A retired Australian soldier has lashed out at Lieutenant General Angus Campbell's recent directive banning the use of "death symbology".
In an open letter posted on Facebook, former Sergeant Justin Huggett slammed the recent memo from the incoming Chief of Defence, which forbade the use of skulls and crossbones, Spartans, the grim reaper, Phantom or Punisher symbols for being at odds "with army values and the ethical force we seek to build and sustain."
In his post on Facebook, Haggett said the directive could be described as "soft politically correct militarily" and "farcical".
"I have read your statement multiple times to try make some sense of it. I found it so left of field and farcical; I thought it was actually a hoax? But now, I am just left wondering as to the levels of stupidity that this order can be interpreted or enforced," the Facebook post reads.
"Let’s not forget my beloved Mortar Platoon, the most senior Platoon in the Battalion. Our emblem is the Grim Reaper, with the words “Dealers in Death”. I can tell you this with great certainty... the 1,000s MAGGOTS that served in that Platoon will hand over their Reaper Shirts the day the Devil snowboards down the slopes of hell."
Haggett, who was in the military for 14 years, also questioned whether the infantry combat badge, which General Campbell wears himself, will be banned or redesigned.
"I draw your attention to the most feared emblem of violence, death, terror and war that’s currently used in the military. It just so happens to be the most revered and coveted of them all as well! You wear it; I am very fortune along with 1,000s of others to have the honour and privilege of wearing it, The Infantry Combat Badge (ICB).
"A badge based around the bayonet, the most feared and gruesome up close and personal weapon on the battlefield. An emblem or icon that is matched by no other and has no other purpose in its existence other than inflicting extreme pain, bone chilling physical and psychological fear in your enemy and of course horrific death. Yet as Infantrymen, not only do we wear it with pride, it’s worn as the centre of importance above our medals on our ceremonial uniforms and suits!"
Since making the post, which has so far been shared 1,397 times, Huggett has received messages and comments of support from past and present Australian Defence Force members.