Hundreds of soldiers have been banned from deployment to the Balkans after footage emerged of an orgy at a military barracks, according to reports.
General Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of the army, reportedly wrote to military leaders to say he would not “risk the mission or the reputation of the British army” by sending the soldiers overseas.
The soldiers, from the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment, will not receive a medal or extra pay as they had “fallen short of what we all expect of our army”, The Times reported.
Eight paratroops were investigated by the Royal Military Police earlier this month after being filmed having a consensual orgy with a woman at Merville barracks in Colchester, Essex.
Though the RMP established that no crime had been committed, Gen Sanders said their behaviour would have been seen to “denigrate women”. The woman is thought to have been smuggled into the barracks as many as 31 times in five months, according to the newspaper.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable, corrosive and detrimental to the army’s reputation,” he added.
“My message to the army is clear — our licence to operate is founded on trust and confidence and we must hold ourselves to the highest standards.”
It followed other allegations of bad behaviour by the 3rd Parachute Regiment, including claims of “unprofessional behaviour” during an exercise in North Macedonia last month.
Gen Sanders said that “recent events” had indicated that the regiment was “not demonstrating the levels of discipline and respect for others expected of one of our battalions”.
The Standard has contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment.
The annual deployment to the Balkans is for a ten-day exercise named Op Rehearsal, which involves other Nato allies.
More than 400 paratroops travel to Bosnia and Kosova for the exercise.
Gen Sanders was appointed Chief of the General Staff last February, succeeding General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith.