Saturday, January 12, 2008


"Potential recruits to the armed forces are given a misleading picture of military life, including the physical risks and ethical dilemmas involved, according to a report published today. ... Britain is the only European country which recruits youngsters into the armed forces from the age of 16, though they cannot be deployed on operations until they are 18. The Ministry of Defence, which last night criticised the report, says this is the only way it can compete in the battle to attract school-leavers. However, today's report says the armed forces draw non-officer recruits mainly from among young people with "low educational attainment and living in poor communities". More than £2bn is invested each year in recruiting and training about 20,000 new personnel to replace those who leave, it adds. ...The report was written by David Gee, a researcher who formerly ran the Quakers' peace and disarmament programme. It was funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust." (Guardian, 7 January)
The army and the report may be in disagreement, but what cannot be disputed is the statement that recruitment is aimed at those living in poor communities. Poverty was always the most efficient recruiting sergeant! RD

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