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US Military to Allow Women in Combat Roles

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.

    This seems like a monstrous question to be asking. I wish you'd taken SummaryJudgment"'s out.

    Zero combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity because gender parity is neither desirable nor useful in the military, and justice is served through equal opportunity to achieve a standard, not equal numbers in the units. None of us should care for an instant about gender parity in military combat units! We should only care about the unit's effectiveness at accomplishing missions, and not what the genders of the soldiers involved are at all.

    Nobody is talking about gender parity.

    What people are pointing out is that when you start talking about the legitimacy of a standard that will exclude specific demographics at an exceptionally high rate, it is fair to say that said standard should be objectively evaluated to determine whether or not it is legitimately measuring the needed capabilities, or if it is overly strict and excluding candidates who would be able to perform in that position.

    I do not get why this is such a controversial position to take.

    What about the current standard is unfair?

    I don't know. But I'm not going to assume the validity of the status quo, especially when the military has a track record of using it to dig their heels in to oppose societal changes they dislike.

    You believe the very high standards were created to prevent women from serving in combat during a time when women were openly not allowed to serve in combat?

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    P10 wrote: »
    I don't think it's monstrous to want to have an estimate on what the consequences of a potential relaxing of the standards would be.

    and that is also not what he was talking about.
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.


    He is asking, straightforward, how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity. He is not asking what the consequence of relaxed standards might be, he is asking how many dead soldiers we should accept in order to have equal numbers of women in combat roles.

    Stop turning aside, folks. This is Paladin's question.

    It's a question that should be asked coldly. The only modifications I would make now that it's been teased out are that we should know the cost of gender parity but not necessarily strive for it at the moment, and that statistically, future combat death is the same as risk of combat death.

    This cost may be zero or some other number. It may even be negative. We should know it, and it will inform our quotas, research, and policy.

    For instance, let's talk about negative cost. That means women will only be allowed in combat roles if they will reduce risk of death. Very stringent. And consistent with jeepguy's mantra of a most effective fighting force. But it seems like if everyone agreed on that, there would be no controversy. The military may not be an equal opportunity organization, but they are still representatives of the nation.

    Allowing women in combat roles may change risk of death. Does it? How much?

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    NinjeffNinjeff Registered User regular
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    P10 wrote: »
    I don't think it's monstrous to want to have an estimate on what the consequences of a potential relaxing of the standards would be.

    and that is also not what he was talking about.
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.


    He is asking, straightforward, how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity. He is not asking what the consequence of relaxed standards might be, he is asking how many dead soldiers we should accept in order to have equal numbers of women in combat roles.

    Stop turning aside, folks. This is Paladin's question.

    It's a question that should be asked coldly. The only modifications I would make now that it's been teased out are that we should know the cost of gender parity but not necessarily strive for it at the moment, and that statistically, future combat death is the same as risk of combat death.

    This cost may be zero or some other number. It may even be negative. We should know it, and it will inform our quotas, research, and policy.

    For instance, let's talk about negative cost. That means women will only be allowed in combat roles if they will reduce risk of death. Very stringent. And consistent with jeepguy's mantra of a most effective fighting force. But it seems like if everyone agreed on that, there would be no controversy. The military may not be an equal opportunity organization, but they are still representatives of the nation.

    Allowing women in combat roles may change risk of death. Does it? How much?

    This seems to purposefully get off subject (though i understood why you said it). The issue isnt WOMEN changing risk in combat, its "Women who dont have to meet the current physical standards" changing risk in combat.

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    IncenjucarIncenjucar VChatter Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Women in combat roles could have huge advantages when dealing with women and children in dramatically sexist societies, since people are less likely assume that a woman soldier is here to rape and murder you.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.

    This seems like a monstrous question to be asking. I wish you'd taken SummaryJudgment"'s out.

    Zero combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity because gender parity is neither desirable nor useful in the military, and justice is served through equal opportunity to achieve a standard, not equal numbers in the units. None of us should care for an instant about gender parity in military combat units! We should only care about the unit's effectiveness at accomplishing missions, and not what the genders of the soldiers involved are at all.

    Nobody is talking about gender parity.

    What people are pointing out is that when you start talking about the legitimacy of a standard that will exclude specific demographics at an exceptionally high rate, it is fair to say that said standard should be objectively evaluated to determine whether or not it is legitimately measuring the needed capabilities, or if it is overly strict and excluding candidates who would be able to perform in that position.

    I do not get why this is such a controversial position to take.

    What about the current standard is unfair?

    I don't know. But I'm not going to assume the validity of the status quo, especially when the military has a track record of using it to dig their heels in to oppose societal changes they dislike.

    You believe the very high standards were created to prevent women from serving in combat during a time when women were openly not allowed to serve in combat?

    No, I don't believe that they were created to specifically prevent women from serving. I do think that the military has not been afraid to use them as a way to push back on allowing women into combat arms, however.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Even if we accept that the standards in place are questionable because we don't really trust the army to not be dumb, it doesn't follow that the best course of action is to arbitrarily reduce them.

    Don't Ask / Don't Tell being repealed was a largely arbitrary relaxation of standards, was it not?

