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

  1. #121
    Council Member 82redleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJPONeill View Post
    But you are still only talking of a minimum standard. I'm sure that the standard you cite above from XVIII ABN Corps was the minimum , not the only, standard within that corps and that the various functional units within it had their own (higher) standards applicable to their roles. From an infantry perspective that standard is pretty light and I'm willing to bet that the infantry community in that corps would have been interested in longer distances, heavier loads AND, most importantly, being able to operate at the end of the foot march.

    My point is that, if you insist on a single service fitness standard (as opposed to a practical (i.e. based on operational requirements) minimum standard), you will either have a standard based on the lowest common denominator or a service that is a lot smaller...
    The standard is always the minimum, because, by definition, you can exceed it, but not fall below it. If it is not the minimum, it is a goal, not a standard.

  2. #122
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    As I read this thread and reflecting limited newsreel watching - what is practice in the Israeli Defence Forces? Who appear to have conscript women in some roles, although my limited memory cannot recall them being combat roles.

    (Incidentally do we have an Israeli members?).
    Don't know about Israel but we've had women in all branches for a few decades now. We've lost two female soldiers from the combat arms in Afghanistan - A FOO in a ambush/firefight and an armoured recce trooper to an IED.

    It's really a non-issue up here.

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    Infanteer: What have you seen to be the advantages/disadvantages of women in combat arms MOSs? Also are they both enlisted and officer or just one or the other?

    SJPOneill: I think a smaller service would not be the end of the world. But I do not think that the qualifier/disqualifier should not necessarily be a physical test because their are some people out there that just are not physically fit but are very smart and have great critical thinking skills, which certain services demand. I still want those guys on my side but maybe not in certain MOSs. So does it change from service to service or from MOS to MOS (the standard)? Then linking it back into the topic, does a female that passes whatever the standard is have the ability to join combat arms MOSs and then test at that follow on schools PT/academic test?

  4. #124
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJPONeill View Post
    Well...no....The fitness scale should be relevant to the trade and employment group...those relevant for a pilot are not the same as those required in the infantry or armour and those may be different again from those necessary for SF or CSS or staff...

    It's all very well to want a force all at the same high standard but I'd suggest that would be a very small force indeed...

    Certainly my current requirement to navigate the Zimmerframe around the circuit in less than a week is less than the standards that had to met in my infantry days but the current requirement for me is certainly adequate for my (non-op) staff role...
    I never said we should have the same scores necessary for given positions. Rather, I am suggesting that there be a single scale. A 120 should be a 120 and a 295 should be a 295. There shouldn't be a different test for women. Instead there should simply be different acceptable minimums.

    Sorry for the confusion.
    Adam L

  5. #125
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    Don't know about Israel but we've had women in all branches for a few decades now. We've lost two female soldiers from the combat arms in Afghanistan - A FOO in a ambush/firefight and an armoured recce trooper to an IED.

    It's really a non-issue up here.
    Hmmm....yes and no. Yes, the Canadian Forces is fully integrated, but the debate over whether they are better of for it is still a matter of some debate. Norfolk made some very interesting and insightful comments to this respect in this thread.

    Adam L

  6. #126
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perpetual_Student View Post
    Not an entirely true statement. There is a technique, I do not disagree with that at all. But there is a techniques to climbing a tree as well and I guarantee you that it looks more like a kipping pullup that a dead hang pullup. And also I would doubt that on a consistent basis you would be capable of jumping through multiple windows and over multiple walls in country (full combat load) without executing some sort of kipping.
    Yes, but kipping pull up technique can be taught with relative ease. Physical strength isn't as easy. Give me 15 minutes and I'll have 50 men doing Kipping pullups. Training on properly conditioned muscles is a whole other thing. I think your comments about whether you would do much in reality without some sort of kipping pull up is very weak. You could also make the argument about push ups. How often do you have to keep your body that straight? When would you be unable to get to your knees before pushing yourself up? Push ups and pull ups are simply effective time tested methods of increasing strenghty (when used as an exercise) and/or measuring strength.

    Adam L
    Last edited by Adam L; 10-01-2010 at 07:50 AM.

  7. #127
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    Default Special Ops:

    OSS and SOE both used women agents in WWII in Europe. So women have successfully served in some sort of special ops capacity in modern war.

    Having said that, I don't know the details of how the were used but I don't think they were members of Operational Groups or Jedburghs.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

  8. #128
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Women in normal combat units are still an experiment, for there's not enough relevant (combat) experience with them.


    The Russians dodged the problem of uncertainty about the psychological effects by training women as snipers - a speciality which is typically not much integrated into the cohesive small units of infantrymen.


    Btw, it is totally self-evident to me that fitness requirements for soldiers of need to be blind to gender. The job description (aka MOS) and the individual's weight&size should be the only influences on the minimum standard.

