September 29, 2016

Obama confronted with some terrible facts about female Marines in combat.

At last night's "Military and The Commander and Chief" town hall with President Obama, Captain Lauren Serrano asked a question about women in combat:
CAPTAIN LAUREN SERRANO: A study by the Marine Corps revealed that mixed gender combat units performed notably worse and that women suffered staggeringly higher rates of injury. Just one of those statistics showed that mixed gender units took up to 159 percent longer to evacuate a casualty than all-male units. As the wife of a Marine who deploys to combat often, that added time can mean the difference between my husband living or dying. Why were these tangible negative consequences disregarded and how does the integration of women positively enhance the infantry mission and make me and my husband safer?
Obama says:
I don't think any of - any studies are going to be disregarded. I think that what we have to do is to take a look at the particular deployments, the particular situations.... [I]f you can't do the job, if there is a problem with performance, then that has to be taken into account. But keep in mind that there are a lot of jobs that are considered combat that don't necessarily involve you being on the front lines going door-to-door in Fallujah.... [T]here may be situations in which [women] could do the best job. It may not involve physical strength or how many pull-ups you can do, it may involve the precision with which you can operate and you being able to keep your cool you being able to carry out a task with a low error rate. And it may be that in those situations, a woman can perform better than a man.
Did the Marine Corps study show that there were some things women did better? Or is the idea that individuals who can do these "precision" tasks best will be assigned to them, and some women will fit this group? And then there are physical-strength tasks that just aren't that dangerous, but are technically "combat," and that's also a place where female Marines can be assigned. There really aren't that many female Marines — only 6.8 % of Marines are female — so the point seems to be: Use them properly and the problem is taken care of without the blunt exclusion from combat.

The inclusion is not, Obama says, just "political correctness" or "some symbolic issue." The idea is to use everyone to the extent that they are useful. Except he doesn't say "use." He speaks in terms of giving "opportunities."
I don't want the presumption to be that a woman can't do the job, because I'm looking at you right now and I'm pretty sure that you're in better shape than I am and you can do a lot of stuff I couldn't do. And I don't want you not to have that opportunity.

I agree with you that we can't just out of some ideological notion make it more dangerous for your husband. But I don't want to - I don't want a military, an institution that starts with the premise that women can't do something. If it turns out they can't do something, then we'll deal with that specific situation. But I don't want to start off with that assumption.

79 comments:

mesquito said...

The US military, which retained as a psychiatrist a very open and frank jihadist, cannot be trusted to be sensible when PC pressures come into play.

Paul said...

Women do not belong in combat...If there were advantages for women to fight wars, every army on the planet would have the majority of there forces female. Men are stronger, faster, and meaner...it is a fact that cannot be changed no matter how PC one wants to be...this President cannot leave the public stage fast enough. What a horrible disaster he has been...

Curious George said...

"I don't want the presumption to be that a woman can't do the job, because I'm looking at you right now and I'm pretty sure that you're in better shape than I am and you can do a lot of stuff I couldn't do. And I don't want you not to have that opportunity."

So the test for "Combat ready" is being in better shape than a 55 year old mom jean wearing president.

What a fucking idiot. And short answer to Captain Lauren Serrano. Sorry, Democratic votes are more important than your husband's, or any soldier's, life.

John said...

Used to be road construction crews would have a bunch of men in a ditch doing hard, dangerous, physical work. A couple would be up on the road holding flags and directing traffic. the flag wavers would rotate giving everyone a chance to have the easy job, sort of a break, for a while.

Now, because the crews need to be sexually integrated, they have women in them getting the same pay as men for, supposedly, the same work. But, since women are not a lot of use down in the ditch, the women wave the flags 100% of the time and the men never get the easy job.

that is down here, dunno how universal this is in the upper 50.

The Navy, in the early 70's opened up all ratings to women. This included seagoing rates even though women could not serve on ships.

1) Navy enlisted promotion is Navy wide and based largely on test scores. That meant that women serving in a relatively soft shore billet were competing for advancement against men who spent 10 years at sea (operating 20 days a month at sea or away from homeport) for a 2 year shore rotation. It sure pissed off a lot of people who saw a woman, who had never operated a steam plant for example, get advanced before them.

2) there are not many shore jobs for sailors in many seagoing rates, like Machinist Mate. In order to make the numbers, women would get these and men, when they did come ashore, would get shit assignments.

