RACO Survey of Voluntarily Retired Officers

RACO conducted a survey on the topic of voluntarily retired officers 2020-2022. During the past years the world has faced multiple threats and challenges as a global pandemic, emergency evacuations from Afghanistan and Sudan, the return of the war in Europe, however, the Defence Forces remain neglected. The Irish Commission on the Defence Forces conducted various reports on abuse or operational casualties.

In September 2020 RACO began a process to establish the motivations of those officers who voluntarily retired from service before their mandatory retirement age between 2015 and 2019. The survey identified many factors as work/life balance or critical working conditions. The situation remained unchanged, and as a result RACO decided to conduct a second survey on the topic. To state briefly, the second survey also indicate similar reasons for leaving the Armed Forces hence it has become evident that the situation has not improved. A positive element though is the fact that many respondents were positive about their time in the Defence Forces and the skills and experiences it provided them as individuals. The detailed report of the survey is available at RACO magazine.

Lastly, the President of EUROMIL, Emmanuel Jacob, underlines that the results of this survey indicate the need for change as retention has becoming a serious challenge for the majority of Europe’s militaries. Now that most countries have announced an increased defence spending, military personnel and the improvement of working conditions should not be neglected. Undoubtedly, innovation, ammunition and strengthening the defence industry is imperative, but without having the necessary human resources to operate weapon systems and equipment, it will be inessential.

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