ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on January 25th, 2013 at 2:30 am

Why Dropping the Combat Exclusion Policy Does Not Mean There Will Be Women in the Infantry Anytime Soon

» by in: US Military

The media has been in a frenzy todayy over the recent Pentagon announcement ending the combat exclusion policy barring women from certain combat positions:

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta plans to announce Thursday a lifting of the ban on female service members in combat roles, a watershed policy change that was informed by women’s valor in Iraq and Afghanistan and that removes the remaining barrier to a fully inclusive military, defense officials said.

Panetta made the decision “upon the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” a senior defense official said Wednesday, an assertion that stunned female veteran activists who said they assumed that the brass was still uneasy about opening the most physically arduous positions to women. The Army and the Marines, which make up the bulk of the military’s ground combat force, will present plans to open most jobs to women by May 15.  [Washington Post]

You can read the rest at the link, but listening to the media rhetoric the past couple of days shows how little these people know about the military.  Especially those claiming this change allows women to serve in combat.  Women have served in combat for a long time, all the policy change does is allow women to serve in units and MOSs such as armor, infantry, and special forces that they were not allowed to serve in before.  Then there are those in the media that claim that women can handle these jobs because they are already in combat. Once again this shows ignorance because there is a big difference from someone driving a truck down the road and getting engaged by the enemy and going out on patrol every day carrying all your gear and engaging the enemy like the infantry does.  These are two very different forms of combat and one does not equal the other which unfortunately way too many talking heads in the media do not understand.

With that all said I support the policy change, but I think many people in the media are going to be shocked when they see how few women even try out for these positions.  We have discussed this before on the ROK Drop, but there is very little demand from female servicemembers to join the infantry.  For example when the Marines opened their Infantry Officer’s Course to females last year they had two volunteers for the first course.  The next course had no volunteers.  Since the Army is so big there will be a few more volunteers than what the Marines had but it will still be an extremely small number.  The next problem for those who volunteer will be fitness.  Both female Marines who volunteered for IOC failed for physical reasons.  So unless the standards are dropped there are going to be few volunteers and even fewer who can pass the necessary courses.  This may lead to outside groups like SWAN looking for a reason to exist to claim the military is still discriminating against women because of so few women who volunteer and pass these courses.  The only way a sizable number of women will be in the infantry and special forces is if physical standards are dropped or someone invents a robotic exo-skeleton that makes physical strength irrelevant.

As long as the military stays firm on keeping standards equal for infantrymen and other direct combat MOSs I think the vast majority of servicemembers will have no issue with the change.  However, if joining the infantry becomes like the current unequal Army Physical Fitness Test where a male recruit has one standard and the female a lesser standard for the same job than I can see issues coming from this policy change.

I highly recommend everyone read what Michael Yon has to say about this issue.

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  • Chris In Dallas
    5:26 am on January 25th, 2013 1

    I daresay dumbing down the standards is a foregone conclusion. It’s just a matter of whether it happens quietly at the beginning or after SWAN and other similar special interest groups start whining.

    On this matter of not enough females will sign up what is to keep the military from forcing females to sign up for combat arms? Look at the Army’s Branch Detail Program which forces new officers heading for support branches to spend their initial years in combat arms branches. And that’s just one tool. How about cash bonuses to sign up for front line fun?

    Either way, as they old saying goes, its not my problem. And if its not my problem its not a problem :razz: !

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:54 am on January 25th, 2013 2

    @1 – I heard retired General Jack Keane yesterday debating some feminist on the news and he was saying that no one has come out and said that standards will not be dropped for the combat arms branches. He is well connected in the military so if no one is telling him that the standards will remain the same this means there is definitely a debate going on right now within the Pentagon about dropping fitness standards.

  • Mooseknuckle
    8:52 am on January 25th, 2013 3


    I know you hit up on it in a previous post but the Army is spending a lot of money right now on extensive research to come up with “gender neutral” physical fitness standards. While we are not quite sure what this means my speculation is that they will not reduce current quantitative standards for existing tests rather the tests will be changed to test events that both males and females can perform on an even scale. What these are we do not know yet either. I do believe the data testing from the trial version of the APRT was a start. I also believe this has been going on for a while. MOS specific Basic Combat Training POIs were all different in each BCT unit with the Ft. Benning BCT much more physically demanding. This has been theoretically phased out with a standard POI for all MOSs. Like the ACU, the Army will spend a lot of money trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, and it will fit trust me.

