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McG
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posted 16 March 2021 13:31     Profile for McG   Author's Homepage   Email McG     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Canadian Forces failing in gender integration and employment equity: report
By JOHN WARD
Friday March 16 11:33 AM EST

OTTAWA (CP) - The Canadian Forces is flunking in its efforts to integrate women, visible minorities and aboriginals, an advisory board reported Friday. The minister's advisory board on gender integration and employment equity gave the Forces a passing grade on its employment equity plan. However, the military flunked on implementation.

Harassment, intolerance and ignorance remain as problems within the system, the report said.

Women in some military occupations are leaving the Forces at rates two and even three times higher than their male counterparts.

Among non-commissioned members of the combat arms - infantry, artillery and armour - the attrition rate for women was 30.4 per cent between 1989 and 1999. For men, the rate was 9.2 per cent.

Recruiting of women, minorities and aboriginals falls well short of targets, the board found.

With a goal of 28 per cent women recruits, the Forces manage to enlist 11.1 per cent. It was worse for visible minorities where the goal was nine per cent and the reality was 2.5 per cent.

"From community leaders, the board heard that the Canadian Forces must establish credibility in visible minority communities that may have little contact with or knowledge of the Canadian Forces and which, in some instances, perceive the Canadian Forces as having racist environments," the report said.

The board recommended more community outreach programs.

The report also found some disturbing attitudes in the Forces, which "demonstrated ignorance at the least and intolerance at the worst, of employment equity principles."

The board found problems at Royal Military College in Kingston, which trains would-be officers.

It conducted focus groups there which showed "that few of the next generation of officers are knowledgeable about employment equity."

"Many felt that standards had been lowered to allow designated group members to be recruited and that double standards permeate the system in order to allow women to succeed on courses and in the workplace."

The report said the college should develop an employment equity curriculum and add more women, minorities and aboriginals to its board of directors.

In a forward to the report, Gen. Maurice Baril, chief of the defence staff, reiterated the Forces commitment to equality.

The military, he said, needs professionals.

"To attract and retain this highly skilled pool of personnel, they must know that they will be treated fairly, and with dignity and respect throughout their careers," he wrote.

He said the military may have to review policies and practices long unquestioned.

The report also slapped the military's various awareness and sensitivity programs, saying they are a patchwork of "reactive diversity training."

A benchmark program known as SHARP, for Standard for Harassment and Racism Prevention, has backfired, in several ways, the report said.

"The board was told SHARP training has created both a new awareness and a fear of reprisal among leaders and instructors in the Canadian Forces," the document said. "The board also heard that some members who have been found guilty of harassment have been sent on a harassment adviser course as a punishment."

People are still fearful of reprisals for reporting harassment, the report said.

"The Canadian Forces must make it safe for members to come forward with their allegations.

The board is led by Sandra Perron, a former infantry captain who quit the military after years of ostracism and aloofness from her fellow officers. She now works with General Motors of Canada.


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Doug
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posted 16 March 2021 23:48     Profile for Doug   Email Doug     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
So much crap! The military hasn't failed women, women have failed the military! You can't just go out and grab women off the street and force them into the military, they have to volunteer by their own accord. And then they have to succeed in the MOC that the choose.

It's ludicrous to assume that if the attrition rate (among non-commissioned members of the combat arms - infantry, artillery and armour) for men was 9.2 per cent then the attrition rate for women should be similar(not 30.4%) Face it, there is a higher attrition rate in the combat arms period. Guy's are getting out all the time, contracts' up I'm outa here attitude. Lot's of Sergeants and such shut'n er down too, lately.(I'm positive that the attrition rate for men is higher than 9.2%)

And this for example, "Concerns are also raised in the report about infantry training. The pass rate at battle schools averages 57 per cent for men, and only 27 per cent for women."
Come on now, if only 57% of guys pass it can't be all that easy.

It's crazy, one person(Perron) thinks that because she liked the military so much, all women must feel the same way and that they're being hindered somehow. Hello? The majority of women don't really care for the military and would prefer not to join. A couple of fancy commercials depicting women as the sole force of the military aren't going to help either.(have you seen a CF recruiting commercial with the subject being male?!)

Don't get me wrong, I have absolutely no problem with women(or anyone) in any of the fine combat arms. As long as they perform as expected to standard, and can do their job(that goes for guys too) Nothing I hate more than the guy who ALWAYS gets hurt in one form or another in the first half day of every exercise. And what really gets me is that the re-sign these people, AAARRRRGGGGHHH!!!! It's just a clue that maybe they should try another line of work.

This foolishness of topic just pisses me off! I agree that there are problems in some areas, but it's not the Canadian Forces that has to change, it's individual's attitudes.

And since when are the Van Doos (Royal 22nd Regiment)famous? Famous for what? Getting in trouble all the time, or having companies totally dedicated to sports?


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Mud Crawler
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posted 17 March 2021 23:47     Profile for Mud Crawler   Author's Homepage   Email Mud Crawler     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Doug:Can you explain to me about the R22eR?

I must be one of those not knowledgable about employment equity next to-be officers because, I believe that if woman want sex equity, they should be able to perform acording to the same standards as their male counter-parts.Just to pass the lil phys test to get in the army, a woman needs to do only about 60% of push-ups and sit-ups a man as to do.Woman are supposed to be able to do teh same job a man does, not 60%.The standards should be the same.Besides, if all the woman in the CF were able to do just that, much less would quit because a lot more men would be comfortable having woman in their unit.Personnaly I have nothing against woman in the CF, i think its great and it shows the evolution of society, just as long as they perform as good as their male counterparts.I don't ask for woman always to out-perform man to prove their good, just being able to do as much is enough, and if they out perform man, ill be only more glad to have a few on my unit.

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McG
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posted 18 March 2021 00:46     Profile for McG   Author's Homepage   Email McG     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Canadian Forces failing in gender integration and employment equity: report
JOHN WARD
Ottawa Citizen, 17 Mar 01

OTTAWA (CP) - The Canadian Forces still gets failing grades in its efforts to integrate women, visible minorities and aboriginals, an advisory board reported Friday. The report by the minister's advisory board on gender integration and employment equity said the military has a good employment equity plan. However, it flunks when it comes to implementation.

Harassment, intolerance and ignorance remain in the system, the board said, backing its contention with a serious of anonymous quotes.

"Why shouldn't women be penalized for going on maternity leave?" groused one commander. "It's their choice and the rest of us have to pick up the slack while they're on leave."

"If they (visible minorities) don't want to abide by our traditions, they should never have come here," said an officer in Gagetown, N.B.

In the Commons, Defence Minster Art Eggleton reacted angrily.

