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#1 key2thecup

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

Panetta to lift ban on women in combat

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Women in all branches of the military soon will have unprecedented opportunities to serve on the front lines of the nation's wars.

Leon Panetta, in one of his last acts as President Obama's defense secretary, is preparing to announce the policy change, which would open hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday.

The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.

"This policy change will initiate a process whereby the services will develop plans to implement this decision, which was made by the secretary of defense upon the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," a senior defense official told reporters on condition of anonymity.

Some front-line military roles may open to women as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.
A defense official told the Associated Press that the military chiefs must report back to Panetta with their initial implementation plans by May 15. The announcement on Panetta's decision is not expected until Thursday, so the official spoke on condition of anonymity.

Panetta's move expands the Pentagon's action nearly a year ago to open about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the Army. This decision could open more than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women.

Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., said he supports Panetta's decision.

"The fact is that American women are already serving in harm's way today all over the world and in every branch of our armed forces," he said in a statement. "Many have made the ultimate sacrifice, and our nation owes them a deep debt of gratitude."

In recent years the necessities of war propelled women into jobs as medics, military police and intelligence officers that were sometimes attached -- but not formally assigned -- to units on the front lines.

Women comprise 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel.

Panetta is preparing to step down as Obama begins his second term, with former Sen. Charles Hagel nominated to take Panetta's place.


http://www.foxnews.c.../#ixzz2IqoIVXjp





I'm all for feminism and women being equal to men. But this IMO is a wrong move.

Majority of the war zones out there still have army's that use rape as a weapon.
(I obviously don't agree with those despicable tactics)

I can just imagine the future horror stories of women being captured on the front lines.

I mean the military interventions of today are predominately fought in the 3rd world impoverished regions like Middle East, Africa, Certain parts of Asia & South America. Where the social development is not on par with the 1st world. In the 3rd world women are kept on a lower standard than men and we expect these type of atrocities to not occur in a conflict?

Edited by key2thecup, 23 January 2013 - 06:16 PM.

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#2 jmfaminoff

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:22 PM

My friends in the Army, who are seasoned combat veterans, are against this. Their response is straighforward. "I do not want them there. It is a matter of life or death. If I am hit or injured, a 5'6" 150lb woman is not strong enough to carry me off the field."

That woman's story is interesting. She states in her interview on Fox News that because of the intensity of training, she lost muscle mass, strength, and coordination to a degree where she was a liability in the field and could not continue with the training.

Edited by jmfaminoff, 23 January 2013 - 06:24 PM.

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#3 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:36 PM

My friends in the Army, who are seasoned combat veterans, are against this. Their response is straighforward. "I do not want them there. It is a matter of life or death. If I am hit or injured, a 5'6" 150lb woman is not strong enough to carry me off the field."

That woman's story is interesting. She states in her interview on Fox News that because of the intensity of training, she lost muscle mass, strength, and coordination to a degree where she was a liability in the field and could not continue with the training.


Well just have uniform performance requirements. If you can't meet them, man or women, you can't have whatever job requires it.
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#4 ronthecivil

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouw2TvGOR_Y


I'm all for feminism and women being equal to men. But this IMO is a wrong move.

Majority of the war zones out there still have army's that use rape as a weapon.
(I obviously don't agree with those despicable tactics)

I can just imagine the future horror stories of women being captured on the front lines.

I mean the military interventions of today are predominately fought in the 3rd world impoverished regions like Middle East, Africa, Certain parts of Asia & South America. Where the social development is not on par with the 1st world. In the 3rd world women are kept on a lower standard than men and we expect these type of atrocities to not occur in a conflict?


Don't surrender then.

I don't see a lot of US forces being taken captive by the Taliban et al. anyways.

Besides, history shows that they can fight on the front lines, and often very well. Note for example....

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Roza_Shanina

That's no slouch of a soldier......
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#5 Strawberries

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:45 PM

but who is going to cook for them now
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#6 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:47 PM

Well just have uniform performance requirements. If you can't meet them, man or women, you can't have whatever job requires it.


Exactly!!!! Why is that so difficult to understand? Women will be subject to the same rigorous qualifications as the men are.

Also...


Majority of the war zones out there still have army's that use rape as a weapon.
(I obviously don't agree with those despicable tactics)

I can just imagine the future horror stories of women being captured on the front lines.




Those on the 'enemy' side already use rape as a weapon. Against the men.

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 23 January 2013 - 06:50 PM.

