2005-03-10

Women in the military

A blast from the past:
Jim Webb in November 1979 Washingtonian:

1979-11-James-Webb-women-cant-fight
Jim Webb: Women Can’t Fight
by James Webb
Washingtonian Magazine, November 1979

“Your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable—it is to win wars,”
Douglas MacArthur told the 1962 West Point class.
In this story, a Naval Academy graduate, a combat veteran of Vietnam,
says the country’s fighting mission is being corrupted,
with grave consequences to the national defense.
One of the main problems, he says, is women.

[The response to this, in 2015, of course
is to point out that women have been fighting,
in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places.
Does that demolish all of Webb's arguments?
I don't know.]










2013

2013-01-24-WP-Editorial-women-in-combat-the-military-faces-reality
Women in combat
Washington Post Editorial, 2013-01-24

WOMEN IN THE U.S. military have been on the front lines of two wars. They’ve engaged the enemy, suffered grievous injury and been awarded medals for valor; 152 of them have died. So the Defense Department’s decision to lift its official ban on women in combat is, in some respects, an acknowledgement of reality. Nonetheless, it is a historic move — both sobering and exhilarating — that affirms the importance of women in defending this country and removes barriers that have impeded them in that work.

“The fact is they have become an integral part of our ability to perform our mission,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Thursday as he announced an end to a policy that essentially restricted women from serving in the infantry, artillery, special operations and other specialties. The decision to upend a rule in place since 1994 came on the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey, joined Mr. Panetta in signing an order that will open hundreds of thousands of front-line jobs to female service members.

One result will be a more level playing field for women, who make up about 14 percent of active-duty personnel: As they seek to advance in rank, they will no longer be hobbled by lack of official combat credentials. Gen. Dempsey said that the change will also mitigate the military’s persistent problem of sexual assault and harassment: Having “part of the population designated as warriors and one as something else” has “in some way led to that environment.”

Neither of those benefits would justify the change if it were to compromise military effectiveness. But most people knowledgeable about the situation believe that won’t happen. “American women are already serving in harm’s way today all over the world,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). “It reflects the reality of 21st-century military operations,” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chair of the Armed Services Committee. Gen. Dempsey said that the change will be implemented in a way that won’t sacrifice the military’s capability.

Each branch of the military is charged with devising its own plan and will be allowed to seek exceptions if officials think there are positions that should remain closed to women. It’s important, as Mr. McCain added, that standards not be compromised. But the way in which female service members in Iraq and Afghanistan performed a range of jobs once thought unimaginable for them — from driving trucks down bomb-strewn roads to serving as gunners on vehicles — is evidence not only of their mettle but also of the military’s ability to properly train and deploy its troops.





2013-01-25-WP-Parker-military-is-putting-women-at-unique-risk
Combat puts women at unique risk
By Kathleen Parker
Washington Post, 2013-01-25

It must be true what they say about women — that they are smarter, stronger, wiser and wilier than your average Joe.

How else could one explain the magical thinking that apparently has prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to abandon all reason and lift the ban on women in direct combat?

Methinks the boys have been outmaneuvered.

This is a terrible idea for reasons too numerous to list in this space, which forces me to recommend my 2008 book, “Save the Males,” in which I devote a chapter to the issue. The most salient point happens to be a feminist argument: Women, because of their inferior physical capacities and greater vulnerabilities upon capture, have a diminished opportunity for survival.

More on this, but first let’s be clear. Arguments against women in direct combat have nothing to do with courage, skill, patriotism or dedication. Most women are equal to most men in all these categories and are superior to men in many other areas, as our educational graduation rates at every level indicate. Women also tend to excel as sharpshooters and pilots.

But ground combat is one area in which women, through quirks of biology and human nature, are not equal to men — a difference that should be celebrated rather than rationalized as incorrect.

Remember, we’re not talking about female officers of a certain age pacing the hallways of the Pentagon when we speak of placing women in combat, though perhaps we should be. My favorite bumper sticker remains: “I’m out of estrogen and I have a gun.”

We’re potentially talking about 18-year-old girls, notwithstanding their “adult” designation under the law. (Parents know better.) At least 18-year-old males have the advantage of being gassed up on testosterone, the hormone that fuels not just sexual libido but, more to the point, aggression. To those suffering a sudden onset of the vapors, ignore hormones at your peril.

Now, hold the image of your 18-year-old daughter, neighbor, sister or girlfriend as you follow these facts, which somehow have been ignored in the advancement of a fallacy. The fallacy is that because men and women are equal under the law, they are equal in all endeavors and should have all access to the same opportunities. This is true except when the opportunity requires certain characteristics. Fact: Females have only half the upper-body strength as males — no small point in the field.

Further to the fallacy is the operating assumption that military service is just another job. The rules of civil society do not apply to the military, which is a top-down organization in which the rules are created to maximize efficiency in killing enemies. It is not just another job that can be managed with the human resources department’s Manual on Diversity and Sensitivity.

