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

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    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    This standard would be varied because of the differing physical demands of the various work requirements or to accommodate females?
    Forget about the two standards thing. Make one standard and waiver in anyone we really nead. (For example: Mathematicians who just don't cut it physically, but it doesn't matter because the closest they will get to the frontlines will be a computer several thousand miles away.) All I was trying to say is that absolute minimum standards for waiverability for men and women should be different. That was kind of stupid now that I think about it. If we suddenly need a brilliant computer programer who hasn't left his mother's basement in 35 years and is 2 cheeseburgers away from a heart attack we probably won't give a damn. )

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    The issue of women in combat is, as usual, obscured by the traditional Western prejudice, romanticism and chivalry. Therefore, some obvious facts:

    1) Women, on average, make much worse soldiers than men.
    2) It makes no sense to require women to possess physical standards identical to men. You will not make women men, anyway. I hope I will offend nobody by observing that women differ physically from men, and this has consequences for various tests. If someone doubts it, I suggest to watch some sports on TV. A woman in a good physical condition will have different physical capabilities from a man.
    3) This is no reason not to allow female citizens to die for their country. Al-Qaida does it, despite the notorious Arab sexism. Why shouldn't America do the same? The main problem in Afghanistan is not enough soldiers on patrols. Any soldier helps. Even if women are not as good as men, they can still fight, die, and kill. They will suffer perhaps more casualties - but even so, if we send 1000 women to Afghanistan, and 200 are eliminated, we have still 800 soldiers more than we would have otherwise. Anyone, Taliban are a fairly weak opponent, and women should manage to kill them.
    4) It is well known that young women and men tend to engage in sex when placed in close proximity; and even if they do not, thanks to the well-known American self-discipline, you still get some feelings, which are impossible to eliminate. This is bad for unit cohesion. Moreover, women are, as I wrote above, different physically from men (on average smaller, weaker, lighter etc) and therefore require different standard kit, etc.
    5) For those reasons, women in combat will be most useful if placed in an all-female unit. This has been the usual practice in all armies that used female soldiers. I think that as a minimum, an all-female battalion would be required to function effectively. Such a unit could help to offset inadequate number of troops in Afghanistan.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahomey_Amazons

    6) Such a unit would also have wide ranging public relations possibilities. It would serve to showcase the oppression of women by Taliban, esp. if there was a widespread volunteer movement amongst feminists.

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    Council Member Ironhorse's Avatar
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    We don't have a great track record with "separate but equal" through myriad flavors of segregation, and "separate + unequal" has all kinds of problems, too. Your idea addresses one issue (intramural sex) but is rife with many others.

    Quote Originally Posted by baduin View Post
    This has been the usual practice in all armies that used female soldiers. I think that as a minimum, an all-female battalion would be required to function effectively. Such a unit could help to offset inadequate number of troops in Afghanistan.
    Really? The usual practice? You say that like it is obvious and I honestly don't know -- can you provide more examples than one obscure Benin group? Of legitimate employment of all-female units, rather than some training / sourcing process.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baduin View Post
    . Therefore, some obvious facts:

    1) Women, on average, make much worse soldiers than men.
    Please, be all means explain to me how this is a FACT and not an OPINION that you ASSUMED to be true.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhorse View Post
    Really? The usual practice? You say that like it is obvious and I honestly don't know -- can you provide more examples than one obscure Benin group? Of legitimate employment of all-female units, rather than some training / sourcing process.
    The Soviet female units in WWII come to mind.

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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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?
    This is already being done in theater.

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    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.
    Reed
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. The problem is almost always misogynist males. And you know what? The Army would be better without them.

    One thing about COIN, Combat Arms are only support for the main effort, which is not kicking in doors and shooting people in the face. The "Main Effort" should be staffed with lots of females, whether soldier or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Perpetual_Student View Post
    I know in the USMC women do a flex arm hang instead of pullups. This is a whole different topic but instead of doing dead hang pull ups (which your body isnt naturally built for) we should do kipping pull ups and raise the standard on the number that needs to be accomplished. I am from the crossfit community and there are PLENTY of women that can do plenty of pullups. Same thing for the run. The standards are set lower for the amount of time that it takes them in achieving a 100 pts for the run or for passing it in general. It does not just stop at the PFT either.

