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Army October 13, 2
By Graham McBean
WOMEN will be eligible to serve
in all arms corps roles within
the next five years following the
Government's announcement on
September 27 to remove gender
restrictions on service in the ADF
A joint statement by Defence
Minister Stephen Smith and Defence
Science and Personnel Minister
Warren Snowdon said the new policy
would be introduced over a five-year
"It's important that implementa-
tion of this matter be done carefully,
methodically and is done to ensure
that the appropriate training and
other opportunities are available to
enable women to take up these posi-
tions if they so choose," Mr Smith
"The first implementation report
will come to the Government in the
first quarter of next year."
The new policy will remove gen-
der restrictions on the remaining 7
per cent of ADF trades where women
were excluded on the basis of gender.
This includes infantry, armour
and artillery roles in the Army, Navy
clearance divers and Air Force air-
field defence guards and ground
Mr Smith and Mr Snowdon said
Defence would draw on the experi-
ence gained from opening more and
more positions to women over the
past two decades to implement the
Research will be undertaken to
enable the implementation of the
Mr Snowdon said women had a
long and proud history of service
with the ADF.
"This decision is a positive step,
enhancing equality among the men
and women who proudly wear the
uniform," Mr Snowdon said.
"Defence is committed to creat-
ing a work environment where all
personnel are treated fairly and with
respect -- developing the implemen-
tation plan is central to this."
He said the Physical
Employment Standards would
ultimately determine the physical
capacities required to do a particular
"That's how people will be
judged -- their physical and psycho-
logical capacity to do the work, not
their gender," he said.
"That will make a significant dif-
ference in opening up these trades to
women and it will mean in the future
we may well see women leading, for
example, infantry companies."
barriers to end
COMBAT arms soldiers will trial the
new Physical Employment Standards
(PES) from the start of 2012 with the
testing regime for most combat roles to
be finalised by the end of this year.
PES project staff officer Maj Ryan
Holmes said the combat arms testing
standards would be validated throughout
next year before PES was implemented
Army-wide in January 2013.
"We'll have a series of trials at units
and various training establishments, which
will help us finetune the testing protocols
and iron out any issues," Maj Holmes said.
"The physical demands of many arms
corps roles are very high and the new
PES assessments will be equally as tough.
Extensive trials will confirm that the tests
accurately reflect job demands and help
understand conditioning requirements.
"Conditioning will be particularly
important through initial employment
training, where soldiers will be required to
pass their trade PES."
For the wider Army, PES assessments
will replace the current Combat Fitness
Assessment (CFA) and will also be tested
As Army went to print, Maj Holmes
and the PES team were heading to
Brisbane to conduct PES assessment
refinement and validation exercises with
troops from 1 Regt RAA and 6RAR.
More information on the PES project is avail-
able from the Directorate of Workplace Strategy
Intranet site at http://intranet.defence.gov.au/
armyweb/Sites/dwsa/ or contact Maj Holmes on
(02) 6265 5659 or email
New physical tests
to start next year
New faces: SCdts Kristen von Saldren (front) Lyndal Cunningham (left) and Larissa Hickey will graduate
from RMC Duntroon into a rapidly changing Army as gender restrictions are lifted. Photo by LAC Bill Solomou
Testing starts soon: After an extensive development period, the Physical
Employment Standards for arms corps will be trialled in combat units from the
start of next year.
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