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United States Armed Forces finally recognizes combat duty of women

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Posts

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.

    Space, buddy, I am going to do you a solid here and help you not look like an asshole. The fact that adultery is a punishable offense isn't ACTUALLY your favorite thing about the military, right? You like it. It might be your favorite thing about the UCMJ. But your favorite thing about an organization that killed Osama Bin Laden isn't that it's illegal to fuck someone who isn't your wife.

    Right?

    BastableSo It Goes
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    McDermott the only solution is to kill anyone who is caught disobeying orders.

    Bam. All our problems are solved.

    Bastable
  • BastableBastable Registered User regular
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.

    Yeah, it's like shooting soldiers for cowardice during wwI when all that was happening was that they were experiencing shell shock or what we blanket term PTSD today. It does not solve the problem, unless the problem is punishing poor sods.

    Dixon (Phycology of military incompetence) noted a correlation with bad/incompetent officers and officers who were prudish as well. It seems officers that focused on such matters were a lot poorer at actually leading "men" in battle.

    Philippe about the tactical deployment of german Kradschützen during the battle of Kursk:
    "I think I can comment on this because I used to live above the Baby Doll Lounge, a topless bar that was once frequented by bikers in lower Manhattan."

  • EgretEgret Registered User regular
    SammyF wrote: »
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.

    Space, buddy, I am going to do you a solid here and help you not look like an asshole. The fact that adultery is a punishable offense isn't ACTUALLY your favorite thing about the military, right? You like it. It might be your favorite thing about the UCMJ. But your favorite thing about an organization that killed Osama Bin Laden isn't that it's illegal to fuck someone who isn't your wife.

    Right?

    In SKFM's defense, Bin Laden did not commit adultery.

    QuidEvigilantSo It Goesspacekungfumanagoaj
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Evigilant wrote: »
    This is all bullshit. We value results over masculine attributes. Tall skinny guys, or short fat guys always, always get stuck with the crew served weapon. When I was team leader, my driver was 4'8". I'm 6'1 and I weigh around 150lbs on a bad day, and 145lbs usually. I have done everything in a team or squad: from team leader, squad leader, driver, gunner, security dismount, whatever. Tall, skinny, big, fat, it doesn't matter. Like mcdermott said, it's a "check in the box" (btw, I hate that phrase so much). Everyone knows how to ruck, everyone is supposed to know how to shoot and move and communicate, some units do it better than others because of their specialty (like an infantry unit will do it better than a support unit), but that support unit at least knows the fundamentals and basics (In theory).

    I used to hate "check the box" training because I was young and stupid and wanted to go do the cool shit I found fun.

    Now I hate "check the box" training because of the attitude all the young and stupid soldiers have towards it, including calling it "check the box" training. Because I understand the purpose.

    I really hate it when leadership treats it as "check the box" training.

    When I was squad leader, of course I knew who was better at what, but I also knew that when my best went down, I had other people able to step in and pick up that slack, or I'd do it. If I went down, I know someone in my squad was going to take my place, because I had been training them on it.

    I don't know about your units, but in mine there's always the chance that a guy in your squad will be out for the day due to illness or injury, and you'll wind up with a guy from another squad entirely to fill the role. You may have no idea whatsoever what his strengths and weaknesses are. But you know what tasks he can perform to standard, and you can at least hope he's familiar with the unit SOP.

    Soldiers aren't snowflakes, m i rite?

    And mcdermott, FA batteries (line units) are male only since it's a combat arms MOS. Now, there are some MOS's in the 13 series that allow women, but those MOS's don't see combat all that often, and those are usually a few individuals rather than a company/battery.

    Here's how badly women are being treated in my primary MOS:

    4. Field Artillery:

    It is important for all female officers considering the Field Artillery as their branch of choice to fully understand the implications of the current DOD policy excluding females from service in MLRS and Cannon units based on the collocation exclusion criteria. This policy limits the opportunities for female officers to gain credible Field Artillery leadership experiences and tactical and technical training proficiency. This policy places an additional burden on female Field Artillery officers to remain competitive with their male peers.
    Currently female officers cannot be assigned to Field Artillery tactical battalions (TOE units - cannon or rocket). Therefore, female officers are excluded from many of the primary leadership positions (platoon leader, fire direction officer, and fire support officer) that are the foundations of experience in building a successful Field Artillery career. Female officers will routinely be assigned to the Field Artillery Training Center (Basic Training or Advanced individual Training units) or other TDA assignments at Fort Sill (1-78 FA or 2-2 FA - training support units), or at Brigade or higher levels (HHB DIVARTY, HHB FA BDE, HHB Corps Artillery). Females are limited to commands outside the tactical Field Artillery battalions. Therefore, female captains must seek battery commands at Brigade level or higher (usually headquarters type batteries) or in training center batteries. At the Major level, a female officer can become an executive officer or S3 of a training battalion but would lack the TOE experience to perform duties as a S3 or XO at a brigade level TOE unit.

    Yeah, this is exactly the kind of shit that needs to get fixed.

    EvigilantBastable
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    McDermott the only solution is to kill anyone who is caught disobeying orders.

    Bam. All our problems are solved.

    You need to stop reading those Warhammer: 40K books, Quid. They're messing you up.

    Evigilant
  • QuidQuid I don't... what... hnnng Registered User regular
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    McDermott the only solution is to kill anyone who is caught disobeying orders.

