivalent.


More information

More information is available about the Armed Forces on the different Service websites:

Army (
Navy (
Royal Air Force (

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