Facts About British Armed Forces

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British Armed Forces
  1. Establishment

The beginning of the British standing army was in the year 1661. Earlier, armies were formed as and when a particular situation arises.

  1. Going at it bare-headed

A regiment named the Blues and Royals has the practice of saluting even when not wearing a hat. This practice originates from the Marquis of Granby, the man who led a cavalry charge in the Battle of Warburg. During this war, his wig blew off, and this gave birth to a popular phrase, “Going at it bare-headed.”

  1. Scrap honors

Queen Victorian commissioned the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War. It is the highest honor that a soldier can receive in the British Armed Forces. This medal is made using the scrap metal taken from a Russian cannon captured during the war.


  1. A return on investment?

As per the Ministry of Defence, it costs approximately £30,000 to train a soldier. The selection process costs £7,000, while Basic Training and the Combat Infantry Course cost £23,000.

  1. Reusing is the way forward

In 2005, the Ministry of Defence launched special antimicrobial underwear for their soldiers. This underwear can be worn up to three months at a time without changing or cleaning it.

  1. The Royal Navy

Sailing all the time made drinking water difficult to access mid-way from the ocean. Therefore, sailors’ supply of rum was not a luxury, but a necessity. The sailors received a daily ration of rum, known as “grog.”

  1. Better late than never

The Royal Air Force emerged in April 1918 and is most commonly referred to as the Junior service as it was the last to be formed of the three services.


  1. Women lead the way

The first female jet pilot in the RAF was Flight Lieutenant Jo Salter in 1994, flying a Panavia Tornado. Today, it is very common for both men and women to take to the skies in Britain.

  1. Moto

The motto of the RAF is “Per Ardua Ad Astra,” which is Latin for “By rough roads to the stars.”

  1. Personnel

The strength of the British Army as of 2018 is 81,120, and that of the British Navy is 25,480.

  1. Family

The British army was structured to send those people whose carrier was being a full-time soldier on long overseas deployments. This meant their families too had to be taken along. Women worked as nurses, and sutlers, or found jobs outside the army to help support their families.

  1. Defense Budget

The United Kingdom has the sixth- or seventh-largest defense budget in the world. This is more than countries such as France, India, Japan or Germany, but less than countries like China, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America.