Fur flies over combat roles for women

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(U.S. Army photo)

Please don’t call it a cat fight.

Debate’s raging on the Army Times Facebook page about the role of women in combat, and some of the most vehement arguments against women in combat are coming from Army wives.

“We both understand and respect the women in the armed forces but he does agree that they should not be let in more combat roles,” Denise Engle, the self-described “wife of an infantryMAN,” says about about her and her husband’s views.

“He says he already has a woman to protect (me) and he feels that he will be put in even more danger than he is already bc he is the type of man who will put his life on the line for a woman. i want my husband home alive I don’t want to hear he lost his life bc a woman couldn’t handle her job.”

The fight follows a poll that shows Americans strongly support allowing women in uniform to serve in combat, despite US military rules that ban women from combat units. AFP reports 67 percent of voters favored permitting women “to serve in ground units that engage in close combat” with 29 percent opposed.


Those on our Facebook page who are against the move have a few arguments: Women are (a) distracting and (b) physically weaker than men. Chivalrous male soldiers might make tactically unsound choices to protect women and take it hard psychologically when women get hurt or die.
And then there’s the insecurity factor, fear of “parade pretties” and war zone home-wreckers.

“I say NO HELL NO!!!!!!! My husband is not even inf man and women out there will get our guys killed! Medics as well I belive women she not be any where near the men!!!! I agree more divorce will be on its way for cheating pigs!!!!!” writes Angelina Watts.

Um, okay then.

But Stacy ‘Doc’ Dickey, a line medic from Fort Hood, Tex., argues that she does her job, but fights stereotypes while she does it. Frankly, she sounds like a badass.

“I gear-up and do everything my guys do and I’m there to save their lives when something goes wrong, writes Dickey, who recently returned from overseas.  “I’ve MEDEVAC’ed out my fair share of fighting men, some of them twice my size & weight. My own platoon-mates… I worry about them more than they worry about me, honestly … And I’m *FAR* from accustomed to have my experience as a combat veteran insulted. You’re very welcome for that freedom of speech you’re flexing, today.”

While nearly all of the male commenters opposed the idea of women in combat, one male soldier said he’d like to have his wife on the line with him.

“I would rather have my wife serving alongside me then some of the guys I have previously served with,” said James Lambrecht Jr. “Until she can transfer to Infantry, it won’t happen, but I wish she could.”

What do you think? Please email your response and put “women in combat” in the subject line. Include your name, rank and duty station. Please specify if you are active duty, a reservist, retired or a former soldier. Your comments could be used in an upcoming story.

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32 Comments

  1. Eric Stratton on

    Women in Combat:

    People are exgerating and I am going to have to rasie the BS flag on here about women doing the same things as men, I have yet to see a woman do the things a man does without help from a man. Go to the O Course, do buddy carries, etc…watch them, it is just not the reality. They are not equals physically to men and no amount if training will make up for it, A classic example is follow the Women Olympic Wrestling Team, many of those girls placed at the Worlds and were National Champs in HS and could not win or even qualify in some states in the men’s leagues. 

    As for combat MOS, No, they cannot and should not and here is why:

    In the end, women do not belong in ground combat, they are more of a liability than an asset, this is always ignored when it is discussed in the Media, in Congress or on here. Below is some good info for you that I have cut and pasted from my previous answers on the same topic.

    From the report of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces dated November 15, 1992, it states in part:

    The average female Army recruit is 4.8 inches shorter, 31.7 pounds lighter, has 37.4 fewer pounds of muscle, and 5.7 more pounds of fat than the average male recruit. She has only 55 percent of the upper-body strength and 72 percent of the lower-body strength.

    An Army study done in 1988 found that women are more than twice as likely to suffer leg injuries and nearly five times as likely to suffer fractures as men.

    Further, the Commission heard an abundance of expert testimony including:
    – women’s aerobic capacity is significantly lower, meaning they cannot carry as much as far as fast as men, and they are more susceptible to fatigue.
    – in terms of physical capability, the upper five percent of women are at the level of the male median. The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man.

