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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?

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

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viking
6 days ago
1
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I think that the wife daughter grandaughter or neice would find out eventually that all that glistens is not gold.
Calli
6th Jan 2019
0
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Has anyone said that the qualifying bar would be lowered? Can any Country these days afford to discourage the entrance of women into any division of its military forces? I think our military in Canada is finding it challenging these days to find anyone to join, if you take note of all the advertisements on T.V. The RCMP and our police forces are also having trouble finding suitable candidates. If a woman has the intelligence, strength and wherewithal, then why not? Would you tell your wife, daughter, granddaughter or niece that they are not capable of doing whatever they set their minds to?
KeithK2
4th Jan 2019
1
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It's a huge mistake. Listen.. why do men who strike women get arrested and sent to jail more than men striking men? We are appalled at the aspect of men doing anything violent to women. Now we say that women can stand against any man in physical combat if she joins the Marines or SAS. Does that make any sense at all? If it isn't right for men to attack or do any violence to a woman, how then does it become okay for them to join a service where they will be attacked and killed by other men? Is she a match for men? If so, why aren't they on male football teams--- why don't we set women to fight men in MMA/boxing matches? . She has to be able to hold her own not just in training, but on the field of combat -- can she carry the same gear as her male counterparts? Can she pass the same rigorous training regimens required in special forces, or will they be forced to lower the qualifying bar to allow her entry? I think it's a grave mistake to do this.
MadeleineL3
30th Dec 2018
-1
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Same training same result.
Women are equally competent as well as men on special ops. Who knows a woman could hold the colonels job very soon. Watch this space!
JillB13
21st Dec 2018
0
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If a woman is physically able to pass the intense training, and I can't see the army making any consessions to their gender, then I can see no reason why women should not be able to join the SAS.
JimA82
5th Dec 2018
1
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I don't have a problem with this as long as the ladies meet the criteria set for them to join.
chinagirl2103
23rd Nov 2018
1
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If a woman has the same abilities as a man I see no reason why she shouldn't. Obviously they do intensive tests before becoming part of the SAS so why not.
viking
26th Nov 2018
1
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Day and night out on exercise on the Brecon, well we will just have to see won't we ??
viking
26th Nov 2018
0
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Day and night out on exercise on the Brecon, well we will just have to see won't we ?? Too difficult oh well !!
chinagirl2103
26th Nov 2018
1
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I'm sure most women wouldn't make the grade but I'm equally sure most men don't. It takes someone special to be in the SAS.
KeithK2
4th Jan 2019
1
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Youre 100% correct Chinagirl. It takes someone special to join SpecOps. SEALS, Rangers, SAS, Force Recon, Army Special Forces, and so on. Most men dont make the grade.
Would you sanction a fight between a woman who weighs as much as Connor McGregor in the MMA? Has any woman been a part of a male soccer/football team anywhere in the world? Would you feel safe with a female-only police force? Female only military? These are questions that have to be honestly answered, yes?
It's not a political consideration.
viking
17th Nov 2018
1
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Having watched the trek across the Falkland Island, Goose Green etc.etc. The weight of Bergen and firearms...........I really don't think that a lot of people know what is involved on the front line.
ColinM1
14th Nov 2018
1
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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
13th Nov 2018
3
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If women can fight in the Russian army, and the Israeli army, why not the UK Armed Forces.
viking
22nd Nov 2018
0
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The Russian women were forced to fight in the army.The reason for this was the Commisars and the slaughter of Russian males by the German army blitzkreig.
Hopefully this will never happen in the UK. So there is no comparison except that which has been hoisted on us all by the PC & Libbers brigades.
MadeleineL3
30th Dec 2018
0
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Exactly John....and your final paragraph is what's so wrong in Britain, we've gone soft in the belly. We could do with a Churchill like character.
viking
11th Nov 2018
0
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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
10th Nov 2018
2
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Equality means women need to be in the army and be willing to die like young men have been doing for years.
Audrie57
9th Nov 2018
1
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If ladies want to join, Why Not???? I my self wouldn't but that's the freedom of choice.
Margaret Hart
8th Nov 2018
1
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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
9th Nov 2018
1
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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
8th Nov 2018
2
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Look at women of SOE.
Wilf
8th Nov 2018
1
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That is a really good point and they were the bravest of the brave
Poppyrose
8th Nov 2018
3
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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
9th Nov 2018
0
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i couldn't have put it better myself
Gilldee
8th Nov 2018
3
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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
4
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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
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Lionel
7th Nov 2018
5
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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.
MadeleineL3
30th Dec 2018
0
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Every able person of working age does a year of government conscription in Israel. With their job left open for them on their return.
Billythequiche
7th Nov 2018
5
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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
4
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
11th Nov 2018
0
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Then I'm afraid Kentrix39, you do not know women!

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