British Special Air Service (SAS) operators have been allegedly banned from wearing an unofficial ‘skull badge’ after being compared to Nazis, it’s claimed.
The badge is specifically made for the SAS regiment and is worn on the helmet or body armour – but now Army chiefs have reportedly banned it. According to the report, SAS operators are given the chilling ‘Punisher’ insignia after their making their first combat kill.
The Marvel Comics’ Punisher character is an ex-Marine who becomes a vigilante after his wife and children are murdered. The British SAS reportedly adopted the ‘Punisher’ badge after serving alongside US Navy Seals in Iraq during last decade.
But now, according to the Daily Star, top brass claimed the motif is too similar to the Death’s Head worn by Hitler’s SS divisions and they want it banned. A universal badge of the SS, the skull was also used as the insignia of the notorious Totenkopf division, which was involved in the running of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps.
“They are professional killers… So what if they wear a skull on their uniform.” – SAS source
It’s claimed the order came after a complaint was made following a visit by British Army chiefs to the SAS regiment’s Herefordshire base.
A source told the Star: “[The SAS] are professional killers – that’s the job. So what if they wear a skull on their uniform. We have been told that it could be upsetting to other units, disrespectful to enemy forces and could encourage war crimes by some of the foreign troops the SAS works with, such as Afghans and Iraqis.”
The source added the “order to remove it has gone down really badly” as although not everyone wore the badge, it is “very popular among members of G Squadron”. He also added that the SAS regiment has been involved in numerous operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and have killed a dozens of enemy soldiers.
“Every time a new operator comes in and gets a kill, he gets the badge… It’s in recognition for the work he has done,” the source revealed.
They added that the ‘Punisher’ badge is “not a celebration of taking a life” but for putting himself “in a position where his own life has been put at risk”.
Trevor Coult, an ex-sergeant who won the Military Cross in Iraq and is the head of For Our Veterans, told the Star the order was “politically correct nonsense and ludicrous”. The British MoD declined to comment on the reports when contacted by The Sun Online.