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View Diary: Panetta said to be lifting military's ban on women in combat (147 comments)

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  •  my 2 cents (10+ / 0-)

    The same concerns of standards and ability to drag out a wounded comrade, courage, etc. was brought up when fire departments started bringing women onto the department.  Some areas had separate standards, others modified them in general.  What eventually happened was many departments created task based standards that were timed. For example a test would include pulling 200 feet of 2.5 inch hose that is streched out (for maxium friction on the ground), carrying a hose bale (approximately 60 pounds) up 3 stories (using stairs safely) with full protective gear (add approximately 50 pounds), at the top pull up another 1 or 2 hose bales using a rope), raise and lower an extension ladder, carry a hose bale through an obstacle course (including climbing a wall), using a sledge hammer to move a heavy metal block across the floor a certain distance, and other tasks within 10 minutes.   Many women had to complete the same test with the same results to get considered and eventually hired.  In my short time in the fire department I have had several women supervisors who did excellent jobs in stressful situations.  I had no problem doing my job with them and knowing they had my back if things went wrong.  

    There have been women in the fire departments for years and I know that several major cities (I think LA City and / or San Francisco have a woman Chief of the Department).  This is considering that  fire departments can be as bad as, if not worse than the millitary, in male dominant thinking.  As a sign seen in the background of a firehouse scene in the movie Backdraft stated "150 years of service unimpeded by progress".

    Two quotes I wish to live by "Strength and Honor" (Gladiator) and "Do or Do Not, There is no Try" (SW-ESB).

    by SQD35R on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:11:01 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Task based standards are the way to go (8+ / 0-)

      Hiring of women went up dramatically when those were put in place in fore departments. A lot of women who don't look good on a pull-up bar look great hauling hose and carrying dummies. Better than a lot of men with higher PFT scores.

      The thing is that real tasks allow women to adapt their approach to their own biomechanical strengths. There's more than one way to exert a force with your arms, and not all of them involve brute-forcing it with your pecs.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:18:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just for reference... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        randomfacts, CJ WIHorse

        The Canadian Forces have allowed women into all combat roles, infantry included, for years, and women demonstrated they could do the job in combat in Afghanistan where our troops were for over a decade.

        Just like they proved being gay had no effect on combat effectiveness.

        So once again, what? Is someone claiming that Americans are incapable of doing something their neighbours to the north can yet one more time?

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