    But why should it change in relation to them having a combat arms MOS? If they can pass the PT standard they should be combat arms? I know you did not directly say that but is that what you are implying?
    You couldn't be more wrong. Kipping pull ups are generally worthless and that is why most sensible crossfit websites (crossfit football, military athlete, etc.) have moved away from it. If you need to pull yourself up in a military zone and you're on a wall, please explain how the F you would do a kipping pull up. You have 40 lbs on gear on at a minimum, and being able to pull yourself up dead hang when a wall is dead smack in front of you is more important than being able to do 50 kipping pull ups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deus Ex View Post
    You couldn't be more wrong. Kipping pull ups are generally worthless and that is why most sensible crossfit websites (crossfit football, military athlete, etc.) have moved away from it. If you need to pull yourself up in a military zone and you're on a wall, please explain how the F you would do a kipping pull up. You have 40 lbs on gear on at a minimum, and being able to pull yourself up dead hang when a wall is dead smack in front of you is more important than being able to do 50 kipping pull ups.
    Here is a good enough resource on PT in the military.

    I asked this question earlier... and no one responded.

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

    I would take this further by asking whether the same level of fitness is required across the board within a platoon all tasked with the same duties?

    Does a recce platoon take a member on a (heavy load) 8 day patrol because he is a good signaler but is in reality unlikely to be able to make it up the first hill? Of course not. The same basic fitness/strength level is required across the whole platoon (in this example) to be able to a) complete their mission and b) be able to perform operationally when contact is made.

    The gender thing does not come into it. There is a minimum fitness/strength level required.

    And I would say that by adding a sub-group to the mix who can do some of the tasks and not others (due on physical limitations) makes no sense at all.

    Maybe its time for some honesty on this matter and that would go something like this:

    There is a societal/political requirement for women to be absorbed into the military in increasing numbers in all areas of the service. As such, for better or for worse, a dual set of standards and requirements need to set up and any negative organisational and operational effects need to just be absorbed. Just get on with it.

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    In addition to the above post, so-called "minimum PT standards" much like certain medical qualifications/disqualifications are based on a completely bull#### "SHTF" scenario that presupposes that some kind of superhuman effort by all members of a unit may be necessary.

    I remember the old "feminine hygiene products will overcome the capabilities of our logistics system" argument. Nevermind the fact that soda, chew, big screen TVs and porn are quite well supplied to male soldiers downrange without so much as a squeek.

    In certain ways, the "he-man woman haters" in the military are reminiscent of the Taliban in their arguments. Of course, there is a solution: It's called instilling discipline in troops, which solution has gone out of style in the US military from my point of view.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    In addition to the above post, so-called "minimum PT standards" much like certain medical qualifications/disqualifications are based on a completely bull#### "SHTF" scenario that presupposes that some kind of superhuman effort by all members of a unit may be necessary.

    I remember the old "feminine hygiene products will overcome the capabilities of our logistics system" argument. Nevermind the fact that soda, chew, big screen TVs and porn are quite well supplied to male soldiers downrange without so much as a squeek.

    In certain ways, the "he-man woman haters" in the military are reminiscent of the Taliban in their arguments. Of course, there is a solution: It's called instilling discipline in troops, which solution has gone out of style in the US military from my point of view.
    I'm not sure I understand where you are coming from on the matter of PT Standards. Are you saying there should be no minimum standards? I am not saying that the current PT Standards are the best to assess combat fitness (they are probably not) but I am saying that there is a standard necessary.

    Why do we hear so much about the modern soldier being overloaded and unable to hump his battle kit? We discussed this issue in another thread and spoke about this fitness. See The Roles and Weapons with the Squad and start at about post #598

    I would suggest that first off the load the infantryman is expected to carry should be reassessed. Surely it is this apparent load requirement that would remove 95% of females from contention for the infantry.



    I assume that this sort of load is deemed necessary by commanders so how would this load be divided up if there were some females in the squad? The guys carry more?

