Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

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Lucrece
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Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:35 pm UTC

Belial wrote:That's charming, Nancy, but all I hear when you talk is a bunch of yippy dog sounds.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:49 pm UTC

Will this affect mortality rates at all? I know that when Israel had mixed combat, they had higher mortality for the men, as the guys became more 'macho'. Turns out acting like an action hero is the quickest way to die on the field.

Also loose cannon cops tend to be crap cops.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:55 pm UTC

This only opens up the opportunity, it does not mandatorily put women on the front lines so I doubt it will have a significant effect on mortality rates in males as there has been very little interest by females for frontline combat roles.

I do not think this will have any noticeable negative effects unless significant special treatment is given to females.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Lucrece » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:57 pm UTC

Sucks for them, but the career opportunities for women should not be stifled by the stupid frivolities of men.

Other objections are how men would rush to help female peers over male ones, but that´s at their own expense. Surely, they must realize that such priorities would be applied back to the very people who engage in them.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Ashlah » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:14 pm UTC

I'm more concerned about how the men will treat the women who do choose to enter frontline combat than how it will effect the menz. (I don't mean this as a reason to disallow women from frontline combat--I absolutely support it.)

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby firechicago » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:33 pm UTC

Fire Brns wrote: there has been very little interest by females for frontline combat roles.


Citation very much needed.

Three things should be noted:

First, in the types of wars that the U.S. has been fighting in the last decade or two, the distinction between combat and non-combat roles has been very much an academic one. A truck driver driving supplies along a road where ambushes and IEDs are common is not meaningfully further from combat than a Stryker crew patrolling the same route.

Secondly, this was at least partly in response to a lawsuit brought by four women and the ACLU to force the DoD to make exactly this change.

Finally, beyond the obvious discrimination, this policy also had the effect of skewing the top ranks of the Army, which have historically been drawn disproportionately from the combat roles. If you're a junior officer looking to become a general, you would have much better luck if you were in the armor or infantry than if you were in the quartermaster corps.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Sero » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:09 pm UTC

From the article:

Female veteran groups say that even though the number of women who would pursue combat jobs might be small, having the option is a long overdue step that would bring the United States in line with several of its allies.


Not saying that's a cite for the level of interest being low, but I can see where someone might get the idea. By the way, could OP put the article in a quote? Washington Post puts up a register-wall if you look at more than one article (or the same article twice).

And I don't think there's anything wrong with senior leadership being drawn predominately from the combat arms of the armed forces. The ultimate purpose of all the non-combat roles is to enable the combat-roles to do their jobs. Not that I think you were arguing there was something wrong with it, and I agree, it's definitely worthwhile to provide women equal opportunity to earn positions of high authority.

I'm very pleased to hear this development. Firechicago is very right that combat and non-combat roles have been getting less and less distinct from each other, and this just makes policy consistent with practical reality, aside from the obvious and laudable equality aspects.

I wonder if this will mean women will be required to register with the Selective Service? Personally, I'd say we should. I'm of mixed minds about conscription, and there is the whole 'If you have to lose a large chunk of your population, you'll spring back more easily from a society losing 50% of it's adult males than it's adult females' thing, but if the selective service exists, and women are eligible for combat roles, they should be eligible for the selective service, whether or not they're given preferential treatment in the event of an actual draft.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:22 pm UTC

Isn't the issue of compensation also important, like those in combat roles get more promotion and pay then non combat troops?

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Fire Brns » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:33 pm UTC

firechicago wrote:
Fire Brns wrote: there has been very little interest by females for frontline combat roles.


Citation very much needed.

Three things should be noted:

First, in the types of wars that the U.S. has been fighting in the last decade or two, the distinction between combat and non-combat roles has been very much an academic one. A truck driver driving supplies along a road where ambushes and IEDs are common is not meaningfully further from combat than a Stryker crew patrolling the same route.

Secondly, this was at least partly in response to a lawsuit brought by four women and the ACLU to force the DoD to make exactly this change.

