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Express & Star comment: New army image is unrealistic

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

In some respects, the British Army's attempts to move with the times deserve a degree of credit.

Stills from the Army's new TV advert

But as with all public bodies these days, it appears to be in thrall to and focused on a very small section of society.

While attempts to attract gay and Muslim individuals can be considered laudable, you have to ask what proportion of Army recruits will ever come from these sections of the community.

And in a world of true equality, would a person's background even matter?

For Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, the new recruitment campaign is nothing more than a case of boosting Army numbers.

The desperation of the situation is borne out by the statistics, which show that more than 1,600 soldiers left the Army in the year up to March 2017.

The challenge in front of the South Staffordshire MP – who has done a stellar job in his role so far – is similar to that which many ministers find themselves being forced to deal with.

Put simply, he is faced with an establishment that has been politicised to such an extent that all semblance of common sense has long since disappeared.

Thanks in no small part to the influence of Tony Blair, it has long been the case that any attempts to move bodies such as the police, the fire service and the armed forces away from a politically correct agenda is generally viewed as career suicide.

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Fearing howls of outrage from the left wing media, particularly the hypocritical BBC, ministers are often left unable to express views that many people in the country wholeheartedly agree with.

It goes without saying that the Army should aim to recruit people from all backgrounds, regardless of their creed, gender, race or sexual orientation.

But at the end of the day, the most important factor with any recruit is how well they are suited to the job.

It can also be argued that this new emotional and caring image that the Army is attempting to cultivate is completely unrealistic.

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Recruits must want to fight. First and foremost, they must want to be soldiers.

The motto 'be the best' have never been more appropriate.

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