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Old 03-22-2007   #16
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3
Default How can women fit in?

Maximus et al--

great thoughts! I've got some random input to several of the posts; no particular order:

Women in combat arms roles: I am a firm believer that the standards in the military should be based on the job; if the job requires accomplishing tasks x, y, and z to a certain level, then EVERYONE regardless of age or gender needs to be able to perform those tasks to that level. It's the next part of the question that gets hairy; if women can accomplish those tasks, should they be permitted to serve in those units? Honestly, I don't know how I feel about that. Some ideas would be voluntary mixed units--that is, identify a group of individuals who ELECT to work in a mixed-gender unit.

Where I struggle, though, is with the fact that most of the men in these kinds of units could probably be classified as alpha males, and the ingrained tendency to protect those weaker could, potentially, be an issue. You'll notice a lot of "coulds" and "mights"--because I don't know. I've never been in combat, so I don't know how a squad mate might react if he has a female in his unit who comes under fire. I do know that women have been successful in standoff combat roles (like fighter pilots, etc.) but that's an entirely different area.

That being said, I think we in the military could learn a great deal from NGOs and IOs--my particular experience is with Christian missionaries, who are tremendously effective in certain sensitive countries because the husband is a teacher and the wife is a nurse or a doctor. And this gets to the point that Maximus made--it's the women who, to a large degree, influence the future. If Afghan and Iraqi women can be influenced to view us in a positive light, they may, in turn, exert that influence (whether overtly or covertly) on their children.

This does not remove the requirement to influence the underlying reasons for discontent; however, as we are all very well aware, perception is often 9/10ths of reality and (this might belong in another area) I don't believe we are waging a tremendously effective information campaign.

I guess my final thought would be that creating a blended security/CA type unit that was either predominantly female or had several female members (all with proper training and education) could be tremendously beneficial. But this leads to another question that I think goes along with this--is there a role for older people? How about a similar effort to recruit a civilian over-50 unit to go over and function as an elder corps?

That last part may be way out in left field. What do you all think?


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