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You seriously, honestly, really are pulling that whole "Ra, Ra, Ra, you don't know what you're talking about you coward shtick" and the best, most stirring military example of bravery and the failings of women in the military is changing a truck tire and loading it onto a flatbed? Really? I mean that's genuinely vapid.

 

You know, they've invited all sorts of amazing simple machines like levers and tackle blocks so that you don't have to walk up hill both ways and whatnot. But far be it from to suggest intelligence is a compensation for strength a good part of the time, and the tales of women failing under fire seem very, very thin on the ground. There are also things they seem to do better than men......like dealing with female civilians while on patrol in highly misogynistic, conservative cultures where women generally don't respond well to groups of men in their homes under the best of circumstances. But I'm sure your combat/whatever experiences outweigh those marine battalions that started using specialized, all-female units out of what evidently considered military necessity.

 

Incidentally, the whole strength thing is somewhat bunk, since men and women can exert similar strength after military specific training commiserate with their frames. So really the issue is that you shouldn't allow small/skinny women and small/skinny men (or ones who can't build lots of muscle mass, of which there are plenty) into the military, or really if you just had a sane PT test it wouldn't be a problem for either gender: http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/7469950

 

But after yet another nearly 1000 word essay (987 to be precise), you've provided exactly 1 point for your list, which isn't even really true (see paper above).

 

In all fairness, Jason, he's dealt with it first-hand and you have not, as you depend upon everything but first-hand experience for your argument here.

 

I cannot comment one way or the other because I was always a tanker an no females were allowed to be such. The issue was brought up when I first got in (in the mid-70s) that women soldiers wanted to tank or be a grunt humping a ruck. My answer then is the same as my answer is now - if they adhere to the same standards as men 100% of the time, then fine . . . bring it on. If not, don't lower the standards just to gain some sort of sociological brownie-point. Back then, not only did we have the universal Army Physical Fitness Test, there was also a "Tanker's Fitness Test" which involved things like carrying a tank roadwheel, breaking track etc.

 

I've never had my life on the line in the combat zone. But, I always hoped that if I did, I would be surrounded by people I could depend upon 100% of the time. Nobody (no man or no woman) is ever 100%. But I do know math and I do know a little about physiology and I do know a little about statistics. And the statistics show that, if I were wounded, my life would most likley be in better hands with a man hoisting me over his shoulders and carrying me to safety than it would be for a woman (or women) trying to do the same. If you have ever tried lifting dead weight (like a 200 pound soldier of either sex wearing combat gear), you would know how difficult this is.

 

Anyway, I am not trying to insult you at all. I am merely trying to convey the point that theories and platitudes about what should work or be and what should not work or be are very heavily overweighted by the first-hand opinions of those that have field-tested the options.

 

Except that the data shows that unless the women are very small, they aren't dramatically weaker than men (see above paper). The standards are only a few less pushups and a slightly longer run time, neither of which exceptionally correlate with humping heavy things around. If anything elite running is actually detrimental to the latter. And if you're lifting something with your chest, you're doing it wrong

 

Single person carrying techniques (firemans carry), and really any lifting period, focuses on lower body strength, not upper body strength anyway and the discrepancy between men and women is even less significant there.

 

Also what is credible first hand experience here? Heavy lifting isn't exclusively a purview of the military. I've done a bunch of single track building and the women helping out have never been found wanting. Incidentally it involves carrying large, very heavy loads of timber cross country. The girls I usually camp with (fun stuff like winter camping) routinely carry heavier loads than I do and I'm in pretty good shape. I'd trust those girls more than any other person I know to drag my ass out of the bush if I broke something.

 

Airforce studies of civilian personnel having accidents shows that men are dramatically more likely to injure themselves too.

http://phc.amedd.arm...JPM%20Jan10.pdf

 

Either way, with plummeting fitness and general health standards in the US, it's not the women I'd be worried about. ;)

 

Jason - carrying hard timber is one thing. Tryng to carry the limp body of an injured human is totally different. Guys that can benchpress hundreds of pounds of rigid weight have a hard time lifting a limp body.

 

The Air Force studies are biased, because the set of Air Force men far outnumbers the sample set of Air Force women (elementary statistics). Get an equal representation of each set, have them perform the exact same duties day in and day out over the long haul. The numbers will be quite different . . . believe me.

