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UKSF training staff to face CM over SAS(R) deaths

Two SAS soldiers, known only as 1A and 1B,were brought before a court martial over the deaths amid high temperatures in July 2013.

They denied 'negligently performing a duty' for failing to take reasonable care for the safety of those on the march and a judge today ruled they had no case to answer.

Judge Blackett found that their lack of training on heat illness and risk assessments meant that other servicemen in their position would not have acted differently.

"I have determined that there is no evidence of negligent performance of duty when the conduct of these defendants is measured against the reasonable serviceman of similar experience, knowledge and training," he said.

A board properly directed could not properly convict and I intend to stop the case now."

Prosecuting, Louis Mably QC said he would not seek leave to appeal the judge's decision that the defendants had no case to answer.

The servicemen, who were the safety officers for the march, were acquitted by a five-person board on the direction of Jeff Blackett, Judge Advocate General

As quoted from media news outlets

The problem as I see it is that soldiers are trained to recognise signs and symptoms of heat related conditions in themselves and in their comrades. The problem is that there is a point in both heat and cold when the ability to self diagnose is impaired. When a test is necessarily an individual one, with minimal supervision, there is bound to be some risk. Especially if participants are strongly self-motivated not to give in.
Maybe the answer will lie in some sort of remote monitoring?
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Now its done and not sub judice, I think I can express my surprise that they (only) went for a military offence of negligence as opposed to some civilian H&S corporate liability type of thing.

Seemed to be stretching for an offence to me. If there was some civvy ultramarathon resulted in deaths, what would the planners have been investigated for?

That's what should have been the charge, not something which you stick a mong on for when his transgression is beyond the point of MAA/AGAI - people karked it FFS.
It is slightly more complicated than the brief paragraphs quoted in the news. Your familiarity with JSP 539 may well be because you were trained on it (para 222 of the JSP mandates it before assuming a training post), however I think the problem is how the JSP gives guidance to people conducting an activity as demanding as the AFT, the Marines "30 miler" or an "endurance activity" of the type being conducted here. It doesn't, and never has done until May 2017 for the AFT. There is still no guidance for commanders running endurance activities.

If you think you understand the JSP sufficiently you may wish to read the DSA Service Inquiry extract here:

Service Inquiry report into the deaths of 3 soldiers in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, in July 2013

Have a close read of paras 1.6.5 and 1.6.6. Note the footnote 2 on the first page of the report.
I did a search to see if this was covered, but the only title that turned up was the original report from 2013, that was closed for further comment. Happy to have the thread closed/ amalgamated.


Book Reviewer
Who brought the case? Was it family?

ETA: just found this.....

Initially, the SPA decided charges were not going to be directed against the pair, but relatives of the soldiers who died asked for the case to be reviewed.


Kit Reviewer
Well I’m glad that the right decision was made. There was a lot of blokes on here calling for their heads, which is disappointing.
That post won't light any blue touchpapers.
That post won't light any blue touchpapers.
As opposed to trying to be inflammatory, I suppose I could of said that individuals that were calling for heads failed to see the huge amount of preparation the Reserves and Regulars have in the way of courses and experience implementing those skills the courses teach even before they get to Loadstone or Test week.

There were other factors outside of negligence that were afoot.
It's a shame, given your self-published book is actually quite accurate as far as I can see, but you have
The one I had a very brief read of was wildly inaccurate to the point of absurdity, as were his perviously supposedly 'informed' comments about the Caracal bns in the IDF (totally contradicted by the IDF!).
In regard to you sneer at the RAF Regiment (a former SNCO, who is now a CPL in 22) he was present during the events that occurred, just not with the men when they died.
Extremely unlikely given the details available on who was running things and who was "present", which anyone who has read about it as widely as you claim couldn't fail to be unaware of.

@gam47 / Mr G.A.Mackinlay, your comments supposedly from the coroner's report were taken totally out of context and in isolation and were totally unrepresentative of the coroner's report and its conclusions. I previously made some posts on this incident in another thread based on a mis-understanding of media reports and incorrect reporting, and as soon as I was deservedly chastised and my error pointed out I had no hesitation in apologising for it unreservedly.

You should do the same.
Looking at the BBC, I see that the Captain and former Warrant Officer have been found not guilty.

Men acquitted after fatal SAS march
No, they were acquitted as the JAG decided there was no case to answer. That's a very different finding to 'not guilty', particularly when you read the JAG's explanation, namely:
"I have determined that there is no evidence of negligent performance of duty when the conduct of these defendants is measured against the reasonable serviceman of similar experience, knowledge and training,"

That the case was dropped because they were no more negligent, incompetent, and untrained than their peers in the military is about as damning an indictment of the Army in general and SF in particular as it's possible to get.
Or, it may have been a clever charging decision by SPA.
Or, it may have been a clever charging decision by SPA.
I'm not not sure if a conclusion that servicemen with the level of experience and training of those charged are generally negligent, incompetent and insufficiently trained was what they had in mind.
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