Finally, beyond the obvious discrimination, this policy also had the effect of skewing the top ranks of the Army, which have historically been drawn disproportionately from the combat roles. If you're a junior officer looking to become a general, you would have much better luck if you were in the armor or infantry than if you were in the quartermaster corps.

There is some interest primarily by those who are looking to make a career of the military. To my understanding this was a roadblock to promotion and pay grades. I did not say there was no interest, I was saying there isn't enough to cause the concerns generally used as arguments against females on the front lines.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:59 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Isn't the issue of compensation also important, like those in combat roles get more promotion and pay then non combat troops?


You can definitely get deployed and receive attendant benefits under the current system. And yes, women totally do end up in combat in those positions, because the definition of a "frontline" is hilariously inapplicable to many current and recent conflicts.

In the end, it's mostly just an outdated form of sexism that keeps certain positions, many of which are prestigious, inaccessible to women. It doesn't remove all opportunities for experiencing combat, but it's still a stupid rule that needs to die because it serves no valid interest.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby sardia » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:53 pm UTC

Ok, so I was sorta right, prestigious which is indirectly related to promotion and pay.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:35 am UTC

Yeah. But frankly, even if there wasn't a prestige difference, restricting women from a role without any good reason is still bad. Any discrimination without an actual reason is worthy of opposition.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Whammy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:04 am UTC

Here's an NPR article on the topic if you can't get back into the Washington Post one: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/201 ... mbat-roles

But before I got locked out of it, I did copy this:

But an estimated 238,000 other positions — about one-fifth of the regular active-duty military — were kept off-limits to women.


And the NPR mentions something similar:

As we alluded to earlier, the implementation of this new policy will be complex. The Wall Street Journal adds an important caveat saying that while this is the "largest expansion yet of women in combat roles," "defense officials said they don't expect the change to result in women being allowed to serve as infantry troops."


And to go and quote the WSJ article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 64276.html

The new policy should allow women to serve alongside infantry troops as battlefield medics, special-operations pilots and in other dangerous roles, officials said. But officials are divided about whether women will ultimately serve as infantry troops or in elite special-operations units. Some military officials, citing the difficulty of completing infantry training courses, believe that most women would be unable to meet the physical requirements.

U.S. military services over the next two years will examine all 230,000 positions women currently are excluded from. They also will be required to establish gender-neutral requirements for admission and decide whether women can serve alongside men. "The goal is to make all roles available so long as we can meet the standards of the war fighter," said a defense official.


Okay, so, from what I'm getting from this, is that they opened up some roles and are going to investigate about looking up all the other roles as well. But I really want to address the bold because that is, of course, the argument I've been hearing most about not allowing women. And I'm going to address it by quoting John Stuart Mill's On the Subjection of Women

"The anxiety of mankind to intervene on behalf of nature...is an altogether unnecessary solicitude. What women by nature cannot do, is quite superfluous to forbid them from doing."

Banning women from participating in anything, not just military, because of some speculation on their abilities just isn't good sense. If women aren't able to meet the standards, then let them actually try first and then judge. If it turns out women aren't actually able to, well, then they don't pass and absolutely nothing is lost but some time and money in the recruitment process. But if women are actually capable of doing it when you, you know, actually give them a chance, then banning them from trying is simply not letting you use your full resources because of some prejudicial sentiments.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Adacore » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:53 am UTC

I don't know if it was a US specific article, but I remember reading something recently that said the restriction on women in frontline combat roles was a big problem for certain women who were trying to pursue a career in some of the more specialised military branches, where almost every role above a certain grade is classed as 'frontline combat'. And yeah, the prestige thing too - special forces assignments are incredibly prestigious, for example (although the NPR article seems to imply this may still be off-limits for, as Whammy says, no good reason).

