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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.

 

I took this opportunity to read up on actual physical demands for the Bundeswehr today, since my personal memory stems back from conscription time, when recruits (all male, obviously) were graded as T1 through T5; IIRC T1 being "unrestricted fitness for all occupations", T2 "fit with restrictions for individual occupations", T3 "limited fitness for service", T4 "unfit for service at this time" and T5 "unfit for service". T2/T3 would get exclusions for various occupations - based on the medical exam, not a fitness test. T1 types tended to end up in light infantry or the Guard Battalion; I was T2 due to slight sight deficiencies and borderline blood pressure after doing the usual ten squats for stress.

 

I also went through the officer candidate exam separately and passed the physical fitness test for volunteers easily despite being worried about it before, never having been the sportive type. Back then it was 4 x 9 meter pendulum sprint, 40 seconds of sit-ups and push-ups each, a standing long jump and a twelve minute Cooper Test of running. There was a maximum of six points per item to be achieved, with a total of 15 and no less than two in any individual test required to pass. Of my group, only one failed when he gave up in the final Cooper Test. I think I pretty much maxed the push-ups and sit-ups (for which I had specifically trained), and the long jump by virtue of my bean-pole legs. It seems at least today enlisted and NCO applicants take a cardio stress test instead of the Cooper test.

 

In reality, I lacked upper-body strength (still do), and scaling the wall at the obstacle course during basic training was damn nigh impossible to me. There was a test involving chin-ups only in training, and I managed a grand total of one. We were expected to significantly increase our achievements by the end of the term, which in my case was secured by my squad leader grabbing me in the second test and pushing me up while loudly counting "Two, three, four, five, six ...", with me protesting between laughs that nobody would believe this (but nobody asked questions, either). Every soldier was expected to take this test at least once per year.

 

When women were admitted, they had to go through the same PFT, but with less required to get the same points as men. I would want to believe that the personnel offering career tracks at the end of the exam were keeping in mind that the female results counted for less than the male ones, but my above experience with superiors trying to adjust reality to expectations don't make me hopeful. As the US, we don't actually have occupation-specific tests (save for the special operations forces), and the only saving grace would likely have been the aforementioned self-selection of women towards the "typical female" specialities.

 

Fast-forward to 2010, and we no longer have the yearly PFT, but the all-brand-new-and-shiny Basic Fitness Test. It includes an 11 x 10 meter sprint test where you start from lying on your belly with your hands on your back, turn around a pylon after ten meters, lie back down at the start, then go again (maximum time of 60 seconds); hanging chin-up for as long as possible (minimum time of five seconds), but starting from a box and not pulling yourself up (well, that would have solved all my problems!); and a 1,000 meter run (maximum time of 6:30 minutes). According to the Bundeswehr website, "a sophisticated point system referencing genetically based biological differences refering to gender and age permits a fair, scientifically-founded judgement". Apparently his translates to female requirements reduced by 13 percent for running, and 30 percent for hanging. Another bonus applies for soldiers of age 36 and up.

 

Jump to the end of that year, and a female cadet drops out of the main mast of Navy sail training ship Gorch Fock in the port of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, and dies. To be fair, she had been a prior service NCO, deployed in Operation ATALANTA off East Africa, and there were other factors than mere physical fitness at play, not least that the cadet crew had just been flown in from Germany the night before and had to cope with the change of time and climate zones in addition to little sleep while going up into the rigging for the first time in their life. Some also questioned whether training on a sail ship was still necessary in this day and age.

 

The point is, among the recommendations made by an investigative committee and since implemented was a greater emphasis on making sure of the required physical fitness in pre-training prior to embarking cadets. Which is, of course, nothing else but an occupation-specific standard. And all that took was the death of a young sailor (who happened to be a woman).

Edited by BansheeOne
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Unlike a lot of the people commenting here, particularly one, I can put specific names and faces with specific times, dates, and incidents where people were injured and/or permanently disabled due to this fantasy-land concept. Some of those people who were disabled became so at my specific order, in service of a specific mission I was tasked with accomplishing by my unit. So, this is not an abstract concept to me--It is a reality I had to cope with as a leader. Abstractions don't come with names and faces, or guilt for failing them as a leader when one really had no other option--Thanks to the idiocies forced by idealists.

