__A leaked memo, reported in one of the UKs mainstream newspapers, claims that the MoD has plans to make sick and wounded soldiers take enforced redundancy. Today the military has hit back denying this leaked memo.
Government cuts to the UK military are ongoing and in stages or tranches. Tranch one is currently underway. Such treatment of wounded personnel from conflicts such as Afghanistan was not part of the original cuts. According to MoD sources now it still is not. Just who is telling the truth?
The leaked memo in the Telegraph suggests that there could be 16,500 army cuts which is an increase from the original figure of 12,000.
The issues of whether or not recovering soldiers could be forced to take redundancy is refuted. There are claims that the internal leaked memo was by a person of somewhat junior status. It was reportedly sent to military chiefs in Afghanistan. The BBC reported that in general the media decided not to run with the story because of this but the Daily Telegraph decided to use it.
The release of the story came as the UK prepared to remember its war dead in the two minutes Armistice Day silent memorial.
Trying to get at the truth of the story is difficult but it seems that it is not pure fabrication. Although forced redundancies of wounded soldiers may not be on the cards in the first round of military cuts, it could follow. A spokesperson on the BBC said that Tranch 1 included no such plans. In the New Year of course further cuts will be announced and that could be a different kettle of fish.
The spokesperson did say that wounded soldiers will not be appraised until they are well on the road to recovery. In fact at a time when resuming to duties is almost on the cards.
Obviously the memo has damaged morale in the UK military camps of Afghanistan. In the last month alone six British soldiers have suffered double amputations or worse as a result of Taliban bombs. Many soldiers are now questioning what will be their ultimate fate should they suffer such life changing injuries.
Although as they say ignorance is bliss the soldiers fighting in these conflicts deserve to know what is happening. They are unlikely to find out the truth though. After all their leaders want them to fight to the death if necessary. The thought of an enforced redundancy, should they get injured, is hardly inspiring stuff is it?
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog