Tag Archives: Women

Women Serving in Front Line Units

Women Rangers – it should have been done years ago

Three West Point Women Graduates are in the Mountain Phase. As the Ft Benning Phase tests brute strength, the Mountain and Florida Phases test physical agility, there is a very good possibility that the Army will welcome three Women Officers wearing Ranger Tabs. “We will fight an Army on a dare – we’ll follow Darby anywhere”

The key is the last sentence – Similar to the current process, earning a Ranger tab will not automatically move a soldier into the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Army’s special operations unit.

The U.S. Army’s top officer said he expects between 70 and 80 women to apply to become the first-ever female students at Ranger School.

Posted by members of the Class of ’62.

Note   If you have a comment to add, supporting or against assignment of women to front line combat units – please submit it.

Recent interim Marine evaluation. https://forwhattheygave.com/2014/10/14/u-s-marine-cor…-ground-combat/

The primary reason for adding these comments is to insure Graduating Female Cadets understand the issues and potential cost of selection of a “front line” combat arms branch.  Years ago the Academy Officials went before Congress to insure the wording in the proposed 1975 bill would allow adjustment of the physical standards for female Cadets.  If consideration had not been  allowed and women Cadets were required to meet the standards men were expected to maintain – then many potentially very competent future Army Officers would have washed out. There can be no adjustment to physical standards to allow women to enter front line units, nor would one hope  female soldiers  would never seek  such an adjustment. Yet the Marine Corps has established  separate standards – see  AP Report bottom of page. Isreali-j Isreali-h Failure for any reason may not be Career ending but will be Career limiting. Washing out or even a decision to reconsider is not the best for a Career. Isreali-g

The reason no women have attended Ranger training is unknown. Unless every graduate of Ranger Training is required to enter Special Ops, there would seem to be no reason to prevent the training of women. It would seem to be a logical requirement before considering any further transition toward the front lines. Unless Ranger Training has significantly changed, without question there are Young Graduates who could easily complete the coarse.

Isreali-e Female marines can’t do three pullups, shows some military tasks are for men Washington Times Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, and a member of the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, says standing down was the right thing to do. “The Marines made the right decision in suspending the mandatory three pullup requirement for female trainees,” she said. “This issue is bigger than boot camp. If it is too much to require female recruits to do three pullups, it is a thousand times worse to expect women to serve in direct ground combat units such as the infantry, armor, artillery and Special Operations Forces.” Mrs. Donnelly wants Congress to eliminate the Obama administration’s social experimentation with the military by writing into law the traditional exemption that keeps women off the field of battle.  In the meantime, female Marines being tested will return to a less-demanding “flexed-arm hang,” which requires them only to hold their chins above the bar. (see below of comment –

The Services are evaluating Women serving in front line units. The decision forcing the Service Chiefs to determine what units will include women was made by a departing SecDef. Not a single elected official was involved. Not a single vote was cast.) Isreali-d   Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/9/editorial-the-making-of-a-marine/#ixzz2qTRz8enW Isreali-c   Cadet Breaks 20-year IOCT Record ( Female Record ) The Indoor Obstacle Course Test (IOCT) has challenged cadets for more than 60 years at West Point. No female cadet has ever completed the IOCT faster than Class of 2017 Cadet Madeline. Note – Maddie (sp) is a tall Cadet and as such is able to jump much higher on the rope than we from South Area who set the standard for the Corps years ago. American Friends of LIBI – – These IDF female tank instructors bear a huge responsibility. They give training to tank soldiers in the Armored Corps., who lead the first line of attacking forces in case of ground war. Their operational instructions must be accurate and meticulously communicated. We’re proud of their role in the IDF! – with Etti Attia.   Nightwitches -Russian bombers who bombed Germany during WW2. They had old, noisy planes & the engines used to conk out halfway through their missions, so they had to climb out on the wings mid-flight to restart the props. To stop Germans from hearing them & starting up the anti aircraft guns, theyd climb to a certain height, coast down to German positions, drop their bombs, restart their engines in midair & get the hell out of dodge. Their leader flew 200+ missions & was never captured.

