There is an interesting letter in yesterday’s Times by a man called Tim Cain, who was an infantry officer for 28 years. He says that he is surprised that the MOD is considering forcing the army to accept women in the Infantry, at a time of shrinking budgets. To provide appropriate extra facilities for the relatively tiny numbers of women involved would be a waste of scarce resources.
An even more interesting letter is from Colonel Finlay Maclaren, who says that for three years he served on the board responsible for assessing potential officers at Sandhurst. He once had three exceptionally athletic female candidates, who all jumped at the chance to attempt the more demanding male obstacle course. Of the eight obstacles, two female candidates managed to complete three, and the other one, only one. In short, none came close to meeting the male standard.
The difference in physical strength between the sexes is significant and few females are up to the present infantry standard necessary to serve on the front line. If these standards are lowered in order to meet female quotas, military effectiveness will be severely reduced. This happened of course with the police, who used to have standards of size, weight and strength in order to qualify. When they decided to allow women to become policemen, these standards had to be scrapped, of course, because women do not meet them.