    Bam. All our problems are solved.

    You need to stop reading those Warhammer: 40K books, Quid. They're messing you up.

    Listen. We need harsher punishments for people who disobey orders apparently. And since fucking their whole lives for two months or for the rest of their like isn't enough, this is the only solution that can satisfy SKFM.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    rockrnger wrote: »
    First off, awesome.

    But I'm explaining myself ok right? That the boxes you check and the expectations are based on the society that birthed them and that a society that had always used women for combat would have a whole different set of expectations. They would expect a man to fit into a IFV designed for a 110 pound woman and be small enough for the weakest woman to carry.

    So what's the problem? They are leaving half the possible talent for their military on the table when, with some small adjustments, they can expand their recruitment and have better soldiers.

    No, the requirements have little to do with the masculine society that birthed them. They have to do with the nature of warfare, which is that big armoured things shoot heavy rounds at each other, and occasionally shoot smaller rounds at people, until the other guys in the big armoured things and/or the people that love them are all dead.

    The weapons, equipment, and ammunition required to wage war are heavy. And people are heavy.

    It's not so much that we calibrate the load to males. We calibrate it beyond males. I just read a document out of the Center for Army Lessons Learned on basic combat loads for dismounted infantry units (based on experiences and data collected in Afghanistan). Basically it outlined the fact that the modern loads that soldiers were being expected to carry were fucking ridiculous, and even well conditioned male soldiers were having trouble managing them. But most of that equipment was, you know, necessary. So we needed to find new ways to try and adjust how we fought war just so that men would be able to handle the loads necessary.

    Like, we have weapons that are heavy enough, and for which the ammo is heavy enough, that we require multiple men to carry and operate them (even in dismounted units). Why don't we just make them smaller, if your mythical "female sized army" would be a thing?


    EDIT: "Read" was an exaggeration. Did a lot of skimming. I wasn't that bored.

    mcdermott on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Like, if we just made mortar tubes smaller and rounds smaller, we could carry twice as many, right? And be twice as effective?

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    They would hardly be expecting people to be small enough for the weakest to carry. The hypothetical female dominated military would've set it's standards as needed and they'd still be high - the military itself tends to set standards based on need - they go down during wartime, up during peacetime as you're trying to improve readiness and capability.

    And this is all irrelevant anyway - it's not like there are a deluge of men capable of lifting all possible other men if the need arises. Hell, at the moment I probably couldn't do it (because I'm unfit as hell right now).

    At any rate we can happily let this all play out with increased acceptance of women in more roles, but the general expectation I'd have is the physical standards for the US are going to go up in the near future since as I hear it they were way the christ down during Iraq.

    Bastable
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    rockrnger wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Yeah, spending some time up at the headquarters level, as well as playing some strategy videogames, gave me new perspective on all the "check the box" training you have to do. So, at least from what I've gleaned, here's a brief lesson in "Army."
    Here's what a Brigade Combat Team looks like:
    1000px-Heavy_Brigade_Combat_Team_Organization.svg.png

    For reference, the left three columns or so were previously male-only. Maybe four, I forget if artillery battalions had females. But that's beside the point. The point is that each of those icons represents a unit of a given size, that is expected to have a given capability, according to Army doctrine.

    Each of those icons has its own org chart, that looks much the same. The brigade icon at the top will become a battalion icon, the battalions companies, and the companies platoons. Then each company has a similar org chart, with similar icons, all the way down to individual fireteams, vehicles, or even soldiers. Each of those, according to the required training and doctrine, is expected to be able to perform a slate of tasks to a given standard. There's a reason that you have to be able to complete a ruck march with a given weight in a given time as a required training event. Because, according to doctrine, the unit containing you is expected to be able to move at a certain rate, for a certain period, and deliver a certain level of capability (including firepower and/or support) along with them.

    These are the expectations higher-level commanders have when they make decisions. That if they give the order for that icon to move to that part of the map, that it can do so. Because according to doctrine, that's what it's supposed to be able to do, and in theory that unit has completed training events demonstrating that it is indeed capable of achieving that standard. General Dudeguy has no fucking idea who Sally and Ox are, nor does he much care.

    This is why, when my unit deployed, companies got sliced up and parted out to each other. Because they were armor companies, but we were deploying in (IIRC) a motorized rifle role. Well, an armor company doesn't have the manpower to fill that icon, so some companies got downsized (they had more guys than necessary) and some got upsized, so that each had the proper capability to fill the role implied in the org chart. And, even though these were tankers or cavalry or combat engineers and not infantrymen, each of them had trained in the tasks they were being expected to perform as part of the role of their new icon. They had "checked those boxes."

    Hopefully they were paying attention, right?

    And when, say, a tank crewmember is killed, wounded, or for some other reason evacuated and needs to be replaced, neither the receiving nor sending commander necessarily knows the particular strengths and weaknesses of the crewmember that was lost...nor do they necessarily care. Being able to load a HEAT round in a specificied amount of time is a part of the Tank Crew Gunnery Skills Test that every member of both the receiving and sending unit have passed. It's a box that every soldier within those icons has checked. Every member of both units has demonstrated, and been tested on, having the physical strength to perform that task to standard. Which isn't even a particularly herculean feat, mind you, but just an example

    This is, of course, on top of all the basic soldier tasks that every soldier is already expected to be able to perform. But each icon has additional implied expectations of the members within that icon. To a higher level commander, you're not Sally or Ox, you're a line number and a stack of paperwork documenting that you've completed the required training and demonstrated that you're capable of the implied tasks.
    First off, awesome.