    Then if a female could get upright with such a load can she do 20kms in a day or a week or at all?

    Going back to PT (I was trained as a PT Instructor in 1973) the idea of the t-shirt, short pants and running shoes initial PT was to exercise the whole body as the army would not know what the overall physical condition of each recruit was. There was the 10 week build-up programme which covered 2,3 or 5 kms runs and pull-ups, sit-ups, push ups and the like. By the end of basic training one was able to see a difference in the physique of the youngsters and if they past that type of PT test they were deemed fit to move onto training which required them to apply exertion under load. By the end of their training (I think called the MOS in the US) the ability would be tested by a march and shoot exercise where they would march under load (48lbs - 21.7kgs) for maybe 5kms within a certain time and be required to score a minimum on a range shoot at the end.

    I would (FWIW) support a review of battle strength/fitness standards if it were done based only on the operational demands of modern combat but not... if the hidden aim is to lower the bar to allow women entry... because with the women will come a whole bunch of male weaklings and that would be the real disaster.

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    The topic of women in combat used to be unusually divisive, and this in general causes the discussion to devolve into senseless name-calling. In this thread, however, there was a number of eminently insightful comments which together caused me to change my view on the "women in combat" problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironhorse View Post
    We don't have a great track record with "separate but equal" through myriad flavors of segregation, and "separate + unequal" has all kinds of problems, too. Your idea addresses one issue (intramural sex) but is rife with many others.
    Exactly so. All historical armies -except the West - kept different social or ethnic groups as separate units in the army. The Western tradition always demanded full equality, and any instance of different treatment was an aberration which had finally to give way (even if sometimes it took centuries). Female-only military units in the modern West are unimaginable.

    Quote Originally Posted by baduin View Post
    Therefore, some obvious facts:
    1) Women, on average, make much worse soldiers than men.
    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Please, be all means explain to me how this is a FACT and not an OPINION that you ASSUMED to be true.
    Generally, the distinction between FACT and OPINION is that facts are external reality, which is accessible to other men (eg when I say that grass is blue, one can walk outside and check it oneself). Opinions are individual mental states which are inaccessible to other people, (when I say that I think that there are too many Jews in ruling elites, you can believe me or not, but it is generally assumed that there is no way to check whether I really think this or not).

    In addition, at present it is assumed that all FACTs must be provable scientifically - ie when I say that God exists, it is an opinion, not a fact.

    Facts can be divided into true or false. Opinions, as my first example shows, are divided into commendable, neutral and distateful and forbidden. For example, if I express an opinion that Jews, non-white races, women etc are inferior, should not be allowed to vote etc, I will not be accepted in polite society, I can be fired from work or appropriately punished as a member of armed forces.

    Now, there is NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF that women are worse soldiers than men. There were no proper experiments etc. The lack of historical examples makes any statistic reasearch impossible, and anyway it would be tainted by the issue of misogyny amongst the commanders, other units and the enemy.

    Therefore it necessarily follows that the idea that women on average make worse soldiers is an OPINION. It remains to consider whether such an opinion is commendable or otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    The problem is almost always misogynist males. And you know what? The Army would be better without them.
    Precisely so! The opinion that women are worse soldiers is a misogynist and hateful opinion which is not to be allowed in polite society. All who express such an opinion should be properly punished.

    In addition, all apparent instances when women underperfom in combat (I know of no such examples, of course, and consider only hypothetical accusations) will be and must be caused by misogyny in male soldiers. For that reason the fact there there will be no all-female units is against very advantageous.

    Because of those considerations women must and will be part of all military specialities, including combat ones. In fact, in many Western European armies, which generally are not expected to fight often or against dangerous opponents, women are already allowed to serve in combat. American armed forces managed to avoid that natural development since they fight more frequently. It is, however, not a real obstacle.

    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    In addition to the above post, so-called "minimum PT standards" much like certain medical qualifications/disqualifications are based on a completely bull#### "SHTF" scenario that presupposes that some kind of superhuman effort by all members of a unit may be necessary.
    And it will NOT be necessary, because let us be serious - American army will never fight a high intensity conflict against near-equal opponent. The possibility of heavy losses and even defeat absolutely precludes this from the political point of view in a war of choice. And since USA is situated in America, all its wars are wars of choice.

