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Who has courage to point out problems with women in combat?

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  • Ringo18 West Point, NY
    May 9, 2015 8:59 p.m.

    Open Minded Mormon and Pagan,

    Thank you for your thoughts. I am an LDS female that is currently pursuing a military career and I have felt very conflicted on this issue. Seeing as I have built such a strong foundation of identifying with the female role as a nurturer and as someone that has an incredible desire not to see others suffer, I have been really struggling with question of what I am truly capable of as a female. However, I’d like to serve to the same capacity as my male counterparts and would simply appreciate the opportunity to attempt to do so in hopes that I might be able to contribute. That being said, I have yet to find a female soldier that would agree with lowering the standard for combat arms. Women want to contribute, not to hinder the effort. I have many mentors and close friends that truly are my brothers in arms, and I can't just sit here while they put their lives on the line. I believe that I deserve the right to attempt to reach whatever standard is necessary to fight alongside the people I most care about. Thank you.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Feb. 7, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    "If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?"

    And if this process operates as literally everything else operates (bone up on "disparate impact" in the context of employment law), you can be sure that physical standards *will* be lowered, to allow more women into the combat arms.

    Because liberals' vision of how the world ought to be, must always triumph over how the world is. And if that means Marines don't have to do as many pull-ups anymore, well, that's a small price to pay to maintain our pretense that "equal" means "the same."

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 7, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    ‘Who has courage to point out problems with women in combat?’

    ==========

    Better yet --

    "‘Who has courage to serve in lieu of women in combat?’"

    I did.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 1:14 a.m.

    Dart-02, I wasn't suggesting that you were trying to change the subject, I was just borrowing your POG term. You see, everyone else wants to change the subject by bringing the POG corps into this discussion, but it doesn't really belong. We all know the great need POGs serve, male and female. Any grunt can appreciate when his MRE comes to him in a timely manner and in one piece. And every grunt needs ammo to shoot. And every grunt realizes that every non-grunt puts his or her life in danger when they bring him chow, water, ammo, etc., etc. Nobody questions that. So my question, not to you, but to everyone else, is why does everyone else keep bringing up non-combat arms occupation specialties. This discussion is about whether or not female personnel should serve in combat arms units. This discussion is not about whether or not women should see combat. Women do see combat. We get that. Should they be placed in infantry units? mark assures me that no, they won't be. Okay, that is what I wanted to hear.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    Dart 02, not to press the point, but our military in no way fights like they did in the "John Wayne" days. I assume we are talking about WWII or Vietnam. The infantry of the modern military does not fight like they did in those wars. The support and communication alone that the modern infantry has removes it from anything the soldiers were doing in WWII or Vietnam.

    What you are saying would be like saying WWII was fought like WWI, or the infantry in WWII was used like the infantry in WWI. It just ain't so.

    But if we are just saying that it is a rough and dirty job? Yeah, I'll agree. War is heck. Right?

    But the thing is, you are totally wrong if you think this decision will reduce the military's combat effectiveness at all. It won't. Because we DON'T fight wars like we use to.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    Killpack, should we find out what we are talking about before we get worked up?

    "Defense officials say as many as 14,000 positions could be opened up, though the restrictions on women serving in infantry combat units will remain in place.

    The rule change reflects the ongoing reality that in a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, women were already dying in combat with the blurring of the traditional definition of front lines. Nearly 300,000 women have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 144 of them have died in those conflicts.

    Women will still be barred from serving in infantry combat units, defense officials say, but the changes will formally open up new positions at the combat battalion level that, until now, have been off limits.

    The new jobs opening up for female service members will be combat support positions, including communications, intelligence and logistical positions, defense officials add. Typically, these jobs have been made available at the combat brigade level, but not at the lower battalion level, which was deemed too close to combat situation."- Restrictions Easing On Women in Combat, ABC News

    Do we feel better now, Killpack?

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 6, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal - I work with these guys weekly at the Durham VA helping them put their lives back together - you know the ones who actually fought on front lines whose lives were torn apart in real combat - - what do you do?

    "And, anyone who fails to understand that, has no real business commenting."

    You have no idea of what my level of knowledge or experience is. I am more than willing to put my credentials up against yours.... any day.... any time. I don't think you are in a position to decide who should be in the business of commenting - particularly since I am pretty sure you have no first hand experience yourself.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 6, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    Dart -02, 40 years ago these same people trued to convince others that blacks could not or should not serve because they were not up to the task. I take those kinds of opinions for what they are worth. Or are you going to tell me that blacks also hold up operations too?

