The new British army recruiting campaign advertisements have caused a bit of a kerfuffle. 

This article was submitted by Stuart Crawford, a regular officer in the Royal Tank Regiment for twenty years, retiring in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1999. Crawford now works as a political, media, and defence and security consultant in Edinburgh and is a regular commentator and contributor on military and defence topics in online and other media, including the UK Defence Journal.

Apparently aimed at ‘millennials’ and ‘Generation Z’ it is the latest in a series of initiatives to try to boost recruiting in difficult times. It comes after the opening up of all army posts to women and the relaxation of residency rules to allow greater recruitment from Commonwealth countries.

However, this innovative approach which features a series of posters and supporting videos is another sign that recruitment to the British Army still faces big challenges to reach its targets. Responsibility for this was outsourced to “leading provider of technology enabled business services” company Capita in 2012, and delivery of outcomes have been, so far, underwhelming to say the least.

There have been major difficulties with the company’s online application process leading to long delays between initial application and entry to training. Delays which have, in many cases, led to potential recruits giving up and looking for employment elsewhere.

Consequently, the army is currently approximately 5,000 short of its 82,500 target for trained soldiers.

The army has admitted its own part in this abject failure, with Chief of the General Staff General Sir Nick Carter recently telling MPs on the House of Commons Select Defence Committee that the MoD had made three or four big errors when awarding the contract to Capita. But outsourced recruitment contract aside, there would appear to be other reasons why an army careers seems to have a fading appeal with young folk today.

First, and indeed most obvious, is that our collective knowledge of personal military service has very much reduced since the end of National Service in the early 1960s. The armed services as a whole have become increasingly isolated within mainstream civilian society as numbers have dropped dramatically since the end of the Cold War.

Thus impressions that potential recruits may have of the army may owe more to incessant repeats of Dad’s Army or It Ain’t Half Hot Mum on TV or, more probably perhaps, to media coverage of maimed soldiers from the Afghanistan or Iraq campaigns.

The army also undoubtedly suffers in comparison to its sister services. The Royal Navy has made much of its new aircraft carriers, and it and the RAF have exploited the PR value of the introduction of the F-35B fast jets. They benefit in that they are seen, rightly or wrongly, as being progressive, expanding organisations with real operational business to do.

On the other hand, the army is regarded as the poor cousin sucking on the hind teat, at least as far as new equipment is concerned, unable to look forward to anything significant except a much delayed and overstaffed upgrade to its ageing fleet of AFVs and a medium armoured programme which has gone on so long that many doubt it will ever come to fruition.

To quote the popular military blog ThinkDefence; “If we look back, the decades have rolled by, replacement programmes have come and gone, wars have been fought, money spent and the UK armoured vehicle industry decimated, but the British army’s aspiration for a medium weight capability remains unfulfilled.”

Again, this is not a good look.

In short, the RN and RAF are seen as much ‘sexier’ organisations than the army, which is hardly regarded as an exciting and expanding organisation which ambitious young people might seek to join. Dragged down in the public eye by Iraq and Afghanistan, it has little good news to publicise.

“Join the army and see Estonia” just isn’t going to cut it.

What, then, can be done to stop the decline and once again encourage a steady stream of young folk into the British army?  Well, first of all, the solution will not be found in the current British army Twitter account (@BritishArmy) pumping out ad nauseam its current default message; “Our greatest asset is our people – the finest men and women our great nation has to offer”.

That is patronising, arrogant, clearly not true if taken literally, and also disrespectful of those who currently staff the emergency services, the NHS, the teaching professions, etc etc.

But the finger of blame must be pointed at the Capita recruitment process and the MoD – now long gone of course – who signed up to it.

Of course it’s easy to be wise after the event, but in particular the attempt to replace city centre recruiting offices staffed by serving personnel with an anonymous and dysfunctional online application process has been, by all accounts, disastrous. I don’t think necessarily that restoring the recruiting offices would be the answer to the maiden’s prayer but it would at least be a start and a sign of future intent. Nor do I advocate a return to the ‘travel the world, meet interesting people, and kill them’ message of old.

What I would like to see is a positive approach which majors on encouraging people to exceed their own expectations of themselves, to surprise themselves at what they can become.

Something along the lines, perhaps, of; “Dad a bus driver? You could command a Transport Regiment” or “Scared of heights? You could become an SF HALO parachutist”, alongside the message that the British Army will show you how.

