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Sexual Discrimination!!

Recently did a BPFA and was looking at the table to see what the minimum I had to achieve to pass it without passing out.

On seeing that for the run I had 12 minutes ( being 21 years old with 20 years experience) I was gobsmacked when one of our female members of the corps said She had 13 minutes and She is only in her 20s!!

`Thats not very "Equal Opportunities" is it` says I, to which She replies that it is what they call "Gender Fair"

Now I am not having a dig at Her or Female soldiers in general,but what B*l*ox!!!

If thats the case it would be "Gender Fair " for me to be on higher pay scales than a female of equal rank and imagine the outcry the tree hugging equality dorks would raise!

Oh, by the way, does Equal Opportunities mean I can take the p122 out of anyone now?
I was in RAF Aldergrove`s gym yesterday. I casually looked at the RAF fitness test. I`m 31 and would only need to crack 11 press-ups, reach 8-10 on the bleep test and do about 40 sit-ups to be assessed as fit to fight!

WTF is that all about?
It's a good point, how come when it's not in their favour it's sexist and when it is it's 'gender fair'?

I rekon we should all be allowed to be insubordinate for a couple of days a month, allowed to grow our hair down to the collar before having to tie it up, be allowed to wear earings as long as théy are only studs when on duty and have 13 minutes for a APFA........ NOT!!

Why not just keep everyone UP to the same standards? I mean, when did a 40 year old man who's job is probably behind a desk for most of the time have to be fitter than a 20 year old woman even though she's out working on the park/exercise/'front line'?

It's been said before and I'll say it again..... it's B*ll*ks
Onyabackbitch......why have you only recently noticed the timings for a BPFA,is it because you dont actually do PT and just turn up for the essential assessments??.I agree with you that it should be all the same,i for one will never be able to get below being honest!,hell there are lads in our regiment who cant do it either.So my point being that dont get all defensive with us ladies until the lads can pass theirs as well!!! ;D
It doesn't really matter if 'some of the lads' can't do it either..... the fact is that they have to if they don't want to 'fail' their assessment. The ladies can try to do it in the same time as the lads have to...... but they don't fail if they don't.

I have loads of trouble doing mine in 12 minutes...... (I think that's the time I've got, I don't ask I just try and get it over with as fast as possible), but I am 39. If I had the same time a 20 year old woman had I'd still have more time to get round.

That may have been okay when all the ladies were in the WRAC and attached to units, put slightly apart and treated a little differently, but not now that they wear the same cap badges, do the same job and take the same pay as the lads.

There's no way on this earth you could make me believe that that's 'gender fair'.
Oh dear!
Frequency Changer,

If you read my original post properly you will notice that I said I wasn`t having a dig at women and I know that there are men who can`t pass a basic BPFA or a sandwich bar.

As it happens I dont remember what timings I need as it is not something which I feel I need to remember.

I do go to PT and also go running in my own time (at my age you have to If you want to keep up with the youngsters ;D

In fact tomorow I am taking part in an assault course competition(I must be bl**dy mad!)

Oh by the way, my BPFA result was :

Press ups...Needed 35, did 50

Situps.........Needed 37, did 50

Run ............Had 12 minutes, did it in 9min 54 secs.

Anyway enough showing off,I need to go and lie down for a while,the arthritis is playing up and my memory is ..........


Eat chips,smoke tabs,drink beer :D

Mr Happy


join the STABs -  once you're in the unit of your choice the fitness is a doddle, simplz turn up, run a range, 'let someone pass' their APWT and all your qualifications as fit for war will be signed off.

Not saying that anyone else can shoot for fcuk either but.....


War Hero
ONYABACKBITCH.......Good point mate!
I agree with you 100%, if the men have to do it, then so should the fems. A lot of us fems may not be able to pass it, but then again, a lot of us probably would - Who knows until that day comes?? Sounds like the perfect answer to a perfect Army, (well almost ::)) agree?? ;D


The gender-fair question is always going to raise heated debate, particularly when a load of left wing, tree-hugging civil servants, who have never served in (or visited) a front-line Operational environment are pushing for women to join Units who do.

How can giving women an extra 1.5 mins on a BFT be classed as "fair"? The bottom line is, are operational demands not the same whatever sex you are? When the tracer starts flying and the rounds start landing is anyone going to give women an extra minute to win the firefight? I suggest no.