 

And, with regards to the overall "plummeting fitness and general health standards in the US," that has little or no bearing on fitness and general health standards in the US Military. Those serving are forced (as a part of duty) to remain fit and healthy or be involuntarily processed out of their job and service. The civilian sector has no such repercussions (be fit and healthy or lose your job).

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Guest Jason L

You seriously, honestly, really are pulling that whole "Ra, Ra, Ra, you don't know what you're talking about you coward shtick" and the best, most stirring military example of bravery and the failings of women in the military is changing a truck tire and loading it onto a flatbed? Really? I mean that's genuinely vapid.

 

You know, they've invited all sorts of amazing simple machines like levers and tackle blocks so that you don't have to walk up hill both ways and whatnot. But far be it from to suggest intelligence is a compensation for strength a good part of the time, and the tales of women failing under fire seem very, very thin on the ground. There are also things they seem to do better than men......like dealing with female civilians while on patrol in highly misogynistic, conservative cultures where women generally don't respond well to groups of men in their homes under the best of circumstances. But I'm sure your combat/whatever experiences outweigh those marine battalions that started using specialized, all-female units out of what evidently considered military necessity.

 

Incidentally, the whole strength thing is somewhat bunk, since men and women can exert similar strength after military specific training commiserate with their frames. So really the issue is that you shouldn't allow small/skinny women and small/skinny men (or ones who can't build lots of muscle mass, of which there are plenty) into the military, or really if you just had a sane PT test it wouldn't be a problem for either gender: http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/7469950

 

But after yet another nearly 1000 word essay (987 to be precise), you've provided exactly 1 point for your list, which isn't even really true (see paper above).

 

In all fairness, Jason, he's dealt with it first-hand and you have not, as you depend upon everything but first-hand experience for your argument here.

 

I cannot comment one way or the other because I was always a tanker an no females were allowed to be such. The issue was brought up when I first got in (in the mid-70s) that women soldiers wanted to tank or be a grunt humping a ruck. My answer then is the same as my answer is now - if they adhere to the same standards as men 100% of the time, then fine . . . bring it on. If not, don't lower the standards just to gain some sort of sociological brownie-point. Back then, not only did we have the universal Army Physical Fitness Test, there was also a "Tanker's Fitness Test" which involved things like carrying a tank roadwheel, breaking track etc.

 

I've never had my life on the line in the combat zone. But, I always hoped that if I did, I would be surrounded by people I could depend upon 100% of the time. Nobody (no man or no woman) is ever 100%. But I do know math and I do know a little about physiology and I do know a little about statistics. And the statistics show that, if I were wounded, my life would most likley be in better hands with a man hoisting me over his shoulders and carrying me to safety than it would be for a woman (or women) trying to do the same. If you have ever tried lifting dead weight (like a 200 pound soldier of either sex wearing combat gear), you would know how difficult this is.

 

Anyway, I am not trying to insult you at all. I am merely trying to convey the point that theories and platitudes about what should work or be and what should not work or be are very heavily overweighted by the first-hand opinions of those that have field-tested the options.

 

Except that the data shows that unless the women are very small, they aren't dramatically weaker than men (see above paper). The standards are only a few less pushups and a slightly longer run time, neither of which exceptionally correlate with humping heavy things around. If anything elite running is actually detrimental to the latter. And if you're lifting something with your chest, you're doing it wrong

 

Single person carrying techniques (firemans carry), and really any lifting period, focuses on lower body strength, not upper body strength anyway and the discrepancy between men and women is even less significant there.

 

Also what is credible first hand experience here? Heavy lifting isn't exclusively a purview of the military. I've done a bunch of single track building and the women helping out have never been found wanting. Incidentally it involves carrying large, very heavy loads of timber cross country. The girls I usually camp with (fun stuff like winter camping) routinely carry heavier loads than I do and I'm in pretty good shape. I'd trust those girls more than any other person I know to drag my ass out of the bush if I broke something.

 

Airforce studies of civilian personnel having accidents shows that men are dramatically more likely to injure themselves too.

http://phc.amedd.arm...JPM%20Jan10.pdf

 

Either way, with plummeting fitness and general health standards in the US, it's not the women I'd be worried about. ;)

 

Jason - carrying hard timber is one thing. Tryng to carry the limp body of an injured human is totally different. Guys that can benchpress hundreds of pounds of rigid weight have a hard time lifting a limp body.

