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Australian Army Discussions and Updates

This is a discussion on Australian Army Discussions and Updates within the Army & Security Forces forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; For Clearence divers, this will be interesting as the CDs i know, are fitter then most male PTIs around, and ...


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Old September 28th, 2011   #2536
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For Clearence divers, this will be interesting as the CDs i know, are fitter then most male PTIs around, and im willing to see the female PTIs compare to CDs for best indications.

ive got to ask this, now that women can serve in combat roles, does that mean across the board women will be required to conduct their PFT at the same level as men, as currently its less then a male counterpart. push ups, sit ups and beep test should be level for all, but not drop from the male basic standards. We want to equalise and not discriminate, well heres a good start...why dont we ever hear about this rather then the combat roles, 14.5% of the ADF are women, and they dont work annually to the same level as men, so it affects them more then combat roles which is only 4-5% of the roles available...why, because it wouldnt work. If people want to be serious in this, then i want 1 rule across the board, not patch work.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2537
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Just repeating what other people have said already and I think it about sums it up.

As long as they keep the same standards for both men and women it will be fine. This means statistically maybe not as many women will make it in for front line service as opposed to their male counterparts.. but the ones who do make it will be just as good as their counterparts. (going through the same requirements)
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2538
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ive got to ask this, now that women can serve in combat roles, does that mean across the board women will be required to conduct their PFT at the same level as men, as currently its less then a male counterpart.
They can’t serve until 2012 when the new role specific PES will come into place. How this effects the PFT/BFT remains to be seen but its likely to as one would imagine all the different jobs will then have different levels of physical fitness testing.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2539
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The problem being is that the current government has to show success - one way or another. There will be much direct meddling until the correct political solution occurs - and this will be at the expense of current military physical standards.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2540
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The hygiene problem is really overblown IMO. Give the women a years supply of the pill and they will never bleed while taking them. Just ask a women what she does when she doesn't want to bleed because she is on vacation or on a business trip. I see no reason why a woman in an infantry unit which operates for weeks and months in a jungle combat zone couldn't just keep on taking the pill and be as good to go as any man.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2541
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The hygiene problem is really overblown IMO. Give the women a years supply of the pill and they will never bleed while taking them. Just ask a women what she does when she doesn't want to bleed because she is on vacation or on a business trip. I see no reason why a woman in an infantry unit which operates for weeks and months in a jungle combat zone couldn't just keep on taking the pill and be as good to go as any man.
Reminds me of a recruit course at 2 Trg Gp many years ago - I was Pl Comd of the female platoon with (thankfully) a female staff of Cpl's and Pl Sgt. All was going well until the field phase when one of the women got her period - apparently some women exude pheremones that mean that nearly all women synchronise their menstrual cycles. As most women were not expecting their periods, most were unprepared - had to OpDem tampons and pads - made my day to see the admin WO with 22 years of regular army service in the infantry, with weapon, webbing and cammed up to the eyeballs come walking down the road with a couple of packets of tampax under his arm Didn't have a camera - would have made a great piccie for "Say Again" in the army paper...
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2542
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When I was in the RACT where it was mixed this is very different from Infantry, but from my time in uniform I have seen some women just as capable if not more than some blokes and you also get the one’s that are like barbie (doll’s) don’t want to chip there nails, want to wash their hair whist away in the bush everyday and those who use being female to get out of doing some of the harder stuff in transport (its not all driving) we even had one chick on an EX when we stood too thought she was gone get raped when had a contact( she was a babe, every bloke in the Squadron wanted to jump her).But all that aside those who put their hand up for front line positions who will want to be their and will give it all their got.

I have no problems with woman serving as RAN or RAAF in combat role, but do draw the line at infantry roles. I have no doubt some woman have the physical and mental ability to fulfil those role, but this is Australia we have no direct threat to ourselves compared to others or have been in situations were they have no choice but to stand and fight, woman in the ADF still have to go bush and learn IMT whatever unit they belong to so will have a basic understanding of the infantry role. If Australia was ever invaded and placed into a battle of Stalingrad proportions woman will have no choice but participate in front line combat.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2543
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The problem being is that the current government has to show success - one way or another. There will be much direct meddling until the correct political solution occurs - and this will be at the expense of current military physical standards.
Possibly - or it will be the rope that hangs the program as they end up breaking women who shouldn't have been there in the first place. The press get hold of the stats that show the brutes in the Infantry are breaking the cream of Australia young women (that's how it will be put forward) and the pollies will pull it in a heartbeat.