I suspect that in the Marines, assigning women to the rear, because they can't serve at the front, means that men are going to have to serve more time at the front.

President Obama, you are full of shit.

John Henry

MadisonMan said...

If there were advantages for women to fight wars, every army on the planet would have the majority of there forces female

But Game of Thrones has Daenerys Stormborn and what's-her-name's sister from those Islands and Brienne of Tarth!

Interesting how fiction warps reality.

I notice the President dodged the question. If mixed-gender units are evacuating wounded, I'd say that's pretty clear evidence that they are in combat.

MayBee said...

That whole town hall was an exercise in Obama talking for a long time, seeming very eloquent, and saying essentially nothing.
He spends time restating the question in longer terms, then explaining how this is something we have to consider. Then he gives a few on the one hands on the other hands, and finally lets us know what we should or shouldn't think.
Some people love him for this.

vicari valdez said...

MadisonMan said...
Interesting how fiction warps reality.
9/29/16, 7:27 AM


yes, interesting....

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_the_Israel_Defense_Forces

lgv said...

It was an artful dodge of the question. It's the one area where Obama has improved in the last 8 years. Good for him.

In the meantime, the issues remain the same. Bad for us.

I look forward to another 8 years of slipping into politically correct oblivion under HRC. The faster we get to a tipping point, maybe the faster we return to sanity. I could be wrong, again.

John said...

In the Army, in the 70s, when they started integrating women into most specialities, they found a stretcher problem. Where any 2 male soldiers could carry a stretcher, it took 4 women to do so.

Rather than admit that women were not physically capable, the Army changed the standard so that it took 4 soldiers, male or female, to carry a stretcher.

Great! Now when I am laying there bleeding out, it will take twice as long to get me to an aid station.

Not sure if this madness continues to this day. Perhaps one of the soldiers here knows.

John Henry

MayBee said...

Do you notice he never actually says, "Yes, I've looked at those studies and agree we can't put marines' lives at risk, so we are limiting the roles of women until we find mixed gender combat units are as effective and safe as non-mixed gender units"?
Never really acknowledges her point at all.

He tries to charm her by saying she looks more fit than he is, but she is the one who is concerned about the performance of women. She knows how fit she is and is still concerned-- due to facts she gives him.

MayBee said...

He basically says, "We are going to continue to experiment and I'm sorry if it's your husband who is a guinea pig"

sdharms said...

Both of my sons were in basic training with women who could not throw a hand grenade far enough to keep from killing themselves

rhhardin said...

Career-minded generals are at the bottom of it.

MadisonMan said...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_the_Israel_Defense_Forces

(Or, as I would have done it: Link)

I wonder then -- similar studies on evacuation times?

Maybe Obama could learn something from Israel?

rhhardin said...

Take women soldiers and train them as mathematicians and chess masters.

John said...

Re IDF:

Per the link, 565 women killed since 1962. they make up 20% of the total IDF.

A couple observations:

1) if they only make up 20%, they are not equally represented as many would like us to think. Especially since, per the article, women and men are required to serve.

2) If they make up 20% and 565 have been killed, that means that only about 2200 male Israeli soldiers have been killed in those 50+ years. that seems awful low unless women are not being exposed to combat proportionally or they are all Xena the warrior Princesses and bullets just bounce off them.

John Henry

Rufus said...

Even if Obama's view is "nuanced", by the time it gets down the chain of command to where these decisions are made, the goal is simply to give some of the jobs to women so they can say they did. Regardless of their capabilities. And that's what the wife, and her husband, are seeing on the ground.

rhhardin said...

I suppose cooks would be open too.

James Pawlak said...

Only another part of Barrack Hussein Obama's efforts to weaken, if not destroy, the USA. Please see Article-III, Section-3 of the Constitution for a solution.

rhhardin said...

I saw a tree trimming crew with a Men Working sign the other week.

EDH said...

For now, it's still Obama's job to look good, not to figure-out this shit.

vicari valdez said...

MadisonMan said....
Maybe Obama could learn something from Israel?
9/29/16, 7:42 AM


interesting suggestion. maybe reality is starting to warp your fiction.

rhhardin said...

PC is about being forbidden to say what you notice.

It has to be disguised as concern for something else.

