Thread: Women in Combat
07-14-2004, 10:33 AM #1
Women in Combat
Probably opening a huge can of worms here but I'm just curious about what the AR population thinks about women in combat. I was reading a story about the problem with sexual assaults of women in the war zone right now. Do you feel that it's a good reason to not have women in Iraq or do you feel that it's the lack of control and professionalism on the part of the men.
This is the story I was reading that brought this thread about...
Advocacy group reports 200 sexual-harassment incidents in Mideast
By Jon Sarche
Christine Hansen, director of the Miles Foundation, flips a page of a chart as she discusses domestic violence associated with the U.S. Armed Forces during the 11th Annual Conference of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence in Denver on Monday. — Ed Andrieski / AP
DENVER — Nearly 200 women serving in the Middle East say they have been sexually assaulted by fellow soldiers in the past 21 months, a victims’ advocacy group said Thursday as it criticized the U.S. military for falling short in addressing the problem.
From October 2002 through June, the Miles Foundation received 187 reports from the region — and fewer than half had been reported to military authorities, said Christine Hansen, executive director of the Connecticut-based group.
During the same period, the Pentagon has received 112 reports, Hansen said.
Defense officials are working with members of Congress to bring the Uniform Code of Military Justice sexual assault provisions, last updated in 1951, closer to those in the civilian justice system.
Those efforts have gained urgency with increased awareness of sexual assaults prompted by media reports of such crimes among soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain, Hansen said during the annual conference of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Hansen said military law and policy do not provide alleged victims the privacy rights given to their civilian counterparts. And military law allows commanding officers to decide against prosecuting a case if the alleged victim chooses not to participate.
That means women who are assaulted and want a prosecution to go forward are faced with opening intimate details of their lives to their commanding officer and military lawyers.
“From the victim’s perspective, they are in the middle of crisis and trauma, and they’re being asked to make life-altering decisions,” Hansen said.
In part because of the lack of privacy, the Defense Department has received fewer reports of sexual assault among soldiers in the Middle East than has the Miles Foundation, which can provide confidential services and counseling, Hansen said.
“The (Department of Defense’s) response was to tell Congress ‘We’re going to start conducting training,”’ she said. “There will be no change in the U.S. armed forces’ responses to this unless there’s a foundation of law and policy to support it.
“Training, training, training is not the answer because you have to have that foundation so when the training doesn’t work, you can hold them accountable.”
Denise Mitchell, an Army Community Service victim advocate at Fort Wainwright, Alaska, said one of the biggest obstacles to prosecution is the military commander’s discretion in deciding whether to go forward with a court-martial.
“Their purpose in their life is their job, and I respect that. But at the same time, they have a responsibility” to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, she said.
In February, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld ordered an investigation into the treatment of servicewomen in the Gulf war zone who report sexual assaults by their male comrades. A defense official said the memo came in response to media reports about sexual assaults in the region, including a Jan. 25 story by The Denver Post.
According to defense officials, some 60,000 military women served within the region managed by U.S. Central Command, which includes Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, between October 2002 and November 2003. Most were in Iraq and Kuwait.
The Pentagon released a report in May acknowledging problems in how the military handles assault allegations. The task force said victims were treated inconsistently and too often suffered from a lack of support from commanders, criminal investigators and doctors.
The foundation, which first raised concerns in press reports about a spate of assaults on women serving in Iraq and Kuwait, has criticized the Pentagon with failing to take appropriate steps to address the problem.
07-14-2004, 10:40 AM #2
i have no problems with women in combat.
as long as they could remove me from harm the same way a man could, there is no difference what equipment is between their legs.
all the sexual harassment is ridiculous, but with the majority of soldiers being male, inevitable.
07-14-2004, 10:43 AM #3
I have no probs with women in combat. If they can't combat sexual harassment by themselves then what the h*ll are they combat in the field?
07-14-2004, 10:51 AM #4
who was that dippy bird who got captured at the start of the Iraq war and made miliions selling her story?? Can you say "special treatment"?
07-14-2004, 10:53 AM #5
No probs with me. Chicks with guns are hot.
07-14-2004, 10:54 AM #6
I have had to deal with sexual harassment once. I'm not talking general flirting or comments...it was outright the man walked up behind me, cornered me and tried to kiss me. This was back in the 80's before it was something commands really knew how to deal with. Back then a woman was almost guilty before she could prove that it was the guy. I handled it myself. He never bothered me again ;-).
I've always believed that if a woman can pull her weight then she should be allowed to do what she is qualified to do. Personally, I wouldn't want to be in combat. I chose a career that allowed me to be involved and support my country behind the scenes. What I do is important to the effort but I'm not getting shot at.
I've also been involved with vicitim services .. giving support and counsel to women who have been raped in the field. Unfortunately, there are many times when commands don't want to act because "boys will be boys" and they don't want to hurt that person's career.
We had a huge case here at Ft. Lewis. A soldier raped the wife of a fellow soldier while he was in Iraq. The command he was deployed with would not give him leave to come home and help his wife. The solider ended up going UA to get back here. The leadership was reluctant to prosecute the individual. Local authorities won't get involved because it occured on fedearl property (military housing).
It's messed up.
07-14-2004, 11:43 AM #7
I think sexual assault if a very broad term that is hard to place in context when discussing the military. I have no problems with women in the military, but, at the same time, think that they should expect a certain amount of "sexual assault" due to the position they voluntarily put themselves in when joining a military of hormone driven teenagers/young men. When testosterone and adrenalin are flowing through a teenager's body, he will have a hard time behaving himself. With that said, the "problem" is mostly due to the extreme pressure immature adults are placed in while in the military, so if you want to call that unprofessional, so be it.
07-14-2004, 12:09 PM #8
My point is sexual harassment is wrong in any form and we all know that. If a woman can't fight off a single man with a hard on breathing in her face how will she hold up in combat? She should kick the mofos ass, if she can't she's not bad ass enough to go into combat.
07-14-2004, 12:24 PM #9
I have no problems in the Military. But I do have a problem with women in a line company or any other combat eliment. Why you ask? Because it screws up the dynamics of the unit, men want to help women cater them like mom taght us. That will just get you killed. I am 225# and if you add the combat load of the average Marine of 75# is ab average women going to be able to drag me to safety? Yes you can have the arguement that there are a lot of wimpy men out there and some pretty diesel chicks, but as a whole men are more suited for the job. Women do not even meet the same phsysical requirements as men in the military, why would I want a women in my fireteam to not be able to do a pull up or run as a fast as 90% of the team, you are only as strong as your weakest link. If your weak link runs the 3mi in 28 min and the rest of the team does it on the average of 19, where does that leave everyone else?
Now to prove that I am not talking out my ass, I was a cold weather instructor in the mc. Primarily we would train the non combat troops to be able to patrol and setup camp etc in a cold weather enviorment. So I have this platoon of people that are 70% and load them up with water cans and fuel and they had their c.w gear etc, they all couldnt make the 4mi hump to the training area. Ok so thats 1 occassion here is another. I had a training group that again were mostly women, they could not grasp basic patroling skills because they were to tired and worn out carrying their gear and resented me pushing them. What does this prove nothing really it just supports my opinion. The sexual assault on women in the military totaly unprofesional, and I know they will be dealt with
07-14-2004, 12:45 PM #10
I think it would me of a phycological thing for the men serving to see a women killed in combat. I know that it would hit me harder than if another man was wounded or killed. Thats the only problem that i would have with it. I know plenty of women that can handle themselves.
07-14-2004, 02:09 PM #11
I have no problem with women being in combat. As long as they know they're at higher risk for certain things. If they're willing to take the chance, then hey. My only problem is the fact that every woman I've known ended up in combat after enlisting in peace time and just did it for the money or the tuition and never thought they'd end up on a battle field.
