Potential female joining infantry

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
A reminder is perhaps timely. Recruiting forum, recruiting rules.

Stories into old and bold, gobbing off and hobby horses into the NAAFI.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
See if you can get to one of these talks, once the country opens up a bit more:


I was chatting to them the other week in a car park- one female Rastafarian, one bearded Muslim, a white, male educator, another West Indian woman - all in uniform, all in the same Army. Women are already passing out of their Phase 2 training and serving in the Infantry, both as soldiers and commissioned officers.
I’ve heard of these talks and always wanted to go to them. I live in Manchester and unfortunately nothing in the area has happened so far but because it is such a big city hopefully there will be more opportunities once lockdown is over.

Yes i certainly agree that the demographic of the military is slowly changing. That is interesting so many diverse people in the same role, but it just goes to show thankfully these people’s identities are not holding them back like many years ago if I was aiming to join I would have faced so much more criticism, and a certain time ago wouldn’t have been allowed altogether.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
Absolute bóllocks. The British Army actually has a greater proportion of BAME individuals than wider society.

The days of racist/sexist wánkers ruling the roost are well and truly gone. I don't know of any organisation that is more at pains to push forward people who aren't white, publicly educated males.

I suggest you take a look at the Officer Corps of the British Army in 2020. I think you'll see a bit more diversity than you expect.
You may be right and things may have changed in the last few years.
However, a disproportionate number of officers are from the public schools. This figure has not budged much in 50 years. Are too many Army officers privately educated?

And the following was reported in 2016
new figures show the number of non-white officers serving in the armed forces has fallen by 16 percent since 2009. This comes despite a drive to diversity the top ranks.
Senior figures have previously called for the ranks of black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) recruits to be boosted, but the number of non-white officers has fallen from 750 to 630 in the past 6 years, representing a 16 percent fall, according to Ministry of Defence (MoD) figures published on Monday.
The number of officers from BAME backgrounds in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force (RAF) is down to 2.3 percent, from 2.5 percent in 2009.
Out of 13,000 officers in the Army, only 100 are Asian and 60 are black. Of 7,000 officers in the Royal Navy, only 20 officers are black and Asian. Some 45 Asian and 30 black servicemen and women out of 8,000 are in the RAF.
Diversity crisis: BAME officers in British military fall 16% in 6yrs RT is biased but appears to be quoting MOD.
It also included a quote attributed to the Independent relevant to the OP.
Asked why he thinks BAME people remain underrepresented, Lieutenant-Colonel Nathan Sempala-Ntege, commanding officer of 32 Regiment, Royal Artillery, told the Independent: People in communities where there isn’t a history of people going into the Army might just not have considered it or might be put off by stereotypes of what they think Army officers are like.”
 

Northerngal

Clanker
The perennial problem of the infantryman is the load he has to carry and always will be until we get a Starship Trooper style combat suit. Read this and look at the Marian reforms - Wikipedia - subsequent modifications, not forgetting that the average Roman was shorter than today. (1)

It's why a lot of us have duff knees and knackered backs. I'm off running now through back injury and trying to lose my lockdown gut by other sports.
Build up over time, when you walk you needn't carry huge weights, the Army will work you up to fighting weights.
What you should do starting now is do lots, and I mean that, of stretching. I took up yoga and it made the world of difference to my sports abilities, lately I haven't been able to do much and this is why my back has gone.
Structural flexibility and strength is vital, so pay lots of attention to that and not only will you save yourself problems later on you will cope much better.
I suggest you take up yoga for a while to learn how to stretch as it will be valuable for life.

(1) Marian reforms - Wikipedia

Imperial regulations, though not entirely unambiguous, suggest that the minimum height for new recruits was five Roman feet, seven inches (165 cm., 5'5") ... for the army as a whole a reasonable estimate of a soldier's average height is around 170 cm (5'7").

- Roth, Jonathan, and Jonathan P. Roth. The Logistics of the Roman Army at War: 264 BC-AD 235. Columbia studies in the classical tradition, Vol. 23. Brill, 1999.
Thank you for the advice. I’ve tried yoga at school and found it extremely relaxing and honestly it leaves you in a great mindset for the day. I think I’ll do it on rest days and hopefully it should help with my flexibility and strength.
That article is certainly interesting... It seems like since the dawn of time military soldiers have had to haul heavy weight and I can’t see it changing anytime soon. I imagine it would be so much worse in arctic or desert conditions, lacking food and sleep.

