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 British Army - 14000 quit in a year, Leaving £2.45 / hour behind
Bridget
Posted: Oct 6 2007, 08:59 AM





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QUOTE
A homecoming fit for heroes? Deserted streets greet soldiers' parade on their return from Afghanistan

user posted image


QUOTE
• The Army is so short of soldiers that it has hired Group 4 Securicor to help train British troops heading for frontline operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The £7million contract will see the private company's staff being paid to demonstrate key military skills such as quelling riots, storming enemy compounds and carrying out vehicle checks - as well as dressing up to play the parts of enemy fighters or local civilians in training exercises.

Currently such demonstrations and play-acting are carried out by serving British soldiers who are drawn from other units to help their colleagues prepare for hazardous operations abroad.

But with the Army struggling to cope with the demands of simultaneous operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence admitted yesterday that the ground-breaking deal was intended to "free up resources".

Although the Army uses small numbers of civilians in specialist training such as language classes, this is the first time it has used private companies to provide more general training in front-line operationalskills.

Group Four Securicor stressed that it would use only former soldiers, mostly recentlyretired Gurkhas, to fulfil the training contract.

But the latest move was seen as a further sign of the severe overstretch facing the UK armed forces, who have faced drastic manpower cuts in recent years despite the heavy demands of fighting overseas.

The British Army is at its smallest in modern times, with only 99,350 trained soldiers according to latest MoD figures - and almost 2,500 posts left vacant owing to recruitment and retention problems.
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Bridget
Posted: Jan 7 2008, 10:06 PM





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QUOTE
MoD accused of 'glamorising' war
By Kim Sengupta
Published: 07 January 2008

Young people are being recruited into the Army with misleading marketing, and the disillusionment which follows has led to a huge number of them leaving the service, a report has claimed.

The advertising campaigns used by the Ministry of Defence "glamorise warfare, omit vital information and fail to point out the risks and responsibilities associated with a forces career", says the study. At the same time, promises made to those joining the ranks are often not kept and the recruits are also not told of their legal rights.

The report, by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, says that recruiters are targeting children as young as seven and points out that the UK is the only EU state to recruit those aged 16. It recommends sweeping changes to the MoD's current policy including a new charter setting out the responsibility of the state; a radical review of recruitment literature; phasing out the recruitment of minors and new rights for recruits to leave the services.

The dossier is said to be the first piece of comprehensive research into the methods used to attract the young to the armed forces and comes at a time when the Army acknowledges it is facing serious problems retaining its numbers. It follows another report last month which claimed that the Army was losing almost a "battalion a year" due to the use of illegal drugs.

One important factor behind personnel leaving had been the continuous deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. The report says that "for every two in the 16 to 22 age group joining the Army, one is leaving. In 2007, 48 per cent of all soldiers found army life to be worse than expected. More than £2bn is invested annually in training; most of this is used to train approximately 20,000 new recruits who replace those who leave each year."

The report, Informed Choice? Armed Forces and Recruitment Practices in the UK, says that literature provided by the services "fails to mention that unless they leave within six months of enlisting, minors have no legal right to leave for four years."

There is now a wide range of avenues, from brochures and magazines to CDs and DVDs, for those interested in joining the Army. One particularly successful programme is "Camouflage", aimed at 13 to 17-year-olds, which includes a magazine, website and interactive games. In addition there are services career advisers who visit schools as part of an outreach programme.

The MoD says it does not recruit from schools. The report claims: "The Ministry of Defence's youth policy contradicts this, describing military curricular activities in educational establishments as a 'powerful tool for facilitating recruitment especially if the skills developed through curricular activities have a direct bearing on military requirements'."

The report's author, David Gee, said: "The literature available to the young glamorises the armed services but does little to show the dangers recruits may face and even less the moral dilemmas they may face.

A MoD spokeswoman said: "We welcome any report that contributes to serious debate on the armed forces. However, some of these assertions are incorrect and ill-informed, others are selective in their interpretation of recruitment practices and some of the evidence is out of date. Our recruitment practices avoid 'glamorising war' and we refute any allegations that they depict warfare as 'game-like'."

Independent
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Bridget
Posted: Mar 7 2008, 10:07 AM





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QUOTE
From The Times
March 7, 2008
Row over military uniforms in public

Francis Elliott, Fiona Hamilton and Michael Evans

Plans to urge soldiers, sailors and airmen to wear their uniforms in public were in disarray last night after RAF personnel were ordered to dress in civilian clothes while off-duty because of persistent threats and abuse.