The argument that women’s performance on de facto front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan has proved concerns about combat roles unwarranted is false logic. Just because women in forward support companies can return fire when necessary — or die — doesn’t necessarily mean they are equal to men in combat.

Unbeknown perhaps to many civilians, combat has a very specific meaning in the military. It has nothing to do with stepping on an IED or suffering the consequences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It means aggressively engaging and attacking the enemy with deliberate offensive action, with a high probability of face-to-face contact.

If the enemy is all around you — and you need every available person — that is one set of circumstances. To ask women to engage vicious men and risk capture under any other is beyond understanding. This is not a movie or a game. Every objective study has argued against women in direct combat for reasons that haven’t changed.

The threat to unit cohesion should require no elaboration. But let’s leave that obvious point to pedants and cross into enemy territory where somebody’s 18-year-old daughter has been captured. No one wants to imagine a son in these circumstances either, obviously, but women face special tortures. And, no, the rape of men has never held comparable appeal.

We can train our men to ignore the screams of their female comrades, but is this the society we want to create? And though some female veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have endured remarkable suffering, their ability to withstand or survive violent circumstances is no rational argument for putting American girls and women in the hands of enemy men.



2013-02-03-WP-Parker-combat-women-and-congresss-wimps
Kathleen Parker: Combat women and Congress’s wimps
By Kathleen Parker
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2013-02-03

Polling that shows Americans favor women in combat by a 2-to-1 margin is evidence only of the power of misinformation.

And, yes, indoctrination.

Arguments favoring women in direct combat are perhaps well-intentioned, focusing on fairness, opportunity and pride in certain women’s abilities. Unfortunately, most people who make those arguments are operating on false assumptions. And, shall we say, mis-truths.

It’s not their fault. For the past several decades, the media and popular culture have relentlessly advanced the fantasy narrative of women as groin-kicking, martial-arts divas of doom. Where are all the brave men and women who know better? Would that lawmakers could stop preening for cameras long enough to examine the issue more closely. Democrats may be merely falling in line with their commander in chief, but Republicans seem to be suffering from Stockholm syndrome. They’ve been slapped around for so long, they’ve become sympathetic to their captors.

...

That our Congress is accepting this change without any debate isn’t progress. It is a dereliction of duty and, one is tempted to say, suggestive of cowardice.







2015

2015-05-15-WT-military-pressed-to-design-line-of-women-friendly-
U.S. military pressed to design special line of combat boots just for women
by Rowan Scarborough
Washington Times, 2015-05-15




2015-08-19-Patrick-Lang-blog-on-female-Ranger-graduates
Whatcha gonna do now, Ranger? - TTG
by TTG ?
(I don't keep up with Lang's blog; TTG is evidently one of his contributors
Oh wait, in the comments section we find "TTG" is "The Twisted Genius".)
Patrick Lang blog, 2015-08-29

...

“Congratulations to all of our new Rangers,”
Army Secretary John McHugh said in a statement.
“Each Ranger School graduate has shown the physical and mental toughness to successfully lead organizations at any level.
This course has proven that every soldier, regardless of gender, can achieve his or her full potential.
We owe soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position where they are qualified and capable,
and we continue to look for ways to select, train, and retain the best Soldiers to meet our nation’s needs.”
(Washington Post)

************************************

I agree with much of what our new Army Secretary John McHugh said.
But something struck me as wrong about his statement.
Do we really owe soldiers the opportunity to serve successfully in any position?
Service in the Army is about giving and sacrificing to a greater goal,
not about self actualization and career advancement.
[Amen.
You read most of what comes from the PC scum in the media,
and it's all about
what this means for (some) women,
not what it means for the effectiveness of the American military.
Let me emphasize:
The people who only look at this, and other thing,
from the perspective of
their theories of "what's good for women"
are pure scum.
I don't care if they are the Army Secretary.]

That is the crux of why is I think this push for women in combat units
is misguided and dangerous.
It’s being done for the wrong reasons.

The Ranger Course is a leadership development course, not a combat training course.
It uses patrolling in a simulated combat environment
as a means to develop small unit leaders.
Soldiers from any branch can attend.
A finance officer friend was one of my classmates.
It is also open to other services and to allied foreign officers.
A Nicaraguan lieutenant was one of two students that froze to death in my class.
The other was a US Army Engineer lieutenant.

We now know the identity of these two Ranger qualified female soldiers. They are CPT Shaye Haver, an Apache pilot from the 101st ID, and 1LT Kristen Griest, a Military Police officer. Both failed the Darby Phase twice and were allowed to recycle. Most recycles and drops are for medical reasons. They also had to pass several peer reviews from their fellow students. I’m sure these two officers learned something important about themselves during the Ranger Course. I hope they will be better officers for it. They will have to ignore the media circus and the shrill cries of those calling for tearing down more barriers to women’s career advancement in the armed services in order to be those better officers.