07-14-2004, 02:13 PM #12Female Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2004
I think its cool to have women in combat..but when you place them in a war zone like Iraq where they all have been for over a year from friends and family i see where that could present problems..after all the majority of their training dealt with combat..not human relations....it is a pity that such infractions are overlooked they should be address and dealt with. it is a sad state of affairs when those....men/women are sent to defend our country and have to be subject to any type of harassment from fellow commrades..
07-14-2004, 02:22 PM #13
From personal experience... during Combat training,,, i got my command (squad) killed because i haulted a movment under fire to help a female that had been injured (ran into a tree limb)
Now this may not sound like such a big deal... except my squad after 4 months of training had never taken more than 2 caualties before... best in the flight.. and the squadron..
And yes it was my fault... but human nature takes over... and special considerations are given just because she was a woman..
so no...... women should be be put in harms way...The answer to your every question
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07-14-2004, 02:56 PM #14
Hmmm that isn't just limited to women. There are a LOT of men out there running to Canada because they didn't bank on anything but college money. They didn't sign up in the "ARMED" forces to go to war. Thats not a male female thing... you are either a coward or not.
Originally Posted by DBarcelo
07-14-2004, 02:58 PM #15Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2004
I dont think women should be in combat..
07-14-2004, 03:00 PM #16
I have no issues w/ women in combat. I couldn't do it but that's me and I know it so I'm not in that position. Dunno, I have very little compassion or patience when it comes to sexual harrassment...if you dont like it, end it. I know that's not always possible but often times these situations can be handled at that time and put to a stop, like CB said. I guess I figure a chick who wants to be in combat should be able to hold her own.
07-14-2004, 03:06 PM #17Originally Posted by 1victor
07-14-2004, 03:17 PM #18
i have no problem with it, war aint for me though
07-14-2004, 03:20 PM #19
A guy that got beat up by a chick couldn't or shouldn't make it through basic training.
The answer is no.
07-14-2004, 03:31 PM #20
if they wanna go...go...another gun on the line ain't gonna kill anyone with exception to a few terrorists..
07-14-2004, 03:43 PM #21Originally Posted by slamd097
Women have NO place anywhere near a combat zone. They are a distraction and an uncabaple waste of manpower (no pun).
07-14-2004, 04:09 PM #22Originally Posted by twosocks40
It's funny....in my recent qualification drills...out of 17 people....I had the second highest score. I out shot 13 other men and two other ladies. Not just on the standard range but on the combat course and in the simulator. In the simulator....guess who had the most "friendly" casualties?
I KNOW I can put a bullet in ANY man or woman that stands between me and my goal....getting myself and my partner home safe that day and any other.
07-14-2004, 04:51 PM #23
In the canadian army women are allowed to join the combat arms freely, and there are ALOT of strong women out there, however as an example, no women has ever qualified to make the airborne company's.
in northern canada when we have our excersizes it GETS really cold, so we have all are gortex stuff on, and pretty much damm near cuddle with eachother to stay warm in our trench (wpns det)
i know how it sounds, but trust me, it's better than hypothermia
so the army isn't as hardcore masculine as people think, Cmdo-Barbi you should look at joining your local reserve unit or national guard
Last edited by GQ-Bouncer; 07-14-2004 at 04:53 PM.
07-14-2004, 04:59 PM #24Associate Member
Originally Posted by Sammy1980
- Join Date
- May 2004
07-14-2004, 05:00 PM #25Originally Posted by Commando_Barbi
You may be one out god knows how many. Also, I'm not saying every man has a place on the battle field, but NO woman does. It creates distractions and makes targets for the enemy. Too many good men have died already because of women in the combat zone. What happened to jessica lynch's crew???? That biatch is now making millions from being a fukkin coward.
If you don't mind me asking, what simulator did you run?
07-14-2004, 05:48 PM #26Originally Posted by Commando_Barbi
07-14-2004, 06:04 PM #27
CB, so you heard stories of MEN hiding during the tet offensive, what do you think a woman would have done? The stress of combat can make many of men break. Shooting on a range is no comparison to being in combat.
07-14-2004, 07:24 PM #28Retired Vet
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
I'm probably one of the few here who've experienced combat, including the death of comrades and I can honestly say, hand on heart that females in a war zone is a bad, bad idea. Its simply not a place for the female soldier. Men are dysfunctional around females in combat, over protective of their female comrades to the detriment of both their own lives but that of their comrades and the mission.
Barbie, I think you brought this subject up before, and we disgreed just like we will now. You said last time that if the men where strong enough they should be able to put aside their protective feelings toward their female comrades, but I'm sure you like everyone else here have heard it a million times, but who do seriously injuried men look for and scream out load for in combat???. Its in a mans instinct to both look for mothers and wives in times of stress and be protective of both in the same situation.
Personally speaking, I've never witnessed the death of a female comrade, unfortunetely I've witnessed the death of some friends, but I know witnessing the death of a female comrade would affect me deeply, very deeply.
As regards sexual harressment. There are procedures in place to deal with that stuff, men and women guilty of it should be punished to the full extent of both military and civil law.
07-14-2004, 07:31 PM #29Retired Vet
Originally Posted by Commando_Barbi
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
2. Your navy so most likely haven't been involved in FIBUA or DIBUA, the range CANNOT hope to simulate even a fraction of the stress and reaction times involved. For instance ''I KNOW I can put a bullet in ANY man or woman'', like I can hit the heavybag/focus pads in training each and everytime, but in the ring I probably score once every ten punches thrown.
07-14-2004, 08:19 PM #30
I don't take offense to anything or anyone says. I have said...I personally wouldn't want to be in a war zone. I also know there is a difference between being on the range and in a combat zone. You don't know me or my mind set....so YOU can't say whether or not I could handle myself or not. I know I would not hide and not fight and I know I would shoot when I needed to.
Not looking to start a fight. Just wondering what the general feeling was. Not so much from the combat role...but the sex's dealing with one another professionally.
07-14-2004, 10:12 PM #31
I did a small research on the subject in 2002 and the results are easy
STAY THE **** AWAY, too much factors playing, but now with the liberals you have to get them, bunch of trees huggers.
and I know what im talking about im Canadian Army, so we are the experiment of the canadian government in all BS liberals politics!
07-14-2004, 10:17 PM #32
I can think of many times when I've played team sports, and there is a huge difference between playing co-ed and men's . When I'm playing on men's teams, everything is like a well-oiled machine, we run smoothly, communicate better, and yell and scream at each other, whatever it takes. When its coed, its still somewhat competitive, but you've got guys and girls apologizing if they step on each other's foot, even if they're on opposite teams, and if a girl makes a mistake then she is not likely to get yelled at, or yell at a guy on her team if he makes a mistake. I could probably continue to contrast them, but anyone who has played coed teams will instantly see the difference. Obviously, sports are not combat, but I could still see similar team chemistry flaws.
07-14-2004, 11:52 PM #33
Here the essay I wrote two years ago about women in the military.
its 31 Pages anyway.
Feminist Pressures Groups a Threat to Canadian National Security
By Lieutenant 3Vandoo, November 2002.
GI Jane’s concept emerged many years before the Demi Moore movie of the same name.
In the United States the GI Jane concept is quite popular since the emergence of the women movement. Issues about the women in the military are one under the spotlights since years, especially in liberal countries such as Canada, US and the UK.
Women always had their places in the armed forces, in the antiquity women were responsible to treat the sick and wounded, an area of expertise where they are still the majority today. In the Middle Ages, the name of Jeanne D’Arc also known under the English name of Joan of Arc inspired the French army to fight the English but also inspired fears to the enemy troops. She fought among men on the battlefield, sharing the same blood. With the 19th and 20th centuries, in revolutions or resistance movement, women fought side to side with men in Ireland, Canada, Russia and a few other countries. During the Second World War, the Soviet Army used women as snipers.
