Today I launched ‘Respect our Regiments’ a cross-party campaign with the aim of protecting the historical names and identity of Scotland's army regiments.
We need respect and compassion for Scottish military history not disregard and uncertainty. The defence community will have been dismayed by the insensitivity shown by the Tories about the potential loss of traditional cap badges and regimental names.
I am launching this cross-party campaign because all those in Scotland passionate about our military tradition and communities will want the Government to show more respect to our regiments.
This not just about Scotland’s pride but protecting the long and enduring relationship within the British Armed Forces.
Scotland has been part of the British Forces’ DNA and history. Many Scottish units have histories dating back to the 18th Century or before and have been deployed in conflicts in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
I recently met young Royal navy Scots who served in Libya; their bravery was only exceeded by their modesty.
The military bond is in jeopardy from Government plans to cut 30,000 from the Army. Savings have to be found and change is needed, but we worry these cuts are rushed with little indication of the impact of such a loss of capability.
Communities across Scotland will not want to see historic cap badges cast aside. I urge the Government to think again.