    You use the example of Afghanistan. Your comments only touch on one aspect of what FETs did in the front lines. They played a huge role in rural Afghanistan, where men are banned from talking with 50% of the population. Having FETs in squadron made it possible to get a lot more intelligence and support of locals - something made much harder by all male squads. There is far more to be in a combat troop in Afghanistan than how many rounds you can load per minutes, as actual "combat" comprised a very small portion of a patrols daily duties - and being able to communicate with locals often was the nest way to stay alive.

    So yes, I know what a FET is - and what roles they played.

    Next

  • Dart-02 SLC, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    @killpack

    I had no intention of changing the subject or suggesting only those in combat arms have seen combat, but what many people don't seem to realize is that fighting from behind gun of turret mounted on a vehicle is a far cry from humping it out over the mountains of Afghanistan with all of your equipment, climbing in and out of ditches and going into a fight that you just walked 8 hours to get to.

    @ everyone else: The fighting done by the infantry is still a rough and dirty job that comes down to hand to hand combat at times - so yes we still need gung ho John Wayne types. People keep commenting that war has changed, but some things never change. On top of that no one knows what our next war may entail. Maybe it will be nothing but drone strikes or maybe it will be a conventional war in Korea (unlikely, but never the less possible). It is irresponsible to reduce our combat effectivenss to satisfy politicians and feminazis.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 5:06 p.m.

    Re: "How would you know? What branch did you serve in? What combat have you been in . . . ?"

    Thanks for making my point.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    killpack
    Sandy, UT

    ==========

    You are splitting hairs killpack.

    You can be blown up by a road-side IED and not a Navy Seal.

    Tell me - where is the "Front-line" anymore?
    There isn't one in guerilla or door to door urban warfare.

    The times have changed, the situation has changed.

    The smaller smarter soldier survives, the bigger dumber ones do not.

    Besides--
    No one is changing the rules for selection,
    If you can do it, you're in - if you can't, you wash out.

    They are just removing any preconvieved barriers based ONLY on gender - that's ALL that has changed.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 4:42 p.m.

    Well then Killpack, maybe then we should know what we are talking about before we get all out of sorts, eh?

    "Defense officials say as many as 14,000 positions could be opened up, though the restrictions on women serving in infantry combat units will remain in place.

    "The rule change reflects the ongoing reality that in a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, women were already dying in combat with the blurring of the traditional definition of front lines. Nearly 300,000 women have served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 144 of them have died in those conflicts.

    Women will still be barred from serving in infantry combat units, defense officials say, but the changes will formally open up new positions at the combat battalion level that, until now, have been off limits."-ABC News.

    Feel better now, Killpack?

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    @mark

    'The woman in the military are in combat, and have been in combat. Now it is official.'

    Just be sure not to confuse combat with combat arms. Women have been and are are currently in combat. They often do so with great distinction. They have NOT been in combat arms occupation specialties. There is a huge difference. Words have meaning. If civilian leaders in Washington want to change the wording on policy to feel better about themselves, they need to make darn sure that they know what the words mean. Are we nominally changing the policy, just as a formality, for political correctness' sake, or are we really going to place women in infantry, arty and tank units. I keep hearing all of this noise about 'oh, but women are already in combat.' What do you mean by that? Do you mean they are already in infantry units? Because if so, you are dead wrong. And that is the discussion we should be having.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 2:59 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal
    Tooele, UT
    Re: "We are way past the old John Wayne coming over the hill with guns ablaze."

    Sorry, but we're not.

    And, anyone who fails to understand that, has no real business commenting.

    11:52 a.m. Feb. 6, 2013

    =============

    How would you know?
    What branch did you serve in?
    What combat have you been in, procuradorfiscal?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    "Re: "We are way past the old John Wayne coming over the hill with guns ablaze."

    Sorry, but we're not.

    And, anyone who fails to understand that, has no real business commenting."

    Sorry but we are. Our modern military is not at all similar to what those armies were. The modern military does not operate the same way, they do not fight the same way. Sorry you fail to understand that.

    The woman in the military are in combat, and have been in combat. Now it is official. Our military will remain the most powerful war machine the world has ever seen. Get over it. Women serving in the military, I say to you, good for you. And thank you.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil

    'Kilpack - you do realize though there is a lot more to a combat corps than infantry, right?'

    Rest assured, I am very aware of the other specialties besides infantry, POGs as Dart-02 calls them. I never thought this discussion was about POGs, which do in fact see combat. Yes, I know that. We all do. But I am pretty certain this discussion is about infantry, and the few other specialties designated as combat arms, which have heretofore been closed to females. So, why are we all of a sudden changing the subject? Because, I thought this whole conversation was about combat arms specialties, not ALL specialties, which do in fact see combat. Words have meaning. 'Combat arms,' in military lingo, is very specific. It does not include pilots, cooks, motor T, etc., etc., who often see combat, receive combat action decorations, and so on and so on.

