Need to re­mem­ber sol­dier­ing can be bru­tal

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - COMMENT -

Sir, - Old sol­diers will be per­plexed and no doubt amused at the army re­cruit­ment team’s ef­fort at en­cour­ag­ing more young peo­ple to join the army with their lat­est ‘softer’ cam­paign.

Vet­er­ans will agree that noth­ing much has changed for those join­ing up.

It’s only the lan­guage used to en­cour­age them which has changed and is de­signed to res­onate with a dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tion.

Those who have served will con­cur that emo­tions can range from ab­so­lute bore­dom to sheer ter­ror within a very short time, that it is prac­ti­cally im­pos­si­ble to find an athe­ist who’s un­der fire in a fox hole and they’d also agree that a sense of reg­i­men­tal pride and com­rade­ship makes the idea of ‘in­clu­sive­ness’ seem pretty shal­low by com­par­i­son.

We don’t need an army that re­flects the make-up of our so­ci­ety.

The fight­ing spirit of an army has never de­pended on the back­ground of its per­son­nel but more on the morale of their unit or reg­i­ment, the mu­tual re­spect of their broth­ers in arms and a firm com­mit­ment to serve loy­ally what­ever the cir­cum­stances.

An army can­not be­come a col­lec­tion of in­di­vid­u­als re­liant on per­sonal at­ten­tion to their needs if it is to be­come a po­tent fight­ing force.

The mantra of our army will never change. The role of a sol­dier is ‘to seek out and close with the en­emy, kill or cap­ture him, seize and hold ground and re­pel at­tack by day or night re­gard­less of sea­son, weather or ter­rain’.

Re­cruit­ment teams must re­alise that sol­dier­ing to pro­tect the realm can be a bru­tal busi­ness and when the go­ing gets hot ‘snowflakes’ are not go­ing to fare well. Iain G Rich­mond. Guildy House, Monikie.

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