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Review of Minimum Height
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Summary

The Minister for Defence requested that the Defence Forces produce a report on the issue of Minimum Height Standards for the Defence Forces. The current standard is 162.56 cms (5ft 4 ins) for both male and female applicants. The context of the Ministers request relates to his stated commitment to encourage increased female participation in the Defence Forces as part of the Government’s wider equality agenda programme. This is the report
Table of Contents

1General
2Terms of Reference7Ergonomic Research
3Current Height Standards8Personal Load Carring Equipment
4Equality Issues9Other Relevant Matters
5Foreign Armed Forces & Deployment of Women10Conclusions
6Risk Assessment11Recommendations

General


The Minister for Defence has requested that the Defence Forces produce a report on the issue of Minimum Height Standards for the Defence Forces. The current standard is 162.56 cms (5ft 4 ins) for both male and female applicants. The context of the Ministers request relates to his stated commitment to encourage increased female participation in the Defence Forces as part of the Government’s wider equality agenda programme



Terms of Reference


1. The Review Groups Terms of Reference are as follows:

a. To examine the relevance of current height standards in the context of national average height statistics.

b. Carry out a Risk Assessment relating to Health and Safety, Duty of Care, Medical and Claims issues on reducing height requirements.

c. Review of current standards employed by foreign armed forces and their relevance to the Defence Forces as they apply to the deployment position of females.

d. Examine International ergonomic research and military research on the issue.

e. Review the upgrading of Personal Load Carrying Equipment in the context of minimum height standards. Liaison will be required with the current review board.

f. Examine the effects of height restriction changes on the Defence Forces recruitment pool.

g. Examine the issue of balancing Equality issues within overall military capability and Defence output delivery.

h. The Board will consider any other relevant matters.




Current Height Standards


‘To examine the relevance of current height standards in the context of national average height statistics and to examine the effects of height restriction changes on the Defence Forces recruitment pool’

2. Defence Forces Minimum Height Standard

a. The determination of a minimum height requirement for enlistment in the Defence Forces (DF) is based on the ergonomic requirements for all members of the DF to train and carry out operations at home and overseas with service Personal Load Carrying Equipment.

b. It has been the experience of the Defence Forces Medical Corps that training injuries, especially of the back and lower limbs, are more frequent in recruits of short stature. For this reason it was recommended that the minimum height requirement for enlistment should be 165mm (5’ 5’’). In 2002, the then Minister for Defence, decided to reduce the minimum height requirement to 162.56 cm (5’ 4”), DFR A 10 was amended to that effect.

c. The height requirement is necessary for general service, as soldiers are required to carry a specific load in a combat environment. The Defence Forces has no statistical data to show that persons lower than the present height would (or would not) be capable of carrying operational loads for protracted periods.

d. Should the DF lower the height restriction, then the onus would be on the DF to conduct a risk assessment on the long-term effects of such a decision and the implications for future back related injury claims.


3. Recruitment Pool

2002 Census & Height
Irish Population
Age
Total162.56 cm (5’4”) and over157.48 cm (5’2”) and over152.40 cm (5’0”) and over
18 yo Male
18 yo Female
30,325
29,149
29,415 (97%)
17,489 (60%)
29,718 (98%)
26,234 (90%)
30,022 (99%)
28,275 (97%)

a. Approximately 60,000 persons enter the recruitment pool annually. The statistics for height are taken from the Irish Clinical Growth Standards - Girls and Boys – Birth to 19 Years of Age by Hoey, Tanner and Cox (1986).

b. Reducing the height requirement from 162.56 cm (5’ 4”) to 157.48 cm (5’ 2”) increases the annual pool of applicants by approximately 300 males and by 9,000 females.

c. Reducing the height to 152.40 cm (5’ 0”) effectively captures the whole of the population.

d. Reducing the height requirement would remove a perceived barrier to the enlistment of females.



