A British army general has banned soldiers from eating sandwiches after being unhappy with the “barbaric” ways they behave.
Major General James Cowan has insisted “a gentleman or a lady uses a knife and fork” in a three-page letter criticising troops at Bulford Camp in Wiltshire. Cowan, who is in charge of 20,000 soldiers, gave advice to them which included “The secret of a successful marriage is never to sit next to your spouse at dinner.”
He added: “Ten years ago, officers would stand up when the commanding officer walked into the room. This doesn’t happen anymore.
“I expect a junior officer to make an effort at conversation. Start by introducing yourself and talk on any civilised subject outside work.”
The note, addressed to “Chaps”, also gave tips on grammar.
“In common with officialdom the world over, military writers love to use pompous words over simpler language.
“Combined with underlining and italics, the wanton use of capitals, abbreviations and acronyms assaults the eye and leaves the reader exhausted.”
A spokesman for the army insisted the note was a joke, adding: “This note was part of a light-hearted correspondence between a commander and his officers about an expected code of behaviour.”