"I think those comments are absolutely appalling and they are absolutely unacceptable."

The minister said the remarks "do not represent what the vast number of men and women in the Canadian Forces believe.

"People are going to be expected to follow the values of the Canadian Forces in terms of their behaviour. They will be held accountable for doing that."

The military includes about 6,600 women in an authorized strength of 60,000 and an actual strength of about 58,000.

The board produced no figures on the number of visible minorities and aboriginals because there is no formal self-identification program to produce the data.

The report found:

- Women in some military jobs leave the Forces at rates two and even three times higher than male counterparts.

- Recruiting women, minorities and aboriginals falls well short of targets, with only a third of expected women signing on and only a quarter of visible minorities.

- Some members of the military displayed attitudes which "demonstrated ignorance at the least, and intolerance at the worst, of employment equity principles."

- Even at Royal Military College in Kingston, which trains would-be officers, the board found that "few of the next generation of officers are knowledgeable about employment equity."

- People are still fearful of reprisals for reporting harassment.

The board recommended a number of changes. It said the military should use community outreach programs to persuade minorities and aboriginals that the Forces aren't a hotbed of racism.

It suggested an employment equity curriculum for the military college and better education throughout the Forces.

On the attrition rate, it recommended exit interviews to find out why women leave.

Recruiters should be better educated, the report said. Recruiting jobs should be seen as career-enhancing positions.

The report saw problems in changing military culture.

"The culture of the Canadian Forces relies on building solidarity through uniformity. Equity is seen as equality, and equality is seen as sameness."

The key is to shift the perception of "equity as sameness" to "equity as valuing differences."

Some soldiers fear that since employment equity may require doing things differently, it means doing things less reliably.

"Equity is about leveraging differences to create a stronger team, thereby enhancing operational effectiveness."

Lt.-Gen. Mike Jeffery, commander of the army, said it is difficult to change military culture, but it can be done.

"We haven't done anywhere near as well as we'd like to."

He added, though, that while it may be tough to change attitudes and ingrained values, "you can change behaviour and conduct."

The brass, he said, are determined to do so.

Generals are keen to recruit women and minorities for purely practical reasons, if nothing else. As the population shifts, the proportion of young, white males ebbs and the civilian economy skims the best and the brightest, so the military needs access to a wider pool of potential recruits.

Canada is one of the few countries which opens all military jobs to women. Some NATO countries ban women from combat. All but Norway bar them from the submarine service.

Maj. Suzie Bouchard, a Canadian officer on the NATO staff in Brussels, works on gender integration issues for an alliance committee.

"Canada has a leading role. We are also equally open to listening to other people's practices.

"We're not alone in struggling to make the right process for women to consider a fulfilling career in the military."

Bouchard, a 22-year veteran of the military and a one-time armour officer, said she has seen many changes for the better in her career.

"There have been major steps which make a better, equitable platform for women to consider a military career.

" I feel much more welcome today."


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ender
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posted 18 March 2021 19:28     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The reason the recruiting centres arn't meeting thier goals is that they are totaly unreasonable. 25% women in the combat arms? I don't think it's ever going to happen.

The intrest just isn't there. When I told my guy friends that I was joining the army, there response was 'cool'. My girl friends were increduclous: "the army?" they would repeat several times. I like shooting guns and blowing things up and running around in the field, most women don't.

And I think that having lower standards for women to enter the army totaly backfires. For instance, I had to do 9 pushups to get in. (of course I did 20, if the guys have to do it so do I) But on the first day of QL2, the instructers told everyone to do 20 pushups. If you can only do 9, you are out of luck.

Double standards completly backfire because you have to be able to do the job. If you don't have to meet the same standards as the guys, they arn't going to respect you. And when I build a bridge, there's no specail 'female' panel for me to lift.

I almost wish I could complain about the recruiting centre's institutional discrimination.


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Yard Ape
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posted 19 March 2021 11:26     Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
ender: you have raised the issuer about mistreatment of yourself by your peers on a few occasions on this web siteYou have also stated that atleast some of these events have been related to your gender. That is were the retention issue comes in, and should be the focus of the report. The numbers game that was played in the report should laughed at. Nobaody asked the women why they were leaving. I know a few women who left because they wanted to raise a family and did not want to leave the kids for six months or more for Operations. I do not know any men who have left for this reason.

Doug: It is not the military who has failed women, nor women who have failed the military. It is society which has failed both. From the time children are born and have that pink or blue ribbon tied to them, until they turn 18 we raise the sexes to be different and then suddenly expect them to be the same. Girls play with Barbie, Boys with GI Joe. Girls have play kitchens and boys have Hotwheels. Even if parents try to raise thier children without sex based role there is mass marketing to deal with. Comercials tell children that they should by this toy because it is the one their sex plays with and their sex is cool. Even in school where the students are given the option to take Home Ec. or Shop; we all know who goes to which class. These facts will not change any time soon, but it is time that the Number Gamers realize that Men and Women are brought up having been taught values based on there sex, and will make decisions as to what careers to persue based on those values.

Yard Ape


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ender
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posted 19 March 2021 14:12     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yard Ape,
point taken. Because I am a girl, I have to work harder to be accepted. I have also had to put up with some crap that I might not have had to if I were a guy. However, I think this is mostly a societal problem rather than an army specific problem.

For instance, some guys have touble taking orders from a female. Because of this, in the buisness world, a lot of female managers take a concilatory approach to leadership. This doesn't work in the army. So if a female takes a leadership role, everybody thinks she's a b***.

I like army stuff, but it's the way I was raised. My dad showed my little sister and I how to deploy a claymore when I was twelve. I had barbies, but they spent thier time rappeling off buildings and doing airborne drops. This kind of behaviour isn't acceptable for little girls in most households.


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Yard Ape
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posted 19 March 2021 15:55     Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I had a timing to meet and didn't get to sumarize the point of my previous rant. So, I'll just pick-up where I left off . . .

My Point: The numbers do not tell us everything. In fact, they tell us very little when not acompanied by the exit interview that the repot recommends. We know women are leaving some trades at a hight rate and we are left to invent reasons as to why. This is not a healthy process. Exit interviews are a must if we are to truely identify that the higher attrition rate is to to a problem in the system, and we must conduct these interviews with everyone (not just women and minorities). There are problems. I don't think that those problems are any worse than in a civi organisation of comparable size.

Equity does not equal Equality: This is so very true and was stated in the report. It means that we must recognize peoples strengths and weaknesses and employ personnel where those traits will provide most benifit. That means some people will not be suitable for some jobs, but everyone will be suitable some job, and all with equal potential for career progresion. The greatest value to difference is that different people can bring different strengths to the CF. That value is lost if people are not employed to use those strenghts. I don't think the all number crunchers accept this fact. I have met some who feel that equity means accomodating peoples weaknesses so that they may be employed in an feild to which they do not bring a strenght.

