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Dad’s Army: MoD to call up the over-50s

Dad's Army: MoD to call up the over-50s

The maximum age for some part-time soldiers to join the reserves has been raised to over 50. Commanders have been accused of “Dad’s Army” desperation, with the drive to recruit thousands of reservists being branded as shambolic

The Telegrpah reports: Over fifties will now be able to sign up as part-time soldiers after the Government raised the maximum allowable age to join, it was disclosed.

The moves comes as Army reservist recruitment figures were attacked as “shocking” and “embarrassing” after the ranks of part-time soldiers grew by just 20 in the past year, despite a Government drive to sign up thousands.

Julian Brazier, Minister for Reserves rejected claims that lifting the upper age limit from 43 to 52 for former regular soldiers wanting to join the reserves was a sign of desperation to meet recruitment targets. The army has also raised from 45 to 50 the age limit for civilians with specialist skills, such as a language or a medical background, who want to become an officer in the reserves.

“It is one more example of intelligent modification of the process,” Mr Brazier said. “Before, somebody would automatically get excluded if they were over age. Now we want to see what they are applying for.”

But Commanders were accused of “Dad’s Army” desperation, with one former officer telling The Times: “They will take anyone with a pulse.”