Many of them of Jewish descents went to the motherland and fought for Israel.
One of the most popular figure would be Dr. Ruth, the world famous sex therapist who used to be a sniper during war for Israel independence.
The issue that has been pushed by many pressures groups during the 1980’s was the introduction of female soldiers in the combat trades. The combat trades are army jobs that comprised the armour, artillery, engineering and at last but not at least the infamous dogs of war, the infantry. Some westerns nations analyzed and studied the possibilities of introducing women in the combat trade such as Israel, Canada, United States and the United Kingdom. Most of these governments were pressured by women’s groups to introduce women in the combat arms as an equal opportunity to everyone and every genders.
Canada’s has now a policy that say that all military trades are open to all gender, actually it is a double face statement introduced by the liberal government. Twice the Canadian government forced the Canadian Forces to introduce women in the combat trades but especially into the infantry. The first attempt occurred in the 1980’s, where they tried to introduce women into the Princess Patricia Canadian’s Light Infantry (PPCLI) which failed at its beginning. The second try occurred at the end of the 1990’s when the government forced the enrolment of 250 women into the Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR) with the utopian idea of forming the combat trades of twenty-five percents female.
This paper will show the issues in Canada, the two experiments that the Canadian government tried. Why they did it and especially why did they failed.
The main argument for this paper is that women pressures groups have no ideas whatsoever of military matters and especially the notions of national security. The concept of equality might be of a noble nature, but the art of war is not a fair equality game and doesn’t care about equality issues.
The thesis is that the pressures for integration into the combat arms made by women’s pressures groups are a threat to the Canadian national security. By pressuring the Canadian government, the pressures groups preferred the advancement of the condition of women instead of the well being of national security of the country.
The paper will try to demonstrate that Canadian’s women pressures groups do not have the goods of the Canadian Forces in mind when the moral of the forces is already low. That the concept of gender equality in the infantry is an utopian idea which has more its place in science fiction movies such as Starship Troopers or Aliens, than into the infantry school manual.
The paper will cover many aspects why it is dangerous to the security of Canadians.
- Crew and its applications.
- Reductions of fitness standards to help integration of more women into the forces led to total reduction of fitness in the Canadian Forces.
- Imposition of gender based favours toward gender and it implication on team spirit.
- Female and Male interactions and their consequences.
- Feasibility of women into the infantry.
Not only the paper will cover these matters but it will also cover a short history of women into the military and the emergence of the GI Jane’s concept in the US during the 1960’s and the integration of women into the US Army. This will help to understand the foundations and roots in Canada. In Canada the materials will cover the history of integration, with the CREW trials, like mentioned earlier the attempt to introduced women into the infantry. And at last we will see the training that an infantry candidate will have to undergo in both the enlisted soldiers and officers and their possible applications toward specific gender and their physiology.
Before the reader continues, the writer of this paper must admit that on some issues and subjects related on that matter, that the writer is the less politically correct person.
Some personal views might clinches in, due to personal and professional experiences. But the writer assure that he will try to do his best to produce a fair research paper to both gender without taking for account its relationship as a Canadian Forces, Infantry Officer in the Airborne and so on.
Since humankind knows warfare both genders were always involved. Since the traditional way of fighting was given to men for many reasons. First the aggressiveness level of male was always higher than female. Second the body structure favoured men in term of strength and more suitable for combat. Third, testosterone that androgenic hormone is mainly responsible for the previous reasons mentioned. Fourth, the paternalistic structure of the clans, tribes or state brought male into politics and statehood which often led to warfare, leaving women playing their maternal side by caring for the sick and wounded.
As the battlefield changes, the soldiers adapted to the conditions but also when the society evolved the militaries have to adapt to their society’s changes. Through history, warfare changed from big static battles to guerrilla and revolution. This had for results to bring the civilian population to be more involved and implicated into conflicts. Not only this had for effect to bring women into conflict by taking part in any type of operations but also the cultural implication..
History often has left aside the roles of women in warfare. It can be argue that they role were minor compared to men such as Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Attila, Cornwallis, Napoleon, Rommel, and a few other worth mentioning. As the great majority of fighters were men but exemptions were not uncommon in history.
In the Antiquity in Europe and Asia women found among males into combat.
In Germany the Roman Legions fought against German hordes composed of men and women. The Turkic of Central Asia (Uzbeks, Tajiks and Tartars) had women among their ranks. The Roman Empire was the witness of many revolts led against them by women leaders. When they conquered of what is known as England, Celtic tribes were led by a woman of the name of Boudicea of the Iceni. In North Africa a Bedouin woman led a successful campaign against the Roman, her name Zenobia. In antiquity’s Italy, Camillia of the Volscians battled the Trojans up to her own death, at the opposite of the world, two Vietnamese sisters fought the Chinese.
In the Medieval time one of the most popular figures was in France. Her exploit inspired by the messages of God led to the victory of the French against the English. Jeanne D’arc also known as “La Pucelle” was burnt alive by the Church and later on Sanctified by the Catholic Church. In the Balkans Slavic women were used as soldiers. The same was applied to Tungusic women (Mongol, Manchu and related tribes). In the Philippines, the Kinalakian were a military force only composed of women.
In the Modern Time, it is believed that many women disguised themselves as men to fight in Waterloo. In China, the women were serving openly at all rank in the Taiping rebellion army. In the USA, it is estimate that more than 400 women enlisted in the American civil war, but many scholars argued they served in rear supporting units. In the Philippines, hundreds of Filipinos women fought against the Spanish.
The 20th century witness many revolutions, wars for independence, terrorism and freedom fighters all of them used women into their rank to fight tyranny and oppression. After the revolution settled or the fighting ended the traditional role of women went back to normal and the military will be the stronghold of men. In the 20th century many conflicts occurred and still some are raging on in the 21st. The 20th century can be considered as the bloodiest decade in human kind. Two World Wars brought most of the planet in a conflict that ravaged the word claiming around sixty millions lives. Ethnic conflict such as in Rwanda and Ex-Yugoslavia did hundred of thousand of victims. Civil Wars like in Somalia and many other countries added to the casualties. The bloodbath that emerged from the twentieth century not only took the lives of soldiers, but also of civilians including women and children. But often in some conflicts, women and children are not the innocent victims and they participated directly in the conflict.
One conflict particularly influenced the integration of women into the armed forces and also in the market force. The Second World War drained the resources of all the states fighting in it, especially in western countries such as Canada, US, UK and Australia.
With the shortages of men to specific industrial and support post, women were integrated into the war efforts. Not only women integrated into the male dominated workforce but the needs for female’s soldiers were crucial. In the United States, Republican senator Edith Nourse Rogers introduced a bill for the establishment of the Women Army Auxiliary Corp (WAAC). The bill that was introduced in May 28, 1941 was to integrate women into the army as military members. During the First World War, women were working for the US Armed Forces but as civilians. After the end of the war, civilian female employees were not entitled to receive the same benefits as the male soldiers. The bill was to correct these inequalities and integrate women as military members where they were actually working as civilian. This bill was only focussing on the US Army, as the United States Marine Corps (USMC) at the end of the First World War in desperation and shortages of men they enrolled 300 women. The women also known as “Marinettes”
were not sent into combat due to the end of the war but they worked in clerical positions where the USMC discovered they did as well as men.