  • Chris In Dallas
    9:13 am on January 25th, 2013 4

    2/3 Army Times has an article out about this. Apparently TRADOC is working on developing “new standards”:

    What’s wrong with the current standards? More troubling is why do these new standards have to be “fair to individuals”?

  • Chris In Dallas
    9:14 am on January 25th, 2013 5

    Why did I link here??? Alzheimers must be kicking in. Here it is:

    Sorry about that.

  • argus mayfield
    10:35 am on January 25th, 2013 6

    Make the new standards revolve around cooking, sewing and kitchen cleaning. Then women will perform better than men and the problem will be solved.

  • The Joker
    10:03 pm on January 25th, 2013 7

    America is doomed.

    “That won’t satisfy people who argue that treating people equally is not the military’s central function; winning wars is. Panetta has a response to that: “I fundamentally believe our military is more effective when success is not based solely on ability, on qualifications and on performance.””

    What else is there to base military success on? Do terrorists surrender to diversity?

  • Leon LaPorte
    2:31 am on January 26th, 2013 8

    ,,,and there’s this…

    Conscription of women into armed services is anti-Biblical. It is against God’s word. See Numbers 1:1-3, 20. Christian women are not to serve in battle; not to be drafted, not to enlist. According to The Bible, armies are to be composed of men, only. As Matthew Henry commented: “None were to be numbered but the males, and those only such as were fit for war.”

    See also Deuteronomy, chapter 20. God’s reference to military conscription in time of war (His rules for deferments, exclusions, exemptions, etc.) apply to men 20 years or older, only. (Each of the exemptions or deferments deal with the preservation of the family.) Women are to remain at home front, care for children, maintain the family unit, engage in homefront support duties. “The family has priority over the military and over warfare. As important as defense is, the continuity of life and godly reconstruction is more important,” emphasizes Rev. Joseph C. Morecraft, III.

    And, nations that disregard and violate God’s word will be penalized.

    Further, God’s law requires that the wages of the men in military service shall be comparable to (the same as) wages for the men who stay home (Num. 31:25, 27; I Sam. 30:21-25). God also required that the cost of war should be paid for by the enemy. The spoils of war were divided among the people of Israel.

  • David Thomas
    3:39 am on January 26th, 2013 9

    Leon you do realize conservative Christians are against women in combat while secular liberals are the ones pushing for it. If it was the other way around, your quotes would be great. As it is, you are somewhere between preaching to the quire and shedding teardrops in the rain.

    I do like how the enemy should pay costs with the spoils of war, though I can’t imagine Afghanistan has enough goats to do that. Can they pay in opium.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:49 am on January 26th, 2013 10

    @7- I think Panetta was misquoted. Here is what he said according to TIME:

  • Kingkitty
    6:31 am on January 26th, 2013 11

    In the heat of battle one has to wonder if a female would stop what she is doing when confronted by a cute cuddly Kitten.

    The North Koreans have been breading its cats for years to take advantage of this eventuality.

  • The Joker
    6:49 am on January 26th, 2013 12

    Good catch, GI Korea. In my defense, I cut and pasted that from Wired dot com which I thought was a reputable source. Better check it out quickly before they correct it, unless everybody else misquoted him completely oppositely.

  • The Joker
    7:05 am on January 26th, 2013 13

    I just watched the video. Panetta did NOT add the “not”. In the rest of his speech, he did stress gender-neutral standards.

    You may remove your tinfoil hats and carry on.

  • Flunky Brewster
    4:58 pm on January 26th, 2013 14

    They had a “discussion” under an NPR article on the subject and you’d be surpised by 1) how many liberals mistakenly believe that women are held to the same PT standards as men and also 2) that many liberals are demanding that “everyone should be held to the same standards.” Good. It’s about time. Ladies, demand your “right” to a “fair and equal” PT test. Go, liberals, go!!!

  • Teadrinker
    8:24 pm on January 26th, 2013 15

    It will allow women to earn promotions. Not only is this fair, it will also creating a chain of command which will be better placed to deal with the problem of sexual assaults.

  • Teadrinker
    8:24 pm on January 26th, 2013 16

    create, not creating.

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:40 pm on January 26th, 2013 17

    15. It will complete the feminization of the military, which has never been a good thing. It won’t destroy the military, just hamper the men trying to accomplish their missions. There’s always a work around.