Also, here's a cite that says women in the military have relatively low interest in frontline combat roles. It's only based on a sample of 12, though, and doesn't say how they were selected. It reiterates the point of women not being able to pass basic marine training, too.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Whammy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:10 am UTC

Interviews with a dozen female soldiers and Marines showed little interest in the toughest fighting jobs. They believe they'd be unable to do them, even as the Defense Department inches toward changing its rules to allow women in direct ground combat jobs


...really, a sample size of 12 -_-...why is there no smiley for that face? I'd abuse the heck out of it.

Anyway, two things:

1)Again, really, a sample size of 12? I don't believe that's big enough to even BEGIN basic statistical analysis, let alone should be used for any kind of reporting and/or policy decision making.

2) Well of course women are going to think they are incapable of meeting the standards because that's what they ARE CONSTANTLY TOLD! *insert standard rant about the role of social norms and what not....probably involving this J.S. Mill quote:

"I deny that any one knows or can know, the nature of the two sexes, as long as they have only been seen in their present relation to one another. Until conditions of equality exist, no one can possibly assess the natural differences between women and men, distorted as they have been. What is natural to the two sexes can only be found out by allowing both to develop and use their faculties freely."


... I love that man way too much...


Now then, next outrage on my part!

In fact, the Marines asked women last year to go through its tough infantry officer training to see how they would fare. Only two volunteered and both failed to complete the fall course. None has volunteered for the next course this month. The failure rate for men is roughly 25 percent.


1) Repeat my tone about the sample size of twelve thing, but replace the 12 with 2.

2) http://xkcd.com/385/

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Adacore » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:21 am UTC

There could be an element of self-selection on the front line combat thing too. Since women knew that they would be unable to serve in frontline combat roles then I can see two things potentially happening that might cause bias in data on whether they'd want to - firstly, women who want to serve in such roles would be less inclined to join the military, and/or less inclined to stay, since they can't do what they want to do; secondly, women in the military could well have, in the face of the fact that they can't serve in frontline combat roles, convinced themselves that they don't want to in order to avoid a sense of disappointment/unfairness/whatever.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Lucrece » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:03 am UTC

And, to be honest, many people who join the military do so with the primary interest being educational funding/citizenship/government job with good benefits; several of these people would prefer to game the industry by getting jobs that have lesser chances of seeing combat.

I think very few people are rushing at the career opportunity of "go into Afghanistan with its completely insecure, politically and socially volatile circumstances and try not to get blown up while in transit". Combat jobs are just not that popular, because very few people believe dying in a war of economic interests is worth it for the perks of being a veteran.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby dudiobugtron » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:06 am UTC

Whammy wrote:...really, a sample size of 12 -_-...why is there no smiley for that face? I'd abuse the heck out of it.

There's this one: :|
Image

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:08 am UTC

Lucrece wrote:And, to be honest, many people who join the military do so with the primary interest being educational funding/citizenship/government job with good benefits; several of these people would prefer to game the industry by getting jobs that have lesser chances of seeing combat.

I think very few people are rushing at the career opportunity of "go into Afghanistan with its completely insecure, politically and socially volatile circumstances and try not to get blown up while in transit". Combat jobs are just not that popular, because very few people believe dying in a war of economic interests is worth it for the perks of being a veteran.


Yeah, there are plenty of military folks who don't leap at frontline combat jobs, male or female. I'll put it this way...deployments often ask for volunteers. Folks are then selected if not enough volunteers come forward. It is very, very common not to have enough volunteers, and many of those who do volunteer do so for reasons like combat pay or other financial incentives. Male, female, doesn't make much difference. Additionally, my sample size of random people I was in a unit with was a helluva lot higher than 12.

Not a lot of humans actually really want to be shot at, and those that really, really want that are sometimes a bit worrying.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Whammy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:14 am UTC

dudiobugtron wrote:
Whammy wrote:...really, a sample size of 12 -_-...why is there no smiley for that face? I'd abuse the heck out of it.

There's this one: :|


Yeah, but it just doesn't fully capture my "You've got to be kidding me" tone XD.

