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Women in Combat Roles

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GreenGoo
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:31 am

Gavin wrote:
dbt1949 wrote:I'm too lazy but why doesn't someone research the Russian women of WW2 fighting in the army?
Great idea!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_wom ... rld_War_II" target="_blank

Very interesting but it doesn't do much about qualitative performance. Most of the female heros got killed and I haven't exactly figured out how they got their elevated status of hero. Does anyone know why Manshuk Mametova got her status? The wiki-page is deplorably sparse.

Another woman, Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, is famous for not giving up names despite being tortured and "humiliated".

I can't find better examples. There's Zinaida Portnova who was captured and shot one of her captors before being caught and killed.

I'd be interested in seeing a unit of female troops. It would completely side step the issue of them holding stronger male soldiers back. We could also make qualitative distinctions between the units.
I just assumed there wouldn't be quantitative data from that era/occurence. I think we can all agree that if the apocalypse comes, and we're fighting for our very freedom and/or lives, we're going to need guns in every capable hand, and that includes women and very probably children too. At which point, as Rip mentioned, having a woman (or kid) with a gun beside you is better than having no one beside you.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:44 am

GreenGoo wrote:I just assumed there wouldn't be quantitative data from that era/occurence. I think we can all agree that if the apocalypse comes, and we're fighting for our very freedom and/or lives, we're going to need guns in every capable hand, and that includes women and very probably children too. At which point, as Rip mentioned, having a woman (or kid) with a gun beside you is better than having no one beside you.
Absolutley, that Zinaida Portnova I mentioned was both a woman and a kid. She was killed before she turned 18. They only got the opportunity because the Germans had slaughtered so many of the male Russian soldiers. Interestingly enough, the women started as medical staff and the medical staff had to use rifles while recieving units which provided some data for the Russians that, "Hey, women + gun = man killer in a good way". They then started pumping out snipers and such to great effect. Guns are the perfect equalizer anyways.
Last edited by Gavin on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:25 pm

Gavin wrote:
Rip wrote:There is certainly good representation throughout history to attest to the fact that they can be every bit as brave and courageous as a man.
Absolutley.
Not to mention that in the proper situations they can do things a man could never do.
Yes, there being significant differences between men and women mean different strengths and weaknesses that play to/detract from specific situations. I don't know what physical activities you're thinking of but even being smaller has its advantages.
I wasn't thinking of physical activities, actually I was thinking about crytography. The were several promininet female code breakers (Miss Aggie comes to mind) and many jobs especially in the old manual ways of doing it in which women commonly perofrmed superior to their male counterpart. Of course being the sexists they were back then the male commanders they worked for often got much of the credit for the results.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:32 pm

Rip wrote:I wasn't thinking of physical activities, actually I was thinking about crytography. The were several promininet female code breakers (Miss Aggie comes to mind) and many jobs especially in the old manual ways of doing it in which women commonly perofrmed superior to their male counterpart. Of course being the sexists they were back then the male commanders they worked for often got much of the credit for the results.
Are you saying the female mind is more adept at cryptography? Don't get me wrong, there is substantive data that shows differences between the way genders process information (including an interesting mythbusters episode or two). So I'm not dismissing your words per se but I generally thought both genders were good at cryptology and men moreso due to historical gender roles detracting from female interest in pursuing such career choices.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:49 pm

Gavin wrote:
Rip wrote:I wasn't thinking of physical activities, actually I was thinking about crytography. The were several promininet female code breakers (Miss Aggie comes to mind) and many jobs especially in the old manual ways of doing it in which women commonly perofrmed superior to their male counterpart. Of course being the sexists they were back then the male commanders they worked for often got much of the credit for the results.
Are you saying the female mind is more adept at cryptography? Don't get me wrong, there is substantive data that shows differences between the way genders process information (including an interesting mythbusters episode or two). So I'm not dismissing your words per se but I generally thought both genders were good at cryptology and men moreso due to historical gender roles detracting from female interest in pursuing such career choices.
It wasn't that or just that. It had a lot to do with the process at the time. There was a lot of iteractive manipulations of decoding equipment, etc that lent itself to being performed by females.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Gavin » Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:26 pm

Rip wrote:It wasn't that or just that. It had a lot to do with the process at the time. There was a lot of iteractive manipulations of decoding equipment, etc that lent itself to being performed by females.
Interesting, is there any such equivalent in today's military?