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:23 pm on January 26th, 2013 18

    Here are examples of how some other countries have set rules for women in war:


    The image of the gun-toting Israeli woman warrior is widely seen as the prototype of a gender-blind military. Reality is different. Israeli women are subject to the draft — but they serve two years while men serve three. Women were also barred from direct combat until 2000, when the first and so far only mixed gender infantry battalion was organized. The Caracal battalion, which is about 60 percent female, was assigned to patrol the relatively quiet borders with Jordan and Egypt. Still, more than 90 percent of Israel’s military jobs are open to women — including high-risk posts such as air force pilots, air defense, naval gunboat crews, artillery and search and rescue. But the five major infantry brigades are still all-male.


    Canada considers itself a pioneer in opening military ranks to women, allowing female soldiers to serve in combat jobs in 1989. Nearly a generation later, women hold about 14 percent of all active duty positions in the Canadian military but only 2.4 percent of the combat slots. At least three Canadian women soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan, two by roadside bombs and one in a firefight.


    Women make up about 9 percent of Britain’s all-volunteer military but are barred from ground force units whose primary mission is to “kill the enemy.” Nevertheless, they can serve on warships, artillery, as engineers and on combat aircraft. A review by the defense ministry in 2010 found “no evidence” that allowing women to serve in ground combat units such as the infantry or Royal Marines “would be beneficial or risk-free.” Still, women have served in medical and support jobs with the British military in dangerous areas of Iraq and Afghanistan, where they face rocket barrages, roadside bombs and ambushes.


    Women make up about 15 percent of all troops in France’s military, the highest proportion of any European country. Women are not legally barred from serving in combat infantry units and the submarine service. However, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Martin Klotz said many women can’t carry the 110 pounds (50 kilograms) of basic equipment, and submarines lack space for women’s sleeping quarters. The medical corps accounts for the highest female representation among the services — about 53 percent — with the air force second at 21 percent.


    Germany’s postwar army excluded women until the mid-1970s, when a few were allowed to join the medical corps and military bands. The restriction was not lifted until 2000, when a female electrician challenged the ban at the European Court of Justice. The following year the Germans lifted all restrictions on women in the ranks if they could meet the same physical requirements as men. More than a decade later, women make up about 9 percent of the armed forces. A military spokesman was unable to say how many are in ground combat units.


    New Zealand lifted all restrictions on women serving in the military — including infantry units — in January 2000. But spokeswoman Kirsty Taylor-Doig said no woman has ever passed the rigorous selection criteria to join the elite special operations service, which performed with distinction in Afghanistan. Women make up nearly 16 percent of the combined force, with the largest group in the navy, which is about 22 percent female. Last August, a woman medic was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, the first New Zealand female service member to die by hostile fire since World War I.


    The nations of northern Europe have spearheaded gender equality in the military, with Norway lifting all restrictions in 1985, including for special operations jobs. Denmark, Sweden and Finland followed suit. The former Soviet states of Lithuania and Estonia lifted restrictions and sent women to combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, though many women in Estonia have complained they are encouraged to apply for desk jobs.

  • Jimmy
    9:39 pm on January 26th, 2013 19

    Putting women into combat units will allow promotions and create a chain of command better placed to deal with sexual assaults.

    Removing women from combat zones will reduce sexual assaults to zero and allow warriors to focus on winning wars instead of EO training and other nonmission-essential pursuits.

    I agree with Leon. Women are a force divider and the benefits they bring to the table are overwhelmed by the extraneous and unnecessary requirements and distraction that follow them. The few women that excel are eclipsed by the majority that do not.

    The common argument against that is that there are also worthless men in the military. This is absolutely true, but a worthless man does not carry all the additional baggage that a worthless women does.

    After a decade plus of war with absolutely no result, worrying about women in combat is the last thing both civilian and military leaders need to concentrate on.

  • Chris In Dallas
    7:51 am on January 27th, 2013 20

    17: I think you’re more or less right. I did my time in Combat Service Support units and we more or less coped with females.

    In the case of new females out of AIT, they would get assigned within a unit with no consideration of gender. If they could adequately perform, great! However, that rarely ever happened. Almost always they couldn’t handle any position involving hard labor. At some point they would get shunted into admin/clerical positions within their assigned section or put on battalion or higher staffs for admin work. For female NCOs we’d consider their past assignment history and place them accordingly. “Accordingly” almost always meant the physically least demanding leadership roles possible or in some cushy assignment like retention NCO. In due course many of the females would get pregnant and ETS. Also many would disappear into the bowels of TRADOC never to return.