    After a study was conducted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, one expert testified that:
    – using the standard Army Physical Fitness Test, the upper quintile (top 20%) of women at West point achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom quintile (bottom 20%) of men.
    – only 21 women out of the initial 623 (3.4%) achieved a score equal to the male mean score of 260.
    – on the push-up test, only 7% of women can meet a score of 60, while 78% of men exceed it.
    – adopting a male standard of fitness at West Point would mean 70% of the women he studied would be separated as failures at the end of their junior year, only 3% would be eligible for the Recondo badge, and not one would receive the Army Physical Fitness badge.

    Also, recent studies indicate women are more at risk to getting PTSD, as documented from Iraq and Afghanistan, women who were never in direct combat but whose camps were shelled were more likely to develop PTSD than there male counter-parts. You can also look up the US Navy SPARTAN study, women were asked to complete a lot of the Damage Control Tasks that are mandatory on a ship. They performed in a rather terrible manner at the start. The women were then put on a 6 month weight training program and asked to do the test again. A lot of the test are obsolete since the P-250 pump is no longer in use but the one that will never go out is the two man litter carry up and down the ladder on a ship. None of the women passed getting the wounded man up the ladder and <2% passed going down ( a lot easier I might add). What did the Navy do in regard to this result? They changed the standard to a four man litter carry. Ever been on a ship? Good luck with 4 people fitting on that ladder! lol!
    The myth that they are currently egaged in combat drives me up a wall a bit, riding in a Vehicle after the target is cleared is not going head to head. Don't ignore the truth because it does not fit your premise, I have no doubt that women can be just as brave as a man but it does me no good when she cannot get me back to my helo, hummer or foxhole because she is to weak. It does me no good when she cannot hump the same weight I can for as long as I can because she is physically unable to do so. It does me no good when she is injured more easily than a man, etc..etc…do not look at this as a right, you need to look at this as a National Security Issue, do you really want the weakest person doing that job? Do not fall for the myth that if we have the same standards for all that it will be ok then, the standards will be dropped so low that someone in a wheel chair could pass them due to politics, look at the SPARTAN Study! lol! They would rather risk peoples lives than hold a standard and stick there necks out and risk there careers! (They being the Officer Corps). If you are honest in your assessment, you would say that while women may be ok to be pilots, they have no place in areas of ground combat and/or even on ships in many instances due to physical differences, a different hard wiring (being more and more proven every year) and common sense. Women and Men are not social constructs to interchange and war is not meant for a social science lab.

  2. As a woman in the united states army I feel that we should be allowed to serve by our fellow soldier regardless of their sex. As female soldiers we are told from the beginning that we should expect no special treatment. We go through the same training when it comes to our M.O.S and required to qualify on the same weapon systems. For the wives out their that are not in the army who are only looking from the outside of what women soldiers do on a daily basis they should give us more credit than just thinking that we are out to sleep with thier husbands and break thier family foundation up.

  3. "Doc" SSGP male type on

    I think we need to get passed this gays in the military and women in combat topic. I spent ten months last year on a police mentoring team (12 person team) with the Illinois National Gaurd in Afghanistan, and yes we had two women on my team one for female searches and one to teach logistics. I have been in the Army 12 years and most of them spent in combat arms all male units, some in recruiting command and I would take these two female soldiers over some of the “hooah” type males any day of the week into a combat zone. Not only was I impressed by their proficiency in their mos, but also the courage they displayed when in some tough situations. And Im not talking about 30 yr old NCO female soldiers Im talking about 19 and 20 yr old E-4 female soldiers. Not only did they operate in an infantrymans role i.e combat patrols ( mounted and dismounted), gunners, security etc. They carried themselves as proffesionals, young adult women and soldiers. I saw more of the ” let me at em” type senior NCO’s and young officers hiding out on the FOB to avoid combat missions and more and more young female soldiers chomping at the bit to run missions outside the wire. We have women as combat pilots, construction workers, athletes ( mixed martial arts and boxing), military police, fireman etc. I have no doubt they can, will and have been operating as front line fighters. And you know the truly sad part about all this is that the same young female soliders who I personally conducted over 150 combat missions with ended up with ARCOM”s and AAM”s while some male NCO’s and officers of who maybe left the wire 2-3 times throughout the deployment and even some who never left the wire at all, recieved MSM awards, Bronze star medals, Combat action badges, CIB’s etc. This is 2011 not 1811, we need to get it together, if as an army we still are worried about the sex or the sexual preference of the person next to us when we are in a fight then we are in for rude awakening. I think we should put more time and effort into revamping the awards system, the uniform issues and equipment the army has yet to perfect, because I will tell you one thing when I was running missions in some hot areas in afghanistan I wasnt worrying about the guy sitting next to me liking other guys or my female gunner not being able to fire her 50. cal. I was wondering why I was in a flat bottomed humvee not a v-shaped hull and why again my radios didnt work or maybe even how am I gonna be able to explain to this young E-4 female solider who has shed blood, sweat and tears with me for the last year why her bronze star or MSM was downgraded to an ARCOM because of her rank while she wathces the E-7 and above which includes officers recieve the awards she rightfully earned. We need to get past the old ways of the Army and embrace the change that is making the Army what it has the potential to be, and that in my opinion is great organization.