 

The issue is not one of rights or ideals. The issue is one of "Does this ideal work in the real world?". I have to conclude that it doesn't. Over the course of my experience dealing with females in the military, I observed a couple of things that make me conclude that they have a valid role and duty for military service, but they do not belong in front-line units, period. You can quote studies all you want, and specific incidents with exceptional female servicewomen, but the thing you cannot do is refute reality and the dirty little secrets nobody wants to talk about.

 

The reality of the situation is that while the studies show women can potentially become as physically capable as males, the reality is that the majority don't. Go to any gym on any Army base, and take a quick survey of who is there after duty hours working out on strength-building: The population is almost entirely male. The individuals who need it the most, the females, are not utilizing the equipment. Then, go out and check the jobsites and monitor who is actually doing the physical labor. It won't be the women, either. Routinely, the men in any given unit will be the ones carrying the heavy loads, and doing the physical labor--Even within the same trades. And, yes--This is a failure of leadership. Even if you do your best to divvy up the tasks equitably, you wind up assigning them in a discriminating way, just because you're tired of waiting three hours for six women to get a job done that three males will accomplish in two or three. That's just in garrison. Move that to the field for training, or deployment to a combat zone, and things become exponentially worse. You don't have the luxury of waiting extra time to get something done, even when it doesn't involve people shooting at you. The supply chain still needs raw strength to get a lot of things done, even in "rear areas".

 

One of my old medics is now medically retired for PTSD, which he acquired during one of his multiple tours in Iraq, going out on route clearance missions nearly every day. That guy spent more time outside the wire than any Combat Engineer in his unit, nearly double the time that they did. Why was that? Because he was in a unit that the Army decided could cope with having females assigned as Combat Medics. Due to that, he and another couple of male medics wound up doing nearly all the work outside the wire for an entire section of medics, while most the females spent their entire tours inside the wire running sick call or working in the BAS. They weren't going outside the wire for one simple reason: They lacked the body strength to do their jobs and be able to pull casualties out of blown-up vehicles. As a result, three male medics wound up doing the work for ten, while seven female medics spent their time inside the wire. I should mention that only three of those female medics completed their full tour in Iraq, the other four returning early for "stress" or becoming pregnant. I think one got injured while doing PT, as well. The three male medics completed their tours, one later developing PTSD due to overwork and overexposure to trauma, while another damaged his back pulling a casualty out of a burning vehicle. After he damaged his back, he had to keep going out, and never got a chance to fully heal up from the injury. That turned it into a chronic problem, and resulted in his later medical discharge. One year in Iraq, two burned out male medics who are no longer available to the Army for continued service. Both probably unnecessarily crippled for life to one degree or another, because some lackwit thought it a good idea to assign women to a combat unit. That's one of the "dirty little secrets"--In that many times, having women assigned to key jobs means overworking the males serving alongside them in those same key jobs, due to actual physical incapacity to do the same job, and a greater propensity not to complete tours.

 

I've worked with some great female Soldiers, who I'd gladly put up against any of the guys I worked with or knew. The problem is, those women were few and far between, exceptional, and the Army in it's wisdom, wants to make believe that every woman in the Army meets those standards--When they manifestly don't. Give me 100 women, and I can probably train 10 to 15 out of a hundred to meet the lower end of the spectrum of male standards. Give me 100 males, and I can train 85 to 90 of them to meet those same standards. Yet, in the end, I have to keep the females who don't meet those male minimum standards, and throw out the men who don't. The women wind up being assigned against my strength as though they were males. How the hell does that work, again? Again and again, the ideal dies when placed up against actual implemented reality. Sure, under ideal circumstances, you can train and maintain quite a few women to male standards, but at what cost? Who the hell has the time to supervise and enforce the additional physical training? Trust me on this one--I've been there: You will not be able to make this happen unless you spend time out of your day to enforce it happening, and that's not likely to be a part of the duty day, either. Someone is going to have to take those physically inadequate people down to the gym, and put them through remedial PT each and every day, and good luck making that happen when it's all females who fail the test. The chain of command is going to come to you and ask "Why are you making these people, who pass the APFT, do more PT? They meet the Army standard....". Why force that on leadership that already has a million and one other priorities that we've deemed more important?

