15 April 2011

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has revealed that it has so far paid more than £10,000 for recruits to have breast reduction surgery so that they can fit comfortably into the standard issue body armour. The organisation has also paid out more than £7,000 for ear reshaping surgery that allows helmets to fit comfortably. The figures were released as a result of a Freedom of Information request made by the Mirror, which also revealed that the total amount paid out for cosmetic surgery in the last three years was £17,257. This had increased from £4,292 in 2008/09, to £12,965 in 2010/11. A spokesperson for the MoD said: “Occasionally plastic surgery may be carried out for occupational and operational reasons”. Each case is judged by the Exceptional Case Assessment panel before any funding is given to carry out surgical procedures but this is likely to be of little comfort to those recruits who feel like they’re fighting without the proper kit. It is also likely to be very unpopular with the Armed Forces who have seen their funding cut dramatically to recoup a £38 billion deficit.