The underlying theme might be, I suggest, that no matter your background the army will help you get to where you aspire if you want it badly enough.  But no doubt others will have much better ideas than mine.

And as for the new ‘snowflake’ friendly recruiting campaign? It’s fair to say, I think, that it has divided opinion, with some seeing it as an attention grabbing approach to a thorny problem and others dismissing it as patronising and ill-judged. My personal view is that it isn’t a patch on the brilliant Royal Navy “born in Carlisle but made in the Royal Navy” series of advertisements, nor is it as good as the RAF’s current campaign on television.

But then again I’m not a millennial or of Generation Z – thank goodness – so I’m hardly the best judge.

60 COMMENTS

  1. Because the pay’s shit and they keep cutting numbers. Would anyone want to join a company that’s actively downsizing?

  2. I considered joining the army in 2002, went to a familiarisation visit and was somewhat underwhelmed by what the REME officers got up to. Then Tony Blair decided he wanted to go to war.

    It suddenly struck me that if I was going to join and fight I’d have to submit to any PM in power at the time, including Tony Blair. I would become the tool of their decision making.

    Personally, I thought that going to remove Saddam, while he was trying to re-tool, was a good idea but the devious and frankly underhanded way Blair justified the intervention was repugnant. He was clearly lying and perhaps had a hand in the death of Dr. Kelly – totally atrocious. Moreover, the idea Iraq had anything to do with 9/11 was clearly untrue.

    I decided that however much I wanted to serve and was attracted to the Army I couldn’t submit to Blair. I could never stomach the man, his smarminess, his spin and his values. I wouldn’t kill people for him.

    This is a problem all the armed forces have to deal with. Fundamentally, their attractiveness is directly correlated to the integrity of the PM and the government, which if we are frank – hasn’t been particularly inspiring these last decades.

    • What utter garbage, people apply for many reasons I joined because I wanted to learn a trade, travel, get out of the shithole I grew up in, meet people, do things that no civilian job can ever offer…..but no one I ever met ever thought about the current government or PM in their application decision making, now if Corbyn gets in that might indeed change.

    • Then it was probably fortunate that you didn’t join as what would have happened if there was another operation going to happen that you didn’t agree with? What would happen if you were given an order that didnt sit right with you with your rather civvy oreineted though process? What would happen if you liked one PM then didn’t like the next, and their overseas policies? The military has always been the tool of “politics by other means”. Glad you did not join to be fair, I take it you were thinking to go in a a REME Officer? Then you deciding not to join has done your future troops under your command a favour.

      • I think you do a dis-service to the armed forces’ personnel and frankly you’re drawing extrapolations about me on the basis of a very limited snapshot of my thinking.

        Everyone, everyone – has an opinion. No one is neutral. All fighting men and women are charged with using their judgement and making moral decisions. And frankly I’m sure they do. You seem to suggest they’re just automatons, I’m sure they’re not. We didn’t hang the Nazi commanders at Nuremburg because they were merely following orders but because they were following orders they knew to be wrong. They had a responsibility to dissent. Principle 4 of the Geneva Convention.

        In leadership one must build the case for the intervention and take your team with you: whether in a military or other contexts. If you’re going to do this, you must be committed to the decision and trust in the leadership above you which gave the direction. That is a choice. Once made, one has to stick with it and make it work. Had I made that choice then that would be me – all in – but not uncritically, leaving my brain at the door. In the end, as I explained, I could not give my commitment and put my trust in the ultimate leadership of this country – so I couldn’t make that choice.

        Moral reservations about the decisions being given to you doesn’t make you a poor leader and a successful command is not built on uncritical, amorality. If you think it is, then I think you are in a pretty dangerous place.

        Irrespectively, I hope you have a good year.

        • Nath as a fighting man with 29 years service ( 2 years boys service, 22 up to RSM and 5 years LE comission) thank you for your insight into command and leadership. I can assure you we are not automatons, and have our own opinion and thoughts. However there is one thing you have missed, and having never served you will never know or understand. No matter the cause, no matter the reason, no matter the politics, once you have been given a mission/task then that mission and task is the main effort. We all have an opinion on what we do, but as a professional it is my/our responsibility to ensure that mission is carried out to a successful conclusion NO MATTER YOUR PERSONAL OPINION. And if you had spent a bit of time in the job then you would realise that morality and correct behaviour in war is a key corner stone in the Armys being. Trust me pal, I could have wasted many a civvy in Afghanistan and many many other countries, just to make a mission easier and safer for the lads, but we didn’t, and we suffered losses in doing so. An extreme example I admit, but it’s one people may understand.