That will be difficult. I read several news articles and opinion pieces and watched several CNN interviews on YouTube.
The strident calls for gender equality in the combat arms and the total cluelessness about the difference between the Ranger Tab and the 75th Ranger Regiment are astounding.
...

There are so many calls for these female soldiers to be allowed to join the Ranger Regiment.
No one is allowed to join the Ranger Regiment just because he/she has successfully completed the Ranger Course.
There’s a different selection process for that along with prerequisites for applying.
Foremost among these prerequisites is that you have to volunteer for it. Did any of these “chairborne commandos" ask these officers if they wanted to be in the Ranger Regiment? Does the Ranger Regiment need a helicopter pilot or an MP? There are positions for several support officers like JAG, medical, logistics, but no one is going to lead a Ranger platoon or company without first doing a bang up job as an Infantry platoon leader or company commander… and that’s what the culture warriors are fighting for.

I have no doubt there will be efforts to put women through the Army Infantry Officer Basic Course
just as there are ongoing efforts to put woman Marines through the Infantry Leader Course at Quantico.
So far no woman Marine has made it past the first few days.
I just heard it announced today that SEAL training will soon be open to female applicants.
I’m sure the SF Officers Qualification Course will be among the next targets for gender equality.
I’d bet there are women who can pass the course,
but lead an SF detachment on an MTT to Mali, Nigeria or Malaysia?
I can’t see that.
Will any of these gender equality efforts benefit these units?
Hell no and I’m prepared to argue that. But that question isn’t being asked.
It’s all about career opportunities.
Unit mission is secondary at best.
I consider myself a very progressive and open minded person,
but I find the current push for gender equality in the combat arms to be
misguided at best and dangerous at worst.

[Again, amen.]

Bring on the arguments.

TTG

[There are many comments on this piece,
most by people who have been in the military.
I don't know how many, but over a hundred.]




2015-12-03-WP-pentagon-chief-to-announce-how-womens-roles-in-the-military-will-expand
In historic decision, Pentagon chief opens all jobs in combat units to women
By Dan Lamothe
Washington Post, 2015-12-03

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that would for the first time allow female service members to join the country’s most elite military forces.

Women will now be eligible to join the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.

“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said. “This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.”

Carter’s announcement caps three years of experimentation at the Pentagon and breakthroughs for women in the armed services. Earlier this year, two female soldiers became the first women to ever graduate from the Army’s grueling Ranger School. But the Pentagon’s project also set off a bitter debate about how women should be integrated.

Carter said that top leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command all recommended that all jobs be opened to women. The Marine Corps recommended that certain jobs such as machine gunner be kept closed, but the secretary said that the military is a joint force, and his decision will apply to everyone. The top Marine officer who made that recommendation, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September, and did not appear alongside Carter on Thursday.

The services will have 30 days to provide plans to Carter on how they will implement the policy change, he said. By law, the military also must notify Congress formally and wait that long before making any changes.

The roots of the secretary’s decision date back to January 2013, when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced he was rescinding a longtime ban on women serving directly in ground combat units. Panetta gave the services until this fall to research the issue.

About 220,000 jobs, or about 10 percent, of the military remained closed to women before Thursday’s announcement, Carter said. Another 110,000 jobs in careers like artillery officer were opened in a series of decisions since 2013.

President Obama said in a statement that the Defense Department is “taking another historic step forward” by opening up all positions to women.

“As Commander in Chief, I know that this change, like others before it, will again make our military even stronger. Our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent,” Obama said. “Women who can meet the high standards required will have new opportunities to serve. I know that, under the leadership of Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford, our men and women in uniform will implement this transition — as they have others — in a responsible manner that maintains military readiness and the unparalleled professionalism and strength of our armed forces.”

The issue has at times opened an uncommonly public rift between senior military leaders. In particular, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus took issue with a Marine Corps study that found that the average woman struggled to keep up with men, according to a number of metrics. The study did not track individual performance, drawing fire from Mabus and others in favor of full integration.

As the Marine Corps commandant, Dunford recommended to keep a number of jobs in infantry and reconnaissance units closed. Carter, asked why Dunford was not present for the announcement on Thursday, said that he and the general have talked extensively on the subject, and he “will be with me” as the services proceeds with making related changes.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that would for the first time allow female service members to join the country’s most elite military forces.

Women will now be eligible to join the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.

“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said. “This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.”

Carter’s announcement caps three years of experimentation at the Pentagon and breakthroughs for women in the armed services. Earlier this year, two female soldiers became the first women to ever graduate from the Army’s grueling Ranger School. But the Pentagon’s project also set off a bitter debate about how women should be integrated.

