Fair Specimens of Citizen Soldiers
I do hope this is part of a big fat “I Told You So” campaign.
Being right doesn't matter as much as scoring political points and lots of campaign cash.
That sound you hear is the inevitability of change. And it's the Marines making the best of a bad situation and trying to get ahead of it. Would they rather it be on their terms or forced down their throats? Think of it as the way Citadel went co-ed versus the way VMI did. Nobody wanted it, but it happened. VMI did it better. I think this is the Commandant's intent.
Good lord… I'm all for women being able to pursue any opportunity they think the are fit for, but, a little saddened that as a country we are slowly but surely destroying the values that have built strong societies over the millenia – namely – the woman as mother and nurturer of our young and the role of traditional marriage in bringing up strong families.
I'm all for them doing whatever they are ACTUALLY fit for, ie. they need to meet the EXACT SAME STANDARDS as the men if they want to be in forward combat roles like that. I'm all for equal opportunity, so long as everyone involved has to meet the same standards (I know I'm repeating myself). This is, and always will be, one of my biggest gripes about women in the military. There are quite a few support roles that don't have the same physical needs as the front lines, so I have no issues with them being in those roles with current requirements. The front lines or any other job that requires physical strength are not places women need to be if they cannot meet the male requirements (they should be labeled as REQUIREMENTS, not sex-based separate reqs) for those positions. There was no reason to create a new set of requirements to allow for women in combat (still isn't). The military wants to call it EO, then make the reqs EQUAL.
As has been said in past discussions, chivalry is not dead, especially in the military. There are still far too many men willing to put themselves, or the rest of their unit, in danger to save a woman that they would not do to save a man (not saying they wouldn't try to save the guy, just that they wouldn't put everyone else in danger to do so). On top of that there are a number of things that can be done to female prisoners that I personally believe we should not even be putting women in the situation to risk them in the first place.
Lastly, I agree with Maj DC on women being the mothers and nurturers of our children. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it, men cannot give birth (despite all the news stories those "men" are women that had operations), and most of us just aren't emotional types. Men see things differently than women, it's called human nature.
And what's the difference between going the extra mile for a woman and staying to fight in a tactically impossible situation to wait for PJ's to cut dead bodies out of a Blackhawk wreckage, as the Rangers did in Mogadishu?
The POW argument has already been rendered moot by our recent conflicts. Hell, I think a female truck driver got captured during Desert Storm, so it was rendered moot at that time. The only way to avoid women becoming POW's is to not have them in the military at all… and that AIN'T happening.
The POW issue wasn't rendered moot by the recent conflicts, it merely served to prove the point of it. Mogadishu was a horrible decision, and the fiasco that resulted proved it. Also, you ignored the first point I made about women in combat. If they cannot meet THE SAME REQUIREMENTS as the males, WITHOUT REDUCING THOSE REQUIREMENTS, they should not be in those situations. The military is meant to be selective because of the stresses it puts on those in the service, all members that are put at risk of being on the front lines should be expected to meet the same requirements regardless of sex. This includes those truck drivers.
If a woman wants to be a front-line commander, wants to go into situations that could result in her being in direct combat, she should meet the same standards. Otherwise she is putting not only herself at risk, but the rest of her squad.
Blue, how in the world are women going to serve in the military nowadays and NOT be at risk of being captured? The women captured weren't Special Forces or combat pilots… they were refuelers and maintenance people. So, are those jobs now off-limits to females? Having them do the same amount of push-ups on a PT test isn't going to change the fact that they're probably going to get raped if they're captured. That's a risk a woman takes when she enters the military. If a girl wants to get exposed to the risk of being raped (and, ironically enough, probably faces a greater chance of it simply being in the barracks at a CONUS military base instead of at the hands of an enemy captor… simple statistics bear this out), then I have no problem with it. No more so than the risk a young man faces of being blown into pieces or to have his body torn from limb to limb when he signs up to be a grunt. To me, it is no less horrific.