Yard Ape


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McG
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posted 02 April 2021 01:33     Profile for McG   Author's Homepage   Email McG     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Canadian military wants more women, minorities
Canadian Press
POSTED Monday, April 02 AT 12:01 AM EDT
Globe & Mail

Ottawa — Integrating women and visible minorities into the military isn't just some social experiment, it's vital to the well being and survival of the institution, says the commander of the army.

Lieutenant-General Mike Jeffery says the military needs the widest possible recruit pool if it wants to find the numbers and quality of people it needs.

"We face now and we will face increasingly in the future, tougher and tougher competition for quality people," he said in a recent interview.

"As we look at the demographics...that is a battle that is going to be tough. Everybody's going after the same very, very small and diminishing resource, which is youth and intellect."

It's a simple matter of numbers.

"If we draw from what we have traditionally, which is white European males, that is a shrinking part, in relative terms, of the Canadian population.

"We must draw from that wider base to ensure, obviously, our numbers. But most importantly, that we have quality people," Lt.-Gen. Jeffery said.

Retired general Lewis MacKenzie, who a decade ago ran a project aimed at opening the combat trades to women, agrees.

The military, he said, has lost a more than a third of its strength to budget cuts. Now, it may have to find 7,000 or more recruits a year to staunch the bleeding and refill the ranks.

"It's hard enough to find guys to serve in the army these days because of all the other options and we can't sit around praying for another economic recession because that's when our recruiting goes sky high," he said.

A recent report by a board overseeing integration in the Forces, though, points out some flagrant problems with integration so far.

"Attitudes expressed by many (military) members encountered by the board have demonstrated ignorance at the least and intolerance at the worst, of employment equity principles," the report said.

Lt.-Gen. Jeffery admitted that weaning the army away from the old he-man attitudes is as tough as weaning a smoker off the weed. But there's no choice. "An army must reflect the society that it is sworn to defend," he said.

There's also no underestimating the difficulty.

"We're trying to change the culture of the institution while protecting the principles on which the institution is based," he said."How have we done? We haven't done anywhere near as well as we would like."

He said it is unrealistic to expect an immediate conversion."One does not change culture or individual values overnight. What we can expect to change in the relative short term is behaviour and conduct."

One thing that will have to change is the traditional basic training so often portrayed by Hollywood: tough-as-nails instructors systematically breaking recruits down, the re-building them as part of a team.

"It's wasteful," Lt.-Gen. Jeffery said. "The number of people you shed going through the process is significant. We accepted it because we were living in a buyers market in terms of people. We're not living in that market anymore.

There's no new training model yet, but it's coming.

The other key is to set standards. Many male soldiers think standards have been lowered to accommodate women. That's not so, said Lt.-Gen. Jeffery.

Mr. MacKenzie addressed the standards problem when he was trying to shift women into combat roles.

"I had argued for a fair length of time that all restrictions by gender should be lifted, that the standard should be applied that is demanded by the occupation, in other words the weight of the weapons or whatever.

Lt.-Gen. Jeffery said the key is shaping meaningful standards that fit the requirements of the job.

In the end, he said, full integration may take a long time, a generation perhaps.

"We will change conduct, we will start to change attitudes, but attitudes will only really change over the longer term."


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bossi
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posted 03 April 2021 13:43     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm curious about the remark:

"I almost wish I could complain about the recruiting centre's institutional discrimination."

I'm not in recruiting any more, but I wasn't aware of any institutional discrimination back when I was a recruiting type.

In fact, I remember when I was told to stop using a GPMG as a tangible demonstration of the weights an infanteer would have to carry (they said it wasn't fair to suggest to potentail applicants that they might have to carry the GPMG, since they had not yet received any training on how to carry it ... )

Anyway, just thought I'd ask for clarification about the institutional discrimination - please feel free to contact me offline if you prefer.

Dileas,
M.B.

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bossi
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posted 03 April 2021 13:48     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ooops - I forgot to add my general comment to this discussion, namely that these shrill proclamations of supposed gender inequity are in fact only becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much."

If the message in the media is that the military is such a terrible organisation, then it's inevitable that people will look elsewhere for a career. Thus, these constant rantings about Neanderthals and zero tolerance are becoming classic examples of the brass shooting themselves in the foot.

Meanwhile, thousands of military personnel are quietly and efficiently doing their duty - that's the real story.

Dileas Gu Brath,
M.B., Esquire

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ender
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posted 04 April 2021 22:41     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I agree, but that story is ignored in favour of alarmisim.

The article above says "One thing that will have to change is the traditional basic training so often portrayed by Hollywood: tough-as-nails instructors systematically breaking recruits down, the re-building them as part of a team."

I think that 'hard core' can be taken too far. However, I think that a hard course is very nessesary in the creation of a soldier. Say what you like, the transformation from civilian to soldier is a large one. If you can't take a tough course, how are you going to deal with war? Teams are formed through the shared accomplishment of overcoming obsticles. This will always be true.

Institutional discrimination - a story:
my (female) friend got sworn in last week. The person (a civi ) who did the P.T. test is either totaly incompent or doesn't want females in the army. She passed, but only because she's in awsome shape. This is what happened. My friend walks in and the guy tells her that she is not allowed to do 'girl' pushups. She replies that she knows this and starts to do her pushups. (which in my opinion are excellent, and I consider myself an expert on pushups) The guy says that her arms are too far apart and makes her put her hands aproxamatly15 cm apart, in effect diamond pushups. She managed to do 15 of those, passing the pushups component, despite the fact that the standards had been unreasonably changed. Then, when she did the step test, the guy walked out of the room and came back a minute later. He informed my friend that since he wasn't there, the test was now invalid and she had to do it again. (This, of course, affected her test results but since she's in awsome shape she still passed)

Anyway, my friend told me this story and I thought it wasn't on. I went to the recruiting centre to complain. (my friend didn't come because she didn't want to make a fuss) At the recruiting centre they were fine with the guy giving her what were for all intents and purposes diamond pushups, and said that knee pushups were standadly called "female pushups".

So I'm pretty ticked off about the whole thing but have pretty much exasted all resources. When I was recruited I didn't have to deal with any of that. What do you think?


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bossi
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posted 05 April 2021 14:06     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Re: Institutional discrimination - a story

I can't remember right now, but I think there is another name for knee push-ups (other than "women's push-ups"). However, sometimes we have no choice but to call a shovel a spade in order to be understood ... (food for thought).

