MoD hits back after soldier from ‘snowflake’ ad threatens to quit
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has refuted the account of a soldier who has reportedly threatened to quit over a "snowflakes" recruitment poster.
Guardsman Stephen McWhirter, 28, appears on a poster reminiscent of Lord Kitchener's "your country needs you" campaign, alongside the words: "Snowflakes your army needs you and your compassion".
He reportedly told friends he agreed his photo could be used by the MoD, but that the word "snowflakes" was never mentioned.
The phrase is used as a derogatory term for over-sensitive and typically young people.
Colonel Ben Wilde, assistant director of army recruiting, said: "The soldiers who took part in this campaign were all volunteers who understand that the army needs to reach out to all parts of society to find the best people for its ranks.
"The volunteers gave their permission to appear on TV and in the posters and were fully informed about the striking language and how it would resonate with young people with a wide variety of valuable skills."
Around 120 people volunteered for the campaign, with 25 chosen to take part.
The MoD say 25 people gave permission to be used in the TV campaign and the posters, and 10 of those people were actually used in the poster photoshoot .
The department say participants were aware of the campaign details and that as a result McWhirter would have known the word snowflake would be used with his image.
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However, The Mail On Sunday says the guardsman has been mocked by friends on Facebook about the poster and that he declared on the social media site that he would formally submit his resignation.
A recruitment drive by the army is currently under way, with the defence select committee hearing in October that it had fallen 7% short of its target of 82,500 fully trained troops.