Obama should have replied that women shouldn't be so dependent on their husbands anyway. Continue the PC.

Hagar said...

Well, who could have seen that coming?

And the Army, even in peacetime, is not like civilian life. Anybody goes absent for whatever reason, any time, the nearest warm body available must step in and do his job.
This about "assigning women to tasks they can do" is B.S.

MayBee said...

I also love that he is so disengaged from the military that he talks about "tasks" that require "precision". Does he label any such tasks? Does he give any examples? No. Just some.....tasks.

Xmas said...

If I understand things correctly, Marines don't specialize at the unit level. If you are a combat marine in a combat unit, you are a body to be thrown at the problem, whatever that problem may be.

rotator said...


And then there is this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/pregnant-military-unplanned-women_n_2534873.html
Pregnancy rates "much higher" than in civilian population. Wonder why that is? Something to
do with deployment deferral? Article suggests other reasons also.

DKWalser said...

This is silly -- the kind of silliness that gets people killed. On the battlefield, you simply don't have the option to use the right person for the right job. The other side doesn't politely wait until we're ready before attacking or allow us time to regroup and reassign personnel when someone goes down. For these reasons, all the members of a combat unit have to be able to fight. They all have to be able to perform multiple assignments and switch from one to another as the battle progresses.

Ignoring these issues -- as the Obama Administration has done -- will get people killed.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The issue is that they won't limit it to the incredibly small number of woman who can do it. When that is attempted, the leadership gets their careers ended

Roy Jacobsen said...

I offer here the observation my eldest daughter made when BHO first came on the national scene (she was in high school): "He talks a lot, but he doesn't say anything."

exhelodrvr1 said...

At least the Demos are taking responsibility for this, thanks to Obama, right?

James Graham said...

Our slickest President ... ever.

Unknown said...

Blah,blah, oh god shoot me, blah.

Paco Wové said...

Interesting that the Israel Defense Forces Wikipedia article has this bit:

The IDF concedes that fewer than 4 percent of women are in combat positions. Rather, they are concentrated in "combat-support" positions which command a lower compensation and status than combat positions.

which does not seem to appear in the Women in the Israel Defense Forces Wikipedia article. The latter article does have lots of nice pictures, though.

AllenS said...

Remember, this is the man who said "Marine Corpse".

Brent said...

Not one woman has yet performed completely the Physical Rigors testing required of Infantry Marines without help or lowering the standard that every man taking it has had to pass.

NOT. ONE. WOMAN

Now you do the math on how this will effect combat situations where the "I'm not really assigned that role, but I took the place of a more qualified man to make certain leftists feelings and genitals were massaged and politically correct". Sorry - as they all lose their lives.


My son left the Marines after 5 years of service, and is now in law school alongside several other Marines. and he will tell you this:

Pussifying the Marine Corps will lead to more defeat for the US military. guaranteed.

And every Marine, even every gay Marine - though they can't say so publicly - agrees.

SJ said...

Which party is the Reality Based Community, again?

Gilbert Pinfold said...

Two perspectives--first, my son will be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army after graduation. Because female soldiers are comprehensively failing physical aspects of their MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) like being able to load shell in artillery pieces, they have to just stand around while the male members of a fire team have to do all the physical work. Consequently, PFT (Physical Fitness Test) scores for each MOS are being recalibrated to fit the ability required, so it is likely that fewer female soldiers whil qualify in Combat Arms like Artillery, Infantry, Armor, etc. No problems with this approach from me, but common sense should have been applied ab initio, rather than just pushing women into combat roles. Second point is that my cousin's husband was the Captain (Commander) of a nuclear attack submarine. Women are on subs already, but they can't stay on them if they wish to get pregnant--background radiation is considered unsafe, so they can't advance as well in engineering and other specialties. Never mind making accommodations in incredibly confined spaces for multi-month submerged tours. I think the lesson is that social impulses can't be driven beyond basic biology--it's like trying to deny gravity

Owen said...

Excellent comments, supporting the excellent question asked of the President. Which he failed to answer.

Facts are stubborn things. I have no combat (or military) experience but I have to believe that it is the ultimate kinetic mess. Whatever can go wrong, will, and it will do so at the worst possible time. As a commenter above said, the enemy won't wait. It will exploit every hesitation, every hole, that it can find. The intensity and savagery of that event can hardly be imagined or even remembered: no wonder people don't much talk about what happened.