Also, I wonder whether a proper demonstration of the pushup standard to be achieved was conducted by the tester, which should have avoided the unpleasantry you've described (or, whether there might have been a language/accent/comprehension problem)?

I'm not certain this was "institutional" - instead, I think you may have described the actions of an individual who should be counselled, reprimanded, or even fired (depending on whether this was an isolated incident, or a pattern of unacceptable behaviour) - the story about him leaving the room during testing then invalidating said test ... sucks.

Please feel free to tell me the name/locn of the recruiting centre (offline, if you prefer) - I can only promise to pass this info on to somebody who might be able to do something about it, or at least look into it properly.

I'm not a prolific reader, but a selection from one of my military quote books came to mind:

"Be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath." James, I, 19

Dileas Gu Brath,
M.B.

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ender
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posted 09 April 2021 14:30     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The reason I think this is more institutional is that when I went to complain they found no problem with anything except the guy leaving during the step test.

I think "knee pushups" are just as descriptive as "girl pushups" if not moreso. The officer at the recruiting centre (a female by the way) said that they couldn't call them "knee fulcrum pushups" or else no one would understand. I get this. So call them knee pushups. Don't automatically assume that a female will want to do "female" pushups.

I personally get offended by calling knee pushups 'female' pushups, since I am perfectly capable of doing real pushups.

Also, I think we all know what a proper pushups is and it has the arms directly beneath the shoulders and not almost touching each other.

There was no language problem in this case.


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bossi
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posted 10 April 2021 11:52     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
More grist for the mill ...

Note the interviewee comments, while the Defence Minister condemns by conjecture in saying "probably" (instead of "possibly" - i.e. "March in the guilty bastards").


Military instructors 'just didn't want females there'
Defence minister is right in alleging bias exists, says Wainwright trainee


Rick Pedersen, Journal Staff Writer
The Edmonton Journal


Amanda Way trained at Land Forces Training Centre in Wainwright where, according to Canadian Defence Minister Art Eggleton, women have been unfairly failed by infantry instructors.

"Some of the instructors just didn't want females there," Way said Monday, remembering what it was like in December 1998 when she was 18 and just beginning the four-month training course.

"You could tell they didn't want us there. There were six or seven of us that started off and only one female graduated."

Way didn't make it after spending nine months in what was supposed to be a four-month course.

In a recent letter, Eggleton blames inexperienced instructors for "unfair or even biased" assessments which kept female recruits out of the infantry, subverting the government's women-in-combat policy.

Barriers existed at Wainwright and probably at two other army training centres in Meaford, Ont., and Valcartier, Que., the minister said in a recent letter to retired lieutenant-colonel Shirley Robinson, representing the Association for Women's Equity in the Canadian Forces.

A year ago, Robinson alleged Wainwright instructors regularly failed women recruits by unfairly raising standards, intimidating them into signing documents saying they performed worse than they actually did, and tampering with their personnel files.

Way didn't see any dirty tricks but she does wonder about the treatment women received.

"Most of us girls did have a rough time but I don't know if it is because the instructors wanted to get rid of us. There were rough times and there were good times, if you can take being yelled at all the time. We were definitely pushed to the limit."

But the weakest men became targets for yelling, too, so Way isn't sure how to interpret what she experienced.

Although a few just couldn't keep up Way has never understood why the instructors failed her the first time she took weapons training. "I didn't think I did bad. The second time, they passed me."

She hurt her knee and was moved into a special task platoon for injured trainees where she did odd jobs, such as moving furniture and carrying sandbags.

The work didn't help her knee heal, Way said. Twice she applied to be reassigned to non-infantry work in the Armed Forces. She was turned down.

She finally quit and moved home to Bonavista, Nfld., where she was interviewed by phone Monday. She is now a college student.

Lt.-Col. Thomas Putt took over as the Western Area Training Centre's commanding officer in August 2000. He acknowledges barriers may have existed for women in the past.

As soon as Putt took over, he introduced awareness training to make sure women and visible minorities are treated fairly.

Putt denied instructors set higher standards for women but acknowledged some temporary instructors coming from other bases brought their own standards of training with them.

To make sure standards are consistent, the staff of permanent instructors is being expanded to 55 or 60, he said.

"We are marching down the right road now. Words don't mean anything unless there is proof. We are working hard this year to prove we do march to one army standard."

Roughly 2,000 members of the regular army and the reserve train at Wainwright in a year. Putt said one female army infantry candidate has trained at Wainwright since he took over last August. She failed and transferred to other duties within the military.

THE ISSUE

- Defence Minister Art Eggleton is disappointed at the poor success rate for female candidates at Land Forces Training Centre in Wainwright

- Since 1994, only nine of 49 female applicants passed and five of those needed at least a second chance.

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ender
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posted 11 April 2021 14:16     Profile for ender   Email ender     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
An attrition rate that high does seem suspicious..

In my opinion, if the attrition rate is over 50% (as it was on some of the QL3's in Gagetown while I was there) then there is something happening on that course that shouldn't be.


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bossi
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posted 14 April 2021 16:22     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Holy smokes!!! I’ve got to read the article that set off this tempest of letters to the editor!

1. Terrible price
A. Sean Henry
The Ottawa Citizen
Two recent articles ("Sheila Copps vs. George Patton," April 8) and ("'Bias' bars women from combat," April 9) provide an interesting contrast in the emotional battle over forcing women into the ranks of fighting troops. The fact the first article is by a woman should dispel the notion that all counter-arguments are presented by men who are "neanderthals."
No one questions the bravery or capabilities of women. The controversy rages around "mixing" young men and young women in the white-hot crucible of mortal combat. The latter is a unique human experience that can't be compared to the factory floor. Distractions will not cause bent widgets, they will cause death.
Unless the vested interests who wish to portray the Canadian Forces as "just another job" are deterred, a terrible price could be paid some day.
A. Sean Henry,
Retired colonel,
Nepean
++++++++
2. Women just aren't warriors
Eeva Sodhi
The Ottawa Citizen


A History of Women in the Canadian Military / Women in the Military: Eeva Sodhi says there is no proof to support the theory that women are potential combatants. Therefore, she writes, 'it is highly questionable whether we will ever see women flocking to the army in sufficient numbers to satisfy the equity seekers.'


