Friday, January 25, 2013

So, Some of You Ladies Think Combat Is ‘Fun?’

Few people reaching the age to enlist in today’s Military will remember the TV Show, Combat. It aired from 1962 to 1967 and hasn’t seen a wide syndication. But reading some comments from a few women and supporters of opening combat positions to women tells me they have unrealistic views of just what combat is, almost as unrealistic as it is portrayed in TV Shows, Movies and Video Games.

In announcing the end of the ban on women serving in combat roles, Leon Panetta said “everyone is entitled to a chance to become a combat soldier in a military that will now adopt gender neutral standards.”

One big problem for Mr. Panetta and those who feel they have something to prove, there is no such thing as “gender neutrality.” We are born male or female with distinct differences. One being upper torso strength, on average females having much less. And yes, I acknowledge that some females might have sufficient upper torso strength to equal the average male and even some men do not.

But our Military isn’t geared to individuals, it is geared to teams, units that are no stronger than their weakest link.

But what I find disturbing is quotes from former Military members who are female that were interviewed by the media bout the ending of the ban.

One, an Isis Costa interviewed at Ft. Bliss, Texas and who served in Iraq was quoted, “When I was in the military, I wish I would have been able to do combat, but unfortunately that was not an option.”

A former active duty Lieutenant, Valerie Warner says as a young officer, “she wanted badly to be part of an infantry unit” and that her biggest regret is that the decision to lift the ban came too late. “I wish this could have happened 12 years ago,” she says in a Washington Post article.

But what is disturbing is reading further, she says how she “loved walking long patrols, land navigation and firing weapons. It’s the fun stuff.

Believe me, there is nothing “fun” about being in combat, especially when engaged in battle. And anybody who wishes to be in it is in for a very rude awakening should they ever make it.

Reading a little further we see Ms. Warner “wanted to be like her grandfather,” Volney Warner, a retired four-star general who “helped oversee the integration of women into the Army in the 1970s.”

Trying to live up to someone you admire is a very poor reason to seek serving in the infantry, especially given that the person she wants to be like says, “I remain convinced that women are better at giving life than taking it,” and “although women play an important role in the Army, they have no place in combat units.”

Somewhere along the line women have been convinced to surrender their unique femininity, just be one of the boys. Problem there, they aren’t boys and cannot be boys anymore than boys can be real girls.

It is not denigrating to recognize the distinct differences between men and women and the important roles each plays in our existence. We cannot balance nature and make things naturally unequal by the wave of a legislative pen, nature doesn’t cooperate.

Troublesome to me is the current unequal standards being used in order for women to qualify for other Military fields.

Since much of this is so women may enhance their personal careers, we can expect women to apply for Navy SEAL training, unarguably the toughest training within all of the Militaries that only some 25% of highly qualified & conditioned men successfully pass.

If they can’t match up and fail to earn their “SEAL Trident,” will there be lawsuits to lower the standards for women as we have seen in other areas of the Military and thereby compromise the SEALs mission capability?

I’m sure we all recall early on in the Iraq theater of the War on Terror, the hair raising tails of Jessica Lynch that were proven false after a few days. Less known, thanks to the Clinton-era toying with the Military to appease feminists, training standards were lowered and she did not receive adequate training for serving in a combat zone, much less combat itself.

From the article Private Jessica Lynch’s Army: The Clinton Legacy by Gerald L. Atkinson we read,
“ In a departure from the basic training given to Army mechanics, supply clerks, and cooks in America’s armed forces in the past, the Clinton administration (during the 1990s) watered down the physical and other ‘war-fighting’ standards for such soldiers in a New Age, a mixed-sex, gender-normed training program that essentially ‘feminized’ the tail part of the tooth-to-tail military. In a departure from their ‘fathers’ Army, where clerks, cooks, and mechanics were trained as, and expected to be ‘warriors,’ capable of fighting off enemy attacks on the often vulnerable ‘rear’ of an army, the Clintons’ Army would become a job-corps, a socialized military substructure that promised equal opportunity to minorities and women. Pvt. Jessica Lynch belonged to just such a ‘toothless’ unit.”
Sadly that was proved all too true when on March 23, 2003 her convoy came under ambush and her weapon, not properly cared for or cleaned, jammed, being unable to fire a single shot.

