Modern: Scottish Troops Must Share Scarce Kilts
- I'm not sure if this is funny, sad, or both. Whatever they're
wearing, I wish all the troops a safe return home.
>Dec 18, 2:08 PM ESTBaintighearna Muirghein Dhaire Faoilciarach /|\
>Scottish Troops Must Share Scarce Kilts
>LONDON (AP) -- Great Scot! A shortage of ceremonial kilts could
>leave thousands of soldiers without a stitch of plaid to wear as
>they parade to the skirl of the bagpipes.
>Military officials said Monday that more than 5,000 Scottish
>soldiers are having to share their kilts because defense chiefs have
>not finalized a contract to buy enough of the garments to go around.
>The men, who face regular tours of duty in south Iraq and
>Afghanistan, have just 320 kilts, or one for every 15 soldiers.
>Combat troops wore the traditional Highland garb in battle as late
>as World War I, but now the plaid kilts are used in ceremonial uniform.
>New kilts are needed for all Scottish soldiers following the August
>2006 merger of centuries-old regiments into a single Royal Regiment
>"A planned deployment of kilts will be agreed with the Royal
>Regiment of Scotland on a roll-out basis with ... the full program
>being completed by January 2008," a Ministry of Defense spokesman
>said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.
>The Ministry of Defense has refused to say who has won the contract
>to supply the kilts; in the meantime, soldiers will have to share.
>The 320 kilts provided so far have been supplied by Argyll Bagpipes
>and Kilts on a trial basis. The full contract is worth up to $1.95
>million, taking two years to complete and will involve 15,000 yards
>"The kilt is psychologically important for the identity of Scottish
>soldiers," said Lt. Col. Willy Macnair, who served in the defunct
>Queen's Own Highlander regiment. "It may mean that some soldiers in
>this (new) regiment, by the time they leave, may never have worn it."
>Scottish lawmakers and veterans had opposed the merger of the
>traditional regiments, which saw action in both world wars and the
>Anglo-Boer War in South Africa.
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