Lately we have been bombarded with allegations of an epidemic of stereotyping in the Armed Forces ("'Bias' bars women from combat," April 9). Murmurs were heard that women, stereotypically, may not be sufficiently aggressive to perform some of the grislier functions.
A few male soldiers actually went so far as to wonder whether women, due to their smaller stature, would be able to carry out some of the more strenuous tasks, such as digging a trench and then hoisting a wounded man from it and carrying him to safety, maybe a fair distance. Someone remarked that women, but not men, have the tendency, or might we say ability, to get pregnant. Heaven forbid, how much more stereotypical can one get? The minister of defence quickly promised to eradicate this outrageous mode of thought crime. One is left to wonder whether the Department of National Defence has made a scientific breakthrough.
Our role model and absolute expert in stereotyping, Gloria Steinem, objects to any pre-employment screening that would result in most women not qualifying for a job, such as firefighting. When told that women, due to physical limitations, probably would have to drag unconscious victims by their ankles down the stairs of a burning building rather than carry them on their shoulders, she rationalized: "It's better to drag them out, because there is less smoke down there. I mean, we're probably killing people by carrying them out at that height ..." The prospect of head injuries left her totally unfazed.
However, the same sources that insist women be given equal opportunity in the military and as CEOs of major corporations claim that, due to women's uncombative nature and smaller stature, violence in the home is a stereotypical male monopoly. If women do engage in psychological power play and physical violence, they say, it's merely defensive.
Let's look at an experiment in which researchers placed one-year-old children in a room with their mothers, with the mothers sitting behind a barrier so the youngsters could not get to them. Boys attempted to break the barrier, girls just stood behind and cried. The conclusion: Boys are aggressive and girls are not.
Putting it this way, the researchers justified their own preconceived, or stereotypical, assumption. One could have said that the boys demonstrated self-reliance and that the girls' behaviour was indicative of dependence.
Though this might seem like a common-sense interpretation, it does not fit the politically correct stereotype, except, of course, when the purpose of the discourse is to paint women as helpless victims. No matter what the interpretation, it does not support the theory of women as potential combatants. Thus, it is highly questionable whether we will ever see women flocking to the Canadian army in sufficient numbers to satisfy the "equity" seekers.
Eeva Sodhi,
McDonalds Corners

++++++++
3. Get a grip
Ron Coleman
The Ottawa Citizen
Once again, the infallible leader of the feminist movement in the military has struck. And once again the ill-informed, or just plain unwilling or unable to cope minister has knee-jerked a response. It may seem ironic to advise the Department of National Defence to be less defensive but, please, get a grip. It is so easy for those who fail not to accept failure when they can foist the blame on others.
The Canadian military has changed its physical fitness standards frequently in the last 20 years in order to find the right fit for females. The real problem is that they do not enforce them for any gender. Leaving that aside, why does the minister feel that every accusation has to be rebutted? I would guess that the answer lies in projection. The minister seeks to divert attention from more substantive issues by acknowledging and confirming, without proof, the inane. There is so much wrong with the Canadian Forces now that this issue rising to prominence is a bad joke.
If the newspaper wants to provide a real service to Canadians, dispatch an investigative reporter to National Defence headquarters to uncover the real truth. Let an objective outsider probe the depths of incompetence, disorganization, low morale, budget cuts, political interference, discrimination and operational shortfalls.
It is time for Canadians to decide if they want to maintain the little that is left or get out of the business entirely. The international community has already discounted us, like our dollar. This is not meant to demean or slander most of the hard-working and patriotic members of the Forces, or those who have so proudly and valiantly served in the past. It is meant to expose and scold the little thinkers and little tinkerers at the higher levels.
Ron Coleman,
Lombardy

++++++++
4. Not always equal
**** McLellan
The Ottawa Citizen
Mike Blanchfield's April 9 article, "'Bias' bars women from combat," raises a point that has not been touched on by those who advocate women in combat.
Our history suggests that in the event of a war where there are significant casualties, conscription to maintain the viability of combat units becomes necessary. We can hope this will not be necessary, but so far, it has been our experience. Somehow, I can accept men being sent off to fight in the infantry, but certainly not my granddaughter.
If we think opposition to conscription in Quebec was a political hot potato in the past, try sending Canada's youthful wombs to experience war in the infantry. Some situations are not meant to be equitable and this may be one of them.
**** McLellan,
Kemptville

++++++++
5. Daughters of war
Carl Tappe
The Ottawa Citizen
I realize that the idea of women in combat is not "new" news, but reading your article brought out mixed feelings.
I pictured the government moving very slowly, or refusing point-blank to handle a potato as piping hot as this. Instead, we have the minister of defence calling upon the men (and women, too, we presume) in charge of training new recruits to hit the road and look for employment elsewhere if they don't give up their "neanderthal" belief that a battlefield is not a place for women.
I hope that all commissions and government departments can get a new generation on the same wavelength. Then, moms and dads could not only look forward to sending their sons off to war, but their daughters, too.
Carl Tappe,
Kemptville

++++++++
6. No GI Janes
Reginald R. Dixon
The Ottawa Citizen
The April 8 column by Rondi Adamson, "Sheila Copps vs. George Patton," was the first article that begins to outline the reality of war, combat and the life and death struggle it is. We have had so much parsimonious pap about "global peacekeeping" and even adulation of the "stress" that activity causes, that people in Canada have no real concept of warfare. If politicians and the "general manager" types want women in combat units, let them conscript them for it, including their own wives and daughters, before they lure other naive women into the cauldron. Then let the politicians face the music.
Our decrepit Armed Forces, and no shame on the men of the ranks who volunteer, are a disgrace.
Rondi's article begins to put the situation back into its proper perspective.
Reginald R. Dixon,
Ottawa

