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Old 01-24-2013, 01:18 AM
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Default Leon Panetta planning to lift the ban on women in combat

http://news.yahoo.com/ap-sources-pan...-politics.html

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AP sources: Panetta opens combat roles to women

WASHINGTON (AP) ó Senior defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta is removing the military's ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.

The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta's decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.

A senior military official says the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some jobs may open as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army's Delta Force, may take longer.

The official said the military chiefs must report back to Panetta with their initial implementation plans by May 15. The announcement on Panetta's decision is not expected until Thursday, so the official spoke on condition of anonymity.

Panetta's move expands the Pentagon's action nearly a year ago to open about 14,500 combat positions to women, nearly all of them in the Army. This decision could open more than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women.

In recent years the necessities of war propelled women into jobs as medics, military police and intelligence officers that were sometimes attached ó but not formally assigned ó to units on the front lines.

Women comprise 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel.
This is a terrible idea, unless they start holding women to the same physical fitness standards that they require of male soldiers. If they lower the standards in order to accommodate women, then that is just going to result in a weaker US military across the board.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NateR View Post
http://news.yahoo.com/ap-sources-pan...-politics.html



This is a terrible idea, unless they start holding women to the same physical fitness standards that they require of male soldiers. If they lower the standards in order to accommodate women, then that is just going to result in a weaker US military across the board.
I agree with you, Nate, and with the conclusion you draw. Captain Katie Petronio, USMC, also agrees. Here is her excellent article on the subject and I'll post a couple particularly relevent paragraphs.

Get over it! We are not all created equal.

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Who is driving this agenda? I am not personally hearing female Marines, enlisted or officer, pounding on the doors of Congress claiming that their inability to serve in the infantry violates their right to equality. Shockingly, this isnít even a congressional agenda. This issue is being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS). Their mission is to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations, as well as matters of policy, pertaining to the well-being of women in the Armed Services from recruiting to employment. Members are selected based on their prior military experience or experience with womenís workforce issues. I certainly applaud and appreciate DACOWITSí mission; however, as it pertains to the issue of women in the infantry, itís very surprising to see that none of the committee members are on active duty or have any recent combat or relevant operational experience relating to the issue they are attempting to change. I say this because, at the end of the day, itís the active duty servicemember who will ultimately deal with the results of their initiatives, not those on the outside looking in.

*snip*

By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported. Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement. I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.
Men and women are different no matter how the lefties try to pretend (or worse - legislate) otherwise.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:57 AM
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Here is her excellent article on the subject and I'll post a couple particularly relevent paragraphs.
That's been my experience as well. I spent over 10 years in the Army and I never ONCE met a female soldier who wanted to be on the front lines in combat. In fact, I'm sure that most women only join the military because there is absolutely no chance that they will be required to go into front line combat.

What's going to end up happening here is some woman is not going to be able to keep up with the male soldiers and assume that it's because she's being discriminated against. So she's going to lawyer-up and complain about how the system is unfair to women. Then the physical standards are going to be lowered for the male soldiers to make it more "fair" for the female soldiers. That will simply result in a military that is less physically fit and less combat ready.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:22 AM
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Where did Bonnie's original comment go? Weird!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:33 AM
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I agree with both of you, Nate and Flo. I also want to add that men and women have a different emotional relationship as friends than men alone have. I think that puts those men in extra danger in combat situations. They may make a decision based more on emotion and a feeling to protect the women of the unit. I also worry that the strong emotional connection you have with someone you went through combat with can hurt marriages if it's man/woman even if there is no inappropriate sexual behavior. I don't want to make war or the return home harder or worse than it has to be.


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Old 01-24-2013, 11:00 AM
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I agree with both of you, Nate and Flo. I also want to add that men and women have a different emotional relationship as friends than men alone have. I think that puts those men in extra danger in combat situations. They may make a decision based more on emotion and a feeling to protect the women of the unit. I also worry that the strong emotional connection you have with someone you went through combat with can hurt marriages if it's man/woman even if there is no inappropriate sexual behavior. I don't want to make war or the return home harder or worse than it has to be.


~Amy
Not to mention the fact that instances of rape and sexual abuse within the ranks are going to multiply exponentially if you start placing women into frontline combat units. There is already a shockingly large percentage of sexual abuse within the military that is swept under the carpet. That's just going to get worse.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:55 AM
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Where did Bonnie's original comment go? Weird!
She deleted it while I was typing up my response. I normally would go ahead and delete my reply to her comment, but I think the information is very relevant to the discussion.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:41 AM
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Doesn't everyone go through the same boot camp/physical fitness reguirements? And I thought women were already serving in combat?
No. The physical fitness requirements for women are lower than the requirements for men.

For example, an 18-year-old male soldier needs to do 42 pushups in 2 minutes to receive a minimum passing score of 60 on his PT test. An 18-year-old female soldier only needs to do 19 pushups in 2 minutes to receive the exact same score of 60 points.

Sit up requirements are actually the same for men and women. Both need to do 53 situps in 2 minutes to receive the minimum passing score of 60 points.

For the 2-mile run, that 18-year-old male needs to complete the run no slower than 15 minutes and 54 seconds in order to pass. A woman has 18 minutes and 54 seconds to complete the 2-mile run.

If an 18-year-old male soldier did only 19 pushups, 53 sit-ups, and completed his 2-mile run in 18:54, then he would receive a PT score of 107, which would be a failing score. However an 18-year-old female soldier would receive the minimum passing score of 180 points.

If an 18-year old female soldier did 42 pushups, 53 situps and completed her run in 15:54, then she would receive a score of 256 out of a maximum of 300. The male soldier would only get the minimum 180 points with those numbers.

Also female soldiers are allowed 10% more bodyfat than male soldiers.

So, what I'm saying is that if a woman can meet the male standards for physical fitness, then she can be allowed in combat. If she can't meet the same physical standard as the male soldiers, then she has no business in combat.

In reality there should only be one standard, the male standard. Because you don't win a war with political correctness and tolerance, you win it with physical strength and endurance. That's just as true today, in our highly technological battlefields, as it has been in the past.

Also, the integrated boot camps have been a miserable failure because the male soldiers spend so much time waiting for the female soldiers to catch up, that they rarely feel challenged by the training they receive.
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