Point being, Obama has no clue. He just pushes political counters around his playing surface. It is people like Captain Serrano who have to live with the consequences.

A more humble man would be ashamed to stand before her and say what he said.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I concur with Hagar and DKWalser.

Notice how Obama stresses how "we" should be working on integrating women into the armed forces by finding tasks that they are more suited for than a man might be? As noted above, combat units have neither the time nor the ability to find just the right spot for a woman so that she can reach her full potential both as a person and as a woman, no matter what her gender. When I was in the Army it was pretty standard to have the smallest guy tote the M60 and the next smallest to tote the ammo for it on the theory that they presented the smallest target.

And, as also stated up-thread, when women are assigned to these units it means they have to go into the logistics, admin, intelligence and other slots where they are least likely to have to engage in direct combat, which means that men are not going to be assigned to those slots, regardless of the fitness for the slot of the man or woman who might be filling it.

Also, notice that he totally avoided the actual question, "should we be putting marines at a greater risk of death by assigning women to combat units?"

Warren Fahy said...

One problem with assigning women to all of the less dangerous in-theater jobs is that those are islands of relatively safe duty for men to be rotated into during a battle. If they are filled by women, men don't get those breaks and end up concentrated in higher risk roles. Even as a teenager, when I worked at McDonald's I was on the grill with the other guys all day while the girls were at the register. Only when the girls weren't there did we ever get a chance to rotate off the grill and get a break doing register work. Something to consider.

Comanche Voter said...

President Obama is determined that women should serve in combat--or at least is so full of PC bologna that he can't face the fact of different physical abilities.

Well okay--why not take a tip from the WW II Russkies and have female combat companies. The Russians had machine gun companies composed entirely of women.

That would let women get the taste of combat that they are just dying for (or so the PC wienies say). And when a bunch of Iranian teenagers armed with slingshots wiped them out, well the debate would be settled.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

And if the guy toting the M60 or the ammo for it or the radio (a huge heavy thing carried on your back back then) is injured or killed the guy nearest picked it up and performed that guys duties. So the most basic ability in combat is the ability to pick up and carry large heavy things while moving rapidly. Often while climbing over or under obstacles. While maintaining situational awareness and communicating with your squad.

That is basic in infantry anyway. There is no finessing that away.

Oso Negro said...

My father's unit placed rows of Chinese heads on stakes in front of their lines in Korea in 1953, following castration of an American prisoner. Doubtless women would have arranged them more neatly. And wouldn't have had any testicles for the Chinese to cut off.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The most dangerous position in an infantry squad back then was radio operator. Since there was only one radio and it could be used to call in artillery it was a primary target. Next was the squad leader, usually found next to the radio operator. After that the M60 crew.

Peter said...

" Except he doesn't say "use." He speaks in terms of giving "opportunities."

Perhaps because he sees the military as little more than another jobs program? Because that's the political-pragmatist view, combined with an idealist mindset that sees the use of military force as somehow illegitimate, something that should never happen in the Brave New World he envisions?

EMD said...

"I also love that he is so disengaged from the military that he talks about "tasks" that require "precision". Does he label any such tasks? Does he give any examples? No. Just some.....tasks."

This is the big problem. He doesn't know what any defined military role is, so he is not equipped to answer the woman's question.

EMD said...

"Because that's the political-pragmatist view, combined with an idealist mindset that sees the use of military force as somehow illegitimate, something that should never happen in the Brave New World he envisions?"

Can chicks fly drones? He seems to be certainly down with killing people with robot aircraft, no matter who they are.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Of course back then we did most of our training in the outdoors in the woods and fields preparing for combat against the Soviets in Europe. One of the training areas did have a mock Vietnamese village complete with tunnels underneath, but it was a relic from another error and had fallen into disrepair, the tunnels probably filled with rattlesnakes. My understanding is that most training done now is in urban warfare with lots of room to room movement in buildings constructed for that purpose.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

To avoid booby-traps, now called IEDS soldiers will sometimes go through a wall or floor or ceiling, often using explosives to create the opening.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

Keep in mind, I was in the Signal Corp, but we still did infantry training occasionally, because Soviet Doctrine was to disrupt combat support troops by attacking behind enemy lines whenever possible (our doctrine as well.) So, it was entirely possible that we might be engaging with the enemy, possibly Spetsnaz at any time. Also, if infantry units needed reinforcements we could be sent to the front line.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

If you are in the army, regardless of your MOS, your secondary is 11B.

