June 5, 2011

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates bluntly told Marines... that they won't be able to opt out of their enlistment..."

"... just because they disagree with a government decision to end a ban on gays serving openly in the military."

Wasn't it bizarre even to ask? I mean... as they say... don't ask.

124 comments:

edutcher said...

Don't ask is over.

Gates and Mullen sold their souls for this.

And I don't believe it's just the Marines.

Supposedly, something like 45% of the DADT surveys returned were from the Coast Guard, so those glowing numbers were phony.

Maybe this is how the Lefties get what they really want - destruction of the US military.

AllenS said...

Puffington Host? It probably is bullshit.

chickenlittle said...

Gates is laying the groundwork for a return to the draft.

Fred4Pres said...

Is this supposed to be a big surprise? Marines are used to getting shit on by DoD, politicians and brass from other services, shrugging it off and having to do with second hand hand me downs, and doing their job better than any other branch of the military.

Penny said...

Signing a contract seems like a great idea...until it isn't.

m stone said...

I have to agree with Chicken. Certain engrained foxhole values don't change in the military

This was never a situation any soldier faced during Vietnam when I served and I shudder at what price we may pay, AA notwithstanding.

Tell a soldier to his face that his gay bunkmate is not going to be sizing him up.

edutcher said...

chickenlittle said...

Gates is laying the groundwork for a return to the draft.

That possibility hit me, too.

Youth unemployment is at 25%. Black youth unemployment is double that.

Look at the unemployment figures for 1940, '41, and '42.

Fred4Pres said...

Is this supposed to be a big surprise? Marines are used to getting shit on by DoD, politicians and brass from other services, shrugging it off and having to do with second hand hand me downs, and doing their job better than any other branch of the military.

The Corps may be making more noise about this, but the other services aren't happy, either.

DADT surveys went out to every member of the Armed Forces, Coasties included, and spouses, if applicable.

Only about 5% were returned.

Penny said...

"Wasn't it bizarre even to ask? I mean... as they say... don't ask."

Yet some ask, ... and some receive?

Seven Machos said...

I mostly disagree with these first few comments. This change in law happened with the approval of elected officials, and thus democratically.m It didn't happen by authoritarian judicial fiat. That's all we can ask for.

Further, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell is one of these nutty symbolic things the left gets fixated on. Things are not going to change much. It's not like there are very many gay men who want to join the Marines.

And when openly gay men do join the Marines, they'll be Marines.

Seven Machos said...

Gates is laying the groundwork for a return to the draft.

Please elucidate for us the argument that proceeds thusly:

Premise: Gays are now allowed to be Marines openly.

Therefore, there will soon be a draft.

This should be interesting...

Carol_Herman said...

It's OUR volunteer army! And, they're getting pissed on from above!

It doesn't even surprise me!

Gays? Tell me, where are we going to get volunteers, ahead?

At least, on the good news, side, none of the "leaders" will come with crappy credentials from liberal colleges.

We don't see the shift. But the shift (like the San Andreas Fault), is there. One day, ahead, it will shake things up.

Penny said...

"Gates is laying the groundwork for a return to the draft."

Let's hope not.

The military is a fine employer for those with no capital and a desire to do the right thing.

Carol_Herman said...

A return to the draft?

Is this like opening a window in a non-air conditioned house, in the middle of summer?

No congress critter has the balls to "vote" a draft resolution! Not one of them. On either side of the aisle.

Heck, congress critters will sooner be photographed with their underpants covering their heads.

Penny said...

Some things just don't lend themselves to "equality".

Or should I say..."Those who CHOOSE to serve", can never be outdone in their contribution?

Carol_Herman said...

One of my son's 4 roommates at college, came out afterward, saying he was gay.

Well, he didn't date in college. And, he's one of the sweetest men I know.

Just because a kid is gay is no indication that he is dangerous. And, about to hump heterosexual guys. For guys, however, what's notable, is that they don't hump girls.

If you look at Israel, which depends on its survival on DRAFTING all 18 year old's ... what you get is a tough army. Unwilling to shoot "willy and nilly." And, in Israel, even the women can shoot a rifle. WIN-WIN.

m stone said...

Premise: Gays are now allowed to be Marines openly.

Wrong premise. Rather, gays are now allowed to be gays openly in the Marines.

Consider the 99% who are not gay. Some, if not many, will find that offensive, as offensive as that may sound. Have you ever lived close quarters?

Seven Machos said...

stone -- I accept your restated premise. Please now connect the dots for me. Don't ask rhetorical questions. Don't force me to make inferences. Make the argument.

Carol_Herman said...

Not all gays are effeminate!

If you remember Rock Hudson, gay as a 3-dollar-bill ... You'd notice hollywood had no trouble putting him in uniform. And, then placing the camera at his back. And, making sure they captured his behind. As he walked. Doris Day sang.

Lincolntf said...

I can't remember the specifics (maybe AllenS or another Vet knows), but during the enlistment process (which generally takes months for each individual) there are a few "drop-dead" sort of barriers. Like "are you a conscientious objector", but a bit more specific. Doesn't mean you won't get in, means you won't be considered for certain roles. A question like "Would you be able to maintain professional composure while sleeping under a shelter- half with a homosexual of the same sex?" might be a reasonable question to ask prospective enlistees.
As for the Marines and other servicemembers who are already in...HA! Not a chance in hell you'll get out of your enlistment contract. Nice try by the SGT, though.

edutcher said...

Seven Machos said...

