The militarisation of schools

The UK is one of few countries that allow minors to enlist. Despite calls to cease the recruitment of under-18s the Army is digging in to hold its ground.

Two contrasting videos about life in the British Army are doing the rounds, both released this month. In the first, an Army recruitment advertisement, soldiers are trudging through miserable arctic conditions when one of them starts singing the Dirty Dancing song “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life”. Cue much ribbing and laughter from his comrades, instantly lightening the mood of their dreary slog through the snow.

In the second video, released by campaign group Child Soldiers International (CSI), 27-year-old veteran Wayne Sharrocks talks about his experiences training and serving with the Army in Afghanistan, where he was wounded following an IED explosion. Against another backdrop of soldiers marching through snow, Sharrocks describes how members of his platoon were encouraged to beat up a comrade believed to be underperforming in a training exercise. “I think he tried to kill himself in the toilets at some point,” Sharrocks says to camera.

Sharrocks joined the Army in 2006, aged 17. He left in 2013 and has since suffered mental health problems.… Read more

Enlisting at 16: the other side of the story

This series of 2-minute films by Child Soldiers International give a powerful insight into the reality of signing up as a young recruit, how training brutalises young soldiers and the long-term harmful effects of training and combat.

See more info here:

Veterans for Peace UK are handing in a letter to the MoD today calling for an end the recruitment of children aged 16 and 17 into the British.Read more