Europe

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Military top brass tell 'spoilt, truculent' Harry to grow up

Sean Rayment London

Published 28/01/2013|05:00

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PRINCE Harry has been accused of ingratitude and immaturity by senior military figures after an interview in Afghanistan in which he spoke of his life as a helicopter pilot.

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The prince has angered senior officers for suggesting he would rather be on the ground in Helmand than flying his Apache attack helicopter, and comparing his role to playing computer games.

One senior officer, speaking anonymously, said the tone of the interview was wrong and that the prince, who is Captain Harry Wales when in uniform, had adopted the language of a "spoilt, truculent teenager".

He said Capt Wales sounded more like a "disgruntled soldier than an army officer", after complaining that life in the army was "as normal as it was going to get" and speaking of being stared at by other soldiers in Camp Bastion.

Capt Wales served in Afghanistan in 2008 as a cavalry lieutenant, working as a forward air controller, but had to leave earlier than expected when his presence there was disclosed by foreign media.

The senior officer said: "When Harry was hauled home from Afghanistan last time, he threw his toys out of the pram and more or less said that if he couldn't return to Helmand, he would leave the army.

"A lot of people worked with Harry in helping him get into the Army Air Corps, where he has proved a success.

"Now he seems to be saying he only became a pilot so he could return to Afghanistan. He needs to wise up and accept he is not a soldier but an army officer."

The 28-year-old captain spent five months in Camp Bastion as a co-pilot gunner with the army Air Corps' Apache helicopters – a unit with reportedly the highest kill rate in Helmand. He described his job as a "joy".

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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