27 Nov

Women Want Conditional Equality in the Military

                                       

Except as otherwise provided in this title (sections 451 to 471a of this Appendix) it shall be the duty of every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, who, on the day or days fixed f

or the first or any subsequent registration, is between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, to present himself for and submit to registration at such time or times and place or places, and in such manner, as shall be determined by proclamation of the President and by rules and regulations prescribed hereunder.

That is section 453 of the Military Selective Service Act that was passed in 1917 and amended many times over the years, the most recent being in 2003. This will come into play later.

On my way home from work, the news played a clip of a former Army helicopter pilot, Major Mary Jennings Hegar. There was much ado about the fact she served three combat tours in Afghanistan. Along with three other female veterans, she has joined with the ACLU to sue the Department of Defense over the combat exclusion policy that bars females from going into combat specialties. In an op-ed published today, MAJ Hegar made the following comments:

If there is one thing I’ve learned about the differences between us all throughout my years of service, it’s this: putting the right person in the right job has very little to do with one’s gender, race, religion, or other demographic descriptor. It has everything to do with one’s heart, character, ability, determination and dedication.

That’s the problem with the military’s combat exclusion policy. It makes it that much harder for people to see someone’s abilities, and instead reinforces stereotypes about gender. The policy creates the pervasive way of thinking in military and civilian populations that women can’t serve in combat roles, even in the face of the reality that servicewomen in all branches of the military are already fighting for their country alongside their male counterparts. They shoot, they return fire, they drag wounded comrades to safety and they engage with the enemy, and they have been doing this for years. They risk their lives for their country, and the combat exclusion policy does them a great disservice.

It’s no secret and I don’t deny that women have been shot at, shot back, and contributed to direct-fire engagements of the enemy. However, that doesn’t mean that these actions equate to being infantry, cavalry, or other combat specialty. As a matter of fact, the Marine Corps recently opened up their Infantry Officers Course to women. Two women volunteered to attend the course…and both women dropped from the program. These women were “to complete required training due to unspecified medical reasons, a Marine official told Marine Corps Times. It’s unclear whether she was injured or if she became ill,” according to the Marine Corps Times.

Women in the military want to have equal treatment while being treated differently. For example, in order for a male my age to just pass the push-up event with the minimum passing score, he has to correctly perform 34 push-ups. For a female of the same age, she only needs to complete 13. To pass the 2-mile run, I need to run 18:18 or faster while a female my age can take up to 22:42 to complete the same distance.

I’m not suggesting that there aren’t women that can meet the standards. As a matter of fact, I know there are. Just as I know there are men that can’t meet the minimum standards. But, that doesn’t matter when males and females are treated differently in regards to physical fitness standards. It’s simply a biological fact that women and men are built differently. There will always be exceptions, but it is what it is.

Yes, somehow, I don’t see MAJ Hegar complaining that she doesn’t have to do as many push-ups or run as fast as men (the only physical fitness event in the Army that is equal is the sit-up event). I don’t see women complaining that they aren’t required to register with the Selective Service upon turning 18. I don’t see women complaining they don’t have to cut their hair to the standards men must keep theirs.

It’s obvious that women want equality in the military, but only if it means they can have differently. The Marine Corps, in opening up its Infantry Officers Course to women, didn’t change the standards for women coming through the course. They were required to meet the same standards as the men. I don’t have a problem with that.

I’m not against women serving in combat roles. I’m not against women serving in an infantry squad or as a tank commander or gunner. What I’m against is giving them different standards and somehow calling it “equality.” When a platoon is dropped off at the base of a mountain and is required to hike to their OP, they have to be physically fit and strong enough to complete the task. There is ammunition, weapons, and other gear that need to be humped along with it.

Getting dropped off in a town and performing a simple foot patrol while engaging with the local populace isn’t the same as a combat patrol or movement to contact. It’s not the same as assaulting or taking and holding an objective.

I say that if these women and the ACLU want true equality, give it to them. Standardize the physical fitness requirements for men and women. Standardize the requirements for load bearing equipment. Drop any and all references to gender in every single area and truly treat women equally the way they want. Amend the Military Selective Service Act to incorporate a requirement for women to also register upon their 18th birthday. If women can meet the same standards that men must meet – without lowering the standards to make them equal – then they deserve to wear the crossed rifles or sabers.