 

I'm not interested in idealistic "concepts". I'm more interested in what actually gets done, and what happens when those ideals meet the real world. We can say "Gee, look: The Russians had women in combat... Why can't we?". The problem is, we're not recruiting our Army and Marine Corps women from among the population of a semi-developed nation fighting for its survival. We are dealing with little Suzy Valleygirl, who likely never did any sports or athletics as a girl, and who has very, very limited background in doing anything physical whatsoever. Trying to turn that raw material into someone you want filling a slot in your military unit is quite a different proposition, and in my experience, is simply not worth the massive effort involved. We've been lying to ourselves since the beginning of this whole experiment back in the 1970s, and it's about damn time we stopped. There are literally thousands of victims of this bullshit idealism out there, male and female, who have and will suffer from this shit until we stop.

 

A lot of this problem goes right to culture, and how very few women have managed to lay down the groundwork, in terms of greater bone density and strength in their youth. Why this is, I don't care--I had to deal with the higher propensity for stress fractures and joint injuries that resulted from it. That's the reality, not the ideal: The girls with athletic backgrounds, whose bodies could have withstood the rigor of military training? I didn't get those--I got the sedentary city girls who never played a game of softball in their lives, or who never walked further than the nearest bus stop. The raw material is simply lacking, and the military does not, I repeat, does not have the time or the money to spend to get these people up to a standard and maintain it, not when it could be recruiting males who are more likely to meet the standards, and who have the physical capacity to be trained to do so with less time and resources devoted to doing so.

 

Every single enlisted female I had that was worth a damn, and especially the ones who worked their asses off to keep up with the guys, ended their military careers with enough accumulated damage to their bodies that most of them could have, and should have, been medically retired. I had a 90-lb female supply clerk, a girl who had more heart than half of my guys, who ended her career in the service with destroyed knee and hip joints--To the point she couldn't have re-enlisted if she'd wanted to. While she worked for me, I swear she spent at least as much time on profile or crutches as she did off them--And, not because she was a slacker, either. She kept doing her best to keep up, and breaking herself. We'd go on road marches, and she'd do the ten miles just as well as the guys, but here's the thing: I'd be carrying the same sixty-seventy pounds of weight she was, but that's less than a third of my body weight. For her, that was like nine-tenths. Any wonder I'd be sore for a day or two, and she'd be half-crippled for a week? Not to mention, her stride was maybe twenty inches, to my thirty-six. For half that road march, she'd be running to keep up with the males who were comfortably walking along at a normal pace.

 

And you wonder why I feel like shit, almost twenty years after this? She quite simply should never have been put into that position, but thanks to the idealists view, she was. And, I had to be the one forcing this crap to happen. The Army lied to her, and told her "Yes, you can do this job we put you into...". The reality? The idealists system put her into a situation where she'd wind up virtually crippling herself for life. I ran into this young lady about ten years after I had her in my unit. She was a civilian, working in a sedentary job, with almost completely destroyed knee joints. She was looking at having to have both of them replaced with artificial ones, as if she were a seventy year-old. Unfortunately, she didn't have the medical insurance to do that, and neither the Army nor the VA were going to help her, since they'd never done the proper documentation of what I thought were clearly service-related injuries. That right there is an actual reality-based outcome of idealism, folks. And, I'm sure the usual suspects will tell me it's not valid, as it is anecdotal, and not properly vetted because some moron of a Ph.D hasn't spent ten million dollars validating what common sense and a short check at the orthopedic center on any military base will tell you.

 

And, I'm the sexist. Amazing, ain't it?

Edited by thekirk
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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.

 

At 45 your body after years in the Miliatary is hurting...

Where did I say people where in it for the money?

 

The CF has an outstanding reputation in the battlefield.. must be our training and culture :blink:

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Like I said, we have females in combat roles. they go out side the wire. They get shot at, and shoot back. some live, some dont, some wish they had not.

 

Kirk, on your medic thing, sound to me that your national policy of not letting women do what they trained seems to be the problem not the women not wanting to go. Cant blame that on women

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Like I said, we have females in combat roles. they go out side the wire. They get shot at, and shoot back. some live, some dont, some wish they had not.

 

Kirk, on your medic thing, sound to me that your national policy of not letting women do what they trained seems to be the problem not the women not wanting to go. Cant blame that on women

 

National policy had nothing to do with it. The unit in question did a reality-based test to determine whether or not the medic had the upper body strength to pull a dead weight out of a hatch on a vehicle. All the male medics were able to, and none of the females ever managed it. Due to that, they chose not to take the women outside the wire, and I can't say I blame them, either. The Army decided they could get by with female medics, and then assigned random women who had that specialty to the unit without regard to their physical capacity. Whose fault is that? Would you want to be the commander writing home to Mrs. Smith telling her that her son died screaming in a burning vehicle because someone who was supposed to be able to couldn't pull him out of it? And, yes, it is likely that there would have been someone nearby to help, but you can't count on "likely" when people are shooting at you.