During WWII, the numbers of women serving in the military increased. At first in most allied countries they served as nurses in military bases far from the combat, later on they were introduced aboard planes carrying wounded soldiers off the battlefield. On Navy hospital ships where they were next to the combats and treating wounded soldiers that arrived directly from the battles. The roles of women expanded throughout WW2 but after the end of the war the expansion was halted. Women were mostly in service positions such as clerks, medical staff etc. In the US military, the US army had two distinctive armies, the real army composed of men and the Army Women Corps only composed of female soldiers. The Navy, Marines and Air Force were composed of less female effectives but women were only posted to similar post as the Army. It did not change until the 1970’s with the integration of the US Army Women Corps into the US Army. In Canada the situation was almost the same, during WW2 the Canadian Army used to have the Canadian Army Women Corps which was created in 1941 and disbanded in 1946.
In Canada the situation was quite positive in term of women into the military.
During the First World War, the Canadian Army was modelling a Canadian Women Army Auxiliary Corps, but the war ended in 1918 and did also end the project. During the period between the WWI and WWII, across the country women formed Auxiliary Corps. Joan B. Kennedy a woman from British Columbia organized the British Columbia Women’s Service. The Corps was composed of volunteers that trained in roles such as first aid, motor mechanics and military clerical duties. With the declaration of war of September 1939, all across Canada formations of similar groups emerged. Most of these women were doing this at their own expenses and on their own free time. Many of these same women joined the Women Volunteer Reserve Corps where they received training in basic military drills, this was done all over Canada in militias facilities.
The pressures from women to form a Women Auxiliary Group on the federal government was at its peak in 1941, their main argument was that the war was a “total war” that both gender were involved and that women would do excellent and be motivated recruits.
Again Mrs. Kennedy was the spearhead of the lobbying but herself and her colleagues would face many obstacles especially social one. The main arguments that went against the idea of a Regular Auxiliary Corps were that it would contradict the traditional model of family. Also, that the industrialization brought a lot of women outside their home to seek paid work. Two years of massive advancement of Axis forces into Europe, Africa and the Pacific helped Ottawa to accept the idea of the Women Corps. The Canadian Women’s Army Corps was created on August 13, 1941. Women were able to do job that were in support elements of the army, especially clerical one. Thus by bringing women to replace men in such job it sends more available men to the front. Women were trained as drivers, cooks, clerks, typists, stenographers, telephone operators, messengers, and quartermasters. Unfortunately the CWAC was not a fully integrated into the Army and it took a year for the CWAC to get integrated into the Canadian Army. Other branches of the Canadian military soon joined up. The Royal Canadian Air Force formed the Women’s Division of the RCAF. The Royal Canadian Navy followed in the summer of 1942 with the Women’s Royal Canadian Navy. Unfortunately the pay between women and men were quite unequal. For the same work, a woman was received 2/3 of what a male soldier would do. It was common argument than the women physical job and possible exposures to dangers were not the same as men, thus explaining the pay difference. After the war, the role of women stayed the same in women’s traditional roles such as nurses, medical field, clerk etc.
In 1971, after the Royal Commission on the Status of Women suggested that the Canadian Armed Forces removed the quota of women in the military. The CAF set a ceiling of 1500 positions available to women. The suggestion was immediately followed and the forces opened many new positions available in non-traditional sectors to female such as vehicle driver, mechanics, aircraft mechanics, air traffic controllers, military police, firefighters and cooks. During the 1980’s after the passage of the Canadian Human Rights Act in 1985 and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom of 1982, it permitted to integrate more women into more military trades. Unfortunately most Military Occupational Chart (MOC) were closed with the exemptions of the one previously mentioned. Most of the MOC that were closed where the one relative to direct combat involvement trades; infantry, armoured corps, artillery, signals, field engineers and the naval operations. In 1987 the Minister of National Defence created a special study which test trials of female soldiers into specifics combat jobs. The Combat-Related Employment of Women also known as CREW. The CREW trials ceased to exist after the Canadian Human Rights Tribunals ruled that the Canadian Forces ceased any types of employment discrimination toward gender. The decision rendered proposed that the CF cease all discriminations, restrictions should be removed and all trades open to both genders. The tribunal’s recommended that the restrictions should be remove the soonest as possible but the formation of a phase to implement the recommendations should be applied with the complete integration in 1999 and be supervise by an external board name the Minister’s Advisory Board on Gender Integration (MABGICF).
Today in 2002, the official policy of the Department of National Defence is that all military trades in the three branches of the Canadian militaries are open to all genders, this was completed recently with the opening to female sailors to serve on Her Majesty’s Canadian Submarines.
The CREW trials helped the emergence of women into specific trades where they were actually successful. But the question about the possibility of integrating women into the combat arms, the Combat Arms are referred to the land element composed of the Infantry, Artillery, Armour and Field Engineers. The four elements of the army that will witness direct contact at the front with the enemy at all time. With the removal of the female quota which was set at 1500 in the 1970’s, the Canadian Forces were confronted to attract more women into the forces. The Human Right Tribunal that ruled for gender integration did not only bring women into the military but reduced the physical standards. The military fitness standard pre-1990, where quite harsh to both genders, actually they were equal. Men or Women needed to perform the same physical entry exam, which was composed of forty (40) push-ups, forty (40) sit-ups in sixty (60) seconds, performed with a run of 2400 meters in less than 11 minutes. After the Human Rights Tribunal the physical entry standards where reduced to actually “nothing”, to augment the number of women into the forces. For the period of 1990-1991, physical standards to join the CF were low but also did the standards of training. With the tribunal decision, another ruling was obtained and it was to cease all physical and abusive acts by the instructors toward recruits and trainees. It was believed that the abusive treatments that were suffering soldiers were alienating their basic human rights. The situation stabilized in 1992, where the CF analysed and studied new physical standards for both genders. The express fitness physical test is a series of physical activities that a prospective soldier will have to do before joining and continue to do every year to qualify as fit during its career.
For the cardiovascular ability, the soldier must do either the twenty metres shuttle test or step test (two steps, walk following a sound beat). They are examined by height, weight, gender and apply the results on a predetermined chart, both gender have different results.
Actually this test is probably the most criticized because even the Canadian Female Aerobic champion failed the test in 1998.
Push-ups in sixty (60) seconds:
Men: 19 Women: 9
Sit-ups in sixty (60) seconds:
Men: 19 Women: 13
The Grip-Test is a test where you press a handle doing a up to down motion by pressing the handle. It is performed twice with both hands and the average is taken as total. For men the minimum needed is seventy-five pounds (75lbs) of pressures, as for the women fifty pounds (50lbs) is needed. The controversies around the actual CF fitness test are composed of soldiers who are from the “old army” the one that was trained before 1990. their arguments are that the soldiers trained after the 1990 under the Human Rights recommendations are less than soldiers because they didn’t received the same treatments and abuses in basic training. Another argument that is quite critical is that the difference between men and women. The Canadian Forces argue that the difference between the genders in term of physical fitness is due to the biological physiology of their specific sex and the possibility of accomplishing a certain physical exercise. Women are believed to be more stronger in their abdominal muscles group area than men. Women have weaker upper-body which explain why they can’t perform as well on certain exercise which required pectoral and shoulders muscles. This argument given to recruiting centres all over the country explain why women only have nine push ups, and thirteen sit ups and men have a constant nineteen. But on the field, the soldiers arguments especially by male soldiers is that, the express test needs to be perform once a year by every members of the CF either regular or reservist. The complaints are that this is not fair, that in a same trade, where both male and female are present, male will have to perform better compared to female. As you will see later on, the express test is only the base of physical conditioning in the Canadian Forces.
The military hierarchy traced its root back to the Roman Empire Legions where they realized that team spirit where better and improve when a group of soldiers is composed of five soldiers. The Roman realized that the friendly spirit was better and it’s high with friendship, cooperation when a group was formed of five soldiers. This fact has influenced the regimental system especially in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries. The regimental system of the Canadian infantry is taken in example.