Ours was the second class through RMC with women - and we physically broke heaps of them as they were expected to carry the M60 and 30 plus kg's of gear up hill and down dale - not easy when you are 50kg's and 5 foot 2. As a result, the rules were changed that the women only had to carry the L1A2 (Automatic heavy barrel SLR) when they were gunner, and carried only 1 days rations. Most women hated that sexist policy and would seek to carry the M60 when they could - they didn't want to be treated differently. Some women hated the policy, but realised that is was physically impossible for them to be trained if they were in hospital so they wisely adopted the new policy. Other women were very happy with the new policy - they knew they were going to Ordinance or Medical as an Admin officer and were just happy not to be busted by the system.

My take on it? Overall positive. It has the ability to raise the physical standard of all arms corps people regardless of gender. I have served with blokes in Infantry Battalions who could do 20 heaves easily but would have bugger all chance of lifting x pieces of track link. These same people probably couldn't have lifted me in a fireman's carry to safety if need be either. If the person (NOTE: PERSON) can meet the physical standards required then they should be allowed to give it a shot. The number of women that have the required physical strength and endurance AND the desire to take an arms corps job will be quite small anyway.

The arguments about women being nurturing and lacking agression have clearly never had to step in a break up a scrag fight - in the limited time I did crowd control I used to dread breking up a fight between women more than a couple of blokes - women can fight very dirty.

And the whole argument that men would be more worried about women being hurt is something that may have applied 80 years ago when gentlemen existed.

Will there be scandals involving sex in the forward trenches on exercise? Maybe - but that IMHO is less embarrassing than what the Bombadiers were caught doing with newly arrived gunners at 1Fd regiment many years ago - it involved sausages and humming the national anthem with various parts of the senior ranks anatomy in their mouths. In short there will always be incidents in any mixed gender units. Other units seem to get by without too many dramas (with the exception of the navy??!!??) -I don't see why this is going to be an additional problem..

At the end of the day it is the will of our masters. Stop complaining about it and lets see if if would work. I would have absolutely no hesitation in serving beside some of the women at Duntroon in an infantry unit. Others I would not want to see armed with anything more dangerous than a potato peeler. Come to think of it, that's the same with some of the blokes I graduated with.

My 2 cents worth. Flame suit on.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2544
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Look I know I come across as some chauvinistic dinosaur, but I do have some serious reservations about mixing men and women in close quarter combat.

There will always be women out there who through shear dogged determination and willpower will make the grade and beat some of their male counterparts, however this is the exception, not the norm. If it was the norm why do we segregate full contact sports by gender?

Also you cannot go on a six week jungle patrol carrying your own kit with a female soldier in tow unless you make specific hygiene arrangements. You go up against an enemy with quality trackers (iban for example) and they will ping your patrol through smell alone. Are you going to restrict women on their menstrual cycle because the smell attracts wild animals who could compromise you position? There is a reason why women in the field have to be extracted and allowed to shower after a set period. How are you going to get around that problem? What happens if one of the Aus Infantry Bats has to deploy to the jungles of South East Asia in very austere conditions at short notice for long periods (another Malayan Emergency, Borneo or Vietnam Campaign), laying in ambush positions for weeks not days or conducting fighting patrols in primary jungle. Are you going to extract your female infantrymen by chopper every five days to shower or reconfigure your orbat at the last minute so only males deploy?

One way round it is to do what the South Koreans do, they have an all female SF section who are nails (must be black belt TKW to apply for selection). They are used for specific roles where females could be inserted/substituted in a crisis (act as nurses or flight attendants in a CT op as part of an exchange of crew or evac of wounded).
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2545
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Does anybody have any updates on the LAND 17 Artillery Replacement program? The last I heard the SPH was down to either the Germany’s PzH-2000 or South Korea’s K9. Which do you believe is the best choice for Australia & why? Any idea on the numbers we're looking at buying?
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2546
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The key point in the "women in combat" discussion is purely capability.

Is it going to provide more or less capability to the combat element? It's that simple.

If it does then I have no dramas with it.

What I do have huge dramas with is the sex discrimination minister saying that we need to have affirmative action to put women into combat roles. That means that the government wants to put women in roles whether they reduce capability or not.

It's as Neil James says, this policy could actually involve more female deaths/injuries because they've been pushed into these roles.

The defence executive can say all they want about how there will be no loss in capability but when the government sets the standard, the ADF tows the line. The exec of the ADF won't be the ones with the bums on the line when someone can't carry their pack in a TIC.

Any loss in capability is an increase in risk and any increase in risk is a higher chance of us getting killed.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2547
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Look I know I come across as some chauvinistic dinosaur, but I do have some serious reservations about mixing men and women in close quarter combat.

There will always be women out there who through shear dogged determination and willpower will make the grade and beat some of their male counterparts, however this is the exception, not the norm. If it was the norm why do we segregate full contact sports by gender?