I know that the thinner blood vessels in their necks allow them to withstand G-force and atmospheric pressure better than us (Piloting/Submarining).

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:23 pm

Gavin wrote:
Rip wrote:It wasn't that or just that. It had a lot to do with the process at the time. There was a lot of iteractive manipulations of decoding equipment, etc that lent itself to being performed by females.
Interesting, is there any such equivalent in today's military?

I know that the thinner blood vessels in their necks allow them to withstand G-force and atmospheric pressure better than us (Piloting/Submarining).
Being able to withstand G-forces and atmospheric pressure better does nothing to improve their ability to operate a submarine.


In relevant news...
An incident report filed with the Navy last month alleges at least three female officers were videotaped at various times over a year long period. The recordings might then have been distributed to some members of the crew.
The incidents took place on board the USS Wyoming, which is currently on deployment, The Navy does not discuss the exact locations of its submarines when they are at sea. For now, no one has been taken into custody or removed from the boat, the official said.
http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/04/politics/ ... ?hpt=hp_t2

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:00 pm

Two female Marine officers who volunteered to attempt the Corps’ challenging Infantry Officer Course did not proceed beyond the first day of the course, a Marine Corps spokesperson confirms to the Free Beacon. The two were the only female officers attempting the course in the current cycle, which began Thursday in Quantico, Virginia.

With the two most recent drops, there have been 29 attempts by female officers to pass the course since women have been allowed to volunteer, with none making it to graduation. (At least one woman has attempted the course more than once.) Only three female officers have made it beyond the initial day of training, a grueling evaluation known as the Combat Endurance Test, or CET. Male officers also regularly fail to pass the CET, and the overall course has a substantial attrition rate for males.
http://freebeacon.com/blog/exclusive-tw ... ry-course/

At least it doesn't appear they have watered down what is required, at least not yet.
This situation has led some involved with the policy debate in Washington, D.C., to suggest that the standards at the officer’s course in Quantico–which are substantially higher than for the enlisted course–are unrealistically challenging, and need to be lowered.
The Marine Corps is in a tough spot. Marines follow orders, and the order is to integrate the genders. But the effort to integrate has revealed something that is uncomfortable for proponents of reform: Keeping the traditionally high standards of the Marine infantry will result in a situation where there are a handful of enlisted female Marines in every infantry battalion, and effectively no female infantry officers.

Pressure will become tremendous to reduce those standards–something that the overwhelming majority of Marines, including those women who currently wish to serve in the infantry, believe would be damaging to the service.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:04 am

Anyone with a lick of common sense would have known this would be result. Marine infantry are going to be in the top x percentile physically, so given that woman automatically start behind physically, what are the odds you'll find a woman that can surpass males in the top x percentile? Apparently it's pretty close to zero.

It will be interesting if they can withstand the pressure to relax standards.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Isgrimnur » Sat Jan 10, 2015 12:51 am

October
For the first time, three women have passed the Marine Corp’s grueling physical test to become infantry officers, potentially paving the way for women to lead Marines into combat.
...
Before this week, one woman had passed the CET, but had to drop out of the remainder of infantry officer training, known as the Infantry Officers Course (IOC) with a stress fracture.
There will come a day where some woman makes it through.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:13 am

Isgrimnur wrote:October
For the first time, three women have passed the Marine Corp’s grueling physical test to become infantry officers, potentially paving the way for women to lead Marines into combat.
...
Before this week, one woman had passed the CET, but had to drop out of the remainder of infantry officer training, known as the Infantry Officers Course (IOC) with a stress fracture.
There will come a day where some woman makes it through.
They passes the CET but failed the rest of the course and were asked to leave. They failed to keep up during a training exercise/hike.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Fri May 08, 2015 7:52 pm

None of the remaining eight female candidates going through the Army Ranger School made it out of the first phase of training at Fort Benning, Ga., defense officials told Fox News -- though they scored high enough to try again as early as next week.

