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


Daily Record

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.

“We were ordered not to tell them about what happens in Afghanistan and tell them ‘big, pink fluffy things’ instead.

“But we said no, we want to tell the truth because these people would be putting their lives at risk.

“We’ve done the same kind of tours in places like Iraq so it’s emotional to hear orders like this come from that level.”

The recruiters travel round the country speaking to people about a career with the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

But they claim they received new instructions this summer. They include telling youngsters they will get a trade – when they will only serve as infantry.

SNP Defence spokesman Angus Robertson said: “These are extremely serious allegations and I call on the MoD to undertake a thorough and speedy investigation.

“It would be entirely inappropriate for anybody to be recruited on the false understanding of what their future might hold.”

Scots Labour MP Gemma Doyle also demanded an immediate investigation and added: “Choosing to join up to serve your country is a decision which should not be taken lightly and it is
important that it is done with the correct information.”

The second recruiter we spoke to said: “More mature people would have an idea what it would actually be like to be in Afghanistan.

“But a lot of these kids don’t even watch the news so are in complete ignorance. They’re trying to make these young people think the Army is like a cushy number. ”

An Army spokeswoman said: “We have launched an investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further until the grievance has been fully explored.”

The Army have recently shifted the tone of their recruitment adverts. The Be The Best commercials, which showed soldiers in the thick of combat, have been replaced by the invitation to “begin your adventure”.

The ads say: “We offer the opportunity to travel abroad, take part in extreme sports and build friendships that last a lifetime.”

See more: recruitment, Scotland