I’m going to preface this with the fact that I am neither in the military nor would I have signed up for a combat unit if I was in the military, however this does not disqualify me from having an opinion on women being placed in the front lines.
Last week Leon Panetta announced that women would now be allowed to be assigned to combat units on the front lines. Some members of congress were a bit miffed that he announced this to the press before he announced it to congress.
This is a complicated issue, but here’s my opinion on it.
I tend to look at soldiers (male and female) as entirely different brand of humanity. To be willing and able to devote yourself to your country, give up a lot of your personal freedom and conform to the strict regulations and standards of the military, so that you can risk your life defending it…that’s pretty amazing.
Men and women both freely commit their lives to this and they understand the importance of the standards and regulations they have to live up to, because those standards are not arbitrary, they were put in place to save lives.
Which is why, after long thought on the issue, my view on the idea of women on the front lines involves only one expectation, that they be able to live up to the same training standards of the men that are also in those combat units.
Allen West apparently agrees with me on this. I knew I had a good reason for liking him.
[I]f you look at the Army’s physical fitness test you will see that currently there is a difference between the standards for push-ups, sit ups, two-mile run for males varying with the age group, as opposed to females. And I don’t believe that all of a sudden you want to get rid of the standard or adjust the standard, that is not the right thing to do, standards have to be high, they have to be maintained, and that is my big concern that people have not thought that through.
West added that female soldiers have already been carrying weapon, going out on different types of missions like resupply, military police, and flying attack helicopters. The real issue for West is female soldiers being assigned into elite units within infantry, Rangers, Marine Corp RECON, Navy Seals, Delta, and other elite units.
There are very elite standards for these elite warriors, and we need to make sure these standards are maintained.
The military is not so much about fairness and equality.
So, I can live with women being in combat units. Of course the facts are that very few women actually appear to be interested. In fact last year the USMC allowed women to take part in their infantry training, only 2 of women signed up…both washed out of the program.
They couldn’t handle the level of training required.
Now I’m not saying their won’t be exceptions to that. 2 women who went through the Army’s Sapper Leader Course, which the Army opened to women in 2012, did pass the course.
Those few exceptions are the only ones that should be allowed to take part in front line combat units.
Of course my main concern is that in this I don’t trust this administration to hold women to that standard. Once again we will be shown that the liberal idea of equality has nothing to do with equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome.
This is already occurring, much to my disgust.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Thursday that with women now eligible to fill combat roles in the military, commanders must justify why any woman might be excluded – and, if women can’t meet any unit’s standard, the Pentagon will ask: “Does it really have to be that high?”
He added: “Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high? With the direct combat exclusion provision in place, we never had to have that conversation.”
What really gets my goat over this is that this is a 4 Star General saying this. He, presumably, has been in the field. Even in the front lines and in combat. What backwards asshat thinks that lowering standards, so that sub-par female soldiers can get a place in combat units, spells lower casualties for combat units? Seems someone is a bit off in his brain pan, as they say.
If that’s the way this administration is going to do things, things are not going to better for our soldiers in combat and I have no respect for a federal government or secretary of defense, that makes poor decisions that lead to more casualties in our armed forces. That is irresponsible and, to tell the truth, downright evil.
And if that’s how they want to play this, I would rather ban women from combat and front line units.
For a view on this from an actual female veteran, who is stalwartly against women in combat units and makes some very good arguments drawing in Israel’s military to support that, read this article at HotAir.com
I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my PFTs. I naturally have a lot more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard. I would love to have been in the infantry. And I still think it will be an unmitigated disaster to incorporate women into combat roles. I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.
Please leave comments to address your support of this policy change or your concerns with these new policies, this is a topic that is open to quite a lot of discussion.