The candidates were the first women to train for the elite force as part of a program that began in February.

While they did not do well enough to move on to the next phase of training, an Army Ranger statement said the eight women -- along with 101 men in the same situation -- will be "recycled," meaning they can re-do the training phase in an upcoming Ranger School session.

A total of 60 women were originally slated to participate in Ranger Assessment Phase (RAP), according to the Pentagon in January. The Army Times reported in February that 100 women went into the pre-training phase, and in April, 19 women qualified for the first training phase, known as Darby. Within days, that number was down to eight.

The next Darby Phase starts May 14, which is when the female candidates can try again. There are two more subsequent phases, for a total of 61 days in Ranger School.

Maj. Gen. Scott Miller, commanding general of the Maneuver Center of Excellence, described those moving on and being "recycled" as a "strong group of soldiers, who are working their way through the U.S. Army's most physically and mentally demanding course."

The training is notoriously difficult, and while eight women and 101 men have to start the training over, about 35 male Ranger students had to drop out entirely because they failed to meet the standards.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05 ... latestnews

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by hepcat » Fri May 08, 2015 8:23 pm

Those men they mentioned?

Image

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Holman » Fri May 08, 2015 8:40 pm

A question unrelated to gender: how many American soldiers in 1914 or 1941 would have been able to pass 2015's Ranger Training School? Would failure rates have been higher or lower than today?

I assume that failure rates would be higher since today's top-of-the-top candidates have probably been (in one way or another) training for it all their lives.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:06 am

http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/17/politics/ ... index.html
Today, the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence announced 94 men and two women met the standards of the Swamp Phase and will graduate the Ranger Course. Ranger School is the Army's premier combat leadership course, teaching Ranger students how to overcome fatigue, hunger, and stress to lead Soldiers during small unit combat operations. A graduation ceremony will be held on August 21, 2015 on Victory Pond at Fort Benning, Georgia for those students who met the standards of the entire Ranger Course.

:clap:

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:20 pm

Rip wrote:http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/17/politics/ ... index.html
Today, the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence announced 94 men and two women met the standards of the Swamp Phase and will graduate the Ranger Course. Ranger School is the Army's premier combat leadership course, teaching Ranger students how to overcome fatigue, hunger, and stress to lead Soldiers during small unit combat operations. A graduation ceremony will be held on August 21, 2015 on Victory Pond at Fort Benning, Georgia for those students who met the standards of the entire Ranger Course.

:clap:
I agree.

Until 1954 no one could run a 4 minute mile. Now it's the base measurement of a middle distance runner's ability.

I've been of two stances on this.

1) It was only a matter of time

but also

2) The course standard are somewhat arbitrary. Lowering the standard would allow more women to meet them, but then people are concerned about the safety of the rest of the soldiers, implying that a lower standard puts soldiers lives at risk. Well, they are already at risk. By that logic, we should raise the standard, which would save even more lives.

I understand that there has to be a reasonable standard, so that enough soldiers can meet it and so we can get enough soldiers qualified. I don't know why that reasonable standard can't be low enough to allow (some) women to qualify, while remaining high enough to be very physically demanding and thus a useful standard to use for soldiers.

In any case, it seems like we're starting to hit the first stance, so maybe the second stance isn't as important any longer. We'll see.

Congrats to the women who qualified. That's a major accomplishment no matter what your gender is.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by El Guapo » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:29 pm

So what exactly are these two women now qualified to do? This says that:
Odierno said no final decisions have been made on whether to open the Army’s infantry or armor units to women, but he expected those to be made shortly.
If they don't open up the infantry or armor units, what units would they likely be assigned to?

Though from Odierno's other comments in the article it sounds like the lifting of a ban on women is imminent for at least some of the infantry and armor units.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:00 pm

The verdict is in:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/marines-wre ... 1441928742
The Marine Corps released research data showing that all-male teams outperformed units comprising men and women in 69% of ground-combat tasks, especially those that involve carrying heavy ammunition or weapons.

