Sergeant Major “harassed” Army wives during a drink-fuelled dinner Mess: A Regimental Officer is dismissed over drunken advances to wives of colleagues that resulted in a fight

  • Warrant Officer Mike Ransley is relieved from his responsibilities investigation
  • Ben Wallace (Defense Secretary) reprimanded high-ranking brass in the wake of scandals
  • Sexual harassment allegations against female military personnel have been made

A Regimental Sergeant Major has been suspended over claims of drunken approaches to colleagues’ wives that caused a punch-up at a formal military dinner.

While the claims investigation is ongoing, Warrant Officer Mike Ransley (RSM of the elite Infantry Battle School) has been relieved.

This news was made as Ben Wallace (the Defence Secretary) reprimanded the top brass yesterday after a string of scandals, including allegations of sexual harassment against female military personnel. One of these women took her own lives.

Warrant Officer Mike Ransley (pictured), RSM of the elite Infantry Battle School, has been relieved of responsibilities while the claims are investigated

RSM for the elite Infantry Battle School, Warrant Officer Mike Ransley (pictured), was relieved of his duties while investigations are underway

The news came as Ben Wallace (pictured), the Defence Secretary, reprimanded top brass yesterday following a series of scandals including claims of sexual harassment of female military personnel, one of whom took her own life

This news was made by Ben Wallace (pictured), Defence Secretary. He was responding to a number of scandals that included claims of harassment and sexual assault of military female personnel. One of these women took her own lives.

Minister orders generals to end ‘culture of sexism’

Yesterday’s order by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace to Army chiefs was for them to end sexism and overhaul regimental culture.

After scandals such as the killing of a Kenyan prostitute by soldiers and sexual harassment allegations against a female officer-cadet, he summoned Generals to a remarkable dressing down.

A Royal Artillery teenager trooper was just sentenced last week to seven-year imprisonment for raping a female coworker and two other sex attacks.

Mr Wallace, an ex-Army officer, is said to be ‘exasperated’ by the failure to improve discipline and he has ordered an immediate ‘cultural review’.

According to a July report, two-thirds (33%) of Armed Forces females experienced harassment, bullying and discrimination.

Recent misconduct allegations revolve around a social function held at Brecon, Powys (Mid-Wales) battle school.

The Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess dinner was attended by instructors who teach battlefield skills to thousands of soldiers every year.

They were dressed formally, accompanied by their wives, and a ‘considerable amount’ of alcohol was consumed, according to sources.

Senior officers are looking into claims that WO1 Ransley spoke to a number of women towards the end and then acted in an inappropriate manner.

One report suggested that he was excessively tactile with women. 

There was a fight that ensued. Other Warrant Officers were furious at his actions.

The RSM, who is said to have been ‘very drunk’, was then escorted from the Mess by colleagues. Last night official MOD sources denied claims he had ‘touched up’ the wives.

WO1 Ransley, of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, was appointed Regimental Sergeant Major of the Infantry Battle School in June.

To await the results of his investigation, an interim RSM has now been named. 

His removal from post was confirmed in a letter to staff by the school’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Damian Flanagan. 

He wrote: ‘I spoke with the Warrant Officers yesterday evening but I owe you all an update for the sake of clarity.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace yesterday ordered Army chiefs to stamp out sexism with a major overhaul of regimental culture. Pictured: Chief of the General Staff, General Mark Carleton-Smith at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst

Yesterday Defence Secretary Ben Wallace directed Army chiefs that sexism be eradicated by major reforms of regimental culture. Pictured: Chief of the General Staff, General Mark Carleton-Smith at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst

‘Most will be aware by now, I’m sure, but last Friday I suspended the RSM from his post pending an investigation into allegations of social misconduct during the social function in the Mess last month.

‘Obviously it is a sensitive issue and I ask you to be thoughtful and considerate in how you go about discussing this. Rumour and speculation are unhelpful and will do more harm than good – we all have a role in moderating the excesses when we hear of it.

‘It is of course a reminder of the behaviours, values and standards that we are expected to maintain.

‘But this should not restrain our ambitions and aspirations to return to social ‘normality’ –social functions are an important part of the military fabric and must (and will) continue.’

Last night the Ministry of Defence said: ‘We are aware of an incident involving a soldier at the Infantry Battle School on October 16.

‘The matter is currently the subject of an ongoing investigation and it would be inappropriate to comment further.’