Navy and RAF have no non-white top officers, while Army only has ‘five to fewer’. This is deemed ‘appalling’ and embarrassing.

  • Royal Navy and RAF do not have any commanders with ethnic minority backgrounds
  • Army is not in better shape, only five to fewer officers from ethnic minorities at the highest echelons
  • Last week, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), promised to take action 

Figures have shown that the Royal Navy and RAF do not have any commanders who are ethnic minorities.

This is the first time that no high-ranking officer in their ranks has been either black or Asian.

According to statistics, the Army does not have much more ethnic-minority personnel at its top echelons.

Last night’s situation was called ‘appalling’ and embarrassing. It follows repeated pledges made by ministers, service chiefs, to ensure that Armed Forces represents the nation it serves.

After describing the Armed Forces as not reflecting the country’s ethnicity, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin (CDS), pledged to take action last week.

The situation deteriorated significantly because his predecessors stated the exact same thing, although they did not publicly say it.

Last week, Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Sir Tony Radakin (pictured) pledged action after describing the Armed Forces' failure to reflect the country's ethnic mix as 'woeful'

After describing the Armed Forces as not reflecting the country’s ethnicity, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), pledged to take action last week

According to figures obtained by the Daily Mail, the under-representation of minorities is far worse today than it was five years ago – the last time statistics were released.

In 2016 there were 14 ethnic-minority officers at the OF-5 level or above – the rank of colonel or higher in the Army, captain or above in the Royal Navy and group captain or higher in the RAF. Of these, 11 were in the Army, one was in the Navy and two were RAF – from an overall cohort of more than 1,400.

Despite the increased recognition of the importance of promoting officers of minority background, there is still a low representation of them at the top.

In fact, there are so few black or Asian senior officers the Ministry of Defence counts them as ‘five or fewer’ – so the figure could be one. In a 1,000-member cohort, there are no RAF or Navy senior officers.

Former Army Officer Ben Obese Jecty charged the Armed Forces with a ‘long-standing failure to recruit effectively from Britain’s ethnic minority population’.

Referring to the lack of senior officers, former defence minister Kevan Jones (pictured) said: 'This is a deeply concerning situation which sends the wrong messages to personnel from ethnic-minority communities and undermines recruitment'

Kevan Jones (pictured), former defence minister, said that there was an urgent need for senior officers to address the issue.

He said, “The effect of this is now being seen with too many officers amongst those on track for promotion to the senior ranks. It is important to have a CDS that recognizes the challenges the Armed Forces face when addressing this gap. However, it will take many generations for such a CDS to become a reality.

Ministry of Defence is shifting its marketing strategy towards recruiting people from various backgrounds. As a result, there are now 13,690 personnel from ethnic minorities, up from 12,750 in last year. A TV commercial featured an Asian Muslim soldier kneeling in prayer while participating in a military exercise.

Kevan Jones, former defense minister, stated that the absence of top officers was a serious problem. He said it sent the wrong message to ethnic minority personnel and affected recruitment.

The high-profile cases of discrimination have not been helpful. Two former paratroopers Hani Gee and Nkululeko Zulu, were harassed for years. In 2019, they won an Employment Tribunal against the MoD.

According to a spokesperson from the MoD, “Since 2016, the proportion of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic personnel has increased by 2 per cent.”

“It may take several years for recruits reach high-ranking leadership roles.