 

Most of those girls wanted to do the job, too. The problem was that they weren't physically capable of doing it. It's a two-fold betrayal, in my mind: You build up someone, telling them that they can do the job, only to leave them behind because their body's physical characteristics don't allow it. The other half is, you assign them to a unit where they are supposed to perform that task, and that unit finds out they can't, then overloading the ones who can--Who happen to be male. The system screwed two groups here--The women, setting them up for failure and disappointment, and the men, setting them up to work themselves to death.

 

And, yes--Some units did use women in these roles. This particular one had a commander who'd gone through the experience of losing one of his men in an IED strike because someone hadn't possessed the upper-body strength to pull him out of a burning hatch. As a result, he instituted a policy that you had to demonstrate you could do this (using a dead-weight dummy that was actually lighter than the average guy in the unit, BTW...) before going out on patrol with the teams. None of the female medics ever managed the test, even after extensive remedial work. All of the crew members of the vehicles did so, usually on the first try.

 

If you think pulling an injured man out of a vehicle hatch under fire is an easy task, here's what I suggest: Go fill a gunnysack full of rice or beans, until it weighs about 175lbs. Put it into a trash can, and put that next to a table. Now, standing on the table, try getting that bag up and onto the table. Have someone shoot at you with a paintball gun while you're doing this, while someone else starts a fire under the table. At that point, you've probably only replicated about a tenth of the difficulty of the task...

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Oh, and here's another anecdotal data point I just remembered about...

 

Circa 1995, right after we got our first female medics, we had the opportunity to send them off for their EFMB, or Expert Field Medical Badge. I put it out to the medics, asking for volunteers (it's not a mandatory thing...), and I got precisely two that wanted to spend the time prepping for it, and taking part. One was my 45-year old male senior medic, and the other was one of my newly-assigned females. I sent them both off to the competition, which consisted of a variety of tasks including casevac drills and medical testing stations. When it was all over with, the one who came back with the badge was my senior medic, while the teenage female failed the road march and one of the casevac drills. Seems like a garden variety result, with a veteran's experience overcoming the youth and strength of a new recruit, right? Not so much...

 

The older male medic? This guy used to scare the living shit out of me on every road march, and every time we went to do something physical. I was convinced he was going to go down to a heart attack, to the point where I procured one of the then-new portable defibrillators to have on standby for him, just in case. He'd come from a previous background of hospital duty, and was a great guy, but for the love of God, he sure as hell shouldn't have been in a combat arms unit--He was almost clinically obese, and barely able to pass an APFT. He later got discharged due to developing diabetes, and if you'd seen the guy, you'd have wondered how the hell he met the body weight standards. The female medic in question? Maxed her APFT, every time, and was probably one of the fittest females I ever had work for me. She routinely worked out at the gym, and was pretty much the poster-girl for being in shape. And, yet... Which one of them managed to pass the physical standards portion of the EFMB?

 

Somewhere in that time frame, I started to seriously question what the hell the powers-that-be were thinking. Up to that point, I'd bought the whole "girls are as good as the guys" thing, hook, line and sinker. Afterwards? I started noticing things, like who was getting injured more in routine training. Conclusions followed...

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I don't think we'll gain anything by belaboring the point of individual fitness requirements for any given occupation, since everybody seems to agree on their necessity. Everybody also has some anecdotal evidence of people who failed or exceeded expectations, of miserable loaders and courageous medics to throw around. And B does not necessarily always follow from A. For all my lack of strength and always being the weakest link in the squad during medical basic, I never had any trouble lifting and carrying anybody over my shoulder with properly executed technique, for example, which makes Luke being carried uphill by a petite girl totally believable to me (and when I transferred to military police and had the joy to do basic all over again, I found that with three months of service over my new squadmates, I could outmarch the lot of them, including rather more athletic types, while carrying an additional backpack).

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OK, class . . . time for a little quiz on logics . . . find the common denominator amongst these examples:

 

1. On any golf course, there are men's tees, ladies' tees and pro tees. Pro tees provide the longest hole distance and difficulty. The men's tees are somewhat lessened in distance and difficulty. The ladies' tee is always shortest in distance. Men are normally allowed to tee off from the men's tee or the pro tee. Women golfers can choose any of the three.

