The British Military is diluting its 'Christian' character to attract ethnic minorities.
This is what twelve retired armed officers of the British military said in an explosive letter to the British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, about the Ministry of Defence (MoD) attempts to boost inclusion of ethnic minorities in the British military.
They argue that these efforts have reached absurd levels, with the British MoD willing to relax security and background checks for applicants from ethnic minorities from overseas countries, making it easier for minorities to get recruited in the military, ostensibly to make up for personnel shortfalls.
The strength of the British Army has dwindled to just 73,000 regular full-time personnel — its smallest size since 1714 — and has been consistently falling short on recruitment targets since 2010, while both the Royal Navy and Air Force are 5 and 9 percent short, respectively.
In an attempt to make the military more inclusive and diverse, the MoD is encouraging soldiers to avoid displaying Christian elements during the 'Act of Remembrance' ceremony on Armistice Day.
Notably, Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, is celebrated at 11 am on 11 November every year, marking the cessation of hostilities on 11 November 1918 between Allied forces (US, UK, France) and Germany in World War I.
Additionally, army officials have been promoting diversity as crucial for operational effectiveness, claiming that diverse teams, if well led by inclusive leaders, perform better.
This push towards inclusivity includes adopting 'woke' ideas aimed at attracting more minorities.
A case in point is the Army's 'Army Race Action Plan,' introduced in March 2023, which advises against 'microaggressions' and 'micro-behaviours' such as asking someone where they are really from or assuming someone's pronouns.
The plan also encourages personnel to use their preferred pronouns in email signatures and to adopt gender-neutral ranks like 'aviator' instead of 'airmen' and 'airwomen' for the Royal Air Force, all in an effort to appeal to ethnic minorities and LGBTQIA+ individuals.
The usage of terms like 'manpower', 'rifleman,' and 'manning' is being actively discouraged to avoid offending those who do not conform to traditional gender stereotypes.
This focus on inclusivity comes at a time when the British Military faces significant challenges in both manpower and equipment amid an increasingly unstable international environment, viz, the turmoil in the Red Sea and the Israel-Gaza war in the middle east, Russia-Ukraine war in Europe to rising aggression of China in the South Asia.
This is the context in which the letter from the twelve retired British military officers to Defence Secretary Shapps should be read.
The letter from the twelve retired officers to Defence Secretary Shapps highlights their disappointment with the military's 'inclusive' policies, criticising the dilution of security vetting norms and the adoption of gender-neutral pronouns as pandering to wokeism while international adversaries like Russians, Iranians, and Chinese mock the British military's approach.
They argue that removing Christianity from Acts of Remembrance disrespects the ancestors who fought for the largely Christian, tolerant, and inclusive British nation.
The former military officers say, "No one should need to be reminded that this [the UK] is a welcoming, inclusive, and basically Christian country," adding, "Our civic culture on 11th November is sacred, Christian, tolerant, and inclusive on our terms."
The letter emphasises that the military's primary role is to deliver 'fighting power' against the country's enemies and to win wars, not to push woke ideas.
The question that many are now asking is whether the British military is more focused on ensuring inclusivity than preparedness to fight wars.
(Also Read: British Navy Is Running Out Of Ships And Men)
Editorial Associate at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.
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