Female RAF recruits get £100,000 compensation each… because they were made to march like men

Female RAF recruits get £100,000 compensation each… because they were made to march like men, by Mark Nichol.

Three female RAF recruits have each been awarded £100,000 by the Ministry of Defence after suffering injuries caused by marching in step with their male colleagues.

The women claimed that parading alongside taller male recruits caused them to over-stride, a repetitive motion which, when repeated over several weeks, led them to develop spinal and pelvic injuries. …

Despite the fact that the women – aged 17, 22 and 23 at the time – were injured in the first nine weeks of their RAF training, they have been compensated for nine years of lost earnings and pension perks. All have recovered and have successful careers outside the military. …

The payouts are more than soldiers get for being shot, losing an eye or foot, or for injuries reducing life expectancy by more than five years.

Last night, former Defence Minister Gerald Howarth said: ‘This case is completely and utterly ridiculous – it belongs in the land of the absurd.

‘The defence budget is strapped and we’re making 20,000 troops redundant, yet these former recruits are being paid six-figure sums.

‘The MoD must stand up to the compensation culture and get the wider public on its side. If the RAF has erred in its training procedures it is because of society’s obsession with gender equality. …

Tracie Davies, who is 5ft 4in, was surprised to find herself marching alongside male recruits when she began basic training in January 2006 at the age of 22. Within weeks she was in agony.

She said: ‘The guys were over 6ft tall so I was over-striding to march in step with them. When I started getting pains in my groin I was told to march through it, even when I was carrying a heavy pack which was almost the size of me.

‘I trusted the medics to know better than me so I carried on marching. But eventually I couldn’t take any more and burst into tears. An X-Ray found four separate pelvic fractures. …

She accepted a one-off sum of £3,000 and thought no more of it.

But in a disturbing example of the compensation culture engulfing the military, she was persuaded to sue top brass for loss of earnings.