A female sailor vowed to fight on last night after winning a partial victory when the Ministry of Defence appealed against her over a sex discrimination case.
Chief Petty Officer Jacqueline Cartner, 41, won a case against the Royal Navy earlier this year when an employment tribunal ruled in her favour.
The Navy's promotion board procedure was branded "primitive" over its decision to pass Mrs Cartner over for promotion to warrant officer.
She claimed she was more suited to the job than the other candidates – who were men – because she had carried out the role in an acting capacity since February 2006.
CPO Cartner, a former Wren who was based at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire, in the Abovewater Tactical Branch, also said she was seen as less worthy of promotion on the grounds of her non-seagoing status.
The Ministry of Defence appealed against the decision which, it was said, could lead the way for claims from other women in the armed forces.
Yesterday, the Employment Appeal Tribunal in London ruled that the appeal must be allowed in so far as it related to alleged direct discrimination by members of the promotion board, but dismissed as it related to indirect discrimination over her non-seagoing status.
The issue over alleged direct discrimination must go back to the original tribunal in Southampton to be considered afresh.
CPO Cartner was not present for the hearing but issued a statement which said: "Notwithstanding the remaining decision on the direct discrimination issue, which I am confident will eventually prove me correct, nevertheless I am very relieved that yet again I have been vindicated, in the claim I made way back in May 2008 that the Royal Navy has a fundamentally flawed, unfair and discriminatory promotion and appraisals system.
"At the same time, I remain extremely angry about the way my employer has treated me, right up to the present day, including victimisation, breaches of my personal data within the organisation, and many cases of unacceptable and vicious abuse from my fellow servicemen.
"It obviously is going to drag on longer, but I am determined that the full truth must come out."
An MoD spokesman said that as the case had been sent back to the tribunal, "it would be inappropriate to comment further on the detail".