The findings, Marine officers said, show mixed-gender units are less effective in combat and more likely to suffer casualties than traditional all-male units.

The Marines appeared to be laying the groundwork for such a decision by releasing selected data from an extensive study it conducted to test mixed-gender ground units. In a summary of the findings, the Marines cited a 1992 presidential report that concluded: “Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desire or interest of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.”

The study found that in 93 of 134 tasks, all-male teams outperformed mixed-gender teams. In 39 tasks, there was no difference. In two tasks, the mixed-gender teams performed better.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by hepcat » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:35 pm

My stance on this has become less reactionary over the last year. I don't really see it as a sexist issue when there's evidence like this to support the conclusions. At that point it simply becomes a matter of biology.

I still think that many all of the complaints that were based around unproven psychological aspects (they're too "emotional" or incapable of the same level of bravery as men) are sexist and out of date though.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:41 pm

Sigh. We've been over this. Why not cut the weakest members on the all men's teams? That should improve their performance too, right?

While I agree that you want to field the strongest soldiers you can, you also want to field lots of soldiers. We test physical readiness already, right? Why is that particular test the effective cutoff point? What thoughts and science went into picked that particular number?

If we have, say, a pushup test that requires 60 pushups in a minute or less, is the team going suffer significantly if the member can only do 59 pushups instead of the guy who can do 61 pushups?

I get that we need to have standards and cut off points and evaluation, I'm just not sure that this particular cutoff point is that important. Sure, it seems important, but is it really?

Every time I hear someone talk about the risk to men on the front line if women are there too, because the top men are better than the top women, I always wonder why they think everything is perfect the way it is. By that logic, the best male soldiers are already at risk from the weaker male soldiers. Why not raise the bar even higher, if the goal is to produce the best fighting force you can?

No one is going to be surprised that women, in general, are weaker, shorter and less physically able than men, in general. Anyone who says they aren't has a lot of data to refute. Putting women in combat is not about being PC. It's about giving those that qualify a chance to fight for their country.

We have female cops, female fire fighters, female pilots, female miners, female all sorts of shit that is physically demanding and potentially life threatening. I find it hard to believe that women would significantly increase the risk on the front lines.

Shrug.

It's your military, do what you want of course. I think you're the last western country left without female combatants.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:55 pm

GreenGoo wrote: It's your military, do what you want of course. I think you're the last western country left without female combatants.
You do realize this is just USMC combat units, right? The US Army has female "combatants" and the Navy and Air Force have female combat pilots. Last time I looked there were two women who had received their US Army Ranger tabs.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:07 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:
GreenGoo wrote: It's your military, do what you want of course. I think you're the last western country left without female combatants.
You do realize this is just USMC combat units, right? The US Army has female "combatants" and the Navy and Air Force have female combat pilots. Last time I looked there were two women who had received their US Army Ranger tabs.
No I didn't, thanks for educating me.

I also see I wrote pretty much the exact same thing i did here, before. I'll shut up now.

Can I ask why you put combatants in quotes?

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:09 pm

It isn't about how many pushups you can do it is about doing real world tasks that are required. Some(few) mix gender teams did better at some tasks.
Col. Anne Weinberg, a senior Marine officer overseeing the research, said further work is needed to determine whether better training could narrow the gap. “I think what we showed was average females in our current population do not perform as well as average males,” she said.

One of the tasks involved firing a .50-caliber machine gun from atop a dirt mound. The mixed-gender teams were more accurate, on average. But the all-male teams scored better when the task included lugging the heavy weapon and its ammunition to the firing position.

“We weren’t trying to make them do something that was unrealistic. Machine-gunners are required to carry their machine guns,” said Paul Johnson, the study’s principal investigator.


