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Female Marine and Army recruits suffer career-threatening injuries from £79million battle kit designed for men

Female Royal Marine and Army recruits are suffering career-threatening injuries from wearing a kit-carrying system designed for men.
The high-tech £79 million Virtus battle equipment system is causing women trying to become Britain's first commandos and infantry soldiers to endure agonising leg and hip problems, according to scientists.
They say the 90-litre capacity rucksack is too big for most female troops while the webbing pouches used to carry ammunition and worn around the waist hurt their hips, which are naturally wider than a man's.
The fact that most female recruits are shorter than male recruits is a factor while using Virtus, according to scientists who attended the Defence and Security Equipment International military exhibition in London last week. An army instructor is pictured above [File photo]
The fact that most female recruits are shorter than male recruits is a factor while using Virtus, according to scientists who attended the Defence and Security Equipment International military exhibition in London last week. An army instructor is pictured above [File photo]
Troops who have suffered lower-limb injuries while wearing Virtus include the first female Royal Marine recruit, Philippa Birch. 
The super-fit international rower spent months recovering from a stress fracture after collapsing during a march over Dartmoor.
At the time she was carrying equipment weighing 70 lb and a rifle. The Mail on Sunday understands Recruit Birch remains determined to complete the gruelling 32-week course and earn the Corps' coveted green beret.
Troops who have suffered lower-limb injuries while wearing Virtus include the first female Royal Marine recruit, Philippa Birch. The super-fit international rower spent months recovering from a stress fracture after collapsing during a march over Dartmoor
Troops who have suffered lower-limb injuries while wearing Virtus include the first female Royal Marine recruit, Philippa Birch. The super-fit international rower spent months recovering from a stress fracture after collapsing during a march over Dartmoor
She had completed the first ten weeks at Lympstone in Devon and shaved her head to blend in with the male recruits. 
No exceptions have been made for her beyond having a separate room and shower area.
The failure by top brass to provide female-friendly kit could expose the Army to expensive legal claims. 
In 2013, female RAF recruits were awarded £100,000 after suffering pelvic fractures caused by marching in step with taller male colleagues during basic training.
The fact that most female recruits are shorter than male recruits is a factor while using Virtus, according to scientists who attended the Defence and Security Equipment International military exhibition in London last week. 
Panicked defence chiefs have now asked the scientists to design equipment better suited to women's bodies.
One scientist said: 'The kit is far better suited to men than women and doesn't take into consideration differences in female anatomy – because women were not serving in the Royal Marines or infantry regiments when this kit, which is otherwise very good, was chosen.
Previously, female military personnel had not been expected to carry heavy equipment over rough terrain for long periods. Now they're expected to do so to the same standard as men. It's a huge challenge.
'As a result, we've seen many of the first women attempting to join commando and infantry units suffer lower-limb injuries. Load-bearing kit for women will need to consider differences such as height, hip width and pelvic-angle issues.'
More than 50,000 sets of Virtus have been issued to troops and the MoD says 90 per cent of feedback has been positive, with respondents saying it is lighter and more comfortable than the kit it replaced.
A Ministry spokesman said: 'Lighter body armour and backpacks make close combat roles more accessible and help our soldiers be more mobile on the battlefield.'

6 comments:

  1. They are finally figuring out that a man and a woman are slightly different. What a breakthrough !

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  2. Proof that a woman is NOT physically fit for front line fighting.

    Plus the lack of brains, that should tell these woman, that any enemy soldier that captures them, is going to mean business!

    - former feminist

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  3. Reaping the whirlwind they have sown. If they can't handle the loads with the equipment given they should resign.

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  4. Women on the battle field is a concern.
    They will be at a natural disadvantage with those men they engage.
    They will compromise their fellow male soldiers.
    Have them stay where they can do most good, signals, direction, logistics etc.

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  5. Unless she's built like Cory Everson, she shouldn't even try.

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  6. Clearly none of you bothered to read and understand the problem. The packs are not built properly for someone of shorter stature with wider hips. This has nothing to do with capability of carrying a heavy rucksack, and everything to do with the design.

    ReplyDelete