4. Applications and Recruitment General Service – 2005

TotalMaleFemale
Number of Applications1,1251,024101
    % of Applications
91%9%
    Number Enlisted
38434440
% of Enlisted89.6%10.4%

a. Females are, in general, being enlisted in proportion to the number of applications for enlistment. It follows that an increase in the number of applications from females would increase the percentage of females serving in the DF over time.


b. The key question is, why are only 10% of applicants for General Service female? It would appear from talking to prospective female applicants that females do not perceive the DF as an option for them and that ‘A Life Less Ordinary’ is an intangible concept. Advertising and recruiting drives, with a focus on females, should be part of our recruitment policy. Additional substantial funding will be necessary.

c. An increase in applications will achieve the Ministers aim of increasing gender balance in the DF.

d. A separate study may be required to examine this aspect (recruitment, retention and work-life balance for females) and may be reviewed in conjunction with the Ministers intention of setting up a Board/Committee to look at gender mainstreaming in the DF.


5. Considerations

a. A reduction of the height standard will increase the pool of females candidates available for enlistment.

b. The DF should focus recruitment and advertising campaigns at females (positive action) to impart the message that the DF is an employer of choice for females as well as for males.

c. Additional funding should be provided to commence a media campaign.

d. An increase in the number of females applying for enlistment should have a corresponding increase in the overall percentage of females serving in the DF.

e. The DF should conduct a risk assessment (particularly for females) on the long-term effects of injuries sustained by soldiers in recruit & development training. Which may have implications for future back related injury claims.

f. The DF height standard should be reviewed in five (5) years time utilising the continual assessment process.



EQUALITY ISSUES

‘Examine the issue of balancing Equality issues within overall military capability and Defence output delivery’

6. General
The Board considered this Term of Reference to be very broad and one that would merit a Board report in its own right. Given the Ministers aim, ‘to encourage increased female participation in the Defence Forces’, the Board focused on Gender Mainstreaming.

7. Equality Legislation
The DF complies with the Equality Acts and does not discriminate on the seven grounds applicable to the DF (the DF has an exemption from the age and disability grounds in the Acts). The DF has published its Equality and Equal Status Policy, which commits the DF to embedding equality in all aspects of the DF working environment.

8. DF Gender Policy
The DF is an equal opportunity employer. Both men and women have ‘equality of opportunity’ for employment and career advancement on the basis of merit and ability. DF policy ensures that differences between men and women are not unfairly used, unjustly or unfairly, to favour a man over a women or a woman over a man. Discrimination is prohibited. It is DF policy that all members have a right to be treated with respect and dignity and to carry out their duties free from any form of Sexual Harassment, Harassment or Bullying. This commitment requires all DF personnel to treat colleagues with respect and ensure that their own actions and behaviour do not cause offence or contribute to unacceptable behaviour.

9. Female Strength in the DF

a. Female strength levels have increased from 4.4% of overall strength in 2001 to 5% of overall strength in 2005. The percentage of female strength must be viewed in the context that the enlistment of females for General Service commenced in 1994.

b. The DF has, in five years, doubled the percentage intake of female Cadets to an average of 20%. In 2005, 10.4% of enlistments for General Service were female. This is measurable progress in increasing gender balance in the DF.

c. Females make up approx 25% of the Reserve and 30% of last years Reserve recruit intake.

d. To increase gender balance in the DF, the key areas of recruitment, retention and work-life balance must be reviewed.

e. Initiatives within the scope of positive action should be formulated and implemented (See Para 5).

f. The Cadet level intake may be seen as a short-term target for female General Service enlistment.


10. Capability – Contributing to the Security of the State

a. It would appear that the DF is one of the few military forces that has no restrictions to the range of administrative or operational appointments, postings or ranks that females can apply for or serve in.

b. Females have, since General Service enlistment commenced in1994, been posted to all services. No impact assessment was carried out then or a review since on the actual performance of females in assigned operational roles and appointments.

c. In general, DF operational outputs contributing to the security of the State are fully logistically supported and do not require personnel to carry the full laden gambit of PLCE. Stature and/or gender would not appear to have an influence on servicing this capability.

d. The priority for the DF is to train for conventional based operations and be in a position to adapt readily to the requirement of different operational situations. This capability requires personnel to train for and to carry fully loaded PLCE.