The researchers generally found women performed worse and were more susceptible to injury when maneuvering while loaded down with heavy gear. To serve in the infantry, Marines must march 24.8 miles in eight hours while carrying 114 pounds of equipment. A loader on a howitzer crew must repeatedly hoist 100-pound shells into a cannon at a rapid clip.
It is all about measuring the ability to do the tasks the job requires.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Smoove_B » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:14 pm

Rip wrote:It is all about measuring the ability to do the tasks the job requires.
Like dunking a basketball. Having never served in combat I don't know what is involved in training, but I do know that unit cohesiveness is critical. I would imagine that if there's any doubt in someone's mind as to whether or not you can do something (man or woman) that's going to be a problem when the bullets start to fly.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by LawBeefaroni » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:17 pm

GreenGoo wrote: Can I ask why you put combatants in quotes?
Because not all the roles are front line roles but they do see combat. And I'm not sure where military police would fit in.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Fri Sep 11, 2015 4:23 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Rip wrote:It is all about measuring the ability to do the tasks the job requires.
Like dunking a basketball. Having never served in combat I don't know what is involved in training, but I do know that unit cohesiveness is critical. I would imagine that if there's any doubt in someone's mind as to whether or not you can do something (man or woman) that's going to be a problem when the bullets start to fly.
She can dunk a basketball but notice there are no mixed sex NBA teams and if there were you can bet they would not perform as well as all male ones.

How can we expect both sexes to fight in the same military unit when we won't even let them play on the same professional sports teams?

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Grifman » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:07 pm

GreenGoo wrote:Sigh. We've been over this. Why not cut the weakest members on the all men's teams? That should improve their performance too, right?
Sigh, yes, we have, and now we have data which we didn't before rather than guesswork.

And you don't cut the weakest members because you have to have enough troops. We could pick a unit of only the top soldiers and have the best unit but that won't give you a large army, will it? If we don't need female solider to fill out combat units, why settle for inferiority?
While I agree that you want to field the strongest soldiers you can, you also want to field lots of soldiers.
And I see no reason we can't do that with male only combat units. Hasn't seemed to have been a problem in the past when we had a much bigger army. Please demonstrate that we need female combatants in order to fill out our combat units, otherwise this argument is a non-starter.
We test physical readiness already, right? Why is that particular test the effective cutoff point? What thoughts and science went into picked that particular number?
Yes, but more men are going to be above the minimum, that's just biological fact. So an all male unit is going to be stronger as a unit - that's my theory as to what is happening.. As for the tasks involve and why they were selected I guess you're going to have to read the report when it comes out if you want more details.

Actually, more on this below.
If we have, say, a pushup test that requires 60 pushups in a minute or less, is the team going suffer significantly if the member can only do 59 pushups instead of the guy who can do 61 pushups?
Sigh, that's not what these tests were about even about. They are about having teams do things they would do in combat - not PT standards. They were lugging machineguns, mortars, firing them, changing tires on vehicles, etc. All the tasks were combat related. Here are some examples:
All-male 0311 (rifleman) infantry squads had better accuracy compared to gender-integrated squads. There was a notable difference between genders for every individual weapons system (i.e. M4, M27, and M203) within the 0311 squads, except for the probability of hit & near miss with the M4.

All-male infantry crew-served weapons teams engaged targets quicker and registered more hits on target as compared to gender-integrated infantry crew-served weapons teams, with the exception of M2 accuracy.

All-male squads, teams and crews and gender-integrated squads, teams, and crews had a noticeable difference in their performance of the basic combat tasks of negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties. For example, when negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top. During casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups, except in the case where teams conducted a casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who “evacuated” the casualty)