 

The Air Force studies are biased, because the set of Air Force men far outnumbers the sample set of Air Force women (elementary statistics). Get an equal representation of each set, have them perform the exact same duties day in and day out over the long haul. The numbers will be quite different . . . believe me.

 

And, with regards to the overall "plummeting fitness and general health standards in the US," that has little or no bearing on fitness and general health standards in the US Military. Those serving are forced (as a part of duty) to remain fit and healthy or be involuntarily processed out of their job and service. The civilian sector has no such repercussions (be fit and healthy or lose your job).

 

Bench pressing has absolutely nothing to do with moving an incapacitated person though, which either involves dragging (mostly legs), or something like a fireman's carry which involves the legs and back stabilizer muscles (the best predictor of your ability to fireman's carry is the back squad, not the bench press). Most fit humans can lift their own weight or more "far easier" than they can typically bench press their own weight. The legs are always stronger unless you have a meat-head training regime. Unfit people can't do shit, but they aren't really a topic of interest.

 

Also, all of the other professions that require moving people around are well represented by women and catastrophe has not befallen said professions.

 

The airforce study is not biased, men injure at a higher normalized rate, which is not a function of gender representation. It's not in the main paper, it's discussed in a reference.

 

There are plenty of civilian jobs that have repercussions for not being fit and healthy too.

Edited by Jason L
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[...] So really the issue is that you shouldn't allow small/skinny women and small/skinny men (or ones who can't build lots of muscle mass, of which there are plenty) into the military, or really if you just had a sane PT test it wouldn't be a problem for either gender: http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/7469950

 

 

 

Except that the data shows that unless the women are very small, they aren't dramatically weaker than men (see above paper). The standards are only a few less pushups and a slightly longer run time [...]

 

Please, Jason, read a paper before you quote it: "When strength was expressed relative to LBM, both sexes were able to exert similar amounts of strength on the LE and TE, suggesting that differences in strength between the sexes may primarily be a function of muscle mass."

 

Now, thats news indeed: If you'd fill women up with muscles till they're as heavy as men, grew them a bit till they're as large as men, reduce their body fat until they're as lean as men (personally: no thanks, I've got quite accustomed to those appendages and shapes) - and fix 'em some heavier bones and joints, which is often forgotten, just compare a female kneecap with yours - they will perform as men. :glare:

 

Now, lets see: weight, height, triceps skinfold thickness (as a indicator for subcutan fat, couldn't get anything better out of this set of data) of adults in the US, 50th % [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr010.pdf]

 

male: 85.6 kg, 176,3 cm, 13,8 mm

female: 70.7 kg, 162,2 cm, 24 mm

 

So, females are lighter, smaller, and on top of this more of their weight is body fat (I didn't think there were people who didn't seem to know!)

 

As to strength:

 

"The women were approximately 52% and 66% as strong as the men in the upper and lower body respectively. The men were also stronger relative to lean body mass. A significant correlation was found between strength and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA; P < or = 0.05). The women had 45, 41, 30 and 25% smaller muscle CSAs for the biceps brachii, total elbow flexors, vastus lateralis and total knee extensors respectively." [Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8477683]

 

As I said before on this grate site, the reason why elephants (carry capacity 20% of body mass?) are preferred over ants (carry capacity several 100% of body mass) for moving trees is *not* that ants are a nuisance to supervise, but that tree weight usually doesn't adjust itself to carrier weight. Same is usually true for military gear. So while a 90 lbs chick might be much better looking in a well-cut uniform, I'd take the 190 lbs brute for military operations every day, thank you so very much. As far as après-mil is concerned, however...

Edited by APF
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Guest Jason L
[...] So really the issue is that you shouldn't allow small/skinny women and small/skinny men (or ones who can't build lots of muscle mass, of which there are plenty) into the military, or really if you just had a sane PT test it wouldn't be a problem for either gender: http://www.ncbi.nlm..&amp;amp;#46;&amp;amp;#46;/pubmed/7469950

 

 

 

Except that the data shows that unless the women are very small, they aren't dramatically weaker than men (see above paper). The standards are only a few less pushups and a slightly longer run time [...]

