Battleland

C’mon Ladies! Let’s Get With the Program!

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ISAF

A female U.S. troop in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

I wrote about a lawsuit being filed on behalf of four female military personnel by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) nearly a month ago.

I also noted that the Marine Corps has opened infantry training to women officers, and yet few women are volunteering for the training. The excuse is that since this is a pilot program, if they make it through they won’t be attached to an infantry unit, so why bother?

I’ll tell you why bother…it’s all about credibility.

There was recently an NBCnews.com story about two young Army officers who passed Sapper Leader Training for combat engineers.

Both passed the course and earned the coveted title “SAPPER.” While it will likely open doors for future promotions and positions of leadership, they have no illusions they’ll ever see ground combat themselves, but believe they’re helping pave the way for other female soldiers in the future. “It sets me apart from my peers,” [one] said, “and over time more women will be able to prove themselves.” [The other] is convinced with proper training and personal commitment, women will inevitably see duty in ground combat. “Down the road, we’ll see many more women doing this. We’re gettin’ there.”

Well, let’s get to it.

If, on the one hand, a few women are suing the Department of Defense for the right to enter ground-combat units, then on the other there should be women willing to step up to the plate and volunteer for the training being offered. Be part of the solution!

Many military women advocates, both who have been in the military like me, and those who have not, are arguing for a gender-neutral assignment policy. We are saying that the assignments should be based on qualifications, not gender; that those who can qualify for the job should be able to be assigned to the job.

But if there are no volunteers, what is the point?

We know that not all women will qualify to be in the infantry. The requirements are tough. But I believe there are some women who can qualify, but they need to put themselves out there and try. Many men attrite, so it is no dishonor to try and not make it.

I was a Navy diver. The school was really tough, and even now, after more than 30 years of women being Navy divers, there are still less than 300 overall who have made it, and this is in every type of diving the Navy uses, except for SEAL teams. My ex-husband was a Navy SEAL, and he told me that it was not the rough and tough football players who usually succeeded.

The men who succeeded were the ones who just would not quit. They had the mental capacity to see all the hardships and team-building through to the end. Women need to do the same thing if they expect to enter, and complete, infantry training.

For the Army and the Marine Corps, you not only have to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Yes, I understand that the women filing the lawsuit have all been in either Afghanistan or Iraq, and several received decorations for their service, but they cannot stand alone. They need to convince the many women and men who are watching this unfold with keen interest that there are women who want this opportunity as much as the advocates want to give it to them.

But until there are women who have passed the training, and shown they meet all of the qualifications, whether women can wage ground combat job or not is mere speculation. Whatever happens with the lawsuit will happen.

But until there are qualified women ready to enter combat units if the lawsuit is upheld, then it will all be for naught.

MORE: Same Old Story for Women in Uniform

9 comments
dontn123
dontn123 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Jessica Lynch was knocked unconscious when her ARMY UNIT was Massacred at the beginning of IRAQ WAR.   

Why did the Military spend so much efforts to recover HER VS what would of been all men in that situation many years before.?

 Why did the GOVT LIE about her combat - fight before being taken as a POW?

Even Jessica has admitted that the Military and the NEWS Media has spun her REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE OUT OF CONTROL as being a fighter and hero when in fact she was knocked out and awoke in an Iraq Hospital where they patched her up and performed several surgeries to save her.  Those ROTTEN IRAQIS should pay for the way they treated her.

We sent Special Forces, Seals, Rangers, Delta Force and Para Rescue to find and bring her out.  Then the SPIN SHOW BEGAN! Yes we need women in combat.  Sign them up.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

news report: Military Sexual Assault Epidemic Continues To Claim Victims As Defense Department Fails Females -- One in three military women has been sexually assaulted, compared to one in six civilian women, according to Defense.

And this just in from DOD:     So today the department released its annual report on sexual harassment and violence at the military service academies.  This report shows that sexual assault and sexual harassment remain persistent problems at the academies.

These are real victims with real problems. Problems that never go away. Darlene claims that having more women in the combat arms will somehow cure this -- I don't see it.

dontn123
dontn123

Why sure women are equals in the Military. Wait though why do the men and women have a separate standard for the Army Physical Fitness Test? After all we are talking about Equals.

Standards.

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/army/a/afpt.htm

Hey make it one standard or none....why not? Gives a whole new name to Fox Ho Buddy. Lets have all female infantry attack units. Wait until they are on their Cycle then turn em lose on the enemy...it would be a blood bath.

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

@dontn123 But there's hope in the USMC and Army. news report: Female Marines soon will be required to perform pull-ups, just like male Marines do, as part of their annual physical fitness tests, the Marine Corps’ top general announced Tuesday. The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.   “Phase one,” Amos explains, “will serve as a transition period, and is intended to allow commanders and individual female Marines to adjust …training routines to prepare for implementation of the new requirements.” This will be interesting.

 Army Times: The Army APFT doesn't include pull-ups but plans to include them. Pull-ups are a part of the now-required Physical Readiness Training program. Officials are adamant that the new test remain gender neutral, with identical events for men and women. There will be different scoring standards based on physiological differences, but female soldiers would be required to do dead-hang pull-ups.“The average [for women] might be three or four pull-ups,” Longo said. “Excellent might be seven. Poor might be one. So that means each additional pull-up might be worth 25 points. I don’t know if that’s what we want.”

dontn123
dontn123

@Don_Bacon @dontn123 Well not sure but does that mean women might have an advantage for getting promoted over men since the APFT counts towards promotion points?   

What happens when that upper body is needed to climb over walls and other obstacles that will be found on the battle field.  Don't get me wrong there are some tough women but they are few and far between.  Infantry unit operations is rough on the body and will sit on the sidelines to see.  I'd hate to see people get killed just to prove or disprove an experiment.   

There is another story on here about bring back the DRAFT and I have added several of my thoughts to it.

Airborne Units in ARMY there is a requirement to do pull ups during training.   Did and do women perform the same number of pull ups required of men?  When I was in Women did not go through Airborne Training.


Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

@dontn123 @Don_Bacon I agree with you. The infantry (if they're not just riding around) is extremely physical. It's an important consideration -- life and death. 

But the Number One issue for me is sexual assault. Most of the women-in-combat push seems to be coming from women who (1) don't understand the dangers from the drug testosterone because they don't experience it and (2) the sexual assaults that that drug brings especially in remote conditions. Here's a link to one such.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/06/military-sexual-assault-defense-department_n_1834196.html

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

Okay, Darlene, in honor of the holidays and having a laugh, here we go, TOTALLY tongue in cheek--You know why brides get married in white? ---Because it matches the sink, stove and refrigerator. --Have a merry one. (I did mean totally.)

ShirlFrostHawes
ShirlFrostHawes

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Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

Good news. What's ladylike about killing Afghans? That female soldier in Helmand doesn't exactly look aggressive, for example.

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