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Guardsman to resign in disgust after his picture was used below the word 'snowflakes' in a controversial recruitment campaign (3 Pics)

A Scots Guardsman is quitting the Army after his picture was used below the word ‘snowflakes’ in a controversial recruitment campaign, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Guardsman Stephen McWhirter, 28, who has protected the Queen at Buckingham Palace, had no idea his face would appear alongside the slogan ‘Snowflakes – the Army needs you and your compassion’ before the poster was unveiled last week.
Guardsman McWhirter has told friends he has been bombarded with mocking messages from colleagues and feels that, because he was not forewarned, the Army has left him open to ridicule. He says he will resign at the earliest opportunity.
The soldier, who is based at Wellington Barracks in London, expressed his fury on Facebook in a discussion with other troops dismayed about the £1.5 million campaign. One squaddie wrote: ‘Imagine the army taking a photo of you and writing “snow flake” in massive bold letters above your head. I’d be signed straight off.’
To which Guardsman McWhirter responded: ‘Don’t f****** worry, mate, I am.’
In later posts, he said he would formally submit his resignation at the earliest available opportunity.
Another soldier wrote: ‘Chances are he was told to sign a form allowing them to use his image.
‘That being said, he still has grounds for complaint as they have ended his career by corporate bullying and harassment. Potentially even affecting his future employment.’ Guardsman McWhirter replied: ‘Correct.’
Guardsman McWhirter has told friends he has been bombarded with mocking messages from colleagues and feels that, because he was not forewarned, the Army has left him open to ridicule
The Scots Guardsman has also told friends that Army bosses never mentioned the word snowflakes – a derogatory term for over-sensitive young people – when he agreed his photo could be used.
Guardsman McWhirter, from Irvine, Scotland, joined the Army in 2016. Under the terms of his employment he will be able to hand in his notice to top brass in five months. He passed out of the Army’s Infantry Training Centre at Catterick, North Yorkshire, in 2017 and has performed public duties with the Scots Guards in London and Edinburgh.
His decision to speak out on social media will cause huge embarrassment for Army bosses who have already been forced to defend their latest hugely expensive advertising campaign – which comes in the midst of a recruitment crisis.

Six posters echo Lord Kitchener’s famous ‘Your Country Needs You’ slogan for a millennial audience and seek to persuade ‘snowflakes, phone zombies, binge gamers and selfie addicts’ that their often criticised character traits can be turned into battle-winning skills.
But while top brass insist the message of the adverts is that the Army sees beyond stereotypes to spot a person’s potential, serving troops and veterans have suggested the campaign undermines the skills of soldiers. Civilian critics have also raised concerns that using criticisms of young people, even when seeking to challenge these judgments, will turn off the audience the Army is trying to reach. Tom Slater, editor of youth culture magazine Spiked, said the problem was that ‘no one identifies as a snowflake’.
The Your Army Needs You campaign, devised by leading ‘brand communication’ agency Karmarama, has also inspired a series of parodies that have been shared online. One mock-up of the official poster features an Islamic State fighter and the headline: ‘Returning home jihadis, your army needs you and your combat experience.’
Angry: A Facebook exchange between a soldier and Guardsman McWhirter after the poster was revealed
The campaign follows last year’s £1.6 million recruitment drive called ‘This is Belonging’, which featured adverts saying it was fine for soldiers to cry, pray and show emotions, even while on operations.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the adverts resulted in applications to be a regular soldier hitting a five-year high.
Army bosses have been on a mission in recent years to soften the image of the Armed Forces. In December 2017, The Mail on Sunday revealed how top brass had signed off on plans to drop the Army’s ‘Be the Best’ motto. The decision was reversed by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.
Colonel Ben Wilde, assistant director of Army recruiting, said: ‘We are not looking for anyone of any less quality, our standards have not reduced in any way. What we are trying to do is show that anyone, regardless of their background, has opportunities in the British Army. They have skills they might not even know they possess which we can unlock in terms of potential and make the most of in the military.’
It comes as the Army has repeatedly failed to meet recruitment targets. The Defence Select Committee was told in October that it had 77,000 fully trained troops compared with a target of 82,500.
Capita was controversially awarded the £495 million recruitment contract in 2012, but the Army has not recruited the number of soldiers it needs in any year since.

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