Sorry! Can’t Go to War Today, I Must Feed My Baby!!!!

Whatever happened to common sense and commitment? These are two ideals sadly lacking in today’s world, and we are worse off because of it. I read with total shock about a young female Caribbean recruit to the British Army who has successfully sued the Ministry of Defence, and will receive £100,000 in compensation for ‘missing a parade’ because she had to care for her child.

Tilern DuBique

Tilern DeBique, who signed on for the army during one its recruiting drives on the island of St. Vincent, came to England and joined the 10th Signal Regiment in 2001 as a Signals Technician, and had reached the rank of Corporal. When she missed a parade because she had to care for her child, she is a single mother, she was disciplined by her C.O. He told her, quite rightly, the Army is ‘a war fighting machine’, and not the place for a single mother who could not arrange care for her child.

Appearing before the Central London Employment Tribunal she said she feared she would be dismissed from the Army and left. She further stated that she was told she should be ‘available for duty 24 hours a day’. Despite this, arrangements were made by her commanders for her to work between 08.30 and 16.30 weekdays only, but it would appear this was not enough. In December 2006 she missed a training session and was absent on parade in January 2007 due to childcare difficulties. Because she felt she was going to be dismissed from the Army, she left, or as she put it to the tribunal, ‘She was forced out’! The Army said in its defence that she had the choice of an alternative posting which she did not accept.

Part of her case rested on the fact that the Army would not help her bring her half sister across from St. Vincent to care for the child. She was told, correctly, that that was an immigration question which could only be answered by the Immigration Department. Current immigration rules would have allowed the sister to remain in the UK for a maximum period of six months.

Ministry of Defence

The ramifications of this ruling may well be severe for the Ministry of Defence, for like most cases of this kind, it opens the door for any single mother in the Armed Forces to rake in a lot of quick money.

Is the Army now going to be forced to set up Day Care Centres behind the front line when it goes to war? The acceptance of female soldiers into the Forces has always been a contentious issue, but the prospect of single mothers needs to be looked at immediately. The simple rule should be: If you are single and get pregnant, you’re out!

There is a place for women in the Forces, and most of them are very good at what they do, but a single mother does not belong in anyone’s Army unless they can be available for duty 24 hours a day. That is one of the basic conditions when you sign on the dotted line, otherwise chaos would reign.

Who knows, maybe wars will only be fought during office hours in the future, but I doubt it.

I have served my time, and I must say that in my day (oh bugger! That makes me sound very old) people did the job they were paid for, without going to tribunals and demanding compensation because military duty hours did not fit in with their life style.

RAF Nicosia Cyprus

In 1965, during a panic when it was thought that Cyprus would be invaded by the Turks, I worked 72 hours straight with only an occasional catnap in a corner because that was what the job demanded. I didn’t complain to my boss that I had to get home to feed my baby, the baby-sitter could only stay until 21.30, or sorry, its the wrong time of the month!!

In times of war or tension, the Army, Navy, and in my case the RAF, require full commitment by it soldiers, sailors and airmen, and if you give short of your best then others will suffer, or at the very least, must carry part of your load.

Always Ready

In this crazy modern world of ‘Human Rights’, ‘Equality’, ‘Political Correctness’, ‘Sexual Discrimination’ and all that other bunkum, the basic standards by which our civilisation became great are getting lost in the cracks. It is sad to see a once proud and all conquering army brought to its knees by a stupid woman who wants it all!

There is little doubt the young lady in question has missed the golden rule of being a member of the Armed Forces; Single parenting and the Forces do not go together! If you cannot commit 100% to the job, find another! The only other alternative is to join the Dutch Armed Forces, they even have a Union and I am sure she would get some sympathy there!

Bah! Humbug!

Roy.


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