Also you cannot go on a six week jungle patrol carrying your own kit with a female soldier in tow unless you make specific hygiene arrangements. You go up against an enemy with quality trackers (iban for example) and they will ping your patrol through smell alone. Are you going to restrict women on their menstrual cycle because the smell attracts wild animals who could compromise you position? There is a reason why women in the field have to be extracted and allowed to shower after a set period. How are you going to get around that problem? What happens if one of the Aus Infantry Bats has to deploy to the jungles of South East Asia in very austere conditions at short notice for long periods (another Malayan Emergency, Borneo or Vietnam Campaign), laying in ambush positions for weeks not days or conducting fighting patrols in primary jungle. Are you going to extract your female infantrymen by chopper every five days to shower or reconfigure your orbat at the last minute so only males deploy?

One way round it is to do what the South Koreans do, they have an all female SF section who are nails (must be black belt TKW to apply for selection). They are used for specific roles where females could be inserted/substituted in a crisis (act as nurses or flight attendants in a CT op as part of an exchange of crew or evac of wounded).
As I said before just let them take the pill during their menstrual cycle and you won't have a problem as they don't bleed. Women all over the world do this all the time. Could be a requirement just like malaria pills.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2548
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Does anybody have any updates on the LAND 17 Artillery Replacement program? The last I heard the SPH was down to either the Germany’s PzH-2000 or South Korea’s K9. Which do you believe is the best choice for Australia & why? Any idea on the numbers we're looking at buying?

I suggest trawling through earlier posts in this particular thread. Pretty much all you are after has already been posted. A reliable source has already stated that the K9 has the nod, just waiting for AFATDS integration.

cheers
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2549
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If the person (NOTE: PERSON) can meet the physical standards required then they should be allowed to give it a shot.
That's fine in theory, but as I'm sure you understand implementing that is not so simple. By far the biggest problem I see, is just how and when do you test if people if they can make the grade or not? The PES test might be an excellent test to see if people are able to perform that job, but it can't be used to test new recruits to see if they can hack the job or not.

For example, looking at the army, you pick your corps at recruiting before you get to Kapooka. Does that mean that budding infantry recruits are going to do the infantry PES test before getting on the bus? Of course not. The vast majority of males wouldn't pass the test before training, let alone females. Do you do the infantry PES test at Kapooka? You've been there, and as you know that isn't feasible. We currently struggle to get recruits fit enough to pass the recruit fitness assessment as it is (and that test is less challenging than the current BFA). There is simply no time to train soldiers up to a higher standard.

That means the first place that recruits are realistically going to be screened is at IETs. By then it is too late. What if the recruit fails the assessment? How many times are you going to let them retest before you tell them to pick another corps? Of course, this is a problem with male recruits already, but the problem with female recruits will simply be that much greater. For instance, the failure rate for females on the all-corps PES test is about five times that of males, with more than double the injury rate. Add in the higher standard, and what will the failure rate be then?

What I can guarantee is going to happen, is that large numbers of females, strong women with the best intentions, are going to have to complete remedial PT for weeks/months just to reach the minimum standard. They are then going to have the same problem each and every six months when they have to redo the test. Then they will actually reach a unit, have to go bush, and realise the actual job is so much harder than the test, struggle hard to keep up with the men, and break themselves. I am willing to bet a large sum of money that for the first few years that females are in combat jobs, more than half of them are on long term medical restrictions due to being broken.

That is going to be the reality for units - having to spend an inordinate amount of time on admin, remedial PT and rehabilitation to get recruits up to an unrealistic standard of personal fitness. Now this is a problem with men already, but a small one. The vast majority of men, no matter how unfit when they start, will be able to be brought up to the standard required of combat jobs. The basic truth, supported by lots of medical evidence, is that the vast majority of women will not, and they will pay the price for trying.

That is not a slight in women. I have served with many outstanding women in uniform, including on operations. There are women out there that put men to shame with their fitness. For instance, I remember putting a reserve platoon through Kapooka where the soldier that won the award for best at PT was a 47 year old mother of three, who had a daughter older than I. I was in peak shape, and I had to struggle hard to beat her during the final fitness test (I was hungover/still drunk, but still). However, when you are talking about the thousands upon thousands of soldiers in uniform, these women are few and far between, and the army/ADF is going to pay a high price for letting the remainder try to reach an unrealistic standard.
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Old September 28th, 2011   #2550
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As I said before just let them take the pill during their menstrual cycle and you won't have a problem as they don't bleed. Women all over the world do this all the time. Could be a requirement just like malaria pills.
im not sure mate but you may have just shot yourself in the foot. Anti-Malarial pills to the best of my knowledge are anti biotics. some anti biotics are known to cancel the affects of "The Pill" so if your in a SEA jungle it might be a case of one or the other
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