Women could serve in British infantry units for the first time by 2016...?

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by dbf, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Any thoughts?

    Been listening to a phone-in about the possibility of women in front line combat roles. Some good points made despite a few comments which weren't based on current experiences in the forces.

    If nothing else I wonder if the potential numbers involved in the long run would justify this proposal and the inevitable shift in outlook required, or is that not what it should be about? Is there more to consider than ability alone?


  2. TriciaF

    TriciaF Junior Member

    My husband's response to this was - it's because they're running short of men joining up to put themselves in the firing line.
    He has some experience of the armed services, RAF in Aden.
    Personally , I think they should be able to if they wish, but it wouldn't be for me, I would be useless.
  3. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Your husband got it half right - the young men of to-day are not about to go to the ends of the earth to fight some crazed up terrorist who is the kind of ally who sticks a knife in your

    back - so send in some young woman who thinks it's a good thing like the two Austrian girls - one of whom is now dead……a nonsense decision by some War Office bureaucrat who is not about to
    leave his cosy office - the Major has it about right…

  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    When people talk of women fighting on the front line I think of a work colleague of mine


    Whilst I appreciate there will be obstacles to overcome, personally I don't have a problem with it. Many females already serve with infantry units in a support role, like Medics and Dog Handlers for example they still put themselves at risk like anyone else when out on the ground. If you can do the job and do it well then crack on.
    ceolredmonger and Capt.Sensible like this.
  5. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    I have no military experience - or infantry more specifically - but I don't have a problem with females in SUPPORT roles attached to infantry units.
    As for females in a DIRECT COMBAT role I can't see it working. Several ex-squaddie mates have explained to me the lower standards for females in BFT and CFT (or whatever they are called now) and it would have to be an extremely strong woman to meet standards equal to the male infantryman. Many of the male infantry recruits struggle to meet those standards.

    Medic, Engineer, Admin, no problem - all essential jobs - but a pure infantry or even armoured role I can't see too many women being up to the purely physical strength required.

    Not too PC I know but seems like common sense to me.
  6. Hugh MacLean

    Hugh MacLean Senior Member

    Mike, I have to agree with you 100% - it's a daft idea.

  7. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day dbf.super moderators,yesterday.10:40am.i think some women would make fierce soldiers,they have courage.and would(or should not)show the enemy any mercy.but be prepared to accept consequences.wounds death.and all the horors of combat.i think the russian women showed that they could be great soldiers ww2.i hope it never comes to using our women as gun fodder.god bless them all.regards bernard85 :m1helmet:
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    If an individual soldier is up to the job let them do it regardless of gender.
    As long as the required standards are not changed.
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Women do the same Combat Fitness Tests as men. 8 miles in two hours, full kit carrying 25kgs in or attached to a combat unit or 15kgs in or attached to a support unit.
  10. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    I was a serving Sapper (1983-2007) when they allowed women into the RE's initially we were told they would have to pass the same fitness tests as us and do the exact same roles as us. That they would therefore get the same pay as us.

    It was not long before they dropped the requirement for them to do Bridging (too big and heavy), mine warfare and demolitions (too close to combat).

    Fitness level requirements for them were dropped - less weight carried, more time on runs, less press ups and sit ups. We were expected to do the same fitness tests as the infantry.

    I also served with ARRC in the support Battalion - rear area where it was thought women could do all the jobs - until we deployed and suddenly the drivers were out on single crew jobs in 14 tonne trucks - and could not change the tyres - put up the tail gates - in barracks they used to flash their eyelashes at the nearest male.

    I am for women (and men) doing any role as long as they are physically capable if it, I have served with men who were incapable of doing some jobs (too short is common when building an MGB) and women who are more than capable of all roles - those two examples are few and far between though.

    As long as they can pass the minimum standards (one driver I knew considered herself a failure if she did not sail through the tests beating at least half the men, refused to carry the female weight or do the times and allotted exercises for females - she did the same as the men), can do the actual job (I have had issues with men who could not) I am more than happy to serve with them.

    On a side not - those units I served with or had a lot of contact with that had substantial mixed genders had the highest divorce rate after tours.
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    This is my own opinion too. There have always been some men who don't pass the criteria required by given roles and there will be some women who will be able to do exactly the same as the men who do pass. I just wonder if the numbers eligible will make this proposal actually worthwhile implementing.

    To ignore eligibility/capability merely on gender lines might be wrong, but I also think that it is too simplistic to dismiss genuine concerns as sexism.

    There's no sense in having a military made up of any personnel not capable of fulfilling the role to which they are assigned.

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