David said...

"Pussifying the Marine Corps will lead to more defeat for the US military. guaranteed. "

That's an effective sentence. He should do well in law with that talent.

Paul said...

" I think the lesson is that social impulses can't be driven beyond basic biology--it's like trying to deny gravity"

Every aspect of radical egalitarianism, including feminism, is an exercise in denying human nature, which is rooted in biology. In this regard Althouse is just another brainwashed, automatonic social justice warrior, too old and too far gone for rehabilitation. Pity, because in some other areas she can be quite reasonable.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

Is Obama claiming that the number of female Marines should be limited to the number of "female" positions? No. This is political babble that would have been denounced as misogynist by Hillary and her media minions coming from Trump yet is treated as empathic brilliance from Barry.

Physical standards should not be changed for females, trans, or any ethnic/racial groups that tend to be more physically delicate. I am sure there are females that can meet the standards and if one of them wishes to join the Marines, that would be great.

@Paul "Men are stronger, faster, and meaner." Can not agree with you on "meaner." Sorry, but as a woman I find men are more often taken in by the packaging. Like with Karla Homolka who got 10 years, while her husband got life for the same crimes. In fact I would say women on average tend to be very good at getting men to do the dirty work and pay the consequences.

Birkel said...

Remember, everybody who voted for Obama was warned of exactly these sorts of things, and elected him anyway, deserves blame for failing to see what was patent.

Jonathan Graehl said...

this heavy-handed nonsense kills morale
poor tradeoff
there's nothing wrong with proceeding gradually+prudently instead of dogmatically+optimistically
obama seems to have a high tolerance for the nation's risk

i think out-gays were cited as a risk to morale, and gradually weren't. so i could be wrong and the same thing will happen w/ women in combat. i'd be totally comfortable if there weren't any appearance of goodspeak go-along get-along corrupting the decisions of the higher ranks.

Unknown said...

Agree totally with the jobs program comment above. The interest is not in a woman's sharing equally in the hardships of combat but in her sharing equally in the spoils system of career advancement into positions of leadership -- positions that the Marines still, for obvious reasons, tend to grant to Marines with combat leadership and experience.

The proper outcome has been determined; make it happen, proles.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

No one cares. The Capt. is 100% correct and the President's answer is full of shit, and no one cares. "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

The culture values PC and empty feminist poses more highly than it does building and maintaining the best possible military. One result is that people in the military, men & women, are more at risk for harm. Another result is that the military as a whole is less effective (and less efficient). All of that is plainly true. So? No one cares and there isn't a counter special interest group more powerful than the special interest groups who push this PC, fake pro-women crap. The Left believes that our military is good enough and they can make whatever changes they want and it'll still be good enough. They don't usually know too many people actually IN the military so the concerns of such people are far from the Left's minds. Hey, those military people and pro-military people probably all voted for Bush anyway, so why should we care when those sexists whine and complain?

Sorry, Capt., but "The Issue" is more important and more valuable than "military effectiveness" or "your husband's safety." You're correct but you lose.

Darrell said...

Remember, Hillary said she wanted to be a Marine in 1975. Of course she says a lot of shit.

Cacimbo Cacimbo said...

@Paul "is an exercise in denying human nature, which is rooted in biology"

"Every aspect of radical egalitarianism, including feminism, is an exercise in denying human nature"

I became a cop in 1986. Plenty of male cops still resented and did not want to work with women. Many of their own wives did not work. If they did it was as teacher/nurse, acceptable womanly jobs. By 2000 the new hires accepted females as the norm, in fact some of their Mom's had been cops, almost all their Moms had worked. They all expect their spouses to work. In fact finding a spouse who out earns you is viewed just as favorably for Bob as it always has been for Betty. NYPD is now about 35% female. Dramatic change in attitude in a short time frame.

Gunbunny62 said...

If their is one area we excel in its war, from the earliest club swinger to the modern infantrymen we constantly distill combat to become more effective. If their was an advantage to female war fighters we would have long ago discovered it, the Darwinism of battle.

Scott said...