 

Please, Jason, read a paper before you quote it: "When strength was expressed relative to LBM, both sexes were able to exert similar amounts of strength on the LE and TE, suggesting that differences in strength between the sexes may primarily be a function of muscle mass."

 

Now, thats news indeed: If you'd fill women up with muscles till they're as heavy as men, grew them a bit till they're as large as men, reduce their body fat until they're as lean as men (personally: no thanks, I've got quite accustomed to those appendages and shapes) - and fix 'em some heavier bones and joints, which is often forgotten, just compare a female kneecap with yours - they will perform as men. :glare:

 

Now, lets see: weight, height, triceps skinfold thickness (as a indicator for subcutan fat, couldn't get anything better out of this set of data) of adults in the US, 50th % [http://www.cdc.gov/n...sr/nhsr010.pdf]

 

male: 85.6 kg, 176,3 cm, 13,8 mm

female: 70.7 kg, 162,2 cm, 24 mm

 

So, females are lighter, smaller, and on top of this more of their weight is body fat (I didn't think there were people who didn't seem to know!)

 

As to strength:

 

"The women were approximately 52% and 66% as strong as the men in the upper and lower body respectively. The men were also stronger relative to lean body mass. A significant correlation was found between strength and muscle cross-sectional area (CSA; P &lt; or = 0.05). The women had 45, 41, 30 and 25% smaller muscle CSAs for the biceps brachii, total elbow flexors, vastus lateralis and total knee extensors respectively." [Gender differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics, http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/8477683]

 

As I said before on this grate site, the reason why elephants (carry capacity 20% of body mass?) are preferred over ants (carry capacity several 100% of body mass) for moving trees is *not* that ants are a nuisance to supervise, but that tree weight usually doesn't adjust itself to carrier weight. Same is usually true for military gear. So while a 90 lbs chick might be much better looking in a well-cut uniform, I'd take the 190 lbs brute for military operations every day, thank you so very much. As far as après-mil is concerned, however...

 

I'm pretty positive you just completely missed the point, or didn't really bother reading my post, which says quite clearly (with bolded bits just to be clear):

 

Incidentally, the whole strength thing is somewhat bunk, since men and women can exert similar strength after military specific training commiserate with their frames. So really the issue is that you shouldn't allow small/skinny women and small/skinny men (or ones who can't build lots of muscle mass, of which there are plenty) into the military, or really if you just had a sane PT test it wouldn't be a problem for either gender: http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/7469950

 

Let me re-paraphrase just so we're clear: if you have realistic standards for both men and women, you will select only men and women who meet your standards, the gender is unimportant. There are plenty of women who can pass current PTs using male criteria, and there are plenty of males who would fail using female standards. The difference is that you discriminate against the males for sucking while you are trying to discriminate against the females for merely being female. If it means a larger rejection rate of women, so be it.

 

The only real problem is watered down standards, which has utterly nothing to do with the individual capabilities of females.

 

Frankly your level of sexual attraction is pretty much of zero interest/relevance to lots of women, and really has no bearing on anything, the number of 90lb shapely women is pretty thin on the ground anyway, so are 190lb muscular male "brutes".

 

The paper you cited is pretty much irrelevant since it doesn't compared physically trained individuals anyway.

 

Your ant vs elephant example is also wrong. If you could somehow magically organize ants into forming structures suitable for carrying trees (they already self organize into structures) they would be perfectly capable of lifting trees and far more efficienctly than elephants at that. The entire basis of self organizing or distributed micro-machines, is that if you can get them controlled with a very high individual efficiency they will perform dramatically better than much bigger things, even for brute force applications like moving heavy things. The problem isn't that you can't scale carried weight to carrier weight, it's that you can't achieve the required organisational complexity to aggregate strength.

Edited by Jason L
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As someone who less than 36 hours ago just got fireman carried up a slippery jungle mountain by a 5'2" 19 year old blonde who would be lucky if she weighed fifty kilos soaking wet, after I was 'hit' in a close country ambush on an ex run by SAS and Commandos I'm somewhat of a convert - I'm a six foot tall 85kg guy, with another thirty odd kilos of crap and a weapon hanging off me.

