After the British evacuated Dunkirk, they realized their regular army was no match for the German troops and changed their methods. The new policy leaned heavily on British Commandos.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “Enterprises must be prepared, with specially-trained troops of the hunter class, who can develop a reign of terror down these coasts, first of all on the butcher and bolt policy…leaving a trail of German corpses behind them.” These men were the precursor to the Royal Marine Commandos, Special Boat Service and Special Air Service.
The SAS are well-represented throughout pop culture. This is because they are highly trained and use their skills without hesitation. Therefore, they have been models for soldiers in Call of Duty and movies.
In 1980, they stopped the Iranian Embassy Siege and participated in the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their job is to kill and do it accurately. Once they get their first kill, they add the Punisher skull badge to their uniform.
The SAS fought alongside the Navy SEALS, who wore the symbol the entire time they were in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, Army officials were not thrilled with the development.
A Symbol Banned
The symbol was banned in 2019. Officials determined it looked too much like the Nazi SS soldier’s Death Head. But the order to remove it was not very well received.
One soldier said, “It’s in recognition for the work he has done – it’s not a celebration of taking a life but more to do with putting himself in a position where his own life has been put at risk.”
The former Sergeant and Military Cross recipient, Trevor Coult, said the order was “politically correct nonsense and ludicrous.” However, in May 2021, the order was reversed after the Director of Special Forces said he was fine with it.
It’s been said that he wore it while he was in Afghanistan and Iraq. The SAS was thrilled that the badge was allowed once again.