British soldiers are praising Irish Army recruitment videos after claims the British army has “gone soft”.
Soldiers praised the ad for the Irish Army Ranger wing which featured scenes of weaponry and combat and is described as an “action ad”.
The comments come in the wake of a new British Army recruitment campaign ‘This is belonging’ which aims to be more inclusive.
In a series of films and radio ads including ‘Can I Be Gay In The Army’, ‘Facing My Kryptonite’, ‘Keeping my Faith’, and ‘Expressing My Emotions’, British the army hopes to attract a wider variety of recruits which army insiders claim reflects modern British society.
In stark contrast, the Irish Army Ranger video features soldiers in balaclavas in armoured vehicles scouting for enemies and loading weapons as a voiceover explains soldiers should be “ruthless” while defending their comrades.
In a post on the popular military Facebook page, Fill Your Boots UK, British soldiers criticised the British army campaign, which cost €1.8m and will be published on multiple platforms.
A post on the page claimed “instead of worrying about which bathroom to use or if a PFT will leave them needing therapy why not bring back action ads.”
The post drew a lot of praise for the Irish Army video, while slating the current, inclusive British campaign.
Afghanistan veteran colonel Richard Kemp and retired major general Tim Cross both shared the soldiers’ sentiments, with Col Kemp asserting the army is “being forced down the route of political correctness” and Cross claiming that the ads bypass the harsh realities of army training.
Despite the new recruitment approach, last year the executive committee of the UK army board was blocked by defence secretary Gavin Williamson from dropping the army’s ‘Be the Best’ slogan after members of the board claimed the slogan was elitist and non-inclusive.
The Irish and British armies have struggled with recruitment and retention in recent years as job opportunities outside the army rise.
The British army needs 10,000 recruits a year to maintain numbers, yet many privates are leaving to pursue careers outside the army, citing lack of tours, low pay, and low morale among troops.
In the last five years, the Irish Defence forces have lost over 30% of all enlisted personnel. Soldiers have complained of low wages with families being forced to apply for family income supplement.
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