++++++++

Meanwhile, elsewhere …

Marines Accused Of Harassment
Sexual Misconduct Alleged at Mo. Base
By Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 14, 2001; Page A03
The Marine Corps is conducting a major investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct committed by instructors against students at a military base in Missouri, officials disclosed yesterday.
A Marine Corps staff sergeant pleaded guilty to sexual misconduct charges in connection with the investigation at a hearing yesterday at Quantico Marine Base. Three other instructors were charged yesterday with similar offenses, and the Marine Corps continues to investigate allegations against approximately 20 Marines.
The investigation includes allegations of sexual harassment, violations of the military fraternization policy, assault and larceny, the Marine Corps said.
The investigation began in October when a former student alleged that a Marine instructor solicited funds and sexual favors from her while she was a student at the Motor Transport Training Course at Fort Leonard Wood, an Army base in Missouri, according to the Marine Corps.
Investigators have interviewed more than 400 former students and instructors at Marine Corps installations worldwide, as well as students and instructors now assigned to the school.
The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Jones, has been briefed on the investigation and is disturbed by the allegations, officials said.
"The commandant and the Marine Corps view it exceedingly seriously," said Maj. Matthew McLaughlin, a spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters.
"These allegations are serious as they run counter to a very fundamental leadership principle: that of senior Marines properly caring for and leading subordinates," said Col. Walter E. Gaskin, commander of the Marine Corps Training Command at Quantico, which oversees all Marine Corps training detachments. "If the allegations against them are substantiated, those involved will be held accountable."
Sexual misconduct by military instructors has been an issue since a scandal erupted at an Army training school at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland in 1996. Eleven sergeants and one captain at Aberdeen were charged with offenses including rape, adultery and obstruction of justice. The scope of the misconduct rocked the Army and forced reform in its training schools.
"The concern is there will be a perception that this is like Aberdeen," a Marine officer speaking on background said yesterday. The officer said it is too soon to say how serious the case involving Fort Leonard Wood is but added, "There's no doubt this is a problem."
Unlike Aberdeen, none of the charges or allegations at this point involve rape. "We don't have any indication that's what it is," said Maj. Timothy Keefe, a spokesman for Quantico.
Marine Staff Sgt. Howard W. Ross, 34, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of fraternization with a student, stealing money from students, maltreatment of a student through sexual harassment, and transportation, receipt and possession of child pornography.
He was sentenced to 12 months' confinement, a reduction in pay grade and a bad-conduct discharge.
The three other instructors are charged with fraternization, sexual harassment of students, providing alcohol to students and other offenses. The Marine Corps refused to release the names of the three Marines charged, saying it would do so only if the charges are referred to a court-martial.
The investigation into possible misconduct by other Marines at Fort Leonard Wood is being conducted by military police at Quantico.
Investigators believe the alleged offenses are limited to actions committed by staff members at the school between April and October of last year. A Marine Corps investigation last month found no evidence that the misconduct continues, officials said.

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McG
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posted 14 April 2021 23:43     Profile for McG   Author's Homepage   Email McG     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
bossi, here is one of the articles that set off that tempest of letters to the editor.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

'Bias' bars women from combat
Eggleton says instructors cheat female recruits of places in fighting units
Mike Blanchfield
Monday 9 April 2021
The Ottawa Citizen

'Subjective assessments allowed for unfair outcomes for female candidates'

Female army recruits have been unfairly barred from the Canadian Forces infantry by instructors who are subverting the government's women-in-combat policy, says Defence Minister Art Eggleton.

Mr. Eggleton wrote recently that "inexperienced" instructors have made "unfair or even biased" assessments of women at the Land Forces Western Training Centre in Wainwright, Alta., to keep female recruits out of the infantry.

He also said the old fitness standard used at Wainwright was out of sync with the rest of the military and that he can't yet rule out the possibility that the files of female applicants were tampered with.

Mr. Eggleton expresses these concerns in a March 12 letter to the Association for Women's Equity in the Canadian Forces, a copy of which has been obtained by the Citizen.

The letter is Mr. Eggleton's reply to the association, which complained last year that female infantry recruits were being subjected to dirty tricks, such as document tampering, at Wainwright to keep them out of combat units.

In her April 2000 letter, retired Lt.-Col. Shirley Robinson alleged that instructors at Wainwright regularly flunked female recruits by unfairly raising their standards, intimidating them into signing documents saying they performed worse than they actually did, and tampering with their personnel files.

Mr. Eggleton has set up a special board of inquiry to examine the situation at Wainwright. Its work is still in progress and not all the allegations made by Lt.-Col. Robinson have been substantiated.

However, Mr. Eggleton wrote: "I would like to say that the department agrees with the thrust of your letter regarding the existence of apparent barriers to the success of female infantry recruit candidates, at least since 1994."

Mr. Eggleton added that "these barriers probably also existed at the two other army training centres to some degree." The other training centres are in Meaford, Ont., and Valcartier, Que.

He said that until three years ago, Wainwright was "using a physical fitness test that was not the same standard used elsewhere in the army. That has since been corrected." Mr. Eggleton said that earlier fitness standard was also applied to men.

He characterized the success rate for female candidates since 1994 as "disappointing." (Mr. Eggleton noted that detailed records of training activity were not kept before that.) He said only nine of 49 female applicants passed, and five of those needed at least a second attempt.

In 1998, the Forces mounted a recruitment drive aimed at women. Forty-one pursued infantry training, much of it then concentrated at Wainwright. A year later, only three had graduated.

As for possible causes, Mr. Eggleton said that the army has been forced to rely on temporary instructors, "many of whom are of a lower rank than that required for the position. This may have led to some dissatisfaction and insufficient experience on the part of the trainers, which may have contributed to the problem.

"Sadly, it is also probable that subjective assessments allowed for unfair or even biased outcomes for female candidates, whether intentioned or not."

Mr. Eggleton said the Wainwright board of inquiry "may shed further light" on the situation at the training centre.

"The possibility that files may have been altered in an inappropriate manner cannot be excluded, but I understand that the department has not uncovered any proof of this," Mr. Eggleton said.

The integration of women in combat has been a controversial subject for the military, one often met with resistance from within, since the Canadian Human Rights Commission ordered in 1989 that women be allowed into combat roles.

Last month, the navy removed the last barrier to women when it announced they would be permitted to serve on submarines. Mr. Eggleton's special adviser on the integration of women and visible minorities last month reported that "insensitivity, ignorance and biases" toward women in the Forces is still pervasive.

In preparation for her report, Sandra Perron -- Canada's first female infantry officer, who quit the Forces five years ago after being subjected to a brutal hazing ritual herself -- travelled the country soliciting opinions from Forces members.

Her report contains many candid comments, including this one attributed to a master-corporal at Wainwright: "Women are slow and we have to help them so that they can keep up -- they don't realize that they were hired and are paid to do the same job and not to be helped."

Ms. Perron found that the pass rate among men in the regular force was more than double that of women -- 57 per cent to 27 per cent.

When Ms. Perron's report was released, Mr. Eggleton said publicly at the time that "Neanderthal" behaviour would not be tolerated in the Forces and suggested that those with such attitudes should look elsewhere for work.

In an interview, Lt.-Col. Robinson said she was encouraged by Mr. Eggleton's response to her concerns and the commitment shown by him and senior military leaders.

The problem, she said, rests not in the upper levels of the military, but in the lower ranks, where ground-level leaders are supposed to put government policy to work.

"I'd like to see a few butts kicked from time to time," Lt.-Col. Robinson said. "This has been going on for years, this harassment. I haven't heard of anyone being kicked out of the Forces because of it. But I sure know a lot of women whose careers and lives have been disrupted."


Posts: 101 | From: London | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
bossi
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posted 15 April 2021 00:25     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Thanks - I'd already seen this politically correct drivel/shoot-from-the-hip response from Mr. Eggleton (i.e. "march the guilty bastards in") - it was incorporated into an Edmonton Journal article I posted on 10 April.

