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Old 10-11-2010   #181
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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.
OK on the first point, on the second my point was that most armies will just have to get on with integrating females (for better of for worse) for the sake of imposed PC. I don't agree with the PC approach but suggest everyone will just have to learn to live with it.
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Old 10-11-2010   #182
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Default With a closer look, you're almost certainly correct.

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Ken, I think you're wrong on this one... I also seem to remember seeing that picture in (IIRC) Time, before I left Korea in Jun 03.
What I thought was a large Molle bag is in fact a pocket on an old Ruck. That and confusing it with another picture I'd seen in an Air Force pub earlier this year.

Or maybe thought I'd seen. That IIRC caveat gets more true every day. Ah, the perils of old age; senility is not its own reward.

Thanks for the catch and correction. I owe 120mm an apology for even speculating he may have reached an erroneous airbornius cornclusion...
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Old 10-11-2010   #183
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This is off-topic, for Kiwigrunt.

A branch of my family emmigrated from Cork, Ireland to New Zealand circa 1850. They were from an old prominent Anglo-Norman Catholic family that had been stripped of its lands by Cromwell. In 1855 they emmigrated to San Francisco. The first Prendergast there in my line was said to have been the strongest man in San Francisco and he did steel work building the dome of the state capitol building in Sacramento. His son, my great-grandfather, joined a cavalry unit in the California National Guard during the Spanish-American war. He never made it closer to the Spanish than the old Camp Lewis, Washington. Grandma told me he'd scare her mother half to death when he'd get out his Army Colt .45 revolver and fool around with it when he was half-way through a bottle of whisky. "Garry Owen" and all that.

Last edited by Pete; 10-11-2010 at 10:45 PM. Reason: Fix typo.
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Old 10-19-2010   #184
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What does this photo prove? Maybe nothing at all.....but I still liked it.
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Old 10-20-2010   #185
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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.
Hey, men need women for many reasons but I object to your stereotyping men as impractical, dirty and unhealthy is improper.

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What does this photo prove? Maybe nothing at all.....but I still liked it.
I like it too!

Mike: After reading all of that, I believe you to be a very lucky man.

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Old 10-20-2010   #186
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What does this photo prove? Maybe nothing at all.....but I still liked it.
I second the motion (and you beat me to posting it too). On a more serious note I have read somewhere of a woman (I think she was asingned to an MP or Truck coy) who, along with only one man, managed to assault and clear an insurgent trench during an abmush in Iraq (I'll try and find the reference). As far as I'm concerned there should be ONE physicall standard for all combat arms. If a woman passes it then no problem (I've met women who are physically more capable than men, me included, although that was in the Balkans!). All the other shenanigans that may occur when men and women mix, a volatile mix I know, should be manageable under military rules. If they can't behave well, that goes for men and women, then they're out. Throwing the weight issue at them isn't fair to a lot of men either as commentators have already mentioned. The issue of mixed units is a different matter altogether and is as much a discipline issue as it is psychological.
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Old 10-20-2010   #187
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I second the motion (and you beat me to posting it too). On a more serious note I have read somewhere of a woman (I think she was asingned to an MP or Truck coy) who, along with only one man, managed to assault and clear an insurgent trench during an abmush in Iraq (I'll try and find the reference). As far as I'm concerned there should be ONE physicall standard for all combat arms. If a woman passes it then no problem (I've met women who are physically more capable than men, me included, although that was in the Balkans!). All the other shenanigans that may occur when men and women mix, a volatile mix I know, should be manageable under military rules. If they can't behave well, that goes for men and women, then they're out. Throwing the weight issue at them isn't fair to a lot of men either as commentators have already mentioned. The issue of mixed units is a different matter altogether and is as much a discipline issue as it is psychological.
That story is on the CSI Press web page as part of In Contact. the Chapter is Palm Sunday Ambush 20 March 2005.
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Old 10-20-2010   #188
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That story is on the CSI Press web page as part of In Contact. the Chapter is Palm Sunday Ambush 20 March 2005.
Sir, thank you. That's the one I was looking for.
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Old 10-30-2010   #189
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I have a problem with women in combat units because of what I see as uncontrollable, unenforceable problems with discipline and the biological urge to reproduce and to protect your spouse/partner/parent of your child, especially when you think you (or your partner) might not live until next Tuesday.