          You are wrong in that leadership you have to “build a case to take your team with you” that is just civvy corporate jargon, as an effective leader you already have your team with you, 24/7, day in and day out, barracks or operations. I’m not having a go, just think you are wide off the mark, and professing an opinion without experience. I could go on, but we would be here all day and I respect, but disagree with your thought process. Happy New year, have a successful one, but I do think you missed out and should have given the job a go.

          • Totally agree:” I can assure you we are not automatons, and have our own opinion and thoughts.”

            Totally agree:”once you have been given a mission/task then that mission and task is the main effort. We all have an opinion on what we do, but as a professional it is my/our responsibility to ensure that mission is carried out to a successful conclusion NO MATTER YOUR PERSONAL OPINION”

            Totally agree: “then you would realise that morality and correct behaviour in war is a key corner stone in the Armys being”

            From what I read earlier it seemed to me you were suggesting otherwise and I wanted to take issue with it.

            Where I disagree is: “build a case to take your team with you” that is just civvy corporate jargon”

            Your team is only with you because they trust you and they’re well trained. Surely they only trust you because you stick up for them, protect their interests and make good judgements – you have a good track record and they know it? – that you will make the right leadership choices? At those times do you not need to make But at some points and surely right at the beginning of your career your team needs to know they’re doing the right thing, that they can succeed when operating beyond their training and experience, that you can be trusted the case? In those times do you not need to win their minds rather than just relying on brute authority and the chain of command?

            You’re probably right – I think I did miss out.

          • Nath in respect of your last point, the trust is developed as you go through the ranks, from experienced private soldier, to Lcpl, Cpl, Platoon Sgt and so on, and as such the team grows with you, and on a new command, your experience, knowledge and character are generally already known. Trust is developed day to day, not instantaneously, and while their are occasions where the envelope has been pushed, no circumstance I have had, or my peers have had, that we operated beyond training or experience. Any and all situations can be dealt with by good solid soldering, a bit of lateral thinking, confidence and a decent sized set of balls lol.

            However I will give you that for a DE young Officer, straight from the factory, he has to work hard to gain a good and professional reputation with his new Platoon, and to show he can be trusted to make the right call ( under the direction of the Platoon Sgt and CMS however) and that can be quite a tough audience.

            I think you may have thought me to harsh initially, as I maybe tried to get to much info in to short a post. For that my apologies. However I do think you missed out and that’s a shame, as even a few years in the job can have a positive effect an most young people.

  3. On a simplistic note…
    Who is the dull bugger in the MOD who signs off all these contracts that they can’t cancel when they don’t deliver?
    Capita, Sodexo, ISS…just to mention a few the list goes on . All ripping the tax payer off.
    As for kit…if UK firms cant deliver on time.. on spec
    And on budget we should shop elsewhere

      • The contract must have a termination for non delivery clause, it’s up to the Army / MOD whether they want to use it or not.

        The New York Times reports that Capita received £26m in penalties on this contract in 2017 alone. So they’ve not ‘got away’ with not meeting their targets.

        That doesn’t fix Army recruiting though 🙁

  4. Applied to join the army twice, first was as an apprentice and second was as a reservist when i started uni. Both times the prgress simply took to long and i either lost interest or had to move on. However, another issue that many haven’t pointed to is are education system, which is horrifically anti military. Out of the 7 years i spent in secondary school and sixform, we studied WW1 literature in English in all but three of those years. The teachers tought us as if history teachers that people who enlisted where stupid and only after medals. They also made shore to teach us the stupidity of patratisum. Indeed if you didn’t write anything but anti war crap in an essay you’d never pass.

