British Army commanders have launched a major recruitment drive for special forces soldiers and ex-veterans, as mysterious as it is high-priority.
To qualify, you must already be a soldier in the army, and aged between 18 - 28. Officers will earn an initial salary of £27,200, which can rise to £32,800 upon completion of a year's training, which includes free medical and dental health cover.
Veterans up to the age of 57 are also being urged to apply to rejoin, even if they were thrown out on disciplinary grounds or medically discharged.
The Mirror reports this lax attitude to recruitment stems from collapsing numbers in special forces - while the UK Ministry of Defence doesn’t publicly disclose the number of special forces troops retained by the Army, it’s known the target of 82,000 regular soldiers is in itself short by over 5,000.
40 years ago our SAS eradicated a murderous terrorist cell in 17 minutes. Today our gates are wide open to all. Rape. Murder. Blow up concerts. Blow up the underground. Stab with impunity. Diversity is our strength. https://t.co/ORNPQTScq1— Lefty Tears 😭 🇬🇧 (@MadeInGBritain) May 5, 2020
“Special forces numbers have decreased. Even though regular forces aren’t engaged in operations at anywhere near the tempo of a few years ago, the tempo is still high in special forces. The time it takes to get a special forces soldier trained means they need to process even more recruits right now,” a nameless source told the outlet.
Messages posted by individual regular Army regiments show how veterans are being urged to consider rejoining.
The news comes as controversial Scottish Nationalist Party defence spokesperson Stewart McDonald has outlined plans to create a civilian army to be deployed at times of national crisis.
Lots of positive feedback, but I’d like to point out that anyone who mistakes this for national service, military training, conscription or - as some on the right think - a way of delivering public services on the cheap, has woefully misunderstood the concept of resilience. https://t.co/7y2J9QYiDr— Stewart McDonald MP (@StewartMcDonald) May 6, 2020
Under the proposals, school leavers, graduates, retirees and those taking career breaks would be offered incentives to sign up. School leavers could be offered a year’s training in responding to food shortages, storms, cyberattacks and other alleged perils.
After training volunteers would join a reserve and be available to be deployed at short notice.