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posted by martyb on Friday December 04 2015, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the anything-you-can-do... dept.

Multiple sources report that on Thursday, December 3rd, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the US military will open all combat jobs to women. From The Wall Street Journal:

"This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before," Mr. Carter said.

He spelled out the implications of his decision: "They'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They'll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men."

[...] The practical effect of the announcement is to open up the 10% of positions that still remain closed to women--nearly 220,000 jobs--in infantry, reconnaissance and special operations units.

[Much more after the break.]

ABC News brings us some words from combat veteran and US congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (link again):

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., one of the first Army women to fly combat missions in the 2003-2011 Iraq war, welcomed the decision.

"I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight -- of course women can serve in combat," said Duckworth, whose helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. "This decision is long overdue."

The Kurdish militia is another option for women who want to fight. Fox News earlier this year wrote about one such woman, Gill Rosenberg:

A Canadian-born Israeli woman who joined a Kurdish militia to fight against the Islamic State group said that after a stint in prison, she felt compelled to do something positive with her life and battle against the "genocide" unfolding in Syria and Iraq.

Gill Rosenberg, 31, was among the first female volunteers to fight in the Syrian civil war.

Vice brings us a story about another woman determined to fight ISIS, model Hanna Bohman:

As thousands of Syrian refugees flee the country, escaping Bashar al-Assad's barrel bombs and the barbarism of ISIS, one woman from Canada has headed to the war zone for a second time.

Hanna Bohman, aka Tiger Sun, joined the women's militia army of the People's Defence Unit, known as the YPJ in the Kurdish region of Syria (Rojava) following a near-fatal motorbike accident last year.

Also see NPR's coverage: Pentagon Says Women Can Now Serve In Front-Line Ground Combat Positions.


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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Friday December 04 2015, @04:10PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @04:10PM (#271830) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if the Kurds would accept a 60 year old man with a pot belly as a "recruit"? Don't know how the hell I'm going to hump an 80 pound pack up and down hills with my knees. Is there room for a Hoveround, I wonder? I'll carry my dead ass around well enough, if I can plop the battle gear on the Hoveround! Hell, I'll carry the whole mortar, not just the base plate, if I can get some kind of robot thingy to do the carrying!

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  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday December 04 2015, @04:24PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @04:24PM (#271837) Journal

    Fly a drone.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Phoenix666 on Friday December 04 2015, @04:28PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @04:28PM (#271838) Journal

      I have read that women have a higher pain tolerance than men, so provided they can meet the physical requirements why couldn't they prove excellent soldiers?

      Women also have a greater eye for detail--there's an arcade game for women based on that premise--so they'd be excellent taking point on patrol, spotting ambushes and booby traps.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @04:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @04:42PM (#271845)

        Heh, "booby traps"..

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @05:12PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @05:12PM (#271859)

          Heh, "booby traps"..

          Well, that went fifth grade pretty quickly.

          • (Score: 2, Funny) by bart9h on Friday December 04 2015, @05:25PM

            by bart9h (767) on Friday December 04 2015, @05:25PM (#271864)

            ( . )( . )

            • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday December 04 2015, @10:53PM

              by MostCynical (2589) on Friday December 04 2015, @10:53PM (#271985)

              Hold on, who tagged the boobies "redundant"?

              --
              Books are a poor substitute for female companionship, but they are easier to find. P Rothfuss “The Wise Man's Fear"
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @10:08PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @10:08PM (#272280)

                There are two of them, but most often only one is needed.

      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday December 04 2015, @04:54PM

        I'd agree, as long as the physical requirements are the same for them as for the men. But they're not. Pretty much any male soldier could pick up a 200lb injured brother and carry him half a mile if necessary. Pretty much no female soldiers could. There are damned good reasons women have not been allowed to take certain MOSs for so long and now people who shouldn't have will die because of political correctness.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday December 04 2015, @07:11PM

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday December 04 2015, @07:11PM (#271913) Homepage

          Not to mention that it's going to be extremely demoralizing when those who are inevitably captured are raped, tortured, and horrifically murdered on video for the whole world to see.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @08:46PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @08:46PM (#271943)

            You mean as opposed to being raped on base... by your fellow Americans... and with a chain of command that dismisses your claims without actually looking into it? Yeah... that'd be bad too.
            On the up-side, those videos will feature dirty "moslems" doing the deed; vile, evil creatures that are part of the axis of evil and must be destroyed by our valiant, brave, freedom-loving troops. I guess that will be good for the ministry of propaganda. Much better at least than the numerous and repeated claims of service-women and -men being raped by their colleagues.