    I suspect combat arms units will develop similar coping mechanisms. Things seem to muddle along but with definite costs. Male service members will find it much harder to get into certain positions which are useful in getting them well rounded MOS-wise. You’ll also have females hogging up TRADOC slots which means more field time for their male counterparts. And of course all this undercuts the concept that the armed forces are truly egalitarian thus breeding resentment. But I guess “fairness” is more important.

  • Teadrinker
    9:32 am on January 27th, 2013 21



    We are no longer in the 19th century. Wars aren’t fought by infantrymen charging one another.

  • tbonetylr
    3:03 pm on January 27th, 2013 22

    Good, maybe they never will. Let’s hope so because women’s place in the world is at home serving their man, cooking, cleaning, and having babies. :cool:

  • Ryan Smith Needs To Man Up « Infidelworld
    7:15 pm on January 27th, 2013 23

    [...] one dissenting post about women in the military that gets to a real issue. I just don’t understand why male military pundits assume women will bring standards down. [...]

  • Chris In Dallas
    1:44 pm on January 28th, 2013 24

    Here’s a bit more evidence standards are going to get lowered:

    I hate to admit this, but Teadrinker may have a point in post 21. Once Obamacare kicks in and DoD gets gutted, we’re going to be out of the war fighting business anyhow. Yup, the US armed forces will be weakened to the point of Canadian Forces. Sure, it’ll be a bigger organization but with its abilities limited to peace keeping, humanitarian relief and the occasional breaking/entering and theft of women’s underwear.

  • Glans
    4:39 pm on January 28th, 2013 25

    During the Second World War, the Soviet Union had about a million women in the armed forces, and many of them saw combat. Drew Lindsay’s article at HistoryNet.Com includes a picture of some Russian fighter pilots.

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:31 pm on January 28th, 2013 26

    25. Different situation and probably a bad example. Their country was being invaded and they were fighting for their very survival. Not to mention, the government really wasn’t too concerned how many body bags got filled and by whom they were filled with.

  • Liz
    5:36 pm on January 28th, 2013 27

    #26: Yes, I don’t think having anything comparable to the World War II Soviet military is something to be desired. They had child soldiers too.

  • Glans
    5:43 pm on January 28th, 2013 28

    26. A different situation indeed.

    The first Soviet soldiers to fall in the defense of Stalingrad were teen-aged girls who had volunteered out of highschool. They were anti-aircraft gunners, without infantry support. They fired on German tanks and delayed the enemy advance until they were killed.

    The Lindsay article discusses other countries’ military women, including ours. It’s worth a read, I think.

  • Leon LaPorte
    5:50 pm on January 28th, 2013 29

    27. And kamikaze bomb dogs as well as officers walking behind you to shoot you if you wavered. That’s what we want to model the US military after.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:15 pm on January 28th, 2013 30

    28. “NOT LONG AGO, military historian Martin van Creveld surveyed thousands of years of warfare and declared true women warriors “almost as rare as unicorns.” That’s an exaggeration, of course, but his point is well taken: The history of women in combat before the 20th century is a story of exceptions to the rule.”

    Hmm. I wonder why that is. Golly, a lesson from history.

    It may be a good read if you are pushing women in the military, but strangely, I can get enough of that in Stripes of late.

    The first Soviet soldiers to fall in the defense of Stalingrad were teen-aged girls

    The Soviets were machine gunning their own. Now that’s motivation!

    In over 20 years in and around the military, I have never seen a Velazquez from “Aliens” or a GI Jane, despite TV and film pushing this fantasy of macho (and straight and sexy!) female warriors. As a matter of fact, what I have seen is quite the opposite.

    Not to fear, this won’t destroy the military. The military can adapt and overcome. The support MOS’s have figured out ways to work around girls with daddy issues, combat arms will do the same.

    I’m sure they will also save room at the front for all the Senators’ daughters who are about to flow into those front line positions.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:28 pm on January 28th, 2013 31

    …and there was nothing new in that write up. Most people with a passing interest in history would know these things.

  • Teadrinker
    6:30 pm on January 28th, 2013 32

    You’re missing the point. It’s about equality and allowing them to do the job if they are capable of doing it. The aim is not to create a combat force which consists of an equal amount of men and women. Don’t worry, 99.9% of soldiers who will suffer disfiguring wounds next time the US invades a country for its oil, err, I mean to fight terrorism will be men.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:37 pm on January 28th, 2013 33

    32. And how many of those will be wounded taking up the slack of a female who shouldn’t be there?

    We know it’s all about promotions. I think it would be better to serve under a man who worked his way up rather than a female who got kicked up the chain because of some misguided attempt at “equality,” whatever the hell that is.

