kids encyclopedia robot

British Armed Forces facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
British Armed Forces
The tri-service badge
Established 1707
Parts Royal Navy
British Army
Royal Air Force
Commander-in-Chief Queen Elizabeth II
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
(de facto authority)
Secretary of State for Defence
Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP

Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP
Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Houghton
Serving soldiers
Available to
be a soldier
14,607,725 males, age 15–49,
14,028,738 females, age 15–49
Fit to be
a soldier
12,046,268 males, age 15–49,
11,555,893 females, age 15–49
Active employees/soldiers 150,000 active personnel
Reserve personnel 82,000 regular reserve
Budget FY 2013-14: GBP £36.3 billion
Percent of GDP 2.1%

The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom. The British Armed Forces are officially called Her Majesty's Armed Forces, and they are sometimes called the Armed Forces of the Crown. The British Armed Forces is made up of three parts: the British Army, the Royal Navy (and the Royal Marines) and the Royal Air Force.

The Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces is the British monarch. Members of the British Armed Forces must swear that they will obey the orders of the monarch (swear allegiance). Under the constitution of the United Kingdom, the armed forces controlled by the Crown, however, because of the 1689 Bill of Rights, the UK cannot have an army during peacetime unless the British Parliament allows it. Nowadays, the British Parliament passes an Armed Forces Act every five years, which means the UK can keep its military. The British Prime Minister is the de facto commander of the British Armed Forces. The armed forces are managed by the Ministry of Defence.

The British Armed Forces protect the United Kingdom, the British overseas territories and the Crown dependencies. They also take part in United Nations peacekeeping missions. The British Armed Forces often take part in NATO missions. The most recent wars the British Armed Forces have fought are the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Operation Palliser, peacekeeping in the Balkans and Cyprus, and defending the no-fly zone over Libya. The British Armed Forces have bases in the following places: Ascension Island, Belize, Brunei, Canada, Diego Garcia, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Kenya, Qatar and the Sovereign Base Areas (Cyprus).

The United Kingdom tested its first nuclear weapon in Operation Hurricane in 1952. As of 2012, Britain is one of the five recognised nuclear powers. It has around 225 nuclear warheads. The United Kingdom's nuclear weapons are controlled by the Royal Navy.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Fuerzas Armadas británicas para niños

kids search engine
British Armed Forces Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.