Women in combat

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  • #1
Kerrie
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What do you think of women in combat? After the rescue of Jessica Lynch, the female POW rescued the other day, I think women are very capable of combat as men are. I think if their training accomodated their strength (in comparison to men), they are perfectly able of handling the stress of war.

Besides, if we women want equal rights, then we have to have equal responsibilities:wink:
 

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  • #2
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Kerrie
I think if their training accomodated their strength (in comparison to men)
What exactly does that mean? Should we make lighter weapons so they are easier for women to carry?

I think its fine if a woman is in combat as long as she meets the EXACT same physical requirements as the men she fights alongside.

I have some personal experience in this that I'll add later.
 
  • #3
Njorl
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I think that if a woman can do the job, they should have the opportunity. It would not suprise me if there were some jobs that almost no women could do though. I believe combat infantry soldiers are expected to be able to march 30 miles a day with a 45 pound pack for several days in a row. It would not also suprise me if there were some jobs that women were better suited for than men. They tend to be smaller, and more reslient to long term temperature stresses than men. This might make them better tank crews.

If wars in the future will be like Iraq and Afghanistan, then it is clear that no positions will really be "non-combat".

Njorl
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Njorl
If wars in the future will be like Iraq and Afghanistan, then it is clear that no positions will really be "non-combat".

Njorl
The notion of a "non-combat" soldier has always been an oxymoron.
 
  • #5
Kerrie
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Originally posted by russ_watters
What exactly does that mean? Should we make lighter weapons so they are easier for women to carry?

I think its fine if a woman is in combat as long as she meets the EXACT same physical requirements as the men she fights alongside.

I have some personal experience in this that I'll add later.

the exact same physical requirements are impossible for all women to meet...the exact mental requirements are possible, and possible for women to excel over men, especially under stressful situations...

lighter weapons proportional suited to them is what i was referring to, yes...

i think the example of jessica lynch's ability to fight and stay alive with the injuries she sustained is a great example of how well women can do...
 
  • #6
Njorl
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If the army thought lighter weapons were suitable for the job, then the male soldiers would have them, so they could carry more ammo, batteries and water. The requirements should not be different for males and females, but being male should not be a requirement.

Njorl
 
  • #7
drag
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Greetings !
Originally posted by Kerrie
What do you think of women in combat? After the rescue of Jessica Lynch, the female POW rescued the other day,
She is from a maintaince unit.(Nothing more is
meant here other than the fact that in this
particular case the girl is not a fighter.)
Originally posted by Kerrie
I think women are very capable of combat as men are. I think if their training accomodated their strength (in comparison to men), they are perfectly able of handling the stress of war.

Besides, if we women want equal rights, then we have to have equal responsibilities:wink:
There can be no equality between different measures
of different qualities. Men and women differ from
each other and denying it is ridiculous.

Further more, since no man or woman is identical
to another there are always exceptions. This is
also the reason why there are women fighters in
some armies in the world.

In general though, when the average are compared -
men are just more fit for fighting. They are more
physicly fit and more mentally stable (more
determined and willing to fight and more headstrong
as well as less caring) in the particular kinds of
mental stability required for warfare.

This is no mere coincedence of course, evolutionary
speaking - men are born more adepted to fighting
because they are likely to do it due to
reasons that were once abvious and simple and
now mostly replaced by far more complicated ones.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #8


Originally posted by Kerrie
the exact same physical requirements are impossible for all women to meet...


As they are impossible for some men to meet. These men wash out in training.

lighter weapons proportional suited to them is what i was referring to, yes...

It makes more sense to hold the women to the same physical standards as men, than to develop, purchase and maintain separate sets of equipment.

i think the example of jessica lynch's ability to fight and stay alive with the injuries she sustained is a great example of how well women can do...

She is certainly as heroic as any soldier in the armed forces, but did her physical strength play a significant role in her ability to fight or resist capture? If she had been held to the higher physical standards that men are, would the situation have turned out different?
 
  • #9
drag
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Greetings !
Originally posted by Kerrie
the exact mental requirements are possible, and possible for women to excel over men, especially under stressful situations...
Hum... Hum...
No offense, but this is ridiculous, Kerrie. It is
clear that you never had the unfortune of seeing
half open bodies with multiple bullet holes,
explosions or bullets shrieking near you.
And I truely wish you not to. :wink:

Again, there can be exceptions of course, but on
average there is no comparisson. Women are indeed
better than men in most stressful situations of modern
life. In the army females, for example, are
completely irreplacable in communications "war rooms"
- communicating, organizing and connecting between the
commanders and the forces in the field through
all the routine.

