What good is an Army that appears to be embarrassed and ashamed of its own existence?

Every public organisation tells us that it must “look more like the country it serves”. This week these words were used to justify Theresa May’s reshuffle. They are also the thought behind the Army’s latest “refreshing” of its recruitment campaign – a series of computer-generated films, aimed at (separately) gay people, women, Muslims and people who want to be free to cry if they join up.

What does the phrase mean? The country, for example, is older than it has ever been. Should our armed services respond to this by employing more grey heads? Our country voted for Brexit: should this majority opinion be reflected in public-service recruitment? At present, exactly the opposite principle seems to prevail. The official idea of what the country “looks like” is somewhat selective.

Interviewed about the controversial ads, the head of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter, explains that it is really...

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