I mostly disagree with these first few comments. This change in law happened with the approval of elected officials, and thus democratically.m It didn't happen by authoritarian judicial fiat.

That's exactly what happened. The Demos, through their super-majorities, pulled this in the last moments of the last Congress.

The public is dead set against it, but the Lefties want it, and they found a way to get it.

Please elucidate for us the argument that proceeds thusly:

Premise: Gays are now allowed to be Marines openly.

Therefore, there will soon be a draft.


Seven is not that dense, but I will spell it out anyway.

The usual people who go into the military stay away in droves. Troop levels go to unacceptable levels.

Only solution - draft.

Or, with no one wanting to go in, the Lefties are politically able to reduce the Armed Forces to a corporal's guard so they can milk the entitlement cow one more time.

Seven Machos said...

Only solution - draft

Really? The only solution? Wouldn't another acceptable solution be to reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell?

But that makes too much sense and it doesn't conform to your expectations of unreasonableness.

m stone said...

Now that gays are allowed to be openly gay in the military, it follows that morale will decline, re-enlistments and recruiting will suffer, and the the draft will become a consideration to maintain troop levels.

It also follows that the military will begin to make special provisions creating a logistical and judicial nightmare.

I'd love to be wrong on this one.

Synova said...

We had people wanting to "opt out" of their enlistments (and commissions) just because they disagree with a government decision to go to war.

Seven Machos said...

Nothing that you people are saying follows in any way. If this decision turns out to affect morale, enlistment, etc. negatively, then the decision will be rescinded. There's simply no reason to believe that allowing gays to serve openly in the military will lead to a draft.

The Drill SGT said...

Seven Machos said...
I mostly disagree with these first few comments. This change in law happened with the approval of elected officials, and thus democratically.m It didn't happen by authoritarian judicial fiat. That's all we can ask for.

Further, repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell is one of these nutty symbolic things the left gets fixated on. Things are not going to change much. It's not like there are very many gay men who want to join the Marines.


I made the point months ago that this was a case of force effectiveness versus personal freedom. The increased number of gays wanting to join will be dwarfed by the number of hetro's finding the environment is not what they signed up for.

further there is no way that unit morale and espirit is increased now, so we're going to have fewer volunteers and a lower morale. But several gays will get to come out of the closet and sue for descrimination.

They already have a big gay education program in place for lawyers, Chaplains, other officers, NCO's and soon troops. Next will be promotion quotas

Synova said...

"And, in Israel, even the women can shoot a rifle. WIN-WIN."

Women are better shots then men, on average. It's about the only "military" sort of skill that goes that way though. In any case, I wanted to point out, just to be fair and not to disrespect the Israeli military in any way, and there is a whole lot to be said for women having the mindset and expectation that they *will* serve... but I wanted to point out that the Israeli Army does not DEPLOY. It matters.

Chip S. said...

If this decision turns out to affect [insert list of positive social outcomes] negatively, then the decision will be rescinded.

This happens all the time in the world of government policymaking!

Seven Machos said...

But several gays will get to come out of the closet and sue for descrimination

Please list for us the litany of previous lawsuits where the United States has been successfully sued because of discrimination in the military. In fact, please list for us any sampling of lawsuits where the United States has been sued in any capacity naming the military as a defendant.

While you are at it, look into the concept of sovereign immunity.

SGT Ted said...

We had gay airborne qualified guys in my unit. We also had pretty much 'out' lesbians. We some how survived, because the criteria was as long as they weren't a fuck up, theres no problem, just like with any other soldier.

If you can't hack serving with openly gay fellow Americans, maybe you aren't really cut out for uniform, because we ALL put up with stupid offensive shit everyday while serving.

This isn't a matter of whats 'offensive' or not. We who serve don't make that call.

All who serve need to suck it up, shut their cakeholes and drive on.

What are we, a bunch of PC pansies that wilt when the CoC makes a decision we don't like? "ooh theres a gay guy next to me! waaaah Sergeant!" My God troop, grow a pair.

edutcher said...

Seven Machos said...

Only solution - draft

Really? The only solution? Wouldn't another acceptable solution be to reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell?

But that makes too much sense and it doesn't conform to your expectations of unreasonableness.


Don't tell us, tell the Democrats. Most of the people here didn't want this in the first place.

"But that makes too much sense and it doesn't conform to your expectations of unreasonableness."

Seven Machos said...

Chip -- Regulations are changed, repealed, altered, added to, and subtracted from all the time. There's not going to be a draft because of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Seven Machos said...

Most of the people here didn't want this in the first place.

Welcome to representative democracy.

The Drill SGT said...

Synova said...
Women are better shots then men, on average


I flat dont believe that. I've trained women to shoot and trained men. The men are better....

If you said they make better helo pilots, you bet.... shooters, no way

PS: The only way my Colonel wife could hurt somebody with her 9mm is to throw it at him.

Synova said...

"It also follows that the military will begin to make special provisions creating a logistical and judicial nightmare."

We'll see what happens. It could be entirely low-key and everyone more or less goes on as they ever did, pretending that the guys who are gay aren't. Or it could go the other way, likely enough with interference from Congress, so that special provisions will require an official declaration of one's orientation and thereafter determine (as being female does now) a limit on what the gay person is allowed to do or where they are allowed to serve so that they only do so where there are appropriate facilities and accommodations.

Time will tell.

Chip Ahoy said...

Gays? Tell me, where are we going to get volunteers, ahead?

Hehehe, she said, "a head."

Skay said...

I think there will be many who will retire early.