    Therefore, all combat will be against desperately inferior enemy. Therefore it is not a problem to arrange the combat enviroment (eg by using air support, artillery, drones etc), so that any fight can be won comfortably, without any unecessary "superhuman" effort by all members of a unit.

    In addition, since America increasingly relies on various mercenary units, all those tasks which for various reasons the regular forces find inconvenient can be performed by mercenaries.

    Therefore, it seems to me that there are no reason not to accept women in combat units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by baduin View Post
    And it will NOT be necessary, because let us be serious - American army will never fight a high intensity conflict against near-equal opponent. The possibility of heavy losses and even defeat absolutely precludes this from the political point of view in a war of choice. And since USA is situated in America, all its wars are wars of choice.

    Therefore, all combat will be against desperately inferior enemy. Therefore it is not a problem to arrange the combat enviroment (eg by using air support, artillery, drones etc), so that any fight can be won comfortably, without any unecessary "superhuman" effort by all members of a unit.
    I disagree with 120mm's initial points about physical standards, and your extrapolation of his comments. Despite combat against an "inferior enemy", battles like Fallujah, Blackhawk Down, etc, still happen, and are still the lot of the infantryman. Some interviews of infantry participants in the fight for Fallujah in Nov 04.
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...SOBOX=1&REC=13
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...ISOBOX=1&REC=4
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...ISOBOX=1&REC=9
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...SOBOX=1&REC=10
    All these men were members of a single mechanized rifle company, in a single fight. Searching the other oral history interviews and the Sergeants Major Academy Personal Story papers available at CARL's digital library (http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/contentdm/home.htm) should show more examples.


    In addition, since America increasingly relies on various mercenary units, all those tasks which for various reasons the regular forces find inconvenient can be performed by mercenaries.

    Therefore, it seems to me that there are no reason not to accept women in combat units.
    What mercenary units are you talking about? Security contractors? Most of these perform mundane duties (convoy escort and perimeter security) to free up regulars for more demanding missions. The more highly trained minority are employed for a special, limited skill set (VIP protection). Neither of these are particularly physically demanding, and pretty much irrelevant to this discussion

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I'm not sure I understand where you are coming from on the matter of PT Standards. Are you saying there should be no minimum standards? I am not saying that the current PT Standards are the best to assess combat fitness (they are probably not) but I am saying that there is a standard necessary.

    Why do we hear so much about the modern soldier being overloaded and unable to hump his battle kit? We discussed this issue in another thread and spoke about this fitness. See The Roles and Weapons with the Squad and start at about post #598

    I would suggest that first off the load the infantryman is expected to carry should be reassessed. Surely it is this apparent load requirement that would remove 95% of females from contention for the infantry.



    I assume that this sort of load is deemed necessary by commanders so how would this load be divided up if there were some females in the squad? The guys carry more?

    Then if a female could get upright with such a load can she do 20kms in a day or a week or at all?

    Going back to PT (I was trained as a PT Instructor in 1973) the idea of the t-shirt, short pants and running shoes initial PT was to exercise the whole body as the army would not know what the overall physical condition of each recruit was. There was the 10 week build-up programme which covered 2,3 or 5 kms runs and pull-ups, sit-ups, push ups and the like. By the end of basic training one was able to see a difference in the physique of the youngsters and if they past that type of PT test they were deemed fit to move onto training which required them to apply exertion under load. By the end of their training (I think called the MOS in the US) the ability would be tested by a march and shoot exercise where they would march under load (48lbs - 21.7kgs) for maybe 5kms within a certain time and be required to score a minimum on a range shoot at the end.