On on July 26, 1948, President Truman issued Executive Order 9981 ordering integration of the Armed Forces. It was not easy but the Armed Forces complied. Public Law 94-106 signed by President Gerald Ford on Oct. 7, 1975 had passed the House by a vote of 303 to 96 and the Senate by voice vote after divisive argument within Congress. When Omar Bradley was asked by a member of the Class of 1962 what his views were on the Law requiring women in the Corps of Cadets, the General said “Congress passed it, the President signed it, I support it”. Those words were the words every serving officer should have embraced. There is humor when one sees the photo in the 1979 Howitzer showing one Cadet Company displaying a verity of sports equipment – baseballs, footballs, volley balls, soccer balls, tennis balls, some 20 or so different ones while proclaiming the Class of 1979 as the last all male Class. It took ruthless enforcement to bring the genders together into a cohesive Cadet Corps, and again it was a member of the Class of 1962 who was steadfast in that enforcement.

The Services are evaluating Women serving in front line units. The decision forcing the Service Chiefs to determine what units will include women was made by a departing SecDef. Not a single elected official was involved. Not a single vote was cast.

President Kennedy spoke to us at Graduation. The second to last paragraph – “Eighteen years ago today, Ernie Pyle, describing those tens of thousands of young men who crossed the “ageless and indifferent” sea of the English Channel, searched in vain for a word to describe what they were fighting for. And finally he concluded that they were at least fighting for each other.” Is that where our leaders in the Pentagon stand? israelie-b In rereading of the horrors, inhumanity, and brutality by both German and Soviet front line soldiers during the battle for Stalingrad, one wonders why those armies did not employ women in the front line. Certainly both countries were fighting for survival. Although not at Stalingrad, the Soviets did employ female snipers because of their proven ability to properly control breathing. Only the Russian and Yugoslavian Partisans employed women in a front line capacity during World War II. With the dwindling manpower pool, why did not the Germans create female SS units? Germany was full of rabid female Hitler worshipers. With the ravages inflicted upon Soviet peasants by the Germans, one would think many female peasants would have wanted to join Soviet units. We might consider we fought for survival during our Revolution. Folklore has it that Molly Pitcher stood at her husband’s gun when he went down; yet that is still not advancing with fixed bayonet. Certainly native Americans fought for survival, but they did not put their women in the front line. Isreali-f

Women in a Combat Role

http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/04/01/women-break-new-ground-in-army-combat-roles.html?ESRC=army-a.nl http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/13/130125-women-combat-world-australia-israel-canada-norway/ More at http://search.aol.com/aol/search?query=Canadian+women+serving+in+infantry+units&s_it=keyword_rollover

This is what they might face –   Korea    World War II    Vietnam   War on Terror

In the middle of the night, two marines stood on the high ground, one loading 8 round clips, the other doing the shooting as an M-1 was handed to him. Up and down the road similar examples of Marine Lore was established. When the last bugle sounded and the last was dead on the wire, the loader looked at the shooter and said “You don’t have your boots on”. It was 40 below, wind blowing. (One near breakthrough collapsed under the BAR and rifle fire of Pvt. Hector A. Cafferata and Pfc. Kenneth R. Benson, a pair of young men from New Jersey who had enlisted together. As Cafferata blazed away, his blinded partner, Benson, loaded weapons. Caught with his wet boots off, Cafferata fought five hours crippled by frostbite. Before the battle ended, he’d lost one arm to a grenade and the use of his other arm to a bullet.  Taken from “The Last Stand of Fox Company) These two wore the patch of the 1st Marine, a 1 arched by Guadalcanal where Marines with their uniforms rotting off, surviving on captured Japanese rice, with diseased ridden bodies, gave America our 1st Victory. A machine gunner who was at  Guadalcanal, like a few others, developed an inability to wake up in the middle of the night to relieve himself (nocturnal enuresis – stress). The doctors told him there was no cure as long as he was on the front line, it was just another complication of combat and he was sent back into the line. Carrying a Thompson as he fought his way north, finally worn out on Saipan and sent home to recover.