An infantry regiment is composed of three regular battalions, each battalions is composed of 800 men. The battalions are composed of companies (COY), each companies are around the number of 150 men, all depending of available resources. The “Coys’ are composed of platoons, the platoon is composed of forty soldiers. The Platoon is composed of eight sections. A section is made of five soldiers.
Military Formation Commanded by
Section Lieutenant (command 4 sections )
In the sections, the roles of the Non Commissioned Members (NCOs) vary from assisting the officers to commanding a simple section demanding of seniority.
The infantry section is the core and heart of the system, the friendship and bonding that is established between the sections soldiers are enormous and often extraordinary. The bond is particularly deep and profound when combat occurs. During World War I and II, the Canadian infantry male bonding was so entrenched that it was often cited as the primary reasons why the Canadian were tremendous soldiers, because they couldn’t accept losses from their arm comrade and revenge were too often the solution. This example might not be the best to describe the comradeship. The infantry as other combat element is a closer knit where people rely on each others and are actually trained to rely on each others as one team where all players form one, the failing of a player can link to the failing of all.
This kind of friendship is not occurring in all the trades that the military offers. Other elements such as the support services and clerical can have a special bond between soldiers but it is more compared to a corporate environment in their usual day of military routine. The people that are actually against the integration of women into the combat arms will often use the argument of comradeship to support their thesis. During Israel War of Independence, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) enabled the full and complete integration of women into combats. The results were disastrous, around 150 women died in combat. That “experiment” helped to concluded many interesting aspects why women are not suitable for combat.
1) Men behave differently around the company of women.
During the phases of training, barracks life and so on, the deep friendship of many soldiers became more than just a “friend” attitude and end up in a relationship. Men were trying to impress women by whatever they could do and perform including combat.
2) The physical upper body strength of a woman is not suitable for combat and combat related environment. Female soldiers were often unable to carry the heavy load of materials required to perform combat and resulted in casualties.
3) Men put themselves in extreme and dangerous situations to save a female soldier, acts that wouldn’t usually occur if a man was to be saved.
4) Women were often linked toward interior problems of unit due to male’s macho attitude, or the “alpha male” principle, which often led to serious conduct problems.
5) Women soldiers taken as prisoners of war were repeatedly raped.
Another point that is often neglected is that western societies does not accept the loss, death of women easily, especially the one that get killed. Female soldiers are often perceived as potential “skeleton in the closet” for many western states where women have a maternal image of giving life, not a one of taking it away or worst getting killed.
Not only that didn’t help the cause of women in Israel, but also the orthodox Jewish pressured the Israel government for all women exclusion of military. A weird request, expressed from citizens that don’t have to serve under the military flag.
After that “trial” the IDF removed all female military out of combat units. Now, often female soldiers serve in combat units but not under combat trades such as infantry, armour or artillery but as support staffs. With the troubles Israel is in since its formation often women were involved in combat. But after the removal of women in combat formation in 1948 they were often involved in combat as coincidental event or misfortune. Even if the Israelis forces were the vanguard of the full integration of women in military roles. Now, women have access to the full potentiality of the IDF, except they will not be put into combat unit. The IDF has female fighter pilots, helicopter pilots who are at the forefront of the Israel military. Even if the IDF restrains women from serving on combat elements, no pressures of change were perceived as other western countries witnessed during the period of 1970-1990’s. Israel is in permanent war since its formation in 1947. They introduced women in their combat services due to the necessities of their war for independence and removed them in 1948. Now Israel has military services compulsory for all Israelis citizens, including men and women of eighteen of age. The similarities between the west and Israel are enormous, but the feminist movement and pressures to introduce women into the combat trades are quite low, even not present at all compared to other western nations such as Canada, US, UK, France… Israel didn’t have the choice to use women due to personnel constraint required to perform combat. The IDF did not want to put women into harms ways but they did not have the choice to do so. Same happened in the Soviet Union, Cuba and China, where they did not have the choice of using women due to the lack of men. In Israel the feminist groups does not pressures the government to fully integrate women into combat union, why? Because Israel is at constant war or have a strong remembrance of past events that occurred just some years ago with their consequences. The pressures are not existent because they know the risks and the results of letting someone in combat and that the job is not suitable for everyone. This, the IDF, Israeli government and Israeli feminist groups understood it a long time ago.
The team spirit is the key of military values and core principles. Often the principle of team spirit is evoked as the principal element against the integration of women into the combat arms and especially the infantry. Unfortunately this is not totally true and other elements must be added to the reasons. As enumerated with the Israeli experiment, negative consequences emerged and a failure report appeared. But there some more than just the attitude of men toward women soldiers, or the physical capacities between both gender.
The basic physical differences between a man and a woman play a great role in determining performances. The major differences between a female and a male are well known, and quite distinct in their nature. Male are generally taller, bigger and stronger than female. Males average a weigh of 172lbs and a height of five feet and nine inches. Women have an average of 143 lbs and a height of five feet and three inches. So men are generally more suited for combat due their physiology. Women have two things that men will not experience, the first one is pregnancy and the second one is their menstrual periods. Two natural aspects of every female, but unfortunately war does not care about such “indispositions”. The US Marines Corps has for policy that in every unit that allows female that only ten percents (10%) of the effective could be composed of female, leaving the rest if the unit of ninety percents (90%) male. The USMC did that rule to prevent that less than ninety percents of their effective be not operational. At first when they initiated women into their services, an operational task was called to be performed
which was actually an overseas operation. Some supports units from the Marines went to operation with less than eighty percents of their manpower due to such factor as women’s periods, pregnancy, maternity leave. They applied the 90-10 policy to prevent that kind of event to occur again.
07-14-2004, 11:52 PM #34Originally Posted by Commando_Barbi
07-14-2004, 11:53 PM #35
The body of a woman is generally more fragile than the body of a man, but one crucial factor that disadvantages women is their knees. Female knees compared to male are more arched and curved compared to the knees of a male. The female anatomy present more risk to be victim of ACL risks due to the woman biology and biomechanics.
Women have wider hips than men which are there in theory to help the bearing of children. Naturally females have knock-kneed stance. Due to the fluctuation of hormone in the woman body, it affects greatly the ligaments, which as for effect to help them loose. Female muscles are smaller and weaker than men in areas such as hamstring, and muscles reflexes are slower and react differently than men. And finally the stance that woman use to carry any activities is always more “tense” which lead to greater injuries.
These biological facts say that women are presumably more conditioned to get injuries to their legs and especially their knees. These factors are very important due to the fact that the combat trades and especially the infantry have a tremendous amount of physical work. In theory, just because of their biology the infantry should be out of question to female soldiers.
Menstruations and pregnancy are two aspects that trigger a lot of passions between the supporters of female integration into the infantry and the one against it.
Women have the biological tools to conceive and give birth, a privilege than no men will ever have. But a pregnant soldier cannot perform her duty as any other soldiers.
There are arguments saying that the pregnant soldier will be replaced by a replacement as no idea of military matters and how it work. A military unit is a team who work all together and must always work together. If a woman fell pregnant she will be out of the unit until she’s able to come back and performs her duty. As the military goes, there no replacement, because if there replacement, then it need training, which takes months and what will happen with the replacement soldier? It is not like the civilian world, a pregnant soldier is considered as a casualty. Menstruations even if this sounds so normal and usual, might trigger frictions between male and female soldiers and this is for many reasons.
The first one is the unavailability to perform some duties due to their period, either it’s the menstrual side effects, or not willing to jump into water. Second, material required by women for their period are at the lowest of the priorities for military planners more occupied with ammunitions, troops and necessary vital resources (water, food, shelter)
In the Irish Army, female soldiers receive three paid days off to appease their period indispositions. An advantage that many Irish males soldiers criticize and often scream for injustice. This anecdote might sound and be very childish, but it too often presents the tensions that such small incident can have on team cohesion and spirit.
