A Change To Military Policy?
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At the start of last year, there was a change in US military policy that allowed women to apply for close combat roles for the first time. In the UK military, women can currently serve on the front line, but are unable to apply for close combat roles. Under European Law, this ruling will need to be reviewed in 2018; however Sir Peter Wall, Chief of General Staff has recommended that the UK military take action sooner.

The US is not the only place where women can serve in close combat roles. These higher risk positions are also open to females in Australia, as well as Germany and France. It is also far from a new concept, as it is believed that over 800,000 Russian women were actively engaged in combat during the Second World War.

At present around 16,500 females make up 10% of the UK military, including over 3,500 serving officers. They are currently excluded from around 30% of the serving roles, despite the fact that a 2010 Ministry of Defence review stated that there was no physical or psychological reason why women couldn’t be engaged in close combat roles.

Sir Peter Wall has stated that a change in policy would provide women with equal opportunities to their male counterparts. In having fair and clear career paths in place, a change in policy could also attract more women to the profession. He believes that the option for women to undertake the same roles as men would help the image of the military in the eyes of society.

There are many people in society and the military who feel uneasy about women fighting at close combat. There are also many females within the military who feel unnecessarily held back by not being able to apply for certain roles. A change in policy would mean that the option was open to all.

The safety of any military personnel is paramount, no matter what the gender. The military are responsible for protecting everyone who is serving, no matter what their role. In order to operate effectively within harsh and volatile situations, the military provide training, personal protective equipment, vehicles and weapons that best equip the troops for conflict.

For those entering a war zone, it is vital to have strong leadership and effective team spirit. It is also essential that they are well equipped to fight as necessary and then safely return from the combat. Modern military vehicles offer high levels of protection from attack, including resistance to bomb blasts and the ability to manoeuvre through extreme terrains. They are also equipped with state of the art weaponry for counter attack.

At times a bomb blast many be powerful enough to knock a vehicle over. Although those inside will be protected from the impact, a toppled vehicle leaves them in a vulnerable position. It is therefore essential that they can escape as quickly as possible. Military vehicle emergency lighting can be fitted to aid a quick escape and therefore increase survivability.

Military vehicle emergency lighting is activated by a blast or roll, to illuminate the escape hatches and areas where emergency equipment is stored. This aids orientation, allowing soldiers to identify their way out of the vehicle, improving their chances of escape before the vehicle is captured. Whether male or female, equipment including lighting systems, armoured vehicles and bullet vests are essential to keep more serving personnel safe.

Aeroglow produce and supply HaLO, a highly effective military vehicle emergency lighting system.


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