    But I'm explaining myself ok right? That the boxes you check and the expectations are based on the society that birthed them and that a society that had always used women for combat would have a whole different set of expectations. They would expect a man to fit into a IFV designed for a 110 pound woman and be small enough for the weakest woman to carry.

    So what's the problemr? They are leaving half the possible talent for their military on the table when, with some small adjustments, they can expand their recruitment and have better soldiers.

    Rock, here's kind of the take away that I think you are missing and which is leading to cross-purpose convers. Tation. You are approaching the question like it's a matter of corporate culture, what's on someone's job description, how well you live up to your resume or whatever.

    The military doesn't even think about the question like this. The expectations aren't defined by the society that birthed them. They are defined by the mission. Either you can do the mission, or you can't.

  • DarklyreDarklyre Registered User regular
    AFAIK the standards for Iraq were "Are you still breathing? If not, can you at least make a good show of it?"

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    SammyF wrote: »
    rockrnger wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Yeah, spending some time up at the headquarters level, as well as playing some strategy videogames, gave me new perspective on all the "check the box" training you have to do. So, at least from what I've gleaned, here's a brief lesson in "Army."
    Here's what a Brigade Combat Team looks like:
    1000px-Heavy_Brigade_Combat_Team_Organization.svg.png

    For reference, the left three columns or so were previously male-only. Maybe four, I forget if artillery battalions had females. But that's beside the point. The point is that each of those icons represents a unit of a given size, that is expected to have a given capability, according to Army doctrine.

    Each of those icons has its own org chart, that looks much the same. The brigade icon at the top will become a battalion icon, the battalions companies, and the companies platoons. Then each company has a similar org chart, with similar icons, all the way down to individual fireteams, vehicles, or even soldiers. Each of those, according to the required training and doctrine, is expected to be able to perform a slate of tasks to a given standard. There's a reason that you have to be able to complete a ruck march with a given weight in a given time as a required training event. Because, according to doctrine, the unit containing you is expected to be able to move at a certain rate, for a certain period, and deliver a certain level of capability (including firepower and/or support) along with them.

    These are the expectations higher-level commanders have when they make decisions. That if they give the order for that icon to move to that part of the map, that it can do so. Because according to doctrine, that's what it's supposed to be able to do, and in theory that unit has completed training events demonstrating that it is indeed capable of achieving that standard. General Dudeguy has no fucking idea who Sally and Ox are, nor does he much care.

    This is why, when my unit deployed, companies got sliced up and parted out to each other. Because they were armor companies, but we were deploying in (IIRC) a motorized rifle role. Well, an armor company doesn't have the manpower to fill that icon, so some companies got downsized (they had more guys than necessary) and some got upsized, so that each had the proper capability to fill the role implied in the org chart. And, even though these were tankers or cavalry or combat engineers and not infantrymen, each of them had trained in the tasks they were being expected to perform as part of the role of their new icon. They had "checked those boxes."

    Hopefully they were paying attention, right?

    And when, say, a tank crewmember is killed, wounded, or for some other reason evacuated and needs to be replaced, neither the receiving nor sending commander necessarily knows the particular strengths and weaknesses of the crewmember that was lost...nor do they necessarily care. Being able to load a HEAT round in a specificied amount of time is a part of the Tank Crew Gunnery Skills Test that every member of both the receiving and sending unit have passed. It's a box that every soldier within those icons has checked. Every member of both units has demonstrated, and been tested on, having the physical strength to perform that task to standard. Which isn't even a particularly herculean feat, mind you, but just an example

    This is, of course, on top of all the basic soldier tasks that every soldier is already expected to be able to perform. But each icon has additional implied expectations of the members within that icon. To a higher level commander, you're not Sally or Ox, you're a line number and a stack of paperwork documenting that you've completed the required training and demonstrated that you're capable of the implied tasks.
    First off, awesome.

    But I'm explaining myself ok right? That the boxes you check and the expectations are based on the society that birthed them and that a society that had always used women for combat would have a whole different set of expectations. They would expect a man to fit into a IFV designed for a 110 pound woman and be small enough for the weakest woman to carry.

    So what's the problemr? They are leaving half the possible talent for their military on the table when, with some small adjustments, they can expand their recruitment and have better soldiers.

    Rock, here's kind of the take away that I think you are missing and which is leading to cross-purpose convers. Tation. You are approaching the question like it's a matter of corporate culture, what's on someone's job description, how well you live up to your resume or whatever.

    The military doesn't even think about the question like this. The expectations aren't defined by the society that birthed them. They are defined by the mission. Either you can do the mission, or you can't.

    That isn't actually the way it works though. The expectations are defined by the society that birthed them.

    I mean, I know zero, absolutely zero, about what fitness standards might be best. But I am sure that, since the military hasn't been treating men and women equally in the past, there is a considerable chance that those standards could use some re-evaluation. Isn't that logical?

    I get that some military people wouldn't like that, and I understand that too. But it's the same argument as DADT, isn't it?

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    They would hardly be expecting people to be small enough for the weakest to carry. The hypothetical female dominated military would've set it's standards as needed and they'd still be high - the military itself tends to set standards based on need - they go down during wartime, up during peacetime as you're trying to improve readiness and capability.