The human interactions between men and women in professional milieus or places where a great interactions of works between the two genders occur often lead to more than just professional relations. This is not uncommon, as couple emerges from school classes, work place, clubs etc. The military are not different; there are military laws that prevent the possible relationship between a military man and a military woman but like any other places there always exemptions to the rule.
Operational deployment or overseas deployment generates some of the weirdest and twisted arguments against women in the military. The argument is that, you bring men and women far from home without their spouses or relatives in a stressful and far environment could help the possibilities of sexual intercourse between a male and female soldier. That kind of argument is more suitable to some paranoids spouses back home than worth analyzing and discussing it actually.
Recently the women’s pressure groups that lobbied for the integration of women into the military might just went a bit too far. Their cause for equality and fairness of all is noble, but their pressures results in many negative policies. In Canada as many other western nations are too often weak against pressures emerging from the big lobbying such as feminist movements. In Edward Norden’s article “Right Behind You, Scarlett!” ,the author discuss the segregations of military trades to women with the perspective of a male reservist in the IDF; Women have always played an important role in the Israeli military, but they rarely see combat; if they do, it is usually by accident. No one in Israel, including feminists, has any objection to this situation. The fact that the Persian Gulf War has produced calls to allow women on the front lines proves only how atypical that war was and how little Americans really understand combat."
With that type of reasoning many questions emerge to mind.
Do really women movement understand war and its consequences? Do feminist really care about the national security, and the security of soldier? Are those lobbies really interested in putting women into the frontline in harms ways to the advancement of equality? Many questions that need answers, but now let’s see the Canadian content.
Since the pressures by women groups and rights activists in Canada emerged in the 1980’s who brought the CF into the spotlight for greater rights and equality brought more problems than solutions. The Human Right Tribunal that ordered the ceasing of all discriminations also ordered to bring a quota of certain particularly groups such as Francophone officers, ethnic minorities, women and aboriginal.
As for women the aim was that the CF combat trades and the whole CF should be composed of twenty-five percents female soldiers at the end of 1999. Since 1975, women did not exceed eleven percent of the total of the CF, the twenty-five percents mark was actually very unrealistic and utopian . Not only that the imposition of women into traditionally male oriented job brought problems but new set of rules and programs. Of course women where now officially admitted to all trades offered by the CF (exemption of Category A of the Joint Task Force Two Commando). The age set for recruiting potential candidates were expanded from twenty-nine years old to fifty-nine.
SHARP (Support Harassment and Racism Prevention or also known as Sexual Harassment Response Program). This program helps the CF officers to be more aware of the difference between men and women and the consequences of certain negative potential acts. The program also has for goal to eliminate all profanity in the CF under a ten years period. Recently the Canadian Forces started a new program of fabricating a new type of military operational piece of clothing. The combat bra! With the new Canadian Forces modeled under the Human Right Tribunal and the potential twenty-five percents of female soldiers, the National Defence Headquarter (NDHQ) at Ottawa emerged with that bright idea. The concept established that women in the CF needed firm support of their breasts due to the intense nature of their job. Two millions dollars after in research and development, a survey that costed 15 000$ to the Canadian taxpayers and they finally decided to cancel it. The project was cancelled due to the fact that women breasts are so different in types of shapes and size that they didn’t believe that the combat bra could possibly satisfy all female soldiers. The survey resulted in eighty percents women who thought that more than one combat bra be needed, and that commercial bra was good enough. But fifty-five percent insisted that the army should start reimbursing their bra. Today the CF pays four bras per years and four more if the soldiers go overseas. 2 015 000$ spent on well placed investment, when soldiers does not have the necessary ammunitions to perform in the field or do not have the right colour of uniform. It might be added to the grotesque of the CF and their new policies even if not really associated, that the CF now covers the cost of change of sex surgery in case a male soldier does not feel itself as male or vice versa for a female. The last example might sound to be the most absurd but unfortunately true which demonstrate the largeness that the human right decision brought into the CF, sponsored by the pressures groups. For some it has its good but for the majority of male soldiers who made up of ninety percent of the Canadian military, it plays on the troops’ morale which is at its lowest.
Moral help to the cohesion of a military entity, and since the recommendations of the tribunals are applied. The Canadian Forces’ moral is at its worst, which are not helped by the previous cuttings by the liberal government. The new policies that were applied toward gender integration and its consequences brought the Canadian Forces to not be able to perform at his best; in short the military readiness is at zero.
The Canadian Forces, integration of women into the infantry
Right now the Canadian Forces is composed of 57 000 regular members, where around eleven percents of the forces is composed of women. In the reserve the number are a bit higher, where the women forms eighteen percents of 31 000 reservists.
The Davis’ report which was published in 1997, brought severe conclusions and reality about the women into the CF. The general attitude that was emerging from the report is that most male soldiers have a negative views of women into the CF. The negative perceptions were reinforced by the instructors because they witnessed most of their female trainees not able to be coping with the demanding and stressful conditions of training which led to a majority to quit. The Davies report shows that only 0.6% of the Combat Trades is composed of women, as for the infantry the number are 0.06% of women composed the infantry. The statistics indicates that the attritions rates of the infantry is 71% for women and only 10% for their male counterpart, the number are quite revealing especially when the report was made in 1997, when at the time only three women were serving in the infantry in the support battalions. In the same report, it advance that only 157 women served into the combat trades since 1975, on a twenty-two years period. The report clearly demonstrated that most women serving in the combat trades changed trades, where about the half used the 5D5 cause (Not advantageously employable, often used when student does not successfully complete occupation training). The second reason of quitting the trade is they arrive at the term of their service, with only twenty-two women out of 157 that used that reason.
Recently the media’s attentions were draw toward the integration of women into the Canadian infantry. In 1999 the Canadian Forces were actually pushed to the wall to realise that they have failed to achieve the recommendations of the Human Rights Tribunal, again they were confronted to pressures, commissions, boards and tribunals.
The CF initialized a program of introducing 250 women into the infantry hoping that it would help and trigger female recruiting and bring the 25% goal. In the 1980’s under the CREW trials the CF experimented a small group of women into the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) but in the middle of the PPCLI battle school training, the trials were stopped due to cessation of the CREW program. The second try of incorporating women into the infantry was supposed to be made into the Royal 22e Régiment (R22eR) aka the Vandoos. The CF forced 250 women into the infantry (031) trade, the results were quite disastrous. After the initial basic training of ten weeks, 248 women decided to change trade or simply quit the forces. The two remaining females soldiers continued up to the R22eR Battle School. One failed during the first week of her sixteen weeks infantry training, and she decided to quit. The second, failed her infantryman fitness test on her week fourteen, she was rescheduled for another course. This rescheduling was very polemic because the woman passed in front of male soldiers awaiting their rescheduled course. After twelve week on her second try, she failed and was sent back home. The initial plan was to allow 125 women to serve in the two mechanized infantry battalions which are the first and second battalion. They were not allowed to the third battalion due to the great physical challenge of light infantry.
After the total failure of that experiment and the millions it cost to the CF, the Army top boss of the time Brigadier-General Leach, said in a TV interview, never the CF will ever engage itself in foulest experiment like that. He also commented that, the CF has learned from that experiment. It is true?
The infantry is the toughest job in the military and the backbone of any armies in the world, it is the primordial element in winning or loosing a war. The Canadian Forces policies were only affecting the stability of the infantry this affecting the ensemble of the force. The infantry as a combat trade is not an environment suitable for a woman, and the training and environment operation of the infantry and women follow next.