    I don't think high standards (and this often really just means 'the number of things we will filter out candidates for') has been shown to be a good measure of how you get quality servicemen. Schooling & training regimes seem like the far superior method of getting a high quality professional military.

    The Ender on
    With Love and Courage
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    milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Women in combat roles could have huge advantages when dealing with women and children in dramatically sexist societies, since people are less likely assume that a woman soldier is here to rape and murder you.

    Are linguists combat positions?

    I ate an engineer
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    milskimilski Poyo! Registered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Even if we accept that the standards in place are questionable because we don't really trust the army to not be dumb, it doesn't follow that the best course of action is to arbitrarily reduce them.

    Don't Ask / Don't Tell being repealed was a largely arbitrary relaxation of standards, was it not?

    I don't think high standards (and this often really just means 'the number of things we will filter out candidates for') has been shown to be a good measure of how you get quality servicemen. Schooling & training regimes seem like the far superior method of getting a high quality professional military.

    Well the standards being discussed are physical fitness standards, which would seem to be something that has a pretty reasonable objective justification. Whether lowering them somewhat would cause a minor or a major problem is unknown but unlike DADT it is intuitive that a physical fitness standard is necessary for highly physical work.

    I ate an engineer
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.

    This seems like a monstrous question to be asking. I wish you'd taken SummaryJudgment"'s out.

    Zero combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity because gender parity is neither desirable nor useful in the military, and justice is served through equal opportunity to achieve a standard, not equal numbers in the units. None of us should care for an instant about gender parity in military combat units! We should only care about the unit's effectiveness at accomplishing missions, and not what the genders of the soldiers involved are at all.

    Nobody is talking about gender parity.

    What people are pointing out is that when you start talking about the legitimacy of a standard that will exclude specific demographics at an exceptionally high rate, it is fair to say that said standard should be objectively evaluated to determine whether or not it is legitimately measuring the needed capabilities, or if it is overly strict and excluding candidates who would be able to perform in that position.

    I do not get why this is such a controversial position to take.

    What about the current standard is unfair?

    I don't know. But I'm not going to assume the validity of the status quo, especially when the military has a track record of using it to dig their heels in to oppose societal changes they dislike.

    You believe the very high standards were created to prevent women from serving in combat during a time when women were openly not allowed to serve in combat?

    No, I don't believe that they were created to specifically prevent women from serving. I do think that the military has not been afraid to use them as a way to push back on allowing women into combat arms, however.

    Given it's historically an excuse that's been used for every job ever in the military and wide swaths of the military don't have obscenely high PT standards I find this logic just a mite specious.

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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Women in combat roles could have huge advantages when dealing with women and children in dramatically sexist societies, since people are less likely assume that a woman soldier is here to rape and murder you.

    Are linguists combat positions?

    No, but the argument was that a civilian being confronted with a mixed gender combat force might be more relaxed than a civilian being confronted by an all dudebro combat force.


    With Love and Courage
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    milski wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Women in combat roles could have huge advantages when dealing with women and children in dramatically sexist societies, since people are less likely assume that a woman soldier is here to rape and murder you.

    Are linguists combat positions?

    No. Linguist is its own job within all the branches. That said it's normal for forces groups to send their people to language school.

    Quid on
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    CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    milski wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Women in combat roles could have huge advantages when dealing with women and children in dramatically sexist societies, since people are less likely assume that a woman soldier is here to rape and murder you.

    Are linguists combat positions?

    From what I remember being in only the direct combat roles excluded women. They could still be MP's for instance. Actually I'd like to bring that up. The female MP's that were on the bottom of their incredibly relaxed PT scale could not properly perform their combat duties. They had significant difficulty charging the heavy weapons and carrying their half and/or the ammo cans. The ones that could have passed the male test all seemed to do well enough.

    Cabezone on
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    Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    The Ender wrote: »
    Even if we accept that the standards in place are questionable because we don't really trust the army to not be dumb, it doesn't follow that the best course of action is to arbitrarily reduce them.

    Don't Ask / Don't Tell being repealed was a largely arbitrary relaxation of standards, was it not?


    No it really wasn't. The military conducted a huge survey at the behest of Obama and Congress. The survey found that people currently in service mostly didn't care. In some areas people overwhelmingly didn't care.

    Regina Fong on
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Oh, though within the linguist community within the Navy at least, there are combat positions open to linguists that have been available to women because the position is technically support.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.

    This seems like a monstrous question to be asking. I wish you'd taken SummaryJudgment"'s out.

    Zero combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity because gender parity is neither desirable nor useful in the military, and justice is served through equal opportunity to achieve a standard, not equal numbers in the units. None of us should care for an instant about gender parity in military combat units! We should only care about the unit's effectiveness at accomplishing missions, and not what the genders of the soldiers involved are at all.

    Nobody is talking about gender parity.

    What people are pointing out is that when you start talking about the legitimacy of a standard that will exclude specific demographics at an exceptionally high rate, it is fair to say that said standard should be objectively evaluated to determine whether or not it is legitimately measuring the needed capabilities, or if it is overly strict and excluding candidates who would be able to perform in that position.