I'm more curious about the other article: "Sheila Copps vs. George Patton," April 8, Ottawa Citizen - the title sounds amusing enough by itself.

M.A. Bossi, Esquire

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recceguy
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posted 15 April 2021 14:57     Profile for recceguy   Email recceguy     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Typical, re: LCol Robinson's remarks, read: We executives in the Puzzle Palace have our act together(lick political boot here). If there's a problem, it's not our fault, we'll kick the asses of some people that can't defend themselves, hang out the sacrificial lamb, recieve our bonuses, and call another board of inquiry. Secure our jobs for another year and start all over again. Talk about adhereing to the Principles of Leadership(or is that just for NCO's?) That's the officer I want to follow into a hotspot, put my ass on the line for, then find myself answering to my own court marshall while she covers her own ass!! Where do I sign up!!!
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Gunner
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posted 15 April 2021 15:04     Profile for Gunner   Author's Homepage   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
recceguy, LCol Robinson is a typical loud mouth feminist that used the system to her advantage while she was in the CF. Once she left the CF she became a media "darling" as an advocate of women"rights" in the CF. Of course now she is collecting her hefty pension and can say anything she wants even if it isn't true. People like her make me sick.

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Yard Ape
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posted 16 April 2021 10:14     Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
It is easier to beg forgivness from the media and promise us a good thrashing, than to defend our actions to those too naive to understand the physical requirements of combat.

The first article seemed to suggest that the minister had concluded that files were be tampered with. I think it was poor practice of the journalist not to make the clariffication that it was an accusation and not confirmed. I'm glad the latest article clariffied that. It is a simple omision like that which can put use in a very bad light to the public eye, and we should all be prepared to write letters to the editors of our papers if we ever catch such a glaring omission.

Yard Ape


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bossi
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posted 17 April 2021 00:10     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hmmm ... here's another article.

Monday, April 16, 2021 Back The Halifax Herald Limited

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hoopla about military equality just missing one thing - women


By Scott Taylor ON TARGET

In recent weeks, Defence Minister Art Eggleton has seemingly embarked on a one-man crusade to integrate women into combat units.

On International Women's Day, Eggleton proudly proclaimed that service on submarines - heretofore the last all-male bastion - was now open to both sexes. Although this decision ran counter to the navy's survey results and the advice of senior commanders, feminists praised the defence minister for "breaking down the barriers."

But days later, Eggleton's office released a damaging report concluding that "insensitivity, ignorance and biases" toward women remain rampant throughout the Canadian Armed Forces.

Although the study had been conducted by Capt. Sandra Perron, his own adviser on "the integration of women and minorities," Eggleton appeared to be shocked by the publicized results. Looking his combative best, he vehemently denounced this "neanderthal behaviour."

Echoing the threats issued two years before by Gen. Maurice Baril, chief of the defence staff, Eggleton decreed that such attitudes "would not be tolerated in the Forces" and that anyone harbouring such chauvinism should "look elsewhere for work." Once again, feminists applauded the minister of defence for "laying down the law."

On March 12, Eggleton went one step further when he wrote a letter to the Association for Women's Equity in the Canadian Forces. Contained in that correspondence was an admission that female army recruits were being treated unfairly due to "inexperienced" instructors making "biased" and "subjective" assessments designed to keep women out of the infantry.

In his letter, Eggleton alleged that the tougher male fitness standards had been improperly invoked (horrors!) and that although "the department has not uncovered any proof of this, the possibility that files may have been altered in an inappropriate manner cannot be excluded."

To get to the bottom of this scandal, Eggleton announced the commissioning of a full-blown board of inquiry and has made it his personal objective to establish a minimum of 13 per cent female representation in front-line units by the year 2010.

What is truly unfortunate is that Eggleton's proposed inquiry will not be public, and he will be nowhere near whatever's left of our Defence Department in 10 years so that he can be held accountable for his policies.

The army's only real hope for a reprieve from such politically driven experimentation is to expose the whole mess once and for all before a public forum. The record would show that Eggleton is not the first to set an unachievable quota that ignores the department's own exhaustive studies.

On Dec. 20, 1996, Lt.-Gen. Bill Leach, then a major-general and acting army commander, issued a directive that said: "In order to achieve integration, I have set a goal of achieving a critical mass of 25 per cent women on all future combat arms (training) serials."

He concluded by ordering his staff to "recruit to these targets."

At that time, there was a tremendous amount of internal discussion.

According to research, even if DND were to accept every woman who simply walked into a recruiting centre (regardless of ability, education level or physical handicap), it could never recruit more than a 16 per cent level of women.

Undaunted by the facts, then acting commander Leach and Gen. Baril pulled out all the stops in an attempt to convert their policy into reality. Physical training standards were "amended" so as not to provide an "impediment," and a $1.5-million television advertising campaign was launched in 1998.

The stated objective of the brass was to recruit 250 female combat soldiers. Despite herculean efforts by recruiting officers, the Leach-Baril initiative was a dismal flop. A mere 41 women signed up for jobs in the infantry, only three of whom graduated. None of these women served out their three-year contracts in the infantry.

Although it has been a full 12 years since a human rights ruling "allowed" women to serve in combat roles, females still represent only 0.6 per cent of our front-line units.

It is similar with the air force. Despite all the hoopla about allowing women to pilot our fighter aircraft, only a handful of "pioneers" have successfully completed the training. None has flown operationally, there are "no female fighter pilots in the service - and there are none in the training system," according to a DND spokesman.

Once he becomes aware of this fact, Eggleton will no doubt wish to denounce the "neanderthals" in the air force and launch another of his probes into this potential "scandal."

A third inquiry may soon prove necessary when it is learned that no women have yet been transferred to the submarine squadron.

It has been six weeks since International Women's Day. The navy admits that it has so far only had "a number of informal requests for information but no actual applications as yet."

Neanderthals!

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recceguy
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posted 17 April 2021 07:03     Profile for recceguy   Email recceguy     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
There is only one way to reach these quotas: Revert to the old British traditon of Press Gangs. Cruise well known spot for recruits, get them drunk, slip them the Queen's Loonie(first pay) and have them wake up on base in combats. Retention will be solved by sending slackers to far flung UN postings worldwide.
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bossi
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posted 18 April 2021 20:52     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I've always said soccer is a game for sissies and girls - here's more proof: Letter-writer Anne Bennett asures readers she is "... the most volatile player on [her] mixed gender soccer team. [She'll] check guys twice [her] size."

That's nice, Anne - presumably the guys on your team are too polite to "fill you in" for your impertinence. Furthermore, in combat the other "players" will be trying to insert bayonets or other projectiles through your ribs - thus, if I may, perhaps the girly game of soccer isn't the best analogy?