The role of the infantry is to get close to the enemy and to destroy it. Infantry always existed since warfare emerged. The infantry changed from simple swordsman to canon folders to high-tech operators of today. In Canada there two general types of infantry soldier. The first type is the enlisted men, which are composed of non commissioned officers which are the backbone of the infantry. The second type of infantryman is the one that lead the men into battle and this is the infantry officer. Currently the infantry and its other relative qualification are the hardest courses in the CF, with the exemption of the
Anti-Terrorist unit, Airborne and the navy diver training course. An enlisted soldier will have two stages of training to follow before he can be call an infantryman. In this paper the course of regular soldier is discussed due to the fact that reservist does not receive the same training.
The first stage is the basic training, it starts at a base south of Montreal situated at Saint- Jean. The recruit will face a hard ten weeks of basic training. The future infantry candidate will undergo the same basic training as an Air Force mechanic or a navy sailor would. All members of the CF will do their training at Saint-Jean. The ten weeks basic training bring the students to be familiarized with military life, disciplines, basic military culture and functions such as operating the standard rifle C7A1 and other weapon systems. Physical training is also present which is composed of running, jogging and a full range of exercises varying from touch football to weightlifting. The day start at 0500 and end up at 2300 every day for the first four weeks, then the trainee has its week end off for the reminding term. . Basic training might be very challenging to an individual who are in not in good physical shape, but for the individual who is in shape either male or female it should be a walk in the park. After graduating from the school of recruit at Saint-Jean the soldiers will end to their respective battle school, where they will learn their trade, tradition and history. The CF only have one have one centre of infantry training in Canada, it is situated at the CFB Gagetown in New-Brunswick, the infantry school is responsible for higher level of qualification of infantrymen and officers. The enlisted soldiers will receive their trade in their respective “home”. For the PPCLI they receive their training at Wainwright, Alberta the land of black flies. For the Royal Canadian Regiment (RCR) they will receive their training at Meadford, Ontario. As for the Royal 22e Régiment their battle school is situated in Valcartier, near Québec City. The infantry phase is one of the most challenging course the CF can offer with the Special Operation Assaulter Course, the Airborne, Sniper training, pathfinder and diver training. The infantry candidate will have to undergo sixteen weeks of training and successfully pass the required tests before he can wear its regimental patch on its black beret. The infantry training is totally different from the basic training. Vulgarly we can compare the basic to elementary school and infantry training to university. It is totally different, in many aspects especially the physical and conditional aspects of the training. At first the Physical Training or PT is double and sometime triple the amount of basic. A recruit in basic training could face a run of 3km and a maximum of 5km at the end of its training and depending on its instructors. But in IT, the run start at minimum of 6 km and are made twice a day, in the morning and evening, sometime a third run might be scheduled if the platoon is lacking physical conditioning. The basic soldiering drills such as the forced marches are increased. In basic training, the soldier might expect to carry fifty pounds on its back in spring, summer and autumn training. Thirty-five pounds in winter training, the march at first start with a three km and end with a thirteen kilometres forced march. In the infantry that type of walk is still pursue, because the infantry has for primary vehicle its own body and it feet. Unfortunately the weight increases in the infantry, the normal infantryman pack will usually weigh more than hundred pounds. Not only the infantry candidates will have to carry that charge on its back but also its weapon system.
07-14-2004, 11:53 PM #36
The Canadian Infantry has for primary infantry weapon:
The C7A1, US M16A2 modified to Canadian standards, weighs 7lbs
The C8, US M4, Short version of the previous rifle, weigh 6lbs
C6: FN 240, a General Purpose Medium Machine Gun, weigh more than 30lbs with ammunitions.
C9: M249, light support machine gun, weigh 15lbs.
Plus the 81 mm mortar, rocket launcher, anti-tank system and mines (claymores)
Those systems of weapons will accompany every platoon and sections of an infantry unit.
Recently the Third Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry conducted missions in Afghanistan carrying a minimum of 150lbs of materials on their back plus their weapons in rude terrains such as the Afghan mountains. The infantry conditions since the beginning of warfare is the worst and most inhumane conditions a soldier can live in. The infantry conditions since centuries indicate that the infantrymen conditions can be considered as hell. The 20th century and the war that occurred are a great example on how savage, destructive and disgusting war is for an infantryman. Infantrymen are the first one to be sent on the field, the last to leave and the one to always made contact and finish the enemy. The WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam are great examples of the arduous and horrible conditions that infantrymen had to survive.
The Infantry Officer training,
The officer training is longer than the enlisted men. The officer-Cadet will follow a Basic Officer Training Camps (BOTC) which has a length of thirteen weeks. That basic training is similar to the one given to enlisted members but comprised training in leadership and how to be Officer and Gentleman or Lady. After completing its BOTC the cadet will continue in his trade. For an infantry candidate, the following step is the Phase one of the infantry school. The phase one is similar to the enlisted training, but is also comprised of leadership training. After graduating from the phase, the cadet is now promoted to Second-Lieutenant. The following stage is dedicated to the command of a platoon and the art of infantry warfare. The last stage is concentrated on mechanized infantry with a dismounted platoon. Each phases; are between twelve and sixteen weeks long in duration. After completing their phases, the officer can officially command a unit in the infantry.
Can a female soldier perform as well as their male counterpart?
Many arguments for the integration of women into the infantry argue that some female joined the ranks of the infantry in the American Independence War, Civil War and the Napoleonic War. Unfortunately the dates are not reliable, and often historians expressed there concerns for a myth and propaganda used as every citizens fights as patriots. The stories that are told often seem more legend that concrete facts, and end up as fairytales true or not. As mentioned earlier the physical and biological differences between male and female made the male more suitable for combat and especially the infantry. Of course there will always be exemptions. There are women out there that can perform as well as men and even better but they are only a few exemptions. The example mentioned earlier in this paper might convince that female soldiers are not suitable for the infantry or combat, but there will always be exemptions and people arguing against. It was advanced by Patricia Schroeder in an article in the New York Times that the technological change and social evolution makes restrictions on the military use of women unjust and outdated and the US Military should remove all restrictions on gender. Unfortunately that argument was taken down by the National Review “Women in Battles”. Their main argument was that a few serious armies allow women in battles, only the liberal western countries do because they have no reality of combat and war. The US military might have the best and the most technological military in the world but that does not mean it can be fair for both gender. Technology will not be apply against a third world country who fight with only kalanischov and have no respects at all form of human life and worst women. Team cohesion was approached and the possible negative aspect that it could have on the spirit and esprit de corps. In the military every small consequences might result in a bloodbath or lost of lives. Recently the argument against homosexuals in the military was not about discrimination as it was proven gay men where better soldiers than their straight counterpart, but that their risks of contracting the HIV virus was greater and possible exposition of blood and transmission in combat was too great. In Canada the pressures groups of right equality and women groups already did damaged the Canadian Army esprit de corps. The pressures for equal opportunities did brought more than just the primary goals it was expected to do, the requests for the full integration of women into all trades, including the combat trades. The integration did not have only negatives aspects that emerged from it but, many good things did come from it, but as for the combat trades it was a slow downfall. The Canadian Infantry standards were in fact reduced to accommodate the human rights and the possible availability of women into the trade. What happened is that the Canadian Forces Infantry was reduced to an organization not ready for battle and combat. The quality of soldiers was reduced compared to the one that experienced training before 1991. That simple fact is already experienced in the CF’s infantry where the soldiers trained after 1991, and the one trained today are perceived by the “old school” as simple “pigs” or often referred as “FNG” (F****** New Guy, or Girl) even if they have many years of seniority behind them. The tribunal’s decisions brought many unwanted consequences, even if the primary decisions were made as noble and equal to all. Unfortunately the military is not a democracy and does not compare with democratic or liberal ideas. The military is an authoritarian regime headed by rulers and followers under a strict hierarchy, tradition and discipline. Just a little upset to one of those aspects and the whole chain is compromised. This is what happening since the end of the 1980’s in the Canadian Forces.
