|How dangerous is being in the navy/marines?|
A word about risk
The risk of being in the armed forces can't be known exactly because:
Every job in the armed forces carries some level of risk.
Most common combat risks in Iraq and Afghanistan
Researchers asked armed forces personnel who had been deployed to Iraq and/or Afghanstan which threats they most commonly faced. This is what they found:
For those in front-line roles these experiences would be more common; in support roles like logistics, less common.
Risk of death
In 2008, 40 navy/marines personnel died. The mortality rate (the 'death rate') in the navy and marines was 108 in 100,000 people, according to the official statistics. The risk for front-line troops posted to Afghanistan or Iraq (e.g. marines) is higher than this; the risk for non-front-line troops is lower. On average, the mortality rate is about the same as the UK population as a whole (because armed forces recruits are fitter than average and more resistant to disease).
Risk of serious injury
The risk of serious injury in Afghanistan or Iraq is about twice the risk of death by hostile action. In 2007, 131 armed forces personnel were seriously or very seriously injured in Afghanistan or Iraq; most were army personnel. Of course, there is risk of serious injury in some civilian careers as well.
Risk of psychological harm
The risk of psychological harm in the navy is higher than the risk of serious physical injury or death. A report in 2006 showed that about 4% of armed forces personnel showed symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (sometimes called 'shell-shock'). The rate was higher among troops with combat duties (6%) than those without (3%). There are several other psychological problems that are linked to exposure to warfare; these include depression, alcohol- and drug-dependence and relationship problems; they can happen to even the toughest of recruits. See the article on combat stress.
Most navy recruits and marines suffer no serious physical or mental harm as a result of their work but for those that do, life may never be the same again. These are risks that you need to consider before enlisting.
[Sources: Defence Analytical Services Agency, 2009; Ministry of Defence, 2008; Lancet, 2006 and 2010]
|Last Updated on Saturday, 15 May 2010 12:45|