Tyndmyr wrote:

Not a lot of humans actually really want to be shot at, and those that really, really want that are sometimes a bit worrying.


And see, that's why I don't understand the other argument of "Men will instinctively jump to protect women if we let them into combat!" either. Warfare, in of itself, is ignoring a lot of instincts; part of the training for the military is training you to ignore instincts (like you said, most people aren't really rushing to be in a situation to be shot at). If we can train people to suppress the basic instinct of NOT WANTING TO DIE, I think we can suppress the socially created instinct that would be behind the "men will protect women" thing.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:41 am UTC

Well, frankly, you're supposed to protect each other, really. We give people medals for jumping on a hand grenade to save their squadmates. Male, female, doesn't make much difference. The instinct to protect those in your group is a very good thing indeed, and one the military, at it's best, makes a great deal of use out of.

It's not as if men are gonna fight over who gets to leap on the grenade to save the woman, though. Anyone envisioning that is...I dunno, a bit off somewhere. Self sacrifice is not an something that comes easily or overabundantly, most times, so usually, problems are more along the lines of people not being connected enough to feel an adequate urge to protect each other, not protecting each other too much.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Whammy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:03 am UTC

...I'll admit, that's something I didn't consider. If we encourage brotherhood and all that among male soldiers to the point that they are willing to die for their comrades because their brothers in arms, why is a man willing to do the same for a female comrade used as a point against them being in the military?

The best response I could give to that, just thinking off the top of my head, basically come down to:

1) The reasoning is different (brothers in arms vs. chivalry mentality) and therefore won't have the same beneficial effects
2) It would be detrimental because they would be going out of their way to defend the women while ignoring their other duties.

Which, out of that, I can understand the first but I honestly doubt the later if, again, proper training and standards are put into place to ensure that isn't the case.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Alexius » Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:45 am UTC

Whammy wrote:Banning women from participating in anything, not just military, because of some speculation on their abilities just isn't good sense. If women aren't able to meet the standards, then let them actually try first and then judge. If it turns out women aren't actually able to, well, then they don't pass and absolutely nothing is lost but some time and money in the recruitment process. But if women are actually capable of doing it when you, you know, actually give them a chance, then banning them from trying is simply not letting you use your full resources because of some prejudicial sentiments.


The argument used in Britain, which I don't necessarily agree with, is that certain accommodations (separate quarters etc.) would have to be made for women to join front-line combat units, and that if only very few women were able to meet the requirements to join those units then it wouldn't be practical to make those accommodations for such a small number.

I still think that there are ways round that- women should certainly be be allowed to try (I know of at least one woman who passed the Royal Marine Commando course, so some will succeed). Possibly only some units could go mixed to allow the relatively small number of female recruits to be grouped together- I imagine it would be more practical to have one regiment with 250 women and 24 with none than 25 with 10 women each.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:04 am UTC

Whammy wrote:Which, out of that, I can understand the first but I honestly doubt the later if, again, proper training and standards are put into place to ensure that isn't the case.
I believe the problem is coming up with that proper training and standards. If we are assuming that the data from Israel is applicable, it means that sure, there will be problems and mistakes, it will lower combat effectiveness, then we will learn from our mistakes, correct the problems, and effectiveness will return to its peak. The question is really: is it worth it? Is the time spent at lower effectiveness worth the eventual benefits, especially when you don't really need to make those mistakes in the first place?

Up until now, the answer has largely been No. The pendulum has swung the other way.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby LaSargenta » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:17 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Will this affect mortality rates at all? I know that when Israel had mixed combat, they had higher mortality for the men, as the guys became more 'macho'.

Stats? The only anecdotes I know claiming this are from the Yom Kippur War, which was in 1973. That's a long time ago in many ways. It is also from a foreign country. Why not bring in Canada's experience? They've got women in the units same as men and it is another foreign country...one actually closer culturally in some ways to the US than Israel is.