Ah i’ve heard of there being a special unit for shorter soldiers below 5’4 in the World War but didn’t know about Roman requirements. I feel like of course carrying this kind of weight will have lasting implications. I understand therefore the argument to keep women out of combat as their bodies are not ‘built’ for it. It is certainly a hard price to pay and I would argue human bodies in general aren’t ‘built’ for it but certain times call for certain measures.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
Lassie, until their dying breath they'll always worry about you. SWMBO still worries about our "boys," either side of their mid forties, and they're not even in the forces! It's nice to hear they're supportive of you, that's good.
Yes I suppose I should be worried if they didn’t worry! it shows they care and I respect that. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t so inclined towards danger so I wouldn’t have to worry them but you can’t help being who you are.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
Cheeky twat!
What a prejudiced statement! So it doesn't require intelligence to be good any Infantry work?
Don't listen to him, if you're robust enough to do the job, your intelligence will be a real asset.
Having said that, he is right about there being some other good areas to look at, that provide interesting day to day work. If there'd been sick a thing as the Internet when I first walked into s recruiting office, I'd have been pushing for Ammo Tech. If I could have my time again, deffo Ammo tech. He117 on here wrote a really good career profile about it a while back.
I certainly agree that the infantry requires a lot intelligence if you are to be good at your job. Back when I was a lot younger and foolish I asked at an army recruiting event if I would get bored in the infantry due to it lacking mental stimulation. Little did i know the man was an infantry officer himself! My mindset has changed a lot since then and I appreciate how as an infantryman you have to have discipline,geographical awareness, tactical decision making ect...

i’ll check out that ammo tech profile as I honestly don’t know much of the job.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
Your posts you create the impression of being articulate, intelligent and mature. You owe it you yourself and the community to aspire to joining as an officer.
The Britain Army is disproportionately run by white men from public schools. One reason for this may be that not enough candidates from outside this background apply. Joining as an officer is a better long term deal. The pay, prospects and pensions are better. Britain could have its first female Asian CGS. It could be you. but certainly won't if you opt out at the start.
Thank you for saying that. I was forced to grow up a lot due to my medical experiences but have always been interested in academics, literature, world events and so forth. One of the reasons why I want to join the military is to serve my country and so if I could do that as an officer and really make a difference that sounds like a good plan. I was initially concerned it would all be sitting in an office doing paperwork but you guys on here have helped allude my fears. I actually went on a bursary to a public high school and was constantly forced to see how the ‘other half’ live... if I could be amongst them at Sandhurst and get up to a high rank I would be honoured.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
Hopefully when you'll go through the trail will have been blazed and well established by female infantrymen (like female policemen), for example there was a female Gdsm on this years trooping of the colour. The next generation aren't anywhere near as set in their ways as mine and older, I feel that they will be far more accepting of female infanteers than those who went before. There are a few dinosaurs, but the culture of the forces in general has changed beyond recognition - when I joined the RMR as a 17 year old, gays couldn't join the forces, so even in the last 20 years leaps and bounds have been made for equality.

Most other cap-badges are quite female heavy, my own is around 33-40% female, and at one point 3 of the 5 COs and 2 full colonels were female, one of whom is now the first female Provost Marshal. If you choose the RAMC route, it is very female heavy, likewise if you go (my personal recommendation) to Sandhurst you'll be among many females. One of the girls who was in my wife's Pl at RMAS has just become a Inf Coy Comd having transferred so its happening faster than you think.

Fitness wise I echo @dingerr get out in the hills and start to enjoy your phys, these skills will also pay dividends when you arrive in training can accurately read a map, and hill walking is a different type of endurance than running so again, you'll be ahead of the curve.
I also very much subscribe to the 'triathlete, not bodybuilder' mentality. Too much has been made of the 'instagram operator' who are invariably American and are about 100kg+ of muscle. Whilst you can be that size, you will suffer and be in almost constant pain from one niggle or another - and the american way of doing business is very different to how we do things in the UK. As a female, a little weight is good, but bodyweight strength and musclular endurance is king. You'll silence any critic if you rock up to your unit and can bang out 10 or more good quality pull ups and can hump and dump moderate weight for long periods of time (stacking ammo boxes). As I said to my blokes on my first tour of Afghan who were neglecting CV fitness for Op MASSIVE, being able to bench 120 kg won't save your life, being able to run f**king fast will...

One last piece of advice would be to develop mental resilience now. You'll have cultivated much of this as a boxer, but really kick the arse out of it before you arrive at training, this is probably the best thing you can do alongside physical conditioning.
Give the below link a watch, its all about the various aspects as to what makes a mentally tough person.
Mental Toughness series. -
Ah that’s good and helpful to hear that I won’t be the literal first woman attempting such a feat, and women are gradually attempting such roles and having success. I am very keen on Sandhurst as of now and so also good to hear females are doing well there.

