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Thread: Women in Military Service & Combat (not just USA)

  1. #141
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    Its all pretty hypocritical really...

    I am told that in the US this is the standard to be used:

    ... This they do by means of an ethos that stresses discipline, morale, good order and unit cohesion. Anything that threatens the nonsexual bonding that lies at the heart of unit cohesion adversely affects morale, disciple and good order, generating friction and undermining this ethos.
    Does the introduction of females into combat units and the military in general comply with the above?

    Sorry... forgot to say that that quote relates to gays in the military.

    So I ask again... does the introduction of females into combat units and the military in general comply with the above?

    Surely there needs a look into this following situation?

    Pregnancy during Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation Enduring Freedom

    Hang on a minute with 75% became pregnant after arrival in theater what ever happened to this nonsexual bonding ?

    Then we have this one:

    Serving U.S troops could face prison if they fall pregnant while active

    And then we look at this:

    US military sex attack reports up

    Among the report's findings:

    * There were 2,923 reported sexual assaults in the 2008 fiscal year, up from 2,688 in 2007

    * There 251 incidents in combat areas, including 141 in Iraq and 22 in Afghanistan

    * Investigations took place in 2,763 cases. In 832 cases, action was taken, including 317 courts-martial, a rise of 38%

    * Of the 6.8% of women and 1.8% of men who indicated they had experienced unwanted sexual contact, the majority - 79% of women and 78% of men - chose not to report it.
    Perhaps the following website /book will provide a point of departure for this discussion?

  2. #142
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    The Field Artillery Officer Basic Course after mine at Fort Sill in 1978 had its first female student. To prevent the anticipated snide remarks and rumors she was made the student class leader. If I recall correctly some years later when she was coming close to the end of her service obligation she gave an interview in which she said she was disappointed that female FA officers were then limited to missile-type systems, Lance and Pershing, and excluded from tube artillery units.

  3. #143
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    Marines, especially grunts, have no difficulty finding trouble as it is. Realistically, women in the combat arms fields would yield more problems than benefits, physical fitness aside. Junior officers/Staff NCOs have enough discipline problems to deal with. Trying to maintain and improve a victor unit's combat effectiveness would be almost untenable with females in the picture. Just my two cents.

  4. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    The Field Artillery Officer Basic Course after mine at Fort Sill in 1978 had its first female student. To prevent the anticipated snide remarks and rumors she was made the student class leader. If I recall correctly some years later when she was coming close to the end of her service obligation she gave an interview in which she said she was disappointed that female FA officers were then limited to missile-type systems, Lance and Pershing, and excluded from tube artillery units.
    Were they... and if so why?

  5. #145
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default They were and the US distaste for women in

    combat roles really revolves around fear of their capture -- and, today, for the potential of rape and the resultant publicity / IO aspects. The rationale was that those in rocket and missile units would be further in the rear in a linear war and thus less subject to potential capture while the tube Arty folks were right up front. Same principle held for the aviators; initially they were restricted to transports and such, theoretically less subject to enemy downing -- despite the fact that the average female has some advantages over average males in aerial combat.

    We still put a lot of stock in 1917...

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    We still put a lot of stock in 1917...
    When Pershing was Chief of Staff in the 1920s the basic and advanced branch officer courses were instituted to put company-grade officer training on a more solid footing.

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    I can understand and wrap my head around the idea that being in combat arms (Infantry) puts you more on the front line and "in the action." Although we should not forget and absolutely must appreciate specifically the logistical trains that go out EVERYDAY that are in just as much danger if not more than Infantry units. I have never been to Afghanistan but I can only imagine since they dont have much of a "road" network that the log trains would be traveling a lot of the same routes.

    All this said there are women that are motor-t drivers and logisticians. Should we be removing them as well.

    I am only playing devils advocate. Not agreeing at all that women should be in Combat Arms, but we need to have a strong argument in the future because the time may come sooner than we think.

  8. #148
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    The integration of racial minorities and women into the U.S. armed forces are done deals. The gay thing will eventually happen. My impression is that people younger than I don't have the same predjudices that we did in the old days -- the kids today are more comfortable than my generation was about having openly gay people around them. In any event, the U.S. armed forces will survive, and weirdos, misfits, and those who can't hack it will be sent packing, as they always have been.

  9. #149
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    Default Women in SOF:

    Besides aviation, the combat role I think women could be most suited for is certain SOF roles.

    I don't mean on ODAs - I don't think women belong on a sure enough rucksack team - but, as I mentioned, the OSS and SOE employed numerous women agents in occupied Europe with parachute insertions, espionage, sabotage, partisan liasons, etc., being done by women at times. All of this put them in position for death or capture. I also believe women could be suited for certain counter terrortist roles.