And the fact is that women have already been in combat in US forces, they just haven't been 'officially' part of a combat unit. It'll probably be a big help to those who've gotten combat injuries but then don't get the right attention to the rehab down the road since too many have gotten responses of "but it can't be a combat-related condition/injury/wound because you're a woman".

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Heisenberg » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:44 pm UTC

I can't find it now, but NPR interviewed a Major who thought the best benefit would be training. Many women do regularly see combat, due to the nature of the operations in Afghanistan. Her point was that these women can now receive combat training alongside the men who they will be in combat with, which is a good thing.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Iceman » Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:36 pm UTC

It's kind of a 'Meh' thing.

Probably yeah, more people will die due to weird behavioural things. You'll probably have more rape stuff and harassment stuff as a result as well, and you'll have an additional layer of concern about captured female POWs.

But it probably doesn't change much more than it did introducing women to war zones to begin with. It increases the logistics and security costs and probably does harm morale and unit cohesion so on, but it gives you access to a bigger pool of people, which was obviously necessary, and over time those affects would probably disappear.

I don't think the question was truly if women could do the job. You've got standards, and if they meet them, then that's that.

I think the concern from Military brass was if the introduction of a new element would be at all disruptive to combat readiness. That's where it becomes not an issue of fairness and more of effectiveness. You can blame the men involved responding poorly to it, and the moral blame would be on them, not the women, but if it does make the units work less effectively, I think that's all you would be concerned with as a General.
You can say a guy going to save a woman is just getting himself killed, but he's not, he could be endangering everyone in the group as well as the mission they're on.

Now I don't really think there will be a huge impact, but I do think it's still valid to want to examine if there is. Given the nature of the combat missions, Its probably more important to make sure they succeed in the best way possible, even if that's not done through equality and caring.

Then you'd have to find ways to get people to accept different roles over time so that in the future that loss of effectiveness isn't felt.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Choboman » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:52 pm UTC

Part of the problem with current Army perceptions is that we don't enforce the same physical standards on female soldiers as we do with males. If I'm a 19 year old, and I can only do 40 pushups in 2 minutes how'd I do? Well if I'm male I just failed, but if I'm female I came close to maxing the test. A person who can only do 40 pushups is demonstrating insufficient upper-body strength to lift a couple hundred pounds on tank track for repair, or load 55-pound tank shells for an extended period of time. They won't be able to get off the ground while toting an 80-pound ruck, or carry the M-60 on the long marches. Somebody else will have to pick up their slack.

I'm hoping (but not expecting) that when they implement these changes they come up with non-gender-specific physical fitness standards that ensure people of either sex aren't allowed to stay in a role when they are incapable of performing as needed.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby sardia » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:39 pm UTC

Choboman wrote:Part of the problem with current Army perceptions is that we don't enforce the same physical standards on female soldiers as we do with males. If I'm a 19 year old, and I can only do 40 pushups in 2 minutes how'd I do? Well if I'm male I just failed, but if I'm female I came close to maxing the test. A person who can only do 40 pushups is demonstrating insufficient upper-body strength to lift a couple hundred pounds on tank track for repair, or load 55-pound tank shells for an extended period of time. They won't be able to get off the ground while toting an 80-pound ruck, or carry the M-60 on the long marches. Somebody else will have to pick up their slack.

I'm hoping (but not expecting) that when they implement these changes they come up with non-gender-specific physical fitness standards that ensure people of either sex aren't allowed to stay in a role when they are incapable of performing as needed.

I remember a study about chin ups/pull ups that describes how hard it was for females to increase their performance in that area.
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/2 ... -pull-ups/
Ah, here we go. It has to do with height(taller people have a harder time) and fat (women can't lose fat as easily). The height thing has to do with the square-cube law, as you get bigger, your strength doesn't keep up proportionally even though you would still be fit.

"This is related to an interesting phenomenon: if you compare a smaller athlete to an athlete who has the same exact build but is 30 percent bigger, the bigger athlete will be only about 20 percent stronger, even though he has to carry about 30 percent more weight.