  4. It’s easy to cite examples of women serving in a combat role in our current operating environment. There is no front lines, nor a uniformed enemy. Our female servicemembers have served admirably in our current conflicts.

    That being said, there is a huge difference between operating a hmmwv turret in a convoy and serving as combat arms. Being a HMMWV Gunner does not require near the physical strength that breaking track on an M1 Abrams does. It does not require the physical strength of carrying a 100+ lb ruck for long distances. Are there potentially women who can do it? Yes. Although in 5 years I’ve never seen one. I have seen female gunners who can’t charge the M2 they’re supposed to operate.

    We’re not always going to be in a COIN type war. If there ever is another WWII type conflict, we will need our combat forces to fulfill their traditional roles. Airborne Soldier may have to operate without support for periods of time. Tankers may have to again punch through lines of enemy armor. We will not always be able to drive from FOB to FOB, and we simply cannot afford to base our doctrine on only our current military engagements. All we have to do is look at how effective our WWII type strategy was in Viet Nam.

    Is it “discriminatory” to not allow females? Yes, but the military is inherently discriminatory. We only take the best of our recruits at MEPS. Weight, stature, intelligence, age, education, criminal history, and previous injuries are just a few things the Military discriminates against when selecting recruits. I was almost not allowed in because of my flat feet. The bottom line is the majority of men have a higher physical aptitutude for heavy labor than women do. It’s not a matter of bigotry, it’s a matter of physiology.

    The one change I would support would be allowing females to serve at the Battalion level staff. Unlike Battalion command, Battalion staff positions are largely branch immaterial. I would argue a Quartermaster Female can be just as good an S3 as a Male Armor Officer, potentially better.

  5. As a woman Soldier in the US Army (7 yrs, veteran OIF) we should at least be given a choice. I agree that many females are not as physically strong as men myself included (I’m 5 ft, 100 Ibls), I still get at least a 290 on my PT though. However, there are females that are physically as strong or stronger as some males and deserve a chance.

    I’m not saying let any woman serve in combat, she must pass the same physical standards as the male couterparts to prove she can accomplish the same tasks. And even if we were given the choice not all woman would want to serve in a combat role, all I’m saying is that we should at least be given the choice.

    As for wives complaining because they are so scared about the husbands cheating they just need to get over themselves take care of their loved ones deployed.

  6. Lane Altenbaumer on

    I arrived at Fort Benning in 1981 (OCS Class 5-81) with 75 females in a 225 soldier company to start OCS. During training the 3 areas that caused the most failure rate in the course was physical training, weapons test, and land navigation. I came to OCS from the 2nd Bat Rangers at Fort Lewis as a infantryman. I led the 15 mile forced road march during our class and every one of the females fell out in the first 3 miles. We had no rucks, no crew served weapons, only a few radios. We were not traveling in rough terrain, but down a black top road. I walked the entire length of the formation during the 5 rest stops and encouraged all who fell out to get out of the trucks and keep trying. Not one took up the challenge.

    Being in the Infantry is more that manning a 50 cal, or standing at a inspection point, or patroling through a village. It starts when the bullets start meeting the meat, and we have to shoot, move and communicate RAPIDLY!