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#7 Newsflash

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:02 PM

A woman is at much more risk when it comes to rape. Let's not kid ourselves.

But if a woman understands this, and still wants to fight with the armed forces, I don't think she should be stopped. There's also a risk of death when you join. And that applies to both men and women. There has always been risk. I don't think it's a big deal if the government makes sure every woman wanting to fight is aware of the risk of rape.

All in all, I think it's a better argument than stuff like 'they're not strong enough' or 'but they'll bleed all over the place', but it's still not good enough though, imo.
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#8 hsedin33

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:38 PM

Not to sound sexist or anything, but would a woman be more reluctant to shoot an enemy combatant?
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#9 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:46 PM

Not to sound sexist or anything, but would a woman be more reluctant to shoot an enemy combatant?


Why would they be? They have a job to do just as their male counterparts do.

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 23 January 2013 - 07:47 PM.

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#10 Tearloch7

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:53 PM

Some of the meanest SOB's I've ever met have been women, especially my older sister .. I would "scorn" them and turn em loose!! .. at night, when both sides are nestled deep in their foxholes, they can commence a running "nag" that will drive the Mujahedin batty, causing them to jump from their cover and charge blindly to their deaths .. psyche warfare at its best .. B)
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#11 Zamboni_14

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:40 PM

Not to sound sexist or anything, but would a woman be more reluctant to shoot an enemy combatant?


not if it's... oh man I can't say the obvious joke... ok, insert the joke that most guys will think of.

but back to the topic, I have several friends that are still serving in the military and they are happy with the decision (according to FB posts they have made about the topic.)
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#12 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:43 PM

Well just have uniform performance requirements. If you can't meet them, man or women, you can't have whatever job requires it.

Yep.
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#13 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:47 PM


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#14 Zamboni_14

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:59 PM

Some of the meanest SOB's I've ever met have been women, especially my older sister .. I would "scorn" them and turn em loose!! .. at night, when both sides are nestled deep in their foxholes, they can commence a running "nag" that will drive the Mujahedin batty, causing them to jump from their cover and charge blindly to their deaths .. psyche warfare at its best .. B)


didn't you know... older sisters are pure eeeeeeeevil.
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#15 MoneypuckOverlord

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:36 PM

They should be able to go, if they are qualifed to go. That being said, I don't like the idea of them being captured. Dear gosh.
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#16 Bitter Melon

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:56 PM

They should be able to go, if they are qualifed to go. That being said, I don't like the idea of them being captured. Dear gosh.


Personally I don't like the idea of anyone being captured, regardless of sex.
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#17 etsen3

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:13 PM

About time, why should some scared wimp of a man be allowed to fight but an ass kicking woman can't?

Of course women should have to meet all the same standards as men, no special low standards to make it easier for them to get in.
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#18 Wetcoaster

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:35 PM

I'm all for feminism and women being equal to men. But this IMO is a wrong move.

Majority of the war zones out there still have army's that use rape as a weapon.
(I obviously don't agree with those despicable tactics)

I can just imagine the future horror stories of women being captured on the front lines.

Not a problem. Women in the US military are already used to being raped... by their fellow soldiers.

Rape in the military: exposing the shocking truth

The groundbreaking film The Invisible War exposes the shocking level of sexual abuse against women in the US military...


Lifting the lid on the extent of the abuse is vital to tackling the problem of rape in the military, says Amy Ziering, producer of the film, which was directed and written by Kirby Dick. "There is a perfect storm of conditions to keep this secret," she says, speaking from Los Angeles. "There is no incentive to report rape, it is not treated as a priority in the military and the nature of the crime means that it is so implosively devastating that many women get the blame, or blame themselves."


The statistics revealed in The Invisible War, which won the audience award at this year's Sundance film festival, make shocking reading: a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire, over 20% of female veterans have been sexually assaulted while serving in the US army, of 3,192 sexual-assault reports in 2011 only 191 members of the military were convicted at courts martial.


Rape within the military has been exposed before – the Tailhook Association meetings in 1991, the Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1996 and the Air Force Academy in 2003 – but it has rarely been done with such a devastating combination of first-person testimony, watertight research and high-level interviews.


Through the testimony of victims and their families the extent of that devastation is laid bare, as well as the failings of a system that sees a rape victim's commander decide whether to take action after a rape report.


