Sunday 18 March 2018

'Arrogant, foul-mouthed, bully behaviour - by these little gurriers' - Some people are disgusted by language and 'bullying' on RTE series Recruits

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

New RTE series Recruits has caused outrage amongst some viewers due to the use of bad language and what they deem 'bullying' by army officers on the show.

The two-part series, which concludes tonight (Tuesday, RTE One, 9.35pm), goes behind the scenes with a group of recruits as they undergo gruelling 17-week training to become soldiers in the Irish Defence Forces.

Out of thousands who apply every year just 350 are chosen and the RTE series follows a 40-strong platoon as they're put through their paces.

The Joe Duffy Show on RTE Radio One received a barrage of feedback on the programme on Tuesday's show.

 “I was absolutely shocked and horrified at the behaviour of those junior, and I’m using junior, because they’re mostly corporals, NCOs," said caller Michael Moriarty.

"What I’d consider arrogant foul mouthed bully behaviour is inconsistent with the fine, upright men and women I have men in 30 years of service.  It’s an absolutely disgrace and they do a serious disservice to the defence forces."

Another caller, Denis O'Higgins, said that the young recruits deserved an apology, and added, "If you want to teach somebody something you do not shout at the them, you explain to them and how it's done and you might have to do it a few times but you don't put your face in front of theirs and treat them like imbeciles."

RTE's Recruits review - 'a fine piece of television but it highlights the homogenising of documentaries' 

While most callers were shocked by the bad language and what they deemed 'bullying' on the show, another said it was "mild" compared to the training he had in 1978.

"On different occasions you'd be out doing press ups and you'd have the instructor with one foot on your back pressing down and he might decide to stand on your back altogether."

Viewers also took to Twitter last night to express their disgust at the extent of swearing employed by army officers when disciplining the recruits.  Others also labelled their no-nonsense approach akin to workplace "bullying".

"There is zero evidence to show that shouting abuse/bullying someone makes for good training techniques" wrote one while another added, "#recruits was good but zero need for the bad language.. #comeon guys".

Sweat, guns and early starts... the day I sampled life as an army recruit 

However, the overwhelming response to the series on Twitter was positive, with many viewers rallying against criticism of swearing and tough training tactics.

One wrote "#recruits the lefty tripe being mentioned here is unreal.  They're training soldiers not fairies."

Another said, "Everyone going nuts about #recruits tonight, do you think the training is hand holding and bed time stories".

Many reasoned that there is worse language used at GAA and rugby matches.

Here's a snippet of the reaction to Recruits on Twitter, from outrage at the language to outrage at the outrage at the language.  Some of the language employed by those tweeting is NSFW...

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