[Why the Pentagon opening all jobs to women could subject them to a military draft]

Carter said that top leaders in the Army, Navy, Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command all recommended that all jobs be opened to women. The Marine Corps recommended that certain jobs such as machine gunner be kept closed, but the secretary said that the military is a joint force, and his decision will apply to everyone. The top Marine officer who made that recommendation, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September, and did not appear alongside Carter on Thursday.

The services will have 30 days to provide plans to Carter on how they will implement the policy change, he said. By law, the military also must notify Congress formally and wait that long before making any changes.

The roots of the secretary’s decision date back to January 2013, when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced he was rescinding a longtime ban on women serving directly in ground combat units. Panetta gave the services until this fall to research the issue.

About 220,000 jobs, or about 10 percent, of the military remained closed to women before Thursday’s announcement, Carter said. Another 110,000 jobs in careers like artillery officer were opened in a series of decisions since 2013.

Army Maj. Lisa Jaster, center, embraces 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, left, and Capt. Kristen Griest, right, after a graduation ceremony at the Army’s Ranger School on Oct. 16, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga. Jaster, who is the first Army Reserve female to graduate from the Army’s Ranger School, joins Griest and Haver as the third female soldier to complete the school. (Branden Camp/AP)

President Obama said in a statement that the Defense Department is “taking another historic step forward” by opening up all positions to women.

“As Commander in Chief, I know that this change, like others before it, will again make our military even stronger. Our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent,” Obama said. “Women who can meet the high standards required will have new opportunities to serve. I know that, under the leadership of Secretary Carter and Chairman Dunford, our men and women in uniform will implement this transition — as they have others — in a responsible manner that maintains military readiness and the unparalleled professionalism and strength of our armed forces.”

The issue has at times opened an uncommonly public rift between senior military leaders. In particular, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus took issue with a Marine Corps study that found that the average woman struggled to keep up with men, according to a number of metrics. The study did not track individual performance, drawing fire from Mabus and others in favor of full integration.

As the Marine Corps commandant, Dunford recommended to keep a number of jobs in infantry and reconnaissance units closed.Carter, asked why Dunford was not present for the announcement on Thursday, said that he and the general have talked extensively on the subject, and he “will be with me” as the services proceeds with making related changes.

[Marine experiment finds women shoot less accurately, get injured more frequently than men]

“He understands what my decision is, and my decision is my decision, and we will implement it accordingly,” Carter said.

Dunford said in a statement on Thursday afternoon that it is his job to provide his “candid best military advice” to Carter on issues ranging from military readiness, to combat effectiveness, to how the services are employed.

“I have had the opportunity to provide my advice on the issue of full integration of women into the Armed Forces,” Dunford’s statement said. “In the wake of the Secretary’s decision, my responsibility is to ensure his decision is properly implemented. Moving forward my focus is to lead the full integration of women in a manner that maintains our joint warfighting capability, ensures the health and welfare of our people, and optimizes how we leverage talent across the Joint Force.”

Dunford’s spokesman, Navy Capt. Gregory Hicks, said Dunford did not appear Thursday because it was Carter’s decision, and his “opportunity to announce that decision.” Three years ago, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, then the Joint Chiefs chairman, appeared alongside Panetta as he announced that he was rescinding the combat exclusion policy.

Carter said the important factor in him opening all jobs to women was to give the military access to every American who can add strength to it. Studies carried out by the services since 2013 found that some of the standards the military previously used to determine whether a service member was fit for a job were outdated or didn’t reflect the actual tasks required in combat, he said.

“It’s been evidence-based, and iterative,” Carter said of the review. “I’m confident the Defense Department can implement this successfully, because throughout our history we’ve consistently proven ourselves to be a learning organization.”

The Marine Corps will immediately begin the process of implementing the policy change, and share plans and lessons learned with the other services, said Maj. Chris Devine, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon.

“We are well-informed by our combat experience, as well as our objective approach and data obtained from the past two years of study,” Devine said. “As we move forward with full integration, we’ll continue to maintain our standards, while leveraging every opportunity to optimize individual performance, talent and skills to maximize the warfighting capabilities of our [Marine air ground task forces] in an increasingly complex operating environment.”

Carter cited the military’s 2011 repeal on a policy banning gay service members from serving openly as an example of how gender integration can be completed successfully. The repeal of that “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy raised questions in many corners of the military at the time, but is now widely considered to have been implemented smoothly and without hurting the military’s ability to fight.

The secretary also noted that three women have successfully been able to complete the Army’s Ranger School this year as part of the research into how to better integrate women in the military. The service opened it to women on a full-time basis in September, although the elite 75th Ranger Regiment remained closed to women at the time.

Skeptics remain, however. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.), chairmen of the Senate and House armed services committees, said in a statement released jointly on Thursday that they intend to “carefully and thoroughly review all relevant documentation related to today’s decision,” including the Marine Corps gender integration study that caused the rift between the service and Mabus.