  5. i remember the day of walking into my local recruitment office where i met a sergeant who showed me videos from the Falklands conflict Northern Ireland right through to how different unit,s worked and operated,then i was told to go away and think about it,which at the time when i left school at 16 there was nothing a choice of YTS further education and that was it due to the railways steel works and mines either being shut down or sold off so joining the army for me was a way of being able to visit the world learning to drive etc and not really me being the one paying for it,fast forward to present day where is the local recruitment office,also soldiers when i served are now waiting for a knock on the door or a letter being accused of things we did when we were sent to Northern Ireland the gulf etc wondering i,m i going to be sent to prison for doing what was my job at the time,and now we all have access to social media etc all of that is starting to stick with today,s generation especially with the carry on with Alex Blackman which is something that put both of my nephew,s off and a cousin

    • The Army was fine, well, okay until 2010 and Cameron-Osbourne reduction, err, review. There were 102,500 troops, then savagely cut to 82,000. Promotion opportunities dwindled, specialist pay of all sorts was cut, a Gurkha battalion was cut, armor, on and on. It made many troops bitter, and they got out whether hey had to or not. Never put accountants in charge of defense.

  6. I might join the reserves. But it seems the government deliberately are cutting the numbers of new recruits just like they have done at sandhurst.

    • Are you sure that’s true. All branches are short of people in lots of trades.

      Getting through the recruitment process will takes lots of time and persistence.

      But if you have the skills and personality to do one of the large number of roles that are shot of people you should be able to get in.

  7. I applied to join the army but in 2012 I failed the medical due to childhood hip problems they said had too high a chance of coming back. Fair enough though, the problem did come back and now it’s been replaced with an artificial hip. I’d still give whatever I could to join up if I could.

    Seemed so much easier only a few years ago. At least half a dozen boys from my school joined the army after leaving; the teachers generally weren’t anti military – several were veterans – and we even had a Royal Navy team come with a Sea King to land on our school field and did a careers presentation.

    That was the kind of thing that attracted kids, not adverts directed at selfie addicts.

    • True, it is the promise of adventure/excitement (shooting guns, travelling the World, etc.) that makes young men want to join the Army or Navy, not some politically correct nonsense, recruitment adverts have to reflect that.

  8. Yes a lot of it is down to problems with their advertising and obviously by some comments the website itself.I have never served but my husband has. Needless to say i have watched the “changing face” of the army since he left and to be honest its not a pretty sight. Again and again we read of poorly equipped soldiers for a start . But the one most important one ( i feel personally) is the failure of our recent govts to protect the soldiers from…well the govt. I understand if a soldier has committed a crime then by all means they should be dealt with. My husband served in N.I ( and still has nightmares) and to read things about Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams being accepted into politics while soldiers who served over there are hounded for serving their country beggars belief. To me it puts across the message “come take your countries shilling, but if you do kill someone in the line of duty then sorry if that terrorists family decide to sue…then your on your own sunshine and we the govt will help them hound you.” When people can take to the streets and scream for the blood of our soldiers in BRITISH streets and the govt stand back and do nothing ,well do you really think anyone with half a brain wants anything to do with it ? My husband used to be so proud of his army years now he is very careful to whom he tells of those years.When young people see even their own govt abandon soldiers past and present why the hell would they fight for their country when they can go to a nice safe job like flipping burgers in McDonlads for 9 pound an hour.

  9. I wouldn’t be surprised if this campaign turns out to be far more successful than people think. It’s getting people talking about the army, something that doesn’t happen very much at the moment. “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” comes to mind.

  10. It isn’t recruitment but the whole structure of the forces that is wrong.

    Thought experiment: Imagine if we had an infantry force of say 12,000 (12 large battalions similar to the German model) instead of 30,000. And let’s say we paid them a basic of £50k, gave them decent accommodation (single hotel style rooms for single chaps with cleaners, yes, cleaners), do away with some of the more dated aspect of service life but emphasis some of the aspects that Whitehall and socialist PC thinking have trampled upon decent facilities on base, decent equipment, and didn’t indulge in futile conflicts like Iraq. Would recruitment be a problem them?

    • Recruitment might not be but then you’re forking out masses of cash for cleaners and plush rooms, which is frivolous to say the least. It would also cut the infantry by more than half.

      And 50k for a squaddie is insane. People would sign up in droves but we’d have a small number of overpaid, pampered students, in essence.

      Facilities do need to be improved and I believe under the Blair government that did start to happen. But plush hotel style rooms and cleaning service doesn’t prepare squadrons for the much more basic conditions they’d be living in when deployed on operations.

      We need tough, self-sufficient and resourceful soldiers, pampering them doesn’t make good soldiers.

      I do, however, fully support improving facilities and pay for soldiers. Not quite to £50k though! £20k a year for a private (currently £18,500) would be fine, seeing as their cost of living is much lower than civvie street.