Women are also of course irrepelacable as secretaries
in any organization. Men are far too impatient
and ussualy deal far worse with the "office stress"
and burocroucy.

What I'm saying is that there are many different
types of stress and males/females can deal
better with some and worse with others.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #10
Mulder
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I think it took about 3 attempts to pass the test for the Green Beret, for what I believe is the only woman (thus far) to become a Royal Marine.

She still can't fight on the front line though.
 
  • #11
Monique
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OK Kerrie, I am all for equal rights, but how are all the women going to go through their period? Just repress it by medication? I sure wouldn't want to be in combat with PMS symptoms :P
 
  • #12
Mulder
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Woman + wrong time of month + gun = dangerous
 
  • #13
Oh boy! Mulder you are going to pay for that one!
 
  • #14
There are menstruating women working as brain surgeons and no one is complaining. What's the difference between having scalpel and gun in your hand at the "wrong" time of the month? The menstruation argument is a red herring.
 
  • #15
Originally posted by N_Quire
The menstruation argument is a red herring.

That's so funny, it should be illegal!
 
  • #16
Just repress it by medication?
Maybe... if you are on birth control and just skip the placebo pills, that's what happens. Apparently it isn't medically harmful, and I know a few women who do it and swear up and down that it's the best thing ever.
 
  • #17
Umm...If you know they are placebos, how can not taking them have an effect?
 
  • #18
lol, I mean continuously take the real ones. There are a few days each month where the pills you are supposed to take are a different color... they are inactive and are just there to make it easier to stay in the routine, and not forget how many days they're supposed to wait.

OK, how is it that *I* am explaining birth control? What is wrong with this picture? :wink:
 
  • #19
Well, I get it, but I thought for a moment you really didn't. Everythings okay now?:wink:
 
  • #20
The best shot I ever saw was a woman...and some of teh toughest people I know have been women. Further, I think that if a woman is going to reap the benefits of military service, she should bear the same responsibilities.
 
  • #21
Kerrie
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Originally posted by N_Quire
There are menstruating women working as brain surgeons and no one is complaining. What's the difference between having scalpel and gun in your hand at the "wrong" time of the month? The menstruation argument is a red herring.

women menstruating does not make them prone to mistakes...women menstruating have less pms and "period" troubles when fit and in shape (as the active military are suppossed to be)

She is certainly as heroic as any soldier in the armed forces, but did her physical strength play a significant role in her ability to fight or resist capture? If she had been held to the higher physical standards that men are, would the situation have turned out different?

no, but perhaps her mental strength did keep her alive...it takes more brains then brawn sometimes to win a battle...
 
  • #22
I agree.
 
  • #23
Mulder
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^The problem is, like I said in an earlier post, women just aren't up to passing the intense physical and mental tests required (eg only one woman made it to be a marine out of many many trying). So does this make the tests wrong...
 
  • #24
Pauly Man
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I have a feeling that the reason only one women has ever passed the tests is that in most countries women are legally not able to join combat infantry units. Here in Australia that is certainly true.

How are women supposed to try if they are legally forbidden? Maybe we should give them a chance and see what happens.
 
  • #25
drag
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Greetings !

There are a few female infantry units in Israel.
They mostly train in urban warfare because it is
less physicly demanding in a way. On the other
hand it requires speed and agility in which there
are lesser differences between the sexes.

Further more, it should be noted that there are female
pilots in a number of air forces in the world
and their ground training courses are as tough
as any average infantry unit.

Live long and prosper.
 
  • #26
Pauly Man
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True there are women in Air forces around the world, but they are not considered combat infantry roles. I find it strange that women are able to become pilots, which is extremely demanding both physically and mentally but are unable to try for combat infantry in Australia.
 
  • #27
kat
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I think it was found that women were less suceptable to altitude sickness, to cold and also had less loss of time due to behavioral discipline issues and drug/alchohol related issues.
Also, I believe that there is a study in progress that is/was initially showing that if women are introduced to early physical training including early aerobics and upper body training that there may be less of a gap in physical fitness test in early adulthood.

