Over 50,000 potential recruits to Her Majesty’s Armed Services have withdrawn their applications in just the first half of this year after military brass ordered recruiters to target “snowflakes”, “binge gamers”, and “me me me millennials”.
From January to June, 30,000 army applicants withdrew from the application process, as well as 13,000 potential seamen, and 8,000 would-be airmen, with drop-outs rising 18 per cent on last year.
A source told The Sun on Sunday: “These kids are full of bravado, but they get cold feet when reality bites and they realise what it really means to serve Queen and country.
“It only takes a few clicks to apply online — and there are loads of reasons why they change their minds.
“Sometimes they sign up drunk and withdraw when they sober up, sometimes they tell their parents who talk them out of it. Others worry about not being fit enough.”
The Ministry of Defence told the tabloid, which first reported the figures, that the fall was broadly in line with a rise in the number of applications. In January 2019, the British armed forces broke with the convention of aiming to recruit those candidates who are naturally drawn to the military by trying to attract “snowflakes”, self-obsessed millennials, and those addicted to gaming and their mobile phones.
That year, the army was facing a ninth straight year of falling recruitment figures.
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In 2018, the army launched a campaign to increase “diversity” amongst their ranks, appealing to Muslims, homosexuals, and emotionally sensitive people, in an ad campaign called “This Is Belonging”. Top brass reportedly threatened soldiers with disciplinary action if they mocked the ads.
The former commander of operations in Afghanistan, Colonel Richard Kemp CBE, said at the time that the recruitment drive pandering to “political correctness” would fail, saying: “What is most important is that the army is full of soldiers. It is of secondary importance that they reflect the composition of society.”
In 2017, the British Army attempted to ban the slogan “Be the Best” because it was considered “elitist” and “non-inclusive”, but then-Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson halted the move.
On Monday, media reported that the army is set to form a Diversity and Inclusion Directorate with new staff set to cost the military budget £500,000, with a £110,000 per year salary for the new Director of Diversity and Inclusion. The directorate will seek to ensure that soldiers’ and staff’s differences are “valued” and that “everyone’s needs are considered”.
Colonel Kemp remarked on the report, saying: “The emphasis must remain on inspiring the iron ethos of service before self and creating the cohesion, which is vital in combat. Obsessing over differences and individuality is dangerous.”
“Most people join the forces because they want to belong to something greater than the corrosive cult of individualism,” he added.
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