Women in the Front Line

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.

On 3 December 2015 a Bureaucrat again makes decision which should have been made by our Nation’s elected Representatives.

The 1948 integration of the Services was directed by President Truman as Commander in Chief.

After a divisive argument within Congress, President Ford, in 1975 signed Public Law 94-106 authorizing inclusion of Women Cadets at West Point.

One point of caution, Ranger School is an excellent leadership program – Nothing more, Nothing less. Our Army is better off with 3 of the Ranger Tabs awarded. They succeeded because they spent as much time in the rain, mud and sleepless nights as Academy male graduates. The Ranger Tab is a badge of distinction no matter who wears it.

The 3d of December 2015 – Sec Def
“It was a reality, because women had seen combat throughout the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – serving, fighting, and in some cases making the ultimate sacrifice alongside their fellow comrades-in-arms.”

Agreed women did have to fight, and they did die for our country, but they were not in tanks or ground pounding units. Sec Def knows the difference and should not have made such a statement.

Sec Def may have been asked if Women would be required to register for the draft. He may have also been asked if Women could be forced into Infantry and Tank units.

Marine Evaluation

Click to access InterimCMRSpecRpt-100314.pdf

Standards were dropped so that women could pass the test to become Marine infantry officers.
“I assume if they don’t meet the new lower standard it will again be lowered. This can prove disastrous. In all 29 women failed to pass the rigorous standards required for combat officers. Only four women were able to pass the first day’s test. April 21, 2015 by Steven Ahle

See Sage Santangeo’s comments on why she failed.
She states Standards must be maintained. 

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.

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.

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.

Note this may be the comment above
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”.

In the Bulge (Belgium) 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.

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. 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 a mess.

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 (a ’62 Classmates comments) 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.

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. (Higher claiming victory as Viscount Montgomery claimed victory 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.