  9. #129
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    Default Should Women Join the Combat Arms MOSs?

    For what purpose?

    The only valid purpose is: in order to increase the likelihood of victory in combat (military necessity). All other purposes (such as equal opportunity) are irrelevant.

  10. #130
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Actually, no.

    Equal opportunities are seen as a right, and a military cannot defend the freedom and well-being of its country by violating its values and rights of its citizens.


    There are more possible reasons anyway; the recruitment pool is widened, thus recruitment might become cheaper, saving taxpayer money.

  11. #131
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    Default Different values, rights and nations

    Fuchs

    We've discussed this somewhere else; but the bottom line is that Germany and the US have different values and rights re: employment and the place of the military vice general society, in their basic laws (for us, Constitution) and statutory laws.

    So, neither did the older US policy (no women in the military) violate US values and rights of that time; nor does the current policy (women in limited combat roles) violate US values and rights of today.

    Cheers with the rest of the debate.

    Mike

  12. #132
    Council Member 82redleg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Actually, no.

    Equal opportunities are seen as a right, and a military cannot defend the freedom and well-being of its country by violating its values and rights of its citizens.


    There are more possible reasons anyway; the recruitment pool is widened, thus recruitment might become cheaper, saving taxpayer money.
    So the military should have to accept the mentally retarded, the overweight and the physically handicapped? It is, after all, a right. We'd save money in recruitment, too, since we might not have to recruit so hard. Military effectiveness be damned, right?

    And I am not equating the three groups, just pointing out three other groups that have even fewer options for service than women.

  13. #133
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    This same debate comes up periodically and it never really changes. PT is always the first thing that is brought up. Ignoring all the emotional issues, the simple fact is that females do not produce large amounts of testosterone which is the primary muscle builder in males. It also increases bone density. Women's bodies are simply not made for strength. That is just biology. Now, of course someone always has a story about a female he knew that that could do a thousand dead hang pull-ups and then run six minute miles for ten miles. That's great but the PT test standards aren't built toward the exceptions, they are built toward the averages. Is the average female able to physically do the same things as the average male. The answer is no.
    “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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  14. #134
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
    So the military should have to accept the mentally retarded, the overweight and the physically handicapped? It is, after all, a right. We'd save money in recruitment, too, since we might not have to recruit so hard. Military effectiveness be damned, right?

    And I am not equating the three groups, just pointing out three other groups that have even fewer options for service than women.
    "Equal opportunity" would be given with equal entrance requirements. You do not need to accept everyone, just treat them equal for "equal opportunity".

  15. #135
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    "Equal opportunity" would be given with equal entrance requirements. You do not need to accept everyone, just treat them equal for "equal opportunity".
    Equal opportunity is irrelevant here. The job of the US Armed Forces is to be combat effective. All assets are to be used where, when and if practicable. If you can argue the military is not doing so for arbitrary and capricious reasons then you have a point then you might have a legitimate grievance.

    Adam L

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    Hmmm....yes and no. Yes, the Canadian Forces is fully integrated, but the debate over whether they are better of for it is still a matter of some debate. Norfolk made some very interesting and insightful comments to this respect in this thread.

    Adam L
    His observations from 20 years ago are simply that, observations from 20 years ago. Times are a bit different these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    I believe what he is saying is that there should be ONE PFT standard for combat arms. For that matter, there should be one PFT scale for all service members regardless of age or sex.

    Adam L
    Exactly

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    Quote Originally Posted by 82redleg View Post
    ... in the units I've been in, the unit standard was a single standard, regardless of age/gender, ...
    That's how it should be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    There shouldn't be a different test for women. Instead there should simply be different acceptable minimums.

    Sorry for the confusion.
    Adam L
    What are you saying now? That everyone done the same test but the minimum standard required from women is different (lower)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uboat509 View Post
    This same debate comes up periodically and it never really changes. PT is always the first thing that is brought up. Ignoring all the emotional issues, the simple fact is that females do not produce large amounts of testosterone which is the primary muscle builder in males. It also increases bone density. Women's bodies are simply not made for strength. That is just biology. Now, of course someone always has a story about a female he knew that that could do a thousand dead hang pull-ups and then run six minute miles for ten miles. That's great but the PT test standards aren't built toward the exceptions, they are built toward the averages. Is the average female able to physically do the same things as the average male. The answer is no.
    I have always assumed that the PT tests / Battle fitness tests I did were designed around the minimum physical requirements (through years of experience) required of a soldier to perform in the type of unit. The minimum standard would apply across the board while the better units trained against a higher (self imposed) standard.

    None of this should have changed... to either make it easier or more difficult for females to join the army and any particular unit. It anything has changed - up or down - then that is a problem.

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