In the Bulge a paratrooper went to relieve himself, when his buddy “Yelled get back in here” (meaning do it in our foxhole) he went ahead, dropped his trou and was immediately shot at by a German sniper. Hitching his pants up without cleaning himself he jumped back into their foxhole. The smell did not bother any other members of his Rifle Company, as they all smelled the same. Some who were never able to get their trousers down in time, did smell worst than the others.

Ranger Class December ’62 – February ’63. Normal rain in North Georgia Mountains, crossed a river, then the winds and freezing temperatures hit – 40 some cases of frost bite.

As the main body, 6,900 of the Japanese 51st Division steamed toward Lea, Lieutenant General Kenny ordered in waves of bombers sinking all 8 transports and 4 of 8 destroyers leaving men in life boats, on make shift rafts and swimmers in the water who began to head toward shore. General Kenny ordered the air crews to strafe the defenseless men. The air crews did not meet the eyes of the dying soldiers and sailors, but the crew of PT Boat 121 made repeated sweeps through the mass of men, killing with rifle fire individuals, machine gunning and dropping depth charges among larger groups of Japanese were forced to look them in the eye. General Kenny was correct, but far from Politically Correct in his order, as Japanese survivors would have picked up weapons on shore. Today such orders and subsequent action would result in Court Martial, yet one wonders, would the young women training with todays version of the Navy’s PT Boat been able to respond as the men of PT 120 responded?  Lieutenant (j.g.) Edward T Hamilton U.S.N.R. after completion of the task  “As long as we saw a Jap alive, we kept  up our relentless hunt.  Not until the job was done, did we turn for home, while behind us those black dots still bobbed through the waves – but now they were corpses floated still by unpunctured life belts, carrying them toward the shore they had set out to conquer. We were a sad lot coming home.  We hardly dared look one another in the eye or speak.  We felt more like executioners than fighters.” It had to be done.

Can even the most ruthless of  today’s young female warriors approach such brutality. August 18, 1976 North Korean soldiers (probably preplanned by the N Korean Government) wielding axes, hacked to death Captain Bonifas and 1Lt Mark Barrett during a required tree trimming in the Joint Security Area, Panmunjom. America’s Politically Correct response several days later was a show of force to backup trimming the tree. Kim Jong-il in addressing the Conference of Non-Aligned Nations asked that a resolution condemning the grave US provocation, demanding withdraw of American forces from Korea and dissolution of the UN Command. It passed.

Black Hawk Down, now some 20 years ago may be a more reasonable example for women to consider. When Administrations changed, the mission changed from humanitarian assistance to regime change. There was then an immediate request for a small American mechanized force which was denied by Sec Def. When a chopper went down while supporting ground troops, 2 snipers dropped in to protect the pilot. The two were ultimately killed, their naked dead bodies dragged through the streets to the joy of the cheering mob. The pilot was captured, exchanged, the US left, SecDef resigned and Somalia remains as it was before our humanitarian entry.

Knowing we cut and ran in Somalia did the Politically Correct, Politically Appointed Bureaucrat consider what some future President would face when the body of an American female was dragged through the streets to the cheers of the mob.  Did he consider what some future President would face when a captured female soldier was paraded through the streets with several ropes around her neck – perhaps her sniper rifle over her shoulder.

As mentioned women are better snipers than the average male as their ability to control breathing is superior. Should female soldiers train with real life like targets  –  a known terrorist face as the target.  Perhaps a known women terrorist holding a baby.  Let them look into the eyes of a known foe.