 

2. There is a PGA (Professonal Golfing Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPGA and women cannot play in the PGA.

 

3. There is a PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPBA and women cannot play in the PBA.

 

4. There is a men's pro tennis circuit and a women's pro tennis circuit. Men cannot play in the women's league and women cannot play in the men's league.

 

All these things have one thing in common. What is it and why is it?

 

;)

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OK, class . . . time for a little quiz on logics . . . find the common denominator amongst these examples:

 

1. On any golf course, there are men's tees, ladies' tees and pro tees. Pro tees provide the longest hole distance and difficulty. The men's tees are somewhat lessened in distance and difficulty. The ladies' tee is always shortest in distance. Men are normally allowed to tee off from the men's tee or the pro tee. Women golfers can choose any of the three.

 

2. There is a PGA (Professonal Golfing Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPGA and women cannot play in the PGA.

 

3. There is a PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPBA and women cannot play in the PBA.

 

4. There is a men's pro tennis circuit and a women's pro tennis circuit. Men cannot play in the women's league and women cannot play in the men's league.

 

All these things have one thing in common. What is it and why is it?

 

;)

 

Common sense?

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OK, class . . . time for a little quiz on logics . . . find the common denominator amongst these examples:

 

1. On any golf course, there are men's tees, ladies' tees and pro tees. Pro tees provide the longest hole distance and difficulty. The men's tees are somewhat lessened in distance and difficulty. The ladies' tee is always shortest in distance. Men are normally allowed to tee off from the men's tee or the pro tee. Women golfers can choose any of the three.

 

2. There is a PGA (Professonal Golfing Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPGA and women cannot play in the PGA.

 

3. There is a PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPBA and women cannot play in the PBA.

 

4. There is a men's pro tennis circuit and a women's pro tennis circuit. Men cannot play in the women's league and women cannot play in the men's league.

 

All these things have one thing in common. What is it and why is it?

 

;)

 

The rules are made by men to keep the sisters down.

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A somewhat notorious master gunner on this grate sight has one [of his several] signature line that seems to apply:

 

We pause here briefly so that some TNetters can recover from their exposure to the mindblowing notion that perhaps one should not treat one's own anecdotal experiences as universal truths.

 

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Isn't this a cultural thing? The Soviets allowed for women into some combat arms pretty quickly into the GPW while the Nazis did not, even to the end.

 

ETA:- oddly enough it was OK to have women as tank drivers and machine gunners but not straight leg rifles......??

Edited by Simon Tan
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Guest Jason L

OK, class . . . time for a little quiz on logics . . . find the common denominator amongst these examples:

 

1. On any golf course, there are men's tees, ladies' tees and pro tees. Pro tees provide the longest hole distance and difficulty. The men's tees are somewhat lessened in distance and difficulty. The ladies' tee is always shortest in distance. Men are normally allowed to tee off from the men's tee or the pro tee. Women golfers can choose any of the three.

 

2. There is a PGA (Professonal Golfing Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPGA and women cannot play in the PGA.

 

3. There is a PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPBA and women cannot play in the PBA.

 

4. There is a men's pro tennis circuit and a women's pro tennis circuit. Men cannot play in the women's league and women cannot play in the men's league.

 

All these things have one thing in common. What is it and why is it?

 

;)

 

1) The difference between skilled players is about 30 yrds depending on gender.

 

2) I think this gives a pretty good explanation: http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-instruction/short-game/putting/2010-10/putting-matthew-rudy?currentPage=1

 

3) Who cares about bowling

 

4) Elite level tennis isn't especially relevant for much other than tennis. No more than distance swimming and distance running where women hold several key advantages.

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...ETA:- oddly enough it was OK to have women as tank drivers and machine gunners but not straight leg rifles......??

 

www.iremember.ru

Snipers, MG gunners, AT gunners, AA gunners, pilots, tank crew.

Edited by bojan
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When observed results don't match theory, what do you call it?

 

An egalitarian philosophy works well in theory, but founders on the shoals of what goes on during actual implementation. We could probably make an assignment of women to Infantry and other direct combat units work, but the problem is that our institutional discipline is not strong enough to ignore the inveiglements of the activists, and the perverse incentives put into place to ignore reality until it is too late. We've been lucky, so far, that we haven't been faced with coping with a Chosin Reservoir situation with our half-ass approach to fielding women in combat units, but we will eventually have to face the prospect of this happening.