            • (Score: 0, Troll) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday December 04 2015, @09:16PM

              by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday December 04 2015, @09:16PM (#271952) Homepage

              Getting drunk and willingly letting your entire platoon take turns on one or more of your three holes isn't "rape." It's only "rape" if that woman gets in trouble for something and she wants to portray herself as the victim in a desperate gambit to beat her rap - for example, if she gets pregnant while forward-deployed.

              Anyway, I'm all for nuking the entire Middle-East. This is the 21st century and goddamn barbaric savages have no place in it. After we exterminate the durka-durkas we can kick out all the Jews and they can go live over there.

              Yippie-kay-yay whooptie-God-damn-doo. All the world's problems solved!

              • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @11:04PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @11:04PM (#271990)

                what about systemd

          • (Score: 2) by Hairyfeet on Saturday December 05 2015, @06:41AM

            by Hairyfeet (75) <{bassbeast1968} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday December 05 2015, @06:41AM (#272113) Journal

            Not to mention there are already jobs in the military that women are better at so putting them on the front line is just stupid. For examples women are much better at language and make better translators, their bodies can take more g-forces so make better fighter pilots, are better at reading body language and diffusing situations and thus make better MPs, hell I could go on all day.

            But of course we know what this is REALLY about, its the same as those racists that scream "this job doesn't have enough X!" with X being the race or gender they want to push. They go by the fallacy that we are nothing but plastic dolls, that race or sex is nothing but a minor change to the plastic mold, which of course science has proven time and again is bullshit. For just a few examples just look at the above or look at how you won't be seeing any White guys winning the short distance races, that is because Black folks over time have developed muscles that do not build up lactic acid nearly as fast as a White or Asian and therefor have an advantage in that event,or how many of our skyscrapers were built by American Indians because their sense of balance is so much better.

            We should frankly go to a strictly merit based system, where everybody is judged NOT by the color of their skin or their sex but by the content of their character and their abilities...but we sadly know that isn't what is gonna happen here. Instead what we will get is a year, maybe two where the women have to compete to the same standards as men and then some group will start screaming "You don't have enough X, that means you are an 'ist!'" and they'll dumb it down so they can get the number of X they require. Won't matter that they aren't qualified, can't do as much as those that held the job before, hell it won't even matter when good soldiers die because they don't have the strength to drag them out of the line of fire, all that matters is not being perceived as an 'ist' and the only way you can do that is to "make sure you have enough X!" whether X is qualified or even wants the damned job. Coming soon huge bonuses for women to take the job because they don't have enough X coming to a war near you, I'm sure the enemy will thank us.

            --
            ACs are never seen so don't bother. Always ready to show SJWs for the racists they are.
        • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:03AM

          by darkfeline (1030) on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:03AM (#272087) Homepage

          Hey, gender equality. You can't have your cake and eat it too. Maybe gender equality proponents, er, I mean feminists, will learn a lesson?

          Next step, women need to sign up for the draft.

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          Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
          • (Score: 2) by tathra on Saturday December 05 2015, @06:34AM

            by tathra (3367) on Saturday December 05 2015, @06:34AM (#272110)

            Next step, women need to sign up for the draft.

            correct, [washingtonpost.com] the reason women are currently exempt from the draft is because they're exempt from combat MOSes, feminists are suing over that bit of sexism [courthousenews.com] and the courts are looking into fixing it. [stripes.com]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:16PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @05:16PM (#272202)

              I always thought that excuse was BS. I have to sign up for the draft despite being exempt from combat MOSes. Sure, they will stick me in a hospital or give me the shit jobs no one wants (without pay, while everyone drafted getting regular pay AND combat pay) but I'm still exempt from combat.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @09:57AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 05 2015, @09:57AM (#272133)

          Pretty much any male soldier could pick up a 200lb injured brother and carry him half a mile if necessary. Pretty much no female soldiers could.