  • Dart-02 SLC, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal

    So true. Too many spout their dogma with no real understanding of the real issues at hand or how their policies will wreck combat effectiveness.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    Re: "We are way past the old John Wayne coming over the hill with guns ablaze."

    Sorry, but we're not.

    And, anyone who fails to understand that, has no real business commenting.

  • Dart-02 SLC, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    UtahBlueDevil

    killpack is absolutely correct. And the push for women to be in combat arms also includes a push for them to be in the infantry. Most other combat arms positions also require a lot of upperbody strength such as loading artillery or loading the main gun of an Abrams tank. Check out first hand accounts of Marine infantry in Afghanistan that took FET teams with them and you will find that most found the FET teams slowed them down and hampered the mission. If you don't know what a FET team is, then you have no qualification to make an educated decision on this topic.

    The opinions of those who serve and have served in combat arms were never taken into consideration when making this decision to allow women in combat arms. POG colonels and generals go along to get along and obtain the next star.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    Kilpack - you do realize though there is a lot more to a combat corps than infantry, right? We are way past the old John Wayne coming over the hill with guns ablaze. Let’s choose who fills what roles based on skills and capability, and not Y or X chromosomes.

    We may end up with the same results, but at least it is based on something real, and less on something that restricts opportuntiy based on something arbitrary.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    Here's the bottom line. If you can't perform 300 on the Marine Corps PFT, or pretty close to it, you have NO BUSINESS in a Marine Corps infantry unit.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    Pagan
    Salt Lake City, UT
    How about this?

    Don't like women serving our country?

    Fine.

    Get off your seat and do it yourself.

    10:14 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

    ==========

    Agreed!

    As one veteran to another --

    Why is it, the loudest against any minority group (blacks, gays, women, muslims, etc) - have NEVER served in the Military?

    It think it's more an issue of ignant bigotry, than an actual issue of combat rediness.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Feb. 6, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Good grief Mark B. You do realize modern warfare has moved beyond John Wayne charging the hill in many ways. Yes, there are ground battles.. Just ask the Iraqi's how well trench warfare worked out for them last time. There are many aspects of combat. Some are very local, and very high intensity. Some are controlled from a control center in the middle of Nevada.

    Just like to get into the Seals - not everyone can get in. Not every man can get in. Who ever applies for that service, needs to pass the requirements. But this is far different than flying a chopper into combat zones. This is way different than commanding a patriot missile battery. This is far different than firing a howitzer. Not all these require your to be a WWF look alike.

    So lets get off the extremes. A woman can operate a surface to air battery. A women can operate armor. Put your mail ego away and realize that technology has entered the battlefield, and it doesn't need hulk hogan or a john wayne wannabe to operate it.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    First of all Ms. Parker is showing a vast ignorance of war today. Cooks, are exposed to combat. In todays wars you don't go looking for the enemy most of the time, the enemy comes to you..in your tent, on the road, on humanitarin missions. Every soldier is in combat now. Secondly, where's the talk of our beloved friend Israel. They not only have women in combat but much of what Ms. Parker complains about, some common standards, some different standards, are in fact a part of the Israeli military and it works great.

    There's much for us to figure out..but women in the military..women in combat..done, and done well.

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Feb. 5, 2013 11:16 p.m.

    - “Who has courage to point out problems with women in combat?’ –

    Only those who don’t mind being politically incorrect.

    My one question about having female combat personnel is: would it enhance or hamper the objective of the armed forces? If there will be no adverse impacts of any kind, on individual units, field operations, morale, or any other aspect of the military’s mission, then let’s go ahead and put women in combat if they meet the overall qualifications.

    But let’s keep in mind what that mission is. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force do not exist to provide career opportunities for anyone, either male or female. They exist to win wars and protect the United States.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    How about this?

    Don't like women serving our country?

    Fine.

    Get off your seat and do it yourself.

  • mcdugall Layton, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:12 p.m.

    This article is nothing more than an opinion piece supported by zero quantitative and questionable qualitative data. The military has done more research about the inclusions of women on the front lines, which many currently do see active combat, and has decided that there will no or only a marginal impact by allowing women to serve, otherwise they would not have made the rule change. Let's all stop being armchair quarterbacks and let the professionals do their work.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    If we have a problem putting women in combat roles maybe we should think a bit more before putting anyone in a combat role. The gender gap doesn't make anything less stupid.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2013 6:25 p.m.