    And this is all irrelevant anyway - it's not like there are a deluge of men capable of lifting all possible other men if the need arises. Hell, at the moment I probably couldn't do it (because I'm unfit as hell right now).

    At any rate we can happily let this all play out with increased acceptance of women in more roles, but the general expectation I'd have is the physical standards for the US are going to go up in the near future since as I hear it they were way the christ down during Iraq.

    Well yeah, I'm just answering the idea of a military designed around a mythical all-female force, and how suddenly "men would have the issues."

    Which is perhaps true, but the reason we don't necessarily see this hypothetical all-female force is because the male-dominated nature is due to the nature of war itself...destruction has always been easier if you're stronger. Even with firearms, this was still to a large extent true...because bigger rounds do more damage. So like SammyF said, and as you seem to be alluding to, the requirements are calibrated to the mission, not necessarily to men. The mission is "destroy things." As it stands, we already find cases where our desire to be able to project force actually outstrips male capabilities as well (leading to injuries and such), and we need to rethink doctrine and equipment to readjust.

  • BastableBastable Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Like, if we just made mortar tubes smaller and rounds smaller, we could carry twice as many, right? And be twice as effective?

    Worked for 5,56 bro should work for everything.

    Philippe about the tactical deployment of german Kradschützen during the battle of Kursk:
    "I think I can comment on this because I used to live above the Baby Doll Lounge, a topless bar that was once frequented by bikers in lower Manhattan."

    mcdermottOpposingFarce
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    That isn't actually the way it works though. The expectations are defined by the society that birthed them.

    I mean, I know zero, absolutely zero, about what fitness standards might be best. But I am sure that, since the military hasn't been treating men and women equally in the past, there is a considerable chance that those standards could use some re-evaluation. Isn't that logical?

    I get that some military people wouldn't like that, and I understand that too. But it's the same argument as DADT, isn't it?

    No, it's a bit different from DADT. That's a cultural issue in that some guys are uncomfortable with guys who dig wangs seeing their wang because, like, oh em gee.

    But gay male soldiers and straight male soldiers don't actually present a different distribution of physical capability that might impact mission performance. Both can still, on average, be expected to sling the same rounds across the bulk of the distribution.

    Agreed, however, that obviously the expectations can be, and perhaps should be, re-evaluated. I've never maintained otherwise.

    EDIT: But you have to accept that in some roles, that re-evaluation may conclude that hey, for these roles we kinda still need the bulk of the distribution to be stronger than all but the top percentile or two of women.

    mcdermott on
    rockrnger
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Bastable wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Like, if we just made mortar tubes smaller and rounds smaller, we could carry twice as many, right? And be twice as effective?

    Worked for 5,56 bro should work for everything.

    I love you.

    Bastable
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.
    your views on adultery are messed up man

    Harry DresdenBastableArdolEgretSenjutsuFuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudQuidzagdrob
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    SammyF wrote: »
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.

    Space, buddy, I am going to do you a solid here and help you not look like an asshole. The fact that adultery is a punishable offense isn't ACTUALLY your favorite thing about the military, right? You like it. It might be your favorite thing about the UCMJ. But your favorite thing about an organization that killed Osama Bin Laden isn't that it's illegal to fuck someone who isn't your wife.

    Right?

    Fair enough. I may have gotten a little carried away. The institution's high points are obviously it's many victories to protect our country and the world, and killing Osama Bin Laden and defeating the 3rd reich are just high points in an incredibly distinguished history. I also really like that the institution imposes standards on its members. Just one of many reasons that I respect the hell out of our military.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    mcdermott wrote: »
    rockrnger wrote: »
    First off, awesome.

    But I'm explaining myself ok right? That the boxes you check and the expectations are based on the society that birthed them and that a society that had always used women for combat would have a whole different set of expectations. They would expect a man to fit into a IFV designed for a 110 pound woman and be small enough for the weakest woman to carry.

    So what's the problem? They are leaving half the possible talent for their military on the table when, with some small adjustments, they can expand their recruitment and have better soldiers.

    No, the requirements have little to do with the masculine society that birthed them. They have to do with the nature of warfare, which is that big armoured things shoot heavy rounds at each other, and occasionally shoot smaller rounds at people, until the other guys in the big armoured things and/or the people that love them are all dead.

    The weapons, equipment, and ammunition required to wage war are heavy. And people are heavy.

    It's not so much that we calibrate the load to males. We calibrate it beyond males. I just read a document out of the Center for Army Lessons Learned on basic combat loads for dismounted infantry units (based on experiences and data collected in Afghanistan). Basically it outlined the fact that the modern loads that soldiers were being expected to carry were fucking ridiculous, and even well conditioned male soldiers were having trouble managing them. But most of that equipment was, you know, necessary. So we needed to find new ways to try and adjust how we fought war just so that men would be able to handle the loads necessary.

    Like, we have weapons that are heavy enough, and for which the ammo is heavy enough, that we require multiple men to carry and operate them (even in dismounted units). Why don't we just make them smaller, if your mythical "female sized army" would be a thing?


    EDIT: "Read" was an exaggeration. Did a lot of skimming. I wasn't that bored.
    Sounds like a page turner.

