FUSILIERS – Save the 2RRF

Posted on October 24, 2013 by


To Fusilier Association Members from Brigadier (Retd) Trevor Minter OBE 2nd October 2013

Dear fellow Fusiliers

I should like to update you on the Save 2RRF campaign and encourage your continuing support. Some might be losing the enthusiasm for the fight. I put it to you that we have a duty to continue.

The arguments of how the Regiment has been treated are well rehearsed and I will not repeat them here. Suffice it to say that a grave injustice has been done and the MoD have stonewalled our letters, appeals and Freedom of Information requests. They are not prepared to justify or explain the audit trail which led to this poor decision and we know why – there is no logic to it. This has led to unexpected consequences for them including the intervention at the Conservative party conference in Manchester for which I offer them no apology whatsoever. I liken this to being wrongly convicted of a crime one did not commit – it leads to anger and resentment as well as a determination to put the record straight.

To look at the bigger picture, the Fusiliers campaign might well have been fading from view were it not for other significant failures in the Army reform plans. The out sourcing of Army recruitment to a civilian agency has seen a big dip in recruitment of both regulars and reservists. This has impacted enormously on those regiments which were already struggling to recruit and were saved by political interference. The Scots Guards are now being permitted to recruit in Lancashire! The reduction in regular soldiers from 102,000 to 82,000 was meant to be covered by an increase in 30,000 reservists. However, there is no viable plan to achieve this and the TA is losing significant numbers rather than growing.

 

We continue to plan our campaign at both a parliamentary and community level. Our strength in the areas is our reputation and it was our local MPs who overwhelmingly voted in Parliament to save 2 RRF in October last year. On Tues 15th October this year we will march again to remind the Government of its obligations and deliver a petition to 10 Downing Street. Do turn out to support in beret and hackle and bring your families – they have always been part of the Fusilier family too.

 

John Baron MP continues to lead the parliamentary campaign and has garnered much support from other responsible and concerned MPs. We must continue to write and remind both MPs and candidates in our constituencies. Colonel Ian Brazier continues to lead the association effort tirelessly and through personal example for which I am extremely grateful. We have more ammunition and plans yet to deploy which I will not share in an open letter but we do have a coordinating leadership group giving the plan direction.

 

We were trained to be fighting men against tough odds and we will continue into next year and until the axe finally falls on 2RRF in the shape of posting orders and no further recruitment. For their sakes we will not falter.

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