British Forces Mired in Identity Politics, Army Winning ‘Race for Diversity’

British Army, YouTube

The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom have become mired in identity politics, with the British Army bragging that it is winning the “race for diversity” against the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy.

“[M]ultiple long-term targets [were] set out by the country’s defence and military leaders” to increase military diversity in 2015, according to military interest news source the Forces Network, with an increase in the proportion of BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) personnel in the Regular Forces to 10 per cent by 2020 becoming a key target.

“As of March this year, annual intake reached a hopeful 9.1 per cent,” the report notes. At present, the British Army appears to be leading the pack, with 11.1 per cent BAME personnel, compared with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on 3.8 per cent, and the Royal Air Force “struggling” on 2.3 per cent.

“Diversity and inclusion is critical to our success and will give us the operational edge we need,” claimed Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson, a Remain-supporting MP with a background in pottery sales, rather than the armed forces.

“We are committed to delivering a more inclusive culture and a more diverse workforce at all levels,” he added.

The British Armed Forces have always recruited from the Commonwealth of Nations, comprised of largely of majority non-white nations, with recruitment also open to people from Nepal — homeland of the famous Gurkha regiments — and the former Crown Colony of Hong Kong historically.

There is concern in some quarters, however, that the current drive for “diversity for diversity’s sake” in terms of not just ethnic background but also sex and sexual orientation may see martial ability deemphasised in the recruitment process.

Army brass recently defended a new recruitment video targetting British Muslims, which showed soldiers stopping a patrol so a Muslim comrade could remove his shoes, change his headgear, and roll out a mat to conduct religious prayers, turning off their radios so he would not be disturbed while doing so.

Another series of videos purporting to answer such questions as “Can I be gay in the Army?”, “Do I have to be a superhero?”, and “What if I get emotional in the Army?” — aimed at showcasing the Army’s inclusiveness and sensitivity to tearful recruits — were also criticised, with Colonel Richard Kemp lamenting that “The Army, like the rest of government, is being forced down a route of political correctness.”

“What is most important is that the Army is full of soldiers. It is of secondary importance that they reflect the composition of society,” added the Afghanistan veteran, a former commander of British forces in Helmand province.

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