Three Army instructors sacked over claims teenage cadets were whipped and tied up in campaign of abuse at camp

Police, Army and council officials are investigating claims that recruits were whipped and tied up as part of a catalogue of abuse.

Three Army instructors have been sacked amid allegations cadets where physically abused at a camp.

It’s alleged teenagers from Merseyside where bullied, hurt and humiliated at the national cadet camp in Crowborough, Sussex.

Police, Army and council officials are investigating claims that recruits were whipped and tied up as part of a catalogue of abuse.

It’s claimed cadets – aged between 15 and 17 – were struck with elastic cords, forced to walk across rubble on their bare knees and had water poured over them.

Disturbing photos have emerged which allegedly show one a female recruit with extensive bruising to her legs caused by her being repeatedly struck with a bungee cord.

The probe centres on the Merseyside Army Cadet Force (MACF), based in Altcar, near Formby, Merseyside.

Three sergeant instructors were dismissed following complaints from cadets and their parents while another three sergeant instructors have been demoted in rank, the Liverpool Echo reported.

Files have been passed to child welfare officers at Sefton Council after a complaint to the NSPCC.

The allegations surround a trip to the camp in August involving around 400 young recruits from MACF, which has 34 detachments across Merseyside.… Read more

Judge fears ‘Deepcut’ culture remains after ‘cover up’ of army recruit sexual abuse

Military staff have failed to learn the lessons of the Deepcut Review and continue to turn a blind eye to the bullying and abuse of young recruits, a judge has claimed.

Judge Michael Mettyear said there remained a “worrying culture” of secrecy after a military college tried to cover up the sexual abuse and ritual humiliation of a teenage female recruit.

He said he was “concerned” that attempts had been made to make the victim withdraw her complaints and “keep the mouths shut” of five other witnesses.

Eventually the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had to go to the police for her accusations to be taken seriously.

Today, as a jury found a trainee guilty at Hull Crown Court, Judge Mettyear said it was “chilling” that there were still echoes of Deepcut, the barracks in Surrey where four recruits allegedly committed suicide between 1995 and 2002 amid reports of systematic bullying by senior officers.

“There was a chilling moment when she (the victim) mentioned Deepcut and we know what’s gone on there with people withholding information and suicides,” he said.

“I’m worried if there is something in the culture of the Army and people training in the Army to keep their mouths shut.… Read more

Wear your poppy with peaceful intent

Remembrance was intended to be a pledge that war must never happen again. It must not glorify or sanitise war.

This year I am wearing my poppy with unease. I am happy to buy a poppy, and the money is used well, but I have a niggling feeling, shared by many, that something has gone astray with remembrance.

It seems to me that, these days, wearing a poppy is too often regarded as a test of patriotism. Or, rather, those who don’t wear one are seen as being somehow disloyal to their country – not standing shoulder to shoulder with our troops on the front line. There is also an unseemly ostentation in the way many politicians and some celebrities use the poppy to bolster their images and egos.

Let’s go back about 90 years to when the poppy first became the symbol of remembrance. Almost every family in the country was in mourning. The war had not been a magnificent adventure, as promised, but four years of pointless, industrialised slaughter. In retrospect, there could only be one justification for it: it had been the war to end all wars.

The traditions of remembrance established shortly afterwards conveyed two messages: shared grief and the common pledge that war must never happen again.

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Respect war dead by working for peace, say public figures

As ceremonies of Remembrance take place across Britain, a number of public figures have expressed their commitment to working for peace in a world still torn apart by conflict.

As ceremonies of Remembrance take place across Britain, a number of public figures have expressed their commitment to working for peace in a world still torn apart by conflict.

Patrick Harvie, a Green MSP in the Scottish Parliament and co-convenor of his party, took to the Caledonian Mercury to explain why he wears a white poppy at this time of year.

Earlier this week, he wrote: “Originally produced by the Co-operative Women’s Guild and now by the Peace Pledge Union, the white poppy is important to me for several reasons.

“Firstly it is a reminder that there are victims of war on all sides, and in civilian as well as military life, and that remembrance is for all of them. It is also a reminder that the idea of a war to end all wars was a dangerous delusion; that people cannot be beaten into peace.

“To me, the white poppy does not seek to detract from the remembrance of the war dead, but rather to add a note of hope; hope that one day our world might be a peaceful one.

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Cadet plan needs consultation

This week the Ministry of Defence released news that the City of London Academy Islington (formerly Islington Green School) is to host a cadet unit. ForcesWatch urge parents, governors, teachers and students of the school not to accept this development until after a public consultation on the matter.

This week the Ministry of Defence released news that the City of London Academy Islington (formerly Islington Green School) is to host a cadet unit.

This is the first in a proposed 100 new cadet units in state schools across the country.

The move is described by the MOD as throwing the school a ‘lifeline’ – language which we find to be in poor taste given the potential negative effects of such a move.

Although volunteers with the cadets frequently express anger at any suggestion the cadets are a recruitment tool, the facts remain that an estimated 15-25% of serving soldiers were members of the cadets, and the in the MOD’s recently published Defence Youth Engagement Review, Brig. James Plaistow outlines just how valuable a recruitment resource the cadets are. In light of these facts, it is hard to view the institution of a cadet unit in Islington’s worst performing school without a little cynicism at the motives for such a move.… Read more

The Permanent Militarization of America

Aaron B. O’Connell, US Naval Academy professor and Marine reserve officer looks back at Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex and today’s uncritical support of all things martial and warns that too few people are giving sufficient consideration to the full range of violent activities the government undertakes in their names.

In 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office warning of the growing power of the military-industrial complex in American life. Most people know the term the president popularized, but few remember his argument.

In his farewell address, Eisenhower called for a better equilibrium between military and domestic affairs in our economy, politics and culture. He worried that the defense industry’s search for profits would warp foreign policy and, conversely, that too much state control of the private sector would cause economic stagnation. He warned that unending preparations for war were incongruous with the nation’s history. He cautioned that war and warmaking took up too large a proportion of national life, with grave ramifications for our spiritual health.

The military-industrial complex has not emerged in quite the way Eisenhower envisioned. The United States spends an enormous sum on defense — over $700 billion last year, about half of all military spending in the world — but in terms of our total economy, it has steadily declined to less than 5 percent of gross domestic product from 14 percent in 1953.… Read more

Recruiting officers told not to warn would-be soldiers about true horrors of Army life

Recruiters who refused to hide the truth were sent back to their barracks to face disciplinary action.

Recruiters who refused to hide the truth were sent back to their barracks to face disciplinary action.

Army recruitment staff claim they have been ordered to lie to get youngsters to sign up.

The Scots soldiers say they were told to hide the horrors of war from the potential recruits.

Those who refused in disgust to follow the orders have been taken off recruitment duties and sent back to their barracks to face disciplinary action.

At least four recruiters have been taken off their duties in the last month, the Daily Record has been told.

One recruiter who refused the orders said a captain told him and his comrades: “Don’t tell them the truth, let them find out the hard way – the way we did.”

He described it as “manipulation at the highest level” and added: “To get told to lie to these kids was not acceptable to us.”

Last night, defence chiefs launched an inquiry into the damaging allegations.

The claims come at a time when the Army are struggling to recruit – despite the worst recession since the 1930s.

Another of the recruitment soldiers, based at Edinburgh’s Redford Barracks, said: “We’ve been told to tell people what they want to hear to get them signed up.

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