    I do not get why this is such a controversial position to take.

    What about the current standard is unfair?

    I don't know. But I'm not going to assume the validity of the status quo, especially when the military has a track record of using it to dig their heels in to oppose societal changes they dislike.

    You believe the very high standards were created to prevent women from serving in combat during a time when women were openly not allowed to serve in combat?

    No, I don't believe that they were created to specifically prevent women from serving. I do think that the military has not been afraid to use them as a way to push back on allowing women into combat arms, however.

    Given it's historically an excuse that's been used for every job ever in the military and wide swaths of the military don't have obscenely high PT standards I find this logic just a mite specious.

    That's the point, Quid - the military has a track record of trying to say "women can't perform" when some arm of the service got opened up to women. The biggest push backs were the combat arms and combat aviation - not surprisingly, these have been the traditional routes to higher commands.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.

    This seems like a monstrous question to be asking. I wish you'd taken SummaryJudgment"'s out.

    Zero combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity because gender parity is neither desirable nor useful in the military, and justice is served through equal opportunity to achieve a standard, not equal numbers in the units. None of us should care for an instant about gender parity in military combat units! We should only care about the unit's effectiveness at accomplishing missions, and not what the genders of the soldiers involved are at all.

    Nobody is talking about gender parity.

    What people are pointing out is that when you start talking about the legitimacy of a standard that will exclude specific demographics at an exceptionally high rate, it is fair to say that said standard should be objectively evaluated to determine whether or not it is legitimately measuring the needed capabilities, or if it is overly strict and excluding candidates who would be able to perform in that position.

    I do not get why this is such a controversial position to take.

    What about the current standard is unfair?

    I don't know. But I'm not going to assume the validity of the status quo, especially when the military has a track record of using it to dig their heels in to oppose societal changes they dislike.

    You believe the very high standards were created to prevent women from serving in combat during a time when women were openly not allowed to serve in combat?

    No, I don't believe that they were created to specifically prevent women from serving. I do think that the military has not been afraid to use them as a way to push back on allowing women into combat arms, however.

    Given it's historically an excuse that's been used for every job ever in the military and wide swaths of the military don't have obscenely high PT standards I find this logic just a mite specious.

    That's the point, Quid - the military has a track record of trying to say "women can't perform" when some arm of the service got opened up to women. The biggest push backs were the combat arms and combat aviation - not surprisingly, these have been the traditional routes to higher commands.

    And you're claiming they totally raised the the physical requirements for combat roles, decades before women serving was even a remote possibility, to keep them out. Despite physical requirements not being raised anywhere else in the military to do the same. I find that extremely unlikely.

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    CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    The combat infantry badge is for infantry, period. The combat action badge is for anyone who engages in combat. The former is specifically exclusionary, but there is an exact equivalent for everyone else. And honestly, infantry getting extra pretty badges is a fair reward for how much bullshit they put up with.

    As a CIB wearer, glad to see someone gets it - thanks pj. :D When I run across another CIB it's not about knowing they also ran into combat, it's about knowing they signed up for that specific purpose and that their entire lifestyle is shaped by the circumstances that infantry places people in to. "[o]f all Soldiers, it was recognized that the infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed a mission that was not assigned to any other Soldier or unit ... [t]he infantry, a small portion of the total Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving the least public recognition."

    Anyways, I never found the physical standards to be the limiting factor for females in combat roles. I myself am 5'6" and weighed about 120lbs when I joined, there are females reading this thread that could physically out perform me in just about every way. I kinda think of the "OMG but they aren't strawng!" as a sort of popular generic Hollywood answer. Same can be said for the fear that women will be exposed to more sever hygiene issues than men (this is another issue my infantry buddies like to bring up).

    The thing that always really concerned me about women in combat roles is the thing that plagued the military during my stint. Sexual assault and harassment, it is literally off the charts rampant in the military. I imagine it has to do with the inherent power asymmetry that comes with official rank and titles. In a stateside, non combat unit it's pretty normal for everyones personal business to be "known" - the majority of sexual relationships are predatory senior males targeting lower ranking females. Not only does it hurt the victim in all the ways that these abuses normally due, but it degrades the moral fabric of the unit who sees these things happening to a fellow soldier. In a highly over-sighted non combat unit these things are dealt with as they are in most places, they are swept under the rug or quietly "fixed" by moving soldiers out of the unit, it's rare that the root cause is ever addressed - it's not ideal but it does maintain the operations of the unit.

    My concern is that the "normal" sexual assault problems will increase drastically when women are introduced to combat roles. Combat roles tend to have less direct officer oversight as the units operate in smaller teams in combat, the stresses and isolation experienced in a combat unit are not even comparable to non combat units. All of these things increase the chances of sexual violence exponentially, this is a really bad thing when everyone is armed all the time.