          I believe they have a series of "special abilities" qualifications, and women have to qualify for one. For example, CPR. Thus, while many males will qualify via the carry-injured test, females will often qualify some other way.

        • (Score: 1) by Squidious on Saturday December 05 2015, @09:42PM

          by Squidious (4327) on Saturday December 05 2015, @09:42PM (#272276)

          Audie Murphy, the most decorated US soldier in WW2 and a consummate badass, was 5' 5" and weighed 112 pounds. He was initially considered too slight for combat. Bravery and marksmanship trump brawn in any modern conflict with repeating firearms.

          --
          The terrorists have won, game, set, match. They've scared the people into electing authoritarian regimes.
        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday December 09 2015, @04:59PM

          by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday December 09 2015, @04:59PM (#273999) Homepage

          An interesting editorial on the question:

          http://jewishworldreview.com/kathleen/parker120715.php3 [jewishworldreview.com]

          The most salient point: "...once women are assigned to combat, there will be no argument against drafting women."

          Equality, anyone??

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by tempest on Friday December 04 2015, @04:56PM

        by tempest (3050) on Friday December 04 2015, @04:56PM (#271852)

        provided they can meet the physical requirements why couldn't they prove excellent soldiers?

        In the military the physical requirements for men and women are different. Women are graded on an entirely different scale than men on a PT test. I wasn't combat arms (in training), so my unit was about half female. Of the 20ish women in my platoon, I think one may have been able to pass the male requirements. And for us it was just a test, there were no real world repercussions for the physical limitations aside from issues carting your toolbox (which some women struggled to do). I recall the quote of taking 5 people to keep 1 soldier fighting in the military - I think that's out of date and probably a lot higher now. There are plenty of opportunities to be an essential soldier which doesn't involve front line combat.

        I'm not involved any more so I really don't care, but the reality of combat is that your weakest link is the highest liability of getting you killed. Some women I wouldn't have a problem fighting beside, but most I would. I certainly wouldn't welcome a whole batch graded on a lower scale. If women want to fight, then they can pass the male PT test.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tibman on Friday December 04 2015, @06:16PM

          by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @06:16PM (#271893)

          The men also have a different scale than other men. It varies by age. So are your older soldiers (who can do less pushups) the weakest link in your platoon? Rhetorical, because they aren't. The young idiots who can max the PT test are the weakest link because they don't know jack shit about fighting (yet).

          In my experience women can be just as strong as men only it takes a lot long to build up that strength. Men you can whip into shape in the matter of months. Women seem to take quite a bit longer, like several years longer. Unfortunately, most military terms are only a few years (or fortunately if you want out) so by the time a woman is really kick-ass strong she's ending her enlistment term. Weight is also a huge issue. A 140lb soldier will probably never beat 180lb soldier in terms of strength. Women have a lot of society pressures about their weight and looks that prevents them from putting on another 30 pounds of muscle. That is a life-long thing too. Bones and tendons don't adapt quickly. People entering the US Army already at a higher weight (even if it is distributed poorly) have a leg up on someone who joins at sub-150 pounds.

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          • (Score: 2) by tempest on Friday December 04 2015, @06:52PM

            by tempest (3050) on Friday December 04 2015, @06:52PM (#271904)

            The men also have a different scale than other men. It varies by age. So are your older soldiers (who can do less pushups) the weakest link in your platoon? Rhetorical, because they aren't.

            Actually yes. An older guy who can't carry his shit is a liability. If that's what has to be done, that's just a simple reality. If a woman can pass by male standards, that's when the dialog should start, but that's not what's happening here today. They physical aspect was on the bottom of my list of concerns as far as the weakest link goes, but it was a concern.