What a brilliant way for Obama and his cronies to destroy the only thing that the gorernment gets right-all things considered.

Synova said...

Drill Sgt, really? I'm surprised by the better Helo pilot part. I wonder why women would be better at that? Maybe you're right about shooting, but I'd always heard that teen girls, in particular, tended to be good shots, but there may be enough self-selection bias there to explain it.

Does your Colonel's wife want to shoot? Even a pistol gets heavy pretty darn quick. I'm a good shot... for the first, oh, 10 rounds. ;-)

Chip S. said...

7M, My prediction is that if there seems to be a morale problem, then the first response will be to add a training module on the subject. Given the struggle that began with DADT (as a compromise) up through its repeal, I cannot see the DoD unilaterally rescinding the new policy.

I agree that this does not mean a draft will be imposed. The 24% unemployment rate among teens makes that unnecessary.

Penny said...

"It also follows that the military will begin to make special provisions creating a logistical and judicial nightmare."

All the better for enhanced employment opportunities!

Military consultants need to be supported in making an honest living too.

Right?

Right?

Synova said...

I think that the "draft" thing is ridiculous.

Penny said...

Maybe that is a step too far when some make their living out of "change"?

el polacko said...

jeeze, guys...how many times must it be stated that there are gay men and women serving honorably at this very moment, there have been for as long as there has been an american military, and other soldiers have always been aware of that fact. all of this armegeddon! rhetoric is just plain silly. gates' response to the worried sargeant was spot-on.

edutcher said...

Chip S. said...

7M, My prediction is that if there seems to be a morale problem, then the first response will be to add a training module on the subject. Given the struggle that began with DADT (as a compromise) up through its repeal, I cannot see the DoD unilaterally rescinding the new policy.

I agree that this does not mean a draft will be imposed. The 24% unemployment rate among teens makes that unnecessary.


We've also got a War on Terror and a whatever-it-is in Libya going on. Most young people today don't have the discipline and motivation to make it in the military. Without the children of the bitter clingers, the country could be up the creek.

The Drill SGT said...

Synova said...
Drill Sgt, really? I'm surprised by the better Helo pilot part. I wonder why women would be better at that?


IMHO, less testosterone. They make fewer stupid mistakes...better pilots in most everything really...

There are issues, as I'm sure you know with women in fighters. which are designed with a lot of ergonomic parameters for height, length of forearm, leg length, neck muscles, etc

On the other hand, I have no clue what a female fighter pilot uses as a relief tube :)

Seven Machos said...

These kids today. Gay and weak and undisciplined. Not like the olde days. Get off my lawn!

Fen said...

What are we, a bunch of PC pansies that wilt when the CoC makes a decision we don't like? "ooh theres a gay guy next to me! waaaah Sergeant!" My God troop, grow a pair.

Meh. Get back to me when men and women billet shower and shit together. Mixing genders in combat units is never a good idea.

James said...

No it wasn't "bizarre even to ask" when you consider that the Marine Commandant James Amos is adamantly opposed to the repeal of DADT. It simply means that many Marines share the stance of their Commandant.

Marine chief: 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal could be deadly 'distraction'

The new commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, on Tuesday defended his decision to recommend against repealing "don't ask, don't tell" in Dec. 3 congressional testimony – a position at odds with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen.

In a roundtable discussion with reporters, Amos said that a Pentagon report on the impact of repealing "don't ask, don't tell" “sent a very strong message” that marines were against repealing the ban. Though the report recommended repealing "don't ask, don't tell," it also found that nearly 60 percent of combat troops said that a repeal could have negative effects on the force.

“I take that very, very seriously,” Amos said, adding he worried that openly gay troops in Marine Corps combat units would pull focus away from fighting.

“I don’t want to lose any marines to the distraction,” he said. “I don’t want any marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda [National Naval Medical Center military hospital in Maryland] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction.”

Surveys in the Pentagon report showed that the majority of troops believed a change in the law would have a positive or no impact on US military effectiveness. Mullen and Secretary Gates cited these findings in recommending a repeal.

Fen said...

We had people wanting to "opt out" of their enlistments (and commissions) just because they disagree with a government decision to go to war

A better example was when we had people wanting to "opt out" of their enlistments during the government shutdown (94?).

"No, you're not getting paid this month. No, that doesn't mean you can quit your post"

Penny said...

Americans, not in the business of "business"?

Ha ha ... um, OK then!

Least it's safe to say they're mighty good at living off the "farm"...

Until that doesn't "FIT".

And the moral of the story?

When you sign a contract?

You are "ALL IN"! ...

And we don't much care about how you feel PERSONALLY.

Browndog said...

As with anything, who is driving the agenda is pretty good indicator of what's behind the agenda.

Some with malicious intent tend to cloak it in "fairness" "equality" and "fairness".

Not sure who.....

Personally, I subscribe to the same school of thought as in the last sentence in the first post.

Chip S. said...

These kids today. Gay and weak and undisciplined. Not like the olde days.

Well, they're a lot fatter than in olden times.

However, partly thanks to the crappy economy, all branches of the armed services are meeting or exceeding their recruitment goals this year.

The Drill SGT said...

Synova,

Apropo, a quote from "Starship Troopers" that I love, and that I suspect also supports my (and Fen's) feelings about women is real close combat:

"Besides the obvious fact that drop and retrieval require the best pilots (i.e. female), there is a very strong reason why female Naval officers are assigned to transports: it's good for trooper morale. In a mixed ship, the last thing a trooper hears before a drop (maybe the last word he ever hears) is a woman's voice, wishing him luck. If you don't this is important, you've probably resigned from the human race."

