Sunday, 5 December 2010

Yet another SAS commander quits as cuts hit moralle

Following on from the story we featured in November 2008 concerning the resignation of SAS Chief, Major Sebastian Morley. We now reflect an excerpt from a recent UK Telegraph story concerning further resignations from the armed forces in general, and the SAS in particular. As morale sinks to an all time low, we see cost cutting further undermine the armed forces ability to fulfill their obligations to both Britain and to those brave men and women who serve.

"A highly decorated senior SAS commander, who masterminded a deadly campaign against the Taliban, has resigned from the Army amid claims that defence cuts are hitting morale.

Friends of the colonel, who cannot be named for security reasons, said he had grown increasingly despondent with service life following the cuts imposed on the military by the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

It is understood that two highly respected Brigadiers, one of whom also served with the Special Forces, are considering their positions.

Senior officers have warned that many more high calibre officers are expected to resign in the coming months especially if the Continuity of Education Allowance – which pays for a proportion of boarding school fees for service families – is cut.

During the SDSR process one of the few themes which united the views of the defence chiefs was their joint dismay at the threat to cut the allowance. Defence sources have also told The Sunday Telegraph that the SAS officer, who won a top military award while commanding special forces in southern Afghanistan, resigned because he felt the family sacrifices demanded by the Army had grown too great. [...].

One colleague said: "There is a lot of dissatisfaction within the Army at the way in which the SDSR was handled and it seems he has simply had enough and wants to do something new. He is a rather aloof and quiet individual and did not discuss his resignation with anyone."

The colonel won huge praise from both British and US generals after creating a new covert Task Force that has struck a series of devastating blows against the Taliban command structure.

Under a new strategy, the SF Task Force began targeting insurgent commanders in operations the success of which has led to commanders referring to them as "harvesting the Taliban".

The colonel was due to attend the Higher Command and Staff Course, which is reserved for those officers expected to reach the upper echelons of the Army. [...].

His departure follows that of Brigadier Ed Butler and Lt Col Richard Williams, who were both SAS commanders and regarded as two of the most brilliant officers of their generation.

One officer of General rank, who asked not to be named, said Ministry of Defence civil servants who "only did money" were undermining morale in the Army.

He said: "Continuity of Education Allowance (CEA) is vital ground for the Army. Following SDSR it has been tinkered with in order to save some money. As a consequence some officers are already leaving.[...].

"The Army staff college has seen a steep reduction in the number of majors requesting to extend their commissions.

"The Army's future depends on these men and women and we can't afford to lose them – this is one of the unintended consequences of the SDSR."

The officer, who has served in the army for more than 25-years added that he would also consider his position if the 'balance of support became unsustainable" for his family".[...]".

Read full story in The UK Telegraph.

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