The British Army is ‘wasting’ millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to scrap its famous ‘Be the Best’ motto, which has been used since 1993 – because top brass say it is elitist.
The historic crest of two crossed swords, a crown and a lion was also deemed “elitist” and “non-inclusive” according to market research.
A document was circulated by General Sir Nick Carter, the Chief of the General Staff, to senior officers, saying: “Market research in May 17 found that Be the Best did not resonate with many of our key audiences and was considered dated, elitist and non-inclusive.
“The ECAB [Executive Committee of the Army Board] therefore agreed that its use should be phased out as soon as affordably possible. The retirement of Be the Best will commence immediately with all planned refreshes of Be the Best branded material cancelled in favour of brand compliant products.”
Critics last night hit out at the change of course, with Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of UK troops in Afghanistan, saying: “Credibility is secured by our abilities on the battlefield, our fighting spirit and our resources.
“And at a time when the defence budget is being squeezed, it is lunacy to squander money on a futile branding project.”
He added: “Be the Best is popular because it encapsulates the desire for our troops to be better than their enemies. It has never been about them looking down at anyone in society, so any suggestion it is elitist is nonsense.”
The plans have since been put on hold by the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, who is said to believe the British Army is the “best of the best”.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The Defence Secretary believes that the British Army is the best of the best and has put these proposals on hold.”