There are more than 10,000 women currently serving in the Canadian Forces (CF). In 1989, they were allowed to join the combat trades but, up to this day, only 2.4% of the combat related positions are occupied by them.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am strongly in favor of having women in the CF in all the support trades. It is also their right to serve their country, and they have been doing it well for quite a long time now. But as an ex-infantryman, with 14 years of experience in a light infantry battalion, I do not think they have their place in the field as combat troops. At least, not in the infantry. That being said, we have to agree that there are males who shouldn’t be allowed either.
The problem with the Canadian Forces is that a few years ago we were having some serious issues with enlistments. So to make their annual ‘’quotas,’’ the brass decided to only make the recruits pass their PT test after they were enlisted. Should they not pass it, they would be placed in a platoon called the Warrior platoon for a few weeks to prepare them to be able to pass the required PT test, which is probably the easiest test in the world. Up until recently, women serving in the combat trades would have to do the same PT test as clerks, supply technicians, etc. That meant 9 push-ups and 19 sit-ups. How can you be ready to ruck up 75-100 lbs of gear, food and water when you have such low PT requirements?
The Canadian forces now have a new PT test that requires both sexes to perform the exact same tasks, which could eventually change the current physical situations of the females in combat trades. But we’re not there yet, and not even close.