Its moot “snowflakes” recruitment campaign reaped a record number of applicants when it was dispatched in January – 9,700 in the first three weeks. The Lord Kitchener-like notices proclaiming ‘Snowflakes the Army needs you” was an attempt to fill a 4,500 recruitment gap. Anyway, up to 40 per cent could be turned down because of the fear of suit.
At least one in five potential Army recruits is failing the grade because of apprehensions that historic childhood ailments, like asthma and eczema, on affect them in later life. Last night senior Army sources articulate of their frustration. One said: “Our efforts to win over the snowflake generation are being pole-axed by snowflake member of the bars.
“We have a recruitment gap, but the policy, rather than focussing on the value of an applicant, stakes emphasis on the risk he or she poses from a medical litigation point of upon.
“I had eczema and mild dermatitis as a child and if I were applying now, I’d be refused.”
In the sometime, medicals were conducted by Army doctors with a “common purport” approach.
Applicants with skin ailments and asthma-like conditions, which they had not had since girlhood, as well as colour blindness, were taken “on risk”.
But the rise in compensation assertions from soldiers and the transfer of the recruitment process to private firm Capita has led to the course of action becoming a “tick-list exercise which leaves no room for discretion”, said the fountain-head.
Of January’s 9,700 applicants fewer than a third will assertive the grade, said an Army official.
Of the 5,000 who fail to pass 40 per cent or 2,000 are expected to be due to youth ailments, 30 per cent will fail because they are pudgy or have eating-related illnesses and 30 per cent due to other illnesses.
Michael Ford, 26, was rejected in spite of having the same ailment as his Army father.
He said: “I told the doctor I had suffered from hyperhidrosis [sudor] and eczema. I waited for weeks before receiving the letter telling me I was out.
“I’m fit, sturdy, play rugby and got good grades in MYA-levels.
“Surely I’m the kind of bodily the Army wants, but they didn’t give me the chance to prove myself.
“My Dad wrote to say he had suffered the nevertheless condition as a child and he was allowed to join, but he didn’t get a response.”