A five-year legal battle has resulted in three women receiving around $162,000 each amid claims of injuries after the soldiers attempted to match the strides of male soldiers during training.
Three female RAF recruits claimed they developed spinal injuries and pelvic fractures from trying to match the strides of male soldiers in training, according to MSN. They've now been awarded around $162,000 in lost earnings and pension, even though they were injured in the first nine weeks of training.
All three women, who were aged 17, 22 and 23 at the time of their injuries, have recovered and have successful careers outside the military.
Former Defense Minister Gerald Howarth blasted the decision.
“This case is completely and utterly ridiculous – it belongs in the land of the absurd,” Howarth stated, according to Mail Online, which noted that the women have been awarded more compensation than soldiers who suffered serious gunshot wounds in Afghanistan.
'The defense 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. Every pound they’ve been awarded should be clawed back by offsetting their compensation against future earnings.”
One of the women involved stands 5 feet, 4 inches tall and talked about her pain.
“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,” Tracie Davies, who started basic training in 2006 at the age of 22, said.
“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. I was put on crutches and sent home on sick leave. My fractures didn’t recover sufficiently for me to complete basic training and in 2008 I was medically discharged.”
Mail Online also reported that at least five cases of female RAF recruits bringing claims against the MOD due to pelvic injuries suffered on marches are being litigated.