The report also says that female Marines had higher rates of injury throughout the experiment.
I get that we need to have standards and cut off points and evaluation, I'm just not sure that this particular cutoff point is that important. Sure, it seems important, but is it really?
The issues noted above seem pretty important to me, what about you? Would you rather serve in a unit that moves faster, can evacuate its casualties faster, sets up weapons faster and fires them more accurately? Or one that does these more slowly? I know which one I'd rather serve in.
Every time I hear someone talk about the risk to men on the front line if women are there too, because the top men are better than the top women, I always wonder why they think everything is perfect the way it is. By that logic, the best male soldiers are already at risk from the weaker male soldiers. Why not raise the bar even higher, if the goal is to produce the best fighting force you can?
The argument isn't about the best. It's about relative combat performance between two possible options. If you know that mixed gender units are going to perform worst in combat, why on earth would you field such units? And who on earth would want to serve in them?
No one is going to be surprised that women, in general, are weaker, shorter and less physically able than men, in general. Anyone who says they aren't has a lot of data to refute. Putting women in combat is not about being PC. It's about giving those that qualify a chance to fight for their country.
It's totally PC if their performance doesn't match up. As was quoted above, I'll quote it again:

Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desire or interest of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.

Tell me how you explain to a young man that you are willingly and with foreknowledge going to put in a unit that will be inferior to that of his opponent, or inferior to the unit you could have sent into combat. What would you say to him? Sorry, son, you have to go with the army you have, not the one you wish you had? :)
We have female cops, female fire fighters, female pilots, female miners, female all sorts of shit that is physically demanding and potentially life threatening. I find it hard to believe that women would significantly increase the risk on the front lines.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by em2nought » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:44 pm

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by hepcat » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:18 pm

Keep your day job.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:39 pm

My pushup example was purely hypothetical. It's particularly frustrating when people seize on a hypothetical and refute it literally, instead of realizing it's there for illustrative purposes, not as a specific topic to argue over.

You could just as easily replace pushups with seconds to dismantle or construct a machine gun nest, or haul bodies out of harm's way, or whatever it takes to satisfy people so that they stop worrying about the task itself, rather than the metrics and what those metrics actually mean.

In any case, Lawbeef has already pointed out that there are already woman combatants in your military. That the marines don't want them is not much of a surprise.

The marine argument is that women aren't as good as men. That's irrelevant. The argument should be "are women good enough?" and that answer depends on what metrics you use and what the cutoff point is. There is no reason to believe that the current cutoff point is the exact right measure, and anything less is dangerous and anything more is unneeded.

To repeat, this study suggests that multi-gender teams don't perform as well as male only teams on a majority of tasks, even though they perform a couple of them better and a some about the same. I don't think anyone is surprised by that, especially if those tasks are based on physical strength, so while it's nice to have data, it doesn't change anything. Do multi-gender teams perform well enough to be combat effective? That's the question that matters.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:58 pm

Grifman wrote: It's totally PC if their performance doesn't match up. As was quoted above, I'll quote it again:

Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desire or interest of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.

I was going to comment on this the first time you quoted it. That you've quoted it again makes me think you think it's important or relevant.

First, it's from 1992. More than 2 decades ago. We have many real world examples of women performing in combat in a modern army now. We also have opinions of those serving beside them.

Second, I agree that risking lives for career opportunities is a bad thing. But that's begging the question. Showing me that multi-gender teams perform worse in general is useful, but not damning. Did those teams perform "well enough"? When testing all male teams, some teams are going to be at the top, and some at the bottom. Are those at the bottom risking the lives of military units? If not, why not? If so but it's an acceptable risk, why is this acceptable but women in combat roles is not?

And let's not forget that the multi-gender teams performed as well as or better than the all male teams in almost a third of the tests. That actually surprises me a little and I assume those tasks weren't as physically demanding as the others. I'm probably going to take a closer look at the tasks themselves, because I think it would be interesting to know specifically how the marines determine combat effectiveness.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:13 am

My personal preference would be to go into combat with superman and Captain America, but they don't exist in the same universe so...I guess I'd have to pick superman.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:17 am

Grifman wrote:
We have female cops, female fire fighters, female pilots, female miners, female all sorts of shit that is physically demanding and potentially life threatening. I find it hard to believe that women would significantly increase the risk on the front lines.
The facts are not constrained by your inability to believe. The fact that you cannot believe something isn't really an argument. People used to not believe that the world was round and we know how that ended :)
You haven't shown me that it significantly increases the risk, only that's potentially riskier than all male teams, and even then, not for all tasks (admittedly, about twice as many as showed no increased risk at all).