    I hope this doesn't come off as me trying to "protect women from the world", I'm not particularly good at articulating the environment that I saw during my time in the Army. I don't think it's hopeless, and I'm not against women in combat roles. I just think the Army in particular still needs a massive culture change to get to the point were will women will be safe and effective in these units. They are getting there, and in all truth I would have done it the same way. Opening an advanced "badass" school like the Rangers to women before allowing them to just be infantry or scouts is a spectacular idea - there's no Infantrymen on the planet that can deny the shear awesome willpower it takes to earn a ranger tab. Hopefully this will have a positive trickle down effect, but I still don't think it's gonna address the assault issue :/

    As of right now, most rape victims in the military are male.

    Maybe the military would do better to actually address the issue with education and training?

    Peace to fashion police, I wear my heart
    On my sleeve, let the runway start
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    And really, one of the best things for improving sexual assault against women in the military is having women present in the military. In my experience there's a huge change in behavior between groups that regularly have mixed genders at varying levels and those that don't.

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    Grape ApeGrape Ape Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Is there any sense of what testing/standards for other nations' combat roles look like? Specifically nations which allow women in combat roles?
    I'm pretty certain there are countries where this is the standard (Israel comes to mind) so would assume that would be a better place to start a conversation about whether US military standards are sensible/measure what they set out to measure.

    edit: Found the list/infographic!

    Grape Ape on
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    The Ender wrote: »
    Even if we accept that the standards in place are questionable because we don't really trust the army to not be dumb, it doesn't follow that the best course of action is to arbitrarily reduce them.

    Don't Ask / Don't Tell being repealed was a largely arbitrary relaxation of standards, was it not?


    No it really wasn't. The military conducted a huge survey at the behest of Obama and Congress. The survey found that people currently in service mostly didn't care. In some areas people overwhelmingly didn't care.

    I don't see how people caring matters to the question of it being an arbitrary relaxation of standards.

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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.

    This seems like a monstrous question to be asking. I wish you'd taken SummaryJudgment"'s out.

    Zero combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity because gender parity is neither desirable nor useful in the military, and justice is served through equal opportunity to achieve a standard, not equal numbers in the units. None of us should care for an instant about gender parity in military combat units! We should only care about the unit's effectiveness at accomplishing missions, and not what the genders of the soldiers involved are at all.

    Nobody is talking about gender parity.

    What people are pointing out is that when you start talking about the legitimacy of a standard that will exclude specific demographics at an exceptionally high rate, it is fair to say that said standard should be objectively evaluated to determine whether or not it is legitimately measuring the needed capabilities, or if it is overly strict and excluding candidates who would be able to perform in that position.

    I do not get why this is such a controversial position to take.

    What about the current standard is unfair?

    I don't know. But I'm not going to assume the validity of the status quo, especially when the military has a track record of using it to dig their heels in to oppose societal changes they dislike.

    You believe the very high standards were created to prevent women from serving in combat during a time when women were openly not allowed to serve in combat?

    No, I don't believe that they were created to specifically prevent women from serving. I do think that the military has not been afraid to use them as a way to push back on allowing women into combat arms, however.

    Given it's historically an excuse that's been used for every job ever in the military and wide swaths of the military don't have obscenely high PT standards I find this logic just a mite specious.

    That's the point, Quid - the military has a track record of trying to say "women can't perform" when some arm of the service got opened up to women. The biggest push backs were the combat arms and combat aviation - not surprisingly, these have been the traditional routes to higher commands.

    And you're claiming they totally raised the the physical requirements for combat roles, decades before women serving was even a remote possibility, to keep them out. Despite physical requirements not being raised anywhere else in the military to do the same. I find that extremely unlikely.

    No, I'm not. What I am saying is that the military, when given a directive like opening up an arm of the service to women that they are opposed to, will use arguments like physical standards to drag their heels on the matter.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • Options
    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Grape Ape wrote: »
    Is there any sense of what testing/standards for other nations' combat roles look like? Specifically nations which allow women in combat roles?
    I'm pretty certain there are countries where this is the standard (Israel comes to mind) so would assume that would be a better place to start a conversation about whether US military standards are sensible/measure what they set out to measure.

    edit: Found the list/infographic!

    Well, this is the interesting thing to me:

    You look at combat forces without any interesting physical standards (many insurgent groups, for example, or guerrilla combat forces), but really extensive training programs. What's the combat attrition rate, after you control for access to things like body armor, close air support, armor support, naval support & night fighting capabilities. compared to the combat attrition rate of armed forced with a large body of physical standards?

    I have this suspicion that there isn't as much disparity between these two rates as some would like to believe.

    With Love and Courage
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.

    This seems like a monstrous question to be asking. I wish you'd taken SummaryJudgment"'s out.

    Zero combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity because gender parity is neither desirable nor useful in the military, and justice is served through equal opportunity to achieve a standard, not equal numbers in the units. None of us should care for an instant about gender parity in military combat units! We should only care about the unit's effectiveness at accomplishing missions, and not what the genders of the soldiers involved are at all.

    Nobody is talking about gender parity.

    What people are pointing out is that when you start talking about the legitimacy of a standard that will exclude specific demographics at an exceptionally high rate, it is fair to say that said standard should be objectively evaluated to determine whether or not it is legitimately measuring the needed capabilities, or if it is overly strict and excluding candidates who would be able to perform in that position.

    I do not get why this is such a controversial position to take.

    What about the current standard is unfair?