    It would not necessarily be smaller we would just have to use the tens of thousands of years of experience lifting stuff heavier than we could with just our bare hands. It's not like there has ever been a time when military designers just gave up and went "we are not getting thru that armor with a man portable system" we figure out how a 150 pound guy could do it, I am sure that our hypothetical could get it down to 110 (not that we should in the real world mind you). Likewise with the packs, we make people carry what they are able and then some and then decide what you have to have. Every soldier since Marius had to deal with that but I am sure your bizzaro counterpart would want to know how you get enough calories into a combat zone to feed a 200 pound man.

    Aside: what do you think about auto loaders on tanks? Always wanted an expert opinion on that.

    But the main question I would ask you is why isn't the army going the other way, if strength is so important. We could be force feeding soldiers whey protein and cretin and making them lift weights until they could lift twice what they do now.

    rockrnger on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    rockrnger wrote: »
    Sounds like a page turner.

    Oh yeah.

    It would necessarily be smaller we would just have to use the tens of thousands of years of lifting stuff heavier than we could with just our bear hands. It's not like there has ever been a time when military designers just gave up and went "we are not getting thru that armor with a man portable system" we figure out how a 150 pound guy could do it, I am sure that our hypothetical could get it down to 110 (not that we should in the real world mind you). Likewise with the packs, we make people carry what they are able and then some and then decide what you have to have. Every soldier since Marius had to deal with that but I am sure your bizzaro counterpart would want to know how you get enough calories into a combat zone to feed a 200 pound man.

    Aside: what do you think about auto loaders on tanks? Always wanted an expert opinion on that.

    But the main question I would ask you is why isn't the army going the other way, if strength is so important. We could be force feeding soldiers whey protein and cretin and making them lift weights until they could lift twice what they do now.

    I don't know that I'm an "expert," and I'm likely biased since I've been on non-autoloader tanks, but everything I've seen or read suggests that it's just a tradeoff. Human loaders are slightly faster (to standard...a particularly fast loader is significantly faster). Plus that manpower isn't wasted...you've got an additional machine gun he can man, plus that crewmember can be useful for maintenance, security, or other duties.

    As for trying to bulk up soldiers, I don't have a particularly educated opinion there, either. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with working with what you have (recruit-wise) with perhaps a side of musculoskeletal problems that might come from attempting to bulk people up who aren't genetically predisposed to it. Dunno, though.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    For some reason, I got to thinking of this image, and figure some here may not have seen it:
    badass2.jpg

    spacekungfumanrockrnger_J_QuidKipling217EvigilantzagdrobJusticeforPluto
  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    rockrnger wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    rockrnger wrote: »
    First off, awesome.

    But I'm explaining myself ok right? That the boxes you check and the expectations are based on the society that birthed them and that a society that had always used women for combat would have a whole different set of expectations. They would expect a man to fit into a IFV designed for a 110 pound woman and be small enough for the weakest woman to carry.

    So what's the problem? They are leaving half the possible talent for their military on the table when, with some small adjustments, they can expand their recruitment and have better soldiers.

    No, the requirements have little to do with the masculine society that birthed them. They have to do with the nature of warfare, which is that big armoured things shoot heavy rounds at each other, and occasionally shoot smaller rounds at people, until the other guys in the big armoured things and/or the people that love them are all dead.

    The weapons, equipment, and ammunition required to wage war are heavy. And people are heavy.

    It's not so much that we calibrate the load to males. We calibrate it beyond males. I just read a document out of the Center for Army Lessons Learned on basic combat loads for dismounted infantry units (based on experiences and data collected in Afghanistan). Basically it outlined the fact that the modern loads that soldiers were being expected to carry were fucking ridiculous, and even well conditioned male soldiers were having trouble managing them. But most of that equipment was, you know, necessary. So we needed to find new ways to try and adjust how we fought war just so that men would be able to handle the loads necessary.

    Like, we have weapons that are heavy enough, and for which the ammo is heavy enough, that we require multiple men to carry and operate them (even in dismounted units). Why don't we just make them smaller, if your mythical "female sized army" would be a thing?


    EDIT: "Read" was an exaggeration. Did a lot of skimming. I wasn't that bored.
    Sounds like a page turner.

    It would not necessarily be smaller we would just have to use the tens of thousands of years of experience lifting stuff heavier than we could with just our bare hands. It's not like there has ever been a time when military designers just gave up and went "we are not getting thru that armor with a man portable system" we figure out how a 150 pound guy could do it, I am sure that our hypothetical could get it down to 110 (not that we should in the real world mind you). Likewise with the packs, we make people carry what they are able and then some and then decide what you have to have. Every soldier since Marius had to deal with that but I am sure your bizzaro counterpart would want to know how you get enough calories into a combat zone to feed a 200 pound man.

    Aside: what do you think about auto loaders on tanks? Always wanted an expert opinion on that.

    But the main question I would ask you is why isn't the army going the other way, if strength is so important. We could be force feeding soldiers whey protein and cretin and making them lift weights until they could lift twice what they do now.

    Quid isn't the only one reading 40K books. FWIW, the emperor's armies welcome men and women.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • _J__J_ Pedant Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.
    your views on adultery are messed up man

    He's really insecure about Mrs. SKFM.

    Really insecure.

  • spacekungfumanspacekungfuman Poor and minority-filled Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.
    your views on adultery are messed up man

    He's really insecure about Mrs. SKFM.

    Really insecure.

    That is really uncalled for (and completely false), _J_. You're better than that.