Okay I love the outdoors anyway so this sort of training will be fun to me and i’ll be able to pick up vital skills such as map reading ect.. Unfortunately I live very city based but as much as I get the opportunity I will find some rugged landscapes to walk on.

Thank you for the video clip. It was a very good watch! I agree that you can be really physically strong but that is more bodybuilding and competition in terms of department. It seems like the military requires functional strength and grit to continue past the point of exhaustion. I will focus on bodyweight exercises and would love to one day be able to do 10 pull ups!
 

Northerngal

Clanker
If I was to really take a gamble and try for infantry officer how do you think my post service prospects would look? I think as a female if I managed to pass all the tests it would be worth staying in the service for many years.

i am also looking into the Royal engineers and then perhaps taking a para or commando course.

I love animals and was considering looking into being a vet officer but Due to that exact reason am unsure if I could face the blood and distressing aspects of the casualties.

i would love to go intelligence but am uncertain if it will offer the close combat experience I wanted but it appears that by the time I would join there will be no major real operations anyway.

just to add on as an engineer officer would I be doing a lot of practical work or would it be mostly a manager role?
 

Bob65

War Hero
it appears that by the time I would join there will be no major real operations anyway.
If you are 18 now and do a degree (with a bit of UOTC obviously), then Sandhurst, then capbadge-specific training then it will be 5 years before you are posted to a unit. Noone can say what operations may or may not be on at the time. It's good to know what the current operational tempo is, but it shouldn't be a factor that influences your decision.
 

Shandy123

War Hero
I'm not sure where it said in my post that you don't need intelligence to do Infantry work?

But thanks for proving my point about her grammar and English being better than many on here!
It's autocorrect, I'm using a phone, put away your grammar nazi forage cap.
Your post seemed to suggest it:
1. she said she wants to do Infantry
2. You say she obvs has a brain, so not to waste it.
Ergo - Infantry would be a waste of a brain.

If this wasn't your reasoning, then please accept my apologies.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
I love animals and was considering looking into being a vet officer but Due to that exact reason am unsure if I could face the blood and distressing aspects of the casualties.

i would love to go intelligence but am uncertain if it will offer the close combat experience I wanted
You might want to give these two elements a bit of thought.

A torn up Fido would be distressing for you but you are seeking “close combat experience”.

You need to understand that close combat leads to lots of blood and distressing casualties - human and animal.
 
I will focus on bodyweight exercises and would love to one day be able to do 10 pull ups!

I can personally recommend this program. A few years ago I couldn't do 3, having neglected this aspect of fitness for years. Finally bit the bullet, it takes a bit of time (few months) to come to fruition however I can now comfortably train in sets of 10.
 
If I was to really take a gamble and try for infantry officer how do you think my post service prospects would look? I think as a female if I managed to pass all the tests it would be worth staying in the service for many years.

i am also looking into the Royal engineers and then perhaps taking a para or commando course.

I love animals and was considering looking into being a vet officer but Due to that exact reason am unsure if I could face the blood and distressing aspects of the casualties.

i would love to go intelligence but am uncertain if it will offer the close combat experience I wanted but it appears that by the time I would join there will be no major real operations anyway.

just to add on as an engineer officer would I be doing a lot of practical work or would it be mostly a manager role?
I think the time is right for you to now visit cap-badges (post covid) to get an impression of where you think you'll fit in.

Visit as many as you can, and remember its a two way street, they're looking at you to see if you're suitable; you look at them to see if you would fit in with their ethos and mentality.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
As a lady you will want to be paying attention to both. Weight bearing, whilst paying attention to getting enough of the proper minerals, will be key to building the bone density you will need to survive successfully.
There's a great deal of research done on bone density (and also stress hormones in hair) at Sandhurst. The Cadets receive extra rations in terms of calcium and protein to help with regards to bone density.
 
Can I ask you honestly do you think all that kit you have to carry currently is required? Do you feel like you need it all and are grateful to have it in times of emergency perhaps or is some of it unnecessary?
All the answers you'll ever need:
to those questions, and more besides can be found in the 55 pages of one of the best threads ever on Arrse, much of it written by young folk with recent experience of kill or get killed, Afghanistan stylee.

This is Post #001:
A few of us were chatting over this the other day.​
Is there anyone else, recently completed a Herrick as frontline combat, (Actual in the ditches fighting, not just mincing in a FOB) whom has realised webbing is shite, and that all you need now is two mag pouches three deep, a gren pouch, med pouch and camel back?​
 
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