Ex Para fights for pensionable service rights

#1
Just saw this on E-Goat HERE.....

http://www.express.co.uk

A WAR veteran is battling to have his service as a 17-year-old in the Falklands campaign count towards his pension.

Sergeant Mick Southall, who retired last year after 26 years, served in 3 Para alongside the three youngest members of the Task Force to die – two 17-year-olds and another killed on his 18th birthday.

He took part in one of the ­fiercest battles of 1982, Mount Longdon. He was also involved in the action which saw Sergeant Ian Mckay win a posthumous ­Victoria Cross for charging an Argentine position on Mount Longdon only to be killed as he captured it.

But Mr Southall, 45, from ­Chester, has been told that this does not count as “adult service” towards his pension.

Only service after the age of 18 is classed as pensionable.

He said: “If I was old enough to send, then surely I am old enough for it to count. I can’t think of anything more “adult” than ­fighting a war. But I have no ­problem with being sent to fight aged 17. I am incredibly proud to have served my country and would do it again.”

Mr Southall, who was awarded six medals and served in ­Northern Ireland and Cyprus, emphasised: “The amount of money involved is of no interest to me, it’s ­pennies. Any increase in my pension would be donated to forces’ charities. It is solely a matter of principle. I just feel insulted the Ministry of Defence does not attach the same pride in my service as I do.”

Mr Southall, now working as a first-aid trainer and lorry driver, went before an Army Board ­earlier this year but it ruled that he was “not wronged”.

Ironically, Mr Southall could not have been sent to Northern Ireland at 17 as only those 18 and over were allowed to serve there.

Tory MP and former Infantry officer Patrick Mercer said: “It is standard practice in the Army. Your pensionable service starts when you enter adult service – 18 for a private and 21 for officers.”

But he thought Mr Southall should be made a special case.

Ex-Army captain and author of a book on the Afghan campaign Doug Beattie said: “This soldier was fighting a war before he could legally sit in a pub and have a pint and before he could vote.”

The MoD said pension rules changed in 2005 to allow early service but this and previous ­governments had all ruled out retrospective changes on cost grounds.
 
#3
"Only service after the age of 18 is classed as pensionable" and “It is standard practice in the Army. Your pensionable service starts when you enter adult service – 18 for a private and 21 for officers.” which part of that can't he grasp ?

He signed on knowing the terms of service.
 

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