    My views on adultery are not ontopic for this thread. Suffice to say I are adultery as the one act that is always wrong because there are no non-selfish justifications for it. You can have good, non-selfish reasons to even kill someone (see the army) but adultery is always about the adulterer's own selfish desires, not some external justification.

    7zh9uu9etcor.jpg
    Chanus wrote:
    It's been a butt come true! I get to work with the absolute best boobs in the business. What more could a money ask for? Kids, aim for the freeloaders !

    @chanus
  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    That isn't actually the way it works though. The expectations are defined by the society that birthed them.

    I mean, I know zero, absolutely zero, about what fitness standards might be best. But I am sure that, since the military hasn't been treating men and women equally in the past, there is a considerable chance that those standards could use some re-evaluation. Isn't that logical?

    I get that some military people wouldn't like that, and I understand that too. But it's the same argument as DADT, isn't it?

    No, it's a bit different from DADT. That's a cultural issue in that some guys are uncomfortable with guys who dig wangs seeing their wang because, like, oh em gee.

    But gay male soldiers and straight male soldiers don't actually present a different distribution of physical capability that might impact mission performance. Both can still, on average, be expected to sling the same rounds across the bulk of the distribution.

    Agreed, however, that obviously the expectations can be, and perhaps should be, re-evaluated. I've never maintained otherwise.

    EDIT: But you have to accept that in some roles, that re-evaluation may conclude that hey, for these roles we kinda still need the bulk of the distribution to be stronger than all but the top percentile or two of women.

    Missed this writing a post.

    Agreed, 100 percent. If there is a legitimate, physical need for someone to do something for a specific job then it doesn't matter if only men or only women can do that job.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I've said it before, but I'll just kinda restate my positions to be clear...


    Regarding physical limitations, all I'm saying is that I do believe there likely exist tasks which require physical capabilities that approach the extreme of the female distribution, particularly in upper body strength. And probably some that are integral to the job, or which there isn't necessarily some workaround to accommodate. Combat arms positions seem the most likely to be an issue, but honestly I don't know...this is something that'll need to be evaluated in any newly opened positions. That said, the new policy seems to approach this from the right direction. The burden appears to be placed on anybody requesting an exception to justify it, rather than requiring justification to allow women to serve. This is the correct place to put the burden, and it should be treated seriously by all involved.


    The pregnancy bit was separate. I'm not sure if I made it clear, but I'm not convinced it's actually an issue...which is to say that on the net I'm not sure that female soldiers on average actually see greater periods of nondeployability than males due to pregnancy (or at all). However, much like gun violence it's something that appears to have been intentionally left unstudied for a decade or two, and as we look to increase the positions open to women I think it's crucial to actually look at this issue, and assess the impact and possible responses. Not just to address some supposed shortcoming of female soldiers, but also to help female soldiers. Doubtless there are policies that could be tweaked and programs implemented to aid both single and partnered mothers increase availability and minimize the impact of family obligations on their military duty (and vice versa). And fathers for that matter. Additionally, any "responses" to the issue of nondeployability or losses within deployed units to pregnancy need not be punitive...for instance, in many cases, it could be as simple as a marginal increase in overall strength in any female-heavy MOSs, to ensure that the required number of replacement soldiers are available. Duh. But to determine this, you have to study the issue. Right now the military seems to think a policy of willful ignorance is safest. And given some of the institutional misogyny that still exists, they may not be wrong. But that needs to change.

    Calixtuszagdrob
  • EgretEgret Registered User regular
    _J_ wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    Soldiers follow orders, yes? And disobeying these orders is bad and met with punishment. One of those orders is to not have sex in combat zones. And somehow, punishing those who disobey that order is a problem?

    For the record, my single favorite thing about the US military is that it punishes adultery. I just wish it wasn't discouraged as a sole charge for military prosecution.
    your views on adultery are messed up man

    He's really insecure about Mrs. SKFM.

    Really insecure.

    That is really uncalled for (and completely false)

    :winky:

  • EgretEgret Registered User regular
    I just noticed, "adultery is THE ONE ACT that is always wrong"

    Logically, rape is not always wrong


    hahahahahaha

    is skfm todd akin by any chance?

  • ShivahnShivahn Unaware of her barrel shifter privilege Eastern coastal temptressRegistered User regular
    Egret wrote: »
    I just noticed, "adultery is THE ONE ACT that is always wrong"

    Logically, rape is not always wrong


    hahahahahaha

    is skfm todd akin by any chance?

    A lot of people think that.

    Especially with respect to prison rape.

    A lot of people are terrible.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Also, I do think there's some conversation to be had around any specific role where a non-zero, but incredibly low, number of women are capable of performing the job. Like, hypothetically, if only half a percent of women are physically capable of meeting the standard at some task that can't be tweaked after re-evaluation, do we still open that position? Obviously the feminist side of me says of course we do...if even one woman is capable, she should be allowed to perform the duty. Duh.

    On the other hand, are there legitimate reasions that allowing such a low number of female soldiers into a combat environment could present issues? Like, I can imagine that in some cases a skewed enough ratio would present the issue, not females as a binary value...where a 50:50 or 30:70 ratio might be acceptable (if enough capable females could be found), but for whatever reason having a single female out of a thousand just isn't justifiable due to...issues.

    But at this point it's imagination. I can't clearly detail any actual example. At least nothing significant enough to warrant exclusion...I have noticed some difficulties we had on a FOB that had about twenty females out of seven hundred, that wouldn't have been present at a more equitable ratio, but nothing serious enough to justify imposing a "penis test" on positions.

