Para Quits Over Troop Treatment
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Source: The Sun Online
A WAR hero Para chief is quitting the Army in disgust over the “appalling” and “shoddy” treatment of troops, it was revealed yesterday.
Lt Col Stuart Tootal, 42, commanding officer of 3 Para, penned a bombshell resignation letter spelling out his reasons for quitting his £70,000-a-year post.
The OBE officer, hotly-tipped to one day head the Army, highlighted:
Soldiers’ POOR PAY,
A lack of training EQUIPMENT;
Appalling Army HOUSING;
Shoddy TREATMENT by the health service.
His letter to personnel chiefs was last night described as a “devastating indictment” of the Government.
A senior source said: “A young private earns as little as £15,000 a year for facing immense danger on frontlines – that is £10,000 less than police and firefighters’ pay.”
Another said: “He spelled out his frustrations at being unable to train men properly. All the equipment has been shipped out to war zones – leaving nothing to practise on at home. He also listed appalling accommodation for married servicemen.”
And Col Tootal blasted the “shoddy” care injured Paras have received at Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham. A source said: “NHS nurses seemed to show little care for specific needs.”
Col Tootal was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership of 3 Para when they spent six months in Afghanistan last year. But he could be out of the Army by March.
An insider said: “The final straw was when he was denied his dream job as Chief of Staff to 3 Division in Bulford for a posting in York instead, away from his Wiltshire home and girlfriend.”
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The MoD is aware that Lt Col Tootal intends to leave the Army.
“We would like to thank him for his loyal service over 20 years, particularly his exceptional leadership of 3 Para in Helmand Province.”