Lady Sappers

#1
I was reading another topic about women in the forces on another forum and it made me wonder!
Are there women in the corps? Are they cbt engr trained? Has anyone ever had the pleasure of being on a bridging camp, with a bunch of girlies around the top panel?
Or are women exempt from the heavy work, engr type??

Just wondering?
 
#2
Yes there are women in the Corps, although not Combat Engineers, but surveyers.

In the TA there are more and they do other jobs like C3S, driving and plant work, which they do well. Nobody would expect a woman to move some of the heavier bits of kit in the same way that a bloke has to and so it would be wrong to do so. The same goes for some men as well, but they don't have a choice.

There are no doubt some women out there that would disagree with me, and I don't particularly care. If you can do the job, fine, you can do it. But if you say you can and can't, why the hell should the rest have to work harder to carry you, just so you can say that you CAN do it?

I just think it's more about getting the job done than it is about being PC.
 
#3
I would have to agree with you plant pilot. It's a shame the govt/mod dont take a similar approach to their employment policies.
If a woman is capable of hauling mgb around an exersise area, then let her wear the badge. Simple.
If she's not let her join the signals.
Equal rights, equal tasking!

Cheers
 
#4
Apparently the first female Sapper completed her Armoured course at Bovvy a few months ago and did very well.
We must apply the same principles as we are supposed to do with female Officers. Forget about the gender, treat the soldier as a Sapper, if he/she can get the job done without gender bias or special dispensation then get on with it. If he/she can't then they should be elsewhere.
The old and bold need to look at the quality (or lack thereof) of some of our male Sappers before geting on the high horse about women in the Corps. Surely a girl who decides she wants to be a Sapper must have a fair bit of determination to enter a fairly tough area of the Army rather than the AGC,RLC, R Sigs, RAMC etc. Good luck to them.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#5
Plant-Pilot said:
Yes there are women in the Corps, although not Combat Engineers, but surveyers.
Not true any more PP.

There are about 2 dozen non-commissioned female sappers in the Corps; a figure that is rising. All will do Cbt 0-3 at BEW. Whilst it is true that a large proportion have gravitated into the 'clever' or design trades, there are armd engrs (see above) and POMs.

I take the point about top panels on MGBs, although the DS configuration of the MGB is no longer a part of the regular inventory.
 
#7
This is probably one of the few areas where the TA has more experience...we have had RE-badged birds for a few years now and whilst I'm not sure whether they are ME(Cbt)s as it post-dates my time in a Cbt Engr Fd Sqn I have done bridging with them before in other units.

Perhaps it resulted in a slightly slower build or a bit more work for the peniswearers but the ones who weren't totally pathetic seemed to manage alright I think.

MGB is more or less out now though isn't it, anyway?
 
#8
I think you'll find that there are a few girlies in the TA engineers who are ME(Cbt) streamed. They have to be to be eligible for promotion within the Field Troops - at my unit there is a LCpl & a Cpl who are female & ME (Cbt), as well as 2 female LCpl's who are ME(Dvr) & ME(POM).

As long as they can do their job I can't see a problem
 
#10
Ritchie-Hook said:
We must apply the same principles as we are supposed to do with female Officers. Forget about the gender, treat the soldier as a Sapper, if he/she can get the job done without gender bias or special dispensation then get on with it. If he/she can't then they should be elsewhere.
I don't have a problem with that, and have always said very much the same. However, with that very policy there is a problem. If some young ladies decide to go along that route and aren't siuted to the heavy work, do they get weeded out in training and offered other trades. Opening the training staff to being labled as sexist. Or are they let through the net to save the corp the embarrassment of a sexist slur?

If they fail a higher proportion of women than men it is something that will be picked up by the system and the inevitable introduction of 'gender fair' standards as opposed to the 'gender free' standards that should be the case. After all, they are supposed to be doing the same job.

That in itself would lead to:-
clownbasher said:
Perhaps it resulted in a slightly slower build or a bit more work for the peniswearers but the ones who weren't totally pathetic seemed to manage alright I think.
The question is should we be settling for a 'slower build' or 'more work' for anyone else in the section? Equallity, yes. Lowering of standards?
 
#11
Nowt wrong with having Chicks with the Cap Badge. As long as they can do the work, drink, fight and swear, then alles gut! If we have to start becoming politically correct like the AGC tend to be, then they can do one.

However they can definately fkoff if they ever think I will call a female Sapper a Lady. Just doesnt go with the Territory really..I mean, whatever would the Corps forefathers think!
 
#12
I had just finished my tankies cse in 1998 when the 1st female engr joined i went to 63 at gib and she was going through her B3 then! She was always at the back for phiz and at the time wasnt allowed to do mines or bridging (2 principle roles of our corps) The only reason she made it through was because she was carried! I am sorry to say it if there was not as much attention on the fact that she was a female she probably would not have even got past week 2 before being back coursed! I am not sexist by a long shot! I know women fitter than me i wont be shy about that but just because they are able to run does that make them engineers? No we genreally dont run we lift, we griz and we graft! If the women in question can do that they welcome to the CRE if they cant then re badge!!
 