  7. I am reminded of when i did combatives I during wlc. They invited everyone who had a 270 or better on the pt test, male or female, to try the training. Only about 20 women qualified for the training and only about 10 actually did it. We were told to “not go easy” on them and so on. I myself avoid them during the round robin matches as much as i could. But of course i eventually got one and she proceeded to complain that i was going easy on her. I was. I told her ok i will step it up a notch. I proceed to choke her out about 3 times, 3 diffrent ways in about 45 seconds. I about 5′ 9″ and I weigh about 155lbs she was about the same height and weight. She had to sit out the rest of the training for the day because she felt some kind of “pressure” on her throat. Point is she was to prideful to realize that she in no way had the capacity to physically challenge a man one on one. This is by no invention of our in it is NATURE. I am going to have to agree with the first post on, I would absolutely not want a woman to be my SAW gunner, or maybe an organic 60mm assest. It’s laughable, and ultimately dangerous. It’s not like this is WW II and there some some kind of shortage of men to fill these roles. Are there women who can do it? Of course there is, there are always exceptions to everything but to relax the standards for all women would be absurd at best.

  8. Shawn/InfantryMAN on

    I recently read an article about the suicide rate of females in combat, it triples when they deploy. The rate triples when they deploy as non-combat MOS’s. I can only imagine how the suicide rate would sky rocket if they were allowed to serve in combat MOS’s. I support all soldiers in uniform. As far as army wives go, you are not in uniform and not serving your country, you shouldnt even have a say.

  9. Please, ladies, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, stop citing your PT scores as an argument for this. I don’t care that you score a high 200 on your test. If you are 22-26, you get ONE HUNDRED points for 46 pushups… where as I would get 67 points for that same output. Your two mile run, you get 100 points for running it in 15:36… I’d only get 71 points for that time. Your MAX run time is considered mediocre for a male. Your APFT score means absolutely NOTHING when trying to compare it to a man’s PT score. It also means diddle when it comes to rucking a 60+ lb load of gear through soft sand for over 2 hours straight in 130 degree weather. And to the combat medic who uses MEDEVAC’ing guys out… I appreciate you, I do…. but that refers to doing a litter carry – 2-4 people carrying that man that weighs “twice as much as you.” Now run full speed for 50 meters wearing all of your gear and carrying your weapon, and drag that 220 lb guy 50 meters back to a safe location, all by yourself. Or pick him up and fireman carry him. It’s not happening.

  10. No, not now or anytime in the future should women serve in the Infantry. Men and women are not physical equals, they never have been. There will always been a handful of exceptions but that does not warrant the wide spread change of policy that has to this date ensured competency, stamina and aggression within the Combat Arms of our Army. People who have never served in a ground combat role should not be afforded the position to dictate the personnel actions of our Army. Politicians need to butt-out and quit using our military as a social experiment.
    Should this action come to pass, mark my words, our combat capacity will be greatly diminished. It may feel good to say “We are all the same, and everyone is special” but that is not the truth. The vast majority of women cannot carry out the expectations of Infantry soldiers and to be perfectly honest neither can a good number of men. There are a number of fields that both men and women can serve in with distinction. Those who cannot should not. We cannot simply wish things into reality and make them so. Men are simply designed differently than women and each has its own magnificient capabilites. Changing policy will not give you women who can carry 85lbs in their ruck and a crew serve weapon nor will it bring about men capable of giving birth to a child. Wake up!

  11. come on now women in the infantry..they cant carry 85lbs of equipment over vigerous terrain in 110 degree heat…and get shot at at the end of it and then walk another 2 hours..i know this because i experienced full grown men, prior “combat vets” and some in shape men fall out on a mission that lasted 14 hours in the conditions previously stated..now im not a sexist or even think divorce will go up but if we let women in the infantry and the first time a women cant complete a mission or has to get medevaced or refuses to shoot her weapon in a firefight and im not saying they will but if that one instance does happen an gets a fellow soldier male or female killed….then what…just saying..screw it give em a chance and when that event happens i hope its not in my unit i will sit back and laugh

