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Soldier To Quit Army After Being Used On 'Snowflakes' Recruitment Poster

After his face was used on a controversial army poster without his knowledge, a British soldier has reportedly vowed to quit the army. 

Guardsman Stephen McWhirter, 28, claimed he had no idea his image would be used as part of the series of posters, and that he only learned of it when friends and colleagues started making fun of him.

His image appeared on a poster that read "Snowflakes, the army needs you and your compassion".

'Snowflakes' is a derogatory term that refers to someone who is over-sensitive, emotional and easily offended.

READ MORE: Army Wants 'Snowflakes and Selfie-Obsessed' Millennials To Join Up

McWhirter, who is based at the Wellington Barracks in London and has protected the Queen at Buckingham Palace, will reportedly "resign at the earliest convenience" according to The Sun.

The Daily Mail reported that McWhirter claimed he had no idea his image would be associated with the word 'snowflake' when he agreed to have his photo taken.

However, army sources claimed this was incorrect, and stated the people involved in the campaign knew how their pictures would be used and were aware of the "striking language"  to be used.

"The volunteers gave their permission to appear on TV and in the posters and were fully informed about the striking language and how it would resonate with young people with a variety of valuable skills," said assistant director of army recruiting Colonel Ben Wilde, according to the ABC.

One soldier came to McWhirter's defence, writing on Facebook:

"Imagine the army taking a photo of you and writing “snowflake” in massive bold letters above your head. I’d be signed straight off."

McWhirter responded: "Don't f**king worry, mate, I am".

Another soldier wrote a comment saying "Chances are he was told to sign a form allowing them to use his image", to which McWhirter replied "correct".

The controversial advertisement campaign has already attracted backlash, with UK politicians having to defend the posters.

"People criticising the British Army's new snowflake recruitment campaign are missing the point," British MP Johnny Mercer wrote on Twitter.

"The army has always recruited from the society it serves and often from those who some describe as 'not up to the mark.'"

"It then turns those recruits into world class soldiers."

As well as 'snowflakes', the recruitment campaign also called for 'phone zombies', 'binge gamers' and 'selfie addicts' to join the army. The posters resemble the famous World War One ad featuring Lord Kitchener.

The phrase has since been reused for a variety of marketing campaigns, including the famous 'Uncle Sam' of the U.S. military.

Featured Image: Twitter/Facebook.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au