Chivenor bans 'Hero' bangles
MARINES based at RMB Chivenor are up in arms after being told they are no longer allowed to wear charity bands on their wrists.Troops at North Devon-based Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines have been banned from wearing the distinctive Help for Heroes wristbands while
MARINES based at RMB Chivenor are up in arms after being told they are no longer allowed to wear charity bands on their wrists.
Troops at North Devon-based Commando Logistic Regiment Royal Marines have been banned from wearing the distinctive Help for Heroes wristbands while on camp, the Gazette has learned.
They have been told that the �2 bands, worn with pride by many servicemen and women - and civilians - as a symbol of support for wounded troops, break the Armed Forces' strict uniform rules.
One serviceman, who asked not to be named, said the new ruling had been in place since a new regimental sergeant major (RSM) started towards the end of last year.
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“It's ridiculous and everyone on camp is pretty annoyed about it,” he told the Gazette.
“What Help for Heroes symbolises is very close to home and it's something we feel quite passionate about. Nearly all of us have been out to Afghanistan and to be told we're not allowed to wear the bands on camp is quite offensive.”
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The non-political Help for Heroes charity was founded in 2007 to help the wounded servicemen and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Since then, it has raised more than �1m a month and has spent or allocated �24m on facilities and services.
The charity has raised �8m for the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation Complex at the TriService Rehabilitation centre in Epsom, due to open this spring. It is also funding the �3.5 extension to the treatment centre at Leatherhead, set to be finished in May.
The charity's patrons include Johnson Beharry VC, General Sir Richard Dannatt and Andy McNab, as well as celebrities including Ross Kemp and James Blunt.
In July 2008, outraged marines were ordered to remove their wristbands at a funeral of a comrade who died in Afghanistan and threatened with a �50 fine if they continued to break strict uniform rules.
An MOD spokesperson told the Gazette that the wearing of the blue and red wristbands was at the discretion of commanding officers.
“No overarching direction has been issued to clarify the wearing of wristbands by members of the Armed Forces. In all three services, permission to wear them is at the discretion of individual commanding officers.”