    I would (FWIW) support a review of battle strength/fitness standards if it were done based only on the operational demands of modern combat but not... if the hidden aim is to lower the bar to allow women entry... because with the women will come a whole bunch of male weaklings and that would be the real disaster.
    I think there should be certain units with high physical standards, and those units will probably be male dominated. What I am saying that the so-called "load of the infantryman" is largely self-imposed by the cult of the "carry everything on your back" sub-dog IQ light infantry mafia. Seriously, they carry stuff that they have no business carrying on their backs, whether because Army MTOE sucks, or because they think they are "hard" or of uniformity/risk-aversion by commanders. There ARE places in the world that need Lightfighters, but somehow our opponents manage to fight there without wearing 200 pounds of kit.

    Ironically, I just noticed the 173d patch. Is this the infamous "combat jump behind friendly lines so we can all get a mustard stain?" If so, it proves my point. That troop is carrying the world on his back because his leadership failed him.

    Quote Originally Posted by baduin View Post
    In addition, all apparent instances when women underperfom in combat (I know of no such examples, of course, and consider only hypothetical accusations) will be and must be caused by misogyny in male soldiers. For that reason the fact there there will be no all-female units is against very advantageous.

    Because of those considerations women must and will be part of all military specialities, including combat ones. In fact, in many Western European armies, which generally are not expected to fight often or against dangerous opponents, women are already allowed to serve in combat. American armed forces managed to avoid that natural development since they fight more frequently. It is, however, not a real obstacle.

    And it will NOT be necessary, because let us be serious - American army will never fight a high intensity conflict against near-equal opponent. The possibility of heavy losses and even defeat absolutely precludes this from the political point of view in a war of choice. And since USA is situated in America, all its wars are wars of choice.

    Therefore, all combat will be against desperately inferior enemy. Therefore it is not a problem to arrange the combat enviroment (eg by using air support, artillery, drones etc), so that any fight can be won comfortably, without any unecessary "superhuman" effort by all members of a unit.

    In addition, since America increasingly relies on various mercenary units, all those tasks which for various reasons the regular forces find inconvenient can be performed by mercenaries.

    Therefore, it seems to me that there are no reason not to accept women in combat units.
    I am quite fluent in sarcasm. Having said that, it isn't that women don't underperform in combat, for some most certainly do, it is that men underperform in combat too. It is that the knuckledragging, Peter Pan syndrome women haters who sometimes hide out in the military between date-rape and homoerotic innuendo episodes manage to only fixate on those examples of when women are bad soldiers. And about 90+% of the time that women are bad soldiers, there is a male-dominated chain of command that is deeply involved enabling those bad female soldiers and facilitating their chicanery.

    Quote Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
    I disagree with 120mm's initial points about physical standards, and your extrapolation of his comments. Despite combat against an "inferior enemy", battles like Fallujah, Blackhawk Down, etc, still happen, and are still the lot of the infantryman. Some interviews of infantry participants in the fight for Fallujah in Nov 04.
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...SOBOX=1&REC=13
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...ISOBOX=1&REC=4
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...ISOBOX=1&REC=9
    http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/item_vi...SOBOX=1&REC=10
    All these men were members of a single mechanized rifle company, in a single fight. Searching the other oral history interviews and the Sergeants Major Academy Personal Story papers available at CARL's digital library (http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/contentdm/home.htm) should show more examples.

    What mercenary units are you talking about? Security contractors? Most of these perform mundane duties (convoy escort and perimeter security) to free up regulars for more demanding missions. The more highly trained minority are employed for a special, limited skill set (VIP protection). Neither of these are particularly physically demanding, and pretty much irrelevant to this discussion
    I don't think he is being serious.

    But on the Rangers of "Blackhawk Down!", you make a good case for why certain elite units probably won't be a good fit for female soldiers. However... At least in Small Wars and COIN, most Infantry units would benefit from an strong feminine influence.

