Anyone else read the Torygraph today?... MoD doctor calls for ban on soldiers' tea and football By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent (Filed: 16/08/2004) Army recruits should be banned from drinking tea and playing football or rugby, according to a medical expert hired by the Ministry of Defence. Tony Hall, a civilian consultant physician, was paid more than £50,000 by the MoD to investigate Gulf War Syndrome. Dr Tony Hall Dr Hall, who gave evidence to the Gulf war hearing in London last week, accused many of the veterans he examined of being "obese" and said that American army practices were superior to those of their British counterparts. He said recruits should be banned from drinking anything containing caffeine, including Coca Cola, tea and coffee as it caused "cardiac irregularities". He also recommended that the MoD should ban "bodily contact sports such as rugby, soccer and hockey". It should also prohibit soldiers smoking and stop allowing alcohol on military premises. Dr Hall, who worked as a physician for the United States army before returning to Britain in 1975, praised the American training regime, in which he said smoking and drinking caffeine and alcohol were banned. He was scathing of the British soldiers he examined, many of whom he claimed smoked, had criminal records and were alcoholic or obese. "All the eight Sandhurst Gulf war veterans that I examined were alcoholics and six were obese." He even accused Lord Guthrie, the last Chief of Defence Staff, a former SAS officer and the regiment's current colonel-in-chief, of being "obese". He made a number of personal attacks on other veterans. "The Gulf war veterans who have complained to the press, thereby breaching their own confidentiality, are liars," he said. Dr Hall was commissioned by the MoD in 1997 to take part in the Gulf War Veterans assessment programme. The MoD dissociated itself from his comments to the inquiry saying that he was dismissed in 1998 for "loss of trust". Dr Hall said he was suspended in December 1997 after complaints from veterans who had "undue influence" with the MoD but was still paid £1,000 a week until his year-long contract ended. "I enjoyed taking a detailed history of 460 Gulf war veterans for the MoD in consultations lasting up to two hours," he told the inquiry. Asked by Lord Lloyd of Berwick, the inquiry chairman, how many of the 460 Gulf war veterans he examined he regarded as "malingerers", he replied: "Most of them if not all." Dr Hall told The Telegraph that he wore a US uniform to the inquiry to emphasise how much better it was than its British counterpart. He said the US army boots he was wearing were issued to him in Vietnam and were still in perfect condition. "I use them for gardening," he added. He told the inquiry that he was an admirer of Gen George Patton and Col "H" Jones and repeatedly stressed how superior US army practices were. "Only two weeks ago a general wrote in The Telegraph that the British Army is the best in the world - a frequent, mistaken comment," he told the inquiry. "The US army beat the British Army in 1776 and 1812 and killed more Germans and Japanese, with ability and enthusiasm, in the Second World War." To me, this just sounds like another yank getting on his high horse about 'might is right' philosophy. I happen to know a large number of very fat American soldiers who drink a lot of Coca Cola and are total layabouts. I think his commments about Gulf War vets are absolutely disgusting. What is more, he is quoted as admiring General Patton and Col H Jones. The formal example is reknown in military history these days as sacrificing hundreds of his own men in an overly simplistic and brutal attrition strategy during WW2, while H Jones' approach is also the subject of quite a bit of debate these days. The crux of the matter is, When will americans realise that being a soldier is not just about running around in groups singing and killing as many people asa you can. And take away tea and football????? NEVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!