Army’s recruitment campaign described as ‘misleading’

The British army has been accused of misleading potential recruits with a new campaign

The British army has been accused of misleading potential recruits with a new recruitment campaign that promises emotional support within the army.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), a leading British pacifist network, cited several pieces of research showing the damaging effects of military training on mental health.

The organisation said that military training is designed to remove the natural aversion to killing and to condition vulnerable teenagers to follow orders without question.

The PPU said the recruitment campaign is the army’s latest desperate attempt to meet recruitment targets, which they have been missing for several years.

The army’s new campaign also suggests that the army promotes equality, claiming that recruits are welcome regardless of sexuality, gender or religion. In response, the PPU argues that the army denies the most basic human rights to its employees, including the right to leave their job and the right to follow their conscience, and also routinely deny the human rights of civilians and others in countries in which they operate.

The UK is the only country in Europe to recruit people as young as sixteen into the army.

PPU member Wayne Sharrocks, who belonged to the British army from 2006 to 2013, said: ‘Military training is a process of mental conditioning. Brutal physical punishments are common. Fear of questioning orders is instilled early on, while the army uses sophisticated techniques to remove the aversion to killing. All this has negative impacts on soldiers’ mental health.’

Symon Hill, coordinator of the Peace Pledge Union, described the army’s new campaign as ‘misleading and desperate’ and said ‘the armed forces have been failing for years to meet their recruitment targets, which suggests that young people can see through the tacky adverts and recognise that the army is about violence and unquestioning obedience’.

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