11. Capability – Participate in Multinational Peace Support Operations

a. The DF has, in general, nominated females for overseas service and females are not restricted in applying for any appointment overseas.

b. UNIFIL. The DF restricted females serving in forward Coys in UNIFIL based on cultural concerns. This was, in effect, a non-decision. Females could have served in most of the UNIFIL outposts. Considerable experience and lessons could have been learned as a result of a decision to deploy females in outposts under active operational situations.

c. UNTAET. One female Officer served as a UNMO and NO female NCO or Pte served in East Timor with the deployed Pl. No official policy existed at the time, however an assumption must have been made that the isolated environment, operational tasks and the logistical requirements would not be suitable to the deployment of females.

d. UNMEE. Females served with all sections of the Mission.

e. KFOR & EUFOR. Females serve with all deployed units on par with their male colleagues.

f. UNMIL. Females are serving with the operational Coys. NO adverse comments have been mentioned concerning female operational performance. In general, all patrolling was wheeled or in a manner where there was immediate access to wheeled support and logistic backup. Troops were not required to carry the full gambit of load for protracted patrolling on foot. No lessons were learned on the load carrying capacity of females (or males).

g. Future Commitments. The future commitments to Peace Support Operations (PSO), which are expected to be increasingly robust and complex, dictate that personnel must be trained for and have the ability to conduct conventional operations. In any scenario with PSO, the DF basket of tendered forces will require personnel to be capable of operating in environments that have not been replicated on overseas missions to date. Personnel will be required to fulfil the full operational role and one that will be benchmarked against the forces with whom the DF will be deployed.


12. Considerations

a. Female recruitment targets must be set and time monitored. A target of 20% female (Cadet and General Service intake) in the short term is seen as an attainable goal.

b. Gender mainstreaming initiatives are the key to increasing female participation in the DF.

c. Mission dependant, there should be NO restrictions to deploying females with an Irish contingent on UN missions. However, in the process of Mission Analysis, an Equality Assessment should be part of the analysis and carried out to assess any impact that the operational requirements would have from the gender perspective. If there are gender considerations, then the assessment should justify why females cannot serve in a particular appointment or with a specific contingent (or sub unit) overseas.

d. The DF requires personnel to be multifunctional, carrying full combat load utilising PLCE is seen as a basic requirement for operational deployment at home and overseas.


FOREIGN ARMED FORCES & DEPLOYMENT OF FEMALES

‘Review of current standards employed by foreign armed forces and their relevance to the Defence Forces as they apply to the deployment position of females’

13. Scope
A questionnaire based on the Terms of Reference was sent to the following forces, Swedish, Finn, Austrian, Canadian, New Zealand, UK and US through their Military Attaches. Canada responded and both Austria and Sweden indicated that they would respond. A member of the Board attended the ‘Conference - Committee on Women in NATO Forces’ in NATO HQ, Brussels on 14 – 15 May 06. Taking the Canadian response and the information from the conference in NATO (UK, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Norway and France) the Board was in a position to form an opinion on the trend and deployments of females in Foreign Armed Forces and was in a position to benchmark the DF.

14. Deployment of Females
It is worth repeating that the DF is one of the few military forces in that has no restrictions to the range of administrative or operational appointments, postings or ranks that females can apply for or serve in. In all the information analysed from Other Forces, there is a great variance between what Other Forces policy is on females in theory and what the situation is on the ground. The applicability of Equality Legislation in Other Forces is not the same as in the DF. However most forces have gender policies & targets and some have defined positive action (positive discrimination) gender programmes in place.

15. The Canadian response is noteworthy in that the Canadians are considered to the forefront in the area of female participation in armed forces. The Canadians introduced gender equality fifteen years ago and in 1997 set a target of 28% for female participation in their armed forces.


