British Army in racism row after '˜blackface' soldier tweet

The Army has apologised after coming under fire for tweeting a picture of a soldier in the jungle that users claimed was 'racist'.

A picture posted by a military account showed a soldier wearing dark camouflage paint, looking at the camera and pulling a face.

The tweet from the British Army’s verified Twitter account said: “Being a soldier in the jungle requires a robust sense of humour.”

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The post was deleted but not before screenshots were shared on the social network, with users criticising the tweet as inappropriate.

Some even claimed it was racist, accusing the military of “blackface” but others jumped to their defence to suggest it was green camouflage paint.

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One user said: “Since the cowards deleted it here’s a screenshot of the racist British Army tweet. Charming bunch.”

Another added: “Looks like British Army deleted their tweet. Luckily screenshots exist! This really isn’t appropriate is it!”

And a third tweeted: “Shame the British Army account took that picture down already, I was enjoying the robust sense of humour on display in the replies.”

But others tried to defend the military’s social media officer.

One user said: “I think people are looking for racism/hate crimes where none exist.”

While another tweeted: “I do feel sorry for the poor British Army social media person. I’m sure it was just an honest mistake.”

An Army spokesman said: “The content of the tweet shows a picture of a soldier wearing camouflage and concealment measures, standard for jungle training in Belize.

“We can see how the tweet may have been misinterpreted, have immediately removed it and apologise for any offence it may have caused.”

Videos shared on the Army’s Facebook page showed troops from the 1st Battalion Irish Guards on exercise in the jungle of Belize.

The soldiers, who also had camouflaged faces, could be seen attempting a river crossing and firing a machine gun.