Penny said...

Oddly, it seems Americans are currently given to picking between their poisons?

gutless said...

This is mostly BS. Silly folks aren't lined up to join the Marines and never have been. It is notable, however, that a largely ideological side trip involving 2% of the population gets this level of attention by our execrable political class, the worst we've ever had. Don't worry, nothing done under this banner is permanent. The snap-back against this will be wide ranging and rather unpleasant but inevitable.

Michael K said...

jeeze, guys...how many times must it be stated that there are gay men and women serving honorably at this very moment, there have been for as long as there has been an american military, and other soldiers have always been aware of that fact. all of this armegeddon! rhetoric is just plain silly. gates' response to the worried sargeant was spot-on.

Everyone who has served was aware of gays but they kept a low profile and did their jobs. What concerns me is the possibility of activists trying to provoke a confrontation, like a gay bar on the post or something like that.

Third Coast said...

@The Drill SGT:
"I flat don't believe that. I've trained women to shoot and trained men. The men are better...."
Google Marine Staff Sergeant Julia Watson and Sergeant Sherri Gallagher. Both were/are National High Power Rifle champions. Gallagher set a national record last year that likely won't be beat any time soon.

Carol_Herman said...

There used to be a time Rush Limbaugh had a TV show. And, on it he showed a woman pilot, about to land on an aircraft carrier. But she ran short of the deck. And, went down into the sea.

What does this prove?

People will think what they want.

Why won't we go back to the draft? Look at what it did to LBJ!

Up ahead, I have a feeling, America will "DEPLOY" less.

This was something FDR understood to his core! When we finally joined the fighting in WW2, the fighting in Europe had been going on for years.

Americans haven't turned out a general worth respecting since Patton died. (1945)

Peano said...

Wasn't it bizarre even to ask?

If you're an unreformed hippie who thought Candidate Obama was pretty, if you're a politically correct law professor coddled by tenure in a far-left province, if you have no more idea than a child of what Marines go through to become Marines -- then yes, the question probably would seem bizarre.

Otherwise .....

bagoh20 said...

My observation, and I think I also read it somewhere that women make better pilots due to a superior ability to multi-task, which is the main skill in piloting aircraft. I think men have superior spatial ability. Then you need to figure that men take more risks which is bad for piloting, but maybe good for air combat.

In the end, individual differences probably are much more substantial than anything that can be expected by gender.

Big Mike said...

Right now Obama and our political class have one active shooting war on their hands, another engagement where we have troops deployed, and a third where troops aren't deployed but that seems to be the next step. And the think this is an absolutely ideal time to use the US military for a grand social science experiment.

Perhaps they're right. For the sake of the country I hope they're right. But the downside risk is so huge that only the sublimely stupid would have undertaken it.

Carol_Herman said...

Ah, the only reason "candidate" Obama won, was that he had the better PR. The better signs. And, McCain did NOT have women voters, or enough voters who would never vote for a black person, all sewn up.

The idiocy belongs to the GOP. Most of those responsible for electing the GOP ticket ... thought they'd pick McCain "because he could attract independent voters." AND. HE. DID. NOT!

You lose when you push the GOP into picking "electable candidates." Instead of candidates whom you really like.

EDH said...

Can anyone point me to a link where the govt or military has stated concisely what "serving openly" actually means in terms of the remaining parameters on speech and conduct?

Synova said...

"There are issues, as I'm sure you know with women in fighters. which are designed with a lot of ergonomic parameters for height, length of forearm, leg length, neck muscles, etc"

I'm four inches too short.

Got to ride in a couple, though. In an F-101, and once in a T-38... I think it was.

bagoh20 said...

Are there other sexual preferences that are prohibited in the military? I can't think of any that would be a much of an issue, except maybe necrophilia.

The Drill SGT said...

Third Coast said...
Gallagher set a national record last year that likely won't be beat any time soon.


I looked, they are good, but her record may not stand for too long, considering she beat the 2nd place guy by 1 point. Interestingly, she had a lot more bulls but apparently was less consistent. Don't know what that means... nerves?

SGT Sherri Gallagher of Fort Benning, Georgia, shot her way to her first National High Power Rifle Championship on Friday, finishing with a record breaking 2396-161x.

Carl Bernosky, of Ashland, Pennsylvania, finished second this year with a 2395-140x

Synova said...

"Most young people today don't have the discipline and motivation to make it in the military."

That's what basic training is for. ;-)

Gah. I've got friends who are sending their son to military school (he wants to go) and his dad thinks he knows something because his dad was in the military. I just want to shake the guy and tell him to shut up. The only people who should be telling this kid what he needs to do to go on there is whoever is in charge of the "military" training. The fewer expectations of any sort the better.

Same with basic. Be in the best physical shape you can be and it will suck less, but the less you bring with you the better.

bagoh20 said...

I expect that gays in the military will be a big nothing soon. There will be stupid fights over details, but overall they will serve us well, and the straights will deal with it fine. In the end it will mean nothing. The problems from gay marriage, if adopted, will be far more messy.

Synova said...

The kid's dad's dad was in the military... what I wrote sounded a bit like my friend who is sending his son to military school was in the military, and he wasn't.

It was the kid's grandfather, who was apparently an autocratic prick, and my friend thinks it was a "military" thing instead of a personal character flaw.

Milwaukee said...

