Colonel and General at war over new direction of Armed Forces recruitment.  

Two army officials are disagreeing about the new direction army recruitment has taken with the British Army’s new advert. Public opinion has weighed in with accusations of political correctness and focus is now on the future of the Armed Forces.

Multimedia adverts promoting new programmes to provide emotional and physical support for troops aired today following low numbers of new recruits but retired colonel Richard Kemp has said it will not solve the army’s ‘recruitment crisis’.

The advert featured voices of men concerned about the emotional pressure to be ‘superheroes’, the acceptance of diverse sexuality and in one scene a young Muslim man explains how the army has allowed him to practice his faith. Compared to other adverts that heavily feature combat scenes and strong masculine images, attention is focused on taking care of the individual’s needs.

General Sir Nick Carter told BBC Radio 4s programme that

‘Our society is changing and I think it is entirely appropriate for us to therefore try and reach out to a much broader base to get the talent we need in order to sustain combat effectiveness’.

The army general believes that by representing all areas of society the army can maximise the skills on offer. Colonel Richard Kemp voiced worries that it not only attracts the wrong kind of recruits but also sends the message of weakness.

Army veteran Pete Dawson, sympathises with colonel Kemp, commenting that army advertisements have always been far from the reality of training and war. In an interview he drew concern that at 59 he could still complete the basic army fitness test making him believe they have dropped their standards.

‘it’s about fighting and winning wars and if you think you can’t do that without bringing in a kit bag full of emotional baggage or concerns about who you are as a person, the Army isn’t the job for you.’

 

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