    • The vast majority of barracks now are single rooms for the lads, with wet room shower, grouped in fours with an entrance door onto the stairsure there is still crap accom out there, but it is, or was, being addressed. Cleaners do clean the block association areas but not the rooms. Equipment is generally the best outside the US military, but not enough. Big Battalions not a great idea, let’s just fill the ones we have, and extra pay would always be nice for the lads but never going to happen at that 50k level. As for Iraq, undfortunalty like it or not, understand it or not, the Army is the tool of the Governemnt of the day, and conflicts like Iraq, we don’t have a choice, as we cannot choose the wars we are sent to, and while it would be nice to think most civvis and potential recruits understand that, you are right insofar that I don’t think they do and it has a big impact on recruiting (obviously along with those morons at capitia)

    • I don’t know of a Military in the West that doesn’t have single rooms in their Barracks. The only time your in a “Barracks” as most people think of the term (block houses filled with beds) is basic, MOS school, and on deployment.

    • You can get the series on DVD. Shop around as I have seen it priced from just over a tenner to close on fifty.

      The BBC won’t show it because it is incompatible with modern values.

      • The BBC won’t show it because it was produced by ITV.

        Tempted to get it, haven’t actually seen it properly before, just bits.

        • I was replying to Mark. If I was replying to you my comment would have been under yours and indented. The comment system here is very poor.

          I remember Soldier, Soldier. Holly Aird looking very cute in her RMP uniform.

          There are some It Ain’t Half Hot Mum episodes on YT you can sample before getting the DVD’s.

          • @ Steve R

            Note how your post of 15:59 and mine of 16:30 are in line because they are both replies to Mark’s post at 15:43. Note how you reply to me at 16:55 and the there is further indent………and so on………

  11. I think the head of the British army has gone on record as saying one of the biggest errors was to remove the recruiting sgt from the high street offices. So true. Many moons ago when I joined the RN, I failed the initial artificer exam, however a big friendly Chief put his arm around me and said ‘ Now son, let’s see what we can find for you’ , I never looked back.

  12. Its should never have been farmed out to Capita, they need to go back to basics of recruiting with recruitment officers run by the army staffed by ex army who can give a proper over view of what the army can do for you.
    Not sure the idea of adverts of soldiers crying though obviously completely acceptable in such situations, is necessarily going to encourage people to join.

  13. I’ve had occasion in recent weeks to try to open another bank account with a supposed leading company whilst rearranging my mortgage with another. This all started in October. Similarly my gas and electricity bills are now “managed” online. Four separate requests for my meter readings so far, every one of which I have responded to. Seven weeks. A friend with mental illness problems trying to arrange an assessment. Started in September.
    What is the silly bu…. on about you ask. The answer is no people to talk to anymore, just computers banging out crap with nobody taking any care. THE POINT IS…. TRY TO JOIN THE FORCES with a system that shreds your brain before you get underway.

  14. It’s in a bad state because of all the Russian and left wing trolls every day had mouthing our forces and stopping ppl joining its working well.

    • I don’t think that’s correct, from what I can see of it the Forces are held in very high esteem by the vast majority of the public. The recruiting problem more a case of unemployment being low combined with Capita not being very good, to put it mildly.

  15. The army adverts are just total rubbish, why would i want to join that branch. From all the military adds you learn to join the army if you feel unhappy, have low self confidence and struggle to fit in. You join all the other branches if you want to be the best, work on the coolest stuff, develop yourself and do the end of end of jobs for the military fight for your country.

  16. Like every male member of my family, over many generations, I signed up as a Junior Leader not expecting the Government to betray us all. Three nephews are serving but two have done the smart thing and joined the Australian military. Every ex member of the infantry I know, are encouraging their children/ grandchildren not to join up.

    When terrorists are treated better then ex soldiers, then the UK is not worth defending anymore. With the Govt funding the Police Service Northern Ireland, and the Courts, to investigate and charge, 70 plus year ex soldiers while the terrorists walk free is a disgrace. With so many ex soldiers living on the streets or killing themselves due to our politicians, why would anyone wan to join.

    When we went to Northern Ireland to protect the Catholics, and become walking targets, I doubt if any of us thought that 40 to 50 years later that we would be hounded

  17. “Responsibility for this was outsourced to “leading provider of technology enabled business services” company Capita in 2012, and delivery of outcomes have been, so far, underwhelming to say the least.”

    who would of thought…

    Capita…

    Didn’t try the Army but when i looked at joining the RN at 18 there was a 2 year waiting list for the job role i was wanting, so i didn’t bother.

