Soldier KNEW ‘snowflake’ would be next to his picture, sources insist

Soldier KNEW ‘snowflake’ would be next to his picture, sources insist

January 7, 2019

Scots Guardsman vowing to quit in recruitment poster row KNEW the word ‘snowflake’ would be used next to his picture, defence sources insist

  • Stephen McWhirter claimed his image was used without his knowledge 
  • Sources said he volunteered and knew the word ‘snowflakes’ would be involved
  • The soldier told friends he has been bombarded with mocking messages  

Scots Guardsman Stephen McWhirter, 21, claimed his image was used without his knowledge 

A row has broken out over a soldier who vowed to quit the Army after his picture was used below the word ‘snowflakes’ in a recruitment poster.

Scots Guardsman Stephen McWhirter, 21, claimed his image was used without his knowledge and he had since been ridiculed by other troops and friends.

But yesterday defence sources said he had in fact volunteered to be part of the campaign and had known the word ‘snowflakes’ would be involved. Guardsman McWhirter’s picture was on one of six posters inspired by the famous First World War Lord Kitchener poster ‘Your country needs you’, updated for millennials.

The soldier, who has protected the Queen at Buckingham Palace, told friends he has been bombarded with mocking messages since the poster was unveiled last week as part of a £1.5million campaign.

He hit out on Facebook, saying the Army had left him open to ridicule. Replying to one post from a fellow soldier which read ‘Imagine the army taking a photo of you and writing “snow flake” in massive bold letters above your head – I’d be signed straight off’, he wrote: ‘Don’t f****** worry, mate, I am.’

In later posts, he said he would formally submit his resignation as soon as he was able.

Another soldier wrote: ‘Chances are he was told to sign a form allowing them to use his image. That being said, he still has grounds for complaint as they have ended his career by corporate bullying and harassment. Potentially even affecting his future employment.’


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Yesterday defence sources said he had in fact volunteered to be part of the campaign and had known the word ‘snowflakes’ would be involved 

Guardsman McWhirter, based at Wellington Barracks near Buckingham Palace, replied: ‘Correct.’

Defence sources said the soldier, from Irvine in Scotland, knew in advance the theme and design of the poster and that the word ‘snowflake’ would be used, and was kept involved in the decision-making process.

He was among 120 who volunteered to take part in the Army recruitment campaign and ten chosen to take part in the poster photoshoot. The sources added that Guardsman McWhirter had not yet indicated he wanted to start the process of leaving the Army.

Last night the soldier’s father, Stephen Sr, declined to comment.

Top brass insist the message of the adverts – to persuade ‘snowflakes, phone zombies, binge gamers and selfie addicts’ to sign up – is that the Army sees beyond stereotypes to spot a person’s potential.

But critics including some veterans suggested it would turn off the audience the Army was trying to reach.

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