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Old 11-11-2009, 10:31 AM   #46
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However, having a gay couple serving together in the same unit would certainly cause issues (in Combat Arms).
This is a non-issue. Most working environments don't allow this. Are relatives allowed to serve in the same unit?
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:32 AM   #47
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This is a non-issue. Most working environments don't allow this. Are relatives allowed to serve in the same unit?

Father & Son From Fallon Serving Together in Afghanistan
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:37 AM   #48
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And this promotes unit cohesion? I would think the military would stay away from such things. He admits to the ribbing he gets from his unit having his father there, but beyond that, like the story of Saving Private Ryan, why put a family through this?
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:39 AM   #49
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I guess it's their choice.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:57 AM   #50
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Staff Sergeant Amy Krueger was an athlete in high school, joined the Army shortly after 9/11, and had since returned home to speak to students about her experience. When her mother told her she couldn't take on Osama bin Laden by herself, Amy replied: "Watch me."

RIP Amy
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:07 AM   #51
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Leigh Ann Hester - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monica Lin Brown - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:29 AM   #52
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Staff Sergeant Amy Krueger was an athlete in high school, joined the Army shortly after 9/11, and had since returned home to speak to students about her experience. When her mother told her she couldn't take on Osama bin Laden by herself, Amy replied: "Watch me."

RIP Amy
This is a great story. So are the ones posted by Hyper.

I certainly do not intend to say that women can't be heroic. I have never said they couldn't be.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:00 PM   #53
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If women were held to the same basic physical strength and endurance requirements as men, there would be far, far less women in the military (including non-Infantry positions) and in the military schools. They simply couldn't pass the entrance exams. Instead, the military offers a double-standard, one for men and one for women. (I wonder where is the outrage on this double-standard?).

At most, the strongest woman is about as strong as the weakest man. Since most combat related schools try to weed out the weaker men - is it really worth the logistical pain in the neck (and cost) to accommodate the "one in a million" super woman that can get through these schools (being held to the same male standards).

Again, this does not even address the remaining issue of unit cohesion if this super woman made it through the schools.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:18 PM   #54
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I certainly do not intend to say that women can't be heroic. I have never said they couldn't be.

That's not the point

No one is commenting on the physical strength of any of the male soldiers who died at Fort Hood-or in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's IRRELEVANT.

Maybe one day you'll see the bigger picture and won't be hung up on these things. I'd be more than willing to bet that there are plenty of male soldiers who cause several problems in terms of "cohesion"-and that they have zero to do with sex or relationships or jealousy. (or the types of beliefs and thoughts that this Hasan guy had, whatever they were in addition to what has already come out)

Women have the equal right that men do to serve this country. If you want to see that as a double standard, to even let them in, then honestly I think that's very sad. Not going to say anything else that I want to say... and it's useless at this point.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:33 PM   #55
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That's not the point

No one is commenting on the physical strength of any of the male soldiers who died at Fort Hood-or in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's IRRELEVANT.

.
And my point is, physical strength is RELEVANT when you are talking about a combat mission 20,000 feet above sea level carrying 50-100 pounds of gear (yes, uphill) and a M240 machine gun for 50 miles, engage the enemy, carry the wounded, and then a return trip of 50 miles (downhill isn't much easier with 100 lbs on your back). This is a routine Marine Recon, Navy SEAL, or Army Ranger type of mission in Afghanistan.

Very few men men can pull this off - and it takes months and months of training (in schools with high attrition rates) in addition to daily physical fitness. Seriously, how many women do you really think could pull this off if only a small percentage of men could? The heart may be willing, I'll give them that - but heart alone will not get them up that mountain.

Please, do me a favor, grab a backpack at home and put a 45 lbs weight inside and walk down the block. When it starts to hurt (in about 100 feet) - imagine doing that with twice the weight - all day, every day, for weeks.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:40 PM   #56
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That's not the point



Women have the equal right that men do to serve this country.
Agreed - and there are dozens of ways to serve in the military outside of Combat Arms.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:31 PM   #57
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Women in Combat

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Kristin Henderson | March 11, 2008

Women in combat. Like most people, I had my opinion on the subject.

It's an especially relevant subject for us military spouses. For husbands, those women fighting out there are the women they love. For wives, our beloved husbands are relying on those women to get their backs.

That said, the basic idea of women in combat didn't bother me. I've known women tough enough to do that quintessential man's job -- kill the enemy – just like I've known men nurturing enough to do what we think of as women's work -- nursing and child care, for example.