But given that it is likely gonna happen, I'd like to know if the nations/services that do this are going to do it with an equal rights agenda, or a women have more choices that men (affirmative action) agenda?

The sorts of questions I'd like answers to are:

Will women be compelled to serve in combat units against their will, like men are?

Will men be given the options to decline postings to combat units if women are not compelled to serve combat units?

Assuming women are NOT compelled to serve in arms corps, will those who volunteer to do so be allowed to un-volunteer if they find it doest not suit them.

Will there be affirmative action programs? E.g. increased posting of women to combat units until their representation there is equal to men's representation and vica versa (e.g. if 15% of men in the services are in risky, dirty, uncomfortable, combat units, will there be an increase in female postings until 15% of women in the services are in risky, dirty, uncomfortable combat units)?

In countries where abortion is legal, will women who get pregnant after they are posted to combat units be liable to enforced abortion?
If I recall correctly the Defense Force Discipline Act (the Aust equivalent to the UCMJ) makes it an offense for you to render yourself unfit for service, and an offense to refuse treatment and an offence to not comply with medical orders (like any other legal order - you don't get a say just because it's your body - you signed that away when you enlist).

Will women be required to register for selective service in the US and register for conscription in countries that have it (or introduce it in the future)?

Until men are given the same rights as women (e.g. the right of refusal of combat jobs) then there will not be equality between men and women. Instead there will be a group who has privileges that other people don't have.

Whilst its all very well to talk about equality and human rights of women, I think we ALSO need to think about the human rights and equality of men as well, and that with rights (for one gender) come responsibilities (for that gender).

These are I suspect areas that have probably been considered and quietly ignored at the legislature, executive and senior military leadership levels as they are too hard to deal with in the current political (-ly correct) climate.

If the services and legislatures don't think about this when they introduce these measures, then the courts will inevitably have to and I don't have confidence that the courts will settle such questions in a way that will satisfy any of the parties and in particular may cost the services and the nations a whole lot more than they gain by allowing women to server in combat roles.

Of course the governments who introduce such measures will invariably be well served by their decisions, but they only have to live with their decisions for one election at a time.
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Old 01-15-2011   #190
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Default women in combat arms commission

Since this report came out http://www.mercurynews.com/natbreaki...nclick_check=1 I have been surprised by two things:

1- the total lack of background reporting by the media on the commission. If you look at the commission's charter and its membership- it should come as no surprise that they are recommending women serve in all jobs. Their charter is to increase diversity at the higher ranks. And their membership is made up of a majority of non-combat arms types, a heavy dose of diversity specialists, and many more Coast Guard, AF, Navy, and Guard/Reservists than Regular Army/Marines. I think the commission's establishment and background are as interesting, if not more, than their report- but I guess the media aren't interested in reporting the background.

2- most discussion in the media has been the oft-repeated fact that in today's conflicts CS and CSS soldiers (read: females) serve in combat; while most discussions on blogs revolve around women passing individual physical requirements.

On the first point: I would find it highly suspect to develop a policy for implementation in the realm of Conventional armor units by a commission that was made up mostly of Special Operations personnel. I'm not saying the commission has to be totally combat arms- but this one was so obviously stacked with those with no combat arms experience that I question their ability to make a valid recommendation in the combat arms realm.

On the second: I think that the ability to pass individual PT requirements has nothing to do with ones' ability to effectively function on a small team whose main mission is to close with and kill people up close. This is why everyone I talk to from our European armies tells me that most homosexuals don't serve openly in their armies- and especially in their combat arms branches: because they know to do so would make it very hard for them to effectively add to the cohesiveness of the unit. And even though it is politically incorrect- most service members from the U.S. and our allies will admit in private that women and men do not gell well on small teams.

Do I really care if men and women at headquarters and in support roles have a tough time forming a cohesive unit? Well, our politicians have decided it doesn't matter to them- so I guess it doesn't to me either. But, while they are debating making it tough for combat arms folks, I think taking into account the physiological differences between men and women and the effect it could have on small units dedicated to hunting down and killing folks shouldn't be dumbed down to "they are already in combat", "our allies do it", and "they made the same arguments about Blacks and homosexuals".

