Encourage women to fly fighter jets. We excel in the skies. Let women direct drones. It’s important stuff, but it is ridiculous to believe a majority of women in any arm of the Military have the physical strength of the men they serve with. Female officers were allowed to volunteer for the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer course. Two applied and neither made it, one due to the endurance test (26 males also did not finish) and the second had unnamed medical problems.
In addition to allowing women to volunteer for IOC, the Marines will allow enlisted women to volunteer to train with the infantry training battalion for research purposes. The Corps will give men and women volunteers a strength test to see how they respond to heavy machine gun lift, casualty evacuation and “march under load” assessments, according to a service-wide message released in April. Source: Military.com
Obviously, there will be a few women capable of lifting the machine gun, capable of successfully evacuating their injured 250-lb team member, and few will carry their load on a prescribed march, but there won’t be many, and especially there will not be many for sustained periods of time. Is that the case with the first and only female Green Beret? I don’t know, but many believe they do know.
He added that being a SEAL is not just about physical strength. “I don’t think the idea is to select G.I. Jane and put her through SEAL training, but there are a number of things that a man and a woman can do together that two guys can’t,” said Olson. “I don’t think it’s as important that they can do a lot of push-ups. I think it’s much more important what they’re made of and whether or not they have the courage and the intellectual agility to do that.”
While women serve in the U.S. special forces community as information specialists and civil affairs specialists, there are currently no female SEALs, Green Berets, Rangers or Marine special operators as a result of the 1994 combat exclusion policy that precludes women from being assigned to ground combat units.
The remainder of the Admiral Olson story is that he needs more women to go into Afghan villages to work with the women. That’s generally done wearing a headscarf.
I did some research to see how many high-level female officers in any of the military services have faced real combat (although I recognize that medical teams serve in very dangerous situations). I found one, maybe there’s more. That one is Captain Linda Bray. Her unit was not intended to be in an assault position, but ended up in one, and her actions were exemplary.
Female military have been prisoners of war and were incredibly brave in the presence of extreme cruelty. Major Rhonda Cornum is one. Shoshanna Johnson is one. Jessica Lynch is one, maybe. If this undated story is correct (and I’m not saying it is) four of her rescuers are dead. I’m sure there are numerous more. Anytime male or female soldiers are in a war zone assigned to a front line support unit, their lives are in in danger.
Colonel Martha McSally was the first woman to fly in combat and to command a fighter squadron. There are some things women cannot get past in today’s war zones and the DOD was reluctant to tear down those barriers:
While stationed in Saudi Arabia, she led the charge to remove restrictions on U.S. military women abroad, including Department of Defense policies that forced American women to wear Muslim garb and be escorted by males while in the Middle East.
McSally described the discrimination she felt overseas to TheDC.
“I’d have to sit in the back and at all times, I must be escorted by a male who, if asked, is supposed to say I’m his wife,” McSally said.
“I can fly a single-seat aircraft in hostile territory, but in Saudi Arabia I can’t drive a vehicle,” she added.
In 2001, she faced a court martial for refusing to wear an abaya, a traditional Muslim garb that female service members were sometimes required to wear while serving in Saudi Arabia. In 2002, “60 Minutes” covered the case, and McSally briefly became something of a celebrity.
McSally won her lawsuit, and in 2002 the Defense Department announced it would no longer require women in the military to wear the abaya. Source: Daily Caller
I believe women have an important part to play in the defense of our country, but on the ground, on the front lines isn’t the place, in my opinion. The plan is not yet finalized. Panetta “is giving Military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.”
Watch the bar be lowered.