Bundeswehr is shrinking – more departures than new recruits

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The Bundeswehr is shrinking: According to a newspaper report, for the second year in a row more soldiers have left military service than new ones. More than 19,500 soldiers left the Bundeswehr in 2022, reported the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (Thursday edition), citing information from the Federal Ministry of Defense. That is the highest value since 2017.

More than 4,200 soldiers even quit their service early in 2022. The reasons for this include a permanent disability, but also a termination of service during the six-month probationary period at the beginning of the service.

In order for the Bundeswehr to be able to achieve the politically set goal of 203,000 soldiers by 2031, 21,000 recruits would have to be recruited for service every year, the newspaper quoted a ministry spokeswoman as saying. In this way, the departures could also be absorbed.

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According to the report, the Bundeswehr hired a total of 18,776 people in 2022. The total number of personnel in the military sector had fallen to 183,050 at the end of 2022.



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