    Besides, if you get a couple of gals who look like the ones protrayed in Where Eagles Dare how could you not be for it?
    Last edited by Rifleman; 10-03-2010 at 03:12 AM.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

  10. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perpetual_Student View Post
    Although we should not forget and absolutely must appreciate specifically the logistical trains that go out EVERYDAY that are in just as much danger if not more than Infantry units.
    This is another argument that invariably gets made in the debate. It really does not hold true. There is a world of difference between a CSS unit where the primary goal will be to avoid contact and break contact if they cannot avoid it and a Combat Arms unit where the goal is to seek contact and then close with and destroy the enemy.
    “Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

    Terry Pratchett

  11. #151
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default That quite basic fact is often deliberately ignored by many.

    For less than good reasons. Thanks for reminding everyone.
    "There is a world of difference between a CSS unit where the primary goal will be to avoid contact and break contact if they cannot avoid it and a Combat Arms unit where the goal is to seek contact..."

  12. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post
    Besides aviation, the combat role I think women could be most suited for is certain SOF roles.

    I don't mean on ODAs - I don't think women belong on a sure enough rucksack team - but, as I mentioned, the OSS and SOE employed numerous women agents in occupied Europe with parachute insertions, espionage, sabotage, partisan liasons, etc., being done by women at times. All of this put them in position for death or capture. I also believe women could be suited for certain counter terrortist roles.
    I tend to agree with this but this is, I believe, a wholly different argument than the one that this thread is about. SOF is a different animal than than GPF. Whereas the primary purpose (in broad terms) of GPF Combat Arms forces is to close with and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, SOF, by definition, is required to fill a great many more, what I will call niche jobs for lack of a better term. Some of these are jobs for which females are well suited and may even be better suited than males.
    “Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

    Terry Pratchett

  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    What are you saying now? That everyone done the same test but the minimum standard required from women is different (lower)?
    For combat arms there should be one standard, but there are a great many areas where physical strenght isn't as important. What is needed though is good general fitness. An average woman in minimum acceptable fitness will score lower than an average male who is at minimal acceptable fitness. In an ideal world there would be one standard, but there are certain areas where we need everyone we can get.

    Adam L

  14. #154
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Over the years I have somewhat moderated my feelings physical fitness in the military. I have decided that competence at your job is FAR more important than physical fitness. When I go to finance to get my pay problems fixed, I want a guy who will get that done in a timely and effective manner. If I can find that guy, I don't care if he can do A sit-up or run two miles in under a day, he is still much preferable to the guy who can score 400 on the extended scale PT test but leaves my paperwork in a desk drawer for two months until I have to resubmit it for the second or third time. Sure, ideally we would like to have both, in a perfect world but since we live in this one I would prefer that supervisors recognized which of those two things is more important.

    There is a caveat to my view, however. For some jobs, notably most Combat Arms (excluding Armor ) physical fitness is a component of job competence. In other words, you can be fat and out of shape and still be a good PAC clerk or Heavy Wheel Vehicle Mechanic but you cannot be a fat and out of shape and be a good infantryman. That is an oversimplification and I realize that some basic fitness standards are necessary for everyone in the force. I am simply trying to put things in perspective with regards to physical fitness standards. I have seen too many guys who were good at their jobs whose lives were made extra difficult because they were not the strongest at PT or did not meet the arbitrary height/weight standards and at the same time I saw way too many "PT Studs" get over with not being particularly good at their jobs because they were good at PT.

    Having said all that, I am definitely a proponent of changing PT standards to be more in line with the Branch or even MOS.
    “Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.”

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  15. #155
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    Default Missing the point

    Arguing back and forth about the PT capabilities of females is missing the point.
    For combat arms units, my objection to allowing women in is the same as my objection to homosexuals: anytime the spectre of the ballistic impact of glistening genitalia enters the realm of small units, morale and discipline is adversely affected.
    One may exalt the Israelis for what they've accomplished with regard to Equal Opportunity, but when is the last time the Israelis fielded a long-term expeditionary force?
    In the close confines of a small unit that faces mortal combat day in and day out, I don't care what the aggregate number of pull-ups within the unit is. What I care about is the destructive force of x percentage of the unit getting a nut while y percentage remains celibate. This may not be egalitarian, this may not be fair, this may not conform to the equal rights for which we fight for the population at large. So?
    If the purpose of combat arms is to field a cohesive, all-for-one-and-one-for-all unit, then sex--homo or hetero--needs to remain outside the domain of the unit. Anyone who thinks our society has evolved beyond such quaint notions as love, jealously, and vindictiveness is setting up the combat arms for an epic fail. Put Othello, Desdemona, and Iago in the same Infantry squad (or ODA) and see how that works out.

