The United Kingdom remains as one of the oldest monarchies in the world, with a strong democratic political foundation. The armed forces namely Army, Navy and Air force have played very crucial roles in the defence and development of the country. These institutions are purely non-political entities and Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Commander of the Armed forces. Historically the British armed forces had outstanding roles in the expansion and consolidation of the Empire. During the Second World War British armed forces made positive contributions for the success of the Allied forces. After the war these forces are protecting the country from external and internal enemies. British soldiers also serve the United Nations forces which are deputed for peace keeping in many countries affected by civil wars.
Traditionally serving the country by joining any of the branches of the defence forces is considered as a noble profession by the people of the United Kingdom NSCDC Recruitment. The Royal family is not an exception to this tradition. Professional soldiers are high admired by the civil society. They are offered good remunerations and social security by the state. Citizens are encouraged to join Army, Navy and Air Force to pursue the career which is considered elite in status. Generally people are proud to be associated with the defence forces. Importance given to the personnel in the armed forces is reflected in the various welfare measures established by both the state and civil society. Special considerations are given to the employment of ex-service personnel. The serving and retired defense personnel receive preferential treatments when the state initiate welfare programmes. The forces on their part have earned universal recognition as an effective and reliable group who rendered invaluable services during war and peace. This is more relevant during natural disasters like storms, heavy snowfalls, cyclones and landslides. In the recent past defence forces are playing strategic roles in the anti-terrorism activities.
The British armed forces have 194,440 regular troops and 39420 volunteers according to reliable estimates. In addition to the above there are 191,300 regular reserves also. It is the second largest force in the European Union. As for Navy and Air force they are the second largest among the European Union countries. The services offered by the British forces to the NATO initiatives in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan are remarkable. Every year the country recruits about 200,000 regular soldiers to serve in the three arms.
Successive governments in the United Kingdom have taken special care to support the defence forces. As already mentioned the defense personnel are offered good remuneration and retirement benefits. Efforts are made to rehabilitate ex-service personnel as a measure of social security. The present coalition Government have recently introduced the Armed Forces Bill in the parliament. Members of the Parliament irrespective of their party affiliations have expressed strong views against dilution of welfare measures to the armed forces in the process of economic reforms. There are apprehensions among the opposition party leaders that the Government will be effective wage freeze or pension fund reforms, adversely affecting the remunerations and retirement benefits of defense personnel.