 

She was also one of three of us that got a shot off in the sniper stalk (she got caught after the shot though - she got too close)

 

She managed to lead her team in a KC mission as successfully as could be (it was a push to failure exercise) where as my stellar leadership ended in a village massacre Ken would be proud of (we did kill the target bomb maker... and woman with a weapon...and a dude with a phone...and a dude with a stick...all but the woman shot in the back... :unsure: ) but thats another story...

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OK . . . uh, everybody feel better? :huh:

 

Well, what did you expect when you started this thread? :P

 

Though I'd say, quaint old-fashioned notions aside (which I think are a quite natural part of men's biological programming), everybody here would agree to "meet the same standards, get the same job". As variously stated, it's the people who lower standards for women out of political reasons who screw things up.

 

She managed to lead her team in a KC mission as successfully as could be (it was a push to failure exercise) where as my stellar leadership ended in a village massacre Ken would be proud of (we did kill the target bomb maker... and woman with a weapon...and a dude with a phone...and a dude with a stick...all but the woman shot in the back... :unsure: ) but thats another story...

 

I really have to finish that Clantasy eventually.

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Let me re-paraphrase just so we're clear: if you have realistic standards for both men and women, you will select only men and women who meet your standards, the gender is unimportant. There are plenty of women who can pass current PTs using male criteria, and there are plenty of males who would fail using female standards. The difference is that you discriminate against the males for sucking while you are trying to discriminate against the females for merely being female. If it means a larger rejection rate of women, so be it.

 

The only real problem is watered down standards, which has utterly nothing to do with the individual capabilities of females.

How do you define the "realistic standards" and the "watered down" ones?

Here in the Greek army the standards for men and women are the same, and from my personal expereince when I gave exams* to enter the officer academy as combat arms cadet (rather than support arms with lowered physical standards) I can say two things I observed:

a)the standards are fairly low, such that most, generally fit, males will succeed. Many, with a comfortable margin.

b ) females fail at a far greater ratio, and those that succeed do only marginally.

 

(Note that this is a career decision central to the lives of those 18-year-olds, and most of the candidates, like me as well, train for the tests several weeks/months before)

 

In the case of officer candidates the importance of physical tests is secondary to the academic, but in the case of contract privates physical tests are of main importance. In this respect, either one increases the standards to pass only the above average males -and not the majority as happens today-, which however will mean that extremely few women will succeed, or one accepts that the standards are indeed "watered down" and represent a bare minimum, with the real effect that the average serving male soldier is substantially stronger than the average serving female soldier.

 

 

*failed the academic exam by little, so no officer academy for me

Edited by rohala
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I really have to finish that Clantasy eventually.

 

Not Clantasy, it is what happens when you take your eyes off a detainee because you haven't got enough guys, shit gets crazy, C2 breaks down (no SPR's in hilly urban/jungle mix) and the role players start ad libbing all sorts of crazy shit not in the script, guys shoot the right people, then a few of the wrong people.

 

Great learning example of what not to do.

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My best Tank driver was a woman. She never got it stuck, she never put me hull up to the enemy and maint was always #1.

 

Some of the best Recce soldiers I commanded were women. they are cunning and quiet

 

I commanded mixed troops, my ability to get the job done was not effected by the sex or sexual orientation of the soldiers I commanded

 

You just need to have an open mind.

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As someone who less than 36 hours ago just got fireman carried up a slippery jungle mountain by a 5'2" 19 year old blonde who would be lucky if she weighed fifty kilos soaking wet, after I was 'hit' in a close country ambush on an ex run by SAS and Commandos I'm somewhat of a convert - I'm a six foot tall 85kg guy, with another thirty odd kilos of crap and a weapon hanging off me.

 

She was also one of three of us that got a shot off in the sniper stalk (she got caught after the shot though - she got too close)

 

She managed to lead her team in a KC mission as successfully as could be (it was a push to failure exercise) where as my stellar leadership ended in a village massacre Ken would be proud of (we did kill the target bomb maker... and woman with a weapon...and a dude with a phone...and a dude with a stick...all but the woman shot in the back... :unsure: ) but thats another story...

 

I'm glad there was one there that could do the job when it needed to be done. There are always exceptions to the perceived norm.