Any attempt to draw a parallel between women in ground combat roles in the US military to the IDF (which was the gist of the link) is a non-sequitur. Ground combat forces are generally blocked to IDF women.

http://www.jpost.com/Not-Just-News/Despite-some-progress-most-combat-roles-are-closed-to-women-in-the-IDF-412063

Lyle Smith said...

Folks, young women should be able to give birth in combat. If sailors can do it, combat infantry can too. Women!

Ha!

holdfast said...

Combat =/= Infantry. President Weasel deliberately obfuscates this distinction. He also seems to imply that the Chick Infantry will only be deployed on female-appropriate missions, which is of course utter BS. Infantry can be deployed anywhere, any time, and there's no opportunity to swap out the chicks - the only constant is that infantry will generally be given the nastiest, hardest jobs.

"Combat" means that bad guys are shooting at you and you have at least a nominal opportunity to shoot back at them.

Many women have served with distinction in combat. A female MP who fires a pintle-mounted machine gun from the back of a gun-truck or the wall of a base is certainly in combat. She's being shot at and the bad guys are trying to kill her, while she tries to kill them. There's an fair argument that a male is able to haul more ammo to the gun or maybe traverse it a bit faster, but a fit female can do that job almost as well as a small male. And they've been doing it since the First Gulf War.

"Infantry" means people who like to go for long walks with their friends, through mountains and other broken terrain, while carrying all their supplies on their backs, including food, water, radios, NVGs, and ammo, for their own weapons and also for squad or platoon level weapons. These long walks may have a duration measured in days, and will usually feature inadequate sleep, lousy food and hopefully encounters with the enemy, where you will try to kill said enemy using fire and movement. And then do it again. And again.

Most men, and 99.998% of women are physically and psychologically unsuited to modern infantry combat. Unfortunately, that 0.002% of women are busy training for the Olympics or American Ninja Warrior, and so are unavailable.

Larry J said...

I come from a family with history of military service that spans multiple generations. My father served, as did several uncles, many cousins, my brother, myself (Army and Air Force), and both of my sons. Based on this PC nonsense, I will actively discourage my grandchildren from joining the military. It's going to get people killed for no good reason.

Women have served in the US military for generations. By and large, most of them have performed admirably. However, there are jobs and then there are jobs. In the Army, I was a paratrooper (airborne infantry). As an enlisted man in the Air Force, I worked in communications centers. As an Air Force officer, I worked on satellites and other space systems. I worked with some very highly qualified women in the Air Force. Physically, someone could've done those jobs in a wheelchair. The infantry (and other combat arms) are a different matter altogether. Strength, endurance, and aggressiveness are fundamental requirements for combat arms jobs. Some of the jobs in armor or artillery are more physically demanding than others. Giving women the easy jobs means the men are stuck on the demanding ones

Some of my coworkers are still in the Army Reserves. They tell me about the diversity and equal opportunity officers who are effectively like the political commissars in the old Soviet military. They have a lot of power and can get a commander fired. Obama has fired hundreds of generals and admirals that disagreed with his views. Should Trump get elected, he'll need to clean out the deadwood who believe that being politically correct is more important than combat effectiveness. If that happens, I might reconsider my feelings about my grandchildren serving. If the PC bullshit continues, I'll do everything I can to discourage them. Let the liberals send their kids into the military for a change.

Martin said...

Obama's answer is all sophistry. Everybody, including Obama, Tapper, the woman who asked the question, and everyone else in the whole world knows that Obama does not give a rat's a** about military effectiveness and winning a war at least cost, and that standards will be compromised for the sake of making a political statement.

I will give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he really doesn't think this will have any cost, because he is too ignorant and un-learned to know that sooner or later the infantry will have to fight and will suffer unnecessary losses because of what he did. Stupid but lacking intent, as Mr. Comey would say.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

