CONSERVATIVE
New Forest East

'ARMY BACKTRACKS ON PLANS TO DITCH “BE THE BEST” SLOGAN AFTER RESEARCH CONCLUDES IT IS “NON-INCLUSIVE” '

The Defence Secretary said the plans had been put on hold

By Tom Peck

Independent Online – 24 December 2017

The Army has scrapped plans to update its logo and slogan, despite internal research indicating it had made recruiting new soldiers more difficult.

In documents seen by the Mail on Sunday, the army's most senior officer, General Nick Carter, said that the army's longstanding slogan, "Be the Best" should be removed "immediately" as it

"did not resonate with many of our key audiences".

The research also showed the Army's crest, which depicts crossed swords, a crown and a lion, was "non-inclusive". The recommendations suggested it should be replaced with a Union Jack.

Since becoming Defence Secretary last month, Gavin Williamson has also appeared on the front pages after telling the Chancellor of the Exchequer he would not be able to use Ministry of Defence planes until the bill for previous trips had been settled. He also intervened to prevent two former armed forces dogs from being put down.

In 2016, the Government pledged to spend £178bn on new military equipment over the next 10 years. But it must also find £7.3bn of efficiency savings within the department, on top of the £7.1bn previously announced, which is likely to be achieved through selling off property.

Chairman of the Commons Defence Select Committee, Julian Lewis, told the newspaper that being the best was

"nothing to be ashamed of".

He said: 

"It is a matter for pride and a very positive message to transmit. Why should we be afraid of excellence when we are constantly saying our Armed Forces are the best in the world?"

Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of UK troops in Afghanistan, added that it was

"lunacy to squander money on a futile branding project"

when there was already pressure on the defence budget.

Last month the Ministry of Defence was forced to confirm it was "in discussions" with the Treasury over Chancellor Philip Hammond's reported unpaid bill for the use of military planes. The Chancellor had been banned from using MoD planes until his department settles the bill for a recent flight. The MoD was said to have told officials not to accept any more bookings from the Chancellor until the six-figure sum for flights with No 32 (The Royal Squadron) had been paid.