Lastly, comparing the U.S. armed forces to our allies should be taken with a HUGE grain of salt. Even though we like to romantisize that our European allies are more politically correct than the average New Englander- the truth is that they are- more than not- much more macho and male chauvanist than we are. They don't have diversity agendas, efforts, and pressures. They are much more politically incorrect in their speech, behavior, and culture (using the American PC definition). So- accepting homosexuals and females for them didn't bring with it all of the extra money, time, training, and attention that our other social changes have traditionally brought due to our political environment.

In terms of "small wars"- I think differently: a policy that is in place to guide conventional forces, garrison operations, training environments, and MOS assignment shouldn't guide counterinsurgency execution in-theater: which requires maximum flexibility. This is why empowering the lowest level is paramount in these types of operations. But this would take a massive change to our personnel system- which favors a centrally-controlled environment. In essence: if women are needed in a certain role in a certain environment for the betterment of the mission- by all means use them.

That is why we serve in the armed forces: not for ourselves and our "rights", but for the security of the nation. Likewise- the passing of individual requirements and concern for individual rights should not be the basis for assigning people to combat arms roles: the most effective functioning of small teams of combat arms (who close with and kill the enemy) should be. If they really just want more women general officers- then by all means change the requirements to be a general officer.
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Old 01-15-2011   #191
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Default Mindless Blather...

"EVERY Marine is a rifleman" - Just ask a Marine. As long as it's not a Marine Rifleman. That young rifleman will break the mantra in half and throw it back at you.

Are women in combat? No question. Should they be? That's really their business I suppose, if you want to bring your girly bits to a war zone, enjoy.

Pass the law if you will, but I submit that it will have a counter-intuitive effect. Once there is nothing but an even playing field for an 11B/0311 Squad Leader to work upon, I believe that PT standards and such job-specific skills as the "Buddy Carry" CASEVAC technique will be the final recourse for determining who is or is not Infantry.

Lotsa folks claim they can do what the Infantry do. Funny thing is, they simply don't do it. Fill in Airborne, Marines, Ranger, SOF, whatever hardcore title you want in that previous line. Once it is down to getting off your ass and humping a ruck 20 miles, you're gonna find that very little will really change as to who shows up for employment.

Gimme a female who can hump a mission ruck, shoot Expert, score 300 on the APFT... execute MDMP in a tent in a sandstorm for a COIN element on 2 hrs sleep, then infil over the next 30 hours... she can serve with me anyday and twice on Sunday.
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Old 01-16-2011   #192
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The IDF was recently afflicted with yet another "women in combat" debate, as it is every 10 years for the last 60.

The issue is not weather women can fight - they clearly can - It is he negative effects of women in predominantly male units. This is why the IDF formed the Caracal Battalion, and ...to quote the IDF's official position,

Quote:
Women represent a significant portion of manpower in the combat units that they serve in; in the Anti-Aircraft Division and in the Artillery Corps, women represent 20 percent of soldiers, 25 percent of soldiers in Search and Rescue units, 10 percent of the Border Police, and the Caracal Battalion - a combat battalion - is made up of 70 percent female soldiers. In addition, this year marked the first year in which women are eligible to serve in the Field Intelligence Corps.
....but fact is, almost no men want to serve in Caracal, and the unit has a very mixed reputation amongst infantry officers.
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Old 03-04-2011   #193
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In a nutshell: combat units are closely-knit groups. Introducing sex into the equation is a bad idea.

No fire team leader needs to be adding "did sgt A diddle private B" into his equation when he makes a decision. It's silliness and will only get people killed. There is no up side.
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Old 04-25-2012   #194
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Default U.S. Marine Corps to Assign Women to Ground Combat Element Units

U.S. Marine Corps to Assign Women to Ground Combat Element Units

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Old 04-26-2012   #195
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Default Women in Military Service & Combat (not just USA)

Moderator at work

The title of this thread was Women, Military Readiness, and Int'l Security until today, 23rd October 2013 and has been changed to Women in Military Service & Combat (not just USA). Seven other threads, mainly SWJ Blog, have been merged in too. All prompted by a BBC News report on a Canadian women infantry officer, which will be the added soon (ends).



