Women Approved for Combat Roles
Last comment by sebekm 1 year, 8 months ago.

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It is official, women have been cleared to serve directly in combat roles. I have personally served with women Soldiers in a combat environment and to be frank, most can hang. Snippets are already stating that they will need to be able to perform physically. Ironically there is a good portion of male Soldiers that can't physically perform. When I served, my male and females were Soldiers period. They did not ask or were afforded any special treatment. This is a leadership issue and a cultural change that has to be handled head on. I say if they want to serve in that role and can meet all the requirments minus having a penis, let em!!

Latest Activity: Jan 24, 2013 at 3:10 PM

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sebekm commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 16:39 PM

I can't say I agree with all of your phraseology in the last sentence; I think you run the risk of creating offense. But on point, here's a great article just posted online by a retired female marine gunnery sergeant who makes the case for my reservations:


I would also add that adding women to the pool of eligibles for military combat positions is a "zero-sum" game: no new "jobs" will be created (they are likely to shrink as the administration "downsizes" the military), heightening competition for each position to the max. Will the military "water down" or reduce the standards for these positions in order to enable "equality?" In my experience, to do so is deadly - not to our enemies (as it should be), but to our "friendlies."

Also - it is important to think about whether we are actually moving "forward" with this change. Is it REALLY a move "forward" to place our mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, granddaughters, and aunts in positions which 1) SERIOUSLY train them to be killers; 2) expose them to the extremes of post-traumatic stress (significantly more than they are in non-combat roles); and 3) make them - according to Gunnery Sergeant (Ret.) Duff - more likely to be victims of sexual assault by fellow soldiers than being killed by the enemy?

I agree with Duff: "It seems unlikely that the proponents of this policy, in their zeal for “equality” at all costs, have considered these realities."

They appear to have made it work in Israel, but in a dramatically different culture and under dramatically different tactical circumstances (their entire population is fighting for its very survival on a daily basis). Such is not the case in these United States.

But our society now "demands" equality for all. I say: Let them have it, and let's see how it goes. I've also said before that sometimes the child has to touch the hot stove before they will admit it is hot. Or as Duff says: Be careful what you wish for.

HMJC commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 16:58 PM

Sebe, just a crass referance in the last sentence, sorry if I offended...I am surprised that you feel that strongly about not allowing women in combat. Many do allude to the standards being lowered to accomdate, physical prowess ect. As I originaly posted though, it is a leadership issue to insure that does not become the case. I was not kidding about the number of males that cant cut the mustard; it is just as prevelant. I concede that there will be growing pains as well as the fears of the distraction it will cause may occur. But I was not whitewashing about some of the female Soldiers I have served with; they were capable and put lead down range just as well as I did. This may end up being yet just another great social expierment but change can be managed if leadership strives to make it work. A Soldier is a Soldier. All Soldiers that are capable should be allowed to serve side by side.

sebekm commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 17:53 PM

Hi HJMC. No - I wasn't offended, but there might be a few readers of the distaff persuasion who might be.

As to my feelings - they are what they are. As we've both "walked the walk" as it were - I'm sure you'll understand my viewpoint. When I first came on active duty, there was such as thing as the Women's Army Corps and "separate but equal" (sorta) was the order of the day. Then I had the privilege of being a service school instructor during the time that basic training and Army lodging accomodations were made "co-educational." As class advisor to AIT students where 50% or more of each class was female, I experienced first-hand the "challenges of leadership" when it came to a gender-integrated Army.

Now we want to gender-integrate combat. I've always been a no-nonsense kind of guy who believes that anything that distracts from the mission at hand is an unnecessary evil. I have never been shy about expressing my opinion - regardless of my audience. I have always "gone the extra mile" when providing leadership and support to superior and subordinates of the distaff persuasion. But - IMHO - that leadership in a garrison/combat support situation is far different than when in actual combat. In combat, I believe the fewer the distractions and non-mission-related issues the better. When lives are at stake, I strongly believe that you can accept no less. My bottom line is: Why make the challenges of leadership more difficult than they absolutely have to be? (I mean - after all - when our goal is to murder the enemy, do we really need to be concerned about social equality?)

To my knowledge, very few (if any) of the female officers I worked with during my 26+ year career vehemently disagreed with my opinion, but I did not "shove it in their faces." Over a beer or two at a social function - when specifically asked - I told the (my) truth. As a result, one female officer (then a Major; now a retired Colonel) took to scissors and construction paper to make a door-sign for my office. Her product was in the shape of a dinosaur, upon which she lettered the words: "Chief-A-Saurus Rex."

