The British Army sparked harsh criticism Wednesday after it tweeted an image of a soldier who seemed to don blackface paint.
Minutes after the photo landed online, users flocked to their accounts to criticize it as racist because a white soldier appeared in blackface.
“Being a soldier in the jungle requires a robust sense of humor,” the caption read.
Many expressed their disapproval over the post. Bl*ge felt unsurprised by the message but still called out the blackface imagery.
@NaturallyTiss pointed out her family members in the army and said she had “never seen this sort of ‘humor’ from them.”
RTJ called the camouflage method “ineffective” unless the group is attempting to go unrecognized by “armed racists.”
.@BritishArmy Blackface, light jacket = ineffective camouflage. Unless you're trying to pass unnoticed among a cabal of, say, armed racists.
— Ricardo Dolmio (@rtjpoet) October 19, 2016
Still, some defended the image.
Mike Weverly said the war paint is not black but green.
CantFinesseMeAgain thought anyone offended by the image was “overdoing it.”
wait.. people were offended because @britisharmy tweeted a photo of a soldier with black paint on his face? lool some of u are overdoing it
— autonomous. (@AboutBMoni) October 20, 2016
@massonboy said anyone who believes camouflage is racist should “wear a hi-vis jacket next time you’re being shot at.” The reflective outerwear features a bright yellow hue.
if you think camouflage is racist, please wear a hi-vis jacket next time you're being shot at.#everythingisracist
— DRAM (@massonboy) October 19, 2016
The British Army issued a statement after removing the offending message. It explained the fighter was “wearing camouflage and concealment measures.”
“We apologize for any offense caused by the tweet,” the statement began. It noted the pictured soldier was a member of the Irish Guards who performed jungle training in Belize.
“We can see how the picture and the title given to it may have made the image open to misinterpretation,” it continued. “And we have therefore immediately removed the tweet.”
— British Army (@BritishArmy) October 19, 2016
The statement went on to point out the “extensive imagery and video from the Irish Guards’ jungle exercise” across their web platforms.
“We would urge the public to view that imagery to set the activities being undertaken by these soldiers in context.”
Early this morning, the army shared a video of training actions on their Facebook page.
The clip shows how soldiers “learn the art of invisibility” with the help of camouflage cream.