    I don't know. But I'm not going to assume the validity of the status quo, especially when the military has a track record of using it to dig their heels in to oppose societal changes they dislike.

    You believe the very high standards were created to prevent women from serving in combat during a time when women were openly not allowed to serve in combat?

    No, I don't believe that they were created to specifically prevent women from serving. I do think that the military has not been afraid to use them as a way to push back on allowing women into combat arms, however.

    Given it's historically an excuse that's been used for every job ever in the military and wide swaths of the military don't have obscenely high PT standards I find this logic just a mite specious.

    That's the point, Quid - the military has a track record of trying to say "women can't perform" when some arm of the service got opened up to women. The biggest push backs were the combat arms and combat aviation - not surprisingly, these have been the traditional routes to higher commands.

    And you're claiming they totally raised the the physical requirements for combat roles, decades before women serving was even a remote possibility, to keep them out. Despite physical requirements not being raised anywhere else in the military to do the same. I find that extremely unlikely.

    No, I'm not. What I am saying is that the military, when given a directive like opening up an arm of the service to women that they are opposed to, will use arguments like physical standards to drag their heels on the matter.

    Sure. And they've been wrong every time and women have met the standards every time.

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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    The physical standards shouldn't be lowered, the problem here is that the military uses a physical fitness standard scale for females and a separate one for females. The current standard is the male standard.* The 17-21 age range specifically.
    image17.gif

    Push ups Sit ups
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    The average for infantry is somewhere around 240, but it depends on the unit. 280 was the average for my first unit. We didn't run as much in Drum due to the ice. These standards are pretty important.

    So as it stands right now, on average women need to exceed their stand by a large margin to meet the current infantry standard. Allowing women to maintain scores from the current gender variable physical fitness scale would lower something like average run time for that unit. This is what people mean by "lowering the standard". Unless women in combat arms units must maintain the male standard then you lower the standard for that unit. You're literally only as fast as your slowest person.

    Now they might require women in combat arms units to meet the 'male standard'* already and I don't know if they do, but if not they need to.

    As far as combat relevance, the run time is at a pretty good place for males right now and really push ups and sit ups are mostly meaningless. Cardiovascular health is a much bigger determinant for combat fitness than anything else. You often need to run and better cardio affords you more stamina and speed. Plus psychological stress inherently raises heart rate by a significant degree. It also allows you to carry heavy weight for longer and move faster with it.

    Overall strength is pretty important too, but push ups and sit ups aren't an adequate measure of that. They are still somewhat useful for roughly gauging physical fitness though. Something like squats and pull ups are what we should use. An assistant gunner in a light unit without an ammo bearer can end up carrying over 200 lbs of gear and ammo (and great cardio health is necessary to do this for long and continue to move quickly). I've done it. Women could do it too. Not all men can perform these tasks either. There needs to be a test for it, but everyone should be able to do it. Some weapons are really heavy and require upper body strength. Women could carry these. Women could easily get the strength necessary to do all that without steroids, but they need to be capable of it. You don't just train for one duty position, you cross train on all of them, because if your assistant gunner goes down, then anyone could have to carry their gear and ammo. The machine guns are that important. Women can do it, and if they can meet the male PT standard and performance standards then let them.

    *I realize it sounds bad calling it that, but I only mean it based on the PT scales. I'm sure women could meet that standard.

    Taranis on
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    Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    The Ender wrote: »
    Even if we accept that the standards in place are questionable because we don't really trust the army to not be dumb, it doesn't follow that the best course of action is to arbitrarily reduce them.

    Don't Ask / Don't Tell being repealed was a largely arbitrary relaxation of standards, was it not?


    No it really wasn't. The military conducted a huge survey at the behest of Obama and Congress. The survey found that people currently in service mostly didn't care. In some areas people overwhelmingly didn't care.

    I don't see how people caring matters to the question of it being an arbitrary relaxation of standards.

    It matters because the entire argument surrounding gays openly serving was that it would be a morale and discipline issue.

    No one ever attempted to make the argument that gay people couldn't do the job, just that their presence would affect the workplace negatively. So they polled the entire military and it turns out most people said "No, I'm cool with it".

    So the policy change wasn't arbitrary at all.

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    Jean Claude Van CalmJean Claude Van Calm 'sup? Awesome Possum.Registered User regular
    Cambiata wrote: »
    The combat infantry badge is for infantry, period. The combat action badge is for anyone who engages in combat. The former is specifically exclusionary, but there is an exact equivalent for everyone else. And honestly, infantry getting extra pretty badges is a fair reward for how much bullshit they put up with.

    As a CIB wearer, glad to see someone gets it - thanks pj. :D When I run across another CIB it's not about knowing they also ran into combat, it's about knowing they signed up for that specific purpose and that their entire lifestyle is shaped by the circumstances that infantry places people in to. "[o]f all Soldiers, it was recognized that the infantryman continuously operated under the worst conditions and performed a mission that was not assigned to any other Soldier or unit ... [t]he infantry, a small portion of the total Armed Forces, was suffering the most casualties while receiving the least public recognition."