 

Putting women into the combat arms requires two things: Thorough, rigorous testing of prospective Infantrywomen and women assigned to other trades within direct combat units to ensure they have the inherent capability to perform in the job, and draconian enforcement of physical standards for them. Being able to meet the standard for a short window during intensive initial entry training is not enough; the individuals assigned these jobs need to be assessed continuously and eliminated when they don't meet standards. Right along with that, we ought to already be doing the same thing for the men. Unfortunately, most military organizations do not have the willingness or self-discipline to do this. I know from practical experience that the US Army does not.

 

I don't say these things out of misogyny, either. I say them because I took (and still do...) my duties to my subordinates seriously, and when a systemic problem like the assignment of women to combat arms units is forced on an organization without also including the tools to deal with the issues arising from that assignment, I think it is a betrayal of all concerned. Not least, a betrayal of the women we've put into these circumstances.

 

As implemented, the airy-fairy ideas espoused by some posters here has done clear, identifiable damage to people who were placed under my authority, and who I was responsible for. I was placed in an impossible situation, as were those women who suffered the effects, and the men who were collateral damage because they were either overworked or damaged by the inadequacies of their teammates.

 

Like I said--In an ideal world, you probably could put women into combat units and not see a degradation of performance and increased casualties. We don't live in an ideal world, and nobody has demonstrated a willingness to do the things that would make this concept workable. Which is why I have expressed the opinions I have, here.

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1) The difference between skilled players is about 30 yrds depending on gender.

 

2) I think this gives a pretty good explanation: http://www.golfdiges...y?currentPage=1

 

3) Who cares about bowling

 

4) Elite level tennis isn't especially relevant for much other than tennis. No more than distance swimming and distance running where women hold several key advantages.

 

Ahhh . . . Grasshopper . . . you have avoided studying your textbooks again. Shame on you!

 

The common denominator is that society has set up boundaries on physical activities and sports to intercept and avoid unfair competition in activities and sports that regular people enjoy (not pro football, pro baseball, pro basketball etc.). This unfairness is resultant from the inherent upper body strength of males. Male golfers tend to hit longer than female golfers, given that both have similar competency and experience. For male bowlers, it is the same. You may not care about bowling, but it is one of the leading activities of both men and women during leisure time and is a high-dollar money sport.

 

The boundaries were set up to prevent Alpha Dog males from invading and making an easy target of females in said sport or activity. (Sorry, anecdote follows) I remember playing on my softball team and our Manager signed us up for a summer league in a so-called “open league.” Apparently, “open league” meant that any team could join, regardless of skill level. A team that had been to the National Championships joined so that they could keep their team in practice, win an easy league and win easy trophies. I remember them well. That team had it’s own catering truck that followed them, and was semi-professional in every aspect. One could only wonder why they had decided to play regular Joes like my team and I. But, they did. And they massacred every team in the league enroute to an undefeated season.

 

Put LPGA Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lopez (with whom I golfed while she was a senior in High School and was Girls Golfing Champ of New Mexico) into the PGA and have her compete from the pro tees against gorillas that can reach the green in two shots on long par fives routinely and can reach the greens on short par fours on the tee shot, putting for eagle each time. She might have won one or two tournaments that way. But, she would have not won the many that she really won in the LPGA that makes her a legend in women’s pro golf to this day and forever.

Edited by Rocky Davis
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At the end of the day here the debate is largely moot, you won't find, or at least there will be mind blowingly few, women who are in the army and know what is involved in Infantry Minor Tactics, never mind proper infantry work as a profession who want to do it.

One of my old instructors was a medic with SF, multiple tours with SOTG, did Olympic weightlifting and had an insane physical fitness regime that would leave most line-swine in the dust, when asked what she thought of it she said exactly that - no women who had half a clue would actually want to do it, and the reception within Army since the law was passed last year opening up all jobs has been nothing but crickets chirping as tumbleweed blows down the street.

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At the end of the day here the debate is largely moot, you won't find, or at least there will be mind blowingly few, women who are in the army and know what is involved in Infantry Minor Tactics, never mind proper infantry work as a profession who want to do it.

One of my old instructors was a medic with SF, multiple tours with SOTG, did Olympic weightlifting and had an insane physical fitness regime that would leave most line-swine in the dust, when asked what she thought of it she said exactly that - no women who had half a clue would actually want to do it, and the reception within Army since the law was passed last year opening up all jobs has been nothing but crickets chirping as tumbleweed blows down the street.

