A group of veterans from conflicts including the Falklands and Northern Ireland have complained of the increasing glitz and glamour of the annual poppy appeal and of it being hijacked to marshall public support behind current campaigns.
“Stricken by Iraq and low morale, the British army is on a desperate recruitment drive. Its new targets? Poorly educated teenagers and young schoolchildren.” This article looks at new recruitment techniques such as the Camoflage scheme, which includes a magazine and website designed for those as young as 13, MoD school presentation teams and various forms of ‘outreach’. “Our new model is about raising awareness, and that takes a ten-year span. It starts with a seven-year-old boy seeing a parachutist at an air show and thinking, 'That looks great.' From then the army is trying to build interest by drip, drip, drip."
This article looks at the challenges posed by new military recruitment strategies including the “army showroom” concept and the “Start Thinking Soldier” internet and TV advertising campaign – both “initiatives which utilise the language and tools of computer games and simulation, which young people immediately relate to, and desire.”
Quakers and Unitarians have welcomed the move by Julian Huppert, Liberal MP for Cambridge and Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton, to table an Early Day Motion calling on Parliament to raise the age of recruitment into the armed forces to eighteen.