Major faces rap for frank words

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The Independent Online
Major faces rap

for frank words

A serving Army major who spoke out against the armed forces' "antiquated" 19th-century class system is waiting to hear if he will be disciplined for his comments.

Major Eric Joyce could face a court martial after writing a highly critical article for the left-wing think-tank, the Fabian Society.

He warned that the military could not carry on being run only by public school-educated officers and must root out prejudice in class, gender and race.

He was interviewed for more than two hours yesterday by military police officers who will advise the Army's adjutant-general, Sir Alex Harley, whether he has broken military law. He could learn today whether he will be disciplined for conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline.

Major Joyce, 36, from Wiltshire, who joined up after leaving a comprehensive school in Perth, Scotland, said that the Army had a tricky decision to make when deciding how to deal with him. "If they choose to charge me it would be a backward step for the armed services, it would look like we are in the Stone Ages. But if they choose not to pursue it, they will be accepting that individuals can express opinions freely."