This appeared in the New York Times yesterday as the Marine Corps looks to study the impact of women in front-line units. Not a new debate really. More interesting is the conversation about gender relationships, security, and military effectiveness.

First, gender equality:

Quote:
Originally Posted by What Sex Means for World Peace
In fact, the very best predictor of a state's peacefulness is not its level of wealth, its level of democracy, or its ethno-religious identity; the best predictor of a state's peacefulness is how well its women are treated. What's more, democracies with higher levels of violence against women are as insecure and unstable as nondemocracies.

....

The evidence of violence against women is clear. So what does it mean for world peace? Consider the effects of sex-selective abortion and polygyny: Both help create an underclass of young adult men with no stake in society because they will never become heads of households, the marker for manhood in their cultures. It's unsurprising that we see a rise in violent crime, theft, and smuggling, whereby these young men seek to become contenders in the marriage market. But the prevalence of these volatile young males may also contribute to greater success in terrorist recruiting, or even state interest in wars of attrition that will attenuate the ranks of these men. For instance, the sole surviving terrorist from the 2008 Mumbai attacks testified that he was persuaded by his own father to participate in order to raise money for the dower that he and his siblings needed in order to marry.

We also know through experimental studies that post-conflict agreements that are negotiated without women break down faster than those that do include women, and that all-male groups take riskier, more aggressive, and less empathetic decisions than mixed groups -- two phenomena that may lead to higher levels of interstate conflict.
So, basically, gender security is a legitimate concern when predicting or resolving conflict. However, is female participation in the armed forces or in combat a substantial factor in a country's ability to favorably prosecute conflict? Is there a distinct female temperament, and what impact will it have as women enter into combat and strategic leadership roles in the armed forces?

This article provides a once-over-the-world review of women in armies around the world, while this 2009 UK MoD report goes into more detail of the applicable literature up to that time. This article points out that female youth obesity has grown slower than male youth obesity; so while both genders have shrinking eligible recruits for military service, females are less likely to be ineligible on the basis of weight (it also linked obesity with region and education, which is another conversation about military recruiting demographics and recruit eligibility).

Of course, there are objections about female temperaments, male temperament towards women, and female physical make-up and capacity but I have not seen a study yet linking female participation in combat with a unit's inability to conduct a combat mission or a country's ability to win a war. This article references US, Canadian, and Danish military reports that indicate the presence of women do not undermine unit effectiveness (and presumably, the overall war effort). That article was written in 2003, so I am curious what new evidence is out there, given the GWoT experiences, against the practicality and effectiveness of women in combat.This would seem to be the standard of proof, given that in war, only victory matters.
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Old 11-14-2012   #196
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Default Women Worry Scandal Will Hurt Role as Advisers

Women Worry Scandal Will Hurt Role as Advisers

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Old 01-23-2013   #197
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Default Panetta Lifts Ban on Women in Combat

http://news.msn.com/politics/panetta...omen-in-combat

Call me a sexist, old fashioned or whatever, but personally I don't like decision and believe due to political correctness and "gender norming" will degrade the force overall. But, if my daughter suddenly decided she wanted to be a riflman in the Marine Corps I would support her 100%. WTF is happening!
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Old 01-23-2013   #198
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Default I'll tell you what is happening to you!

You have lost you're mind and become Politically Correct (PC)! I hope they welcome you on the dark side.
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Old 01-23-2013   #199
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Even if the standards were to be the same, I still wouldn't like it. Yet, knowing the army, they will not be the same. Men will die when they are too heavy in kit to be drug to cover by a female in their fire team, or she herself will get shot. How is the average female going to affect the load plan for a 3 day operation? Can she, on average, bear the 40kg load with enough juice in the tank to sprint to cover or bound? Is the average female the one you want in front of you in a stack?

I dont see the fascination civilian committees have with all manner of changes to the military that have nothing to do with increasing our lethality on the battle field. If the changes wont make you more lethal/effective, why even consider it?
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Old 01-23-2013   #200
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Fortunately, I don't have to worry about it - she is 100% girl and has no interest in that stuff. So, I get to remain old fashioned and not PC.
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