I understood her point, but I proudly displayed that sign on my office door until the day I retired.

sebekm commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 17:58 PM

(and sorry for the typo - I know it's "HMJC"....)

sebekm commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 18:04 PM

Here's a pretty good article which outlines the "challenges to leadership":


gacpl commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 18:42 PM

one problem is women DO NOT meet the same standards as men, the physical standards are lower for women. i don't see many women being able to break track on a M1A2 tank. nor drag the track sections by them self like the guys do (250 lb) sections.

up2sumptin commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 18:58 PM

In the PT test yes there are different standards but in air assualt and other combat oriented programs, the standards are the same.

Sheran commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 20:59 PM

As far as females serving in front lines operations, I agree with the original poster, however, I know of many females that may lack a penis but have far more balls than many of our male military members and could serve as well, if not better, on our front lines as we speak.

gacpl commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 21:51 PM

different standards are different standards, they should be the same as the men if they want to be like them. the enemy does not go easy because they are fighting women. the men would be put in more risk by having women that are not up to the same standards of a man that would have been in their place.

Sheran commented on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 22:07 PM

The military opened the doors for gays! I'd rather be in a fox hole with a gay woman that has the role of man, than a gay guy that as the role of a female...YES! They should all be on the same standards as you...

lholmes commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 00:33 AM

well...in today's society, men have femmed up so much and women have butched up so much that one can hardly tell the difference anymore.

mountain commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 07:59 AM

This is all fine and good until one of the female soldiers gets her head cut off and shown on Aljazeera TV, then what?

HMJC commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 08:16 AM

I think it is important to reconize that it doesn't matter the gender of a grevious act. 90% of this concept is perception and pre-conceived view points that women will not be able to hang. I circle back to my original post that the Soldier will have to meet the standards and be able to 100% perform the mission associated with that job. I say again that this will be a leadership issue to manage. Sebe, thanks for your comments, I get it, and respect your opinion. At the end of the day however, not really concerned with gender or sexual preferance if they are putting lead down range.

gacpl commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 09:20 AM

that's a precieved notion that is so wrong. putting lead down range is less then half of the job of combat arms. there is so much more to it.

up2sumptin commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Mountain,is it more horrific because it was a woman? I think not. IF a woman is willing to take the risk and can pull her weight as well as a man (ie PT and other criteria) then I say go for it. THe only problem I see is pregnancy.

up2sumptin commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM
mountain commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I love some of those comments at the end of that YAHOO article.

My ex wife would have been really good in combat. She'd nag the Taliban into surrendering.

Let's abolish all women's events in the Olympics and let them compete with the men.

I wonder how they will do with hand to hand combat. I mean if they can be equal to the male species physically then we would have already seen it in sports competition.

No doubt, I could see Janet Reno & Hillary Clinton sitting in a snipers nest with BIG smiles.

Hillary's already faked being targeted by sniper fire. She's over qualified.

Rosie O'Donnell would emasculate any foe too.

sebekm commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 13:59 PM

"Mountain,is it more horrific because it was a woman? I think not."

I think so. It all depends on how one was raised. I was raised to believe that women were special - more special than men because women bear the brunt of a sacred responsibility in the production and development of offspring, which is a society's DESTINY.

I was raised to believe that women have a special place in our society and as such deserve special honor and respect. This honor and respect is demonstrated by men when they:

*Open a door (including a car door) for a woman

*Rise to their feet when a woman enters a room or the immediate meeting area

*Walk to the outside of a sidewalk (the road side) when accompanying a woman

*And a host of other "courtesies" men have historically provided to women

These courtesies are not trivialities; they are demonstrative of women's special place in society.

I believe that true "equality" - especially in combat - degrades women's special status and lowers them to the level of the legalized murderers that all combat soldiers are. The real questions are:

Do we as a society want that?

Are we better off as a society because of it?

Do women really NEED to become legalized murderers in order to prove their "equality?"

The bottom line is this: men and women ARE different. In combat, differences DO matter. Now - having said all of the I above, I think our society is at the point where the "hot stove" approach is the only thing that will resolve the issue. So I say: As long as the standards are not "watered down" - which results in men having to compensate for women in combat - I say "let them try it."

(But a career of military experience tells me that compromises WILL have to be made, and our military effectiveness WILL suffer as a result. It's great to debate these issues on web sites like this in the abstract, but when the bullets are flying and you are in the middle of it, you often find that society's little "experiments" result in you getting your rear end shot off.)

sebekm commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 14:05 PM

"Sebe, thanks for your comments, I get it, and respect your opinion. At the end of the day however, not really concerned with gender or sexual preferance if they are putting lead down range."

YW - and I understand.

mountain commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 15:49 PM

Of the 1,100 women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and were surveyed by Street’s team, 48.6 percent admitted to being sexually harassed and 22.8 percent admitted to being sexually assaulted – and in some cases raped – while serving in a war zone.

But regardless of the new findings, the Pentagon has not promised to take any action to tackle the problem of sexual misconduct. Nate Galbreath, a senior adviser for the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention office, said that he is not assessing Street’s research until he learns more about how it was conducted.