Canada
1989
2006
Women
8,641
7,945
Men
79,056
53,999
Total
87,697
61,944
Female Participation
9.9%
12.8%

As can be seen from the table, not only was the target not reached, but female participation has decreased over the period. The only reason the percentage of females has increased, from 9.9% to 12.8%, is that the male strength decreased exponentially in comparison to female strength over the same period. The Canadians have reset their target based on the Canadian workforce analysis and Interest & Propensity survey. The target for the 2006 is 17.9% for women. The most recent Canadian Regular Force enrolment data show that 23% of officer enrolments and 14% of General Service enrolments are women. Which are similar to the female enlistment statistics for the DF for 2005.

16. The real test of female participation is whether females are equally represented or deployed across all services and divisions. In the Canadian Army, females make up 1.4% of personnel in Combat Units, 9.6% of the Naval Service and 10% of the Air Force. The vast majority of females in the Canadian armed forces are deployed in Medical (39% of personnel deployed), Dental (78% of personnel deployed), Clerical (51% of personnel deployed), Music (21% of personnel deployed) and Logistic Support (21% of personnel deployed).

Participation - % of Females in Each Service
ARMYNAVALAIRADMIN
DF5.2%5.9%2.3%4.4%
Canadian1.4%9.6%10%13%
French1.7%0.4%1.7%15%
UK3.2%6.7%4%12%

In the DF, females are deployed throughout all services and are equally represented in combat units. This is not the case in most other Armed Forces where females are over represented in clerical, administrative and medical units.

17. Statistically the DF is below the average female participation in Other Forces. However our participation rates across all services and appointments is greater. This is an essential equality target and sets the international standard.

Participation - % of Females in Each Service
Armed ForcesFemale % of Total Strength
Remarks
DF5.1%
Canadian12.8%17.9% target for female enlistment in 2006 includes Reserve
Belgian8.3%
French13.28%
UK9.1%Restricts service for females
German6.5%15% target for female enlistment
Norway6.6%15% target for female participation by 2008

18. Height
The height standard for enlistment varies considerably in Other Forces, from no height requirement (Canada) to defined height standards for each Service in the UK (Marines 165”). The US Marines have an enlistment height of 4’ 11”.

19. US Marine Corps

a. The Marine Corps forces are required to carry 126 Lbs and have developed defined loads for each of the phases of combat. They have based this on the fact that they accept the average bodyweight and height of the average Marine as 169 Lbs and 5’ 10” respectively and use these figures in matrices for combat development. The link is clearly between height & weight ratio and the ability to carry load.

b. Their most recent study recommended that their Naval Health Research Center (NHRC), San Diego, CA that has a Human Performance section in their Physiology Department, complete a study.


20. UK
The height standard required depends on the service a person wishes to enlist into. For combat services and the Royal Marines, the minimum height is 5’ 5”, the requirements for marines is to carry a load in the operational context similar to the load carried by the DF.

21. The DF load is very similar to that of the US marine. Reducing the height below 162.56 cm, may mean that personnel below that height would not have the height to weight ratio to carry specified loads and this would reduce the operational capacity of the DF.

22. Considerations

a. Female Participation in the DF. The overall percentage participation of females is lower in comparison to other forces but ‘equality of opportunity’, the key equality target, is more in evidence in the DF.

b. Height. The DF height standard is above that of some forces, however the US Marines base their combat risk assessments on an average height of 5’ 10” and the UK Marines on a minimum height of 5’ 5”, both are higher than the present standard employed by the DF.


RISK ASSESSMENT

‘Carry out a Risk Assessment relating to Health and Safety, Duty of Care, Medical and Claims issues on reducing height requirements’

23. Risk Assessment.

a. Current legal requirements oblige employers to carry out risk assessments in relation to hazards in the place of work. Risk assessments for all hazards encountered by soldiers and the likely effect of reduction in current minimum height restrictions on the associated risk would not be feasible for the Board.

b. The hazard identified by the Board, which applies to all personnel who are beneath the current minimum height, would be the risk that both the existing and proposed PLCE harness would not fit.

c. It is likely that units will identify other hazards associated with carrying out specific duties and personnel of extremely small stature may be precluded from carrying out certain functions, e.g. pilots must have a minimum sitting height of 82cm and minimum leg length of 99.8cm (buttock – heel).

d. Risk assessments for hazards, which may be affected by the height of the personnel exposed, should include an examination of whether ergonomic improvements would reduce the risk. This should be carried out regardless of any alteration to current minimum height restrictions.

e. The Boards findings on Risk Assessment have been passed onto the President of the PLCE Board.