“We expect the Department to send over its implementation plans as quickly as possible to ensure our Committees have all the information necessary to conduct proper and rigorous oversight,” the statement said. “We also look forward to receiving the Department’s views on any changes to the Selective Service Act that may be required as a result of this decision.”

Other members of Congress applauded Carter’s decision. Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), a retired Air Force colonel and A-10 attack jet pilot, said in a statement that the move recognizes that the military is strongest when it prioritizes merit and capability.

“It’s about damn time,” McSally said in the statement. “Women have been fighting and dying for our country since its earliest wars. They have shown they can compete with the best of the best, and succeed. We are a country that looks at people as individuals, not groups. We select the best man for the job, even if it’s a woman.”

Another female combat veteran and member of Congress, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), released an even more pointed statement of support reflecting her time as an Army helicopter pilot in Iraq and injuries suffered there.

“I didn’t lose my legs in a bar fight — of course women can serve in combat,” she said. “This decision is long overdue.”

Mabus said in a statement that Carter’s decision will maximize the combat effectiveness of the Navy and Marine Corps alike.

“Our process and studies showed that as long as someone can meet operationally relevant, occupation-specific, gender-neutral individual standards, that person is qualified to serve,” Mabus said. “Gender does not define the Service of a United States Sailor or Marine — instead, it is their character, selflessness, and abilities.”

[Women permeating the ranks of the military will prove to be
a colossal distraction for, surely not all, but many of the men with whom they serve.
How much time will they spend thinking about having sex with them?
Do these jackasses who supported this move think any regulation, or reasonable training,
will stop many men from being distracted?
And please, don't use the civilian comparison here.
Few civilians are separated from their normal relationships, sexual and otherwise,
and sent off to live in the closest possible proximity
to people to whom they are sexually attracted but,
according to the rules of military discipline,
forbidden from realizing that sexual attraction,
no matter how much it may be a mutual desire to engage in sex.
What about the couple, serving side by side,
want to have sex together, but are forbidden from doing so?
Do you (or does anyone) think that will not be a distraction?
Looking at pinups, or pornography, is one thing.
Having the object of your sexual desire rubbing against you in your training is another.

Notice how the media failed to find ANYONE who would express such concerns
for this (and other similar) articles.
Talk about biased reporting!]



2015-12-04-NYT-combat-military-women-ash-carter
All Combat Roles Now Open to Women, Defense Secretary Says
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG and DAVE PHILIPPS
New York Times, 2015-12-04

In a historic transformation of the American military, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said on Thursday that the Pentagon would open all combat jobs to women.
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“There will be no exceptions,” Mr. Carter said at a news conference. He added, “They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men.”

The groundbreaking decision overturns a longstanding rule that had restricted women from combat roles, even though women have often found themselves in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 14 years.

It is the latest in a long march of inclusive steps by the military, including racial integration in 1948 and the lifting of the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military in 2011. The decision this week will open about 220,000 military jobs to women.

The military faced a deadline set by the Obama administration three years ago to integrate women into all combat jobs by January or ask for specific exemptions. The Navy and Air Force have already opened almost all combat positions to women, and the Army has increasingly integrated its forces.

The announcement Thursday was a rebuke to the Marine Corps, which has a 93 percent male force dominated by infantry and a culture that still segregates recruits by gender for basic training. In September, the Marines requested an exemption for infantry and armor positions, citing a yearlong study that showed integration could hurt its fighting ability. But Mr. Carter said he overruled the Marines because the military should operate under a common set of standards.

Gen. Joseph E. Dunford Jr., the former commandant of the Marine Corps who recently became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not attend the announcement, and in a statement Thursday appeared to give only tepid support, saying, “I have had the opportunity to provide my advice on the issue of full integration of women into the armed forces. In the wake of the secretary’s decision, my responsibility is to ensure his decision is properly implemented.”

Women have long chafed under the combat restrictions, which allowed them to serve in combat zones, often under fire, but prevented them from officially holding combat positions, including in the infantry, which remain crucial to career advancement. Women have long said that by not recognizing their real service, the military has unfairly held them back.

A major barrier fell this year when women were permitted to go through the grueling training that would allow them to qualify as Army Rangers, the service’s elite infantry.

Mr. Carter said that women would be allowed to serve in all military combat roles by early next year. He characterized the change as necessary to ensure that the United States military remained the world’s most powerful.

“When I became secretary of defense, I made a commitment to building America’s force of the future,” Mr. Carter told reporters. “In the 21st century that requires drawing strength from the broadest possible pool of talent. This includes women.”

The announcement Thursday was a rebuke to the Marine Corps, which has a 93 percent male force dominated by infantry and a culture that still segregates recruits by gender for basic training. In September, the Marines requested an exemption for infantry and armor positions, citing a yearlong study that showed integration could hurt its fighting ability. But Mr. Carter said he overruled the Marines because the military should operate under a common set of standards.

