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Sgt. 1st Class Caleb Barrieau
UK News

Christian retired general: Nothing wrong with children joining the Army

by Tola Mbakwe

While the message by health experts in the BMJ Paediatrics Open journal said children joining the army is 'irresponsible' on part of the Government, retired Major General Tim Cross said there is nothing wrong with the practise.

He told Premier News Hour: "We were seriously talking about giving the vote to 16-year-olds, so are we seriously suggesting they can't choose their own career?"

"[Are we saying] that they're mature enough to understand the politics of Brexit but they're not mature enough to know what they want to do with their lives? I just think it's crazy."

Major General Cross joined the Army when he was 16 and said he does not have any regrets.

"I loved every day of it," he told Premier.

"I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I was about twelve. I wanted to join the Army.

"I was quite capable of choosing my career. I think these sweeping assertions aren't helpful. They show our young people in a lack of confidence in who they are."

While the report said allowing children in the Army puts youngsters "at harm", the Army said under 18s can only join with parental consent and they won't face combat operations.

"I love what the Army is doing to these youngsters," Major General Cross said.

"It's giving them a sense of identity and purpose. In today's society, with all the mixed messages they're getting, I think it's a very powerful and positive thing."

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