MoD Advisor: Uk Troops ar "liars and malingerers"

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?????

Sounds like a winde up of Arrrsewellian proportions.

As a callow youth I was ops officer of a multi national company employing warfighters from 16 NATO nations.

The only ones who could not handle the phys, even by the US Army's abysmal standards were the americans. Whilst alchohol was banned, cola, candy, smokes and the UK Mess's desert trolley were stictly on-limits to them.

For their annual medical US lardys are allowed to tape themselves up, in a vain attempt to meet the dimensions required by the US armys outstanding table of "norms" for soldiers sex, age and height. Physical performance was (only)just about a factor that featured in this as well.

In betwen "counseling" the spams over their attrocious performance on camp, I just about found time to manage the operations of the soldiers from the other 15 nations.

Dr Tony Hall Doctor of wind-ups I assume.

- perhaps soldiers should stop useing those dangerous firearms as well??

: will Arrse readers ever be told what the MoD's response has been to his report ??


War Hero
Book Reviewer
subbsonic said:
: will Arrse readers ever be told what the MoD's response has been to his report ??
I think MoD's response was to sack the guy. Which means the report will be brought out in a couple of years, dusted off and made policy :roll:
Having been one of the medic's who not only recieved but then gave out the christ knows how many vaccinations from plague to meningitis at the begining of Op-Granby I can fully understand how so many people have fallen pray to Gulf war syndrome. I myself am fortunate that I have as yet not fallen ill but I know some mates who have an this freek of a Yank knows Feck All as usual. Gulf vets may have become obese but that may have something to do with either the wheelchair they are currently sitting in or the fact that they are in so much pain they now have no bility to do physical training!!! Feck the yanks there blue on blue record proves how crap they are as soldiers and half the ones that died in op-Granby were killed by pissed up yanks in Hummers or the fact that they dropped containers on them in Al-Jabayl. :( :!:
Where I'm currently serving we regularly go to the local US Camp and raid their fridges because Coke/Pepsi/Mountain Dew/Dr Pepper and Gatorade (EXTREMELY high in fructose corn syrup - bad) are all totally free. As are powerbars, huge bags of Lays (walkers) crisps and salted snacks. Not only that but the meals totally lack in basic nutrition, are regularly covered in thick sauces and / or are deep fried.

The doctor is blatantly a moron.

The local brit camp to us has extremely high calibre chefs. There are nutrition posters up everywhere, the only free drink is water and the gym is bloody huge and VERY well used. I could put the lowest-fresh-out-of-basic recruit on any fitness test against some of the hardiest US servicemen I see and they would win handsdown. The US servicemen out here (and I assume everywhere) are very upper-body-centric and they are very strong but their base fitness is terrible. They believe that a 9:30 1.5mile is especially fast and regularly clock in at 15 minutes for their 2-mile equivalent. (much slower)

As for saying his boots still wear well since vietnam...he's a Fecking doctor! How much action have his boots seen?

I'm not at all passionate about this subject by the way
Being a stickler for detail, I should point out that the U.S. Army did not 'beat' the British Army in 1776 - the Revolutionary War ended militarily at Yorktown in 1780, by which stage the Americans were receiving help from the French, Spanish, and Dutch. The British was also fighting a war from several thousand miles away. As for 1812, I would point out that Britain was involved in the minor matter of defeating Napoleon Bonaparte - which does the good doctor think was a greater priority for H.M. Government?

American soldiers look good and have lots of very nice kit...but that's it really. Their fire discipline is non-existant and their idea of fitness seems to stem from the Venice Beach school of pumping iron. For example, it took a U.S. Marine squad some eight hours to traverse the assault course at the French Foreign Legion base in Guiana - something that takes the legionnaires some forty minutes I believe. The last war the United States won on its own was in 1898 against Spain. The British Army also does not rely on trash of the calibre of those reservists at Abu Ghraib. British soldiers do the job of soldiering whereas Americans just talk about it. After an engagement British soldiers get a brew on, while Americans give each other high-fives and whoop like they're at a football game.