I don't think women should be excluded from combat roles, but I do believe that they should be held to the same standards. If this means women are not initially up to standards and excluded from combat so be it. I believe that given the opportunity they will eventually rise to the challenge and meet those standards.
 
  • #28
Monique
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Originally posted by N_Quire
There are menstruating women working as brain surgeons and no one is complaining. What's the difference between having scalpel and gun in your hand at the "wrong" time of the month? The menstruation argument is a red herring.

Apparently you are not a woman, can you imagine a girl menstruating while in combat? How does it go for personal hiegene? How about the cramping, the mood swings, the hormone rushes? It won't be a problem in a controlled environment such as working as a brain surgeon, but while in combat? Where are my pills, can we stop at the next bush (while in the desert) I have to change my linnens, where did my patch go?
 
  • #29
russ_watters
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The other with issue in combat (note: THIS IS HALF THE FAULT OF THE MEN) is morale. Especially when women are not held to the same standards as men, as is currently the case, the perception then is that women are not up to the task. This creates MAJOR morale issues (firsthand experience in the Navy).

Another problem I am sorry to say is that the military (the navy at least), tends to attract low quality people because of the guaranteed paycheck, free food, and free lodging. And once in it is virtually impossible to get kicked out (due to recruitment and retention issues). It takes serious effort. Keeping low quality people leads to major problems with discipline all around - you would not beleive the level of prostitution (not to mention pregnancy rate) on a navy ship. The brass really needs to crack the whip.
 
  • #30
Monique wrote: "Apparently you are not a woman, can you imagine a girl menstruating while in combat? How does it go for personal hiegene? How about the cramping, the mood swings, the hormone rushes? It won't be a problem in a controlled environment such as working as a brain surgeon, but while in combat? Where are my pills, can we stop at the next bush (while in the desert) I have to change my linnens, where did my patch go?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------

I am a mountaineer and have climbed in many wilderness areas for weeks, sometimes months, at a time with women. Although the women are not being shot at, mountaineering is a demanding activity which relies on endurance and good judgement. The personal hygiene issues, mood swings, even mishaps and accidents, etc are all managed without the safety of the expedition being put in jeopardy. Many women are tougher and more adaptable than you think.
 
  • #31
drag
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N_Quire,
you are of course aware of the very strange fact,
in my opinion, that you're compairing climbing with
warfare... :wink:
 
  • #32
Kerrie
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i am very pleased with all of your responses to this topic, as i think it is definitely an important issue in general...

Pauly Man brings up some very good points...just because a physical test is designed for the endurance/strength of a man does not mean a woman is not capable of passing it...after many years of the traditional *male* military, it has been assumed that women would not be able to uphold to the same standards...i say that the military should begin to give women a chance and see what we are capable of...

as far as a woman's hormones in combat goes, i think most women are aware that it is their body that is in control of that aspect, and not their mind...
 
  • #33
Drag, I am not comparing climbing with warfare. Nor am I talking about short climbing trips, but rather long expeditions which test your resources to the limit. The so-called personal and hygiene problems associated with menstruation can be dealt with if a woman is motivated to do so. I am sure that many women could cope with a combat role.

We should also not forget that there are many, many men who could not pass the physical or mental requirements for combat. There are no doubt women who would compete better than some men even in combat roles.

If you have ever had to work with women athletes, climbers, etc, you would know that some women can be very tough, with excellent endurance and stress-management skills. These skills don't suddenly disappear because the situation is a combat one.
 
  • #34
Njorl
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One thing that is happening in the US military at the moment is the push to lighten divisions. It is actually a very big source of friction between Rumsfeld and the generals. The push is to make lighter, but more lethal, weapons, ammo, batteries etc so that more fighting abilitiy can be transported quickly by plane. This push might make female combat soldiers slightly more feasible.

Njorl
 
  • #35
drag
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Greetings !

N_Quire, like I said before the differences
are not that large and there are always
exceptions.

As for "long climbing trips" :smile: :
First, I was never talking about menstruation
or hygiene problems. Those were other people.
In WW2 USSR women infantry units fought along
side men and such problems were simply allowed
to exist (if you understand what I mean)because
no one had the time nor the means to prevent them
and because no one cared about it in combat.
Second, the demands are completely different.
In a battle your mind races like crazy and
all the mental and physical "brakes" are gone.
It is not merely an extremely intense physical
experience. Men on average are simply more evolved
for such situations.

Live long and prosper.
 

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