24. Duty of Care
The DF has a Duty of Care to the soldiers it employs, despite exemptions in the Safety, Health and Welfare Acts. The High Court ruled on this in 1989, Ryan V Attorney General.

25. Medical
Medical studies on military related injuries and the effects of load are not definitive. One study, ‘Injuries Sustained by Recruits During Basic Training in Irish Army’, Irish Medical Journal, March 2004, Volume 97, Number 3) concluded;

a. The incidence of injuries, during training, was higher in females.

b. That females were more likely to sustain a further injury than her male colleague and

c. The number of lost training days was higher for females.


26. Risk factors specific to female recruits include smoking, short stature, restricted dietary intake, menstrual disturbances and low aerobic fitness. Statistical significant associations were also identified between injury and body mass index (height weight ratio). Medical evidence also points to increased incidence of pelvic stress fractures in females where there is a height imbalance within the training group.

27. In discussing the medical study with the author, it was mentioned that the study was based on the medical reports of 415 recruits in training and that the statistical relevance of such a small sample may skew the results. The findings in relation to increased frequency of injury among female recruits and the increased incidence of time loss injuries have been born out by other studies in both Europe and the US militaries. The Board considered the report very relevant in its considerations in the absence of any other medical report comparable to the Terms of Reference of the Board. There are indications that injuries in training are related to the capacity of a recruit to carry load and that this facet should be studied in detail. Any study would need to have the services of a statistician to assist and to advise on the survey sample and duration to validate the results. Such a medical study in the DF, to get accurate and reliable results, could take a number of years to complete.

28. DMC may not have the personnel to conduct an ongoing medical study within current resources.

29. Considerations

a. Risk Assessment (and an Equality assessment) must be included in the Terms of Reference for Boards that are convened to purchase or test military equipment for service in the DF.

b. Risk assessments for hazards is an ongoing process and the DF is obliged to carry them out.

c. Risk assessments for all hazards encountered by soldiers and the likely effect of reduction in current minimum height restrictions on the associated risk would not be feasible for the Board.

d. The DF has a Duty of Care to soldiers.

e. A medical study into Irish recruit training injuries points to a link between injuries sustained in training and height of the candidate, height to weight ratio of the candidate and gender of the candidate involved in military training. There is an increased likelihood of injury to females in training. The Board is of the opinion that any decision to lower the height standard may have a consequential effect on wastage during recruit training.

f. In training where physical exertion is required, the training section should be stratified by height.


ERGONOMIC RESEARCH

‘Examine International ergonomic research and military research on the issue’

30. Ergonomic Research.
Available research stresses that the ability of an individual to perform physical labour is determined by a range of factors and NOT only by height. These include, the ergonomic characteristics of the workstation, equipment & load, physical fitness, training and age.

31. Defence Forces Safety Standard
Defence Forces Safety Standard 19 Safety Standard on Manual Handling states
“to try to categorise people’s manual handling abilities according to their ‘physique’ is of limited applicability’
In manual handling, the amount of load a person can lift is determined by the persons capacity to lift that load. In operational deployment, and training for same, the DF requires personnel to carry full marching load and ancillary equipment. Studies in Germany as part of the Infantierist der Zufunft (Future Soldier) note that soldiers may be required to carry up to 47kg or 103lbs. The average weight that the DF Close Recce soldiers carry is 50 Kg. It follows that the DF should not employ persons who cannot carry a defined operational load.

32. Within the DF it is noted that there is NO definitive weight currently laid down regarding CEMO, with variations between various DF training establishments. Notwithstanding the variations which exist, physical suitability for service in the DF should be based on the ability of a trained soldier to carry full marching order and standard ancillary equipment. Requirements for certain individuals to perform specialist tasks, which might require them to be of a specific height, should not dictate general entry requirements.