    Equality is a beautiful concept and a lofty goal we can work toward but not at the exclusion of common sense or basic facts. Equality, in reality, does not exist. Equality is fine for most things, but not in life and death situations.

  • Teadrinker
    7:04 pm on January 28th, 2013 34


    Once again, we aren’t in the 19th century. Wars are no longer fought by infantrymen charging one another.

  • Leon LaPorte
    7:18 pm on January 28th, 2013 35

    34. You’re right. The average infantry soldiers load has increased a great deal since the 19th century.

  • Leon LaPorte
    7:23 pm on January 28th, 2013 36

    34. You seem to have an overly simplistic view. Charging one another is the least of an infantryman’s worry.

  • JoeC
    7:51 pm on January 28th, 2013 37

    I hear that this is supposed to be phased in over the next 3 years. Good. That gives them some time to fix some things.

    The thing the talking heads seem to be concerned about now is ensuring that standards aren’t lowered just for women. That is easier to guard against because it can be regulated objectively. I am more concerned about the subjective things like awards and recognition.

    The advocates say the combat exclusion hampered women’s promotions. That suggests there will be an incentive after the change to inflate and exaggerate their accomplishments.

    Now that the wars are drawing down I think the military needs to take a hard look at its awards systems. It’s not just because of women. The issuing of awards for everyone in general seems to have gotten out of hand and is no longer fair and equitable. Would some of the people awarded Bronze Stars in the last decade have gotten them 25 years ago?

    Part of the problems are awards based on loosely verified evidence and citations that seem to be fill-in-the-blank templates that make the strongest case with the use of the most flowery superlatives. Anyone who has to sit through more than 10 awards ceremonies can’t help but roll their eyes and think how many more times will I have to listen to this exact same citation.

    Somehow, awards have to made to be based on objective statements of verified actual events and individual deeds. Keep the adjectives to a minimum and go with the Joe Friday rule; “Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.”

    This problem needs to be corrected for all service members in general but given the transition we will be going through with women, this is the opportune time to do it to prevent the complaints that will come when women receive awards or are promoted as heroes and they are compared to Jessica Lynch.

  • Setnaffa
    8:27 pm on January 28th, 2013 38


    I guess Teadrinker never got around to telling the Army not to charge…

    BTW, the US Army has more bayonets now than they did in 1916…

    This proposed policy of using women in combat will just result in more Americans dying and, with wars being prolonged, more of our allies and enemies dying too. One assumes that this is a part of the plan, since the same folks support infanticide, oppose the death penalty for murderers, work diligently at disarming honest civilians, and continue to press for early-release programs even for dangerous felons.

    Or did I miss something?

  • Chris In Dallas
    8:47 pm on January 28th, 2013 39

    30: Leon, there is an even more telling problem with Glans’ assertion. Sure the Soviets used females periodically in direct combat roles during World War II. But they ended it! Don’t know exactly when as the USSR was a closed society (and Russia isn’t much better). That said I know for a fact by the early 60s the Soviet military severely restricted female participation in the military. From defector Victor Suvorov’s book “Inside the Soviet Army” each Soviet Front (roughly equivalent to a US Major Command) would have about 10 women working in commo. Kinda strange a nation with a severely depleted male population would not take advantage of women for national defense…

  • Chris In Dallas
    8:53 pm on January 28th, 2013 40

    34: “Once again, we aren’t in the 19th century. Wars are no longer fought by infantrymen charging one another.”

    I really don’t expect an answer from you. But in not responding, you will speak volumes. Lets not worry about the 19th Century. Get a load of this picture from the 21st Century, just 9 years ago to be exact:

    So what has changed since 2003 which makes this ancient history? And while we’re at it, do you think the North Koreans, Chinese, Indians, Iranians, etc. hold the same opinion?

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:53 pm on January 28th, 2013 41

    38. The so oft cited Israeli experience comes to mind as well. They decided it wasn’t such a good idea after all and a fully integrated unit was a No-Go. Funny how those parts are left out.

    I’ve known a CSM and a couple field grades who basically had to go hand to hand with guys, so rank doesn’t always protect you, and a female isn’t going to fare well. Of course the female could try to explain she is equal and we could drop PowerPoint presentations on the battlefields of the future explaining the new paradigm to the enemy.

  • JoeC
    9:16 pm on January 28th, 2013 42


    Suvorov suggests that women were intentional segregated out of the front lines of Soviet national defense for psychological and strategic reasons.