    What amuses me is that years ago when the LDS Church opposed the ERA, two of the arguments against the amendment by their sycophants was that if passed women would end up in combat and their would be unisex toilets. We have had unisex toilets for quite a while now, and now we have women eligible for combat assignments. Go figure!

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    Women in combat is fine with me... which means they must also register for the draft, just like guys now have to do. Anything less is grossly unfair.

  • Watch Dog Provo, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    I appreciate this author for saying some things that need said. That being said, I do not have a problem with a women, off site, running a drone in Afghanistan, or any where else in the world. Some of these jobs are perfectly okay with me if a woman does them.

    But, putting on that vest, the 45 pound pack, and joining her "brothers" who run, literally run, up a hill for 2 or 3 of miles without crapping out and slowing down the rest of the unit? I don't think so!

    Should we actually expect the physical build of a woman on the front lines to limit the team? No, we should not. If we allow this to happen, the end result will be an overall weakening of our armed forces in general.

    I can hear it now: 'The physical ability of our soldiers should be modified (read toned down) from what they are now - so that women can pass them.'

    EVERY enemy in the world that we have, would be welcoming such a naive (and inevitable) change in the ability of our soldiers. Every one!

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    This letter cites indoctrination...

    and then cites zero sources!

    Opinion, is opinion, is more empty and faceless opinion.

    You can't claim other people do it, and then give zero facts yourself and claim you are 'different.'

    Any argument made about the harms of women in combat could be used with men. PTSD, injury, disability, etc.

    But we still sent over 4,000 brave American men and women into Iraq.

    As such, any arguments against women in combat due to injury, PTSD or death, is really about sending ANYONE in to combat.

    When more people serve our countries military, maybe others will not be so eager to send others out, to die.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:49 a.m.

    Re: ". . . 'women' would still have to try out to make the team first. No one is forced[.] No one is given exceptions to the rules.

    That's the point you apparently missed.

    Women's tryouts are not the same as men's. As GEN Dempsey noted, it would become a political issue, with standards that have served us well for generations being suddenly suspect, and the final decision on relaxing them placed in the hands of political appointees, not tactical leaders.

    This brave new women-in-combat world will be short-lived. It won't be successful and will get people killed. It will be quickly abandoned the next time the shooting starts.

    Soldiers -- male and female -- are not as stupid as politician hope. Upon deployment to Bosnia, as a result of a Hillary Clinton initiative, we were placed in GP-Medium tents without regard to sex. This integration lasted about 30 seconds, as women demanded our shelter halves and poncho liners to construct a wall between their end and ours.

  • watchman Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    I am so grateful to see Kathleen Parker's opinion on this subject. It is so ridiculous to consider putting women in combat.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    ChrsB

    "What if the NBA Miami Heat kicked off half their team and brought in 5 women from the WNBA. Lebron James should have no problem with that right? Because after all, the liberals tell us we are all equal."

    ===========

    You can't even stay on topic.

    Just like with women in combat -
    Those "women" would still have to try out to make the team first.

    No one is forced,
    No one is given exceptions to the rules.

    I'd wager, that if a woman from the WNBA was scoring 44 points, 16 assists, selling out every game, and was taking her team to the NBA play-offs -- the owners and the fans could careless about gender, age, race, or religion.

    The point is, women should be at least allowed the "chance" to try out.

    Besides - I served in the militray, in combat, with women.
    If they could do everything we could do, why not let them?

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Take into account the affect of women returning from war and suffering from PTSD, impacting their productive return and integration to their personal lives, family and society. The consequence is an increase in children suffering from lack of an effective mother. Any mother or mother-to-be who is suffering from such trauma will have a negative effect on family and society. This should not be.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Exactly. Unfortunately, desire is not the only thing that gets the job done on the front lines. Its ability. And yes, much of that ability is physical ability.

    Troops depend on the ability(mostly physical) of their fellow troops for protection.

    The liberals would like us to be believe that every person alive truly is equal.

    What if the NBA Miami Heat kicked off half their team and brought in 5 women from the WNBA. Lebron James should have no problem with that right? Because after all, the liberals tell us we are all equal.

    If that were the case, we'd see many women dominating in the NFL and the NBA.

    But we dont. Because they arent.

    Don't force a WNBA player on the Miami Heat and make Lebron James suffer the consequences.

    Its a simple analogy, but the actual scenario is much more serious.

    It's a matter of life and death, and if we've decided that a certain level is required to protect troops, why would we lower that bar suddenly just to make the liberals happy, when we've already said this is the level required?