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View Diary: Breaking: Panetta opens combat roles to women (72 comments)

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  •  Long overdue, however... (1+ / 0-)
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    amyzex

    women serving in combat roles CANNOT be held to a different physical standard than men. There are plenty of women who can run just as fast and do as many push ups as men are required to do, and there is no reason to keep them from serving in the infantry. But they can't get in just by meeting the generally lower female standards. I can see the reasoning for having different standards in a non-combat MOS, but if you're going to serve in combat arms you have to have the same physical strength as males.

     To be clear, I'm not necessarily taking about body fat standards. Women have more fat than men and that doesn't necessarily equate to them being less fit. The issue here is this: either you can pull your wounded buddy to safety or you can't, either you can haul ass with your weapon and equipment fast enough to avoid enemy fire or you can't.

    You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

    by Eric Stratton on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:09:16 PM PST

    •  Eric Stratton: yes, and no (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Smoh

      Women approach things differently, I think.
      Same physical strength may not be necessary due to knowing how to do the work in a different, but effective, way, that uses the strengths they have.
      And I'm a military vet, and not being able to deadlift 70 pounds overhead is what kept me out of the loadmaster field. I could move 100 pounds, and even lift that and more -- but not in the deadlift method prescribed.
      Being able to do the work in a different way is not the same thing as not being able to do the work.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:26:39 PM PST

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      •  Sorry but I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Hamlet, Quicklund

        Believe it or not, I'm about to go and see an Air Guard recruiter about a loadmaster slot. I was a combat engineer in the army until last year.

        Look I'm sorry you didn't get the gig, and often times these standards are imperfect ways of measuring aptitude, but they're necessary and there's really no better way to do it. As it is, we had too many broke dicks in every platoon I belonged to... guys who were fat, lazy and never ran for shit unless they were chasing an ice cream truck. Eventually we could get rid of those guys, and there were enough competent soldiers on hand to pick up the slack, but they were a pain in the ass.

        I'm not saying you would've contributed to that sort of problem, but if you don't enforce standards it's guaranteed to be a problem. I was an NCO in combat arms for 10 years, and that's just a universal truth. It sucks that hard chargers like yourself get sold short because of it, but it has to be that way or people will get killed.

        You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

        by Eric Stratton on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:34:35 PM PST

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        •  I don't get this. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlackSheep1, trumpeter
          we had too many broke dicks in every platoon I belonged to... guys who were fat, lazy and never ran for shit unless they were chasing an ice cream truck. Eventually we could get rid of those guys
          had these guys met the standards or not?  how did they get there?  it was okay to carry dead weight in the platoon, since it was male dead weight?  

          I'm truly confused that your argument for meeting the same strict standards is supported by your facts of 'many' worthless men in your platoon.

          "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

          by MRA NY on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 01:49:31 PM PST

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          •  I think that "broke dicks" line is very telling (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MRA NY

            it indicates contempt, first and foremost, for people different than oneself.

            LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 02:07:35 PM PST

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            •  Contempt of those who are different? (0+ / 0-)

              BlackSheep1:  Seems to me that you might be a bit more introspective.  As a military veteran you have seen plenty of situations that were not black or white, right or wrong.  If you want to engage in informed discourse, then I suggest you not respond, for the world to see, with the intolerance and contempt that you believe others exhibit.

              •  I am a vet. I know what's usually (0+ / 0-)

                dripping off phrases like "broke dick." It's not a gray area.

                LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:19:17 PM PST

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                •  Ridiculous. (0+ / 0-)

                  I have decided that you hate Hungarians, because I went to Europe when I was 15.

                  Makes about as much sense as your accusation.

                  You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

                  by Eric Stratton on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:36:36 PM PST

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            •  I think you're comment is very telling (0+ / 0-)

              it indicates contempt for people for no fucking reason whatsoever.

              Where do you come up with stuff, dude. I mean it's almost comical. Almost.

              You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

              by Eric Stratton on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:45:19 PM PST

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          •  Who knows? (0+ / 0-)

            But once they were there it was hard to get rid of them. I had a guy who literally couldn't run. At all. He was too heavy. He was never kicked out. On the other hand, there were guys who were in great shape, aced PT, but couldn't meet the body fat standards. They just had a fluky body type that didn't meet the standards. They got the boot.

            The system is imperfect because it's run by human beings. But the more you relax the standards the more likely you end up with guys who can't do the job.

            You can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.

            by Eric Stratton on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:44:06 PM PST

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    •  Tammy Duckworth (0+ / 0-)

      was discussing this on cable news today and she made the very good point that few people in the military today are literally on the "front lines" because wars are fought differently. Also, there are specific roles that only women can fill in places like Afghanistan because of the, eh, gender politics. So I think the "standards" thing is old and inaccurate.

      One last point: Duckworth made the point that a man that is a short as 4'9" and a little over 100 pounds can enlist -- most women are taller and bigger than that.

      The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

      by LiberalLady on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 07:17:33 PM PST

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