In the MATA Coarse at Bragg in the mid 60’s Vietnamese instructors told of interrogation techniques used on the enemy. One was to take several prisoners up, tell them what you were going to do and if the first one refused to talk, he was tossed out. Normally the others talked. There was a very repulsive technique used to interrogate women prisoners. It will not be listed, but if you must know, send an email to ArmyAthletes@aol.com and an answer will be provided on an individual basis.

VA report of injuries from 80 pound loads carried by today’s male soldiers A signature injury of America’s latest wars has been musculoskeletal, cases of which exceed the number of wounds from firefights and improvised explosive devices. One study found that between 2004 and 2007, about a third of medical evacuations from the Iraq and Afghan theaters were due to musculoskeletal, connective tissue and spinal injuries. There is no data for Women as yet. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2013/04/10/heavy-loads-could-burden-womens-infantry-role.html?ESRC=army-a.nl

Rifle Company Command Vietnam –Two to four weeks in Jungle was very routine – no showers or enough water for good hygiene –when rains came, put security out and strip naked and use rain as shower, then re-dress with wet jungle fatigues and walk them dry –carry 3 days of C-rations (cans could be heavy) – hot meal every 2 to 4 days –double basic load of M-16 ammo (240 rounds – twelve 20 round mags) –two hand grenades per man; claymore – one per man; help machine gunner with ammo cans –sometimes (very seldom) help mortar platoon hump 81mm mortars and ammo for short relocation – mostly this was done by help –two water canteens per man (we got helo resupply most, but not all, days) –steel pot –shovel – every second man –bayonet –many times we moved all day and stopped at night and dug hasty defensive positions –most carried ponchos and liners (we never pitched tents) –some carried air mattresses –carried one or two extra pair of socks – no extra jungle fatigues –we would change fatigues and shower when we returned to base camp – we spent an average of 1 1/2 days per month in our base camp –even during Christmas cease fire we were pulled out at 2 AM Christmas day to rescue an SF camp near the Cambodian border that was in trouble –of course the radios were heavy – and still the radio man had to carry most of the same gear as everyone else –pee on the move –poop at night or in the AM – no privacy for this, just dig a 6″ hole and squat away –during combat helo assaults (we did many) carry everything with you because you never knew if or when you would return to your previous location –on occasion set up defensive positions – a series of two man foxholes with overhead cover and connecting trenches – stay there 7 to 10 days and patrol from there – we did this on road clearing exercises or near Cambodian border to interdict infiltration routes.

Other units, other situations – In 1st Cav  – went light with the expectation of resupply and hot meal every day, bath in bomb crater or stream, moved every day.

WEST POINT, N.Y. — West Point wants more women. Associated Press | Apr 28, 2014 | by Michael Hill With female cadets representing less than one in five cadets in the Long Gray Line, the U.S. Military Academy is taking steps to boost the number of women arriving here this summer and beyond. West Point’s new superintendent said the moves — which include more outreach and the cultivation of competitive candidates — will help keep the storied academy ahead of the curve now that the Pentagon is lifting restrictions for women in combat jobs. “We obviously have to increase the female population for a number of reasons. One is because there are more opportunities in the branches for the females,” Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen Jr. said. Women have been a presence at the nation’s military academies since 1976. Female cadets here can grow their hair longer than the standard military buzz-cut and can wear stud earrings. But they carry the same heavy packs, march the same miles and graduate with the same second lieutenant bars the men here do. “I carry the heavy weapons whenever we do field training exercises,” said Cadet Austen Boroff, a woman who refuses to be out-soldiered by her male peers. “I’ll take the machine guns, so I’m taking more weight.” And cadets like Boroff remain in the minority, just as they do in the broader military.

The Air Force and Naval academies say their student bodies are about 22 percent female. West Point is at 16 percent, mirroring the gender breakdown in the larger Army. Caslen, who became superintendent last year, said an increased number of female cadets will do more than serve the Army when thousands of combat positions are slated to open to both sexes by 2016. It will also help integrate women at the academy, he said.

