New style shirts are here!

The Army has introduced new shirts that can be rolled up in warm weather, but there are fears soldiers will be forced to wear much-maligned elbow pads to avoid cuts and scrapes as a result.

Personnel on duty have long complained about the current multi-terrain pattern uniforms, introduced in 2011, because they have removable foam elbow pads incorporated into the sleeve, so they cannot be rolled up in sweltering areas of operation like Afghanistan.

From September Army chiefs will now introduce new shirts that can be rolled-up to increase their comfort, but there are reports troops will have to wear elbow pads, commonly used by skateboarders and BMX riders, to avoid injuries.

Soldiers are worried they will be forced to wear elbow pads to avoid injury once the new shirts are introduced

Soldiers are worried they will be forced to wear elbow pads to avoid injury once the new shirts are introduced

One officer said the elbow pads will ‘struggle for acceptance’, while one infantryman called them ‘pretty orthopaedic’, reports The Times.

However, a Ministry of Defence spokesman said the new shirts are only intended for use in barracks and other non-combat or exercise roles.

‘All that is happening is the new shirt will supplement what we already have.’

Prince Harry sports elbow pads while visiting the Jamaican Defence Force at Up Park Camp in Kingston

Prince Harry sports elbow pads while visiting the Jamaican Defence Force at Up Park Camp in Kingston

A change in policy has also been made that will allow soldiers to roll up the sleeves of their current uniforms (with the foam pads removed) – subject to their officers’ discretion – before the new shirts are introduced.

The spokesman added that elbow pads and knee pads are used by the infantry, while the multi-terrain pattern uniforms are used by other sections of the Army.

Since their introduction in 2011, troops have complained that the multi-terrain pattern uniform’s combat fatigues are ‘ridiculous’ and make them look like Action Man.

Soldiers have criticised it as being ill-fitting, poorly designed, poorly made and ‘too American’.

The Ministry of Defence spent £40million on the new outfits, claiming that they will be more comfortable to wear with body armour and provide better camouflage.

Remembrance Sunday Dates

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday, which falls on 13 November in 2016, is a day for the nation to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.

Below you can find information concerning the National Service of Remembrance, as well as Remembrance Sunday dates for upcoming years.

National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph

The National Service of Remembrance, held at The Cenotaph in Whitehall on Remembrance Sunday, ensures that no-one is forgotten as the nation unites to honour all who have suffered or died in war.

The Queen will pay tribute alongside Members of the Cabinet, Opposition Party leaders, former Prime Ministers, the Mayor of London and other ministers. Representatives of the Armed Forces, Fishing Fleets and Merchant Air and Navy will be there, as well as faith communities and High Commissioners of Commonwealth countries.

How can I take part in the National Service of Remembrance?

Each year, a selection of veterans participate in the moving March Past. Applications for 2015 are now closed. Those who have submitted an application will be contacted by the end of September.

If you wish to attend the service as a spectator, you can find further information on the website of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, who are responsible for organising the event.

Remembrance Sunday Forthcoming Dates

Remembrance Sunday always falls on the second Sunday in November. The dates of upcoming events are:

12 November 2017

11 November 2018

10 November 2019

New Ebola Medal Award.

A new medal has been created to recognise the bravery and hard work of people who have helped to stop the spread of Ebola.

The government has today (11 June 2015) set out the details of a new medal that will recognise the bravery and hard work of thousands of people who helped to tackle Ebola in West Africa.

The medal is expected to go to over 3,000 people who travelled from the UK to work in high risk areas to stop the spread of the disease.

This is the first time a medal has been created specifically to recognise those who have tackled a humanitarian crisis and is in recognition of the highly dangerous environment that workers were required to enter.

The medal has been designed by John Bergdahl, who has been an engraver for over 40 years and recently designed a new coin set to celebrate the birth of Prince George. Mr Bergdahl’s design was chosen following a competition run by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee. It shows a flame on a background depicting the Ebola virus – above this are the words “For Service” and below “Ebola Epidemic West Africa”.

The obverse bears a portrait of Her Majesty The Queen designed by Ian Rank-Broadley.

The medal will be awarded to military and civilian personnel who have been tackling Ebola on behalf of the UK in West Africa such as people from our armed forces, doctors and nurses from the NHS, laboratory specialists and members of the civil service and non-governmental organisations. Eligibility is set out in detail in a command paper published today.

The first awards of the medal will be made as early as this summer and will be ongoing thereafter. The Prime Minister will also host a summer reception to congratulate in person some of the recipients.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said:

The Ebola outbreak was one of the most devastating epidemics of our generation but we managed to stop its spread thanks to the hard work of British people who travelled to West Africa.

As a result of their efforts, many lives were saved and the outbreak contained.

This medal is about paying tribute to those people. They put themselves at considerable personal risk and we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Notes to editors

All those eligible should receive their medal during the course of this year, other than those who need to self-nominate. Read more information on self-nomination.

About the medal

The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals recommended specific eligibility criteria to Her Majesty The Queen, who graciously approved them.

Eligible personnel, including civil servants, the military, UK Med, Public Health England, Stabilisation Unit, Conflict Humanitarian and Security Department (CHASE) Operations Team, UK nationals who worked for DFID-funded NGOs supporting government efforts who served at least 21 days of continuous service (or 30 days of accumulated service) within the geographical territories of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and their territorial waters, would automatically receive the medal.

The medal will be sent to most people automatically, but a few people who have not gone as part of the UK government effort will need to nominate themselves.

This new medal has been introduced following approval by Her Majesty The Queen and the Honours and Decorations Committee. The medal will be manufactured in the UK by Worcestershire Medal Service and will be awarded to those eligible continuously from the summer.

Read the PM’s written ministerial statement on the Ebola Medal.

About UK government response to Ebola

£427 million has been committed to the effort by UK government. Our contribution has included supporting more than half of all the beds available for Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, funded over 100 burial teams, trained 4,000 frontline staff, provided three labs to test one third of all samples collected nationally and delivered over one million PPE suits and 150 vehicles.

Find our more about the UK government’s response to Ebola.