Finally, real men play hockey (aka "War On Ice"), humourously described as:
"bone-crushing body-checks (aka "boning"), interference, roughing, fighting, tripping, hooking, cross-checking, slashing, spearing, butt-ending, misconducts - anything else is just figure-skating" (and, don't forget - there are no women in the NHL, plus in war there are no "referees")

Okay - now that I've got that rant off my (hairy) chest, here's Anne's letter from today's Ottawa Citizen:

Men have no business telling women what to do
Anne Bennett
The Ottawa Citizen


I guess I won't be a soldier -- my grandaddy doesn't want me to.

And being a firewoman is out because some people who have never met me have decided automatically that I have physical limitations that would force me to carry an unconscious man down the stairs by his ankles. (What with my being weak and frail and all.)

They say this even though they don't know a bit about me, that I may in fact be in better shape than any of the letter writers ("Women just aren't warriors," April 14). Then again, maybe I'm horrendously out of shape and I object to wars because of moral issues. The point is that men have no business making assumptions about, or making decisions for, women.

While I don't think the standards of physical fitness for the Canadian military should be lowered so that females can fit in, I also don't believe we should be excluded automatically because we are female.

And I don't want anyone telling me, as suggested by letter writer Eeva Sodhi, that I'm not aggressive enough. I'm the most volatile player on my mixed gender soccer team. I'll check guys twice my size.

Don't tell me "I can accept men being sent off to fight in the infantry, but certainly not my granddaughter." Sorry **** McLellan, if we don't fit the role you've cast for us ("Not always equal").

And don't you dare call me or any other woman naive, Reginald R. Dixon ("No GI Janes"). I know a lot of guys who are thinking of joining the military and are assuming that it is all fun and games.

I don't want anyone deciding for me what I can and can't do. I can decide that just fine on my own, thank you.

Anne Bennett,

Cobden

[ 18 April 2001: Message edited by: bossi ]

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bossi
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posted 18 April 2021 21:16     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Here's a graphic example of what happens when somebody with inadequate training and equipment goes "in harm's way" (i.e. goes somewhere they shouldn't have gone). Fortunately, she was able to save her life by screaming she was a journalist (whereas a real soldier does not have this luxury):


Reporter's terror as shrapnel hit her

FROM STEPHEN FARRELL IN COLOMBO

MARIE COLVIN, a Sunday Times journalist, recounted yesterday how she was wounded in an exchange of fire as she tried to slip through Sri Lankan Army lines while on an undercover assignment with the Tamil Tigers.
Ms Colvin told how government soldiers suddenly emerged from their advance listening post bordering Tamil Tiger territory near Parayanakulam, in the northern Vavuniya district, firing nervously at shadowy shapes in the darkness before them.

Struck by grenade shrapnel in the chest, shoulder and left eye, the US-born correspondent, who was named Best Foreign Correspondent in the British Press Awards last month, collapsed screaming “Journalist, journalist, American” as her party scattered around her.

She was then rushed by Sri Lankan soldiers to a remote hospital, where she screamed at medics not to operate on her eye, fearing that she would lose it unless she was seen by specialists.

Ms Colvin, 44, is now recovering in the intensive care unit of Colombo’s Asiri Hospital, where doctors are trying to assess whether they can save the sight in her left eye. They have carried out a preliminary operation to prevent infection and a CAT scan.

She told The Times that she had finished her story four days before Monday night’s incident and was driven by the Tamil Tigers from rebel positions in their northeast strongholds, which are rarely visited by foreign journalists. They took her to a fishing village from where she made her way to the intended crossing point, perilously close to the danger zone where Tiger and government positions meet.

There she spent two nights — “a miserable Sri Lankan version of Groundhog Day” — trying to cross government lines before abandoning each attempt because she and a party of local people in civilian clothes were afraid of being caught.

On the third night they took a chance and tried to slip through.

Ms Colvin said that the first she knew things had gone wrong was when the shooting began. “They fired on us, which I can’t really complain about because all they saw was shapes moving in the dark,” she said. “It was terrifying. You could see them moving out of their base, firing all around them and coming toward us in some sort of mopping-up operation.

“Then I got hit. I got shrapnel in the chest but that’s OK — it didn’t go deep and didn’t affect anything. What I’m worried about is the eye. I have still got shrapnel in it but I am all right, the worst is over.

“The doctors are very efficient but the thing I really need is to be flown out to get an operation. Can you imagine it, sitting in Vavuniya having some doctor saying ‘You are going to lose your eye anyway so we are going to operate’? But I insisted on going to another hospital.”

She is now expected to spend at least 48 hours in Sri Lanka before doctors give the all-clear for her to be moved.

The Sunday Times is believed to be considering plans to fly her to America or another country.

Ashley Wills, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, has voiced concern at a three-page statement issued by the Sri Lankan Government yesterday criticising Ms Colvin for travelling to rebel-held areas without clearance, failing to tell them where she was going and overstaying by a week on her fortnight visa issued on March 17.

After spending more than an hour at her bedside, the ambassador said: “We hope there will be no more complications in that regard. The Government has issued its statement but it doesn’t say anything about criminal proceedings for overstaying, and we are encouraged by that.

“I have already called the Foreign Ministry and urged that they handle this in a rounded and mature way.”

Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels have been fighting since 1983 for a homeland for minority Tamils, waging a civil war that has left more than 63,000 people dead.

Ms Colvin said last night: “I was not there on some sort of sneaky spy mission. I went there because, although it is closed to journalists, talking to the Tamil Tigers and writing about a humanitarian crisis are important issues.”

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Posts: 197 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
recceguy
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posted 18 April 2021 22:09     Profile for recceguy   Email recceguy     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Sounds vaugley reminicent of the story from a few years ago. There was a female in Toronto, a Canadian citizen, of Serb decent. She thought it would be cool to go to Bosnia and fight for the Serbs, and her ancestors homeland. Turns out she was a pretty good shot and soon found herself sniping for her chosen force. She was good enough that an anti-sniper team was sent out to take care of her. However, they were'nt as good as she for they only wounded her. Faster than you can say, " I'm really a Canadian citizen and didn't think this was for real", she was back on a plane, whisked through customs without so much as a how do you do and esconded into an Ontario hospital for the operation and rehab. Ain't OHIP great? I'm going to guess she is probably well set up in her community now, spending friday nights regailing her comrades of the crucial fights waged by their oppressed brothers back home. Getting free drinks and hero accolades whenever she appears. Just thought you'd like more kindling for the fire. Cheers!
Posts: 18 | From: | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged

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