  12. i don’t believe that females can or should serve alongside men in a combat MOS. As previously stated, females are doing outstanding things on the battlefield, conducting dismounted patrols, acting as vehicle gunners and so on but to say that because of this you deserve the opportunity to serve as an infantryman or in the Special Operations community as an operator, now that is truly asinine. I served previously as a medic in the 75th Ranger Regiment and have been in situations that have physically taxed some of the most fit men in the Army. Now for a hypothetical situation, imagine walking at 7000 to 9000 feet with up to 80 pounds of kit on for 5 to 6 kilometers. Halfway to your target you take contact and have to fight your way through. Once you’ve contained and neutralized the threat you must continue on and complete the mission regardless of any snags you might have encountered. What I have just described not only happens but happens more frequently than most know. Show me a female who:
    1. Can carry the same weight as an average infantryman. Remember, if you want to be seen as equal you must be treated as one. No one is going to carry your crap.
    2. Can close with and destroy the enemy with the precision that your current Infantryman or Special Operator does
    In the end I guess I am just sick and tired of reading about females accomplishments and hearing about how horribly they are misrepresented in today’s military. Here’s an idea, How about we equal the playing field in the Physical Training arena. Instead of having separate PT standards lets standardize it and see how females fair against their male counterparts. I am absolutely disgusted when i hear a female bragging about how well she’s done on her PT test and come to find out to max her pushups she’s only required to complete 42 repetitions. I know I am jumping from one topic to the other but I am tired of all the BS that’s being spoon fed to the public on a daily basis….DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING

  13. ArmorCav Tim on

    Women in combat… There have been many, in different countries, in different cultures, and in different times. However, how they get there and what roles they have are the difference. Female sniper units in the Soviet army in WWII were accompanied by a handfull(!) of female tank drivers. Female infantry units in third world and tribal Armies are also known; one or two here or there. A female Silver Star recipient earned in a counter attack in an ambush? Yup, got one of those too (Hooah! to her).

    What’s the common thread? They are few and far between. The exceptions that prove the rule. The Soviets were expending bodies at the hundreds of thousands a month. The third world/tribals are limited scope and never attested in conflict, usually used as palace guards and loyalist paramilitary units. The silver star? An MP doing her best once the feces hit the fan. MP’s aren’t usually tasked with clearing operations months on end. They are by definition rear-echelon/escorts (aka Combat Support). Their DEFINITION job is force protection not closing with and destroying the enemy using direct fire and manuever.

    There is no compelling reason to accomodate the few and far between women that could sincerely handle the rigors of Infantry/Armor/Spec Ops (note, Arty has had women for a decade except at the gun-bunny level). Patrolling in Iraq and Afghanistan comes in a hundred different flavors from going to get chai with Sheikh Joe to moving out to draw fire. When women say they patrol I believe them. I don’t believe that they patrol red and black routes because their job is to make them amber and green and not just get through them en route to doing their non-direct-combat mission. Then there is your Fallujah and Marja and Tal Afar and Ar Ramadi. Those 4 are the standard for defining women and combat, along with your Hue, Normandy, Chosin, Saigon, Iwo Jima etc. Not presence patrols and check points that get shot at by snipers or run over mines (aka IEDs nowadays). Those advocating women in combat need to imagine them in High Intensity Combat, because that’s the combat where we could actually lose a battle. Not fighting rebels with nothing heavier than an RPG to challenge us with. We have yet to lose a single fight worth mentioning on those terms.

    My deepest regards for our female troops in their roles. But this isn’t the same as race segregation. There have been black and asian armies in the world, but not female ones.

  14. Im a Marine but I stil read all the military’s time magazines. Anyway, I have an idea, a pretty good one too. You know as a grunt myself, sometimes I see guys who are weak in the same field of work, Army and Marines. My point is this, the physical standards for combat units should be increased big time. Im talking stronger grunts. None of this only 5 pull-ups crap. Make it harder to join Infantry, way harder. Your only as strong as your weakest link right??? SO THEN BREAK IT OFF. Women get the idea they can do our jobs because they see a somewhat weak Grunt and say, “I can do that.” That weak grunt and Female need to meet with a career advisor and thown to the chow hall. Get Some.