This entry was posted in ACLU, Military and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 at 5:33 pm
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16 Responses to Women Want Conditional Equality in the Military

  1. silverfiddle says: 1

    I say that if these women and the ACLU want true equality, give it to them. Standardize the physical fitness requirements for men and women. Standardize the requirements for load bearing equipment. Drop any and all references to gender in every single area and truly treat women equally the way they want. Amend the Military Selective Service Act to incorporate a requirement for women to also register upon their 18th birthday. If women can meet the same standards that men must meet – without lowering the standards to make them equal – then they deserve to wear the crossed rifles or sabers.

    Very well said.

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  2. retire05 says: 2

    CJ, let’s take this “equality” thing all the way.

    You are a female and want to be a cop, a firefighter? Great. Take the same test as the men. No reduced physicial requirements for you because if you need to carry a 210 lb. man out of a burning building, you can’t wait until he goes on a diet and loses 60 lbs so you can get him out of that building. What? You say you can’t carry 150 lbs. of coiled hose up ten stories? Guess what, sweetie; you just washed out of the academy.

    Equality means just that; equal. Equal pay should mean equal pay load.

    Personally, I have never thought that women should be in combat. Not that some haven’t excelled, but the truth of the matter is that our military is filled with alpha male types and they need to be concerned about having the backs of all their fellow soldiers, not worrying over protecting the female of the bunch, and that is one of the traits of an alpha male; to protect the women.

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  3. Kevin says: 3

    [editted to reword, realizing you didn't indicate that you were 34; just that 34 pushups was your requirement - per Google, that's the standard that would be placed on a 38-year-old man]

    Hi CJ,

    You say the following:

    For example, in order for a male my age to just pass the push-up event with the minimum passing score, he has to correctly perform 34 push-ups. For a female of the same age, she only needs to complete 13. To pass the 2-mile run, I need to run 18:18 or faster while a female my age can take up to 22:42 to complete the same distance.

    It sounds like the military would accept a 38-year-old man who cannot complete the physical fitness requirements it places on, say, a 21-year-old man. Do you feel there should be a uniform standard of performance requirements for soldiers of all ages? If you were a 38-year-old who was unable to meet the fitness standards placed on the 21-year-old soldier, should the military deploy you along with soldiers who can? Wouldn’t you be holding them back?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

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  4. Nan G says: 4

    The Obama administration is going in exactly the opposite direction from getting THE BEST people for the jobs in positions.
    They have insisted on lower standards on tests for fire fighters so that blacks get the promotions….can you say, “Peter Principle?”
    They have also done the same in the police.
    Women in the police have ”the great equalizer;” the GUN.
    But in fire fighting they are at distinct disadvantages.
    Hoses are HEAVY.
    So are the dead weight of an adult person out cold from smoke inhalation.
    In the police, locally, we just had a black female promoted due to political correctness.
    Her known relationship with a drug dealer was ignored or downplayed.
    She ended up supervising 150 sheriffs in Los Angeles.
    Now she and her sister are on paid leave (already collected more than $300,000 without working between them) while the investigation figures out how on earth to get rid of TWO black women who are corrupt.
    But they can’t seem to get rid of her at present.
    http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/DA-won-t-file-charges-in-LA-sheriff-s-captain-case-4060436.php

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  5. JustAl says: 5

    A male solider gets his wife/significant other pregnant, he has to stay and fight. A female soldier gets pregnant, she goes home, or wants to go home and gets pregnant. My son’s unit deployed with several females including gunners on armed Humvee, not one stayed for the whole tour, all got homesick, all got pregnant, all went home. And this was a 100% voluntary deployment.

    Sorry, men and women are not the same.

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  6. CJ says: 6

    @Kevin: Kevin, you make a valid point, but I don’t think it’s the same thing. Generally, the older you are, the higher ranked you are. The higher ranked you are, the less you are required to do most physical taskings. The age requirements make sense as long as they equal for men and women. In my opinion.

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  7. Kevin says: 7

    So, should the military enlist a 35 year old male recruit who will be unable to perform at the levels of his 21-year-old counterparts?

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  8. Budvarakbar says: 8

    @silverfiddle: A major problem — WHICH has already occurred in fire and police qualifications — THE STANDARDS END UP GETTING LOWERED seriously lowered –

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  9. JonV says: 9

    @Kevin: I’m not sure about the other services, but the Marines require that a recruit enlists before they are 28.

