THE MoD has just published its annual personnel report for the year 2012/13 and it makes fascinating reading.

The reduction in the size of the three services has begun to show: the total strength of the armed forces has decreased by 5.1 per cent across all the services. The army has reduced its total strength by 4.3 per cent, the naval service by 4.5 per cent and the Royal Air Force by 7.4 per cent.

Going through the statistics, many interesting facts emerge. The RAF has the highest percentage of women and the army the lowest, while the Royal Navy has the fewest female officers. The black and minority ethnic percentage across the services is 7.1 per cent (2.4 per cent of officers).

The army has the highest representation at 10.2 per cent, with the RAF at two per cent.

On April 1, the regular army strength stood at 99,730, still a long way to go to the planned level of 80,000, and army strength fell by 4,590 during the year but still manages to have 209 officers of 1* rank or above. That is one general officer (brigadier to general) for every 400 soldiers.