Ok, so a bit slow off the mark with this one, which was first announced on 08 July 2016.
Only one month slow! I’ll use the excuse of emigrating to Australia as the reason for the delay.
Anyway, the Secretary of Defence (Michael Fallon) and the Chief of the Defence Staff (General Sir Nick Carter) have announced that all ground close combat roles will be opened to women over a three-year phased period as a result of the Interim Health Report (IHR).
- From November 2016, women will be able to serve in certain roles within the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC).
- After six months, a review will determine expansion to further RAC roles.
- By 2018, all Infantry, RAF Regiment and Royal Marines roles will be open to women.
The IHR suggests the RAC is the best starting point for two reasons:
- Less likelihood of injury than other ground close combat roles; and
- Operating armoured vehicles is assessed to be likely to attract the highest number of applicants, anticipated to be up to 20 per year.
By 2018, an ongoing research programme should have delivered a (robust) set of Physical Employment Standards, with the aim of setting clear physical standards for all combat roles, for both men and women.
British Army (2016) Ground Close Combat Roles Open To Women. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.army.mod.uk/news/28632.aspx. [Accessed: 08 August, 2016].