Gen. Joseph E. Dunford Jr., the former commandant of the Marine Corps who recently became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not attend the announcement, and in a statement Thursday appeared to give only tepid support, saying, “I have had the opportunity to provide my advice on the issue of full integration of women into the armed forces. In the wake of the secretary’s decision, my responsibility is to ensure his decision is properly implemented.”

Women have long chafed under the combat restrictions, which allowed them to serve in combat zones, often under fire, but prevented them from officially holding combat positions, including in the infantry, which remain crucial to career advancement. Women have long said that by not recognizing their real service, the military has unfairly held them back.

A major barrier fell this year when women were permitted to go through the grueling training that would allow them to qualify as Army Rangers, the service’s elite infantry.

Mr. Carter said that women would be allowed to serve in all military combat roles by early next year. He characterized the change as necessary to ensure that the United States military remained the world’s most powerful.

“When I became secretary of defense, I made a commitment to building America’s force of the future,” Mr. Carter told reporters. “In the 21st century that requires drawing strength from the broadest possible pool of talent. This includes women.”

[How about reporting Elaine Donnelly's views on this?]

But the Republican chairmen of the Senate and House Armed Services Committees expressed caution and noted that by law Congress had 30 days to review the decision.

“Secretary Carter’s decision to open all combat positions to women will have a consequential impact on our service members and our military’s warfighting capabilities,” Senator John McCain of Arizona and Representative Mac Thornberry of Texas said in a statement. “The Senate and House Armed Services Committees intend to carefully and thoroughly review all relevant documentation related to today’s decision.”

Some in the military have privately voiced concern that integration will prove impractical, especially in the infantry, where heavy loads and long periods of deprivation are part of the job.

“Humping a hundred pounds, man, that ain’t easy, and it remains the defining physical requirement of the infantry,” said Paul Davis, an exercise scientist who did a multiyear study of the Marine infantry. “The practical reality is that even though we want to knock down this last bastion of exclusion, the preponderance of women will not be able to do the job.”

Mr. Carter acknowledged at the news conference that simply opening up combat roles to women was not going to lead to a fully integrated military. Senior defense officials and military officers would have to overcome the perception among many service members, men and women alike, that the change would reduce the effectiveness of the armed services.

The defense secretary sought to assuage those concerns on Thursday by saying that every service member would have to meet the standards of the jobs they wished to fill, and “there must be no quotas or perception thereof.”

He also acknowledged that many units were likely to remain largely male, especially elite infantry troops and Special Operations forces, where “only small numbers of women could” likely meet the standards.

“Studies say there are physical differences,” Mr. Carter said, though he added that some women could meet the most demanding physical requirements, just as some men could not.

At the same time, he said, military leaders are going to be required to assign jobs and tasks and determine who is promoted based on “ability, not gender.”

Lt. Col. Kate Germano, who oversaw the training of female recruits for the Marines until she was removed this summer from duty during a dispute over what she said were lower standards for women in basic training, said by creating standards, the military would improve across both genders.

She said while Marines have long resisted the idea of women in combat units, she did not expect a backlash.

“One thing about the Marine Corps, once you tell us what we have to do, we’ll do it,” she said. “There was resistance to lifting the ban on gays, too, and when it was lifted there were no issues. We are a stronger force for it.”

Mr. Carter’s announcement came less than a month from the three-year deadline set by the Obama administration to integrate the force.

Some veterans of recent wars say the unexpectedly long period of combat with no clear enemy lines may have been a driver for the change.

“I honestly didn’t think about women in combat much until Iraq,” said Jonathan Silk, a retired Army major who served in Afghanistan and Iraq as a cavalry scout.

In the fray of the insurgency, he said, integrated military police units near him often faced ferocious attacks. “That is where I encountered female soldiers that were in the same firefights as us, facing the same horrible stuff, even if they weren’t technically in combat units. They could fight just as well as I could, and some of those women were tremendous leaders. It gave me such respect.”




2015-12-04-CMR-obama_administration_ignores_sound_military_advice_on_women_in_direct_ground_combat
Obama Administration Ignores Sound Military Advice on Women in Direct Ground Combat
Center for Military Readiness, 2015-12-04


2015-12-04-WP-Kathleen-Parker-women-in-combat-the-few-the-foolish
The few, the foolish
by Kathleen Parker
Washington Post Op-Ed, 2015-12-04

As the Islamic State amped up attacks around the world, the Pentagon responded by bravely announcing that American women will now be put in direct ground combat.

Whereupon “military intelligence” secured a permanent place in the Encyclopedia of Oxymorons.

The new decree opens 220,000 military jobs to women — including Army Special Operations forces and the Navy SEALs.

“They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars and lead infantry soldiers into combat . . . and everything else that was previously open only to men,” said Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

Commander in Chief Barack Obama promised an even stronger military, as “our armed forces will draw on an even wider pool of talent.”

