For centuries, young soldiers have been “thrashed” in a hell-for-leather fitness test to prove they were at the peak of physical strength and battle ready. But in a new scientific overhaul of basic training, the British Army revealed yesterday that combat training will become “gender and age neutral” - because the enemy 'does not care what sex or how old a soldier is'.
The Conservative Party is opposed to women serving in front line combat roles because of the physical demands of that situation.
Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary James Mattis has cast doubt on the future of women in combat roles in the US Marines, saying it was a policy the Trump administration had inherited. "We cannot do something that militarily doesn't make sense," he noted.
The UK's Daily Telegraph reports for the last three years, the British military has been trialling new, less-demanding Physical Employment Standards, instead of the old focus on aerobic fitness, with gruelling press-ups and sit-ups. The new tests demand a greater mix of stamina, muscular endurance and strength, clearly designed to enable women to pass it.
The old tests comprised of two annual requirements. Firstly, a soldier would have to do as many sit-ups and press-ups as possible in two minutes. Then, they would have to run a mile and a half as fast as they could. The second test was an 8-mile march carrying 25kgs in under two hours.
The new, easier test, starts with a four kilometre march, followed by a shorter run and crawl. Soldiers then have to drag and lift weights and finally, troops have to repeatedly lift and carry weights as if they were building a defensive position. The test takes about three hours to complete.
Senator Bernardi told the Senate, placing women in front-line combat roles is a threat to national security.
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