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  10. retire05 says: 10

    Last year the City of Austin settled a law suit brought by two white AFD battallion chiefs. The Austin FD chief had decided that she needed to increase “diversity” in the fire department, and instead of the normal promotion progression of driver, lieutenant, captian, batallion chief and assistant chief, she took two names for promotion from the lieutenant ranks, one black, one Hispanic, to promote to assistant chief.

    The white guys had 28 and 29 years service, while the black and Hispanic guys had 16 and 17 years service, had never passed the test for captain or for battallion chief, while the two white guys had, also the AFD has a policy of encouraging community service, and both white guys were former military as well as involved in a number of charities while the black guy used “Little League coach for one year” as his community service and the Hispanic had no community service. So the white guys sued. And they won.

    If we are going to promote based on reduced qualifications for minorities/women, then we need to send those minorities/women into the poor districts where the bulk of fires are fought and see how those citizens like having “affirmative action” hires protecting their lives.

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  11. CJ says: 11

    @Kevin: I would say that if a 35-year old can handle the duties of his job, then I have no problem. It’s a biological fact that older people aren’t as strong or quick as younger people. It’s a biological fact that men are stronger and have more endurance than women. But, you don’t see young people complaining that old people have to do less. This is about women wanting equality with men. I’m saying if that’s the kind of equality they want, it should be equal according to age.

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  12. David Lentz says: 12

    The purpose of a military force is to prepare for war and to prevail in war. Any personel policy which is not intended to enhance these goal is simply a distraction. To date, I have seen a lot whining about equal rights and opportunity but little, if any attempt to argue that having females in ground combat would actually enhance our nation’s war fighting ability.

    Bottom line, there simply is no right to serve. Therefore nobody’s right can possibly be violated by denial of an opportunity to serve More over, if females are deeemed fit for infantry, the rational for, and the legality of, the all male draft ends.

    However, being a fair minded person, with a sick sense of humor, if the feminists want to create an all female prototype unit, let them at it, the First Female Rangers. If they can hold their own, more power to them.

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  13. Smorgasbord says: 13

    There are certain things that the Joint-Chiefs-Of-Staff should decide, not one person who might not know anything about fighting on the front lines. If a future president is gay, and wants an all gay miliitary, I’m guessing that it will be. (For the record, I belive we are born the way we are, and don’t have a choice)

    If I were a woman who had a husband on the front lines, I would be very worried about him around women, especially if they are in the trenches together for long periods of time.

    Have you ever heard of the ememy capturing and raping a male prisinor? Have you ever heard of the enemy capturing and NOT raping a female prisinor?

    I think it is unfare to demand equality between men and women, when they are born different.

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  14. JustAl says: 14

    Maybe we could just let straw-men fight the battles! Kevin is doing his best to start a recruitment drive.

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  15. Kevin says: 15

    Hi CJ,

    You said:
    “I would say that if a 35-year old can handle the duties of his job, then I have no problem”

    And so long as you have the same sentiment with regards to women, I don’t think we disagree.

    Certainly, there are specific roles within specific missions whereby the success of those missions is contingent on the soldiers in those roles meeting rigorous physical requirements; in many cases, I could forsee even the most physically elite of women still falling short of meeting such requirements (although I’d be shocked if there weren’t a handful of supremely athletic women who could prove me wrong). In that light, I would absolutely understand a complaint about phsyical requirement standards for elite positions in, say, the SEALs or Green Berets being lowered for women; but I don’t believe they are (let me know if I’m wrong). Do you feel there are cases where women, or older men, or soldiers with physical disabilities, are being placed into such roles despite not meeting those requirements, and actually endangering missions? If so, I’d say you’ve got a legitimate complaint.

    Otherwise, all I see here is a set of standards that ensure all active duty soldiers are keeping themselves in peak physical condition, as reasonably defined according to gender and age. To put “fairness” in a different light: would it be fair to define standards of “being in shape” which require men to spend 8-10 hours of conditioning per week to remain “in shape”; but a set of standards which require women to spend 15-20 hours of conditioning per week? I mean, if you were working your ass off to meet your standards but saw your female peers lounging around because the female standards are SO incredibly lax, well, again, I think that’d be a legitimate complaint. But if not… well, I just can’t say I understand where you’re coming from (again, assuming that you agree with the line I quoted, but as applied to women).

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  16. CJ says: 16

    @Kevin: “And so long as you have the same sentiment with regards to women, I don’t think we disagree.”

    Did you even read my post, Kevin? That’s exactly what I said.

    ReplyReply

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