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, after years of research and debate on the role of women in the military. (Reuters)

Notably missing from the historic news conference was Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and past Marine commandant. Dunford, apparently unwilling to ignore experience and empirical evidence, had recommended that infantry and armor positions remain closed to women. The Marines were the only service branch to request the ability to make exceptions to the new rule.

There’s plenty of evidence that women and men as groups aren’t equal in the demands of combat, even if some women may be and some men may not be. The few and far between shouldn’t be the basis for institutional overhaul, though this seems to be our template for mandates these days.

Among the evidence ignored by Obama, Carter and others are the results of a nine-month field test by University of Pittsburgh researchers who found that all-male USMC units outperformed mixed-gender units in 93 out of 134 ground combat tasks (69 percent).

This observation is no criticism of military women, who are just as determined, courageous and committed as their male counterparts. But contrary to what our government seems to think, the requirements of combat can’t be compromised to meet social goals of gender equality.

Likewise, proud assertions that allowing women in combat is yet another advance for equality akin to racial integration and acceptance of gays is nonsense. Gay men and black men are still men — and the vast majority of women in close combat will never be their equal.

Because of physical differences, including the fact that men have 40 percent more upper body muscle mass, women are at a disadvantage in combat, which often requires long deployments of deprivation and hardship, including toting 60 to 100 pounds of equipment.

It also means fighting close up — aggressively pursuing the enemy with the expectation of possible physical contact. Plainly put, women do not have an equal opportunity to survive. If this isn’t a feminist argument, I don’t know what is.

But many feminists don’t recognize it — or refuse to — for reasons that are understandable, if misguided. Being blocked from combat prevents women from rising to the highest ranks. Rather than tweak the rules of promotion, a more sensible approach, the military is placing women where they don’t belong and risking military effectiveness.

Although Carter said that women won’t likely qualify for many of the jobs and that posts will be assigned based on merit, not gender, only a fool believes this will last for long. How soon before men begin complaining that women are given special treatment? Furthermore, once women are assigned to combat, there will be no argument against drafting women.

The catechism of choice suddenly means no choice.

Arguments for women’s inclusion in combat, meanwhile, are far from convincing. Often cited is the fact that women found themselves on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan — against military rules at the time — and were killed and maimed the same as men. This seems hardly a case for assigning a job title to justify a mistake.

Other problems will present themselves in time, but we already know what they are. When women are treated differently or aren’t up to the task, men will resent it, damaging the unit cohesion that’s crucial to survival.

As a Marine combat veteran who commanded both an infantry platoon and a rifle company in Vietnam wrote me in an email: “It’s hard for me to imagine how women . . . under heavy fire and carrying 60 pounds of equipment, would have survived.”

Another veteran of the same war summed it up, if indelicately: “There is a difference between a bunch of candy-ass officers trying to get promoted for being politically correct and a combat battle-ready Marine unit in the field.”

What he said.



2015-12-05-Lang-TTG-so-let-it-be-written-so-let-it-be-done-ttg
So let it be written. So let it be done. - TTG
by "The Twisted Genius" (obviously a pseudonym)
Sic Semper Tyrannis (Patrick Lang's blog), 2015-12-05

This news shocked me, although I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised.
The decision was probably make months ago by the culture warriors in the Administration.
What does this mean?
Our very own Fred made a comment that
“the goal here is solely to have a woman be chief of staff or chairman of the JCS.”
Fred’s right.
Now I am pretty damned sure that there is or will be a woman or two out there
who can be a competent chief of staff or chairman of the JCS.
I’ve known a very good commander of an aviation element
and another very good medical company commander who were female.
Anything’s possible. But those were not combat outfits.

I have two problems with this decision.
First, the way this decision was made is a slap in the face to the Services
and those officers who were studying this question.
The Army and the Marines spent a lot of time, money and effort
and were about to recommend keeping some positions closed to females.
Knowing the way the political winds were blowing,
those combat officers had to feel quite strongly about their recommendations.
Not to wait for the Services to present and defend their case before issuing this decision
was an act of gross disrespect.

The second problem I have with the decision
is the effect it will have on the platoon, company and battalion level of our combat units.
Our combat units will become social experiments...
experiments were the data will be skewed to fit the desired results.
Sure females have passed the Ranger Course.
Those women are probably fine officers, but the process corroded the Army.
They were not treated as equals.
They were given many more chances to succeed than their male counterparts were afforded.
A general officer came to the field and walked lanes
in order for the female students to pass their final patrols.
Do the Washington bureaucrats think the troops would not notice?
Clearly the bureaucrats have no respect for those troops.
Females in combat units will be cut slack whether they want it or not.
That’s the nature of command influence.
The final test for this social experiment will be administered by our enemies in combat.
They will not skew the data.

Finally, this process will be unfair
to the very female soldiers and officers that this decision is supposed to help.
One or two might make it on their merits and will become legends.
Most will be tainted by the effects of command influence
and the ensuing corrosive command climate.
Their careers and perhaps their souls will inevitably suffer.