The uniform ban was imposed by the station commander at RAF Wittering, near Peterborough, after a number of servicemen and women walking in the city in their military clothes were targeted because of their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Gordon Brown and Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, tried last night to overturn the ban. But the incidents in Peterborough threaten to undermine a new planned policy, favoured by the Prime Minister, that aims to draw the military and general public closer together.

The Prime Minister is to be presented this month with a report that will call for the widespread wearing of military uniforms to engender respect and appreciation for the Armed Forces. In the US service personnel wear their uniforms off-duty. This was banned in Britain in recent years because of the IRA terrorist threat.

Quentin Davies, a former Tory defence spokesman who defected to Labour, was asked by the Prime Minister to review ways of improving the public’s attitude and opinion of the Armed Forces.

The Times understands that Mr Davies will recommend that all British military personnel should be encouraged to wear their uniforms in the street. The MP is known to be of the view that if other sections of society, such as firefighters, paramedics and police officers, can wear uniforms, members of the Armed Forces should also do so as a matter of course. Mr Davies is also expected to recommend that local authorities be persuaded to organise homecoming parades for any units based in their communities that have served in Iraq, Afghanistan or other conflict zones.

Mr Davies and two aides have visited the United States, Canada and France to gauge how they treat their military in public. But the Peterborough incidents highlight concerns that some sections of the British public may be openly hostile to the proposals.

After the Peterborough decision became known yesterday, there was an immediate response from Downing Street and the Ministry of Defence. An adviser to the Prime Minister said: “Our Armed Forces should be able to wear their uniforms with pride and to have the respect of their local communities. If instead they face abuse and violence, then this must be dealt with by the police as a matter of urgency.” The Defence Secretary said that the right of Forces to wear their uniforms in public needed to be defended. “It is a great shame that some individuals in this community don’t have respect for our brave Forces, who every day are doing a great deal for this nation. This is not a situation we should be tolerating.”

Group Captain Ro Atherton, the RAF Wittering station commander, took advice from RAF Police before ordering his personnel to keep a low profile. Squadron Leader Tony Walsh, a spokesman for the base, said that a number of personnel who lived in and around Peterborough suffered abuse.

The order ran counter to an existing general policy of allowing uniforms to be worn more widely, which came after the easing of tensions in Northern Ireland. During the Troubles, the wearing of uniforms in public on the mainland was regarded as too risky.

The abuse, said to have been from a cross-section of the community, came to light after Parviz Khan, from Birmingham, was jailed for planning to kidnap and behead a Muslim soldier.

Marion Todd, Peterborough’s mayor, described the jeers as despicable. The mayor, whose great-nephew is serving in Afghanistan, said: “It’s a sad day for the city and for the country when the RAF can’t wear their uniforms . . . A small minority of people shouldn’t be able to dictate to us.”

Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpy, the Chief of the Air Staff, said: “Whatever people’s views are about specific military operations, everyone should be able to recognise the bravery and professionalism of our Armed Forces and respect the difficult job they do.”

Liam Fox, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said: “Of course the commander on the ground must make the final decision but I regret that the circumstances exist where a decision like this had to be made. I think the majority of our public would be appalled to hear there are no-go areas for our Armed Forces, even in their own country.”
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The Antagonist
Posted: Mar 7 2008, 01:11 PM


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From the story above:
QUOTE
The Prime Minister is to be presented this month with a report that will call for the widespread wearing of military uniforms to engender respect and appreciation for the Armed Forces. In the US service personnel wear their uniforms off-duty. This was banned in Britain in recent years because of the IRA terrorist threat.

The uniform wearing of fascism was apparently banned in the UK because of the IRA terrorist threat. The likes of the pernicious Peter Power and all his ex-Police-now private 'security' contractor colleagues are bigging up a terror threat greater than the IRA, that of 'Islamist terrorism'. Yet the uniform wearing in public of fascism is still being encouraged. One might then deduce that the bigged-up terrorist threat, touted solely by the State and its corporate advisor apparatchiks -- especially given the made-up plan to behead a soldier -- is, as more people than the state can tolerate have surmised, be a complete load of nonsense. They can't have it both ways.

Well done to the folk in Peterborough for making their utter distaste known.

Cops wear uniforms too.
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The Antagonist
Posted: Mar 7 2008, 04:09 PM


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Daily Mash tells it like it is again:
QUOTE
RAF TO BOMB PETERBOROUGH BACK TO STONE AGE

PETERBOROUGH was today bracing itself for wave after wave of devastating raids by low-flying Tornado fighter-bombers.

user posted image
How Peterborough's magnificent 12th Century cathedral will look to the boys of 4-2 Squadron

The historic cathedral city has been targeted by RAF chiefs after air force personnel were called names by some students.