33. While weight of equipment may not be a determining factor with regard to minimum height of personnel, the bulk of the equipment and particularly the size of the PLCE harness is. Equipment which inhibits the normal range of movement due to shortness of the spinal column would place personnel of extremely short stature at a disadvantage. It is therefore suggested that any reduction of the current minimum height must take into account the size of the PLCE harness and the minimum height at which it can be worn in comfort. It is recommended that the PLCE suppliers provide ergonomic advice in relation to the minimum fit of PLCE.

34. Currently, no physical fitness test is available to determine a person’s suitability or capacity to carry weight or to undergo training to carry weight. The DF enlistment fitness tests define a person’s physical fitness and is viewed as a measure of a persons ability to undergo fitness training. D DFT should establish a standard for load (ideally in what must be carried with a minimum weight to be carried) and that standard should be uniformly applied in recruit and 2* to 3* training across the training establishments in the DF. Personnel who fail to attain the standard in recruit training should not be passed out. This will have a consequential effect on wastage during training.

35. DF personnel should be trained to the same basic standard and using the same equipment. Special equipment or different training standards for personnel of lower height would be inappropriate, detrimental to effectiveness and contrary to the ethos of the DF. As with all training, stamina and load carrying training should be incremental and based on the capabilities of those under instruction.

36. The Boards findings on Ergonomic Research have been passed onto the President of the PLCE Board and to D DFT for consideration.

37. Considerations

a. Physical suitability for service in the DF should be based on the ability of a trained soldier to carry full marching order and standard ancillary equipment.

b. D DFT should establish a standard for load (ideally in what must be carried with a minimum weight to be carried) and that standard should be uniformly applied in recruit and 2* to 3* training across the DF. Personnel who fail to attain the standard in recruit training should not be passed out.

c. The effects of the load carrying tests should be monitored over time, analysed and a review period defined.


PERSONAL LOAD CARRING EQUIPMENT

‘Review the upgrading of Personal Load Carrying Equipment (PLCE) in the context of minimum height standards. Liaison will be required with the current review board’

38. PLCE Board
Tendering firms have supplied sets of PLCE for trial and the trial group will include females. The back-pack size will fit spinal dimensions from 16” to 22”, persons from 5’-2” to 6’-4” approximately.

39. A Risk Assessment will be initiated by the PLCE Board.

40. The Board is concerned that any decision to lower the height standard outside the spinal dimensions of PLCE would not be justifiable.

41. Considerations

a. The PLCE Board should monitor the trials and note any injuries to personnel.

b. A broad spectrum of personnel (across the gender and height weight ratio) should be nominated for the trial team.

c. The DF height standard should NOT be lowered beneath 157.48 cm


OTHER RELEVANT MATTERS

‘The Board will consider any other relevant matters’

42. Working Group Report May – July 2001

a. A Working Group was convened by D PS on 28 May 2001 to ‘Review the Minimum Height Standards of Defence Forces Personnel Intakes’ and reported on 06 July 2001.

b. With the exception of examining ergonomic research, equality issues and the deployment of females, the Groups Terms of Reference were largely similar to the Terms of Reference for this Board.

c. The Working Group came to the following conclusions.

i. The Minimum height increase of 1996 (to 5’5” in respect of males and to 5’ 4” in respect of females) was not based on any scientific criteria.

ii. Weigh to height ratio along with body composition measurements should be used in addition to height as criteria.

iii. That the DF was out of line with height standards for enlistment in other military forces.

iv. That the PLCE required examination to suit or to fit persons of smaller stature.

v. A reduction in minimum height would increase the female recruitment pool by approximately 41%.

d. The Working Group recommended that the minimum height for enlistment be reduced to 158 cm and that the induction tests & PLCE be examined.