TTG

[There are, as you might imagine, many comments to the above post.
Here are a few of them:]


turcopolier [Col. (ret.) Patrick Lang] said...
I recall my women cadet students at USMA. They were fit. They were strong. They had a good attitude and they broke down physically under the training and PT burdens that the men cadets carried routinely. Stress fractures, hernia in the abdomen, ripped cartilage and ligaments. These were commonplace among them. Like the old microbiologist here said I wonder about their injuries having had complications in later life. IMO this is just Obamanite Borgish social justice BS. pl
05 December 2015 at 10:52 AM

turcopolier said...
...
I knew women cadets who had no problem with the male oriented training regimen, but they were not many. In the end USMA had to modify the physical program so that the women could survive. I would like to know which armies use women as line enlisted infantry today. Don't say Israel. They have not done that since 1948. pl
05 December 2015 at 11:14 AM

turcopolier said...
If war has not changed and we insist on building our combat arms as jobs programs were going to lose our asses somewhere. pl
05 December 2015 at 11:37 AM

turcopolier said...
...
As I said, the Israelis do not use women as infantrymen or tankers.
I was head of liaison for DoD intel with the IDF for seven years.
They and we discussed this many times
and they thought we were mad to even think about it.
they have women officers in other than bang-bang jobs and women conscripts around HQ
mainly as companions for senior officers.
The skin tight uniforms, painted toenails in gold lame heels and plunging necklines tell the story.
There is a good reason why the very religious do not want their girls drafted.
BTW being in the US Army infantry is every bit as tough as being in marine infantry.pl
05 December 2015 at 01:39 PM


JMGavin said in reply to turcopolier...
...
As far as the Israeli example, I have always understood that the Israelis do not allow women in a large number of positions. My source for this information has always been those who have served in close proximity to the IDF (I have not served alongside the IDF). Despite this, one always hears phantom female Israeli commando formations as an example of how backwards the US military thinking is...I also suspect the Israelis do nothing to counter the perception, as it makes a good IO campaign.
05 December 2015 at 01:58 PM


turcopolier said...
JM Gavin
Every substantial country's clandestine and covert ops groups makes use of women. All of them. That is nothing like being an infantryman. pl
05 December 2015 at 02:26 PM


turcopolier said...
babak
The "social good" in this is the ability of women to be 4 star generals. pl
05 December 2015 at 01:49 PM


Ranger Ray said...
This decision, unless reversed by a Republican President in 2017, will be the death knell for our military. Unit morale, esprit, and performance in the combat arms will be allowed to erode so that a few female officers can enhance their petty careers. Unfortunately, the proof of that statement will be found in a contest on some distant battlefield with a foe who does not foist social experimentation upon its armed forces. I say that as one who spent nearly 25 years as a Regular Army Infantry Officer which included almost two years in nearly continuous combat in Vietnam. I know from whence I speak.

Furthermore, the above overlooks my heartfelt position that any country that willingly subjects its women to the rigors and terror of infantry combat has lost its soul. I say that as a Christian whose religious foundation has taught me the truth of the previous statement.
05 December 2015 at 05:16 PM



Baldor story










2016

2016-11-06-TTG-the-times-they-are-achanging-ttg
“The times they are a’changing” - TTG
by "The Twisted Genius" (obviously a pseudonym)
Sic Semper Tyrannis (Patrick Lang's blog), 2016-11-06

“WASHINGTON —
Ten women who were commissioned Army officers in the spring
graduated from the initial infantry training course Wednesday,
becoming the Army’s first female infantry lieutenants.
The women were among 166 soldiers to complete
the Infantry Officer Basic Leadership Course at Fort Benning in Georgia,
a 17-week class that provides new officers the basic skills to lead a rifle platoon into combat,
said Army Lt. Col. Matthew W. Weber,
the commander of the unit that oversees the course.
[Part of The Infantry School.]
Officers are commissioned through ROTC, Officer Candidate School
or the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.”

...

Stars and Stripes

...

[Now that is something I know something about,
being a proud graduate of IOBC 73-2.
It was an excellent course, demanding both physically and mentally.
A good test and challenge for any man (or, I guess, now woman).

My take on this (women in combat units) yet again is:
No matter how proficient these women may be in combat and leadership skills,
they will inevitably cause more problems for the Army than they are worth.
What problems?
Simply those that are inevitable when men and women of that age
are in such close proximity, day and night,
while they are deprived of the access to sex they would have in the civilian world.
How on earth can anyone expect the Army to prevent sex between the troops,
whether it is consensual or otherwise?
This will completely corrupt and corrode
the whole delicate balance of command relationships.

The feminists have, as usual, made a complete mess of things.
But we know their response:
The little *****'s will blame the men.
It's all the men's fault!
And the only solution, in their eyes, is to put women in charge of everything.
Victory through victimhood, that's the feminists strategy.]

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