Australian Army bans male recruits to get female numbers up

Published : 12 Aug 2017, 16:13

Jagoroniya Desk

THE Australian Defence Force was accused of putting up a smokescreen to hide its politically correct policy of only hiring women for roles including those on the frontline.

The Daily Telegraph revealed the weekly targets sent out to ADF recruiters showed no targets for men in 35 of 50 Army positions but the instruction to “recruit immediately” if a woman came forward for combat roles such as armoured cavalry.

In response the ADF put out a statement saying: “All roles in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are open for men and women to apply.”

But an ADF recruiter told The Telegraph: “Yes they can apply – but only women will get the job.”

The instructions to ADF recruiters are clear with roles for men marked in red, clearly showing there are no vacancies for the next 12 months.

But the ones for women are marked in green, showing targets for hiring in the next six months. Frontline roles including rifleman and artilleryman are also highlighted with a yellow star which means “recruit immediately”.

The internal ADF document, obtained by The Telegraph, also shows similar quotas for the Navy and Air Force. Of 18 jobs open for the navy in the next six months just one is open to male recruits. None of the seven targeted Air Force roles is open to men.

The recruiter said he had also been ordered to tell any male already recruited for a combat role but not yet in training to change their choice of job to make way for women recruits.

“I have not done that,” he said. “I want the best person for the job irrespective of their gender.”

Former Army officer and Australian Conservatives member Bernie Gaynor said: “Defence’s statement attempting to refute news that males are being discriminated against for frontline combat roles is nothing more than a smokescreen.

“It is true that males can apply for any job. It is also true that females who are accepted must pass the required standards. But this does not address the fundamental aspect of the situation.

“Recruiting officers have been directed not to process applications from males for combat roles over the next 12 months. Males will simply not get the jobs while females will be fast-tracked through the system,” he said.

Senator Cory Bernardi warned “politically correct and gender ideology” was likely to “compromise the effectiveness of our front line combat capability.

The recruitment policy comes from the top. At an International Women’s Day speech in Canberra this year Chief of Army Lieutenant General Angus Campbell said: “We aspire to have 25 per cent representation of women in Army by 2025.”

That is double the current number of women who make up 12.7 per cent of the army — although disproportionately 18 per cent of commanding officers are now women.

In a speech to army recruiters last year Lt Gen Campbell admitted his policies had met with dissension in the ranks.

He said a recruiting officer had told the Chief of the Defence Force’s gender adviser he “needed to protect the Army from Canberra”.

Another recruiter told his team to ignore the directions to recruit women. “I subsequently invited him to review his posting options,” he said.

And he warned recruiters: “I will have no humour if my directions are ignored a third time.”

A Defence spokesman said: “While Defence maintains targets to encourage greater participation of women, every candidate must meet the required standards. Successful candidates are selected based on merit and their capacity to do the work, not on their gender.”

He did not answer questions about recruiters being told specifically to target women but said men or women could apply for any role.

He said the Army has a target of 15 per cent women by 2023.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

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