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British SAS operators ‘banned’ from wearing ‘Punisher’ badge on uniforms

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SAS Punisher Badge - British SAS operators ‘banned’ from wearing 'Punisher' badge on uniforms

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.

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British Special Forces Lacks of Recruits

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British Army soldiers boarding Chinook

British elite special forces, including SAS and SBS, are 200 soldiers short after ­recruitment plunged 20 percent. The lack of “good quality” soldiers has hit the Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Service (SBS) and SRR, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. Hardest hit is the Special Boat Service, down in numbers by around 100. The SRR needs 60 and the celebrated Special Air Service – motto Who Dares Wins – is 40 light. Each unit normally has 340 to 400 operators.

Senior defense sources say the SBS and SRR are now classed as being “over-stretched” with troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Baltic States and Africa. The shortage is being linked to cuts and a recruitment and retention crisis affecting the rest of the armed forces.

The British Army is down in size from around 150,000 in 1990 to 78,000. Despite that reduction, the SAS and the SBS have remained the same size.

A military source said: “The talent pool is shrinking. A lot of guys who built up experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and who would often see the special forces as the next step have left. In the last 25 years, the SBS has increased in size and the SRR has been created but the Army has shrunk around 40 percent. So there are fewer quality people coming through. But we have been down this road before and it hasn’t had an impact on our operational commitments. It means that everybody has to work harder to get the job done.”

Twice-a-year selection courses are tough and an average pass rate of 10 percent has led to as few as eight recruits. One serving member of the SAS said: “Life is tough. You spend a lot of time on operations, overseas exercises and on courses. It is unrelenting.”

British Special forces earn about £30 extra a day but experienced operatives can earn far more in private security. The British MoD does not comment on special forces.

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Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

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Chief Gallagher - Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

Prosecutors could gain an ally in the case of a Navy SEAL accused of executing a young ISIS fighter during the battle of Mosul in 2017 and his commanding officer, who allegedly failed to report the incident.

Author of the article:

An attorney for a fellow SEAL has requested immunity for his client in return for testifying that Chief Edward Gallagher called in “false target coordinates to engage a mosque” and put his team at risk, yet Lt. Jacob Portier failed to relieve him on several occasions, Navy Times’ Carl Prine first reported.

Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder for allegedly using his knife to kill a wounded ISIS fighter and then posing for a reenlistment video next to the man’s corpse. Portier has been charged with obstruction of justice and related offenses for allegedly destroying evidence in the case and lying about Gallagher, as well as dereliction of duty for allegedly not stopping Gallagher from wounding two non-combatants.

The SEAL who served with Gallagher and Portier is requesting immunity so that he will be protected against any possible retaliation in the future, said attorney Michael Hanzel, who is defending the SEAL along with his wife Lauren and a Navy attorney.

“Our client has done nothing wrong, and we believe the record will demonstrate that,” Hanzel said in a statement to Task & Purpose.

“It is never an easy thing to be placed in the middle of a situation like this, but it is crucial to the integrity of the military justice system that witnesses in a case as high-profile as this are protected from retaliation later. The only way to ensure that is through grants of immunity, which is why we requested that for our client.”

The SEAL is showing “great courage” by offering to testify about what he witnessed during the deployment with Gallagher and Portier, said Hanzel, who added his client is not seeking any publicity, nor does he bear a grudge against any of the accused SEALs.

The full article can be found here.

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