Belgian army personnel still declining to reach 26,868 soldiers in 2021

The Belgian Council of Ministers set Friday 11 December at 26,868 people the army contingent for 2021, a number which includes soldiers in active service, students in training, military personnel assigned to various tasks and reservists, in decline several hundred compared to 2020, announced the Defense Ministry. The annual setting of this quota is a constitutionally imposed requirement on the government, which must introduce a law to this effect.
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Flags of the unit composing the Motorized Brigade on the day of its officialization at Marche-en-Famenne camp, December 22, 2018 (Picture source: Army Recognition)

The Belgian government approved Friday the draft law fixing the army's contingent for 2021, the Belga news agency reported. For2021, this contingent of 26,868 soldiers breaks down into 24,691 active staff members including trainees and students, calculated in the envelope of military personnel, 420 active personnel, calculated outside the envelope of personnel under the flags (such as personnel made available to different bodies), and 1,757 soldiers from the reserve framework, said the minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedonder.

The army’s 2021 quota takes into account a recruitment of 2,500 troops, an increase of 465 soldiers from the recruitment planned for 2020, the minister said in a statement. Last year, the government set the army's contingent for 2020 at 27,249 troops.