    Anyways, I never found the physical standards to be the limiting factor for females in combat roles. I myself am 5'6" and weighed about 120lbs when I joined, there are females reading this thread that could physically out perform me in just about every way. I kinda think of the "OMG but they aren't strawng!" as a sort of popular generic Hollywood answer. Same can be said for the fear that women will be exposed to more sever hygiene issues than men (this is another issue my infantry buddies like to bring up).

    The thing that always really concerned me about women in combat roles is the thing that plagued the military during my stint. Sexual assault and harassment, it is literally off the charts rampant in the military. I imagine it has to do with the inherent power asymmetry that comes with official rank and titles. In a stateside, non combat unit it's pretty normal for everyones personal business to be "known" - the majority of sexual relationships are predatory senior males targeting lower ranking females. Not only does it hurt the victim in all the ways that these abuses normally due, but it degrades the moral fabric of the unit who sees these things happening to a fellow soldier. In a highly over-sighted non combat unit these things are dealt with as they are in most places, they are swept under the rug or quietly "fixed" by moving soldiers out of the unit, it's rare that the root cause is ever addressed - it's not ideal but it does maintain the operations of the unit.

    My concern is that the "normal" sexual assault problems will increase drastically when women are introduced to combat roles. Combat roles tend to have less direct officer oversight as the units operate in smaller teams in combat, the stresses and isolation experienced in a combat unit are not even comparable to non combat units. All of these things increase the chances of sexual violence exponentially, this is a really bad thing when everyone is armed all the time.

    I hope this doesn't come off as me trying to "protect women from the world", I'm not particularly good at articulating the environment that I saw during my time in the Army. I don't think it's hopeless, and I'm not against women in combat roles. I just think the Army in particular still needs a massive culture change to get to the point were will women will be safe and effective in these units. They are getting there, and in all truth I would have done it the same way. Opening an advanced "badass" school like the Rangers to women before allowing them to just be infantry or scouts is a spectacular idea - there's no Infantrymen on the planet that can deny the shear awesome willpower it takes to earn a ranger tab. Hopefully this will have a positive trickle down effect, but I still don't think it's gonna address the assault issue :/

    As of right now, most rape victims in the military are male.

    Maybe the military would do better to actually address the issue with education and training?

    I'm not sure if this is a rebuttal or you're just pointing out an article for gigggles. Because it happens less to females (in a purely flat numerical way) it's an invalid point? Your article never acknowledges that maybe males are represented more because females only make up 14% of the force as a whole? That would still mean individual women are multiple times more likely to be a victim compared to both males and their civilian counterparts. All this regardless of their integration into non combat units as quid seems to be alluding to. You're absolutely right though, more training is needed.

    PSN: Grimmsy- Xbox Live: Grimmsy
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    CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    There's only a few militaries that have full integration Canada and France are the largest, I think. Canada has a physical fitness test completely unlike anything in the USA, dunno about France.

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    TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    I'd like to reiterate my point.

    I think Ranger Training maybe shouldn't be so absolutist when it comes to the requirements for lifting a certain amount of weight.

    I think that weight should be relative to the person, not an absolute value. That's all.

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    CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Reading up on Canadian testing it sounds a lot more useful for testing what a soldier is actually likely to do. It's only a couple of years old.

    The FORCE Evaluation consists of four test components, each designed to measure different physical capabilities:

    Sandbag Lift: 30 consecutive lifts of a 20 kilogram sandbag above a height of 1 metre, alternating between left and right sandbags separated by 1.25 metres. Standard: 3 minutes 30 seconds.

    Intermittent Loaded Shuttles: Using the 20 metre lines, complete ten 20 metre shuttles alternating between a loaded shuttle with a 20 kilogram sand bag and unloaded shuttles, for a total of 400 metres. Standard: 5 minutes 21 seconds.

    20-Metre Rushes: Starting from prone, complete two 20 metre shuttle sprints dropping to a prone position every 10 metres, for a total of 80 metres. Standard: 51 seconds.

    Sandbag Drag: Carry one 20 kilogram sandbag and pull four on the floor over 20 mtres without stopping. Standard: Complete without stopping.

    All CAF members will be tested annually and will be required to achieve one common minimum standard, regardless of age and gender.

    Cabezone on
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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    Didn't realize we had a thread for this. Reposting my post from the bad news gone right thread. I'm going to catch up on the thread now.
    Taranis wrote: »
    Decomposey wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    You have a woman mechanic working for a support battalion attached to an infantry brigade. The whole lot of them get deployed to the middle east.

    The infantry do regular sweeps and patrols, but none of them can talk to women in the country without there being problems. They need a woman to go with them to do the talking.

    Guess who gets tapped for the task.

    Guess who loads up on armor and weapons just like the guys and goes out on the same sweeps and sees an equal amount of hostile action.

    When the deployment is over guess who goes back to the support battalion and is never allowed to claim that they served in combat.

    Guess how much combat experience counts in getting promoted

    Uh people earn CABs. Men and women earn CABs. What the hell are you even talking about? You wear a badge and you can't talk about it? How does that work? I just a few weeks ago had my buddy -- now in an MP unit -- tell me about how they were swapping stories war stories with one of their female peers without ridiculing her. I'm not aware of how women can't have combat experience and never saw that when I was in. Is that a new thing? I'm not aware of how women's experiences don't count toward their own promotion either. How are their combat experiences even worth less at the promotion board?