    In the sports sections and teams of the military districts, groups, armies, fleets, flotillas there is a very high percentage of women also engaged in sport and who defend the honour of their district, group and so forth. Like the men, the women are given military rank and, like the men, are recruited into spetsnaz.

    There are no women in the usual spetsnaz units. But in the professional sports units of spetsnaz women constitute about half the numbers. They engage in various kinds of sport: parachute jumping, gliding, flying, shooting, running, swimming, motocross, and so on. Every woman who joins spetsnaz has to engage in some associated forms of sport apart from her own basic sport, and among these are some that are obligatory, such as sambo, shooting and a few others. The woman have to take part in exercises along with the men and have to study the full syllabus of subjects necessary for operating behind the enemy’s lines.

    That there should be such a high percentage of women in the professional sports formations of spetsnaz is a matter of psychology and strategy: if in the course of a war a group of tall, broadshouldered young men were to appear behind the lines this might give rise to bewilderment, since all the men are supposed to be at the front. But if in the same situation people were to see a group of athletic-looking girls there would be little likelihood of any alarm or surprise.

    If our female service members could meet the standards of their “sportswomen” I would say they were combat ready.

  • JoeC
    9:18 pm on January 28th, 2013 43

    correction: #38 -> #39

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:24 pm on January 28th, 2013 44

    42. I think the main point was, like us, they wanted to claim “equality” and needed a way to keep the women out of the way. LOL

  • Chris In Dallas
    9:30 pm on January 28th, 2013 45

    42/43: Uh, Suvorov says no such thing. He’s stating they would be very useful as spies, assassins and saboteurs. There are significant differences between these fields and Soldiering. If there wasn’t they’d have put them right in Spetznaz units. But they didn’t. I’ll note again, they chose not to despite a shortage of men.

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:34 pm on January 28th, 2013 46

    Precisely. I should have been more clear. Obviously a big difference between soldiering and other things. We concur.

  • Teadrinker
    10:48 pm on January 28th, 2013 47


    Do I have to dig up that video of the Canadian female soldier in Afghanistan again?


    I know there have been bayonet charges in the 20th century. For example, there was the French charge during the battle of Chipyongni, to name just one (unfortunately, the site of the charge has been mostly cut up to make place for a road)…

    In fact, I had originally written, but edited out, that such charges have been very rare since WW1 and rarely effective, using the number of casualties that the Chinese suffered during the Korean War as evidence of this.

  • Leon LaPorte
    12:49 am on January 29th, 2013 48

    47. Clueless. :roll:

    “Women have served in combat for a long time, all the policy change does is allow women to serve in units and MOSs such as armor, infantry, and special forces that they were not allowed to serve in before.”

    Contrary to this being a valid argument to allow women into combat MOS’s. This was a prime example why women should not be in the military at all.

  • Teadrinker
    3:40 am on January 29th, 2013 49


    You’re the one who’s obviously clueless. Pray tell who took care of Saddam Hussein’s soldiers, the infantry or the air force?

  • Glans
    4:56 am on January 29th, 2013 50

    Chris 39, click the link, read the article. It tells you when the USSR stopped assigning women to combat units. (I don’t have time to look now. I think it was a few years after the war.) The article also summarizes the policies and experiences of other countries.

    I neither support nor oppose women in the military. I was just pointing out something interesting to read.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:16 am on January 29th, 2013 51

    @49- Why do you continue to pass yourself off as an authority on something you know nothing about? I actually had a front row seat to the invasion of Iraq from the turret of my bradley. The Air Force was effective at bombing armored vehicles left out in the open. The Iraqis quickly figured out they had to hunker down in the cities. There was Iraqi armored vehicles left abandoned all over the place because they knew sitting in one of those vehicles meant sure destruction. Thus to get around the fighters started using civilian vehicles.

    For example the Battle of An Nasiriyah was not won by the Air Force but instead by the Marines that had to hastily move into the city because of what happened with the 507th Maintenance Company. Once the Iraqi fighters hunkered down in the cities it took tanks and infantry to defeat them. The air assets were only effective in the cities when they had infantry on the ground to call in airstrikes because they had eyes on the enemy fighters who were often dressed as civilians. Additionally the Iraqi military was not forced out of Baghdad by the Air Force, it was the Army going into the city conducting “Thunder Runs” that forced the Iraqi military to capitulate the city. I recommend you read the books No True Glory and House to House to see how the 1st and 2nd Battles of Fallujah were true close quarters infantry fights as well. The Air Force could not extract the insurgents out of Fallujah, it took infantry going house to house to clear the city.