 

No doubt you're right. In a rational army, there would be few volunteers, and even fewer that successfully completed the training and managed to maintain the standards. Unfortunately, we're talking about the US Army, where rationality in these matters is simply not on the table. Make it a policy to open these jobs to females, and the eventual follow-on is going to be a set of mandates from on high that someone, anyone, actually fills those slots with females. You'll have a few grandstanding initial enthusiasts sign up, do their thing and get the publicity for it, and then the inevitable will happen: They'll get bored with it once the notoriety dies down, and then go find somewhere else to be special. Meanwhile, the slots they occupied and the attention they drew would have been better "spent" on males who were actually going to stick around and continue to serve. At some point, pressure will be put on the training base to provide more women to be "special", and there will be an accompanying drive to graduate some, no matter what. Standards will drop, those dropped standards will have to be applied to the males in order to maintain any sense of equitable treatment, and the utility of our Infantry will decline. It's a vicious cycle, not a virtuous one.

 

Some countries service cultures could make it work. Canada seems to be doing a decent job of it, looking from the outside. Knowing the US military, particularly the Army, I don't think this is at all a good idea. They're way too willing to submit to pressure applied by interest groups and politicians. If someone had fallen on his sword back in the early days of the integration process, and insisted on rational, justifiable job and mission-related fitness standards, I might say something different. The fact is, nobody did that, and they've become accustomed to rolling over on this issue, right along with the rest of the social liberalizations that have been forced from the outside. Part of the problem is that the Army is still in a partial mental mold of "We're citizen-soldiers, and must reflect society's norms...", when that era is over. The Marines have been more willing to stand up to the idiots from the civilian side, but even they've had to succumb--In part, because they're the odd men out when it comes to these issues. Military society cannot imitate all of the social norms of late twentieth and early twenty-first century culture, and still be successful. Until someone perfects powered body armor, and that becomes the norm for combat, it's simply not a rational decision to put women on the front line as Infantry. The differences in potential physical strength are simply too great, no matter how much you want to whistle past the graveyard.

 

Combat is not an equal-opportunity gender-normed event. You show up, the enemy takes his licks, and if you're not as strong and fast as they are, you die. You don't get fair opposition, you don't get a second chance. It's a harshly judgmental environment that ruthlessly and deliberately preys on the weak. If you walk into the House of War, you'd better be doing it with the intent of being the strongest, meanest, and most bloody-minded person in that House, if you want to leave it alive. And, you'd better be doing it alongside teammates who are at least just as strong, mean, and ruthless. If not, you are not likely to return home. Why on earth someone would think it wise to start out from the beginning by deliberately including personnel from the bottom half of the spectrum of human physical capability and strength, I do not know, nor understand.

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OK, class . . . time for a little quiz on logics . . . find the common denominator amongst these examples:

 

1. On any golf course, there are men's tees, ladies' tees and pro tees. Pro tees provide the longest hole distance and difficulty. The men's tees are somewhat lessened in distance and difficulty. The ladies' tee is always shortest in distance. Men are normally allowed to tee off from the men's tee or the pro tee. Women golfers can choose any of the three.

 

2. There is a PGA (Professonal Golfing Association) and an LPGA. Men cannot play in the LPGA and women cannot play in the PGA.

 

Women can play in the PGA, if they're good enough. Top women in the world are semi-competive on PGA (ie. can make the cut, if they play well), but of course playing there makes little sense as they make so much more money playing LPGA events.

 

edit. From the other end of the spectrum, some shooting sports stopped being 'open' after women began to win in them. ;)

 

edit2. Anyways, the sports are so skillset-centric that I'm not sure they make a good example here. There, physique comes into a play only to squeeze out last few tiny percentiles of performance. If you put any professional female tennis player - or heck, just a top junior - against some very athletic male amateur player, the man will struggle to win any points.

Edited by Yama
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one remark re. thread title: I am not sure about finding female warriors. But female soldiers should be easier ;)

 

(Frankly, the "Warrior" always makes me a bit uneasy, as most of times orgamised army met warriors, warriors got a beating :P ;))

Edited by Tuccy
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The "warrior, gunfighter," talk began in the mid-80s for the US and could not be stopped. What was wrong with soldiering, military skills and the accepted military language used in tactics, operations, logistics escaped me, and it began to influence doctrinal pubs as well, becoming more worrisome, because there language remains important, if one wishes it to be learned, to spread..

