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CO-ED TRAINING DAMAGES HEALTH OF WOMEN SOLDIERS

A British Army doctor has confirmed that female soldiers are paying for "equal opportunities" with a much higher risk of injury than men during basic training. Writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Lt. Col. Ian Gemmell noted that women’s rates of injury doubled when co-ed basic training was introduced, due to differences in strength, bone mass, and stride length. For men, the proportion of discharges caused by stress fractures and back pain remained below 1.5%. For women, however, discharges rose from 4.6% to 11.1% under the co-ed training regime. As previously reported in CMR Notes (Feb. 1999), The Commander of Britain’s largest basic training base at Pirbright, near Surrey, restored single-gender training after a one-year test. Lt. Col. Simon Vandeleur told the London Sunday Times (Feb. 8, 1999), that restoration of all-female platoons reduced women’s injury rates by 50%, and first-time pass rates increased from 50% to 70%.