Still, I did think opponents of women in combat made a reasonably good point when they argued that many women don't have the upper body strength to haul heavy weapons or wounded buddies. I thought they made an even better point when they worried that either sexual tension or the male instinct to protect females would undermine a unit's ability to pull together and fight effectively.

Then I received an assignment to go out and do some reporting on women who kill in combat. (Click here to read the article.) That required me to look at the actual facts.

One of the first facts I came across is that most Soldiers have already concluded that women do have the physical strength, stamina and mental toughness to be effective in combat, according to surveys by the U.S. Army Research Institute.

This brings me to the next fact that I learned. The argument is not over whether or not women should be in combat. They already are. For example, a female MP who has to defend against the enemy while she's out on patrol -- she's in combat. So is a female pilot who attacks the enemy from the air. But in neither of those situations is she engaged in offensive operations on the ground, what's called "direct ground combat." Although the military has opened up most of its jobs to women, they're still banned from direct ground combat units: infantry, tanks, and artillery. At this point, that's what the argument is about.

So I looked at that survey of Soldiers. And I wondered: What do they know that I don't? What makes 86 percent of them so sure that females might as well be out there kicking in doors alongside their male comrades? Not too long ago, male servicemembers were among the biggest opponents of women in uniform, much less in combat.

Well, nowadays most of those guys are serving in coed units. So apparently familiarity doesn't breed contempt -- it breeds respect. I learned that the same thing happened when President Truman ended racial segregation in the military. Defenders of the status quo predicted that units would fall apart if whites were forced to fight alongside blacks. But today our military is a more effective fighting force because of integration.

Meanwhile, French, German, Danish, and Canadian women are now serving in their countries direct ground combat forces. (Click here to read about a Canadian infantry officer killed in Afghanistan.)

It's true that in coed units, good order and discipline are sometimes undermined by problems such as sexual harassment and inappropriate romantic relationships. But, the source of those problems is poor leadership, not hormone-addled servicemembers.

On the subject of physical abilities, supporters of women in combat point out that women's generally smaller size and greater flexibility give them an advantage in cramped tanks or enemy tunnels – for example in Vietnam, where the smallest guy in the unit always got the job of checking out the enemy's underground tunnel complexes. There's also some evidence that with conditioning, many women actually can achieve the upper body strength necessary for frontline combat.

Take Krista, for instance. In Somalia in 1993, during the time of the Black Hawk Down battle, she was a 21-year-old Army specialist, armed with an M16 and an aluminum baseball bat. She's five-foot-nine and comes from solid Slovak stock, 180 pounds of muscle.

When male Soldiers sneered, "What's a girl doing here?" Krista would assume the benchpress position and her friend Bob, who weighed 150 with his boots on, would go stiff and fall into her arms. Then Krista would benchpress Bob. She'd keep on benchpressing him until the other Soldiers stopped laughing.

The very restrictive rules of engagement in Somalia meant Krista relied more on her baseball bat than her M16. As her truck lumbered on food runs through Mogadishu's crowded streets, Krista stood in the truck's open bed and clubbed the mobs that swarmed up the side of the truck to steal the food. The special forces guys would request her as their driver when they went out on equipment runs. Infantry took her along when they needed to kick in the door to a building that may have women inside.

She'd plunge in with her fellow Soldiers, all male, and there would be a terrified Somali woman. The rumor was that American men would rape any woman who fell into their hands. Krista would get down on one knee, hand off her weapon to another Soldier, and pull off her Kevlar helmet so the woman could see she was a woman, too. She'd stay with the woman while she was questioned.

The issue of women in combat is a complex one. The vast majority of the data I found seemed to back up the supportive Soldiers in that Army survey. So whether or not women should serve in direct ground combat seems to come down to this question: What role do we believe women should play in our society?

How you answer that question comes down to beliefs, not facts. And, what we believe is up to each of us to decide for ourselves.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:34 PM   #58
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American military women serving in Iraq, Afghanistan earning respect in combat situations | National News - cleveland.com - - cleveland.com

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By mary whitley
August 15, 2009, 7:55PM

As the convoy rumbled up the road in Iraq, Spc. Veronica Alfaro was struck by the beauty of fireflies dancing in the night. Then she heard the unmistakable pinging of tracer rounds and, in a Baghdad moment, realized the insects were illuminated bullets.