  15. The only consideration for an individual to serve in any combat specialty role is that they meet the requirements of that field, be it physical or otherwise. There should be no distinction between Age/Sex/Sexuality. As long as that soldier can perform to the same standard or above the standard that should be all that matters.

  16. Ok boys, I see where you all are commin from. I honestly do agree with most of what you are saying, nor am I willing to argue with anyone. My statement on this issue is that any piece of crap soldier male or female can get someone killed, and male or female can cheat over there.. I think their are a bunch of horrible soldiers everywhere. Let’s not get crappy and say its just females doing this, cause if you have trust, you have no problems.. anyhow. To finish my message I believe the army is far from perfect, and we all have a lot of work to do in the meantime. Get over the fact that some women in might have even saved your back without you even knowing it!! Get some of that!!! BTW “Army wives” don’t wear a uniform, but we stand in the silent ranks, and behind the best men in the army. If they didn’t have moral, what most army wives give, then we might not even be here today. I have also seen my fare share of horrible wives too! I thought we as a people united, not broke eachother down.. wow how sad. I’ll pray for you all regardless, EVERYONE WOMAN OR MALE COME HOME SOON, AMERICA LOVES YOU AND ALL YOU DO!!

  17. Here we are 2011 and still debating the issue on females in combat roles. I can say that there isn’t a real debatable issue at hand. Currently Female Engagement Teams are being formed to do what the men can’t. Both Sexes lack what the others have. It’s about working together to accomplish the mission. This is nothing different than when African Americans weren’t allowed to be in the military. Eventually females will be allowed to join actual combat MOSs… though they already fill the roles.

  18. CPT male type on

    I will gladly serve with ANY woman who completes Ranger school and graduates from SFAS and the Q course, without “adjusting” the standard =)

  19. If they decide to let women serve in the Infantry, it will just get sorted out at the company level anyways. They could always use more training room personnel and someone has to watch the radios when you’re downrange. 😉

    Furthermore, what will they do when you’re on a multiple week field prob and because of the poor living conditions a female soldier has to get medevac’d out for a yeast infection gone too far…

  20. Pingback: Women in Combat Debate: brilliant quotes by less than brilliant people « Army Girl, Army Wife

  21. Fred Williams on

    Women should not be allowed to serve on the frontlines with men. Although, in the current conflict in Iraq, women often get shot at and injured, this is no excuse for them to be put in infantry units. They will never be fully accepted. That is just the way it is.

  22. If a woman can do what a guy can without any special treatment let them serve. To get physically to the point of a male is more challenging and requires hard work. Woman’s hormones promote storing fat and makes it more difficault than males to build muscle. So if a girl can do what a guy can do then why deny her what she’s worked hard for?

  23. Sorry, but I have to put this out there.

    Show me a female that can take being a Tanker for three years – and make it without any special treatment or consideration – and does every single thing every other Tanker does – and does what is required at a minimum standard but is expected to commonly exceed standards – and with no more training or combat-related injuries; both physical and mental – and I will defend her skill, determination, strength, stamina, and just plain grit against anyone and I will beg to have her on my crew.

    Otherwise, go away and stop wasting my time and energy on this moronic PC pipe dream fantasy being pumped up by a bunch of activists who only care about “equal opportunity for promotion potential” and not BEING IN COMBAT. There is a reason it is called COMBAT ARMS. There is no second place and there are no second chances. You either live or you die. You either save your buddies or you get them killed. You accomplish the mission and achieve victory or you fail your mission and are defeated.

    Don’t think playing Gunner on a Hummer or MRAP is ANYTHING like being part of a Tank Crew, and don’t think doing “presence patrols” or being a “Lioness” or MP is ANYTHING like being a Cav Scout or Infantryman.

    That is not to say that most women do not serve with honor, and some with distinction, but it is an outright suicidal idea to allow women into ANY Combat Arms MOS – PERIOD – END OF STORY – END OF DEBATE – END OF DISCUSSION!

    Thank you, to each and every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, and Marine that had the courage to step up, take an oath, put on a uniform, and to go into harm’s way.

    But DO NOT GET IT TWISTED.

    If you are a female and you are allowed to enter a Combat Arms MOS, people are going to die as a result. This is not coming from an ignorant, bigoted, or misogynistic point of view.