  18. I applied to join the London Regiment last year and spent four very happy months training with the lads and lassies in Westminster. I ended up at Pirbright in April and ended up failing the hearing test with a dismal H3 in my left hear…curtains for me. I found the processes wasn’t as bad as its generally made out although in my case the recruiting Sergeant spent a good deal of time badgering Capita on the recruits behalf. Like any job application process it requires perseverance and I still find myself thinking that I would give pretty much anything to have got through. What a privilege to have been part of the process and what a great job to do if you get the chance to actually do it. You all have my admiration and respect.

  19. Recruitment was never the goal – it was lining the pockets of shareholders – which it has done very nicely.

    This is how they operate – starve whatever dept of funds. Bring in some private contractors who make obscene profits as dept in question does not have the money to do it in house.

    Net result – total failure.

  20. Something on the demographic that these ill-judged adverts are aiming at.

    Millennials and Generation Z being put together is akin to putting Carl Marx and Ronald Reagan in the same bracket, and for someone charged with wooing those groups into the army to think they are in any way similar shows they are totally ill suited to the job they have been given. That alone should tell you why this, and previous ad campaigns, have failed so badly.

  21. The major issue in demographics and ethnicity were in the major cities and conurbations BAME candidates eligible age groups account for more than 50% of the population, and many of these groups have zero interest in military careers. The old dependable white working class male, the recruiting backbone of the military are very much in a minority take away the females and you can see the recruiting pool his indeed small.
    The military needs to be back in the major city high streets with high caliber military recruiting staff who can guide, nurture and inform potential recruits through this process. Bin Capita and its bobbins IT system, for the RAF and Navy chin of the Capita medical process and ridiculous fitness testing in gyms.

  22. Recruitment across the three sevices is slowly being addressed I believe, after a disastrous out sourcing experience.

    It’s starting the bleeding obvious really….

    Descent rates of pay and good living conditions.
    Making sure youngsters joining with few ahademic qualifications, leave with basic mathematics and English, to counter the best (piss poor) efforts of our ‘hard working teachers’.

    Some of the above is already being addressed.
    increase defence spending to 3% of GDP and ringfence it to ensure stability moving forward.

    The NHS is receiving an extra 20 billion over the next few years ( without any significant reform) with NHS insider and Labour comments of, ‘well it will help slow the decline’ …. Unbelievable, NHS waisted money, through poor management is absolutely horrendous.

    When you consider, the waisted expensive medication that the majority of the UK population don’t pay for and huge quantities of equipment never recovered, (or even attempted to recover), wheel chairs, walking frames etc etc.

    An elderly chap down the road from me who unfortunately died recently, left masses of unused medication and lots of equipment worth £££££, his local NHS trust shows zero interest, no-one took any interest and suggested to his son that he donated the equipment it to charity….

    A typical example of waisted tax payers money in the NHS and repeated all over the country every single day.

    An extra 20 billion in defence would utterly transform it!

  23. Why would anybody join now? The “family” regiments are gone so there is no longer an identity e.g. ‘My grandad joined, my dad joined so did I’. The food is utter gash. The NAAFI bars are almost all gone so people dont mix after work when living in the blocks. Everyone is in single bunks so lock themselves up every night.

  24. Our son is trying to get into AFC Harrogate. Its a total nightmare involving 7 different steps, multiple interviews 2 physicals. Honestly you need a PHD in bureaucracy to navigate the system. When faced with this sort of rubbish when you are 16,17,18 its no surprise that people simply give it up as a bad job.

    Its disheartening for a lad who has wanted to join the army since he was a small kid. Simplify the process or always struggle to recruit.

  25. I’m 17 and am devastated I’m not allowed to join the army because I have an autoimmune disease meaning all I require is gluten-free food. There has been lots of research to indicate being Ceoliac isn’t a disability as, if you’re on a GF diet, your body is functioning perfectly normally. Now, I’m not asking the army to change its entry requirements/ medical requirements as, after my Dad serving, I’m fully aware there’s a good reason for that. I’m also aware this is a very subjective matter and the British Army allowing coeliacs to serve isn’t going to affect the shockingly low number of people wanting to serve but still 🙁

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