A source has told national newspapers, including The Sun and the Daily Mail, that four teenagers were attacked in a “beasting” by fellow soldiers.
The 16 and 17-year-old victims, the source said, were treated for shock after the alleged attack by a 20-strong gang.
“It is feared a twisted initiation game got out of control as the young squaddies all aged below 18, ‘egged each other on’,” The Sun reported.
A “beasting” is an informal army punishment or initiation rite which usually involves making young recruits undergo extreme exercise.
The source said: “All junior soldiers were called back to barracks from a weekend off on Saturday. A staff sergeant told them four trainees had been assaulted and brutalised. It was serious.
“The lads were checked by medical staff on the base and treated for shock.
“Apparently a Hoover was involved. It’s horrifying and the Army are taking it very seriously.”
An Army spokesman confirmed today (Friday) that allegations of sexual assault have been made against junior soldiers by some fellow juniors under training.
“The matter is subject to a Special Investigation Branch (SIB) investigation and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment further whilst this is ongoing,” the spokesman said.
“All those who are found to fall short of the Army’s high standards or who are found to have committed an offence under the Armed Forces Act are dealt with administratively (up to and including discharge) or through the discipline process, as appropriate.”