            • (Score: 2) by tibman on Friday December 04 2015, @07:11PM

              by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @07:11PM (#271912)

              Never did i mention an older guy who can't carry his shit. I said that the physical fitness tests also vary by age for men. So a younger man has to do more to pass than an older man. Both still pass the test. I don't know where your linkest link stuff is coming from but the PT test is a shit indicator who for will get you killed in combat. It only shows a soldier's ability to do physical labor for a short period of time.

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              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @08:22PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @08:22PM (#271927)

                So given two soldiers, identical in every way except one is physically stronger, you don't think the stronger one is an asset?

                • (Score: 3, Insightful) by tibman on Friday December 04 2015, @08:31PM

                  by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @08:31PM (#271936)

                  Don't go all spherical cow on me. Of course the stronger one is better given everything else is equal. Is the weaker one the "weakest link" leading to the death of the stronger one? Rhetorical (again, sorry), no. The stronger soldier is made even stronger by having a weaker soldier watch his/her back. If you keep removing the weakest soldier from any group then you'll eventually end up with an army of one : P

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                • (Score: 2) by tathra on Saturday December 05 2015, @06:37AM

                  by tathra (3367) on Saturday December 05 2015, @06:37AM (#272111)

                  no, the one with more endurance and mental fortitude is the bigger asset. brute, physical strength means little when it comes to doing military stuff.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by bradley13 on Friday December 04 2015, @05:30PM

        by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @05:30PM (#271868) Homepage Journal

        provided they can meet the physical requirements why couldn't they prove excellent soldiers

        The problem is, the US military is under tremendous pressure to get more women into positions for which they are physically unsuited. Women are allowed to put their gear on trucks during long training marches, because they cannot carry it. Women are allowed to go under or around obstacles on the fitness courses. Female medics are allowed to use four people to carry a stretcher, whereas men do it with two. The military cannot require women to meet the same objective standards as men, because there would be very nearly zero women in any physically demanding position - which includes essentially all ground combat positions. This is politically unacceptable.

        The military has always had different physical requirements for women [military.com], because women are hugely weaker than men [unz.com]. That's simple biology. The problem is: your combat gear doesn't get lighter just because you are a woman. Which means: these different physical standards are going to get people killed.

        There is another aspect that too few people are willing to discuss, and that is the sexual behavior of the species. By that, I mean the way that heterosexual men and women (and that is most of the species) are genetically programmed to behave around each other. Take a bunch of fit young guys, put a couple of fit young women in their midst, put the group under pressure, and watch the mating rituals. Men have a natural instinct to want to (a) impress and (b) protect women. Women, for their part, are programmed to encourage this behavior. Neither of these reactions belongs in a combat squad.

        Are there exceptions? Of course! If the military were truly allowed to impose neutral standards, you could identify the exceptional women capable of meeting the physical requirements of ground combat positions. The problem is: this will not be allowed to happen, because the SJWs want to see average women in the same combat positions that average men can achieve.

        --
        Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday December 04 2015, @05:58PM

          by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @05:58PM (#271880) Journal

          The United States could always look to other countries' militaries where women have already been put into combat roles. Israel is one, so are France and Germany. There others, but of those three perhaps Israel is the best example because they're constantly fighting with everyone.

          But then, maybe it's because the US has looked at those countries' experience that it has made this decision. Toughness is often measured in terms of physical strength, but it's a quality with deeper roots than that. I have known women in my life who are tough as nails; I even had a couple in my family--my great-grandmother outlived 5 husbands and was a chemist at a time when virtually none were. That willingness to accomplish the mission no matter what, the willingness to endure, can arguably make the difference between life and death as much as being able to bench another 100 lbs can.

          I dunno. I've never been a soldier--I have always sucked at following orders. But it seems that including women in a combat unit could be made stronger through the qualities they bring to the fight rather than made weaker.

          --
          Washington DC delenda est.
          • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Friday December 04 2015, @08:50PM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @08:50PM (#271944) Journal

            The United States could always look to other countries' militaries where women have already been put into combat roles. Israel is one, so are France and Germany. There others, but of those three perhaps Israel is the best example because they're constantly fighting with everyone.