 

Here is an interesting find on men vs. women body strength:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8477683

 

And Andrew, with regards to the "open mind," I don't think I've seen anybody here with a closed one. The only person here that seemingly has a "closed mind" is thekirk - and according to his personal, hands-on experience dealing with his female soldiers, he entered into the situation with an "open mind," but the repeated negative results of his encounter eventually led to him changing his mind on the matter (based on personal experiences). I don't call that "having a closed mind." I call that a "personal determination."

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My best Tank driver was a woman. She never got it stuck, she never put me hull up to the enemy and maint was always #1.

 

Some of the best Recce soldiers I commanded were women. they are cunning and quiet

 

I commanded mixed troops, my ability to get the job done was not effected by the sex or sexual orientation of the soldiers I commanded

 

You just need to have an open mind.

 

I have no doubt. Are the physical standards the same for men and women in the CF? That is the only issue for me. There are different standards for age within male PFT. In part this recognizes the relative diferences in roles between the ages.

 

Minimum Army passing Pushups:

 

21 yrold male: 42

42 yrold male: 30

21 yrold female: 19

 

2 mile run:

 

21 yrold male: 15:54

42 yrold male: 18:42

21 yrold female: 18:54

 

I take more issue with the female run standards as that is more a related to endurance than muscle mass.

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I take more issue with the female run standards as that is more a related to endurance than muscle mass.

 

As I mentioned before, if there was only one standard for all soldiers (disregarding sex), then I've got no problem with opening up all jobs in the Army to females. But, reality is that height/weight standards, body-fat standards and Physical Fitness Test standards for female US Army soldiers are more relaxed than those standards applied to men.

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As someone who less than 36 hours ago just got fireman carried up a slippery jungle mountain by a 5'2" 19 year old blonde who would be lucky if she weighed fifty kilos soaking wet, after I was 'hit' in a close country ambush on an ex run by SAS and Commandos I'm somewhat of a convert - I'm a six foot tall 85kg guy, with another thirty odd kilos of crap and a weapon hanging off me.

 

She was also one of three of us that got a shot off in the sniper stalk (she got caught after the shot though - she got too close)

 

She managed to lead her team in a KC mission as successfully as could be (it was a push to failure exercise) where as my stellar leadership ended in a village massacre Ken would be proud of (we did kill the target bomb maker... and woman with a weapon...and a dude with a phone...and a dude with a stick...all but the woman shot in the back... :unsure: ) but thats another story...

 

I'm glad there was one there that could do the job when it needed to be done. There are always exceptions to the perceived norm.

 

Here is an interesting find on men vs. women body strength:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/8477683

 

And Andrew, with regards to the "open mind," I don't think I've seen anybody here with a closed one. The only person here that seemingly has a "closed mind" is thekirk - and according to his personal, hands-on experience dealing with his female soldiers, he entered into the situation with an "open mind," but the repeated negative results of his encounter eventually led to him changing his mind on the matter (based on personal experiences). I don't call that "having a closed mind." I call that a "personal determination."

 

Sorry, I did not mean that in the common MSM term of open mind... I meant it in terms of open your mind to the possibilities.. There are some things a female may have issues with... but a small man will have equal problems. But when coming up with a plan I always used the know strengths and weaknesses of my troops to assign tasks...right soldier for the job.

 

Again sorry if my post is perceived as a slam, not my intention

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BTW women in Winter Warefare actually do better than men because they have more...er...(ladies be kind)... layers of fat to keep them warm.

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I will check at work today and post the current standards... but as the link I posted shows, Canadian Women have been getting killed at the front since WW1, just now they are actually fighting and doing well in most cases... same can be said of most men.

 

as for one standard for all... that does not take into account age... so soldiers at 45 would be excluded from combat because they cannot do as many pushups as a 21 year old? Historical evidence blows that assumption all to hell, with older weaker solders often winning bravery medals and saving mens lives.

 

Same can be said for women. Yes they are smaller, Yes they are weaker, But the same could be said for a man at 5ft 5 and another at 6ft 4

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I have to agree with the bridgedwelling Hittite, maybe i`m just an old fashioned male but women in combat just feels plain wrong to me, for both morally and conscious reasons.