Ariana Klay, who graduated with honours from the US Naval Academy and served in Iraq, describes her violent rape by a senior officer and her civilian boss. "He said that if I told anybody, that he was gonna have his friend Marv, from Indiana, kill me and throw me in a ditch, 'cause that's how they took care of things in Indiana," she tells the camera. When she reported the rape she was told to do "what a Marine officer should do, and that's to ignore it and move on," and she alleges the Marine Corps said she must have welcomed the assaults because she wore makeup and skirts – part of her regulation uniform.


"The thing that makes me the most angry," says Klay, "is not even the rape itself; it's the commanders that were complicit in covering up everything that happened."


The film shows Andrea Werner, who reported her rape to her army superiors, only to be charged with adultery, even though it was her assailant who was married; Lieutenant Elle Helmer, whose case against her commanding officer at the Marine barracks in Washington DC, was closed owing to "lack of evidence" before a new case was opened charging Helmer with conduct unbecoming of an officer and public intoxication.


Ziering was instrumental in getting the women to open up about their horrific experiences. She readily agrees that her gender invariably played a role: "I became very emotionally involved in the victims' stories, it was what drove me, and I wanted the film to have that heart and passion," she says.


Ziering finds the documentary world "more welcoming and equitable" for women than Hollywood. "There is absolutely no balance in the movie world. It is so bleak there are so few women directors, it's still very much an all boys club. It's just horrible," she says, though she notes the "big star" directors in documentaries still tend to be men.Dick and Ziering's film has already had a far-reaching impact: offers of financial donations and support for victims have been made after almost every screening and when US secretary of defense Leon Panetta watched the film earlier this year he ordered military commanders to hand over all sexual-assault investigations to a higher-ranking colonel, and announce the creation of a special victims unit in each branch of the armed forces.


Ziering reveals that some commanders are using the film as a training tool, showing it to new recruits. "My real hope is that in 10 years' time there is not another film made about this. We're going to keep the pressure on – this can't just be allowed to blow over."

http://www.guardian....-shocking-truth

And as we have seen with the paramilitary RCMP women are forced to turn to the courts because such things are denied and covered up by commanders - it is the same in the US armed forces.

Lawsuit Says Military Is Rife With Sexual Abuse

By ASHLEY PARKER


WASHINGTON — A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday accuses the Department of Defense of allowing a military culture that fails to prevent rape and sexual assault, and of mishandling cases that were brought to its attention, thus violating the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights.


The suit — brought by 2 men and 15 women, both veterans and active-duty service members — specifically claims that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and his predecessor, Donald H. Rumsfeld, “ran institutions in which perpetrators were promoted and where military personnel openly mocked and flouted the modest Congressionally mandated institutional reforms.”


It also says the two defense secretaries failed “to take reasonable steps to prevent plaintiffs from being repeatedly raped, sexually assaulted and sexually harassed by federal military personnel.”


Myla Haider, a former Army sergeant and a plaintiff in the suit, said she was raped in 2002 while interning in Korea with the military’s Criminal Investigative Command. “It is an atmosphere of zero accountability in leadership, period,” she said an interview.


Ms. Haider, who appeared with other plaintiffs at a news conference earlier Tuesday at the National Press Club, said: “The policies that are put in place are extremely ineffectual. There was severe maltreatment in these cases, and there was no accountability whatsoever. And soldiers in general who make any type of complaint in the military are subject to retaliation and have no means of defending themselves.”


In the complaint, Ms. Haider said she did not report her rape because she “did not believe she would be able to obtain justice.” But she said she joined the suit because she wanted to “address the systematic punishment of soldiers who come forward with any type of complaint,” whether it involves sexual assault or post-traumatic stress disorder related to combat.


The plaintiffs’ stories in the complaint include accounts of a soldier stripping naked and dancing on a table during a break in a class on preventing sexual assault, physical and verbal harassment, and the rape of a woman by two men who videotaped the assault and circulated it to the woman’s colleagues.


Geoff Morrell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement that “sexual assault is a wider societal problem” and that Mr. Gates was working to ensure that the military was “doing all it can to prevent and respond to it.”


“That means providing more money, personnel, training and expertise, including reaching out to other large institutions, such as universities, to learn best practices,” Mr. Morrell said. “This is now a command priority, but we clearly still have more work to do in order to ensure all of our service members are safe from abuse.”


Though the suit, which was filed in Federal District Court in Virginia, seeks monetary damages, those involved with the case said their goal was an overhaul of the military’s judicial system regarding rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment.