“We’re a combination of levers; that’s how we move,” Vanderburgh said. “Generally speaking, the longer the limb, the more of a disadvantage in being able to do a pull-up. I look at a volleyball player and wouldn’t expect her to be able to do a pull-up, but I know she’s fit.”"
Related quote.

The point is, don't knock a female's different physical requirements. There are reasons for it.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Alexius » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:16 pm UTC

sardia wrote:The point is, don't knock a female's different physical requirements. There are reasons for it.

Yes, but female soldiers have to handle the same equipment as male ones. So allowances shouldn't be made in any requirements that involve the ability to lift and carry things (which test the ability to handle said equipment). For instance, one of the fitness tests in some armies involves repeatedly lifting a weight onto a platform at a specific height. The weight is the same as that of a standard ammo box, and the height is that of the back of an army truck. There's no point reducing the requirements in this test- after all, female soldiers won't get lighter ammo boxes or smaller trucks.

I agree that you can make allowances in tests that just test general fitness (like press-ups, etc.) but it doesn't matter how "fit" a female soldier is if she can't do her job.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby dudiobugtron » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:28 pm UTC

Choboman wrote:Part of the problem with current Army perceptions is that we don't enforce the same physical standards on female soldiers as we do with males. If I'm a 19 year old, and I can only do 40 pushups in 2 minutes how'd I do? Well if I'm male I just failed, but if I'm female I came close to maxing the test. A person who can only do 40 pushups is demonstrating insufficient upper-body strength to lift a couple hundred pounds on tank track for repair, or load 55-pound tank shells for an extended period of time. They won't be able to get off the ground while toting an 80-pound ruck, or carry the M-60 on the long marches. Somebody else will have to pick up their slack.

I'm hoping (but not expecting) that when they implement these changes they come up with non-gender-specific physical fitness standards that ensure people of either sex aren't allowed to stay in a role when they are incapable of performing as needed.

Push-ups are a bit of stupid way to judge weight lifting ability. Sure, upper-body strength is an important factor in how many push-ups you can do, but there are lots of other important factors too - for example, body-weight distribution. Upper-body strength is incredibly important in swimming too, but that doesn't make swimming a good test of how much weight you can lift either.

If you want to see how good someone would be at lifting weights, there is a much better way to judge that. It's called weight-lifting. If someone needs to lift 55 pound shells for an extended period of time, then test them by getting them to lift 55 pound weights for an extended period of time. (edit: like the test Alexius mentioned.) If they need to be able to lift 200 pound weights, then test them by seeing if they can lift 200 pound weights. It's pretty obvious.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:07 pm UTC

Choboman wrote:I'm hoping (but not expecting) that when they implement these changes they come up with non-gender-specific physical fitness standards that ensure people of either sex aren't allowed to stay in a role when they are incapable of performing as needed.


I believe that's the intention, yes.

sardia wrote:The point is, don't knock a female's different physical requirements. There are reasons for it.


Those reasons are basically irrelevant in a combat zone. If you run slower, it doesn't really matter why, biologically, you run slower, it still takes you longer to get to fire. Physical standards are often extremely combat relevant, and regardless of male or female, someone who can't meet the minimums is a liability.

Now, sure, some women are very fit, and can absolutely meet very high physical standards, and those women should definitely not be excluded simply because of their gender. However, equality should never take the place of making sure people actually can complete the tasks of their jobs. I agree that sometimes, current physical assessment standards are poor means of measurements, and that needs to be fixed....but for both males and females. Bad measurement techniques are a problem regardless of gender.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby sardia » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:16 am UTC

Agreed. We'll probably look back in 10 years and think this was always true that women and gays were equals from the start. However, the physical requirements mainly applies to ground troops, being denied combat status for naval and air operations is just sexism/traditionalism.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Whammy » Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:44 pm UTC

Found article by the Defense Department on the issue!