I am a retired combat arms officer. As Professor Althouse remarked, the term at issue is "opportunity." Throughout my career which spanned the end of VN to 2000, and especially during the last 15 years, the services have used incentives and involuntary reclassification to manage the service population distribution of skill sets.
Enlisted: when you show up at the recruiter, you may be told that the only thing you are qualified for is infantry (depending on the need, you may be offered a bonus). Will females get the same sales pitch -- will a female prospect be told that they can ONLY go infantry?
Non-Commissioned Officers: During the height of the fights in Afghanistan and Iraq, mid-grade NCOs from within the Army and even from other services were told that they were in "overstrength" skill populations. They were (and are) told that they can continue to serve (and therefore make retirement) but they must reclassify to a different skill set -- sometimes even to another service -- and combat or shortage skill sets. I know of Air Force and Navy NCOs who were sent to Army training installations to take selected training (weapons, PT, etc.) and were reclassified into scout and infantry military occupational specialties. Will female NCOs be told the same thing if they are in overstrength skill populations? Or will they be able to opt out to some other method of balancing the overall population.
Officers: When I graduated from the Military Academy (and I think this is still true) you got to select your branch based on class rank. Higher in class rank equated to more options. To make sure each branch got their fair share, the branches had maximums and thus could become "sold out" and they also had minimums which meant they were guaranteed a certain number of new officers from each class. Often, combat arms branches did not meet their minimum until that number matched the remaining members of the class. In other words, lower class rank meant you might have no choice of branch selection -- you were going into a branch that needed you to make their minimum quota. Will a low ranking female senior cadet be told that she has no other option but to choose infantry?
There's a difference between being told "you have the opportunity to go into combat arms if you want" and being told "the service needs you in combat arms and that's where you are going." If women want equality then they have to be subject to the same risk potential for involuntary selection.

chuck said...

Short essay on women in the military, The Amazon's Right Breast, with the quote: “Eros mocks Mars.”

holdfast said...

@Scott - I think you know the answers to your questions.

This is an exercise is assuaging the feelings of a certain group of female officers who "feel" that their chances of pinning on stars one days are hampered by their inability to "punch their tickets" in a couple of combat unit command posts. The number of female ENLISTED who want any part of this nonsense is minuscule.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

@Scott

I was in ROTC with a guy who was a 4.0 GPA math major who wanted to go into combat arms. He requested infantry. He, like most of the cadets, including me, had been enlisted and were on scholarships. Of course everyone was certain that he would end up in either intelligence or the Signal Corp, but he got his request.

Gilbert Pinfold said...

@ Ronwinkelheimer

ROTC assignments like the academies are based upon the Order of Merit List (OML). You put in for 3-4 options in priority order, and if a slot is open for your #1 priority when your OML rank turn comes, you get to pick from your options. Note that you are competing nationwide against all ROTC seniors in your branch, so competition is stiff. My son said at his school Infantry was the top choice for the last two years, and now Armor is #1 there. The OML is GPA/Class Rank, further modified by cadre assessments and participation in other activities (Ranger Challenge, etc.). With the reduction in Army size, they've been trying to run off the non-scholarship students since there are not enough active duty 2nd Lieutenant slots available. Even if you are on scholarship, you might get Reserve or National Guard assigned, which can leave you scrambling because your academic course selection was biased towards a planned military career, not finding a job in the civilian workforce.

mikee said...

An amazing document to read is the report on the introduction of black officers into the Navy. Before they were allowed to be officers, Chief Petty Officer was the highest rank a black man could achieve in the Navy.

The Navy selected a group of senior Chiefs, sent them to OCS, and put them on Navy vessels at sea as serving officers. Since a senior CPO is a formidable force, an officer made of a senior CPO is a guaranteed success.

There was very little problem with acceptance of black officers by the white officers of the Navy. At least, little reported. I'd guess the former CPOs might have informally counseled a few officers, using their interpersonal skills and years of experience in getting things done, to overcome any serious personal objections to their serving alongside the whites.

sean said...

Shorter Obama: I'm smarter than you, and I'm not listening to you.

mockturtle said...

I'm confident that women can bomb and strafe with the best of them but hand-to-hand combat? Probably not. I think the whole idea of a gender-neutral military is ridiculous.

openidname said...

Lies. All lies.

I actually kind of agree with the words that came out of his mouth. But it doesn't describe what the military is actually doing. And the fact-checkers? Crickets.

Mick said...

The inability to think in absolute terms and only in relative terms is the source of the disease of the Liberal mind. When nothing is an absolute truth, and everything is relative, then there is no logic, since logic is an If/Then equation, with "IF" being an absolute truth.
Obama perfectly displays the disease of the Liberal mind here.

cbgaloot said...

Obama, " If it turns out they can't do something, then we'll deal with that specific situation. "

The study the questioner cited, proved that "it turns out they can't do something". But you ignore that, and go on with your agenda.