Monday, 19 October 2015

Army News: All The Better To Kill You With

“Operational effectiveness is at the top of the pile” of reasons to do so, said Lieutenant General James Everard in an interview for the Financial Times’ list of 100 leading LGBT executives and allies, published on Tuesday. “Diverse teams, well led are far more effective than bog-standard teams.”

As the army reconsiders its role in a changing war-fighting environment — with far more emphasis on digital conflict, propaganda, diplomacy, engaging with local populations and the need to understand what generals refer to as “psychological terrain” in combat situations — the traditional recruiting pool is coming up short, according to Lt Gen Everard.

“[Diversity] in our ranks gives us a breadth of understanding and capability we don’t get in any other way . . . we need to reach into [places] that probably people would have said were non-traditional — away from the working class of Middlesbrough and all that sort of stuff and into a much more diverse and broader range of characters. That’s hugely important for us.”

Perhaps not since the ancient Greek Sacred Band of Thebes — a 150-strong unit famed for its fighting skill comprised of gay couples on the basis that they would be prepared to fight and die for each other — has martial prowess been explicitly associated with sexual orientation. But Britain’s armed forces have been at the forefront of changing perceptions...

Financial Times.

The army started to record its soldiers’ sexuality — on a voluntary basis — at the start of this year. But so far only 230 serving troops — out of 80,000 — have declared themselves as gay or bisexual. 


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