    All I'm saying is that I'm open to the idea that an exclusion should be justified on these grounds. But again, I think the burden needs to be placed on those seeking the exclusion, and I don't think we should accept any half-assed arguments. Consider me extremely skeptical of such a justification. I'm certainly not interested in any hand-waving towards "cohesion!!!1!" Not that discipline and unit cohesion aren't serious concerns, but honestly I feel like as with DADT it's more of an attempt to maintain the clubhouse mentality, where we get to call each other fags and make rape jokes all day.

    mcdermott on
    Bastableshryke
  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Not that discipline and unit cohesion aren't serious concerns, but honestly I feel like as with DADT it's more of an attempt to maintain the clubhouse mentality, where we get to call each other fags and make rape jokes all day.
    +1

  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Also, I do think there's some conversation to be had around any specific role where a non-zero, but incredibly low, number of women are capable of performing the job. Like, hypothetically, if only half a percent of women are physically capable of meeting the standard at some task that can't be tweaked after re-evaluation, do we still open that position? Obviously the feminist side of me says of course we do...if even one woman is capable, she should be allowed to perform the duty. Duh.

    On the other hand, are there legitimate reasions that allowing such a low number of female soldiers into a combat environment could present issues? Like, I can imagine that in some cases a skewed enough ratio would present the issue, not females as a binary value...where a 50:50 or 30:70 ratio might be acceptable (if enough capable females could be found), but for whatever reason having a single female out of a thousand just isn't justifiable due to...issues.

    But at this point it's imagination. I can't clearly detail any actual example. At least nothing significant enough to warrant exclusion...I have noticed some difficulties we had on a FOB that had about twenty females out of seven hundred, that wouldn't have been present at a more equitable ratio, but nothing serious enough to justify imposing a "penis test" on positions.

    All I'm saying is that I'm open to the idea that an exclusion should be justified on these grounds. But again, I think the burden needs to be placed on those seeking the exclusion, and I don't think we should accept any half-assed arguments. Consider me extremely skeptical of such a justification. I'm certainly not interested in any hand-waving towards "cohesion!!!1!" Not that discipline and unit cohesion aren't serious concerns, but honestly I feel like as with DADT it's more of an attempt to maintain the clubhouse mentality, where we get to call each other fags and make rape jokes all day.
    Ultimately, I think our military is too important to lose any amount of usefulness for fairness. So if one woman doesn't get her dream job because it would actually hurt the ability of a unit to do their job, that is a fine trade off.

    The goal of bring women into the military shouldn't be political correctness (hate that phrase but it works here.) The goal is to double the number of potential soldiers and raise the quality of our troops.

    rockrnger on
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    rockrnger wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Also, I do think there's some conversation to be had around any specific role where a non-zero, but incredibly low, number of women are capable of performing the job. Like, hypothetically, if only half a percent of women are physically capable of meeting the standard at some task that can't be tweaked after re-evaluation, do we still open that position? Obviously the feminist side of me says of course we do...if even one woman is capable, she should be allowed to perform the duty. Duh.

    On the other hand, are there legitimate reasions that allowing such a low number of female soldiers into a combat environment could present issues? Like, I can imagine that in some cases a skewed enough ratio would present the issue, not females as a binary value...where a 50:50 or 30:70 ratio might be acceptable (if enough capable females could be found), but for whatever reason having a single female out of a thousand just isn't justifiable due to...issues.

    But at this point it's imagination. I can't clearly detail any actual example. At least nothing significant enough to warrant exclusion...I have noticed some difficulties we had on a FOB that had about twenty females out of seven hundred, that wouldn't have been present at a more equitable ratio, but nothing serious enough to justify imposing a "penis test" on positions.

    All I'm saying is that I'm open to the idea that an exclusion should be justified on these grounds. But again, I think the burden needs to be placed on those seeking the exclusion, and I don't think we should accept any half-assed arguments. Consider me extremely skeptical of such a justification. I'm certainly not interested in any hand-waving towards "cohesion!!!1!" Not that discipline and unit cohesion aren't serious concerns, but honestly I feel like as with DADT it's more of an attempt to maintain the clubhouse mentality, where we get to call each other fags and make rape jokes all day.
    Ultimately, I think our military is too important to lose any amount of usefulness for fairness. So if one woman doesn't get her dream job because it would actually hurt the ability of a unit to do their job, that is a fine trade off.

    The goal of bring women into the military shouldn't be political correctness (hate that phrase but it works here.) The goal is to double the number of potential soldiers and raise the quality of our troops.

    except for when we don't let them even try for the position that doesn't raise the quality or double our potential

    I agree w/mcdermott, and phrasing it the way you did "one lady doesn't get a dream job boo hoo" is a bit callous

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I would say the one plausible concern is that if a given position does actually seem to screen out all but a tiny percentage of women, standards will be adjusted in a way that actually reduces military effectiveness in order to achieve some greater gender parity.

    On the one hand, this is pretty much what 'cists always say about affirmative action...that we wind up lowering standards for the disadvantaged group, harming everybody. On the other hand, in this case you are dealing with actual demonstrable biological differences (unlike with, say, black folks and the book learnin') that only the most extreme of feminists really try to deny. So it's at least a legitimate concern.

