The British Army’s senior ranks are ‘full of middle-aged white guys’, admits top commander 

The British Army’s senior ranks are ‘full of middle-aged white guys but they truly are not all toffs’, says top commander who also believes the military ‘should execute a lot better’ at tackling racism

  • Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch has said the top brass are ‘not all toffs’
  • However, he added that the army ‘should be carrying out a lot better’ on diversity 
  • He compared the top ranking officials to a normal FTSE 200 British company 

The Army’s senior ranks are ‘full of middle-aged white guys’, a top commander has admitted.

But Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch said top brass are ‘not all toffs’. He added the Army was becoming more diverse but ‘should be doing a lot better’ at tackling racism.

His comments came after soldiers were barred from ‘taking the knee’ to support Black Lives Matter because it was deemed too political.

Lieutenant General Tyrone Urch, pictured, has said that whilst the British Army is becoming more diverse, it ‘should be doing a lot better’ at tackling the matter of racism

Pictured: Members of the army work at a coronavirus testing station set up in Victoria Park in Leicester, England, Tuesday June 30, 2020

Pictured: Members of the army work on a coronavirus testing station set up in Victoria Park in Leicester, England, Tuesday June 30, 2020

Lt Gen Urch, who had been in charge of the military response to the coronavirus, told Soldier magazine: ‘While the Army board is full of middle-aged white guys, they are not all toffs who went to public school, they have diverse backgrounds. It will not be long before it is even more diverse.’

Those on the board are the head of the Army and other senior personnel – including one woman. 

Lt Gen Urch added: ‘If you compare the Army board to that particular of a normal FTSE 200 British company they are pretty similar.

‘So we shouldn’t beat ourselves up that individuals are uniquely bad, because we’re maybe not. However we ought to be carrying out a lot better.’ 

Lt Gen Urch, who went to the £5,000-a-term Warminster School, said about 17 % of recruits were now from ethnic minority backgrounds.

General Sir Nick Carter (Chief of the Defence Staff), Admiral Sir Philip Jones (First Sea Lord), General Mark Carleton-Smith (Chief of the General Staff), Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier (Chief of the Air Staff) and Queen Elizabeth II attend the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in 2018

General Sir Nick Carter (Chief of the Defence Staff), Admiral Sir Philip Jones (First Sea Lord), General Mark Carleton-Smith (Chief of the General Staff), Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier (Chief of the Air Staff) and Queen Elizabeth II attend the ceremonial welcome at Horse Guards Parade in 2018

Eli Harold, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid of the San Franciso 49ers kneel during the U.S. national anthem before an NFL game in 2016. The act of taking the knee - viewed to have been popularised by Kaepernick - started as a form of protest against police brutality in the U.S. but has become an act of protest against racism. Soldiers in the British Army have been banned from taking the knee during the national anthem

Eli Harold, Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid of the San Franciso 49ers kneel during the U.S. national anthem before an NFL game in 2016. The act of taking the knee – viewed to own been popularised by Kaepernick – started as a form of protest against police brutality in the U.S. but is now an act of protest against racism. Soldiers in the British Army have already been banned from taking the knee through the national anthem

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