Army recruitment

Former Defence Secretary Criticises Army Campaign To Recruit 'Snowflakes'

The Army's 2019 recruitment campaign was launched last week.

Army recruitment

The campaign was released last week (Picture: British Army).

A former defence secretary has mocked an Army recruitment campaign aimed at enlisting so-called snowflakes.

Labour's Lord Reid of Cardowan suggested, to laughter in the Lords, that the move "must terrify the Russians".

And he demanded to know who was responsible for the campaign when the issue came up at question time.

The Army's campaign was comprised of video, radio and poster advertisements, with the new billboards call out to "Me Me Me Millennials", "Class Clowns", "Binge Gamers", "Phone Zombies", "Snow Flakes", "Selfie Addicts".

The Your Army Needs You campaign suggests the potentially overlooked raw skills of people like gamers and daydreamers could be seen as a strength by the Army.

The Army's 2019 campaign was released last week

Lord Reid said the essential prerequisite for putting an army into the field was the capacity to recruit enough soldiers.

"Without that, you can do very little," he said.

"We now have the smallest army since the Napoleonic wars.

"We've got a reduced target of 18,000 which we failed to meet by several thousand, and we've just launched a campaign to recruit snowflakes, which must terrify the Russians."

Army recruitment
Some of the recruitment posters ask for "focus", "self-belief" and "spirit" (Picture: British Army).

Lord Reid demanded: "Who is responsible for this?

"Is it ministers, civil servants or the outsourced company which has so miserably failed to produce our soldiers?"

Defence minister Earl Howe said responsibility for army recruitment chiefly lay with the Army itself but also in conjunction with Capita.

"I completely accept that army recruitment figures have fallen seriously short of target. A great deal of work is going on to remedy that," he said.

"Encouragingly the number of applications to join the Army over the last year is at a five-year high.

"The challenge now is to improve the conversion rate between those who apply and those who join and there are signs of progress in that area as well."