Men are taller than women. Ok, you can find a pair, this woman and than man, where the woman is taller. The average height for men is taller than the average height for women. In fact, I'll bet that for most random groups of equal numbers of men and women, if we sort each group from tallest to shortest, and match the tallest male with the tallest female, and so on, the male will be taller in the vast majority of cases. (Ok, the womens basketball team might be pairwise taller than the mens wrestling team. But random was a condition. Those are not two random groups.)

Did you know there are world class Olympic female runners? They are probably faster than 99.5% of the men in the World. But in general, men are faster. Just like men are taller.

Third Coast said...

@The Drill SGT:
"I flat don't believe that. I've trained women to shoot and trained men. The men are better...."
Google Marine Staff Sergeant Julia Watson and Sergeant Sherri Gallagher. Both were/are National High Power Rifle champions. Gallagher set a national record last year that likely won't be beat any time soon.


What Drill SGT said could be re-written to be something like "in general, men are better shots than women." Sort of like men are taller and run faster. Only we shouldn't need to jazz up this statement with all sorts of conditionals.

Browndog said...

Suddenly, without warning, teh gays are staunch defenders of the Armed Forces.

Watch a gay pride parade in San Francisco--what do you see?

Self-absorbed moral degenerates?

No.

You see Sons of Sparta, frustrated not being able to test their metal on the field of battle.

bagoh20 said...

I never served in the military, and it's the greatest regret of my life. I wish I could serve now at 52. I think there are a lot us.

If recruitment gets to be a problem raise the age restriction. Older people could do a lot of the work that we waste strong young people on: desk work, transport, logistics, pilots. Hell, I'd even rather be used for cannon fodder than some young person with their whole life ahead of them.

Third Coast said...

@The Drill SGT
"Interestingly, she had a lot more bulls but apparently was less consistent. Don't know what that means... nerves?"
She actually had a higher X count. The X ring is contained within the 10 ring and both count as 10 points. The X's are used as tie breakers. She shot a total of 240 rounds from the offhand (standing), sitting and prone positions and lost only 4 points out of 2400 possible.

bagoh20 said...

Well Browndog,
I doubt that a gay pride parade is a fair cross section of the gay population, anymore than a tractor pull is of straights.

bagoh20 said...

I have a friend that is ex-military very tough, very patriotic, right wing, a huge buff ass-kicker, and he's gay. He hates gay pride parades too.

Chuck66 said...

Gay pride parades....are you trying to tell me that most (male) homosexuals don't dress up like Judy Garland and belt out show tunes while wearing women's underwear on the outside of their dresses?
As someone who is not a big fan of the gay rights movement, I have to say that the gay rights movement is my biggest allie.

Almost Ali said...

The few, the proud, the theater group.

TWM said...

Someone probably already mentioned this but I am sure that any Marines who decide not to reenlist will be replaced by the thousands upon thousands of gays who can't wait to take their places. I hear the recruiting centers are overwhelmed with them already.

TWM said...

"Hell, I'd even rather be used for cannon fodder than some young person with their whole life ahead of them."

Our military doesn't really have any young people who are serving as cannon fodder these days. Maybe WWII or even WWI was the last time that happened.

Still, your idea of raising the age for rear echelon troops makes some sense - except there really is no "rear" anymore unless it's back here in the USA.

Synova said...

Milwaukee, I'm pretty sure that both Drill Sgt and I were understanding general rules and averages in exactly that way.

I'd heard that women really are better shots, on average, than men tend to be. I don't have proof, only a few anecdotes, so I'm not going to insist on it.

And Drill Sgt suggested that women make better pilots on average, better helo pilots, specifically.

I think that we all understood that we weren't talking about the ability of an exceptional person but about generalities and averages. That an olympic class female athlete might out perform the majority of men is irrelevant. Men are stronger, faster, taller, built differently... and the average man can outperform a woman *easily*. Men have more muscle without even trying and a different center of balance.

And in the end I don't have any idea if women are better shots or better pilots or if it's simply that women who exert themselves to chose those things are better at them than guys who feel like they ought to be good at them on account of being male.

Sort of like how being a terrible cook reflects more badly on a woman than on a man, and men who do cook tend to be exceptional at it, while the ones who don't cook don't get averaged in to any "men are better cooks than women" figuring. Fewer women get away with not cooking at all, so you're likely to run into more of them that aren't very good at it.

Skews the perceptions.

Synova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck66 said...

TWM, I realize you are being sarcastic, but to show the validity of your remaark.....look at the Iraq/Afghanisan deaths for US soldiers. San Francisco has a population of 805,000. They have had virtually no casualties.

There are small towns or rural counties that have had far too many loses. Including Pierce County.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Wasn't it bizarre even to ask?"

No. What's bizarre is allowing subversion (the "medical marijuana" gambit is another) to flourish into policy without anyone mentioning it, or challenging it, as such while you applaud.

The whole thing is rather disgusting, from a moral/ethical standpoint, if you ask me.

And a lawyer, especially, shouldn't be defending it - unless, of course, lawyers ARE actually the scumbags people say they are.

Alex said...

Hard bigotry, alive & well in the comment section.

Milwaukee said...

Synova:
And in the end I don't have any idea if women are better shots or better pilots or if it's simply that women who exert themselves to chose those things are better at them than guys who feel like they ought to be good at them on account of being male.

That statement is far more sensible without gender references: A person who wants something and is willing to work for it, if they have some talent, can outshine another who has more talent, but feels entitled, and doesn't work to develop their talent. And yes, some groups are naturally better at some activities than other groups. The NBA is dominated by Blacks, and US soccer is dominated by Whites. There are both physiological reasons and social reasons for this. Men probably dominate shooting because they don't mind playing with dangerous weapons that make loud noises as much as women do.