            But even with those countries, women are not given the same size combat packs to carry, or expected to slam the same size shells into the breach of howitzers.

            Those armies take a rational approach, where women are assigned to do the jobs commensurate with their size. They might drive the tank, command the tank, service the tank, fuel the tank, fire the gun, but there is usually a pretty beefy (male) gunner's mate moving the shells from the locker to the breach.

            Go to Google Images and search for images of Israeli ground troops. You won't see many women in those shots of actual combat missions, but there are a few. They seem to train separately [jpost.com].

            There is almost no job in aviation that women can't handle. Yes, she flew it, and brought it home, mostly in one piece [tumblr.com].

            More-so shipboard in the Navy. Even on a Carrier, probably 90% of the jobs can be handled by women. Probably everything but the Red Shirt Jobs [navy.mil] because bombs and missiles weighing up to 500 pounds (or more) are manually lifted to the pylons.

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          • (Score: 2) by termigator on Friday December 04 2015, @10:55PM

            by termigator (4271) on Friday December 04 2015, @10:55PM (#271987)

            Women already serve in combat roles today, and with modern weaponry, it does not take a lot of brute strength to be a killing machine.

            What will be interesting is if the physical requirements for elite fighting groups will be changed. Physical requirements in those cases are based on the types of missions that are performed and how to help guarantee soldiers can complete the mission and come back alive. If a woman can meet the physical requirements as the men, more power to her. But if requirements are going to be lowered just for the purposes of allowing women in, then the new requirements should apply to men also. The new requirements must also not sacrifice the ability to complete mission objectives and come back alive.

          • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 05 2015, @02:16AM

            by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 05 2015, @02:16AM (#272053) Homepage Journal

            Israel has some unique experiences and views on women in the military. They don't put women in the same front line units as they put men, generally speaking. We would do well to follow their example.

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/25/womens-combat-roles-in-israel-defense-forces-exagg/?page=all [washingtontimes.com]

            The other examples of women in the military do not have histories of those women in intense, prolonged front line action.

            Just like men, women are going to be both assets and liabilities. Unlike men, those attributes are less understood today. Neither progressives nor traditionalists are going to understand the issues unless and until those integrated units are put to the test.

            When we see these units battle without relief for months, THEN we will be able to evaluate their performance.

            --
            "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @05:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @05:53PM (#271876)

        Women have a higher pain tolerance than men? I don't believe that unless it was based on women that went through childbirth. Pain tolerance is a learned condition. I've been through three major spine surgeries, my pain tolerance is way up there. I don't even flinch when experiencing pain any more.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Saturday December 05 2015, @02:20AM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 05 2015, @02:20AM (#272056) Homepage Journal

          Actually, I have to agree - generally speaking, women deal better with pain than men do. But, of course, that isn't true of ALL men or all women.

          --
          "Trust the science" -- Tony Fauci and his army of psycophants
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @06:40PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @06:40PM (#271901)

        spotting ambushes

        It is due to sensing danger. Women not being physically strong developed their sense of danger as a defense mechanism. Men could deal with attacks, women could not. So those women survived who were able to sense danger; the others were eaten by predators.

        It is similar to the Jewish sense of survival. Somehow they always manage to survive. And not just survive, but come out on top in the face of great odds.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @07:04PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @07:04PM (#271909)

        The pain tolerance thing is mostly about enduring Meg Ryan movies.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Friday December 04 2015, @08:17PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @08:17PM (#271925) Journal

        as long as they qualify and meet the standards

        None of the articles, nor even the Secretary of Defense have said WHAT standards will apply.

        Currently, women make up less than 10 percent of Marine Corps, 14% of the Army, 15.7% Coast Guard, 18% of the Navy, and 19.1% of the Air Force.

        Probably the effect of prior regulations, but as of today the closer the service is to any actual shooting, the lower the percentage of females. It will be interesting to see if this remains the case.

        --
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      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:43PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 04 2015, @10:43PM (#271979)

        > Women also have a greater eye for detail

        I guess my wife is the exception that proves the rule.