Quick response from the Army... No more news articles required!
You may have seen a tweet of mine a few weeks back taking the mickey out of some information I found on a website called 'army garrisons.uk'
The information was for families based in Andover with their partner serving at Army HQ.
This is what it said...
"As a general rule families, unless acompanied by their husbands, are not permitted access to any Army HQ Andover office buildings other than the DIO Ops Housing buildings"
Now at first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much wrong with this rule because it’s quite normal for family members not to be allowed in their serving partners workplace without them... Why would they be? I mean I wouldn’t just rock up at my wifes office without her!
The issue I had with this information though was that it says ‘HUSBANDS’ which to me implies that only men serve in the military to only have female spouses (or same sex of course)
So I took to twitter and posted a tongue in cheek tweet which said...
"It’s a good job we’re not posted to @BritishArmy HQ Andover anytime soon! Kelly wouldn’t be able to go to work without me lol"
The tweet quickly picked up momentum and received a lot of comments stating how out of date the Army still was.
"Epic Fail! It’s not 1975"
"Still in the dark ages"
"Wow, women in the Army still needing a chaperone"
"Sometime the military can be so backwards thinking"
However... It wasn’t actually the Army’s doing! It’s important to state that this information was on a third party website.
If anything we should be praising the Army and the comms team for acting quickly and getting the information and the website taken down!
Even the Army Sergeant Major Gavin Paton swooped in like a super hero and tweeted me...
“Chris, thank you for bringing this to my attention, I’ll sort it."
Just a few hours later, the website had been taken down and another bit of out dated sexist information was removed.
That didn’t stop a few newspapers getting involved though!
The Telegraph wrote an article taking full advantage of being able to shine a bad light on the Army.
I’m writing this blog though with the opposite view in that the Army actually dealt with the issue very quickly and had the website removed. That in my eyes is the result we were looking for.
Most people who will read this article though will not see that and will slate the Army for being sexist... That’s what will sell papers right!
You can read the article in full but you have to pay to read it... Typical!
The Andover Advertiser also took an interest and in my opinion wrote a better article than the telegraph.
They kind of mentioned that it was a third party website with the wording “A website containing details about the British Army Headquarters in Andover"
The Telegraph just said ‘British Army Website”
You can read this article in full for free here
The only issue I had with this article was the picture used... It was a picture of a female in the US Army! I actually wanted to find out where they had found the picture so I just googled ‘Army Woman’ and this was one of the results. So a bit of lazy journalism but I’ve been told that the person who wrote the article was new to the journalism game.
I should also state that when contacted for a comment, I refused because I didn’t think it warranted a news article. A tweet was enough in my opinion.
Whenever the stuff I write in my blog gets in the papers I always prepare myself for a bit of abuse and it was the same for this one...
My response is always the same... You’re literally wasting your time lol as the ‘abusive’ comments have no impact what so ever. If anything it makes me want to write more and uncover stuff that will make a good and informative blog.
I am keen to drive change in modernising the view of military spouses, and will continue to represent us 'military husbands' in this modern world. Things are definitely getting better, and having the Army on side reacting as quickly as they did is definitely helping with this.