If those on high believe that a woman or let's be "fair", a man, is fit to fight after a 13 min BFT, then they are living on cloud cuckoo land.  It's also like that with the CFT.  Isn't the CFT supposed to assess our ability to TAB? That's a Tactical Advance to Battle, not hobble a few miles then spend the next 3 days on crutches because your blisters have burst!!!

I'm certainly not a mysogenist and I know that there plenty of male oxygen thieves in the British Army but, in my humble experience, the women struggle more even with less weight and more time.


War Hero
Ladies and Gents ...

Get to grips with this issue in full and you might really understand it.

The APFA is gender the scores are matched dependent on gender  in the same way we have an FA Cup and a Womens FA Cup.  Note also that the APFA is an Assessment designed to be used to assist the PT staff to ensure that fitness training is directed at an individual based on that individuals fitness (I know that fitness training in the Army is rarely individual unless your on remedial or take an active interest yourself ...  The BPFA cannot be used as a pass or fail assessment on a career or any other course.

The BCFT (old CFT) is a gender free .. dependent on role ..test.  ie If your in the infantry, attached to the infantry etc you do the Infantry BCFT (man or woman) same Times/weight etc no allowances.  Everyone has to do the test with the same criteria (dependent on role as previously discussed).  If as a man or woman you fail the BCFT then this can be used on your CR or on a career course as a pass or fail criteria..because it is Gender free ...that actually is equal opportunities..

So just to recap APFA for your benefit and the PT staff to get you to the peak of your fitness (in theory).  BCFT pass it or don't have a career (either sex).

Anyone who writes a CR based on the results of an APFA should be wary are on dodgy ground (example Bloke runs APFA 11 minutes gets an Amber, Girl runs it in same time gets a green if girl is reported on as being excellent on fitness and the bloke is marked as below average..then I am afraid a redress of grievance could be imminent).

Finally these changes were brought in to protect the rights (effectively) of those men that failed their old BFT (ie 3 mile run job) on career courses whilst women passed but came in behind them.  If you still think that the system is unfair see you local EO officer.



War Hero
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I agree that gender-fair means exactly what you have said- but the question isn't really what gender-fair means but should it be in place.

Surely if anyone does exactly the same job as you, they should have the same physical standards to meet...


Are we talking about BPFA's here or the old APFA, or am I totally out of date and the name has been changed again to confuse the innocent.

If it is supposed to be an assessment as the name suggests, why, if we dont get all greens on the first 'assessment' we have a week to try again with lots of threats about remedial PT.


War Hero

I reiterate...the BPFA is not a test or an assessment for your job.  It is an assessment of your fitness.  Everyone would agree that in general women cannot run as fast as men (thus we have womens events at the olympics, womens tennis events etal)...therefore in order to fairly assess their fitness we have to give women a realistic time to achieve.

For your job we have gender free testing ie if you want to be a para you have to pass P Coy (where all the times are the same regardless of gender) and if you want to be in the infantry you have to pass the Infantry times and weights for the BCFT (old CFT).  The only fitness test the Army currently has is the BFT everyone regardless of rank/age/sex/ etc has to pass this test, (depending on role) in the same time and weight.  Its a really simple concept.
If you don't get it suggest you go on the EO Advisors course it may enlighten you.

GTX the APFA is a similar assessment to the new BPFA.  It is supposed to be used in a similar way that the APFA was used ie periodic assessment to see if the gym staff are getting the mix of training right. Don't get me wrong when I say that this is supposed to be an assessment to make sure you know approximately how "fit" you are (because fitness apparently does depend on your ability to run 1.5 miles do so many press ups and then do sit ups ...not), sadly the only way that the heirarchy can ensure that as a soldier you do get the green (ie use the system to get fitter) is by assessing a week later and then putting people on remedial PT.  If we could trust our Officers and Soldiers to just ensure that they were assessed as green the whole time we wouldn't need the stigma that is remedial PT (although interestingly we very rarely see remedial NBC, weapons and first aid we are all fantastic at those skills!!  Interestingly though remedial PT is always done at the inconvenience to the a way to shame that individual...arrse...if we want people to get fit and remain fit let us at least make the whole experience pleasant..people might actually get fitter!!! (After all there are plenty of people (myself included) that actually pay to go to gymnasiums (usually around £50 a month!!) they wouldn't pay if the atmosphere was like it is in an Army gym... And by the way to add my side .... when I was in my teens you couldn't stop me from playing sport and doing phys...since I joined the Army I still enjoy the sport but I dispise PT.  Since I joined a civvy gym I have started to enjoy the whole concept again ... in fact I can catergorically say that in the last month I have probably been to the gym on my own accord more times than I have ever been to an army gym of my own free preconcieved ideas just people trying to get fit (and actually enjoying it).

