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My View

By now I am sure everyone has heard that Leon hath decreed that women shall no longer be denied the pleasure that comes from carrying a hundred pound rucksack, a rifle and assorted gear mile upon mile in the freezing cold to get to a location where you can drop it and then engage an enemy in mortal combat. While that might sound good on the face of it to some people, my worry is dumbed down “gender neutral” standards that allow the appropriate percentage of female candidates to succeed will also ultimately reduce the overall effectiveness of our armed forces.

As I have seen over my long military career the reality is often different from the stated goal or intent. While some people might think this is leveling the playing field so women can succeed and advance to the highest ranks of our military, I see a politically correct mess where we will have a certain percentage of a unit filled with women come hell or high water…careers will depend on it!

I think what some fail to understand is the military exists to fight and win our wars not to provide advancement opportunities for people with violent tendencies. The other thing that fell through the cracks somewhere is the fact that women have been in combat for some time. I served with female AH-64 pilots for example. An MP in Iraq was the first female to earn the Silver Star in over 40 years. If standards are upheld I don’t see how this will be much of a problem at all…the problem I do see is when political pressure is applied and standards are reduced so we can have a pre-determined outcome…and somehow with this bunch I have no problem see that come to pass.

The following should be mandatory viewing for ANYONE who wants to be an INFANTRYMAN (so what are we gonna call the gals… INFANTRY CHICKS?)

Don’t get me wrong there are women out there who could do it, of that I have no doubt. But there are other factors at play, not the least of which is human nature. The real question should be not should we do this, but do we need to. Service to the nation is a privilege not a right.

And for those who would protest that this film is about WWII and not an example of what Soldiers face today there’s this that I would recommend.

21 comments to My View

  • This is why I add an “I don’t know the art of combat” caveat to any opinions I have on military procedure. Greatly appreciate your personal takes on what you know far better than most of us here, Outlaw! Certainly helps with my shaping my perspectives.

  • -fritz-

    …careers will depend on it!

    Lives will depend on it too!

    • -fritz-

      I’ve seen many examples of women in men’s roles. In some few cases there are no problems. In a great number, the women are either emotionally not fit for the men’s role, or in many of the the others they are not fit physically!

      Boiling it down to basics, and not going for any gay remarks, God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, or Betty and Eve!

      The genderless nuts in our society are trying to level a playing field that was not intendeed to be that way. Men are men and women are women. They are equals, but different, and those that forget that last simple fact are the Panetta’s and Obamas and all the other nutjobs that think a man can do a woman’s job, and that a woman can do a man’s job! I’m not belittling either sex. They both have important roles to play…but their own roles, not the other’s!

    • Lives will depend on it too!

      In my experience they don’t worry about that until its too late…history is replete with examples of that.

  • goozer

    When people ask me why I am such a ‘pessimist’ about our nation’s future, they often inquire as to why I am looking for a Sulla instead of a Washington.

    This bullshit right here is why.

    The fact that we have not seen a not insignificant exodus from the officer corps, from nuggets to birds, but instead have seen acceptance and even support for what have been gob-smackingly dangerous and idiotic social engineering policies tells me all I need to know about what to expect when the shit hits the fan.

    Outlaw, as always, thanks for your service and sacrifice. I’ll pick up the tab when we finally meet for my CHL training — if the offer is still open. And as soon as I find the right pistol. ;-)

  • kbiel

    Free men are not equal and equal men are not free. -Unknown

  • Rufus

    Great points, Outlaw, and thanks for your inside baseball perspective. To add another thing to the mix, as an outsider simply looking at the military as an organization, this seems to institutionalize inefficiency. As you wrote, there are women who will be able to meet the physical and mental requirements. But what percent? Whatever the % is for men I have to believe the % for women will be 1/5 that number, at best. And adding women will require a large set of accommodations. So we’re doubling the amount of difficulties to overcome in order to accommodate a small percentage of participants.

    Here’s a silly example to make my point. Let’s say you have an elite, all girls High School that only admits the top 5% of Iowa Standardized Test takers (I know of such places). Someone decides that school has to accept boys. For the sake of argument, let’s say the school has 400 female students and only 5% of prospective male students will score high enough to qualify each year. So, you admit boys and you end up with 380 females and 20 guys. But now you have to double the restroom facilities at significant expense. Your going to have to hire more counselors because incidents of trauma will go up now that the girls must interact with boys in their daily routine. Many activities will slow down. With boys roaming the halls girls cannot change in and out of gym or sports uniforms as quickly and conveniently as they used to. It becomes more expensive and less efficient. So, if you can find 400 qualified girls to fill the school, why add all that complexity to accommodate 20 guys? Especially when it comes at the expense of 20 girls who are equally capable?

    Again, I’m just talking about efficiency. I think, when death at an enemy’s hand is a constant threat and your on a mission to save others, efficiency would be really important. Any extra anything can literally be the difference between life and death. Do you have to lug extra equipment to set up more latrines? Do you have to carry tampons? Are extra medical tools required? Do you have to communicate differently to accommodate for the difference in the male and female mind? Every ounce, every minute, matters on a lot of these missions. Why do anything that worsens efficiency?

    • Rufus

      And I get that some great women really, really want to serve their country in this fashion. My dad wanted to be a state trooper. He didn’t meet the height requirement. He couldn’t be a state trooper. Is that fair? He probably would have been a good one, but they wanted uniformity of height and he didn’t meet the standard, so it wasn’t an option.

      Chicago has infamously weighted their tests for police and firemen to automatically give higher scores to certain minorities. Have things gotten better? Those who live there know the answer. There is no reason a specific minority applicant cannot score as high, or higher than a specific non-minority applicant, but City Hall didn’t like the percentages they were seeing so they skew the results to get the “image” that they want. This has made things worse for the men and women who actually do the work in the field. As Outlaw and Goozer predict, Panetta’s policy will almost certainly lead to such foolishness.

      • Tracy,txmom2many

        I really really want to be a dancer. They should totally change the requirements of professional dance companies to accommodate overweight mothers with no talent. And pay for bigger costumes, and a special medical staff, because I’m probably gonna hurt myself doing that stuff, and increase the food budget (these thighs don’t make themselves), and probably gonna need to have some sort of government incentive for seeing the show, ’cause it’s gonna suck. I’ll also need a babysitter. But to do otherwise is to prevent me from reaching my full potential and being recognized as the dancer trapped in this body!

    • Tracy,txmom2many

      Yes. It will change some the things we need for the forces that need to be lightest, quickest, and most responsive. I’m also thinking about Outlaw said before about increased pregnancies in troops…can’t remember exactly.

  • Daniel Crandall

    Leon, like the Lefty coward he is, made this proclamation at the end of his time at DOD. Figures…

    Ryan Smith had a great piece at Wall Street Journal about why this is a wretched idea:

    “I served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a Marine infantry squad leader. We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.”

    Smith’s article is required reading on this subject. I can’t imagine a woman who would want to go through what he, or any combat soldier or marine, goes through just for career advancement. Outlaw nails it: “… the military exists to fight and win our wars not to provide advancement opportunities for people with violent tendencies.”

  • Tracy,txmom2many

    this is what happens when you tell an entire generation “you can do anything that you want to do”.

  • Kit

    Interesting thing about Leon Panetta is, according to author Vince Flynn, he was well-liked at the CIA -and not just by bureaucrats/lawyers.

  • [...] Thursday in this POST I told you about my fear of letting standards slip in the light of DOD’s policy change to [...]

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