Ministry of Defence embarrassed by lewd comments in internet chatroom

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has distanced itself from lewd comments on an internet forum for members of the Armed Forces.

The MoD insisted that graphic discussions on the British Army Rumour Service (ARRSE) website last week about how to treat women at training barracks were not its responsibility.

Under the heading ‘Bringing ladies into barracks’, one member wrote on the forum: “After a club on Friday night when I am absolutely plastered, do I take my nice lady friend round the back of the club or is it possible to bring her back to camp?”

Replies warned that “the crime is to get caught” and suggested bribing the guard on duty to turn a blind eye. One of the more printable comments read: “If you’ve got the balls, try to smuggle her in. Do the deed then kick her out without a word or a taxi, and preferably don’t tell her where the main gate is.”

Last month, the MoD reported to the Equal Opportunities Commission as part of a three-year plan to combat sexual harassment. In December, the Commons Defence Committee warned that sexual harassment had reached “alarming levels”.

An MoD spokeswoman told Personnel Today: “Harassment of any kind is completely unacceptable in the Armed Forces.

“Our aim is to create an environment where inappropriate behaviour is challenged. ARRSE is a wholly independent chat forum with no connection to the MoD. Membership is open to anybody and is not exclusively for service personnel.”

A statement on the ARRSE website said members should treat the forum as “an environment similar to a real-life Naafi bar”.


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