Air Chief Marshall Sir Tom Logan said: "Our brave airmen have been subjected to ill-considered taunts from some of Peterborough's most fanatical and determined Guardian readers.

"We could simply ignore them and go about our business, but that would send the wrong message to our enemies in Iraq, Afghanistan and France."

The raid will be carried out by a formation of six Tornadoes each carrying a 200 pound Geronimo, laser-targeted bomb, also known as the 'Cathedraliser'.

Many people have already evacuated, although a Guardian-reading hardcore has pledged to shout incisive criticism at the planes as they unleash fiery death.

Sir Tom added: "Thanks to the cutting edge technology of today's RAF, this charming, provincial city with its treasured medieval architecture will be a smouldering husk by around tea time.

"Peterborough has made its date with destiny. I would strongly advise its citizens to flee to Grantham. If you're going via the A1, there's a lovely tearoom at Woolsthorpe."
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Bridget
Posted: May 20 2008, 11:46 AM





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QUOTE
Discrimination against military to become crime

By Kim Sengupta
Tuesday, 20 May 2008

The Government is to bring in new laws making it a criminal offence to discriminate against people in military uniform and impose extra penalties on those convicted of assault or harassment of service personnel.

The new legislation will be among 40 recommendations in a report adopted by the Government, including an Armed Forces Day bank holiday and a drive to enrol state school pupils into cadet forces.

The report, National Recognition of our Armed Forces, was compiled by the MP Quentin Davies at the request of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and attempts to address what is seen as a lack of knowledge about the military.

The study suggests that the media and parliamentarians should have more open access to military personnel and an officer should be stationed at the House of Commons to give technical advice to MPs over laws involving the services. There are further recommendations for raising awareness about the military in the national curriculum and holding homecoming parades for troops returning from combat zones.

The introduction of the new laws, the most controversial of the measures, follows a small number of high-profile incidents in which service personnel have been barred from premises and others abused in public. In one instance, an Army officer in uniform was refused entry to Harrods department store on Remembrance Day and, on another occasion, RAF personnel were abused on a street in Peterborough.

Existing legislation covers cases of harassment and intimidation, but the report suggests that targeting the military should be viewed as an aggravating factor to be considered in sentencing. The Armed Forces minister, Bob Ainsworth, said that talks will be held with the Crown Prosecution Service over the legislation.

The National Union of Teachers voted at its annual conference this year to oppose military recruitment in schools because it often employed "misleading propaganda". Mr Ainsworth insisted that motions passed by the NUT "did not necessarily reflect the views of all schools and teachers and this would not be detrimental" to the setting up of cadet forces at state schools.

Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools, and said: "I believe Combined Cadet Forces can make a huge difference ... This is not just about recruitment, this is about personal development and educational opportunities."

Nick Harvey, the Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, said: "An Armed Forces Day is welcome, but it will ring hollow for those forces families who put up with sub-standard housing."

Independent
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Kier
Posted: May 20 2008, 12:30 PM





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QUOTE
New uniform offence and Bank Holiday to celebrate Armed Forces

May 20, 2008

Michael Evans, Defence Editor

A Bank Holiday to celebrate the work of the Armed Forces is under consideration by the Government as part of a drive to improve relations between the military and the public.

Legislation is also to be introduced to make it a criminal offence to discriminate against military personnel in Service dress or combat fatigues. This is an attempt to encourage members of the Armed Forces to wear their uniforms in public as often as possible.

Anyone who physically attacks a serviceman or servicewoman in uniform will also be charged with an “aggravated offence”, to underline the seriousness now attached to the well-being and security of Armed Forces personnel when in the public eye.

The recommendations are in an official report, National Recognition of Our Armed Forces, drawn up by Quentin Davies, the MP and former Tory defence spokesman, who switched to Labour in June last year. He was asked by Gordon Brown to investigate ways of improving the relationship between the military and the civilian public.

Mr Davies said that the military and public had drifted apart in recent years, claiming that society had become more “individualistic, hedonistic and materialistic” compared with the values of self-sacrifice shown by the Armed Forces.


The creation of an Armed Forces Day, which he envisaged could be merged with Veterans’ Day, would not detract from the significance of the annual Remembrance Sunday. This would remain a “precious national institution”, he added.

