A high-flying Army officer has been sacked for rebuking a senior commander who failed to visit injured troops in hospital.I would love to have been a fly on that wall. BTW, for the British Army, 43 is young for a Col. I hope he makes Brigadier.
Col Julian Clover, 43, was dismissed from his post as a staff officer at the Army's Land Command headquarters after clashing with his superior over the need for senior officers to visit troops injured in Afghanistan and Iraq at the Selly Oak hospital in Birmingham.
His sacking has sent shock waves through Land Command, the biggest Army headquarters in Britain, and has raised concerns that some senior officers are "out of touch" with the concerns of the rank and file.
Details of the sacking come four months after this newspaper revealed that injured troops were being forced to recover from their wounds on mixed public wards. Several of the injured had lost limbs or had been paralysed while fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past few months.
In the wake of the public outcry that followed the report, defence chiefs decided that a senior officer of brigadier level should visit the hospital every week to ensure that troops were receiving the best possible care.
Brig Bruce Brealey, 47, who had previously served in the Royal Artillery, was on a rota of senior officers who had been asked to visit Selly Oak hospital in November to check up on the soldiers' welfare and to deal with any complaints they might have. It is understood, however, that before he was due to travel to the hospital he delegated the visit to Col Clover, who at the time was an assistant chief of staff with responsibility for media operations at the headquarters.
After visiting the hospital, Col Clover had a meeting with Brig Brealey in which he expressed his view in a "forthright and uncompromising manner" that it was not acceptable for senior officers to delegate the responsibility of visiting injured troops to junior officers. The two officers were known by colleagues to have had a difficult working relationship.
Two days later, Col Clover was called into the brigadier's office and told that their professional relationship was "unworkable" and that steps were being taken to remove the colonel from his post.
Since the middle of November, Col Clover, who had commanded an infantry battalion in Iraq and was awarded an operational MBE in the 2000 honours list, has been on "gardening leave" at his home in Dorset.Gardening Leave: I love the Brits.
As for Brigidier Brealey (a 1-star), well, the troops and the British public will take care of him in due time. I think we all know the personality type in play here.
A senior officer who knows both men said that Col Clover has spent most of his military career planning and conducting "unconventional operations".Hat tip John at Argghhh!!!
The officer said: "He is very bright, very tough and interested in results. He comes from a select community within the military who are used to calling a spade a spade. If he felt something needed to be said, he would say it. I know he would care passionately about soldiers. By contrast, Brig Brealey is a "process" man, who believed that rules are there to be followed. It was a clash of personalities."