 

It struck me as a macho effort to distance oneself from garrison soldiers and emphasize military skills which had always been there, begging for simple attention to details and proper training. As usual, a 'new' look making all else obsolete? Looking back, it might have stemmed from penis envy of the Israelis, contrasted without relevance with our foundering in Vietnam.

 

As if to make it more ludicrous, the first off in this particular 'style' [really, fad] was the US Air Force, with Project Warrior, designed in the mid-70s to energize military culture in a service that mostly did shift work.

 

Then again, every generation must see itself as truly unique and breaking through to some new imagined insight. As we grow more ahistorical, it can only increase, perhaps exponentially?

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1) The difference between skilled players is about 30 yrds depending on gender.

 

2) I think this gives a pretty good explanation: http://www.golfdiges...y?currentPage=1

 

3) Who cares about bowling

 

4) Elite level tennis isn't especially relevant for much other than tennis. No more than distance swimming and distance running where women hold several key advantages.

 

Ahhh . . . Grasshopper . . . you have avoided studying your textbooks again. Shame on you!

 

The common denominator is that society has set up boundaries on physical activities and sports to intercept and avoid unfair competition in activities and sports that regular people enjoy (not pro football, pro baseball, pro basketball etc.). This unfairness is resultant from the inherent upper body strength of males. Male golfers tend to hit longer than female golfers, given that both have similar competency and experience. For male bowlers, it is the same. You may not care about bowling, but it is one of the leading activities of both men and women during leisure time and is a high-dollar money sport.

 

The boundaries were set up to prevent Alpha Dog males from invading and making an easy target of females in said sport or activity. (Sorry, anecdote follows) I remember playing on my softball team and our Manager signed us up for a summer league in a so-called “open league.” Apparently, “open league” meant that any team could join, regardless of skill level. A team that had been to the National Championships joined so that they could keep their team in practice, win an easy league and win easy trophies. I remember them well. That team had it’s own catering truck that followed them, and was semi-professional in every aspect. One could only wonder why they had decided to play regular Joes like my team and I. But, they did. And they massacred every team in the league enroute to an undefeated season.

 

Put LPGA Hall-of-Famer Nancy Lopez (with whom I golfed while she was a senior in High School and was Girls Golfing Champ of New Mexico) into the PGA and have her compete from the pro tees against gorillas that can reach the green in two shots on long par fives routinely and can reach the greens on short par fours on the tee shot, putting for eagle each time. She might have won one or two tournaments that way. But, she would have not won the many that she really won in the LPGA that makes her a legend in women’s pro golf to this day and forever.

Yes - but when women have successfully competed with men, the usual reaction has been to put up barriers. Consider football (or 'soccer', to you Leftpondians): there was a women's professional league in this country at one time, While women's teams were not competitive with men on the pitch, during WW1, when the men's league lacked young, skilled, players, it became wildly popular among spectators. More concentration on ball skills, less hoofing it up the pitch & clattering opponents. It was more entertaining to watch. After the war, the men's league struggled to compete commercially with the by now well-established womens league - so the FA, the controlling body, shut it down. It then did all it could to stifle female football for over 50 years.

 

When Beryl Burton broke several cycling world & national records in the 1960s, they were not ratified as overall records, but as womens records. The times set by men remained on the books as the official records, despite those men being slower than Beryl. In one case, the official world record holder had been passed by Beryl on the way to setting her record - but he was the official winner of the time trial, & his slower time the new overall record. Her records weren't officially recognised as overall records until years later, after they'd been surpassed by men.

 

And so on.

 

 

I have no difficulty with the idea of sex-specific competitions, as long as it isn't fixed so that the best women are sidelined, even when they're competitive with the best men. If individual women are as good as or better than men, they must be recognised as such.

Edited by swerve
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I have no difficulty with the idea of sex-specific competitions, as long as it isn't fixed so that the best women are sidelined, even when they're competitive with the best men. If individual women are as good as or better than men, they must be recognised as such.

 

Olympic trap & skeet were open until 1992, when skeet gold medal was won by a woman. For next Olympics, mixed events disappeared, skeet was for men only, and there was no women's skeet, so the winner was unable to defend her gold medal...

 

Trap & skeet also introduced different scoring for men and women, so direct comparison would not be possible.

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