Soldiers based at Catterick barracks in North Yorkshire have been told to stop eating Greggs because it makes them “look unprofessional”.
The Royal Dragoon Guards, who make up a senior cavalry regiment, have been warned that they must “under no circumstances stand outside Greggs eating a pastry” in new instructions issued by the unit’s commanding officers.
The rules, which were distributed to soldiers at the army’s biggest barracks in Catterick, North Yorkshire, detail the expected conduct of a person who is part of the cavalry.
The document, which was shared by the Mail on Sunday, also warns soldiers against texting while walking and smoking in uniform to improve the image of the Guards.
Other non-uniformed troops have been encouraged to “have the fibre and moral courage to police this and be all over those who make the Royal Dragoon Guards look unprofessional”.
The move is said to have come after one in 10 soldiers was diagnosed as clinically obese, according to Forces.net.
However, one soldier alleges that the food in the army canteen is less healthy than the popular bakery chain.
There are 327 calories in a Greggs sausage roll, and 453 calories in a festive bake – which contains 70 percent of an adult person’s daily fat intake.
“If I have to go for my pasty in disguise, so be it,” one soldier in the barracks told the Mail.
“It is ridiculous for commanders to suggest that somehow we bring the regiment into disrepute because we stand outside Greggs eating pasties.
“We’re not all fatties either and it’s not like the food dished up at the Army canteen is any healthier than what we get at Greggs – and Greggs is cheaper. “
The Greggs ban and some of the other new rules top brass have introduced are crazy.”
An MoD spokesman said: “Healthy living and fitness in the Armed Forces is of vital importance. Our personnel are required to pass our challenging fitness tests and those who do not pass are provided with diet and fitness support, in order to reach and maintain a healthy weight.”