A soldier in the British Army has won a claim of racism against the UK’s Ministry of Defence after he was confused with another ethnic minority soldier.
Superiors mistook Sergeant Randy Date as another soldier who had taken a training course in a report on this soldier’s performance which was poor, according to The Telegraph.
But Date, a veteran of British missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, had not even signed up for the course at all. And it turned out that the actual soldier in question was in the same unit as Date.
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Together, Date and the other soldier, Sergeant Masoud Rashid, were the only men of colour in their unit of nine.
The report had accused Date of being “badly prepared”. It also said Date was “heavily reliant on course notes” and only stuck to the bare minimum that was expected of him.
According to Date, upon receiving the report, he immediately realised he had been confused with Rashid, so he called a superior to lodge his displeasure.
However, officialdom did not believe Date’s identity had been mistaken.
One of the superior officers was even quoted as saying about Date’s persistence: “It’s utter rubbish and the sole defence of an otherwise under-performing SNCO (senior non-commissioned officer). He may have issues but I need to take a strong but defensible line with people like him to drive up the standard of our staff.”
But the military tribunal found that the Army’s confusion with the identities of Rashid and Date could have only been the basis of their skin colour.
December 12 has been set to decide on what compensation shall be given to Date.
In recent years, Britain‘s army has come under scrutiny for the lack of diversity within its ranks.
A Sun newspaper report from 2016 decried the lack of racial diversity in the armed forces, noting that “every General, Lieutenant General and Major General in the Army is white”.