Amid the howls of outrage from the right-wing commentariat that diversity and gender policies in the Defence Force are hobbling the army, those actually in the armed forces paint a very different picture.

In an article in late February, right-wing columnist Miranda Devine quoted one disillusioned male former soldier upset over gender diversity changes within the army, with Devine calling it a "crackpot theory" for the Defence department to try to recruit more women into the Defence Force.