Mogadishu was a fiasco. No argument there. My point is that we had driven into us in the Army that you don't leave anyone behind on the battlefield. Makes no difference if it's man or woman. And that point is taken to the extreme, as it was in Mogadishu, in which Rangers set a perimeter to defend a crash site which only held dead bodies (and the Marines are no strangers to this creed, evidenced by Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer's Medal of Honor action in which he placed himself at extreme risk to rescue wounded comrades and recover dead ones). So, if the creed, "leave no man behind," is taken to that extreme, what difference does it make if a woman is in combat amongst the men? How much more extreme can it be with a woman in combat?
I agree with you about gender-normed PT requirements and that they shouldn't have them. But, I don't run the military. And those requirements aren't going anywhere. I don't particularly care for women being in the ranks of combat arms, but I think the standards debate, POW debate, and the "men will try and protect the women" arguments are weak. THE argument to make is the fraternization argument. Because, I believe, that will degrade unit cohesion and good order to the point it will be detrimental.
ALL of the arguments are valid, they each add another reason. Fraternization is definitely the best argument to make though, I agree, and it's only going to get worse now that the military is openly allowing gays. Heck, harrassment by those of the same sex was happening plenty BEFORE they reversed the policy. My wife got harrassed by several females in her berthing and was told that it couldn't be happening and that she needed to be quiet about it.
The only reason the requirements aren't going anywhere is because the people in charge are too worried about their political careers (which they seem to have to do to get beyond O-4/5) to say or do anything about it, and people outside the military don't care (generally because they don't get what the big deal is), or aren't vocal enough to their Congressmen. Political correctness needs to get the hell out of the military, and if they want to call it "Equal Opportunity" they need to dang well treat both sexes as equals for ALL requirements.
VMI did it "better" job of it, but the end result was the same. The rhetoric started out ad "we're going to hold them to the same standards, same haircuts" etc. How long did that last? In an attempt to have the same standards, the standards were dropped precipitously…the VFT went from a 3 mile run to 1.5 miles, dropped pull-ups etc. Then they went ahead and gender normed standards anyway.
Several years ago Canada opened infantry to females…after millions spent to change facilities and training, 3 women volunteered in the first year.
Finally, the fact that women have been KIA/ WIA in the current conflict lends no support to integrating combat arms. There is a world of difference between getting hit by random rockets on the FOB or by IEDs while in a road convoy and actual raids, clearing buildings, dismounted patrols and life on a forward OP.
You hit on the key point. It was never about "wanting to be the same as the men", it was about changing the institution. Because their viewpoint of it was different and so they wanted to warp it to their values-not accept it as it was.
As for the argument that it is inevitable-that's just not true. War is not a rational thing, and in a perfect world would not exist. Having women practice it simply warps the values of society and we all end up that much poorer. Plus, like it or not, it comes at a cost: costs in fraternization, sexual harassment, and the lack of esprit de corps. I'm glad I spent most of my time in all male units-they were easier to run and a lot more fun.
Hey, I don't disagree. I'm just putting out there that this is the line of thinking behind the Marines taking the initiative and moving forward with it before it's mandated… and it will be mandated. Maybe not next week or next month… but it is coming… probably in the next couple of years.
It will come because there aren't enough people with influence willing to defend against it and there isn't enough of an outcry from the lower ranks.
Having served in many "co-Ed" units, I can absolutely say that my biggest worry about this isn't even the physical standards, but the effect it will have on good order and discipline. When horny 18-22 year old are put together, issues will arise. Jealousies of the others in the unit that aren't "getting any", drama from break-ups, rivalries between potential suitors pursuing the same partner, favoritism/fraternization issues etc. will all have a HORRIBLE effect on unit cohesion. The response to this is that we must trust the
professionalism of the troops. That's naive. I have great faith in the abilities of our troops, but in a battle between the "professionalism" of a 19 year old enlistee and raging hormones, Mother Nature will win that fight every time.
There's the argument to be made. But, in this current socio-political climate, it shall fall upon deaf ears.
As a somewhat newly retired soldier:
1. The Marines will do it right. The Army certainly lacks the sterner stuff necessary to make warriors out of girls.
2. The Marines have enough political clout to permit them to mitigate some of the inevitable pencil-whipping that DoD will do get more female FOGO and Command-rated E-9.