    What do presence patrols even have to do with anything? Is the argument that women show earn CIBs when they'd normally earn CABs? That's only true now that they will now serve in infantry units and not be attachments who earn CABs regardless of sex.

    How is any of that even relevant to what i'm saying here?

    The reason is that that the MOSes that have previously denied women are the ones which have a greater effect on getting promoted. An 11B will get promoted sooner and more often than a 09L, even though they will both be in the same place getting shot at by the same people, because the 11B is a categorized as a combat role and the 09L is not.
    No. That's mostly wrong. It's because you need more E5s and E6s in an infantry line unit. It's not the combat experience. These people are in different units with different MTOEs. Its also based on that MOS' retention: if that unit has most guys get out before meeting the requisite TIS then you'll naturally have a shortage in that MOS, but retention rates differ from unit/MOS to the next. Infantry doesn't often have good retention rates so they have a frequent shortage. This drives demand for that rank and MOS way up and required promotion points down for that rank. So basically it has a lot of NCO slots open because they're in demand and short of experienced candidates. This lowers the bar on leadership, it doesn't really select for combat experience. Plus, a CAB is worth just as many promotion points as a CIB.

    An interpreter's combat experience doesn't even translate to infantry experience and vice versa. Just like I didn't pick up enough Arabic to fill in for even a cherry interpreter even though I could interact with with local nationals solely in their language. Interpreters don't suddenly know how to parse things like types of machine gun and when you account for that just because they've been in firefights with 11Bs. So it's not like an 11B would have justification for using the promotion point requirement for 09Ls if it was different. Because overlapping experiences don't necessarily qualify you for that other MOS.

    It's sexist in that women can't have access combat arms jobs. However it's not like you're pretty much an infantryman if you fight with the infantry just like how I wasn't pretty much an 88M, 68W, 09L, or a 25U, or especially not an 18whatever.

    Edit: Also to further emphasize that it's more about a lack of commonality in overall experience, 11Cs often had much higher promotion point score requirements than 11Bs because there were fewer 11C slots. As as an 11B I didn't even know the first thing about using a mortar system. I probably could've used one after some hip pocket training, but I wouldn't be qualified to tell other people the finer points of using a mortar. An 11C isn't going to perform as well as an 11B during something like battle drill 6, because when they're training on the mortar 11Bs would be doing something like tape drills. Even within infantry units, training and experiences don't translate.

    Edit 2: It's not like if you see combat a lot you're just good at combat -- you're good at doing X during combat. X isn't always 'performing battle drills' or 'fulfilling fire missions' or 'talking to fixed wing aircraft to bring in a JDAM'. Sometimes X is hanging out with the PSG or PL, or accompanying the TAC, or searching women. Before this, that was those were the sorts of role women were relegated to. Nothing necessitates that X is performing battle drills and kicking in doors. In fact, inorganic male or females won't do that the vast majority of times.

    Thats....thats a lot of acronyms and codes. lol

    Sorry about that. In the military, sometimes the acronym or initialism becomes the actual word and the letters' meaning becomes forgotten or more like trivia. I can define something or explain it if necessary.

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    TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Yeah, the GIGN has goddamn women in it. They make our special forces look like wimps.

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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Taranis wrote: »
    Now they might require women in combat arms units to meet the 'male standard'* already and I don't know if they do, but if not they need to.

    I can't speak for other programs but I know the Tactical Information Operations program in the Navy has its own higher standard.

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    CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Thinking more about my time in service, that Canadian test tests the stuff all of the weaker soldiers had trouble with, mostly carrying heavy shit around.

    Cabezone on
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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Trace wrote: »
    I'd like to reiterate my point.

    I think Ranger Training maybe shouldn't be so absolutist when it comes to the requirements for lifting a certain amount of weight.

    I think that weight should be relative to the person, not an absolute value. That's all.

    No. Everyone needs X amount of food. Everyone needs Y amount of water. Everyone needs Z amount of extra clothes. Everyone needs N amount of ammo. Everyone needs to carry their weapon, armor, helmet, and uniform. There's no way you could have sex-centric loads in full battle rattle. It just wouldn't make sense and loads as they are are very necessary.

    Taranis on
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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Quid wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    Now they might require women in combat arms units to meet the 'male standard'* already and I don't know if they do, but if not they need to.

    I can't speak for other programs but I know the Tactical Information Operations program in the Navy has its own higher standard.

    That's probably something the Army should look into. It seemed like every other branch had better thought out fitness standards than the army.

    Edit: actually now that I think about it, Green Beret/Special Forces had their own. >=300 on 17-21 for males was the minimum to even go to selection. Internally they probably have their own as well. Delta's probably the same way.

    Taranis on
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    The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Trace wrote: »
    Yeah, the GIGN has goddamn women in it. They make our special forces look like wimps.

    The Israeli Defense Force as well. And their internal studying found that women were superior in a large variety of combat-focused skill sets (marksmanship, discipline, determination, etc).


