In the Media

In the Media
The Politics Show

The Military Media websites and particularly the Army Rumour Service and Navy Net are regular sources of comment and research for the national media, both printed and broadcast. Among many others we have been on the front page of the Independent, on BBC’s Politics Show and interviewed on Radio 4. The following are some of the more recent media appearances of our sites:

Multiple National Newspapers, eg The Times, 21 November 2015. Army finds grounds for coffee time discipline .  A humerous look at one young officer’s letter about coffee and biscuits that ‘went viral’.

Junge Welt, 24 September 2015Elitenschreck Corbyn. Regarding the controversial MP Jeremy Corbyn. Im Forum des »Army Rumour Service«, einer Diskussionsplattform britischer Soldaten im Internet…

The Mirror, 13 November 14. A question of Trust: how does new Army ‘good cause’ account for the money it raises?  Discussion of “Dubious Charities”

The Independent, 11 April 14. Afghanistan and other victory myths enlisted by the Army. Quote:  “If you want to hear the truth about a war, ask a serving soldier. In the case of Afghanistan, as the UK combat role ends after 448 fatalities and the presidential election drifts towards its run-off round next month, you may access an entire mess-full of off-the-record verdicts by sneaking a glance at Arrse”.  » Full article

Daily Telegraph, 7 March 14. Manners Maketh the Brits a Laughing Stock.  Quote: “When Major General James Cowan, DSO, CBE sent out his electronic missive…”.  The article discusses the reaction and a comic reply for the General’s officers posted on the Army Rumour Service. » Full article

See also: Daily Telegraph, Really hard to eat a sandwich with knife and fork’ officers tell complaining General

Financial Times, 6 February 14. March of the white-collar army. Article discussing the Military Stabilization and Support Group in Afghanistan, and the official and unofficial (ARRSE) opinions about it. » Full article

BBC Politics News, 5 July 13. Week ahead in committees. Quote: “What should the Army look like at the end of the decade? The Defence Committee (at 2.30pm) hears from Lieutenant General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Commander Land Forces; Major General Kevin Abraham, Director General Army Reform and Major General Ranald Munro, Deputy Commander Land Forces (Reserves) on the subject of Future Army 2020. You can see the committee’s consultation with the lower ranks, via the unofficial Army website ARRSE.” » Full article

The Guardian, 25 April 13. Why do the British armed forces still allow 16-year-olds to enlist? Quote: “But on ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)… there was support for 16-year-olds joining the army. “[It is] one of the last channels of social mobility for bright and reasonably fit youngsters from all strata of society.” » Full article

Sunday Times, 31 March 13.  Quote: “The British Library has helped to compile a list of 100 websites that it believes will be essential reading for future historians seeking a varied snapshot of life today…”.  The article features ten of the sites including the Army Rumour Service. » Full article

BBC Radio 4 PM Programme, 22 January 13.  In depth interview by Eddie Mair as part of the Radio 4 coverage of the Armed Forces Tranche 3 redundancy announcement.  » More details & audio

Daily Telegraph, 14 January 13.  Why no one in the world of battle re-enactment wants to be a ‘Walt’ or a ‘Farb’.  ARRSE mentioned as source of information for further information on the subject of ‘Walter Mittys’.  » Full article

The Guardian Online, Weekend Quiz, 28 December 12. A surprising inclusion in the Guardian’s online current affairs quiz: ‘In the military website, ARRSE stands for what?’

AOL Money, 28 August 12, Earn extra money by joining the TA. Comments about joining the TA taken from the Army Rumour Service: ‘While some forums suggest that you don’t have to be that fit, a quick visit to the ARmy Rumour Service (the splendidly-acronymed AARSE), shows that your fellow recruits might hold you in some contempt if you couldn’t at least do the basics.’

Belfast Telegraph, 7 August 12, Sack soldier for Bloody Sunday slurs, urges brother of victim. Bloody Sunday relative John Kelly complains about references made to him on the Army Rumour Service.

The Scotsman, 16 July 12, Soldiers’ fury at being drafted in for Olympic security. An article consisting entirely of quotes from Army Rumour Service users. ‘SOLDIERS have responded to being drafted in for Olympic security duties with a mixture of anger and resignation, according to posts on the Army Rumour Service website.’

Australian Financial Review, 1 May 12, How to avoid the post-crisis crisis. A slightly obscure point made about the importance of social media sites: ‘“Citizen journalism” through networked sites such as Twitter and Facebook, or ARRSE and, the unofficial rumour services for the British Army and US military, may yet lack the credibility of established media but that gap is closing and companies should ignore them at their peril,’

British Forces News, 7 November 11, Insider’s guide to British Army launched Author Major Des Astor told British Forces News journalist, Matt Teale, what readers could expect from the forum’s own spin-off book, described as an insider’s guide to the British Army.