Comments and debate greatly rxd.


I do not think that Army gyms put people of doing phys- but I do not think they encourage it hugely either. When I have needed to get fit for a specific task the PTIs have always been helpful and provided training programs when necessary- however I have always been the one initiating contact. It is very difficult to persuade soldiers to train in their own time, however a good PTI can be very productive in this role by making voluntary training varied.

Civvy gyms have loads of kit and the price reflects this. The quality of instruction is, in my experience, lower. You do get to perv at fit chicks working out, which is always a good incentive to go to the gym.

Upper body training is one area which always seems to get overlooked during compulsory PT- unfortunately it is also the least enjoyable activity to undertake during personal training.



Sounds like you're talking the most sense on this one so far.  Leanne also seems fairly on side as well  ;).  I reckon that half the problem is that women in the Army have always known that there are lower physical standards for them than the blokes.  The implication from this being that physical fitness really is not that important for the job they're doing but here's a token standard anyway.  Therefore your average "Doris" will think along the same lines and neglect PT.

Why not make the BPFA standards the same for males and females with the only variation being according to employment.  This will cut out any implication that physical fitness is not important and provide motivation for females to work a bit harder on fitness.  The only problem is that some blokes are too idle to stay fit either but then again, that's what brown envelopes are for and they to should be gender free!!   :'(

Bow_man - Do you mean BCFT not BFT or what!? :eek:

Lets see what the govt has to say 2morrow.

By the way what happens to AGC clks who are Inf Coy clks.  Why should they not reach the same fitness standard as the radio op, OC, CSM, Coy 2IC etc who they will be working alongside with.

Lets get a grip.  Fair or not it sends the wrong message to the whole of the army. See previous replies...QED

If we are dealing with perceptions lets get some clear direction.  In the mean time we need to apply equallity across the board.  = =s =, not whatever some pinko lefty judges to be "Gender Fair".


War Hero

Your right BCFT...

Roddy...I think this might be down to local policy.  I thought that if you were serving with an Inf Coy as attached arms (ie AGC) then you had to do the same BCFT.  I believe this may be a policy decision made by the CO of the unit.  Might be wise to check with the Gym.

Any clerks or PT staff able to answer this one?


I'm not a clerk, but I have experience of this matter:
On arrival in Germany, my current unit was 'issued' with a new LAD (Left behind by the old mob), of which I am a part.  
On arrival, a decision was made that everyone would carry the same weight.  The decision was reversed after consideration and we REME types now carry our weight as per the 'book'.
This does not mean we are any less fit than the Inf types, it just means that twice a year we carry less weight than the Infantry boys.  
If you believe we are less fit, I will tell about another Inf mob I served with where everyone, AGC Females included carried the same weight & 2 Mortar bombs a piece over 10 miles of the plain and then did some sword fighting at the end.  Out of the whole battalion, only Inf Types dropped out - mostly 20 somethings, new to the Bn.
Ask any Woofer from 1996-98 Lt.Col (Now an MP) Mer*** was mad!
NB  I was not commenting on the standards of different units/arms fitness, I was merely pointing out that the measurement of standards should be consistent accross the board. :p :p :p :p

PS Well done you on your little walk, but you are hardly talking about an Inf Reg worthy of a mention.  Why not try one of the better ones from a lot further North.  ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)


Chaps and chapettes,

The first couple of messages were interesting, but I soon struggled to stay awake.  Women are different from men (thank God), and as soon as we all accept this the better.  If the girls do a good job and can 'hack the pace' then let them crack on.

The real issue with fitness testing is that there is very little incentive to passing the tests.  What happens if a soldier (male or female) in your unit is an habitual failure?  Other than a 3 month bender our hands are tied, and the bluffers generally get away with it.

Interesting to hear today's decision in the House.  Those with greater minds than ours (and more influence) have decided that the issue is not physical ability, but the effect that females have on group dynamics when 'engaged in the direct fire battle'.  

Despite all of your views reason is the final victor.

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