    But plausible doesn't mean likely. And yeah, still skeptical.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    except for when we don't let them even try for the position that doesn't raise the quality or double our potential

    I agree w/mcdermott, and phrasing it the way you did "one lady doesn't get a dream job boo hoo" is a bit callous

    It's callous, but honestly when it comes to this stuff I don't think that's really a bad thing. Thin skins aren't welcome in the military, so yeah if there's one female soldier who really wants to be a Ranger, and even if she'd be a perfectly decent Ranger, if allowing her alone to serve as a Ranger somehow hampers unit effectiveness then yeah...boo hoo. Not everybody who's capable gets to be a Ranger as it is.

    As long as we place an appropriately high burden of proof on "hampers unit effectiveness," I'm happy.

    EDIT: Basically, at this point I start channelling the good parts (and they are few) of Jack Nicholson's character from A Few Good Men, Colonel Jessup. "Hampering unit effectiveness," in this context, means people die. On the other hand, I'm now stuck trying to square that with my position on gun control, where I'm willing to make tradeoffs of avoidable deaths in exchange for greater freedoms. So there's that.

    mcdermott on
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    we open all positions to women

    certain elite group's standards are applied to women. fewer women can pass this standard than men so the ratio of men to women in this group is 20/80. or even 10/90.

    now, saying "welp i guess we can't let women do that job because the culture is such that they will be harassed because they are in the minority" is just a reinforcement of culture that should never exist in the first place. it's like loving v. virginia where one of the arguments was that interracial children will be subject to increased bullying or psychological harm because other people are assholes about it. the only way to change that prejudice in society? MORE INTERRACIAL CHILDREN!


    "hampers unit effectiveness" cannot be predicated on prejudices or misogyny that already exists. other than that, I can't come up with a good reason that a woman who passes all the same standards can't be effective. I guess we'll have to see what they come up with.

    SenjutsumcdermottShivahnrockrngerQuidEvigilantzagdrob
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    So It Goes wrote: »
    we open all positions to women

    certain elite group's standards are applied to women. fewer women can pass this standard than men so the ratio of men to women in this group is 20/80. or even 10/90.

    now, saying "welp i guess we can't let women do that job because the culture is such that they will be harassed because they are in the minority" is just a reinforcement of culture that should never exist in the first place. it's like loving v. virginia where one of the arguments was that interracial children will be subject to increased bullying or psychological harm because other people are assholes about it. the only way to change that prejudice in society? MORE INTERRACIAL CHILDREN!


    "hampers unit effectiveness" cannot be predicated on prejudices or misogyny that already exists. other than that, I can't come up with a good reason that a woman who passes all the same standards can't be effective. I guess we'll have to see what they come up with.

    Pretty much. I'm all ears as to a justification that might be legitimate, but I can't come up with one, and I'd be unsurprised if none exist.

    EDIT: And I'm in total agreement that institutional misogyny cannot be considered as a justification. And yeah, I'm just unable to even imagine a logical framework aside from institutional misogyny for barring a capable individual, other than the concern I mention above (that once one individual is present, there's the risk that standards could be lowered to try and raise that number). I really don't think there is one.

    mcdermott on
  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    rockrnger wrote: »
    But the main question I would ask you is why isn't the army going the other way, if strength is so important. We could be force feeding soldiers whey protein and cretin and making them lift weights until they could lift twice what they do now.
    My understanding of the answer to this comes in a few parts:
    1) There seem to be issues getting everyone up to current PT standards. This strikes me as more of a leadership issue than anything else, but it should probably be handled before you raise those.
    2) It's more expensive than what we're already doing, I suspect enough more that DARPA programs are a cheaper alternative
    2a) Also, getting this implemented seems like a bureaucratic nightmare in which you have to pick a bunch of values that manage cost and efficiency.
    3) We can sort of get by with what have. Not well, but its not a problem that desperately needs fixed.
    4ish) There's probably a public relations issue that you'd need to deal with, along the lines of getting crap for training super soldiers. I'm explaining this one poorly, but basically I think there's a hurdle in getting a substantial portion of the Army to significantly above normal fit people and not creeping the public out.

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud Nurse, Veteran, Army Mom, Ficus, Space Dad, Survivor Contestant God Bless This Mess Registered User regular
    Syrdon wrote: »
    rockrnger wrote: »
    But the main question I would ask you is why isn't the army going the other way, if strength is so important. We could be force feeding soldiers whey protein and cretin and making them lift weights until they could lift twice what they do now.
    My understanding of the answer to this comes in a few parts:
    1) There seem to be issues getting everyone up to current PT standards. This strikes me as more of a leadership issue than anything else, but it should probably be handled before you raise those.
    2) It's more expensive than what we're already doing, I suspect enough more that DARPA programs are a cheaper alternative
    2a) Also, getting this implemented seems like a bureaucratic nightmare in which you have to pick a bunch of values that manage cost and efficiency.
    3) We can sort of get by with what have. Not well, but its not a problem that desperately needs fixed.
    4ish) There's probably a public relations issue that you'd need to deal with, along the lines of getting crap for training super soldiers. I'm explaining this one poorly, but basically I think there's a hurdle in getting a substantial portion of the Army to significantly above normal fit people and not creeping the public out.
    5) The oft-perpetuated myth that soldiers are paragons of physical fitness and that their only efficacy in battle comes from a single axis of power: that of physical strength in an increasingly technical battlefield.

    Evigilant
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