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'Positive change' Among the 390 ethnic minority officers in the army today is Major Glen Lindsay of the Royal Artillery.The officer commanding the army's Diversity Action Recruiting Team, he said: "If it wasn't for the fact that the army had changed I wouldn't do this job, because it brings me far too close to the communities. "If I didn't believe things weren't constantly changing for the better, I would feel guilty inspiring people to join up knowing that they were not going to enjoy it.
It's a shame such things happened and are still happening in the world's greatest Army. Whether you are black or white, should never an issue when serving your country or in any other part of life. During my enlistment we had one Black member and he was well accepted and treated like any other member. We need more non-white, non-christian servicemen and servicewomen to bring our armed forces up-to-date and make them truly representative.In the Sergeants' Mess I got a most violent reaction.Several of the senior NCO's said that if they had any coloured men in their Regiment they would walk out!Allan, Merseyside In 1951, I was a gunner in the 33rd Parachute Field Regt, R. D Robinson, Leeds The regiment with the most VCs are the Ghurkas. Private Beharry, who won the VC in Iraq, saving his section's life is black.Regular soldiers judge their comrades by their actions, not their skin colour.The Royal Air Force and Navy also finished in the top ten. Returning after 20 years to watch the Changing the Guard, Richard said: "I think I would go through the same again.
"I was unfortunate to experience what I did, but there's so much you can get out of the army, there's such a career you can make, travel the world, you can pick up skills, you can learn what it's like to live in a team, and that's what I miss.
But it wasn't until the 1980s that attitudes changed.
Probably against official government policy, it had a 2% quota system known as the 'D-Factor' List, restricting the number of black and Asian soldiers in regiments that did accept them.
A 1961 Army Council document 'Recruitment of Coloured Personnel' said: "The strength of the British Army has always depended on the reliability of the individual soldier.
The reliability of coloured soldiers is not certain and therefore too great a dilution of British units would be dangerous." As Defence Secretary in Harold Wilson's Labour government during the late 1960s, Denis Healey tried to increase the numbers of ethnic minority soldiers. His autobiography recalls a Brigade of Guards Colonel who "found the idea that black men should serve in a Guards fighting unit was so preposterous that his mind simply refused to encompass the idea.
Of the three or four hundred guardsmen in there most of them just got up and walked out.