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as for one standard for all... that does not take into account age... so soldiers at 45 would be excluded from combat because they cannot do as many pushups as a 21 year old?

Why not?

Same can be said for women. Yes they are smaller, Yes they are weaker, But the same could be said for a man at 5ft 5 and another at 6ft 4

Not all men are used in combat either. Even conscript armies divide their conscripts based on their physical abilities. Combat is reserved for the fittest soldiers.

 

The problem I see with the mentality here is that people see serving the army as an opportunity to make money and not an organisation that is supposed to be as effective as possible given a finite amount of resources.

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As someone who less than 36 hours ago just got fireman carried up a slippery jungle mountain by a 5'2" 19 year old blonde who would be lucky if she weighed fifty kilos soaking wet, after I was 'hit' in a close country ambush on an ex run by SAS and Commandos I'm somewhat of a convert - I'm a six foot tall 85kg guy, with another thirty odd kilos of crap and a weapon hanging off me.

 

She was also one of three of us that got a shot off in the sniper stalk (she got caught after the shot though - she got too close)

 

She managed to lead her team in a KC mission as successfully as could be (it was a push to failure exercise) where as my stellar leadership ended in a village massacre Ken would be proud of (we did kill the target bomb maker... and woman with a weapon...and a dude with a phone...and a dude with a stick...all but the woman shot in the back... :unsure: ) but thats another story...

 

I'm glad there was one there that could do the job when it needed to be done. There are always exceptions to the perceived norm.

 

Here is an interesting find on men vs. women body strength:

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm..../pubmed/8477683

 

And Andrew, with regards to the "open mind," I don't think I've seen anybody here with a closed one. The only person here that seemingly has a "closed mind" is thekirk - and according to his personal, hands-on experience dealing with his female soldiers, he entered into the situation with an "open mind," but the repeated negative results of his encounter eventually led to him changing his mind on the matter (based on personal experiences). I don't call that "having a closed mind." I call that a "personal determination."

 

Sorry, I did not mean that in the common MSM term of open mind... I meant it in terms of open your mind to the possibilities.. There are some things a female may have issues with... but a small man will have equal problems. But when coming up with a plan I always used the know strengths and weaknesses of my troops to assign tasks...right soldier for the job.

 

Again sorry if my post is perceived as a slam, not my intention

 

The 'open mind' appreciation remains arguable, having read posts to date in this thread. JasonL and T19 are correct about the benefits of real physical testing /training standards, which only see much effect in SOF as far as the US forces. Even with the improvements in the USMC, there is no discriminator vs. MOS and the true requirements of the position, all of which are enumerated in long-standing publications [MOS Manual in the USMC].

 

Apart from an unfortunately high level of self-convinced in the forces, as TheKirk once was [his own admission], it is clear that the 'civilians' are not at fault, except for those in civil service alongside the uniforms in the service HQ, who actually make the rules.

 

The main reason we can't 'get it' in the US forces is their sheer size. There is no way that the manpower weenies will permit true testing for the requirements of each specialty, because so many men, as well as women, would be invalidated from the more challenging specialties that these would remain unfilled, perhaps by 50%.

 

We have always had to make do in units with men too weak or of insufficient endurance, and everybody compensated. Nothing was said and the mission accomplished. If TheKirk 'broke' people by giving them orders beyond their capacity, well I sympathize with those soldier-victims.

 

The US forces passed up a unique moment when we went 'co-ed', and that was to design specialized physical performance testing that qualify both men & women for the designated tasks. I always said that the woman able to pass the recon battalion physical test would not have any problem with her battle buddies or anybody else, on and off duty, for that matter. Think of the 'marines' in the Alien II film, where the women gave and took with their squad and performed as well as anybody. Likewise the women tankers able to hump ammo, suspension components and carry out all crew tasks with endurance, would have no problems.

 

Such physical standards would disqualify so many men and women as to make the US forces fall far below required manning levels. That's why the leadership [not the civilians] will not let it happen. Complaints about different standards for men and women in physical testing are simoply not relevant. These ensure a modicum of fitness for general service. Nor are the standards particularly well-maintained. The soldiers I saw in Germany with the 1AD and supporting echelons in 2005 were in too many cases [and I mean relatively small numbers] overweight and underwhelming, but they mostly had served in the 2003-04 Iraq deployment of 15 months and had probably gone slack as part of their recovery.