West Point, like the military in general, has taken additional steps to combat sexual harassment and assaults. In one high-profile case, an Army sergeant accused of secretly photographing and videotaping women at West Point pleaded guilty last month in a court-martial. “My objective is to create the climate, the command climate here at West Point, that not only eliminates harassment and assault, but that will also create the teams and create the climate so that every single person feels that they’re a member of the team,” Caslen said.

West Point has taken a series of subtle steps to increase the percentage of women coming here without lowering admission standards. The academy has created new recruitment mailings written for girls in their freshman, sophomore and junior years of high school that note female West Point graduates have gone on to become generals, astronauts, executives and government leaders. The letter asks: “Do you have what it takes to follow in their footsteps?” The mailings will not bear fruit for this year’s incoming class, but director of admissions Col. Deborah McDonald said there has been an increase in the number of female nominees. And the academy has begun targeting top-tier female candidates and guiding them through the demanding application process. They already do that for standout scholars, soldiers, athletes and minorities.

West Point women’s lacrosse team is moving up to Division I in 2015, which also is expected to draw more interest from top female athletes who now choose other schools. Caslen said there’s no long-term goal yet for a percentage of female cadets. Also, final numbers on the incoming Class of 2018 won’t be known until the new group arrives for cadet basic training July 2d.

But West Point, as of this week, has admitted 229 female applicants and as many as 36 other females from the academy’s prep school will be considered. “I have no concerns at all that we won’t actually move right beyond the 20 percent mark,” McDonald said. “It might even be as high as 22 percent.” The class coming to West Point this summer will be in the second graduating class in which all branches will be open to women. But female West Point graduates this year can already choose among every Army branch except the infantry and armor.

Boroff, for instance, will go into field artillery. Despite some headline-making cases, Boroff and other cadets said they feel secure at West Point. Cadet Sarah Melville of Beacon Falls, Conn., said she is treated no differently than any male cadet and is rarely reminded of her gender. “Perhaps occasionally, halfway through the school year, you go, ‘Oh, I’m the only girl in this class. OK, cool,'” Melville said. “It means nothing.”

Shok Valley Afghanistan  – Special Forces Teams were forced by higher to make an assault up a steep mountain rather than dropping in, on or above the objective, were trapped on the mountain side receiving fire from both above and across the valley, used KIA to provide a protective barrier, one his lower leg destroyed, wrapped it back and secured it to his thigh (out of the way), called in bunker buster bomb just above themselves, then were finally evacuated with higher claiming victory as Viscount Montgomery claimed victory (90% success) in the failed Market Garden Operation. As Prince Dutch Prince Bernard said “My country can never again afford the luxury of a Montgomery victory.” The  plan by higher was initiated to prove how well training of Afgan Special Opns Teams had progressed. Naturally the guy who required the operation be conducted as stated – received his star. There is an unknown element – if one considers a Mother Bear with her cub, one might just want a raging Bear in the foxhole with him.

New York Times

Female_M.P._Wins_Silver_Star_for_Bravery_in_Iraq_Firefight_-_New_York_Times Eric Female_M.P._photo_New_York_Times Anyone advising women Cadets to compete for front line assignment should review and discuss the below book with the young Officer to be.Vietnam The Real War: A Photographic History by the Associated Press (Hardcover)