The report says that if the Government decides to create a public holiday in honour of the military, it should be on a Friday or Monday at the end of June. If not a Bank Holiday, then it should be a Saturday so that school-children and most working adults would be available to attend events. Senior military figures have already expressed support for a national day of celebration for the Armed Forces.

Among his 40 recommendations published yesterday, Mr Davies suggested that lessons on the role of the Armed Forces in society should be included in the national curriculum, and that more Combined Cadet Corps should be set up in schools. He also recommended more visits to schools by representatives of the Armed Forces, although not for recruiting purposes.

Of the 6,400 secondary schools in the United Kingdom, 260 have cadet corps and most of them are in grammar and independent schools. Ed Balls, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, said: “I believe combined cadet forces can make a huge difference to the young people who join them, and it’s also important for them to understand the diverse role of the Armed Forces.”

The report also proposes the launch of a modern version of the Royal Tournament, which was scrapped in 1999 because of the cost and pressure on Service personnel. Mr Davies said that it would not be practicable to revive the Royal Tournament itself, but suggested a possible link-up with television journalists and other interested parties, such as Ross Kemp and Jeremy Clarkson.

Bob Ainsworth, the Armed Forces Minister, confirmed that the Government had accepted all the recommendations in the report.


In a foreword to the report, the Prime Minister says that he believes the public is fully behind the men and women of the Armed Forces but he feels that there is a need for greater understanding of “the work they do in our name”.

Mr Davies accepted that the unpopularity of the Iraq War had had an impact on public opinion although he emphasised that the Armed Forces were carrying out the orders of the politicians.

He condemned recent incidents in which Service personnel had been picked on by members of the public. His report highlights incidents at Birmingham and Edinburgh airports last year when soldiers and Royal Marines returning from duty in Afghanistan were either told to put on civilian clothes before going through the terminal or were diverted to keep them out of the public eye.

Military personnel who had lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan and were being treated at the Armed Forces rehabilitation centre at Headley Court, near Leatherhead in Surrey, also suffered verbal abuse from members of the public in November when they used the local swimming pool.

Mr Davies referred to a policy adopted by Harrods, the Knightsbridge department store, of banning military personnel wearing combat fatigues. “We regard any such rule as quite unacceptable,” Mr Davies said. Harrods, however, has said that it does not not ban military personnel who wear their Service uniforms. An incident in November 2006, when a Harrods security assistant prevented an army officer from entering the store wearing Service dress after a Remembrance Day ceremony had been a mistake, the shop said.

The report calls for a wider use of uniforms in public, reversing a policy that has been in force since the IRA threat of the 1970s and 1980s, although Service personnel are allowed to wear uniforms to travel to work and to attend functions. Mr Davies said that he wanted the military to be encouraged to wear their uniform in public as often as possible, although he accepted it would not be right to do so “in nightclubs or on the beach”.

The report also calls for a more systematic approach to homecoming parades. These have become more common since General Sir Richard Dannatt, the head of the Army, appealed last year to local authorities to organise more parades for Service personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr Davies said that regional commanders should approach local authorities to hold such parades.

Other recommendations include allowing senior officers from all three Armed Forces to have access to the media without having to get permission from the Ministry of Defence.

Commenting on the proposal for an extra Bank Holiday, John Cridland, deputy Director-General of the CBI, said: “The idea of celebrating our Armed Foces is a positive one but there is no reason this couldn’t be done on an existing Bank Holiday. Statutory holiday entitlement is being increased from 20 to 28 days over the next two years - a substantial cost to firms. Offering staff an extra Bank Holiday would cost the economy up to £6 billion on top.”

A chance to change attitudes - or just more parades?

An Armed Forces Day to be held in June each year to celebrate and honour servicemen and servicewomen

Why? Any move to make the public think more about the sacrifices made by today’s military, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, has got to be beneficial for everyone.

Why not? Some Service personnel might think: “Oh no, not more parades.”

Legal protection for the uniform, making it a criminal offence to discriminate against Service personnel wearing their combat or dress clothes

Why? Although the incidents are rare, the measure would be viewed by the military as an additional mark of respect for the Services.

Why not? If Service personnel are big enough to handle the Taleban, they can deal with impertinent or rude shops, cinemas or members of the public.

More Combined Cadet Corps (CCF), the appointment of a “cadet ambassador”, and instruction in schools on the role of the Armed Forces

Why? More knowledge of and personal participation in the military world will help to improve understanding among young people.

Why not? The CCF is probably viewed as a toff-school activity and it could be tricky to persuade parents that it’s the right thing to do; and visits to schools should not be regarded as backdoor recruiting.

Source

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