2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

GI Jane is now a reality

Its not like females have been exempt from the brutality of combat over the past decade long war against terrorism and Islamic extremism, but as of yesterday they are now eligible to apply for "front line" positions in the combat arms branches previously open only to men.  I put "front lines" in quotations because its been obvious that in a war without a front line any position within the battle space may be subject to combat hazards.  I would venture to say for a while people, including females, that worked in transportation, supply and maintenance MOS positions driving convoys up and down routes titled such unassuming names as Tampa and Irish in Iraq delivering supplies and support had some of the most dangerous duty in theater.  Female clerks, medics, MP's and other combat service support types have all seen their share of combat and in the vast majority of cases have served honorably and well.

Doesn't sound like much of a game changer then that they get their chance to try for the jobs in the infantry, artillery, combat engineers, armor, cavalry and other "front line" jobs, including special operations type positions....or does it?

Sorry folks...letting women into combat arms will not result in Starship Trooper-like shower scenes.....

I can't really speak in any depth about most of the other combat arm branches other than the infantry, but in the field you are often subjected to conditions that create situations that would certainly be considered "akward" with the inclusion of females.  I don't go for the guys that say that the enemy will get dogs trained to smell out the scent of females on their menstruation cycle (and it only took 4 years for that subject to get brought up on the blog) and the like, just don't see that happening or even being realistic.  When I did basic training back in the 80's everything was segregated by sex, men did basic on their own and so did women.  I understand that they have done integrated training with the sexes before and it generally worked well.  I just wonder where the line will be drawn on physical abilities in Infantry school where you cannot have 2 different standards based on sex like you do the PT test?  Its one thing to account for the fact that a woman generally has more body fat and less muscle mass than a man and let them do fewer pushups or give them longer on the run...its another to expect them to carry a 60 -100 pound rucksack 15 miles and not keep up with the rest of the unit.  Do you let them carry a lighter ruck and make the men carry the extra weight?  Do you allow them to have a slower standard and not enforce unit adhesion?  Do you allow the men to slow down to keep the group together but not challenge them physically as they should be?

Of course that's just one example and not necessarily the best, but I do think that at some point that there will be a natural line created where women may cross, but are not normally expected to.  OK, maybe some women will want to join the infantry and will do so and be assigned to line units...but I doubt that there will be scores of them plying their units for slots in Ranger school after the initial buzz has worn off.  Undoubtedly there will be some that will apply for the "higher end" schools like Ranger, SF, SEAL and the like, and I wish them well.  However, from what I have read that this new directive is not all encompassing and at a later date if it comes to bear that certain specialties are uniquely suitable only for men, that there may be restrictions reintroduced.

Overall to me being retired, its not a game changer since it does not directly affect me.  I sincerely doubt my daughter is going to running to enlist in the infantry in a few years and to me women have already proved themselves in the military.  There are plenty of gals out there with more time behind a hot weapon than I and doing jobs I wouldn't want to do.  I salute them all.

I will say this on a personal note, woman in uniform, having the balls to put it on the line for their country in combat...yeah, certain hotness factor is certainly included in their overall score in my book.. Not being a sexist here, just saying that what a uniform does for a man in some women's eyes also works the other way for a lot of us guys that respect that choice they made to do so.

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