Tthe British army should be paid far more, even though there has been a recent announcement of a pay rise.
Along with prison officers and police, members of the armed services are to get around an extra 2% which, for a private in the army, will mean about £7 a week.
Seven quid, for being permanently on call to go to a danger or all out war zone, anywhere in the world, risking at the very least life changing injuries or at the most, his very life.
The pay for a bog standard squaddie* is some £18,500 p/a in round figures. For a new prison officer it is similar at some £18,000 and for a police recruit about £20,000. A new fireman can expect about £22,000.
Of the last 3, only the fireman is expected to regularly risk his life as part of the job and it is understandable that he should get more than the cop and certainly the screw.
Like the Royal Navy and the RAF the army can never be sure if they’ll be at home tomorrow or, indeed, tonight. Those in the civilian roles can be virtually positive.
The army, as opposed to the other members of the armed forces. must be ready to come face to face with the enemy – close enough to smell him. They must be prepared to kill him in the most violent ways or suffer that fate themselves.
Both the navy and the air force – with the exception of the RAF Regiment – , engage the enemy at long distance.
Prison officers, the police and firemen face the sack if they refuse to obey an order, sometimes pleading to do so is against Health and Safety rules. A soldier who disobeys faces a Court Martial and a Dishonourable Discharge. He can’t go on strike like the others if he doesn’t like the way things are turning out.
There is very little comparison between the duties of an infantryman and all of the other branches of both the military and civilian personnel. His pay should reflect this.
NOTE TO CLEVER DICKS. Before you reach for your mobile, the term “squaddie” comes from the Indian Army and the Raj. It is derived from the word “Swaddy” meaning an irregular native trooper.