    In Afghanistan this is another true infantry fight. In southern Afghanistan the infantry patrols every day and they do not do it by walking on main trails. That is where the IEDs are. The infantry patrols through fields that often muddy and then have to climb endless walls the Afghans construct for their grape fields. To get into compounds they often don’t go through the main gate, that is where the IEDs are, you climb over the walls. This is all something someone has to experience themselves to appreciate how hard of work it is to do. Infantry work is still not the video game you may believe it to be. Despite all the advances in technology infantry work still remains a profession that requires a high level of physical fitness, training, unit cohesion, and top leadership in order to effectively close in on the enemy and kill them. This is something the Air Force cannot do.

    As far as the Canadian military you may want to check and see what the female infantrymen are doing.

    But several women soldiers said they often felt excluded from the real fighting. No statistics were made available by the Canadian Forces on how often Canadian women were used in combat, but a frequent complaint among female veterans, in interviews, was a sense they were being passed over when it came to the real fighting.

    A Canadian Forces representative declined to comment on individual cases.

    “Participation on operations is based on the physical and mental abilities of soldiers.…This process does not include gender considerations,” said a spokesman for the Canadian Army.

    In September 2008, Cpl. Kimberly Ashton, a combat engineer, thought she was heading to Afghanistan for combat. But once there, she didn’t leave the base.

    “Not sure why they didn’t pick me…maybe because I had a family and kids,” she said.

    I saw it first hand myself in Afghanistan guess what Canadian infantrymen were often working in command centers or as the unit armorer?

    If the female infantrymen are doing the same work as the male infantrymen than why have no female infantrymen been killed in Afghanistan? The Canadian military has lost four women in Afghanistan out the 158 killed. Of the four, three were in combat and the other Michelle Mendes was a suicide. Of the three women Nichola Goddard was an artilleryman, Kristal Giesebrecht who was from a Canadian field hospital, and Karine Blais who was in a armor regiment. All three were killed while traveling in vehicles. Giesebrecht and Blais by IED’s and Goddard was killed when an RPG hit her armored vehicle during an ambush and she was standing in the turret. No Canadian women were killed while on the ground patrolling or conducting a dismounted ground operation to engage and kill the enemy.

    So you might want to quit using the Canadian example because their female infantry are largely not doing the same dirty and dangerous work as the male counterparts with a few exceptions.

  • Chris In Dallas
    5:33 am on January 29th, 2013 52

    50: Missed the link. I’m not buying this notion Stalin and the higher-ups took them out at ENDEX because they were male chauvinist pigs. Many/most of them likely were. But they adherents to Communism. Despite all the faults of that philosophy, it is very…progressive shall we say…when it comes to using human resources. If females in combat really worked, they should have kept more on the rolls if for no other reason than to free up men to make babies to repopulate the nation.

    BTW, I’ve read similar articles noting the Sovs discontinued employing females in combat roles because it was a disaster which only made sense at the time because of the bloodletting they were experiencing. Don’t remember details but I know there were references to all female ground combat units not being as able to keep up a standard optempo and prone to lots of non-combat injuries.

  • Chris In Dallas
    5:35 am on January 29th, 2013 53

    47: “Do I have to dig up that video of the Canadian female soldier in Afghanistan again?”

    Please do.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:54 am on January 29th, 2013 54

    @52- The Russians were facing total defeat and occupation of their country by the Nazis so they through every bit of manpower they could find as cannon fodder to slow down the Nazi advance. If General Teadrinker decides to lead a Canadian assault to occupy the US we may need to throw all of our females into the infantry as well to stop him. ;-)

    When not faced with a total defeat of a country the military should have its best in the infantry which due to the physical differences between the sexes will be predominantly male.

  • Liz
    6:13 am on January 29th, 2013 55

    #54 Yes, they were also resorting to cannabalism during this time, having eaten all the adhesive off of the wallpaper on their walls.

  • Teadrinker
    6:31 am on January 29th, 2013 56


    Any bayonet charges?

    4 out of 158 is a lot in light of your claims that no women would or should join combat forces.

    So, this is your pet cause now? First there was Nogunri, but nobody seems to care about that anymore. Then there was global warming, but too many polar bears have died. Then it was gays in the military, but that turned out to be much ado about nothing. Now it’s women in combat forces. What’s next? Same-sex marriages being recognized by the US military? Let me save you a lot of trouble: it will happen.