“You should not have to be subjected to being raped or sexually assaulted because you volunteered to serve this nation,” said Susan L. Burke, the plaintiffs’ lead lawyer.


At the news conference Tuesday, Anuradha Bhagwati, a former Marine captain and executive director of the Service Women’s Action Network, called for a new system to improve accountability and provide other avenues for filing complaints.


“There are veterans who, after service, are literally reeling from post-traumatic stress” as a result of rape and sexual assault, she said in an interview. “It can be a lifelong process. We hear from veterans who are in their 50s and 60s who are still coping with the trauma of having been psychologically and physically tortured.”

http://www.nytimes.c...itary.html?_r=0
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#19 Tearloch7

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:53 PM

^ ^ ^ I knew about this, and it is troubling .. I think all women in the military should be free to carry a concealed weapon .. and use it with discretion ..
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#20 Buggernut

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:23 AM

Great! Now I would like to see all the PRO-WAR women back up their talk with ACTION!

If they won't, then shut the hell up and go bake a cake or something! Same goes for all the chickenhawk men.
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#21 theminister

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:36 AM

Not to sound sexist or anything, but would a woman be more reluctant to shoot an enemy combatant?


Actually, military studies have shown that armies have a very hard time getting anyone to shoot at the enemy. It's sounds shocking but it's true.

In Gwynne Dyer's book, War, he outlines that studies began in the later part of the 21st century showed only a small percentage of combatants, dating from the US Civil war through the Vietnam War, would actually aim for the enemy. Most would fire high on purpose, feign firing at all or would spend most of their time looking for cover.

If those studies are true then I don't think that sex would affect the basic human desire not to kill, even when your life is threatened. If anything, I would guess that women may be more vicious in that regard than men.

Edited by theminister, 24 January 2013 - 12:38 AM.

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#22 Bitter Melon

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:17 AM

Actually, military studies have shown that armies have a very hard time getting anyone to shoot at the enemy. It's sounds shocking but it's true.

In Gwynne Dyer's book, War, he outlines that studies began in the later part of the 21st century showed only a small percentage of combatants, dating from the US Civil war through the Vietnam War, would actually aim for the enemy. Most would fire high on purpose, feign firing at all or would spend most of their time looking for cover.

If those studies are true then I don't think that sex would affect the basic human desire not to kill, even when your life is threatened. If anything, I would guess that women may be more vicious in that regard than men.


Considering those were the last wars with drafts, It make sense. Most of them are just kids who were forced to serve. They didn't really want to kill anyone. Now that the front lines is composed of entirely of people who signed up I doubt there would be as much reluctance.
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#23 theminister

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:22 AM

Considering those were the last wars with drafts, It make sense. Most of them are just kids who were forced to serve. They didn't really want to kill anyone. Now that the front lines is composed of entirely of people who signed up I doubt there would be as much reluctance.


He goes into that a bit. Professional armies do react better, mostly due to their increased amount of time to train, but that the study seemed to indicate that combat situations have effects that are hard to anticipate. The Fog of War et al.

Regardless, that's not the point exactly. We were talking about whether sex would be a factor, all other conditions being equal.

Edited by theminister, 24 January 2013 - 01:22 AM.

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#24 Bob.Loblaw

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:58 AM

My friends in the Army, who are seasoned combat veterans, are against this. Their response is straighforward. "I do not want them there. It is a matter of life or death. If I am hit or injured, a 5'6" 150lb woman is not strong enough to carry me off the field."

That woman's story is interesting. She states in her interview on Fox News that because of the intensity of training, she lost muscle mass, strength, and coordination to a degree where she was a liability in the field and could not continue with the training.


That's absolute garbage. I know guys in the army who weigh that amount at about that height.

I've also seen insanely jacked women working at fire departments. Something like 70 man-pushups in a minute.

But yes, it's my anecdotal evidence against yours. The argument your friend is making, however, is garbage. There are plenty of 5'6, 150 lb men fighting with him on the front line. Women are going to perform at the same level.
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#25 Buddhas Hand

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:08 AM

I have always thought women had far more common sense than to want pick up a gun and go and kill someone in the name of their country .
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#26 Mr. Ambien

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:19 AM

That's absolute garbage. I know guys in the army who weigh that amount at about that height.

I've also seen insanely jacked women working at fire departments. Something like 70 man-pushups in a minute.

But yes, it's my anecdotal evidence against yours. The argument your friend is making, however, is garbage. There are plenty of 5'6, 150 lb men fighting with him on the front line. Women are going to perform at the same level.