    Eh, but what do they know about cold, pragmatic war doctrines. :P

    With Love and Courage
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    TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    Taranis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    I'd like to reiterate my point.

    I think Ranger Training maybe shouldn't be so absolutist when it comes to the requirements for lifting a certain amount of weight.

    I think that weight should be relative to the person, not an absolute value. That's all.

    No. Everyone needs X amount of food. Everyone needs Y amount of water. Everyone needs Z amount of extra clothes. Everyone needs Z amount of ammo. Everyone needs to carry their weapon, armor, helmet, and uniform. There's no way you could have sex-centric loads in full battle rattle. It just wouldn't make sense and loads as they are are very necessary.

    who said anything about full battle whatever

    I said training. By all accounts ranger training is hell on the body and they should probably take the fact that their candidates are losing on average 25-30lbs into account when it comes to making them haul shit around. When you're going into the field for a real goddamn fight you're not half starved

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    PaladinPaladin Registered User regular
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    P10 wrote: »
    I don't think it's monstrous to want to have an estimate on what the consequences of a potential relaxing of the standards would be.

    and that is also not what he was talking about.
    Paladin wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    Paladin wrote: »
    Ninjeff wrote: »
    No way in hell should you relax standards.

    Thats just.....thats just dangerous.

    How dangerous?

    Are you actually asking how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity?

    Yes.


    He is asking, straightforward, how many combat deaths are acceptable in order to achieve gender parity. He is not asking what the consequence of relaxed standards might be, he is asking how many dead soldiers we should accept in order to have equal numbers of women in combat roles.

    Stop turning aside, folks. This is Paladin's question.

    It's a question that should be asked coldly. The only modifications I would make now that it's been teased out are that we should know the cost of gender parity but not necessarily strive for it at the moment, and that statistically, future combat death is the same as risk of combat death.

    This cost may be zero or some other number. It may even be negative. We should know it, and it will inform our quotas, research, and policy.

    For instance, let's talk about negative cost. That means women will only be allowed in combat roles if they will reduce risk of death. Very stringent. And consistent with jeepguy's mantra of a most effective fighting force. But it seems like if everyone agreed on that, there would be no controversy. The military may not be an equal opportunity organization, but they are still representatives of the nation.

    Allowing women in combat roles may change risk of death. Does it? How much?

    This seems to purposefully get off subject (though i understood why you said it). The issue isnt WOMEN changing risk in combat, its "Women who dont have to meet the current physical standards" changing risk in combat.

    Good point. I got sidetracked because spool begged the question a little. It is possible standards may not have to be relaxed to allow for a healthy woman presence in combat units. Either way, we should directly think about how we can ascertain how much this affects the risk of injury, death, and quality of life of servicemembers.

    Marty: The future, it's where you're going?
    Doc: That's right, twenty five years into the future. I've always dreamed on seeing the future, looking beyond my years, seeing the progress of mankind. I'll also be able to see who wins the next twenty-five world series.
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    Jean Claude Van CalmJean Claude Van Calm 'sup? Awesome Possum.Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Trace wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    I'd like to reiterate my point.

    I think Ranger Training maybe shouldn't be so absolutist when it comes to the requirements for lifting a certain amount of weight.

    I think that weight should be relative to the person, not an absolute value. That's all.

    No. Everyone needs X amount of food. Everyone needs Y amount of water. Everyone needs Z amount of extra clothes. Everyone needs Z amount of ammo. Everyone needs to carry their weapon, armor, helmet, and uniform. There's no way you could have sex-centric loads in full battle rattle. It just wouldn't make sense and loads as they are are very necessary.

    who said anything about full battle whatever

    I said training. By all accounts ranger training is hell on the body and they should probably take the fact that their candidates are losing on average 25-30lbs into account when it comes to making them haul shit around. When you're going into the field for a real goddamn fight you're not half starved

    Full battle rattle is whats worn into combat, training is whats used to ensure victory in combat. They are not mutually exclusive, there is no point in training in a combat unit when it doesn't reflect combat. I was a wee bit peckish in all fights.

    Jean Claude Van Calm on
    PSN: Grimmsy- Xbox Live: Grimmsy
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Trace wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    Trace wrote: »
    I'd like to reiterate my point.

    I think Ranger Training maybe shouldn't be so absolutist when it comes to the requirements for lifting a certain amount of weight.

    I think that weight should be relative to the person, not an absolute value. That's all.

    No. Everyone needs X amount of food. Everyone needs Y amount of water. Everyone needs Z amount of extra clothes. Everyone needs Z amount of ammo. Everyone needs to carry their weapon, armor, helmet, and uniform. There's no way you could have sex-centric loads in full battle rattle. It just wouldn't make sense and loads as they are are very necessary.

    who said anything about full battle whatever

    I said training. By all accounts ranger training is hell on the body and they should probably take the fact that their candidates are losing on average 25-30lbs into account when it comes to making them haul shit around. When you're going into the field for a real goddamn fight you're not half starved

    Uh, they quite possibly are depending on the situation. That's kind of the point of special forces. To be able to do their job in the shittiest of circumstances.

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