I don't know how many of you guys heard about this in the news today, but today 4 women filed a suit against the Department of Defense over the rules that exclude women in combat. My college class discussed this issue today and of no consensus was met.  Just wonder how you guys or gals feel about this issue. Should they let the ladies fight? If yes, in what capacity? Heres an article about it incase you missed it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/27/women-in-combat-defense-de... 

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Should they let the ladies fight? If yes, in what capacity?

 

Yes. In whatever capacity they are qualified physically and mentally to do so. If a woman passes the same standards for physical fitness, skills and such as a man in a similar role - I see no reason for her sex to be barrier to her service. 

 

With that said, I do not expect the roles, responsibilities and requirements to be modified (or not much anyway) to accommodate. E.g. if the requirement for an infantryman is to march 10 miles with a 50lb pack (hypothetical) - there should not be a separate standard for woman infantry. 

I totally agree with this.

I know of one lady at West Point who's nick name was Rucksack.  It's all you saw when she was running with her kit.  It was the same kit as everyone else.  

If the person can do the job physically and mentally then let them do it.  Be it militarily  fire, police, EMT, CEO, etc.

That's not exactly possible.  Military physical fitness standards don't measure you're full physical abilities... they use a couple of tests that are supposed to be representative of your overall strength and stamina.  I'm not exactly a fitness machine... I go to the gym approximately never... and yet I can do more pushups than a lot of very fit women because I have a male frame.

Women in the military currently don't have to do nearly as many pushups as men do to pass their PT tests, because the number of pushups you can do is irrelevant except as a gauge for your broader fitness level.  A woman who can do as many pushups as I can could probably kick my ass.

It's not so easy to compare men and women that way.

Not to mention one can imagine situations where women's general smaller frames and greater flexibility would be a tactical advantage. There's also issues of brain structure regarding multi-tasking, the ability to learn languages, and likely stuff about sleep deprivation, pain tolerance, etc.

Of course, if the military is going to consider being short and flexible a tactical advantage, that involves a re-thinking of the traditional ideal of uniformity for soldiers. But, again, maybe modern combat suggests we should be open to that.

The standards are different... very, very different.  A man in his 20s (22-26) has to do a minimum of 40 pushups to pass.  A woman the same age has to do 17.  The situp standards, on the other hand, are identical for each gender.

If the goal is to ensure that people from each sex are equally physically capable of performing the job, having uniform pushup standards doesn't do that. 

That was my point.  It's not so easy to measure men and women the same way.  They're not the same.

No.  I'm sure there are plenty of women who can do 40 pushups.  I'm saying it's not an apples to apples comparison.  A woman who can do 40 pushups is probably stronger and more athletic than a man who can do the same.

Hmmm. On the one hand, body-weight standards seem more egalitarian. Me doing a push-up v. my husband seems a better test of our health than each of us trying to bench press the same weight. On the other, the different physiology still makes the relative effort different.

Perhaps in a better world, people would be tested according to what they'll actually be doing. But we can't know what they'll actually be doing, so we need abstract tests. [Or, again, we think we do. I don't see how physical strength and endurance relate to certain military assignments. Still, we hold all service members to basic physical requirements.]

How do you feel about it? I don't think anyone is going to say women won't see combat action in these or future wars. As long as we allow women into the Armed Forces, there will be women seeing combat. Women are already fighting in the sense that smart enemies don't pick gun fights with rifle platoons. They pick fights with convoys and Civil Affair units. Now, is this what you are asking?

I have a feeling you want to ask about females in combat units. I don't know what the answer is, and I know for a fact that I won't be the one making decisions. However, it seems fair to me that if a female wants to be in the infantry, she should have to be able to carry the heaviest gun that unit uses. She should have to be able to break it down and clean it, and she should have to be able to fire it with the proficiency expected of a male counter part. IF a she wants to be part of a tank crew, she should have to not only load shells at whatever rate is the standard (I have never been armor so I won't pretend to know).

I was in a mixed convoy escort unit in Iraq. We had a female get promoted to E-5 (SGT) position. She was kinda in a bad position when she was promoted because there simply wasn't a true SGT job she could take over, So they told her that she was in charge of vehicles. She got mad and threatened to take this clear insult to her to JAG. So when they asked her what would be fair, because they wanted to give her a fair deal, she said she wanted to be a gunner. All the other E-5s were gunners on humvees, she should be put into the gunner pool and not have to be a driver anymore.

Now, this next part is one of the true times I have seen anyone get a true square deal. The said she had to load all four weapon systems onto four different humvees, load the ammo and we would go out to the range and allow her to qualify with them so she could gun. The deal was, she couldn't get help putting the weapons on the trucks. We helped load ammo, we helped get everything ready, but when it came time to pick up the heavier crew served weapons, well she got 3/4. The 249, aced it, the 240, nailed it, she even broke down the M-2 (the .50 caliber gun that has been around since WW1 and is 50+ pounds of pure steel). She just couldn't lift the MK-19 (the automatic grenade launcher) overhead by herself. She admitted she couldn't complete the tasks required and as a good NCO will do stood down and helped the unit by being the Senior driver. I was impressed about how she didn't whine, or complain how unfair it was. She didn't bring up that we only use the MK-19 once a week. She simply soldiered on, and got back to helping the unit.

Now this girl was tough, could she have stood her ground in a gunfight of course. The skill set mentality does have a fair portion of what the military expects. However, the military requires more then a skill set, it requires the physical strength too. You can't skill set a door open, you have to kick it.

The only question I have on the "deal" is if this is a standard requirement of Gunners.

If it is then fantastic.

I generally feel the same way. Some of the examples that people in my class used were that the Israelis used women in combat and the russians used women as snipers in WW2 that killed more men than their male counter parts.

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