    If nothing else, it might help break the myth that Infantry is a mono-tasker. Prior to WWII, Infantry units were supposed to be capable of more than attack or defend.
    Last edited by 120mm; 10-10-2010 at 05:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    If nothing else, it might help break the myth that Infantry is a mono-tasker. Prior to WWII, Infantry units were supposed to be capable of more than attack or defend.
    Only in the 70s did that delusion get planted.
    Seriously, they carry stuff that they have no business carrying on their backs, whether because Army MTOE sucks, or because they think they are "hard" or of uniformity/risk-aversion by commanders. There ARE places in the world that need Lightfighters, but somehow our opponents manage to fight there without wearing 200 pounds of kit.
    True on all counts. I blame poor initial entry and follow on training for leaders at all levels. Those guys can affect the TOE problems, they are responsible for the uniformity fetish and while risk avearsion is now as American as Apple Pie and a societal problem, the Army can and should be in the business of breaking that particular chain and train of thought, not encouraging it.
    Ironically, I just noticed the 173d patch. Is this the infamous "combat jump behind friendly lines so we can all get a mustard stain?" If so, it proves my point. That troop is carrying the world on his back because his leadership failed him.
    Partly true on the leadership failure, no on the jump. That picture is from Afghanistan. Easily determined from the gear he's wearing; most of it is post 2003 stuff and IIRC, that came out about a year or so ago and he's a USAF JTAC atchd to the 173d. Those guys are always heavily loaded, even in RVN when light (30-35 lb) loads were the Infantry norm. That may explain why the AF has trouble keeping JTACs in the service....

    There are some woman haters in uniform, male and female, all ranks. There are also some people in uniform, male and female, all ranks who are man haters. Fortunately, most people in uniform, male and female, all ranks, take a more balanced and measured view. Many of them also have serious questions about the advisability of women in direct combat roles. It's another question where pat answers don't provide a solution. As with most such issues, it'll work itself out. Most always does and, as usual with any even mildly contentious social issue, the end solution will be an uneasy compromise that'll leave some people unhappy on both sides of the question.

    Re: the load he's carrying, not to make light of it (no pun) but as the first photo below of a Marine shows, it could be worse and as the second shows, we aren't the only Army with the problem. The PBI phrase has reason to exist...
    Last edited by Ken White; 10-27-2011 at 01:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 120mm View Post
    At least in Small Wars and COIN, most Infantry units would benefit from an strong feminine influence.
    How so?

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    Look, women are women and men are men, but that doesn't mean women don't have important contributions to make to the U.S. armed forces. When I was toward the end of my Army career in 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord in '82-'84 I dated a woman who was a captain in Ordnance with a specialty in vehicle maintenance. When we met I was a Battalion Motor Officer and she was the staff officer for Division Support Command responsible for monitoring readiness rates of equipment. She and I became intimate and we had a lot of fun together.

    Eventually we stopped seeing each other when the spark went out and our relationship became predictable and boring. She began dating a Major of Ordnance.

    When her new boyfriend was away on temporary duty she phoned me with a problem -- her car had a flat tire, could I come over and fix it? Well I did, but I thought it was kind of strange, seeing as how she had been the Distinguished Honor Graduate of her U.S. Army Ordnance Officer Advanced Course, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, vehicle maintenance specialty, a couple of years earlier.

    This brings me back to my first sentence, men are men ane women are women. Mary was a very competent officer, she had a successful company command, and the last time I saw her in '87 she was a Major and Secretary of the General Staff of Army Materiel Command, Alexandria, Virginia.

  17. #177
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    Default The Flat Tire Women

    Hi Pete,

    This is my flat tire story - from 35+ years ago. My wife and I are in Houghton (city across the bridge) for Sunday breakfast; and got into a discussion re: equal rights and responsibilities for women. My wife has always taken the position that women should know how to taike care of their own vehicles - to the discomfort of mechanics who have the mindset of what 120mm calls "he-man woman haters".

    The conversation then turned to flat tires - and God is good to thems that's good to Him. For behold, my new Found On Road Dead F-100 had a flat (front driver's side) - which I could see but she couldn't from where she sat. So, I set her up; and she responded that if there was a flat tire on the her car or on the truck, she would change it and with no help from you, Mister.

    So, we finished breakfast and when outside facing the truck, I said, OMG, there's a flat front tire on the truck. Looks like you can prove your point. Of course, since you're wearing a white pants suit and a truck is bigger than a car, I'll volunteer to change the tire if you're not able and willing. Which of course totally pi$$es her off and she changes the tire (after finding out that the Ford jack, etc., ain't worth squat; but that I do have a good hydraulic jack and tire wrenches behind the seat) - and her white suit was no longer white. So, women are different re: flat tires.