We see this in athletics all the time: an athlete with greater work ethic can outperform one with greater talent. Although, there are times, that person with the talent brings magic to the contest and wins.

Chuck66: A lot of rear-echelon work has been outsourced to contractors. That way the administration and military can say "See, we only have so many soldiers." But those contractors also need to be feed and supplied and protected. Given the nature of the beast, as someone pointed out, there really isn't a rear-echelon. Heck you could be shot in Fort Hood. How much more rear-echelon can you get than that?

Skyler said...

One of the companies in my battalion is down in Dwyer. I wonder if the questioner was from them.

Regardless, I can pretty much guarantee that commanders are pissed that this idiot asked this question. No one wants to be that guy whose Marines ask stupid questions. That Marine's life will be miserable fora while.

Ranten N. Raven said...

The big thing driving many away will be the "screw your religious beliefs, you MUST say that you support this" training that the officers and NCOs are *currently* getting. I saw some very upset looking junior officers not too long ago. Thank God I'm already retired, because it'd be very tempting to tell the commander where he could shove it (so to speak).

Alex said...

The big thing driving many away will be the "screw your religious beliefs, you MUST say that you support this" training that the officers and NCOs are *currently* getting. I saw some very upset looking junior officers not too long ago.

Good riddance to those bigots.

sarge said...

@The Drill SGT:
"I flat don't believe that. I've trained women to shoot and trained men. The men are better...."

sarge here sarge wuz a gun clubber durng sarge youf an said club was wuz near alwayz dominated by yung womens - sarge admits embarrassing to be outshot by sarges own sister but thar sarge got tough frm the shame thus worked harder than the sarges sis an prevailed in the end but sarge did not work harder than the perennial club champ girl - of corse the club champs dad run the club an had a range fer the club champ in the club champs basement an unfair advantge

sarge does think the womens dont do so well wiv SAWs

Skyler said...

TMW claimed, "Still, your idea of raising the age for rear echelon troops makes some sense - except there really is no "rear" anymore unless it's back here in the USA."

This is nonsense. Of course there is a rear area. It's pretty much anywhere that there isn't shooting going on.

All that counter insurgency stuff? Rear area. Building schools and digging wells? Rear area. Occupying a town? Rear area.

Doing a cordon and knock through a village? Front line.

I'm really tired of the meaningless claim that "there are no front lines anymore." That's usually claimed by people who haven't been on the front lines.

sarge said...

sarge here if yer supost to be able carry full battle load prevail againts all danger an discomfort to kill thar enemy wivout mercy an yar cant fend off a unwanted advance or yar get all crunchy cuz ya think somebdys peerin at yer short arm in the shower yer too much a mess fer the service anyhoo

ps tito mixed them womens an mens troops in combat units an them co-mingled killers made widows of a near a million axis wives-sarge thinks its all in what yer fightin for sarge wud not think twice bein ina combat unit wiv womens in any war of national liberation...resource wars not sew much

Skyler said...

And for those claiming women shoot better or are better pilots than men, you're either on drugs or there is some other reason you're talking about something you know nothing about.

Shooting a gun is pretty easy. Guns are designed to be very simple to use and require very little training, which is why they are used by every military in the world. You hold a rifle securely and you look down sights, and you pull a trigger. There is nothing masculine or feminine about the skills required. Their main advantage is that guns make even weak women as strong as the strongest men. A 12 year old girl can kill a 25 year old golden gloves champion without hardly trying.

It's just about the same for piloting an aircraft, though I have no personal experience with that particular skill set.

There is no evidence that women are better at shooting or piloting, such claims come from ignorant people, or people with political agendas.

But in both cases, it's not the particular skill set that is the key element desired. For the infantryman with the rifle, shooting and aiming and hitting a target is extremely important, but also important is the strength to fight, the mind set to fight, and the ability endure pain and keep fighting.

Seven Machos said...

Guns are designed to be very simple to use and require very little training, which is why they are used by every military in the world

I don't think this is why guns are used by every military in the world.

Skyler said...

"I don't think this is why guns are used by every military in the world."

Really? Then tell me one military in the world that still uses the long bow, which had a faster rate of fire than early rifles and muskets, worked well in wet weather and had about the same range?

Chip S. said...

Almost Ali said, The few, the proud, the theater group.

"Wait! This is a "theater of combat?"

Synova said...

Skyler, I think that the "no front lines" thing is really short-hand for the idea that there isn't a safe place for the girls.

Seven Machos said...

Militaries use guns because they kill people well.

Synova said...

"There is no evidence that women are better at shooting or piloting, such claims come from ignorant people, or people with political agendas."

Ignorant, maybe, but no political agenda. I doubt anyone did a study with control groups and what-not to see if there is any sort of correlation between sex and shooting ability. Just anecdotal sorts of "teen-aged girls are often good shots" remarks. It might not be *true* but it's not any more obviously ridiculous than any other physical claim. Girls and boys *are* different. Maybe it's only that teen-aged girls have more fine motor control than teen-aged boys and the advantage goes away. Maybe they have less attitude or less ego wrapped up in the process, and the advantage goes away.

That said... You're completely right about the advantage of guns over any other weapon. And even if there isn't some female advantage, but merely parity, I never suggested that every single other part of the equation wasn't in favor of the male. It is. The mental elements might not *have* to be, but in our culture I'll give those to men as well.

Almost Ali said...

Chip S said...
"Wait! This is a "theater of combat?"