My disbelief is not in the face of evidence of increased risk which we already understood and didn't need a study to realize, my disbelief is that the increased risk is unacceptably high.
Last edited by GreenGoo on Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Blackhawk » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:19 am

I can't really give much of an opinion without knowing a lot more about the tests. It would be really, really easy to rig a test like this, and the military certainly has the motivation to create a justification for preventing this sort of integration.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:22 am

Blackhawk wrote:I can't really give much of an opinion without knowing a lot more about the tests. It would be really, really easy to rig a test like this, and the military certainly has the motivation to create a justification for preventing this sort of integration.
I'm confident that the tests are standard tests and useful for testing combat effectiveness. I also assume that these tests existed long before women were considered for combat roles (meaning that they are unbiased for or against women).

If there is corruption (either for or against) then the study is untrustworthy and should be disregarded in it's entirety, but I would hope and expect that not be the case.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Unagi » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:29 am

Grifman wrote:The verdict is in:
Ahh, but know your enemy...

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:45 am

Unagi wrote:
Grifman wrote:The verdict is in:
Ahh, but know your enemy...
I admit that I am somewhat frustrated by how effective these ignorant savages are. Watching as they take and ravage territory after territory is a little mind boggling in this day and age. It would be hilarious if women combatants broke their morale and ended it, but I think that's unlikely.

For the record, while I'm pro- women combatants, I'm very leery of any reports that seem too good to be true. In this case I can believe it, as it's not the fighting effectiveness that won the day (although they are clearly brave and have fighting spirit).

The media is apt to exaggerate female roles in combat, and politicians, well, they're politicians. I do appreciate real world evidence (as opposed to media hype pieces) and first hand accounts from both women and the men that fight beside them.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Blackhawk » Sat Sep 12, 2015 12:51 am

GreenGoo wrote:
Blackhawk wrote:I can't really give much of an opinion without knowing a lot more about the tests. It would be really, really easy to rig a test like this, and the military certainly has the motivation to create a justification for preventing this sort of integration.
I'm confident that the tests are standard tests and useful for testing combat effectiveness. I also assume that these tests existed long before women were considered for combat roles (meaning that they are unbiased for or against women).
They may be, and yet there could still be a lot of ways to skew them, from selection of volunteers to interpretation of data to how much relevance they gave each segment in the report. For instance, there seems to have been a lot of focus on pure muscle power, where women are naturally weaker on average. I wonder if they compared them on SERE (where I think women would excel.)

Not every soldier in a unit lugs a machine gun. If they were smart, they'd find where women excel in combat and take that into account when forming mixed gender units.
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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by GreenGoo » Sat Sep 12, 2015 1:04 am

Well, to a certain extent frontline combatants have to be interchangeable. When the big guy assigned to lugging the 50 mm cannon around is incapacitated, does that screw the whole team? If WWII films are any indication, sometimes, but I'm sure in reality, not so much and the goal would be not at all.

In the short term, I can accept women in units with specific tasks designed around less physical needs than some of the others. Combat engineers/demolition or whatever else, but I think the long term goal should be full integration. And as we progress we should see better performance by everyone including women in the future. See my 4 minute mile example from earlier in the thread.

And all this is based on the idea that the women are fit and trained and strong. We're not talking about throwing your aunt sally into an elite fighting force and then complaining that women don't perform as well (I'm not suggesting that's what they're doing, only that my opinion is based on women who have been rigorously trained).

I'm not sure how much flexibility there is in determining what is appropriate and acceptable performance, but I would think there is some room. Maybe women who come within 5 or 10% of the current metrics? That might exclude all of them, I don't know, but my experience in athletics (which is not combat, obviously) is that women are pretty damn good at stuff. Especially stuff that is based on physical skill rather than physical strength.

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Re: Women in Combat Roles

Post by Rip » Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:49 am

GreenGoo wrote:My personal preference would be to go into combat with superman and Captain America, but they don't exist in the same universe so...I guess I'd have to pick superman.
No wonder woman.

Sexist.

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