Kitchener surely would eat his hat
Either the British Army likes a challenge, or they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for recruits in this day and age of social media warriors and selfie-lovers. The new recruiting campaign to bring the Army to its authorized strength (to include women in the infantry) and keep it there is reaching out for a modern generation.
The Defence Select Committee was told in October that it had 77,000 fully trained troops compared with a target of 82,500, which doesn’t sound like a huge shortfall, but when you consider that the British Army is facing deployments all over the world and is at its smallest size since 1793 when it had contracted to just 40,000 in the aftermath of the Revolutionary War (its lowest 19th Century mark was 90,000 in 1838, two decades after Napoleon had been sent to St. Helena).
Of course, the posters are a riff on British Field Marshal Lord Kitchener’s “Wants You” posters first fielded in 1914 to help recast the battered (and all-volunteer) British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front after the original regulars, The Old Contemptibles, had been bled white at the Marne and Ypres.
Notably, the new posters do not include the finger-pointing. Probably too aggressive.
Kitchener was not available for comment.
Meanwhile, on 28 Dec 2018, Army Capt. Louis Rudd, 49, became the first Briton to cross Antarctica solo, unsupported and unassisted.
“Using all the training and experience gathered from his 33-year military career, Lou hauled 165kg of kit and food supplies for 1500km across the driest, coldest and most inhospitable continent on the planet. Originally anticipated to take up to 75 days, to achieve this feat in 56 is extraordinary,” noted the Army.
Update: The Parachute Regiment, who has their own program for direct recruitment, posted the below this afternoon with an appeal to don the “cherry berry.”
Pokey finger and all…