» Full interview

Mail Online, 27 May 11, Fury as BBC turns the deadly business of bomb disposal in Afghanistan into a trendy COMEDY The BBC may be risking the wrath of the armed forces by commissioning a new comedy series about bomb-disposal experts. On military website, the British Army Rumour Service, one post read: ‘Another anti-army piece of work from the Beeb luvvies’. However several commentators thought the subject was ripe for black humour. One quote on the Army Rumour Service said: ‘If it picks up on the ”ever present squaddie humour, even in the face of death”- type angle, it could end up being very pro Army.’ A spokesman for the BBC said: ‘We’d never set out to offend any of the courageous people who serve in the armed forces or their families. ‘This comedy explores the humour soldiers use to cope with the darkest of situations and is full of funny stories of how our heroes pass their time based on the experiences of many of the military people the writers have spoken to.’

The Guardian Online, 3 Dec 10, WikiLeaks US embassy cables Leaked criticism by the Afghans of UK troops prompted a furious reaction on the Army Rumour Service, the online chatroom popular with British troops. “It’s utterly ridiculous how little they appreciate the effort our troops have made,” wrote Bloodloss, while Oddjob, who says he has a son currently serving in Afghanistan, tells the Afgans where to go.

Mail Online, 19 Oct 10, ‘An insult to the troops’: Defence chief asks Channel 4 to drop ‘distressing’ Harry kidnap drama Commenting on Channel 4’s decision to air a drama-documentary about the fictionalised kidnap of Prince Harry in Afghanistan, one servicemen on the Army Rumour Service blog said: ‘It struck me as being in amazingly poor taste and a kind of challenge to the Taliban and Al Qaeda to try to pull off something similar.’

The Observer, 15 Aug 10, Should British soldiers be dying for the rights of Afghan women? Referring to the case of Bibi Sanubar, the Afghan widow brutally flogged and shot dead by the Taliban for the crime of being pregnant, a contributor to, the informal Army Rumour Service website, remarked…: “I’m guessing a guilty verdict by the Afghan courts would be followed by a stoning? What exactly are we fighting this war for?”

Independent, 9 Apr 10, Thousands of Afghanistan troops face missing election vote Discussing service voting: “A straw poll on the unofficial military website, ARRSE (Army Rumour Service), showed that 57 per cent of the troops said they would vote Conservative, with 7 per cent saying they would opt for Labour.”

The Guardian Online, 29 Mar 2010, Mark Urban’s ” My Media&quot Mark Urban, the diplomatic and defence editor for Newsnight, speaks of using the Army Rumour Service as one of his website-browsing ‘grazing’ sites.

The Conservative Blue Blog, 24 Mar 2010 Taking Questions from the Defence Community The Shadow Defence Minister, Dr. Liam Fox, took questions from the Arrse users because “its users don’t always say what we want to hear – but therein lies its value.”

The Times Online, 21 Mar 2010 Voting for British Forces abroad ARRSE users’ poll was used as a reference point for an article regarding electronic voting in elections; which is not to be implemented until after the 2010 General Election. The discussion talks of current soldiers turning towards the Conservative Party as “the row about defence cuts and the Iraq inquiry has made many soldiers want a change&quot

BBC1, 8 Nov 09. The Politics Show. Army Rumour Service used and quoted as a source of questions for interview with General Dutton about the situation in Afghanistan.

The Independent, 27 Oct 09. Jimmy Carr and the pomposity of those professing outrage “The place to look is the Army Rumour Service, known as Arse, the website most used by squaddies to converse with each other online…. ”

The Times, 26 Oct 09. Military matters: When it’s 2am and you’re fearing the worst. “Members of the Army Rumour Service ( have rallied round to give financial help to families who have fallen on hard times, and recently set up “Holidays 4 Heroes,” a group that organises free holidays for the families of severely wounded servicemen.”

BBC Online, 10 Sep 09 MoD withdraws £114m comms system. “it was not universally well received, with a number of posts on the unofficial armed forces website, Army Rumour Service, saying it has been cursed with some of the worst procurement decisions, shoddy workmanship [and] non-existent quality control“.

Channel 4, 7 Sep 09. Olive Net invited to attend and comment on pre-screening of the Dispatches programme Battle Scarred.

The Times Online, 20 Aug 09. Minister ‘discussed smears’ against General Sir Richard Dannatt. The renewed allegations of a smear campaign provoked a mass of support for the Chief of the General Staff from soldiers and officers writing on the Army Rumour Service website. One officer wrote: Entertaining is not expenses at all. It is entertainment of official guests on government business.

The Spectator, 19 Aug 09. The plot against Sir Richard Dannatt. “A quick glance at the Army Rumour Service’s website should be enough to convince ministers that they should stop playing Iago to Dannatt’s Othello”

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