- Commanders have offered £7,500 to tempt privates from other infantry units
Soldiers are being offered a bonus of a third of their salaries to transfer to the Parachute Regiment amid a manpower crisis.
In a rare move, regiment commanders have offered £7,500 to tempt Army privates from other infantry units.
They receive a basic salary of £23,496 — with the size of the bonus indicating the severity of the problem.
The seemingly unprecedented offer was included in an internal document seen by the Mail.
The memo states the scheme ‘has been put in place to redress the Para workforce deficit’ with a ‘one-off incentive’.
The Ministry of Defence declined to say how many troops the Parachute Regiment needs to accept the offer or when it was last required to resort to such means.
Members of the elite unit are held on ‘very high readiness’ to respond to crises involving endangered Britons anywhere in the world.
A lack of parachute-trained soldiers could compromise the UK’s ability to protect its citizens overseas.
The Parachute Regiment consists of three full-time battalions and a fourth reservist battalion.
These units specialise in rapid-reaction operations as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade Combat Team.
A shortage of paratroopers would be felt in the Special Forces units as they provide the biggest cohort of soldiers to the Special Air Service and the Special Forces Support Group.
A possible challenge to the UK’s capability to respond to crises overseas comes as Britons are thought to be among those held by Hamas in Gaza.
Paras took a leading role in the airlift of Britons, Afghans and international citizens from Kabul when the Taliban returned to rule in Afghanistan in 2021.
The British Army is struggling to fill 10,000 vacancies in the UK across 200 roles.
Former defence minister Mark Francois blamed the private contractor Capita for the Paras’ staffing crisis.
He said: ‘This is another example of their total screw-up of the Army’s recruitment process.’
An Army spokesman said: ‘To take advantage of surplus numbers in other areas of the infantry, a financial offer is being introduced to incentivise private soldiers to transfer.’