43. State Claims Agency
Contact was made with the head of Risk Management in the State Claims Agency. In any claim for injury, the courts will look at each claim on a case-by-case basis. The State Claims Agency is looking at the whole area of manual handling, but is not in a position at the moment to advise the Board. The Board was informed that it would be prudent to complete a Risk Assessment on PLCE and load carrying duties and tasks and monitor same.

44. Logistic and Armament
D Ord has stated that there should not be any major problem in adjusting the procurement of items of clothing & equipment for persons lower that the current height standard.

45. Considerations

a. The 2001 Working Group recommended a lowering of the height standard to 157.48 cm.

b. The State Claims agency was not in a position to advise but liaison should be maintained to obtain a copy of their manual handling review document.


CONCLUSIONS


46. Female Participation in the DF

a. Reducing the height standard to 157.48 cm will increase the pool of available female candidates to 90% of available females.

b. Attracting females to enlist in a greater number, making a ‘Life Less Ordinary’ appealing to females, will increase the numbers enlisting and over time increase gender balance. Additional funding should be provided to commence an advertising campaign.

c. The percentage of females is lower when compared to Other Forces, however the level of participation across the DF in all services, sets the equality target for Other Forces to achieve. Percentage intake in 2005 at 10.4% equates well in comparison with the Other Forces female intake.

d. Initiatives within the scope of positive action should be considered to mainstream gender.

e. Females, enlisting under present standards, have an increased likelihood of sustaining a training injury and are more likely to loose more training days in comparison with their male colleagues.

f. There should be NO change to present policy of equality of opportunity for females as to the range and scope of appointments, ranks or overseas service. Females should be operationally on par with their male colleagues.


47. Height

a. The DF height standard is above that of a number of other forces, however, the DF has no restrictive practices to the employment of personnel and all soldiers must be operationally capable of carrying load utilising PLCE. When compared to Other Forces services that require personnel to carry load, the DF standard is below that of Other Forces.

b. The DF should define a load and set operational load carrying standards and the training necessary to achieve the standard. Operational outputs dictate the requirement to carry load and future commitments to PSO tasks will not change that.

c. A medical study into Irish recruit training injuries points to a link between injuries sustained in training and height of the candidate, height to weight ratio of the candidate and gender of the candidate involved in military training.

d. Stratifying recruits by height is required for recruit training and for all training of a physical nature.

e. A full medical study into the injuries sustained in training over a period to define the link between height to weight and injury is considered essential.

f. Lowering the height standard beneath the specifications of PLCE is NOT recommended.


RECOMMENDATIONS

48. Initiatives within the scope of positive action should be considered to mainstream gender to increase female participation in the DF.

49. The current DF height standard may be reduced to 157.48 cm, but the Board cautions against any lowering of the height standard beneath the lower specifications of the new PLCE.

50. An ongoing medical review/study on the effects of carrying load and injuries sustained in training by personnel should commence to assess the risk and provide information for review. The DF height standard should be reviewed in five (5) years.


Signed on 06 Jun 2006 in HRMS


P. Marron
Lt Col
Board President
Directorate of Human Resource Management


Comdt M. Brownen
Board Member
Directorate of Training

Comdt N. Murphy
Board Member
Directorate of Operations

Comdt B. Kerr
Board Member
Medical Officer & Directorate of Army Medical Corps

Comdt R Corbet
Board Member
Defence Forces Health & Safety Officer

Capt A. Hogan
Board Member
Defence Forces Psychologist

Capt M. Larkin
Board Member
Defence Forces Athletic Association



Note.
Capt Larkin was co-opted onto the Board by D COS (Sp) to provide input on physical training.




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VFM Review of the Reserve Defence Force
20 July 2017
Workplace Climate in the Defence Forces

Workplace Climate in the Defence Forces Phase 2: Results of the Focus Group Research

Contact Us

Department of Defence
Station Road
Newbridge
Co. Kildare
W12 AD93

Tel 00 353 45 492000
Fax 00 353 45 492017
* loCall 1890 251890
** Or call 0761 001 607

info@defence.ie

eolas@defence.ie

* Note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers
** 0761 numbers are charged as a national number from landlines and mobiles and are often included in bundle deals offered by phone operators