  16. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rifleman View Post
    Besides aviation, the combat role I think women could be most suited for is certain SOF roles.

    I don't mean on ODAs - I don't think women belong on a sure enough rucksack team - but, as I mentioned, the OSS and SOE employed numerous women agents in occupied Europe with parachute insertions, espionage, sabotage, partisan liasons, etc., being done by women at times. All of this put them in position for death or capture. I also believe women could be suited for certain counter terrortist roles.

    Besides, if you get a couple of gals who look like the ones protrayed in Where Eagles Dare how could you not be for it?
    The numbers we would be talking about here are insignificant and would not address the demand for gender integration in the (any) armed forces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    For combat arms there should be one standard, but there are a great many areas where physical strenght isn't as important. What is needed though is good general fitness. An average woman in minimum acceptable fitness will score lower than an average male who is at minimal acceptable fitness. In an ideal world there would be one standard, but there are certain areas where we need everyone we can get.

    Adam L
    This standard would be varied because of the differing physical demands of the various work requirements or to accommodate females?

  18. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    Over the years I have somewhat moderated my feelings physical fitness in the military. I have decided that competence at your job is FAR more important than physical fitness. When I go to finance to get my pay problems fixed, I want a guy who will get that done in a timely and effective manner. If I can find that guy, I don't care if he can do A sit-up or run two miles in under a day, he is still much preferable to the guy who can score 400 on the extended scale PT test but leaves my paperwork in a desk drawer for two months until I have to resubmit it for the second or third time. Sure, ideally we would like to have both, in a perfect world but since we live in this one I would prefer that supervisors recognized which of those two things is more important.

    There is a caveat to my view, however. For some jobs, notably most Combat Arms (excluding Armor ) physical fitness is a component of job competence. In other words, you can be fat and out of shape and still be a good PAC clerk or Heavy Wheel Vehicle Mechanic but you cannot be a fat and out of shape and be a good infantryman. That is an oversimplification and I realize that some basic fitness standards are necessary for everyone in the force. I am simply trying to put things in perspective with regards to physical fitness standards. I have seen too many guys who were good at their jobs whose lives were made extra difficult because they were not the strongest at PT or did not meet the arbitrary height/weight standards and at the same time I saw way too many "PT Studs" get over with not being particularly good at their jobs because they were good at PT.

    Having said all that, I am definitely a proponent of changing PT standards to be more in line with the Branch or even MOS.
    I believe you are casting the net too wide. This issue being argued here is simple.

    Is it necessary to have the same physical fitness standard and physical capability for male and female soldiers doing exactly the same job?

  19. #159
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    My personal experience with being co-located with a company of MPs in Iraq in '03 at (then) Camp Kalsu tells me that some women could do just fine in combat arms. The last two excuses of why women could not be in combat arms that I held on too were disproved there. Our hygiene and living conditions were as minimal as they can be and not a single female soldier was sent home for "feminine issues". There was also no sexual harassment or women sent home pregnant, we were too busy fighting and surviving. They kept cool under fire and did not complain any more (often less) then the men. Now when we got to Kuwait, where the women were treated different, sexual assault and pregnancies were the rule, not the exception. Treat them like soldiers and they might surprise you and live up to the expectation. My final caveat is that until there are enough women that want to do infantry, the few who could do it and are willing to try will be harassed and hazed into quitting, unfortunately.
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    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

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    Boss Mongo
    Missing the point
    Arguing back and forth about the PT capabilities of females is missing the point.
    Could not agree more! When you look at the arguement we all go back to PT standards (myself included) which I do agree have some relevance. Although I think we are missing the bigger picture because I know some women that can definitely beat some of the men I have seen in the combat arms. If all we can argue is PT standards and physical tests I think that we are missing the point or just do not have a solid argument. There are other reasons such as pregnancy, how the world views women, how America would respond to a female getting killed in a "combat" situation. There are a lot more arguments out there that I think we are missing. Lets transfer the PT conversation to another thread. I will start it in a second.

    There is a world of difference between a CSS unit where the primary goal will be to avoid contact and break contact if they cannot avoid it and a Combat Arms unit where the goal is to seek contact and then close with and destroy the enemy.
    I would absolutely agree with you on what the stated "goal" is of the perspective units. I would disagree or you misunderstood my point that although CSS units try to avoid contact or break contact, the enemy knows these are the least trained units as well as they are able to break our logistical assets (because we do not live off the people) getting to our FOBs and COPs. Therefore why try and attack the Infantry when I can attack these units that are bound to the same roads and are huge targets of multiple vehicles?

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