Before the paper’s conclude, a short survey was made via the internet. Twelve questions where sent to current and retired military members from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and Israel. Eleven questions were directed toward the general population of the survey and one question (last one) was specifically addressed to the non-Canadians. The results and answers were quite interesting. 45% of the survey’s population was American, 50% Canadian and 5% for the rest.
Here the questions.
1) What your general feeling about women in the military?
2) How do you feel about women in the combat trades?
3) What is/was your relationship with the opposite sex at work?
4) Ever made sexist comments while on duty?
5) Ever made sexist comments outside the military sphere?
6) Are you for a full integration of female in all trades?
7) Do you think it is acceptable for female to have lower standards compared to men and do the same work, course in a particular trade?
8) Do you agree with women’s pressures groups for full integrations of women in all aspects of the military.
9) What do you think of the Canadian policy of integration of women into male only trades. Like in the period of 1998-99 where 250 women were enrolled in the infantry, after the initial basic training only two (2) went to infantry schools and none graduated. Also do you think there some positive aspects with the integration that the Canadian government forced on the Canadian Force especially in the infantry and aboard submarines.
10) Personally do you think that a woman can perform the same job/duty in certain aspects of the military, generally speaking? In specialized field that required a high mental and physical ability? In trades such as artillery, infantry where the physical demands are very high, and handling of very object is normal(150lbs rucksack forced marches, artillery pieces, certain weapons etc..)?
11) Do you think that physically women are tough enough to endure hard and intense training compared to male. Analysis showed that women are just a bit weaker than men and even in some exercises stronger due to physiological attitudes attributed to their gender, also female have knees that are curved toward the inside, that as for consequences more pressures and weaker knees compared to men.
12) For non Canadians only: How is the situation in your particular country with aspect of females in the military?
Unfortunately or fortunately the result did reflect a more precise attitude toward the questions of women in the military due to the fact that the male soldiers answering the questionnaire knew that they were answering a questionnaire from an infantry officer, but this fact brought new things. First, soldiers were saying the truth because they express their opinion to another male military. But, another good proportion knew the author’s feelings about the subject and put what the author wanted to hear. Fortunately the twelve’s questions can be argued to be similar and yes they are a bit similar, in fact some might even be the same question asked in another manner but the answers are totally different.
The Americans, three from the USMC, two males and one female only one was into a combat trade. Five from the US Army, all males and all into the Special Operations Units (Special Forces and Rangers) and one female was from the US. Navy. All American males were totally against any women into the combat trades. They believed that the Canadian Government policies were unjust and wasn’t taking care correctly of their military. As for the women, it was quite the opposite; half were for the integration of women into the military and thought it could be possible that some women do as well as men. Half of the group have a totally realistic attitude about the situation and believe that the current situation was fair.
In Canada, the ratio women versus men is equal, about fifty percents. The same ratio could be apply as it comes from the combat trades and support services. In Canada, all the combat trades are male, and the support elements are about equal as the half. Only one male into the combat trade was for the integration of women because; “he like to hit on young privates and corporals”. The rest of the group were quite against women into the infantry and the Canadian government policies. The other half of the repliers were from the support elements. That group is composed of about the same amount of women and men. As for the women, about fifty-five percents were against or did not believe into the integration of female in the infantry. The others believed that women can do the same and even better as men. As for the male, the numbers are about the same as women, they both represent the same results. Unfortunately the support elements have no clues what happening on the field and especially in the infantry because their training represent about 1/100 of what an infantryman would do physically.
As for the foreigners, they were all against it even for the only female of the group*******************************.
In one aspect the respondents all agreed on one questions and it is question eight where they believe that women pressure groups should not pressure the government and let the military do what they do, because the civilian life and military life is two world far apart from each other.
To conclude on the words of General Norman Schwarzkoft when he testified to the US congress, “Decisions on what roles women should play in war must be based on military standards, not women’s rights.” These words clearly reflect that the situations that are facing today’s western militaries is far more than their traditional enemies. In Canada, personal and individual rights are now more important than the national security.
Women achieved a tremendous job by accessing military trades only traditionally reserved to men and performed well. They overcame many obstacles and are present in most military trades. This situation is not good enough for feminist and right activist groups. Pressures on the government and the favourable decision by a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal opened all military trades to everyone. In the 1990’s when the full integration of women was not yet achieved the CF were brought again in the spotlights and forced to go against their wills. What resulted is an alienation of the ninety percents of the members of soldier than composed the forces. Physical standards were reduced, to allow more women in the services it end up in a severe reductions of the quality of fitness in the CF where every years there one heart attack while doing the Express Test, a lot of soldiers are out of shape and not able to perform their job well but due to the largeness of the new standards brought by the human rights they can still be out of shape and not perform well. Now soldiers are selected by their gender, colour, ethnic groups or language instead of their aptitudes to do the job rights, what it bring? The frustrations of many soldiers who see their units getting less operational. The Canadian Forces spend more money on sexual awareness program, gender policy program, combat bra experience, and recruiting what is a fraction of their forces instead of spending the money on equipment that needs the forces to be operational and perform their job but especially to keep the soldiers alive. Since years, infantry unit does not have blank ammunitions for field-exercises and must yell out loud “bang bang” imitating the sound of the rifle. This anecdote might sound funny, but how serious can we consider an army of men and women practicing warfare like a bunch of kids because they don’t have the resources to do so, but the NDHQ have money to put on a whole lot of program about gender equality, integration and so on. The thesis of this paper is that the women pressures groups do not care about the Canadian national security but only care about the women advancement. It must be concluded that it is absolutely right to say that the pressure groups and rights activist groups do not care about national security. Their goals might be just and noble in a society like Canada. But it is not applicable to the military, because the military is no organization based on civilian principles. The goals of the military is to kill, take life, destroy, annihilate the enemy not to give promotion, chance, good job to everyone or distribute poutine and Canadian flags in Bosnia. The pressure groups already had a lot of effects on the CF, both negative and positive. It brought women to trades where they were not allowed, gave them possibilities and even improved the forces. But for the combat trades, it brought them to a slow downfall since the ruling of the tribunal.
The decision rendered brought many side effects, reduction of standards, low readiness of the CF, alienation of the majority of members of the CF, a feeling that the government does not take the CF seriously and does not stand for national security and last the esprit de corps that the Canadian Military once was so proud is slowly vanishing. Of course this did not only happened due to the fault of women integration but it was another act committed by the government which was too weak to stand for its military instead favoured individual rights over collective security. This only helped the expanding frustrations of many Canadian Forces members both male and female. An old saying say
“If not broken, don’t fix it”, words of wisdom that should have been heard by NDHQ, because by trying to fix inequalities they are breaking the combat trades. It must been concluded that yes the pressures group hurt the CF and only care about their rights not the right of national defence.
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07-15-2004, 05:42 AM #37
Women in combat- as long as they are in the Airforce, sure.
07-15-2004, 06:25 AM #38
I'm all for women in the military but on the front line, imho, I don't think it's a ideal situation. I think the physical demands are a little too much for a woman to handle......could a 140 pound woman carry a 200 pound man if need be for a mile? Barb, you and I are friends and in a fox hole I'm sure you could hit what you aim at but if I take one and need to carried out I'd feel better knowing Bouncer or Vanadoo are next too me....not that they'd carry me out but just the thought would make me feel a little better.
As for the sexual harassment...........there no excuse for that at all under any circumstance.
07-15-2004, 07:52 AM #39
oh don't you fool yourself, I wouldn't be comming to help you, I'd be comming to steal your rations!
obviously you guys haven't trained with canadians
07-15-2004, 09:37 AM #40
Don't make me whoop you!
I'll bring the taser and the pepper spray!
Originally Posted by BamaSlamma
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