Eleven others lost their lives. During her brief captivity, she was raped.

She had joined the Army feeling it an easy way to earn college benefits and thinking war was not to come for her.

Another area that is a definite degradation to a Military unit’s Combat Effectiveness is seen in a recent article from Stars & Stripes, Navy Seeks to Combat Unplanned Pregnancies where it is reported that the Navy is suffering from “a staggering 74 percent unintended pregnancy rate.” While this is occurring in all branches of the Military, it the highest in the Navy.

A Military unit must be ready to deploy on short notice where needed, sometimes with but a few minutes to prepare, just long enough to throw a few of your belongings into a duffel bag. If they don’t have the full contingent of personnel, their probability of a successful completion of the mission is hampered.

Should a woman find out she is pregnant while on the front lines, she must be pulled back and they may be short trained personnel waiting for a replacement.

It also points out the very real problem of mixing the sexes in high stress situations and how people tend to cope with such stress, but only the woman will end with child, requiring she be removed to a rear area or back home for the birth.

A 2007 article that appeared in Marie Claire, Life as an American Female Soldier seemed to indicate some other areas of concern for women in the Military.
“Hair falling out, periods on hold, and peeing in a cup: for female soldiers, life on the front lines involves stuff men never have to think about.”
And that “stuff men don’t have to worry about?”
“…you had to wait in long lines no matter where you were: in the mess hall, bathroom, shower. Frizzy hair and no flatiron. You can't wear earrings. Makeup can't be excessive. There probably aren’t many times you can feel like a girl,” said Sergeant Stephanie James.
To counter her menstrual periods, she took Depo-Provera that has yet unknown long-term effects on women’s health, but “has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women under age 35.”

Another woman, Captain Jennifer Errington relayed a story,
“When you were on a convoy, you couldn’t say, ‘Please stop, I have to go to the bathroom.’ You just had to hold it. Once, a female second lieutenant asked if anybody had a cup. Two guys in the vehicle held up a poncho to give her privacy. She peed in the cup, then threw it out a window.”
A January 7, 2013 AP article found a surprisingly low number of women even interested in front line combat service. As one woman put it, “The choice to join combat arms should be a personal decision, not a required one.”

Men have not had that luxury in times past when there was a draft and thee is all likelihood that should we return to a draft, something currently advocated by many, there is the very real chance that women too may be drafted and sent where needed in the Military instead of where you would prefer to serve, now that the barrier to women in combat has been removed.

A recent facebook discussion over the woman’s comment I quoted about, about Combat being the “fun stuff” brought the comment from a woman, a Karin Olson of,
“And how many men thought the same? It isn't about her comment it’s about being able to do the same as anyone else. Because you didn’t like the comment only verifies that she should not be in combat? I don’t think so. Who are the people that say one can and one cannot? Poor thing was born disabled being a woman and all. I remember wanting to wrestle in school [it isn’t combat} but never the less I was laughed at told that it just isn’t possible, that isn’t what girls do. Not the same yet it is. I have never put limits on myself since everyone else will do it for me.”
This is the mentality we see today from those who feel they are not receiving something they are entitled to. Nobody said anything about being born a female being a “disability,” just how ignorant it was to say that combat was “fun stuff.”

Combat is not an entitlement nor is it a privilege. It is a brutal, bloody nightmare when involved in it. It is an unpredictable as can be. You do not get to take a break, play down the controller and get yourself a drink and go back and finish the game.

It takes its toll on the body and the mind and anybody who thinks it is “fun stuff” is a raving lunatic.

But this is what a few women with penis envy have said they want. And now that they have it, the rest of you woman, many who know the differences between men and woman and appreciate that difference, will be caught up in it.

Women have long served our country with honor and distinction. We could not have won World War Two without their sacrifices and willingness to take over the job of building the tools of war. They have served in theater, given their lives and endured hardships, all without being front line Troops or held to the same standards as their male counterparts.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get our Military back to winning wars instead of using them as social clubs to make a few people feel good?

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