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I will check at work today and post the current standards... but as the link I posted shows, Canadian Women have been getting killed at the front since WW1, just now they are actually fighting and doing well in most cases... same can be said of most men.

 

as for one standard for all... that does not take into account age... so soldiers at 45 would be excluded from combat because they cannot do as many pushups as a 21 year old? Historical evidence blows that assumption all to hell, with older weaker solders often winning bravery medals and saving mens lives.

 

Same can be said for women. Yes they are smaller, Yes they are weaker, But the same could be said for a man at 5ft 5 and another at 6ft 4

 

One standard for all disregarding sex. So, all 21 year old soldiers (male or female) have the same standard. Lowering the standards somewhat accounting for age is a proper thing. Lowering the standards somewhat because of sex is not.

 

The problem with anecdotal evidence is that each event weighs as much as another one. Your +1 experience is equal to thekirk's -1 experience. Since I only had a female or two assigned one time (as clerks), and have never dealt with them in the field tanking, I have no personal anecdotes to sway my opinion.

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I have to agree with the bridgedwelling Hittite, maybe i`m just an old fashioned male but women in combat just feels plain wrong to me, for both morally and conscious reasons.

 

I understand the sensitivities. But War is Hell, and the nation sending both men and women into service will just have to consider the likely costs more clearly than has been the case so far, and whether crackpot schemes and adventures really ought to be attempted. Why should only mothers of sons weep?

 

The US went to volunteer forces in 1973 precisely so that professionals could be ordered into action regardless of political opinions and other distractions [ex post Vietnam]. They would be paid better to brave the dangers without regard to how the home front reacted. Quite a dream, eh?

Edited by Ken Estes
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Guest Jason L

I will check at work today and post the current standards... but as the link I posted shows, Canadian Women have been getting killed at the front since WW1, just now they are actually fighting and doing well in most cases... same can be said of most men.

 

as for one standard for all... that does not take into account age... so soldiers at 45 would be excluded from combat because they cannot do as many pushups as a 21 year old? Historical evidence blows that assumption all to hell, with older weaker solders often winning bravery medals and saving mens lives.

 

Same can be said for women. Yes they are smaller, Yes they are weaker, But the same could be said for a man at 5ft 5 and another at 6ft 4

 

One standard for all disregarding sex. So, all 21 year old soldiers (male or female) have the same standard. Lowering the standards somewhat accounting for age is a proper thing. Lowering the standards somewhat because of sex is not.

 

The problem with anecdotal evidence is that each event weighs as much as another one. Your +1 experience is equal to thekirk's -1 experience. Since I only had a female or two assigned one time (as clerks), and have never dealt with them in the field tanking, I have no personal anecdotes to sway my opinion.

 

What about the fact that women bring some situationally unique capabilities to the battlespace (or whatever buzzword you want to use)? Push-ups, situps and 2mi worth running are all pretty nebulous parameters anyway. The lack of something that tests leg strength and back core/stabilizer muscles (like a squad test) is to me pretty surprising for instance. A "carry heavy shit/other recruit x distance" test would make too much sense too.

 

I find the notion that women getting shot up is abhorrent, but that men getting shot up is far less so pretty damn offensive when you get down to it as well. It boils down to essentially valuing the life of a woman more/differently than the life of a man, which basically violates a whole set of tenets of modern humanism. Women haven't been reproductive assets that require protection for a very long time. Societies that are ostensibly supposed to value the protection of certain elements also are rife with abusing those same elements (rape, battery, etc, etc) at pretty damn high rates, so it always comes off as a very hollow argument too.

 

As for anecdotes: I agree completely, which is why I try to avoid using them to argue a point if at all possible. Certainly there is zero data that confirms a overall failing of women to perform soldierly duties in any armed forces that employs them universally.

Edited by Jason L
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I hope this is additional information, and not gas on the blaze:

http://thesoldierslo...n-the-infantry/

It's from a blog by a Marine LtCol (ret).

 

Who's the LtCol? It is not this Nate. Is the article signed?

 

CMC is conducting a test of women serving in previously prohibited MOS.' It's his opinion that it is needed, it does not mean anything is inevitable. If anything, it will provide evidence. That is all.

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