You're right! Now it all makes sense!

Penny said...

"The few, the proud, the theater group."

Ha ha

Now THAT was funny, Almost Ali.

SO funny, in fact, that one might suspect you are under a contractual commitment of one sort or another.

Then again? You just might be a REAL cowboy... on the newest frontier.

Yes. I think I'll go with that for now.

bagoh20 said...

" I have no personal experience with that particular skill set.

There is no evidence that women are better at shooting or piloting, such claims come from ignorant people, or people with political agendas. "


So you admit that you are ignorant about the subject and then say people who disagree with you on it are doing so because they are ignorant.

Skyler, are you drinking tonight?

bagoh20 said...

As pilots, women are surprisingly good at something they probably spent 1/100 the time imagining as the average boy. There is something to it. They seem to excel at cockpit management - keeping all the plates spinning. I'm not talking combat flying, just recreational/commercial. I fly, and I know women pilots. Of course, women pilots are exceptional women to begin with.

Carol_Herman said...

It's an interesting assumption that homosexuals wanted to see "Don't ask" pass.

Clinton took lots of money, back in 1992, from the homosexual community. His promise, in return for the cash, was a policy that would let gays serve openly.

Instead, Clinton used his "3 card Monty" trick ... called triangulation. To "give the gays" what they didn't want.

Politics is still a game where the elite take money from a mass ... like the homosexual lobby. But deliver NADA.

You can't even put the Clinton's in jail for taking bribes. "Don't ask, don't tell" ... wasn't what was paid for at all.

Carol_Herman said...

It's an interesting assumption that homosexuals wanted to see "Don't ask" pass.

Clinton took lots of money, back in 1992, from the homosexual community. His promise, in return for the cash, was a policy that would let gays serve openly.

Instead, Clinton used his "3 card Monty" trick ... called triangulation. To "give the gays" what they didn't want.

Politics is still a game where the elite take money from a mass ... like the homosexual lobby. But deliver NADA.

You can't even put the Clinton's in jail for taking bribes. "Don't ask, don't tell" ... wasn't what was paid for at all.

Milwaukee said...

Women are noted for having fine-motor skills better than men. When Cray built his first supercomputer, he needed women to help assemble the delicate boards. Occasionally a woman in the area would have a black car come and pick her up, and take her to the airport. An government aircraft would take her somewhere to fix something. They were all sworn to secrecy about what they did. The first supercomputer is now in a museum in Chippewa Falls, WI.

Longbows require extensive training and practice. Have you ever used one? They require strength and coordination. Yeomen were required to spend every Sunday afternoon practicing in the church yard. The reason the English use two fingers to salute instead of the American middle finger comes from the long bow. The French would catch the English longbowmen, and instead of killing them they would cut off the index finger of the hand that pulled the string on the bow. So the English would show that they had both fingers, the index and the middle fingers.

Guns are much easier to use, and to be trained to use. Point it that way, cock it, take off the safety and pull the trigger. To be a marksman takes work. The Kalishnikov is easy to maintain and operate. Accuracy of the inexperienced is made up for by the rate of fire.

Men are superior to women in upper body strength. Most shooting is going to be more demanding of upper body strength. Men have bigger shoulders than women, in general, while women have bigger hips, in general. There simply are some things men like more than women, and that women like more than men. Things that make loud noises would qualify in the men tend to like more than women.

Carol_Herman said...

It's an interesting assumption that homosexuals wanted to see "Don't ask" pass.

Clinton took lots of money, back in 1992, from the homosexual community. His promise, in return for the cash, was a policy that would let gays serve openly.

Instead, Clinton used his "3 card Monty" trick ... called triangulation. To "give the gays" what they didn't want.

Politics is still a game where the elite take money from a mass ... like the homosexual lobby. But deliver NADA.

You can't even put the Clinton's in jail for taking bribes. "Don't ask, don't tell" ... wasn't what was paid for at all.

bagoh20 said...

Women are often intelligent, beautiful, capable and hot. I want them. I hate them.

Please call me.

miller said...

Seriously.

This is something you're fighting about?

What will happen is this: nothing.

Some newspaper headlines, some anger on the part of people who want to stay ignorant.

And in 1 year a retrospective on how people got all excited over nothing.

Skyler said...

"Skyler, are you drinking tonight?"

General Order No. 1 forbids drinking over here.

All I meant is that I'm not a pilot. But some things are pretty evident without the personal experience. I was in an A-6E and F/A-18 squadron for years and I do have some second hand experience from all the pilots and bombadiers I was with.

wv: dritype, what the US military wants all of us to be

Jason said...

wasn't it bizarre even to ask?

"Shut up," she explained.

WV: trous.

Fred4Pres said...

And when openly gay men do join the Marines, they'll be Marines.

Yes. Either they will be Marines or not, and what they do on the side does not change that.

They need to shoot straight and do their jobs. There will be jokes and stresses to be sure, but respect comes with a job well done.

johnroberthenry said...

As of today it is still illegal for a military member to engage in homosexual activity on or off base.

It is still legal to be a celibate homosexual as it has always been.

When do you all think DADT will actually be repealed?

Note that the charade that took place last years didn't actually repeal it.

My guess is that 3-4 years from now DADT will still be the law.

John Henry

sarge said...

is nothing masculine or feminine about the skills required."

sarge hewre yar dont know a whole lot o girlies personally do yar?

sarge said...

"General Order No. 1 forbids drinking over here."

sarge here boy that sounds like an evasion now git yer niose outa that bottle o mouthwsh itsd ta make yer yap minty fresh it aint kinky poo joy juice

Ralph L said...