She jumped from behind the wheel of her gun truck, grabbed her medical bag and sprinted 50 yards to a stalled civilian truck. On the way, bullets kicked up dust near her feet. She pulled the badly wounded driver to the ground and got to work.

Despite her best efforts, the driver died, but her heroism that January night last year earned Alfaro a Bronze Star for valor. She had already received a combat action badge for fending off insurgents as a machine gunner.

"I did everything there," Alfaro, 25, said of her time in Iraq. "I gunned. I drove. I ran as a truck commander. And underneath it all, I was a medic."

Before 2001, America's military women had rarely seen ground combat. Their jobs kept them mostly away from enemy lines, as military policy dictates.

But the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, often fought in marketplaces and alleyways, have changed that. In both countries, women repeatedly have proved their mettle in combat. The number of high-ranking women and women who command all-male units has climbed considerably along with their status in the military.

"Iraq has advanced the cause of full integration for women in the Army by leaps and bounds," said Peter R. Mansoor, a retired Army colonel who served as executive officer to Gen. David H. Petraeus while he was the top American commander in Iraq. "They have earned the confidence and respect of male colleagues."

Their success, widely known in the military, remains largely hidden from public view. In part, this is because their most challenging work is often the result of a quiet circumvention of military policy. Women are barred from joining combat branches like the infantry, armor, Special Forces and most field artillery units, and from doing support jobs while living with those smaller units. Women can lead some male troops into combat as officers, but they cannot serve with them in battle.

Yet, over and over, in Iraq and Afghanistan, Army commanders have resorted to bureaucratic trickery when they needed more soldiers for crucial jobs, like bomb disposal and intelligence. On paper, for instance, women have been "attached" to a combat unit rather than "assigned."

This quiet change has not come seamlessly -- and it has altered military culture on the battlefield in ways large and small. Women need separate bunks and bathrooms. They face sexual discrimination and rape, and counselors and rape kits are now common in war zones. Commanders also confront a new reality: that soldiers have sex, and some will be quickly evacuated because they are pregnant.

Nonetheless, as soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, women have done nearly as much in battle as their male counterparts: patrolled streets with machine guns, served as gunners on vehicles, disposed of explosives, and driven trucks down bomb-ridden roads. They have proved indispensable in their ability to interact with and search Iraqi and Afghan women for weapons, a job men cannot do for cultural reasons. The Marine Corps has created revolving units -- "lionesses" -- dedicated to just this task.

A small number of women have even conducted raids, engaging the enemy directly in total disregard of existing policies.

But the U.S. military may well be steps ahead of Congress, where opening ground combat jobs to women has met deep resistance in the past.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a group that opposes fully integrating women into the Army, said women were doing these jobs with no debate and no congressional approval.

"I fault the Pentagon for not being straight with uniformed women," said Donnelly, who supported unsuccessful efforts by some in Congress in 2005 to restrict women's roles in these wars. "It's an 'anything goes' situation."

Poll numbers, however, show that a majority of the public supports allowing women to do more on the battlefield. Fifty-three percent of the respondents in a New York Times/CBS News poll in July said they would favor permitting women to "join combat units, where they would be directly involved in the ground fighting."

The successful experiences of military women in Iraq and Afghanistan are being used to bolster the efforts of groups who favor letting gay soldiers serve openly. Those opposed to such change say that permitting service members to state their sexual orientation would disrupt the tight cohesion of a unit and lead to harassment and sexual liaisons -- arguments also used against allowing women to serve alongside men. But women in Iraq and Afghanistan have debunked many of those fears.

"They made it work with women, which is more complicated in some ways, with sex-segregated facilities and new physical training standards," said David Stacy, a lobbyist with the Human Rights Campaign, a group working for gay equality. "If the military could make that work with good discipline and order, certainly integrating open service of gay and lesbians is within their capability."
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #59
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This is a routine Marine Recon, Navy SEAL, or Army Ranger type of mission in Afghanistan.

Very few men men can pull this off
I think you may have even lost sight of your point. So are you saying women can't be in the army or just can't be SEALs? Seriously, you are all over the place.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:41 PM   #60
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That's not the point

No one is commenting on the physical strength of any of the male soldiers who died at Fort Hood-or in Iraq or Afghanistan. It's IRRELEVANT.
AEON flew off the handle in response to my post and I never frankly addressed physical strength/endurance issus (nor does it particularly interest me).

I simply took issue with his characterization of men as some kind of group of oversexed savages who couldn't possibly control their animal urges serving in the same unit as a woman. It could be that I give men more credit than he does.
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