NINETEEN soldiers face the boot after testing positive for cocaine and cannabis in the biggest drugs scandal to hit the Army.
The squaddies from 1st Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment had been bingeing on drugs at home and at their barracks, sources said.
Nineteen soldiers tested positive for cocaine and cannabis in the Army’s biggest drugs scandal[/caption]
The vast majority of the positive results involved soldiers of Private rank but at least one was a Lance Corporal, they added.
It is said to be the largest drugs bust in the Army’s history.
One source said: “This is off the scale, it has sent shockwaves through the Army. Nineteen in one round of testing is a large number and raises very serious questions.
“Before lockdown, the regiment were being tested every few weeks but this latest round was the first for quite a long time.”
The source added: “It has left bosses absolutely fuming.
“These are individual cases as well, it wasn’t one wild night out. Jaws were on the floor with shock.”
Boredom has been used as an excuse for the drug use.
Soldiers in the unit — based at Alma Lines in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire — have complained of not having enough to do.
The Army confirmed: “A number of soldiers from 1 YORKS recently failed a compulsory drugs test.
“The Army does not tolerate drug abuse within its ranks as it is in- compatible with military service and operational effectiveness.
“Army personnel caught taking drugs can expect to be discharged.”
Official figures suggest drug use is rising in the Armed Forces.
Figures for 2019 showed 660 personnel were dismissed for failing drug tests — an increase from 580 in 2017.
In February, ten soldiers from the Royal Horse Artillery were kicked out after a cocaine and cannabis- fuelled party at their barracks.
The 1st Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment was formed in 2004 as part of restructuring. It counts hero fundraiser Capt Sir Tom Moore’s old regiment, The Duke of Wellington’s, as one of its antecedents.