    Of course, she would have some other points re: women vice men. She happens to be about 5'1"", 105#, but can lift and carry 80-100# cement and sand bags. If the two of us were at a theoretical shoot off at 100m with rifles, I'm a little more accurate; but if we both fired at the same time, it would end in a draw - a bad draw. On the other hand, she says it wouldn't be fair for me to hit her hand to hand because I'm bigger and stronger than she is - which is also true.

    The point from my little dataset of 1 is that women have different capabiilities depending on the situation, and their own mental and physical strengths and weaknesses. My wife always shot in men's competitions (not many lady shooters up here back then - more now). She usually beat most of them - but always came in behind me - which really ticked her off.

    I do buy JMA's requirement that all in a unit have to meet a standard for the missions that unit is "likely" (that's a loaded word) to undertake; but I don't buy his comment (may be ironic or sarcastic) that we should suck up with the PC re: women and just do the best that can be done under that circumstances.

    Nice to see 120mm back into the fray. We need somebody who "looks hot in heels and a little cocktail dress."

    Regards to all - a bit off topic for me, but I had to reply to the flat tire story. Now, excuse me while I go off to slug my wife. Reality is that I have to fix one of her chairs.

    Mike

  18. #178
    Council Member 82redleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Partly true on the leadership failure, no on the jump. That picture is from Afghanistan. Easily determined from the gear he's wearing; most of it is post 2003 stuff and IIRC, that came out about a year or so ago and he's a USAF JTAC atchd to the 173d. Those guys are always heavily loaded, even in RVN when light (30-35 lb) loads were the Infantry norm. That may explain why the AF has trouble keeping JTACs in the service....
    Ken, I think you're wrong on this one. I believe the is a photo from after the jump into Iraq. He's still wearing the LBE, not the new MOLLE stuff. He's wearing an OD patch on the DCU, and he doesn't have pockets sewn on his sleaves. All of which were NOT true by 173d's first Afghan rotation, 05-06 (OEF 6). I also seem to remember seeing that picture in (IIRC) Time, before I left Korea in Jun 03.

  19. #179
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Men need women, even though we're often reluctant to admit it. Even though we don't like it when they nag and complain, sometimes they point out things that make a lot of sense. They focus on the practical matters of life, and whether we want to hear it or not, they'll tell us that drinking a six-pack a day, eating a poor diet, and never cleaning up the house put a guy on the fast line downhill. God bless 'em, we need 'em. In addition to that they have some fascinating attributes.

  20. #180
    Council Member Kiwigrunt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Men need women, even though we're often reluctant to admit it. Even though we don't like it when they nag and complain, sometimes they point out things that make a lot of sense. They focus on the practical matters of life, and whether we want to hear it or not, they'll tell us that drinking a six-pack a day, eating a poor diet, and never cleaning up the house put a guy on the fast line downhill. God bless 'em, we need 'em. In addition to that they have some fascinating attributes.
    Sure, but outside the wire there are no six packs, we do not control the diet, there is no house to clean and the fascinating attributes are out of bounds because they get both the boys and the girls in trouble. And the latter I can attest to going by the countless times that our MPs and RPs came across the discarded peels of the fruits of love. Good thing they were issued in our medpacks.

    Seriously now, my concerns with females in and beyond FOBs has nothing to do with their abilities and capabilities. From what Iíve seen, most that pass the relevant tests are more than capable and like to prove it. Sure, some are not, but that goes for boys just as well. It has to do with the effect that their mere presence has on the boys. Now we can say that it is about time the boys grow up and get over it but a large proportion of the boys we are likely to find in an FOB simply havenít grown up yet (that includes many of the older ones). So when there is too much at stake have we not perhaps passed a tipping point where political correctness and equality may need to take second place?
    Nothing that results in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. (Christopher Columbus)

    All great truth passes through three stages: first it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
    (Arthur Schopenhauer)

    ONWARD

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