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=119098

And the statement from Panetta.

http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech. ... echid=1746

Our purpose is to ensure that the mission is carried out by the best qualified and the most capable servicemembers, regardless of gender and regardless of creed and beliefs. If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job - and let me be clear, I'm not talking about reducing the qualifications for the job - if they can meet the qualifications for the job, then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed or color or gender or sexual orientation.


So there you have it; no plans on reducing qualifications for a job.

Now then, I believe I read somewhere else but unfortunately where I can't remember, while qualifications for specific jobs won't change*, overall fitness tests are going to remain normalized based on height, weight, and gender. Which I think makes sense; even if someone is overall fit based on their body, they may not have the physical fitness or skills necessary for a specific job regardless of gender. Doesn't mean you shouldn't let them at least attempt it. Again, at the end of the day, what do you lose? Just a little bit of money and time in testing them if they fail, and you gain a new recruit if they pass.

*Well, based on "gender-neutral" standards, I guess there would be a chance some of them might change if it is believed the standards are unnecessarily high for a specific job and would serve no purpose other than keeping women out.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:24 am UTC

It's my understanding that a few women have passed the physical standards for the army rangers and worked with them, and I know first-hand that women have operated with navy seals. Both of these groups are pretty hard core by any standards.

I suspect that any set of standards, no matter how high, is going to have a couple women who can pass it, unless you set the bar so ridiculously high that you can't fill your slots with men either.

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:45 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It's my understanding that a few women have passed the physical standards for the army rangers and worked with them, and I know first-hand that women have operated with navy seals. Both of these groups are pretty hard core by any standards.

I suspect that any set of standards, no matter how high, is going to have a couple women who can pass it, unless you set the bar so ridiculously high that you can't fill your slots with men either.

The most glaring inequities involve pilots or the fact that you don't get a silver star for having the most heroic logistic battalion. "Yea, it was snowing so hard, and visibility was nil, but I supplied the shit out of that marine base." Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as I saved my entire platoon while braving sniper fire. When it comes time for the choicest commands, guess who gets command of the special forces, and who gets command of laundry ship?

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:14 am UTC

Alexius wrote:
sardia wrote:The point is, don't knock a female's different physical requirements. There are reasons for it.

Yes, but female soldiers have to handle the same equipment as male ones.

you know, they just started making body armor for women. i read an article in which a woman was thrilled because she could do a handstand without having her vest fall off. This was within the last couple of months so i guess making equipment for women in the line of fire only just became a priority even though just being in Iraq or Afghanistan usually amounts to being in the line of fire. This is amazing- if you make equipment for both genders they're both more safe! combat equipment should be useable by a range of body types and sizes.
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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:51 am UTC

Meaux_Pas wrote:
Alexius wrote:
sardia wrote:The point is, don't knock a female's different physical requirements. There are reasons for it.

Yes, but female soldiers have to handle the same equipment as male ones.

you know, they just started making body armor for women. i read an article in which a woman was thrilled because she could do a handstand without having her vest fall off. This was within the last couple of months so i guess making equipment for women in the line of fire only just became a priority even though just being in Iraq or Afghanistan usually amounts to being in the line of fire. This is amazing- if you make equipment for both genders they're both more safe! combat equipment should be useable by a range of body types and sizes.

You get into problems of costs, and scale since you would defeat the purpose of mass producing armor if it had to be fitted to each person. Then again, we do it with our clothes, why can't they do it here?

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby leady » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:27 am UTC

One might suggest that the military buys equipment that is better suited to women, lighter guns etc. I'd also make smaller AVs too to squeeze all women crews into - afterall basic mechanics mean smaller hardened targets are better :)

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Re: Ban on women in frontline combat removed.

Postby Red Hal » Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:29 pm UTC

Overall comment: About time.

As to body armour, currently the plates come in standard sizes, so the "tailored" bit is just the vest that carries them, a much less arduous task than tailoring the entire garment to every individual.
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