The difference is one of professionalism.
I suppose that'll be the same 1812 when we burnt down the White House? (Yes, Dr Quack, I grant they were fish-heads but the result was much the same.) Caffeine banned? Really? Also, US medicos tend to have an odd attitude to alcohol - I get the impression that if you so much as look at a pint of beer in California you're assumed to be Shane MacGowan.

I rather doubt the degree you can judge the effectiveness of an army from the state of fitness of its retired chief of general staff, too.

Oh, and he can stick the press schmoozing, vicious old bigot Patton up his arrse. He would have been proud of this character - after all he was the one who brayed one of his men in a field hospital after being told the man was suffering from shell shock. Malingerers indeed.


what else do you except from a septic :roll:

thease are the same ones who try and re-write history with septics doing all the work :roll:
Yoyu should of seen the full length phot of him in the Telegraph: yank mixed-rig, and a civvy leather belt. Grade 'A' c0ck, and in pressing need of a 9mm parting in his admittedly sparse locks. :evil:
The Mad Professor and his 30-year-old boots are prime candidates for your new blast-furnace, methinks, Bernoulli. Or we could open a new pit......after all, shi* doesn't burn. :evil:
Considering all the crap and expensive procurements from the MOD is this all that unusual that the mod found this shite for brain.

Just love the fact that in his love fest with the yanks of nam, that he forgot to mention their prolific drug taking and frag drills against their own men.

Yet again shows the MOD up for what it is.

CRAP and out of touch

Escape-from-PPRuNe said:
Also, US medicos tend to have an odd attitude to alcohol - I get the impression that if you so much as look at a pint of beer in California you're assumed to be Shane MacGowan.
My parents were visiting people in the states once when a woman introduced one of her offspring as " daughter, the alcoholic..". America is a mixture of puritans and pissheads.

That said I know from a TA point of view the recruits that we see could do with a little of that puritanism. Binge drinking and poor diet probably do impinge on the fighting power most units can provide a commander but this doesnt offset the strengths that British soldiers have elsewhere. Methods and Standards of training are a debatable issue for most Armies but this guy seems to be spouting the undiluted 'Warrior Culture' message. For comparison read the articles in on the deterioration in standards of 'Basic' in the US and compare with the stories we have all seen, heard or read about. I think they are having more of a crisis of quality than us but thats no excuse.

Personally, I think this guy is a focused and driven person who has worked hard and succeded in his chosen field. This doesn't make him brilliant or particularly insightful, in fact I think he has now 'situated' professionally speaking and probably hasn't done anything except apply what has worked for him on the way up. I can see where a CV like I presume his to be would go down well with the MOD. Pity they didnt think to deprogram him first.

The distinction needs to be made not only between Signal and Noise but also between big noise and little noise.

Edit: Also "Enthusiasm" for killing misses the point I think, particularly in these modern times. The more mess you make the longer it takes to clear up!
STAB_in_the_dark said:
Anyone else read the Torygraph today?...

Dr Hall, who worked as a physician for the United States army before returning to Britain in 1975,
Is the good Dr actually an American? Sounds like he's a Briton, who's become a bit obsessed with the US, rather than an American.

I'd also have to agree with Cut Lunch Commando's comments re TA fitness. Out of about 70 recruits on my basic training course, about 3 (roughly 5%) couldn't even complete the 1 1/2 mile run. A lot of our regular instructors (RLC) weren't particularly fit, either (although some were). I presume things are better in the teeth arms (both reg & TA).
Anyone work out what his beef about contact sports is? Everyone's meant to be unfit and he wants to ban sport? Eh?

More seriously, I wonder why the MoD hired him in the first place. He seems to have some sort of obsession that post-conflict medical problems do not exist (see his remark that "all war syndromes back as far as the US Civil War have no physical cause", as well as his Patton wet dreams) and, more importantly, that sufferers are making it up/have brought it on themselves.

Did their lordships pick him to discredit the GW1 veterans I wonder?

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