Military cliches deserve corporal punishment

7th January 2011 at 00:00

As a former member of the armed forces and a college lecturer of over 24 years I was deeply offended by Mike Kent's article "Fall in and learn... at the double" (December 10).

The ex and currently serving members of the armed forces have for many years had to fight the myths surrounding the armed forces. The screaming sergeant major and the half-baked corporal barely able to write his own name are among those pre-1950s myths.

Today's armed forces are technologically among the most advanced, and require men and women of high levels of intellect. Qualifications for such roles range from HNDs to honours degrees. The RAF school of physical training has links with Wolverhampton University so that the corporal physical training instructor can study for a sports science degree and then the PGCE. Articles of this nature only go to proliferate the myths and nonsense of the 1950s.

Think again if you thought that any ex or currently serving member would find this remotely amusing. It was at best insulting.

Thomas Hardman, Lecturer in public services and former RAF physical training instructor, Oldham.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today