  • Teadrinker
    6:40 am on January 29th, 2013 57

    Canada has already invaded the U.S.. Why do you think we sent you Justin Bieber? So he can turn the brains of your pre-adolescent and adolescent females to mush and force your male teenagers to become effeminate in order to compete with him for attention. The birthrate will drop to just a few decimal points. Your country will be ours for the taking in the matter of only one or two generations. Mhuhaha!!!!!

  • Bobby Ray
    7:05 am on January 29th, 2013 58

    Teadrinker thats only going to happen in your snowblind dreams. Them mexicans beat you to it years ago and it aint going to be so funny when they cross the border and find canada is theirs for the taking when their work here is done. I wish I was just joshin you but I aint.

  • Teadrinker
    8:03 am on January 29th, 2013 59


    Never underestimate the Beliebers. ;-)

  • Glans
    8:20 am on January 29th, 2013 60

    For the convenience of the ROK Droppin’ community, here again is the link to Drew Lindsay’s “Women Warriors” at HistoryNet. I think it gives an honest account of the experience of the Soviet Union – and of many other countries – with female soldiers.

    It also had this fun fact: “At least eight nations — including Israel, China, North Korea, and Taiwan — draft women for the military.” As usual, Israel is in good company.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    5:28 am on January 30th, 2013 61

    @56- Once again you do not know what you are commenting about. I never said few women would join combat forces. I said few women would join the infantry. Big difference. There is already a lot of women in US military combat forces. In the Canadian military there has only been two women in combat arms branches that were killed in combat. There has been no female infantrymen killed. If female infantrymen were tasked to do the same jobs as their male counterparts there should be female infantrymen killed in combat. There is not because they are not doing the same jobs with a few exceptions.

    As far as bayonet charges in Iraq we were issued bayonets that we carried on our LBE’s. I never had to use it. But, there has been bayonet charges in Iraq and in Afghanistan by infantry. During close quarters combat in Fallujah, the Marines fixed bayonets during the invasion of the city. Infantry have had to use knives in close quarters combat in Iraq before as well. It is rare but bayonets are still used. If you knew about the subject you were talking about you would know this. Regardless this issue of bayonets is irrelevant to women serving in the infantry.

    The fact that you bring up Nogun-ri and other issues shows that you know you have lost the argument and are trying to deflect attention at hand. Even when you try to change the subject you do not even know what you are talking about. Please point out where I was against gays in the military? I have supported gays in the military as long as they are treated equal as everyone else to include marriage benefits. You might want to quit commenting on this thread because at this point you are embarrassing yourself.

  • Glans
    7:23 am on January 30th, 2013 62

    @61- what is an LBE?

  • Chris In Dallas
    4:48 pm on January 30th, 2013 63

    62: Load Bearing Equipment. Here’s a pic:

    Note, this may not be the exact gear used today.

  • jim
    7:55 pm on January 30th, 2013 64

    62/63, at least here in korea, units are using interceptor body armor. the vests have all sorts of loops that allow you to attach just about anything to them anywhere you want.

  • Onezime
    8:57 pm on January 30th, 2013 65


    You’re obfuscating the obvious, which is that the act of fixing bayonets in the situations you describe is nothing like what I was clearly referring too, which are instances in which opposing forces charging one another. That very rarely happens nowadays.

    ” I have supported gays in the military as long as they are treated equal as everyone else to include marriage benefits.”

    Right, because making unsubstantiated claims about how they would be asking for preferential treatment, and complaining about it for months on end, was a great way of showing your support.

  • Onezime
    9:00 pm on January 30th, 2013 66

    I’m Teadrinker, by the way.

  • Chris In Dallas
    8:48 am on January 31st, 2013 67

    51: GI Korea, the Wall Street Journal article regarding Canadian females not going out to take care of business despite being in combat units mirrors my experience with females in support units except for one issue. The article hints males are keeping them on post to protect them. From my experience there is another reason.

    I did time in both 7th ID and 24th ID forward support battalions. When we were in the field, we would set up in brigade support areas (BSAs). They were sort of like stripped down and mobile FOBs. At various times we would have to send logistcal elements forward or conduct security patrols. We almost never sent females on these endeavors. The reasons were as follows:

    1. They were physically incapable of performing their jobs with minimal supervision and back-up.

    2. Even if you put a female on one of these missions, there was a high probability she would wind up injuring herself and be completely out of commission.

    3. With rare exceptions they really didn’t want to go “outside the wire”. Sure, you could send them out anyhow. Send them out and they would tend to hinder performance with a crappy attitude. That is until they started to complain about being injured (real or fake) then they got to be out of the picture anyhow!


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