#13
The question is should we be settling for a 'slower build' or 'more work' for anyone else in the section? Equallity, yes. Lowering of standards?
No....but it's hard to say whether or not it was slower, so "perhaps".

However...same applies to useless male specimens. It always seems to me that I end up doing a little more than my fair share anyway. Not a complaint or anything - just a perception.
 
#14
clownbasher said:
However...same applies to useless male specimens. It always seems to me that I end up doing a little more than my fair share anyway. Not a complaint or anything - just a perception.
However, the male will be binned off the course if they are not up to standard without the possibility of it being picked up as sexual discrimination. You can turn round to a male who's not pulling their weight without it being percieved as sexual discrimination.

My point is, as long as all people are treated the same, not with kid gloves or less harsh because of the fear of being labled as sexist, racist, tallist, shortist, specist, gwarist or any other '-ist' that anyone would like to think up.

In the current political climate, you can't even give a complete 'waster' the physical encouragement he needs to get the job done without being called a bully.... adding females that may not be able to get the job done is only going to add to the difficult job we have to do.

The bottom line is that the job has to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible and one day, maybe one day soon, it's going to have to be done under fire again, the longer the build the longer the section is under fire and they are all in danger. ANYTHING that detracts from that shouldn't be allowed. You have to look at your section and ask yourself if you were in that situation, would you have that person in your section. If the answer's 'no' then they shouldn't be there.
 
#15
I really agree with the principle here... trouble is it can only work in practice if we are as a group really not prejudiced and can be relied on for our objectivity. From my experience, (having left the Corps in '98 after 23 years), we still as a Corps were predjudiced against "Islamic" and "Tropical " types until '91 at least. Bring on the day when we can easily say "fcuk of you lazy slapper / [insert distant orgin insult of choice]", and also present the "Best Sapper" award to coloured girlie, both on the same intake. :!:
 
#16
I'm in Civ Div now and working as a Clerk of Works. On site there are more and more females doing jobs that were traditionally men only. The shortage of skilled labour and professionals has seen an increase in Female Surveyors, Contracts Managers, Plumbers, Sparks, Chippies, etc. They hold their own and earn the same as their male counterparts. The Construction Industry was in crisis and had to recruit from wherever it could find the personnel. The Construction Industry is surviving, but it is still a struggle. Will the Corps of Royal Engineers join the new millenium and accept that to survive they must adapt and overcome their age old prejudicies?
 
#17
if only sappers only did construction though , what happens first time someone decides to dust the old bailey kit off , and half the troop go running to matron with a sore fanny....

i f*cking would !!!

last time i did a bailey bridge it took a week for my knackers to work their way back down out of my throat.

it's a wide and varied world in the corps with hundreds of different niche jobs , a lot of which may suit women , and a lot of which are f*cking nasty dirty and require a lot of hard physical graft , if they can do the job , no problems as far as i'm concerned , but i've noticed in a lot of the other corps that as soon as the going gets tough , the "i'm a lady" excuses come out thick and fast.
 
#18
Rifle-Green-Sex-Machine said:
...The Construction Industry is surviving, but it is still a struggle. Will the Corps of Royal Engineers join the new millenium and accept that to survive they must adapt and overcome their age old prejudicies?
The difference is that the Corps is not struggling to survive - with 3 applicants at Sandhurst for every officer place and soldier recruiting (with the exception of some pinch point trades) healthy, it seems set to go on through the new millenium and beyond. And anyway, the sappers key skill is that they can adapt (and improvise, and overcome)...
 
#19
The main reason i chose the RE over anything else is the combat engineer side of it. I'm looking forward to the hard graft of bridge building, the fact i learn another trade is a bonus.

I noticed the other day on TV there is a advert for full time sappers (not TA) and it has females on that aswell building something.
 
#20
i was around in about 98 when the first female sapper was going through 1 rsme. and believe me, i was ashamed at the amount of bullying, aggression and insults directed at her from those so insecure in their manliness that they couldnt cope with progress - a mere girl being allowed to join and have a go.

the worst were the 9 sqn lads back on courses. f*cking pathetic animals they were - physically intimidating and bullying a girl who was all of 5 foot f*ckall. real men. especially when they would threaten her with things you wouldnt believe whilst out in local pubs.

at the end of the day, she may have struggled on the course in places. but she was a good girl and anyone who put up with the amount of sh*t that she did, day in day out for months and months, and refused to be intimidated out of doing what she wanted (to become a royal engineer) by a bunch of neanderthal bullies, is someone i would be proud to have in my troop.

and that particular bunch of 9 sqn bullies showed themselves to have far less character than sj. you might be able to put a bridge up a bit quicker than a girl, but christ you made the airborne boys look bad that year. she showed more balls than the lot of you put together.
 

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