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Almost one in three Australian soldiers want to quit their jobs, citing poor pay, the lure of private sector jobs and the stress on family life of being away on long deployments.
In the navy, the disaffected nominate the long periods at sea. In the army, they don't believe they have the equipment and resources to do the job.
The snapshot of disaffection within the 52,000-strong defence force is detailed in the 2004 Defence Attitude Survey which runs to almost 500 pages and canvasses the views of 8000 military and civilian personnel.
The confidential report, obtained by The Australian, is prepared annually by the Defence Personnel Executive and is intended for the heads of the three armed services and Defence Forces Chief, General Peter Cosgrove.
The navy records the highest dissatisfaction rating with 37 per cent of sailors surveyed saying they were considering quitting compared with 32 per cent of army respondents and 24 per cent in the air force.