Ministry of Defence appoints Welsh Language Champion ‘as part of the commitment to a united nation’
The Ministry of Defence has appointed its first ‘Welsh Language Champion’ as part of a bit to engage more with Welsh-speaking communities in Wales.
Air Commodore Adrian Williams, the RAF’s most senior officer in Wales, has been appointed to the post “as part of the commitment to a united nation,” they said.
Figures published in November showed that 6% of the Armed Force’s intake come from Wales, which makes up 4.7% of the overall population of the UK.
The Ministry of Defence said that the aim was to help the Armed Forces work bilingually when needed.
Air Commodore Adrian Williams said: “As someone who was brought up in a Welsh-speaking household, and who went to a Welsh-speaking school, I have always been passionate about our native language and understand its central importance to people and communities across Wales.
“The publication of MoD’s updated Welsh Language Scheme signifies our commitment to further strengthen our abilities to operate bilingually in Wales and I very much look forward to leading this work.”
A UK Government source told the Telegraph that the appointment provides “a focal point to the championing of the language and also highlights the diversity within the Armed Forces”.
The scheme will see information available in Welsh and English on Government websites and Welsh language posts on MoD social media accounts.
The MoD said that the appointment of a language champion was “part of the commitment to a united nation and a recognition of the importance of the Welsh language”.
Earlier this year a report by the Peace Pledge Union on the recruitment of children to the military in Welsh schools called on the Welsh Government to launch a formal review into military recruitment activities in Welsh schools.
They said that there was “a unique opportunity for the next Welsh Government to embrace these challenges and to draw a line in the sand about Wales’ status as a peace–loving nation, and one which will not uncritically allow its children to be the target of military recruitment”.