The two things I expected VMI to maintain with zero defects when women entered were the Honor Code and academics. Having been around academy grads of all the services, El Cid grads, and others, VMI's Honor Code is singularly seen as a positive.
The talk about single standards and so on were lies then in 1990, lies now, and as expected as the sun's rise every morning.
Facts are facts: Females in general are weaker than males. I fear that the "New standards" for performance will be designed to allow the females into the combat MOSs. By any physical measure, most females will not be able to keep up with the men.
As a cadet in 1975, who was subjected to this BS then, nothing has changed. There was a double standard then, and there will continue to be a double standard. I was relieved after the first week when I ran the platoon "too hard". This is in light of 20-30% of the female population failing to perform, on a daily basis due to "vaginitis" and not being in condition.
I can remember how they couldn't handle weapons, how they were given breaks not to be around the big boomers that we fired. How they were given special dispensation for not knowing how their weapons were to operate.
How they didn't know how to read a map or even understand the fundamentals of map reading. Couldn't march a squad, and how I was assigned to walk them through the basics. I remember being assigned as XO for 3 of my 6 weeks, to lead these women thru their assigned tasks. And, still, they didn't know left from right…
What I resented then, as well as today, is the notion, that by virtue of their sex, that they had succeeded, when in point of fact, they had not. They could not meet, did not meet, and were in point of fact ,piss poor performers That gets people killed, and is unacceptable.
I wish to state unequivocally, there are certain roles that women can contribute to in a fine fashion. There are support roles, in intelligence, communications, logistics, etc. which they can make a valuable contribution to.
What we have lost and failed to understand, much as we have lost our sense of how we get our food, (meaning something has to die for us to live) is the sense that combat for the individual soldier is killing , smashing, beating to unequivocal surrender, the enemy, in order to win the conflict.
There a’int no do overs. There isn't a mulligan. I don't know where it comes from, but I can tell you this, the idea of using a helmet, rock, stick, stone to kill the bastard, is within my psyche. If I am a warrior, that is what I will do. Tell me, have you seen that "killer instinct" in the female troops? Granted there may be young men in this day and age who don’t meet this requirement, but as a whole what do you see, and by the way most men can be trained this way…
If not, I remain confirmed. This is a political piece of BS intended to denigrate the Services. The job of the military is to win. Period. We cannot sacrifice national security for PC. It is that simple…
WHM VMI 77
You don't think women have a killer spirit; then sit across from one in divorce court. As a "divorce lawyer", I can tell you that more women have a killer instinct than do men. And they're a helluva lot more dangerous in a clinch.
That may be-but having been through a divorce myself, that's just simple greed and a sense of entitlement at work, not a killer instinct. As well as a law system that lets the bitches get away with it. And steal half of what YOU earned.
Anyone honest with him- or herself knew it was ultimately going here from Day One of doing away with the women's auxiliaries and integrating females into the main armed forces. The whole women-in-combat issue is corrupt at its heart. I was there in the 70's and 80's when the feminists and the politicians kissing up to them made solemn oaths (as hard as it is not to laugh at the idea of that type professing anything to be sacred ) that all they wanted was this liittle iitty bitty accommodation so women could get rank – they'd neeeeeever ask to be anywhere near the shooting. Why, even with flying all they wanted was in transports and the like. Cross their heart and hope to die.
Well, of course the promise was broken almost immediately, as they began pushing for combat training and assignments. And we see where that has gone with A-10's and helos: women have been shooting the hell out of things for almost 20 years.Then they put women all over the combat zone, and we got Jessica Lynch.
So now we're a hairsbreadth away from being the Soviet armed forces in WWII. But they'll neeeever ask to be anywhere near combat,.no way.
Thankfully our enemies hold western women in such high regard. I'm sure the Taliban has an extensive sexual assault prevention program…oh wait… my bad, Islam approves of the rape of western women. Google "Amanda Lindhout", find out what the lame stream media isn't telling you.