AP Report

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half of female Marines in boot camp can’t do three pullups, the minimum standard that was supposed to take effect with the new year, prompting the Marine Corps to delay the requirement, part of the process of equalizing physical standards to integrate women into combat jobs. The delay rekindled sharp debate in the military on the question of whether women have the physical strength for some military jobs, as service branches move toward opening thousands of combat roles to them in 2016.
Although no new timetable has been set on the delayed physical requirement, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wants training officials to “continue to gather data and ensure that female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed,” Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine spokeswoman, said Thursday. Starting with the new year, all female Marines were supposed to be able to do at least three pullups on their annual physical fitness test and eight for a perfect score. The requirement was tested in 2013 on female recruits at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C., but only 45 percent of women met the minimum”, Krebs said.
The Marines had hoped to institute the pullups on the belief that pullups require the muscular strength necessary to perform common military tasks such as scaling a wall, climbing up a rope or lifting and carrying heavy munitions. Officials felt there wasn’t a medical risk to putting the new standard into effect as planned across the service, but that the risk of losing recruits and hurting retention of women already in the service was unacceptably high, she said. Because the change is being put off, women will be able to choose which test of upper-body strength they will be graded on in their annual physical fitness test. Their choices: —Pullups, with three the minimum. Three is also the minimum for male Marines, but they need 20 for a perfect rating. —A flexed-arm hang. The minimum is for 15 seconds; women get a perfect score if they last for 70 seconds. Men don’t do the hang in their test.
Officials said training for pullups can change a person’s strength, while training for the flex-arm hang does little to adapt muscular strength needed for military tasks

The delay on the standard could be another wrinkle in the plan to begin allowing women to serve in jobs previously closed to them such as infantry, armor and artillery units. The military services are working to figure out how to move women into newly opened jobs and have been devising updated physical standards, training, education and other programs for thousands of jobs they must open Jan. 1, 2016, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nathan Christensen, a Defense Department spokesman. They must open as many jobs to women as possible; if they decide to keep some closed, they must explain why.

Military brass has said repeatedly that physical standards won’t be lowered to accommodate female applicants. Success for women in training for the upcoming openings has come in fits and starts. In fall 2012, only two female Marines volunteered for the 13-week infantry officers training course at Quantico, Va., and both failed to complete it. But the following fall, three Marines became the first women to graduate from the Corps’ enlisted infantry training school in North Carolina. They completed the same test standards as the men in the course, which included a 12-mile march with an 80-pound pack and various combat fitness trials such as timed ammunition container lifts and tests that simulate running under combat fire.

Officials had added specific training for female recruits when the pullup requirement was announced in December 2012, and they came up with a workout program for women already serving. Military testing for physical skill and stamina has changed over the decades with needs of the armed forces. Officials say the first recorded history of Marine Corps physical fitness tests, for example, was 1908 when President Theodore Roosevelt ordered that staff officers must ride horseback 90 miles and line officers walk 50 miles over a three-day period to pass. A test started in 1956 included chinups, pushups, broad jump, 50-yard duck waddle and running. The first test for women was started in 1969: A 120-yard shuttle run, vertical jump, knee pushups, 600-yard run/walk and situps.

Four more women drop out of Marine Infantry Officer Course

By Hope Hodge Seck Staff Writer Marine Times Four more female Marine officers have dropped out on the first day of the Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, Va., bringing the number of women who have attempted and failed to complete the course to 14. A requirement for Marine infantry officers, the grueling 13-week course has been open to women since September 2012, in keeping with a servicewide review of restrictions on women serving in combat arms fields. But to date, no women have graduated the course and only one has made it past the initial Combat Endurance Test that kicks off the course. That woman was injured, however, and did not continue on with the course. Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Maureen Krebs said the latest iteration of IOC held its initial Combat Endurance Test on Jan. 9. Of the 104 students who began the course, one was medically dropped and 28, including the four female volunteers, were unable to meet the requirements of the CET. The Marine Corps continues to send female officers to the course on a volunteer basis, with plans to use data from IOC to make an informed recommendation in 2016 as to whether the Marine infantry and reconnaissance fields should be open to women.

While IOC, which has a 20- to 25-percent drop-out rate among male participants, has stymied women so far, female Marines have had more success with the less-challenging Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Geiger, N.C., which trains enlisted Marines for infantry fields. So far, 13 female Marines have completed the course in two evolutions of training. Another company in ITB with six female volunteers was set to graduate in early January, but Marine officials did not immediately have data available about that graduation. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/02/25/report-says-few-army-women-want-combat-jobs.html?ESRC=army-a.nl