    This comes from YEARS of COMBAT experience.

    Take it or leave it.

    I just hope and pray for everyone’s sake that all us do not have to learn the hard way and risk death and defeat simply so a few more women MIGHT have a POTENTIAL chance of attaining more rank in the future.

    There are such things as “Respect” and “Selfless Service.” Have some respect for reality and understand the world is not a perfect place…especially not in the military…and MOST ESPECIALLY NOT IN COMBAT and be content with serving your country in whatever capacity it is that you can.

    If you cannot do such things may I respectfully invite you to seek a position in another career more suited towards your goals and ambitions.

    For if you are that self-centered and petty, not only do you not belong in Combat Arms, you also do not belong in MY Army!

  24. All I can say is where are all the men. The female ranks are growing everyday… military women may not be as strong as the damn men but we are brave, dedicated and have to put up with military men and non-military women complaining. Just remember us and the sacrafices we make so you can have the freedom to bitch.

  25. All I can say is where are all the men. The female ranks are growing everyday… military women may not be as strong as the men but we are brave, dedicated and have to put up with military men and non-military women complaining. Just remember us and the sacrafices we make so you can have the freedom to complain.

  26. Guys-if you want to get dirty, stay in austere environments, be in the field for 6 months at a time…knock yourselves out. It’s not hurting my feelings at all. I admit my limitations-I can’t run as fast as a man, I can’t carry as much weight, and I sure as hell would not want to be a liability to my fellow Soldier. Putting lives at risk to prove some feminist point is frankly selfish and petty. However, at the same time, for all those guys griping about different stds on the APFT- when you are 50 and you can run as fast as a 19 year old, we’ll talk. Otherwise, SHADDUP!

  27. Dumb! How about we get over this whole “discrimination”, “unfair” garbage and just face the facts! The majority of women just can’t physically perform on the same level that men can. If they could, then there would be one set standard for the APFT. PERIOD!

  28. To J Dickerson Iam 53 and I bet I can out run,out lift and carry any load on a march than any young girl deffernately more than any women my age.

  29. This is the most rediculous argument ever. We are politically correcting ourselves to death and our country is going to fall off the map. Men have fought wars since the dawn of man because we are supposed to. It is our duty. These god damn femenist activists want women in our ranks only because they are not there now. None of them knows what it is like to live and operate in a male warrior culture. If women are fully integrated into combat it will officially mark the end of “Being a man” in America. I don’t understand this new androgenous society that is emerginging and I don’t want to be a part of it. I think that this is another sign that the world as we know it is coming to an end.

  30. We’re having the wrong conversation for the right reasons. As a woman with over two decades of active service in the Army, I can say without hesitation that no standard of any MOS should be altered – either made easier or more difficult – to either keep women out or put them in a particular job. If a woman can handle the physical requirements, as they are now, to join the ranks of the infantry – then so be it. Let us remember there are men that do not make it through combat arms training for the same reasons many cite women should not be permitted to try. At the crux of this issue is the ability of women to advance through the senior ranks – both officer and NCO – and to hold positions of high seniority such as Sergeant Major of the Army or Chief of Staff of the Army. As it is now, not having a combat arms background, even briefly, eliminates that possibility. As our military changes to adapt to the threat environment, it is now conceivable that a combat arms background is not necessary to be an able SMA, CSA or even COCOM commander. What we need to do is look to change what we value in terms of competence, experience and ability. Not all things that matter are based in combat arms experience. Many of the positions of high responsibility require a depth and breadth of knowledge, of which knowledge of the combat arms is but one piece. To hold such positions, one must also be politically astute, articulate, intellectual, able to grasp the Army and Department of Defense holistically, and be able to successfully interact with and influence our civilian leadership to include members of Congress. This is the conversation we should be having – beyond that of carrying a heavy ruck for 15 miles. This conversation should be one of opportunity for career military women to be competitive with their male counterparts for the highest positions in the Army and to be so without the requirement of having been an infantry platoon leader. The same could also be said for those men who also possess the necessary qualities, experiences, and abilities to serve in such positions but were not previously considered because they too have no combat arms background.

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