Pentagon May Allow Women to Serve in Combat Occupations

Absolutely agreed, as you said it undermines the credibilty of women in the service.

Edit - Apparently in 95 West Point released the data for the Womens APFT. Only 3% scored at or above the mens mean.

As a fun followup: is there any actual evidence the difference between the male and female standards results in significantly different levels of combat performance?

Up to a certain point, sure, your physical conditioning will make you a better killer. I’m curious where that point is, though.

I don’t know if anyone has ever done a study to see if the different PT standards result in varied performance, but I know that 11B (Infantry) are regularly tasked with missions that involve physical performance well above the minimums. Carrying a full load rucksack, being the ammo guy, or having the platoon mortar base plate, etc. You have to be able to lift and carry these weights or risk holding up the rest of your squad. You have to do this over fairly long distances. (10 miles covered on a foot patrol is not uncommon.) The current male standards do not adequately discover the inability to successfully complete these tasks.

Even while I was in the service, I always advocated a structured set of standards based on unit missions. The Army Rangers already have an additional test. A light infantry scout platoon should not have the same set of physical standards that a brigade supply platoon has. Unfortunately, I do agree with the folks that point out that this level of PT granularity would introduce issues of its own. What would you do if a desk jockey gets transferred to a combat unit? How long of a period of adjustment do you give him before you wash him out? Etc.

It’s a tough nut to crack, but I feel that if you allow women into combat arms, then you’d better be sure they can do the same physical tasks that are demanded of the men.

He means the ones that taste funny.

Is anyone suggesting that military combat troops will eventually be 50/50 men/women? I don’t think that’s the objective. Even if only 3% of women qualify, letting them go into combat is still the right thing to do.

If a woman can do the job, she should be able to do the job. That doesn’t mean lowering the standards.

That’s just what they did when women entered the service. They lowered physical standards to ensure the success of the policy. I worry that they’ll do it again.

Again, what purpose does this serve? Does it increase combat effectiveness? Will it make the services more capable? This is clearly a political sop. The decision was made without regard to the merits of the idea for partisan reasons.

I never thought I’d say this, but there are days I wish I voted for Romney.

What is the BB code for Gigantic Eye Roll?

Yeah, Fiery Citrus, the services have, what, 3 years to write the governing rules? Maybe you should wait for something to actually happen before getting the vapors.

News stories from the past ten years or so have thoroughly established that our military ranks include the absolute dregs of our society — members of street gangs and racist militias, genuine psych cases, et al. — thanks to recruiting problems. Physically fit, mentally healthy women who take training well and follow orders will surely be preferable to those men, will they not?

Damn it, JMJ, stop trolling. I’m in no fucking mood.

I’m not trolling. I didn’t say everyone in the ranks is a gang member, just that the ranks include them.

Ok, you’re not a pretend idiot, you’re an authentic idiot.

News stories have conclusively established? Really?

Are you on the rag or something? This has all been in the news and discussed on this very board.

Apparently the FBI estimates 1-2% gang membership!

Heh, I’m sure it’s all just hearsay, Ed.

No. I’m just offended by stupid bullshit. When I was in the Navy 20 years ago we had ex gang members. I saw no evidence they were worse sailors than anybody else. Where’s your evidence that more gang members are joining now compared to the past? Where’s your evidence that ex gang members are worse service members? You got anything at all except elitist prejudice, UC boy?

Officers can’t reach higher ranks without having command experience and having a huge percentage of potential positions blocked is considered detrimental for female officer’s careers. You will see female officers (who should be more motivated to excel for career purposes) long before female enlisted troops will move in.

Speaking as a former eight year combat infantryman, if a female can do the job, let them do it. But it’s a hard, brutal life. I doubt many would be able or willing to do the job, but its not fair to arbitrarily deny them the chance.

Quoted for immortalization.

Found this on another site somewhere:

Here’s a statement by the secretary of the army in 1949 opposing desegregation of the armed forces. See how similar his arguments are to those being used by the right-wing to oppose women serving in combat:

"Specifically the Army is not an instrument for social evolution. It is not the Army’s job either to favor or to impede the social doctrines, no matter how progressive they may be – it is not for us to lead or to lag behind the civilian procession except to the extent that the national defense is affected…

Another – and an important – factor to be considered on the question of segregation is the morale of the troops as a whole – their satisfaction with Army life, and the spirit with which they perform Army tasks. In war, when the chips are down, this morale factor may well be the difference between victory and defeat.

We must remember that soldiers are not mere bodies that can be moved and handled as trucks and guns. They are individuals who came from civilian life and often return thereto. They are subject to all the emotions, prejudices, ideals, ambitions and inhibitions that encumber our civil population throughout the country.

Solders live and work closely together. They are not only on the same drill field also in the same living and eating quarters. From the standpoint both of morale and of efficiency it is important in peace and in war that the barracks and the unit areas be so attractive to them that they will devote not only their duty time but a reasonable part of their optional time at the post – that they will not be watching the clock for a chance to get away.

In war it is even more important that they have confidence both in their leaders and in the men that are to fight by their sides. Effective comradeship in battle calls for a warm and close personal relationship within a unit…

In this connection we must remember that a large part of the volunteers in the Army are Southerners – usually a larger proportion than from any other part of the country. Whether properly or not, it is a well known fact that close personal association with Negroes is distasteful to large percentage of Southern whites.

A total abandonment of – or a substantial and sudden change in – the Army’s partial segregation policy would in my opinion adversely affect enlistments and reenlistments not only in the South but in many other parts of the country, probably making peacetime selective service necessary. And a change in our policy would adversely affect the morale of many Southern soldiers and other soldiers now serving…

[I]n my opinion – and I believe in the opinion of a great majority of the experienced Army men and officers – it would be most difficult – and unwise from the standpoint of national defense – to require any substantial proportion of white soldiers – whether from the South or from other sections of the country – to serve under Negro officers or particularly under Negro non-commissioned officers."

This initiative came from the Pentagon, not the executive branch, and only after a series of internal studies indicated the adverse effect would be minimal. Mostly they’d like to be able to assign people where they actually belong, rather than based on rules they have to ignore/contort to fiddle with to reflect reality anyway. The definition of “combat jobs” and “front lines” are outdated.

Im retired mil. (vietnam vet) and I see no problem.

As it is now, women can drive the vehicles and fly rescue chopper missions. We have many of them dying in Iraq and Afghanistan anyway. When a convoy or chopper is attacked, they are shooting the same weapons the same way as the soldiers. This crap about not wanting to “put them in harms way” is worthless in modern war. If they want it, and they can cut it, then let them.

Besides… in the places we are fighting now arming a gay wont mean a blink.
But an armed woman would scare the crap out of the enemy.