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File: British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of British Armed Forces in the United Kingdom.
It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England and Scotland and was administered by the War Office from London. It has been managed by the Ministry of Defence since 1964.
The full-time element of the British Army is referred to as the Regular Army and has been since the creation of the reservist Territorial Force in 1908. The British Army is deployed in many of the world's war zones as part of both Expeditionary Forces and in United Nations Peacekeeping forces. The British Army is currently deployed in Kosovo, Cyprus, Germany, Afghanistan and many other places.
All members of the Army swear (or affirm) allegiance to the monarch as commander-in-chief. However the Bill of Rights of 1689 requires Parliamentary consent for the Crown to maintain a standing army in peacetime. Parliament therefore annually approves the continued existence of the Army.
In contrast to the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force, the British Army does not include Royal in its title. Many of the Army's constituent Regiments and Corps have been granted the "Royal" prefix and have members of the Royal Family occupying senior positions within some regiments.
The professional head of the British Army is the Chief of the General Staff, currently General Sir Peter Wall KCB CBE ADC Gen.
The British Army is purely a professional force since National service came to an end. The full-time element of the British Army is referred to as the Regular Army since the creation of the reservist Territorial Force in 1908. As of 1 November 2011, the British Army employs 109,520 Regulars (which includes the 3,780 Brigade of Gurkhas) and 33,100 Territorials for a combined component strength of 142,620 soldiers. In addition there are 121,800 Regular Reserves of the British Army.
The strength of the British Army is continually evolving. A publication released on 18 July 2011 entitled "Future Reserves 2020 - The Independent Commission to review the United Kingdom's Reserve Forces" envisioned that by 2015 the Territorial Army will be increased to a trained strength of around 30,000 personnel (38,000 including those in training). Furthermore the Commissions view is that post 2015 the trained strength of the Territorial Army will continue to increase allowing for a British Army (Regular and Territorial) with a trained strength of 120,000 personnel by 2020. This reform will bring the ratio of regular and part-time personnel of the British Army in-line with US and Canadian allies.
As per the October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review the regular British Army will be reduced to a trained strength of 95,500 personnel by 2015 (around 105,000 including those in training). However, post 2015, and in conjunction with the Commissions planning as set out in "Future Reserve 2020" the regular army will be reduced to around 82,000 - 84,000 trained personnel by 2020.