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Shortly after arriving in the Indian Ocean during the war in Afghanistan, I launched attack planes from the aircraft carrier of my battle group, one of which had a young female pilot. Over Afghanistan that night, she disregarded a standing order not to dive low without permission. U.S. Special Forces had been ambushed by the Taliban; four were dead and she felt there was no time to request permission to save the rest. She immediately dove and strafed, and in her covering fire, the remaining men were able to extract their dead and themselves.

When I joined up during the Vietnam era, there were no women on aircraft carriers, never mind flying attack aircraft off them. Because woman were later given an individual opportunity to achieve all they might desire in our Navy, our common mission that night in Afghanistan was better and saved U.S. soldiers. I believe all Americans should be given the opportunity to be all they can be in order to contribute to this nation. That includes allowing women the full capacities to defend America if they choose.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    Father and husband, Admiral, Director for Defense Policy, Director of Navy Counter-Terrorism, but most importantly, Dad. Follow me at http://twitter.com/JoeSestak and http://facebook.com/JoeSestak

    by Joe Sestak on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 09:07:36 AM PST

  •  I agree... (5+ / 0-)

    I train Martial Arts and there are many women there that are capable and fierce fighters. As long as they can physically handle what needs to be done, I think that is right.

    I particularly agree with this:

    I believe all Americans should be given the opportunity to be all they can be in order to contribute to this nation. That includes allowing women the full capacities to defend America if they choose.
    Amen to this.

    BTW, if this is Admiral Sestak... I actually wanted you for Secretary of Defense.

    Just thought you should know.

    "'Touch it dude' - President Barack Obama"

    by volleyboy1 on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:11:40 AM PST

  •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

    and as my wife puts it "if there is a draft ever again, it needs to include women".

    And yeah, the ERA really needs to happen.  I remain astonished that it is even controversial.

  •  In short, Admiral, Bullshit! (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    valion
    Hidden by:
    Prinny Squad

    I want to express my appreciation to all members of our Armed Forces, men and women, for their courage and dedication.  I would also like to say that I believe women are every bit as courageous and capable as men.  That said, the expanded role for women in ground combat is, in my opinion, inappropriate.

    With all due respect to pilots and sailors, there's a key difference in their circumstance and the realities of a ground soldier.  Tell me Admiral, how many nights did you sleep in a hole full of water?  How many times did you shit yourself because if you crawled out of your hole you'd be dead?  How many meals did you miss shipboard, Admiral?  How many leeches did you pull off your dick?  

    How many pilots and sailors hump a 60-80 lb pack...routinely?  How many times have you waited in the darkness...your heart pounding so that you figure people can hear it?  What are the odds, Admiral, that aboard your ship you'll be captured and tortured.  What do you think will happen to our women, Admiral?  How do you think men are going to feel about watching women be slaughtered by machine gunfire or mortars...  

    Has it already happened...yes.  Not in the numbers you can expect if you do this.  I think this is simply another win by the rich and powerful to have more of us die for them so Biff, Slick, and Dipshit Romney...or whatever their names are..can avoid the wars their fathers help make.

    I'll likely write my own diary about this...

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:46:44 AM PST

    •  TAMMY DUCKWORTH. (4+ / 0-)

      And a lot of others.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 10:54:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you think I'm being sexist, think again. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm in favor of women doing anything they want to do...and being paid equally for it.

        I'm opposed to an expanded role for women in ground combat...not because they can't do it...but because it's a form of savagery I'd prefer women not endure...men either for that matter.  And, I think the everyday conditions...and the possibilities of what happens if captured...make it unwise.

        Some people think war is like what used to be seen in John Wayne movies.  It's not.   Less than 10% of our population served during the Vietnam war and even less were actually in country...and even less in actual combat.  Even less now.

        So...there are plenty of men to go around if it comes to that.  We should reinstitute the draft..and make sure the sons of CEO's and Congresspeople get an even chance to serve...not send our women to die for them.  

        The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

        by Persiflage on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 02:47:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ... Are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          volleyboy1

          What you are saying is completely sexist.

          Under the inherently sexist guise of "protecting women", you'll send males who don't want to fight to die (the draft) and prohibit women who have the mentallity of a warrior from fighting when they want to.

          Why send men to fight, and not women? Just because it's the way it's always been done?

          ... I really don't know how to explain to someone who uses their sexism to defend sexist ideas, says the entire thing is not sexist, and refuses to recogonize the logic-flaw that is clearly present.

          I mean. Wow.

          Are you trollin' us?

    •  Shrug. (0+ / 0-)
      With all due respect to pilots and sailors, there's a key difference in their circumstance and the realities of a ground soldier.
      I think that the point is that there aren't necessarily any key differences between men and women.    I'm pretty sure that there are some women who can carry a big heavy pack, and won't faint at the sight of leaches, and I'm pretty sure, if truth be known, that Tammy Duckworth shit herself when she got her legs blown off without ever seeing a foxhole.
      How do you think men are going to feel about watching women be slaughtered by machine gunfire or mortars...  
      Well, we could ask them, like we asked about gay servicemen.  Know any?

      That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

      by Inland on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:19:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Admiral, for your (5+ / 0-)

    thoughts on this matter, and for your service to the country.

  •  While it's of course (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ranger995, Prinny Squad, volleyboy1

    great, right and just that women now have the same opportunities as men do in our armed forces, one does wish said forces would be engaged rather a bit less, Sir.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 05:07:20 PM PST

  •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    volleyboy1

    This is exactly the type of think I’d like to see the next Governor of Pennsylvania help implement in the PA National Guard. Admiral Sestak, please make sure you become our next Governor!

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