Women are not going to perform at the same level as men because they do not have the same physical strength. In fact, a number of men do not either. This is ugly political correctness.

Nonetheless, women in combat should be allowed, and women in combat should be treated equally with expectations they perform up to the standards already set, not by any special rules or lax standards. For the very few women who can, hope they do well.

Edited by zaibatsu, 24 January 2013 - 05:22 AM.

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#27 sam13371337

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

besides political correctness, what practical purpose would women in combat serve?

this seriously could actually put lives at stake.
Even in basic training, womens standards are far lower then men. combat training, and especially special forces training is far tougher. Those requirements are so extreme, there is only a tiny percentage of the absolute top men who can meet them. i seriously doubt There is a single female on earth that could pass a special forces training course (forget hollywood). which gets to the whole lowering standards regiment.

. When you consider the frequency that you have to pull a wounded comrade away from a burning tank/ vehicle or danger. a soldier in full combat gear can weigh up to 300 pounds. just take a look at the average size of a woman, and the average size of a female soldier. And ask yourself honestly, what percentage of them could pull a wounded soldier in full combat gear to safety? Very very few.
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#28 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

besides political correctness, what practical purpose would women in combat serve?

this seriously could actually put lives at stake.
Even in basic training, womens standards are far lower then men. combat training, and especially special forces training is far tougher. Those requirements are so extreme, there is only a tiny percentage of the absolute top men who can meet them. i seriously doubt There is a single female on earth that could pass a special forces training course (forget hollywood). which gets to the whole lowering standards regiment.

. When you consider the frequency that you have to pull a wounded comrade away from a burning tank/ vehicle or danger. a soldier in full combat gear can weigh up to 300 pounds. just take a look at the average size of a woman, and the average size of a female soldier. And ask yourself honestly, what percentage of them could pull a wounded soldier in full combat gear to safety? Very very few.


You must have missed the posts that suggested that these women combat soldiers would have to meet the requirements to perform those duties you mention. Unfortunately, your post comes off more as a sexist rant than anything else. Do you honestly think these undersized, terribly weak, (physically and mentally), women would even get through basic with it's increased qualifications for women going into combat? I want to face palm your comment but it would be a waste of a face palm.


Ohh, and that was sarcasm, by the way, the 'undersized, terribly weak, (physically and mentally)', clarified for the lowest common denominator of CDC IQ holders so there's no mistaking what I am referring to...... God help those 5'6 men that make it through basic..holy crap.how will they ever be able to haul a 6'1 wounded soldier in full combat gear to safety? <---- Yeah, sounds just as stupid, doesn't it?

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 24 January 2013 - 10:22 AM.

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#29 Wetcoaster

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

besides political correctness, what practical purpose would women in combat serve?

this seriously could actually put lives at stake.
Even in basic training, womens standards are far lower then men. combat training, and especially special forces training is far tougher. Those requirements are so extreme, there is only a tiny percentage of the absolute top men who can meet them. i seriously doubt There is a single female on earth that could pass a special forces training course (forget hollywood). which gets to the whole lowering standards regiment.

. When you consider the frequency that you have to pull a wounded comrade away from a burning tank/ vehicle or danger. a soldier in full combat gear can weigh up to 300 pounds. just take a look at the average size of a woman, and the average size of a female soldier. And ask yourself honestly, what percentage of them could pull a wounded soldier in full combat gear to safety? Very very few.

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#30 ronthecivil

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:24 AM

besides political correctness, what practical purpose would women in combat serve?

this seriously could actually put lives at stake.
Even in basic training, womens standards are far lower then men. combat training, and especially special forces training is far tougher. Those requirements are so extreme, there is only a tiny percentage of the absolute top men who can meet them. i seriously doubt There is a single female on earth that could pass a special forces training course (forget hollywood). which gets to the whole lowering standards regiment.

. When you consider the frequency that you have to pull a wounded comrade away from a burning tank/ vehicle or danger. a soldier in full combat gear can weigh up to 300 pounds. just take a look at the average size of a woman, and the average size of a female soldier. And ask yourself honestly, what percentage of them could pull a wounded soldier in full combat gear to safety? Very very few.


Besides kill enemy soldiers? You make it sound like it's never happened before.

http://en.wikipedia....ila_Pavlichenko

I don't think anyone's saying reduce the tough physical requirement each military job would require. No reason someone that is qualified and willing to do the job should be banned based on gender.
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