“It comes down to culture. (It) hasn’t changed, no matter what the generals or the secretaries of Defense say about zero tolerance,” California Rep. Jackie Speier told USA Today. “They have not scrubbed the sexism… out of the military.”

Many of the women who reported sexual harassment allege that the perpetrators were US military men. Earlier this year, dozens of female recruits at an Air Force base in Texas said they were sexually assaulted by their male instructors.


mountain commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 15:54 PM

I believe all 18 year old women should have to sign up for selective service just like males when they turn 18.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 17:08 PM

I think it is going to be very interesting to say the least as to how this plays out. Women have DEMANDED equality now for many years and it seems that their particular Sun is rising.

Maybe it was said above or somewhere else, but the old saying: Be careful what you wish for, cause you just might get it" may have arrived.

JimmyMack commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 17:11 PM

Also, is anyone familiar with the process of how to check a woman for the possibilty of hernias?

up2sumptin commented on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 17:48 PM

That's a little outta left field Jimmy, lol. They apply pressure on a place in the lower abdomen.

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Thanks Up2. I was just a wonderin.

Ya reckon they will all have to line up nekked like the men do to be examined?

And does it matter ifn its a male doctor doin the hernia check or a female one?

And do the gals have to turn their heads and cough?

These details interest me...:)

up2sumptin commented on Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 13:14 PM

I've had both male and female doctors. Either is good. No, we don't turn our heads unless a handsome man flatters us. ;)

sebekm commented on Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 13:57 PM

….and here’s a few more things to think about:

Part I

*“Testosterone” is the lubricant which oils the engine of the military combat unit. Those who have been assigned to these units and who have served in combat know that the higher the level of” testosterone in the air” (along with adrenaline), the greater the esprit-de-corps and probable success in a unit achieving its training and combat missions.

*Females who “make the cut” and who are determined to be qualified to serve in combat will undoubtedly be required to demonstrate that their “testosterone level” is equivalent to – or greater than – their male counterparts, as well as demonstrating the technical skills required for their military occupational specialties.

*According to a thesis study for the Naval Postgraduate School dated March 2012 by Matthew DeBaun, titled: “The Effects of Combat Exposure on the Military Divorce Rate:”

“Results indicate that in most cases, combat exposure will increase the likelihood of divorce. Additionally, a casualty experience tends to have a greater impact on divorce than does weapon usage. Specifically, weapon usage was found to increase the likelihood of divorce for personnel in the medical service (Navy) and service support (Army). A casualty experience increased the likelihood of divorce for personnel in combat arms (Marines, Army) and service support (Marines). Aside from combat exposure, the results indicate that divorce rates vary across occupational specialties and the likelihood of divorce is substantially higher for women.”

See: http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?...

*In addition to the increased likelihood of divorce for married females who experience “actual combat,” consider also the wives of male combat soldiers who – while at home with the kids WAITING to know whether their husbands are alive and well (but always assuming the worst), - will also get to think about the fact that their men now have a different kind of “bosom buddy” in their unit (or in their tent, or in their sleeping bag) to keep them warm on those cold, lonely, testosterone/adrenalin-driven days and nights.

When I entered the Army in 1971, I was married with a six-month old daughter. I must have heard the phrase “If the Army would’ve wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one” a hundred times when I was trying to find a happy medium between my Army obligations and my family obligations. Well, with this change of policy and its probable impact of significantly increasing the military divorce rates, it seems like we are going “back to the future” where “everything old is new again.” Is that really a good thing?

sebekm commented on Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 14:01 PM

Part II

*In addition to all of the above, this policy change enables our wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, granddaughters and grandmothers to PERSONALLY experience the possibility of being exposed to the joys of post traumatic stress syndrome, as well as the trials and tribulations of spending the rest of their lives as para- and quadriplegic military veterans – solely because our President wants to reward a segment of his constituency and to demonstrate his vision of “social equality” in the military.

As mentioned above, we should always be careful what we wish for. This circumstance reminds me of an “experiment” that was launched back in 2001 in which the then Army Chief of Staff decided that all active duty and active reserve soldiers should wear black berets. This was not only perceived as a slap in the face of those soldiers in “special” Army units for which the beret had long stood for a tradition of exceptional military proficiency and tradition, but also was universally considered to be a DUMB, DUMB move by just about everyone else on active duty in the Army at the time (besides the Army Chief of Staff, that is). Well – it took ten years, but a “new regime” of Army brass finally got the message and agreed, repealing that DUMB, DUMB policy. (Personally, I’m glad I was already retired before the policy was enacted).

My hunch is that after sufficient time has passed and we have an opportunity to fully evaluate all of the ramifications of this particular change in policy, it too will pass. But how much damage will be done in the meantime? How much damage?

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