A British army instructor filmed a female recruit struggling through training, and now he could face a court-martial after the video was uploaded online and went viral.
The video, which has been viewed more than 250,000 times, shows the instructor berating the recruit as she is reduced to tears.
British Army officials are still trying to track down the corporal, who might be discharged for his actions, and they called the video “totally unacceptable,” the Daily Mail reported.
While the distraught recruit is plainly visible and even named in the clip (although the recruit’s face and name are blurred out), the instructor’s identity has not been revealed.
“I hope the identity of the corporal is discovered very quickly and that he is removed from the army at the earliest possible moment,” said Richard Dannatt, former head of the British army. “Tomorrow would be a day too late. This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable.”
As part of her basic training, the recruit was involved in an exercise in which she was required to traverse through water and ultimately use a bayonet to attack a makeshift target of sandbags.
The recruit is visibly tired from wading through a stream and appears to be far off the pace of her peers before attempting to stab the target.
The instructor dismissed her efforts, repeatedly shouting that she is “fu*king weak.”
He teases and mocks her about finishing the exercise before the video cuts off.
Former British army officer Johnny Mercer said that bayonet training can be particularly difficult and criticized the instructor’s decision to film the exercise, which is often an ultimate test of a recruit’s character and will power.
“I used to run commando training, and it was a deep privilege to go with people to their darkest places and realize what their characters were actually made of,” Mercer said. “I would never think about filming it and putting it online, though, which is a deep breach of trust and respect for that individual.”
The video comes just months after the British army launched its “This is Belonging” campaign, which aims to influence and inspire potential soldiers. The campaign focused on women and minorities in particular, and showcased the army as an accepting environment that seeks to dismiss the aura of fierce masculinity.
Critics of the campaign say that the army is presenting itself as too soft and may not attract the types of soldiers who are prepared to engage in combat.
Currently, about 7,000 women serve in the British army, with more expected to start training later this year.