Of course, women pilots are exceptional women to begin with
This is the crux of the matter. The proportion of women who want to fly or shoot is much smaller than that of men. The ones with little talent for it never try it.

Kirk Parker said...

Chuck66,

"There are small towns or rural counties that have had far too many loses. Including Pierce County."

Well... does that statistic take into account only those service members whose "home town" was here before they did a tour of duty at Ft Lewis or McChord, or is it based on their current official residency? Because I know quite a few people who came through here and ended up coming back when they got out, so it wouldn't surprise me to discover that lots of folks change their official residence shortly after arriving. (No surprise, Paradise is also located just a few short miles away...)

Fen said...

I'd heard that women really are better shots, on average, than men tend to be. I don't have proof, only a few anecdotes, so I'm not going to insist on it.

I know from my yearly trips out to the rifle range (Marine) that women tend to score higher than a majority of men.

One reason is that women are unlikely to have hunting/shooting experience, so they don't come in with poor form and bad habits. The hardest thing to "unlearn" is wrong muscle memory you picked up before you enlisted. In boot camp, alot of guys who think they will score high have trouble on the range because they've been doing it wrong all their lives.

Another reason is the type of woman that self-selects to become a Marine. She already knows she has to push harder than the males. Biologically, she has more body fat, less hemoglobin, less bone density. She is not average and she is not competing against average males. 90% of the guys in victor units are in peak physical condition, operating at as close to 100% effeciency as is possible considering conditions. She has to be better than them just to keep up.


Saddest thing I ever saw was during NCO School. Marines from all over the fleet, mostly from non-combat MOS's. We were paired off in two's for a landnav course. Since I was from a combat unit and looked like I knew what I was doing, I was paired with a female.

It wasn't an easy course, and was even worse for those with little field experience. It lasted all day and we were one of the few teams that finished in time. Along the way, I learned about her brother, about why she signed up, about how joining the Corps had been her dream.

Around mid-afternoon she pulled up lame. We would learn later that she had worn her body out - multiple stress fractures in both legs. She hobbled for the rest of the day. In pain that would have most men curled up in the fetal position. I asked to carry her pack (never her M16) but she refused. I moved us from point to point, with growing respect that she would endure so much pain. For her, it was all about the principle. She didn't cry, but there were tears in her eyes. That must have been another one.

I didn't think we were going to make it. I didn't care if I failed this part of the school. I was an LAV-25 gunner. I could locate a pos to a 6 digit grid while moving 60mph at night. But it was against her nature to give up. Thats probably how she made it though boot camp. We crawled across the finish point with about 30 mins to spare.

The sad part. Due to injuries sustained on the course, she was forced out of the Marine Corps on a medical discharge.

I hope life has been good to her since then. I hope I run into her one day. I need to tell her that people like her are the reason we fight.

Fen said...

Either they will be Marines or not, and what they do on the side does not change that.

There is no "on the side".

Fen said...

Hard bigotry, alive & well in the comment section.

We also "hate" adultery and polygamy. I guess that also means the Marine Corps must be "phobic".

Keep defining Morality down. See what it gets you.

Roger J. said...

As an old col blimp type, I honestly dont see the problem with gays in the military--they have always been there--the UCMJ is perfectly adequate to deal with those whose behavior is inappropriate either homo or heterosexual.

Drill: I loved this: "PS: The only way my Colonel wife could hurt somebody with her 9mm is to throw it at him." I never qualified with my 45. couldnt hit a bull in the ass with the 45 so wore it in a sholder holster figuring it would give me a bit of extra body armor.

This exercise seems to me a bit like pole vaulting over mouse turds.

The Drill SGT said...

I never qualified with my 45. couldnt hit a bull in the ass with the 45 so wore it in a sholder holster figuring it would give me a bit of extra body armor.

Best thing about a 45 is that when you do hit something, it stays hit.

Best thing about a 9mm is that you have more chances to scare somebody

Best thing about being a tanker was that you could wear your pistol in a shoulder holster and therefore never ever leave it somewhere.

showbiz111 said...

It's true that Gates can prevent armed forces members from leaving prior to their term of commitment on the basis of don't ask don't tell repeal, but the true impact of the policy will be as the terms for enlistment expire and we get a look at the re-enlistment rates in this Brave New World of gay sexual subordination that will make the Catholic Church scandals look like a molehill.

ken in sc said...

In my opinion, the best cockpit crew includes both males and females. Women are more likely to be detail oriented and follow checklists to the letter. However, they are also more likely to freeze during an emergency. Men are more likely to do something in an emergency, even if it is not on the checklist. Think of Capt. Sully and his Hudson River landing.

old pilot

Jim Howard said...

The biggest difference between military service and civilian occupations is that if you are in the military you can't quit!


Whatever one's personal feelings about this or any other decision from the National Command Authority, unless the order is illegal you have to obey it, and you can't quit!

That goes for Bradly Manning and it goes for any Marine who doesn't want to serve with openly homosexual people.

Ranten N. Raven said...

Jim Howard said "Whatever one's personal feelings about this or any other decision from the National Command Authority, unless the order is illegal you have to obey it, and you can't quit!"

Actually you CAN quit, just not immediately. Many will. It's going to seriously hurt retention. for every happy now-openly-gay GI, there will be several others leaving. A lot of needed experience out the door.

Alex says "Good riddance?" If retention craters, he may rue those words. Or is enforcing the agenda that much more important than our security.