Letter: Boredom in the infantry

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Army may recruit from the "scum" of this divided society ("What do we want, monks or robots?", 6 August), but they have little to occupy their free time except drink.

A young infantryman I know, a good rugger player, finds he rarely has a chance to play team sports, and the chances of educational courses are nil. He has done well to be a lance corporal, but succeeding in a tough course for promotion to corporal means that he will not get that extra stripe for perhaps 18 months. So there is a lot of boredom in the ranks.

I understand that the American services have had a campaign to decrease drunkenness by providing many more facilities for energetic leisure activities, and support for educational courses. It seems that similar facilities are much needed not only in Cyprus, but also in Germany and other Army bases.