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Should women join the SAS?

Women will be able to join the SAS for the first time under measures announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

All roles within the military will now be open for women to join, including Special Forces and the Royal Marines.

But Colonel Richard Kemp, a retired former Army commander in Afghanistan, said the decision would “cost lives” and branded it “political correctness”.

Mr Williamson made the announcement after watching a demonstration on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, involving some of the first women to join the Royal Armoured Corps.

“Women have been involved in frontline activity in so many ways for so long. We have seen women serving side by side with men in Afghanistan and Iraq for quite a long time,” he said.

“The idea that we are excluding half the population from some of these most vital roles potentially holds our armed forces back.

“Women will make an enormous impact in terms of what our armed forces do.”

But Col Kemp said very few women would pass infantry training and it would lead to “lower standards”.

“My experience is if you have a team of men, even with one or two women, it could lead to divisiveness,” he said.

“I am not blaming women, but anything that undermines that teamwork will cost lives. This new policy will cost lives.”

He added: “Very few women will want to join the infantry, and there will be very few who get through the selection – there are very few men who get through.

“I am not at all opposed to equality wherever possible, but we need to be careful not to let political correctness override ability in combat. Women in the Army make a major contribution.”

“I cannot see why in the future our armed forces won’t be far more reflective of the gender split that is in the country,” he said.

“We want more women to be part of our armed forces because they make a massive impact.”

A ban on women serving in close combat units in the British military was lifted in 2016.

The Royal Armoured Corps was the first ground close combat branch to open its doors in November 2016 to female soldiers and officers, followed by the RAF Regiment in September 2017.

The announcement means that women already serving in the Army are able to transfer into infantry roles, including the Special Forces.

Those not currently serving will be able to apply for infantry roles in December of this year, with new recruits starting basic training in April 2019.

Women are also now able to apply to join the Royal Marines, with selection starting before the end of this year.

What are your views? Should women be given the chance to join? 

Should women join the SAS?

327 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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ColinM1
10 hours ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Of course women should be allowed into both the SAS and Special Forces . Fallacy to assume it is all brute strength and masculinity like a page out of a Commando comic ! Sensible move .
JOHND343
1 days ago
2
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If women can fight in the Russian army, and the Israeli army, why not the UK Armed Forces.
viking
3 days ago
-1
Thanks for voting!
Quite agree Wilf, this is purely a PR excercise and a stunt, with a sop to the womens lib section. Where will the sheer strength come from ??
moray
4 days ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Equality means women need to be in the army and be willing to die like young men have been doing for years.
Audrie57
5 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
If ladies want to join, Why Not???? I my self wouldn't but that's the freedom of choice.
Margaret Hart
6 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
Women who have the same physical strength as men should be allowed to do the same jobs and the chances are that they are much more psychologically stronger and of greater intelligence. The only block is strength as females are not trained in strength the same way males are and it takes a lot of years to build.
Bald123
5 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you and as one of the other members has put below what about the women in SOE in WW2. they were as brave as lions. In this ever changing world perhaps special forces have other tasks they will need to have done that are best done by women..
Parnold70
6 days ago
2
Thanks for voting!
Look at women of SOE.
Wilf
6 days ago
1
Thanks for voting!
That is a really good point and they were the bravest of the brave
Poppyrose
6 days ago
3
Thanks for voting!
I'm all for women doing a 'man's' role having been an operator in a plastics factory lifting half ton molds and driving fork lifts however, we are built differently and physically this could put a huge strain on the woman's long term health. If women think they can do it fine but I do hope that if they find it too physically demanding they don't then bleat about it being a sexist institution. I get tired of women jumping up and down in high dudgeon at any supposed sexist slight, we haven't done ourselves any favours on some issues over the years and joining something as demanding as the SAS should be done so with a lot of realistic thought and not with the attitude 'because I can'.
greytop
5 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
i couldn't have put it better myself
Gilldee
6 days ago
3
Thanks for voting!
They will have to pass any test a man will, they won't get away with anything, or they will not be allowed to join...... not all women want to stay at home and have babies and play house..
Wilf
7th Nov 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Not really as obviously its a hugely physical regiment and necessitates the most extreme actions which I think are difficult enough for all but the toughest men. When you see the programmes where they put people through mock selections even chaps who think they are very tough fall by the wayside like chaff in the wind. No I think in this PC dominated world some things still need to be male and some female-commonsense really!
Alicia
7th Nov 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Lionel
7th Nov 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
In a Facebook reply no longer visible below, Lance Fogg made a very good point about Israeli Defence Forces recruiting women to the front line.

Israel has always had a Citizen Army rather than a volunteer or conscription force. They fight to secure the land of their long heritage and their own future. That's very different to having a military career in the British Army and fighting in our politician's foreign disputes where their homeland is not threatened.

If our young women think a career in the SAS is making a statement about their feminism then it's a very tough life and possibly an ugly death on some far flung foreign field.

Israel soldiers of both genders have something of worth in making the ultimate sacrifice - their own homeland. Our soldiers in Iraq, for example, died for political self aggrandisement. Not quite so noble.
3
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I saw Lance's comment earlier, Lionel, but it seems to have disappeared 🙁 perhaps he deleted it?
Lionel
7th Nov 2018
3
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Yes, perhaps he has deleted it. Any mention of things Israeli tends to be inflammatory which is why I wrote as I did - just to get something going.
Billythequiche
7th Nov 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Only if they pass exactly the same tests, no allowances. They must also sign undertakings to not have relations with another in the regiment and also not to attempt any legal action for not providing different facilities.
kentrix39
7th Nov 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
We have already diminished the our Armed Forces with all the Health and Safety regulations why go further down the slippery slope to a stage even lower than mediocrity.
I was a Royal Marine for over twenty years and women just do not fit in with a fighting unit, they have the wrong temperament for a start. As they do at the wheel of a car, they will hesitate, they are not able to pass the physical for the Royal Marines, Paras, SAS or any other front line fighting unit.
Add to that the extra cost of separate accommodation, ablution facilities, especially on ships and the extra cost is enormous certainly not worth the it to the tax payer.
What is called "bullying" today was in my day instilling discipline in recruits who had to obey orders without question to stay alive at times. Women can not stand up to that.
jeanmark
3 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
Then I'm afraid Kentrix39, you do not know women!

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