IN MARCH 2013 THE ARMY UNRESERVEDLY APOLOGISED FOR ITS TREATMENT OF THE OFFICER AT THE CENTRE OF THIS STORY, AND ACCEPTED THAT HE WAS COMPLETELY INNOCENT. DIRECTOR GENERAL PERSONNEL, ARMY HQ, DIRECTED THAT THE OFFICER BE GRANTED A THREE YEAR EXTENSION OF HIS COMMISSION, AND A SUITABLE POSTING, TO ATTEMPT TO MITIGATE THE DAMAGE INFLICTED BY THE ARMY'S INCOMPETENCE. SENIOR OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE, INCLUDING A LIEUTENANT COLONEL, A BRIGADIER, AND A GENERAL, ARE NOW THE SUBJECTS OF AN INVESTIGATION. PLEASE NOTE THAT LEGAL PROCEEDINGS ARE CURRENTLY IN PROSPECT, AND THEREFORE COMMENTING ON THIS SPECIFIC CASE IS NOT RECOMMENDED - INTERNET IDENTITIES ARE NOT ANONYMOUS, AND IP ADDRESSES CAN BE TRACED BACK TO USERS. Flashbacks to the Blackadder Court Martial scene (removed from Youtube by the BBC, but carefully preserved in perpetuity here: http://j.mp/generalmelchett. BLACKADDER COURT MARTIAL SCENE (Script, and History) My other favourite example of senior Army officer's mentality is Colonel Jessup, from A Few Good Men... YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH - Colonel Jessup's rant to cover up his murder of a marine. When an Army refuses to answer questions, and covers-up the means because outsiders may not understand or appreciate the Army's methods or motives, it is a pretty sure warning sign things might be going wrong... Basil Liddell-Hart also warned that many Army officers are so hyper-sensitive to criticism, and react so aggressively to it that they could be described as neurotic: The implications of Liddell-Harts analysis for cases in which senior officers, or logically any military superiors, are accused of misconduct are obvious: they may react viscerally badly, to the detriment of the complainant. Chaplain (Colonel) K D Johnson, US Army, writing Ethical Issues of Military Leadership in 1974, quotes Liddell Harts observations about ambitious officers in sight of promotion bottling up their thoughts and ideas for the sake of their ambition, only for those thoughts to evaporate, and draws a clear link between such officers thoughts and ideas and their ethics. Colonel Johnson warns that: The late Professor (Brigadier) Richard Holmes CBE TD JP, military historian and Territorial Army officer, articulated what he called the Ten Diseases of Military Leadership in the British Army. Three are particularly common place, First: Do not bother me with facts - I've made up my mind, Second (and often experienced by junior ranks and TA personnel): Quality of advice is directly related to the status of the advisor, and last but not least: Lack of moral courage senior Army officers rarely, if ever, concede any mistakes, second thoughts, or inclination towards objective analysis. Indeed, why should they? - there is no independent body to criticise them. In the current Service Complaints system which relies on investigation of the Army, by the Army, for the Army, safeguards are completely absent. The quintessentially military psychoses articulated above are condoned, and indeed encouraged to flourish. Army - Be the Best?