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39 comments

Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

Posted October 17, 2011 7:53 AM

In Australia, women can now serve on the Army frontline with men. And overall, soldiers in the 41st battalion have no problem with the decision and were positive about the change. The country becomes the fourth nation in the world to allow women to serve in combat roles. This equal opportunity is headed for a five year implementation. What do you think?

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#1

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 8:17 AM

No argument from me. Women should be able to do anything they want.

Would you tell this little cutie she can't fight?

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 8:47 AM

BE VERY AFRAID......VERY AFRAID.........

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#3
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 10:59 AM

She needs a shave... or something.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 11:22 AM

I bet those "braided underarms" are a real turn-on for the male troops!

[can ya imagine sharing a foxhole with this luscious babe? The newest PosterGal for Uncle Sam's recruitment efforts! hehehehe Like, who needs Viagara anyhow with the likes of her? LMAO]

Are ya sure she's in the US Army and not the Russian Army??????

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#10
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 12:22 AM

I think she looks pretty good. But she will NEVER be on the cover of Cosmo, or chatting gal on gal with Oprah. Her face is not her fortune, but then, neither is mine. (oh lordy, truer words were seldom spoken!)

But beside me on a 10 mile hump with 120 pound packs....yowzzza.

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#5

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 11:43 AM

Women have been a common part of our military forces for some time now and I don't see whats the big deal about it.

If you don't like seeing women in the opposing military its going to be just that much more of an insult when we send some out to deal with you because in our eyes your not nearly as threatening to us as you think you are and we know our lady's can take you down in quick order just as effectively as our men could!

(Probably more so on some days opposed to others.)

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 12:06 PM

Over the years I have know several women who are tougher that a truck stop t-bone. A female soldier in an unfriendly uniform is exactly that... an unfriendly. It doesn't matter if I think women should be here, the opportunity for my sudden death is very real.

A moment of hesitation from me may well result in a lifetime of dead for me.

If a female can and will do the work, them by all means let them. God knows it is difficult enough to find males that can and will do the work of a soldier. Pounding the ground, mechanicin', diggin', radarin', shootin'... Heat and cold, day and night, wet and dry, bugs and snakes... solderin' is a special kind of misery that few people really learn to enjoy.

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#8
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 2:51 PM

As was noted - an enemy is an enemy whatever the age or sex so I could care less.

Some females can pull their weight with no problems. However, how would you like some cute little thing trying to carry you to safety in a firemans carry only to find out you weigh a bit too much at 180 lbs. This used to be an issue with fire departments.

Culture shift? Dumbing the culture down to the lowest common denominator is a better description.

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 4:06 PM

Aptly correct russ, as I didn't know of too many women troops that could even carry my weight of 155 pounds, let alone 180 lbs, while I was in the service. and the ones that could looked like the posted pic, or were larger than I....I swear that they must've bench-pressed dairy cows for chits&giggles back on the farmstead!!!!

Actually quite a few of them (mostly women from the southern states and the upper mid-west to used to hunt w/ "daddy" and her bubba-Billy-JimBob brothers) could however literally shoot the gonads off of a gnat from 300 meters w/ a M-16A2 rifle! acckkkkkkkkk!!! hahaha

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#7

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/17/2011 12:22 PM

I have no problems whatsoever of women serving in the military guys. I served 14 years in the US Army and USAR.

I was only poking fun at the posted pic, that's all, so please chill out......

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#11

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 12:45 AM

Women need not fight in the front line,but can go behind male soldiers to provide logistics,save wounded soldiers/enemies,take into custody women and kids, to prevent rape of innocent civilians, for guarding women/children, for medical treatment etc

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#12

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 4:52 AM

Wombat in combat?
Or did I missread the thread...
Del
(Well it is the Australian Army... oh, nevermind)

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#13

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 6:50 AM

Sorry to rain on the parade but I think women "soldiers" raise a lot of issues.

If women are considered as the "river of life" (mere men have no life without them)
How do women justify being used to kill another women's child? Even more so, men
destroying our creator? etc. Struggle with this, the formulation is a minefield. (!)

I think the last war (ll) created a lot of blurred edges. Women making armaments,
control room personnel, plus a multitude of auxiliary posts. Yes, valuable work to assist
the war effort, and to defeat the "enemy." But, not actually pushing a bayonet into
another woman's son. Or slitting the throat of a young man on guard, one nurtured
and raised lovingly for 18 years, by a sister in motherhood.

War is an abomination in waste. Of lives, resources, time, and humanity. To add
women to this list is (IMO) a step too far. I would like to see them as standing for
reason in any war ridden world; to show kindness, care, love and understanding to
men when they are forced to defend them selves, and to shame all aggressors and
wrong doers. To shame (as only women can) at every opportunity when possible.

I think there is nothing wrong about equality; in war, or anything else, but by going
in to a soldier's war, I think women do themselves a great dis-service, and more.

They have the power and influence to direct men for good; not evil, nor war.
To put them into uniform and then use them, (as we will) by taking them down the
same road of men's stupidity is, IMO, a waste of their considerable, natural, and
very much appreciated (!) resources.

On one point alone, it should be NO. To ensure we have someone to come home to!

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And truth in every shepherd's tongue,
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To live with thee, and be thy love.

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#14
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 7:48 AM

So, long story, short. You don't think it's okay for women to volunteer for combat duty, but it's okay to force them into a societal role that they may or may not want.

Is that it?

I posted the picture to be funny, but I truly believe that women should be able to go into any job they are capable of doing.

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#15
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 8:14 AM

Anytime you mix young males and females together, you are going to have some physical attractions, and all that goes with that. Among the results will be some of the opposite sex who become attracted to each other, and there will be some others who will be jealous, which will lead to some who will become aggressive over their jealousy. This also creates bad situations where married people are away from their spouses and are now physically close to members of the opposite sex. This will lead some to be unfaithful to their spouses, leading to more divorces, unhappy marriages, broken homes, and all the sad consequences that comes with that.

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#16
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 8:51 AM

Agreed. Problems will arise. Problems are also going to happen with the US allowing open homosexuals to serve. We're kind of easing over into a different argument though.

Okay here's the deal, according to my beliefs:

When I was in the Navy, we were subject to both civilian laws, and the UCMJ. People in the military work under a completely different set of circumstances and rules than civilians.

I think all of these decisions, (whatever they are), should be left up to the military commanders. Their job is to maintain the strongest, most efficient fighting force possible. Anything that proves to be detrimental to that goal should be eliminated.

So, whether women are capable of the job or not, if their presence in a combat unit makes the entire unit unstable, and less fight worthy, they should not be there. If the unit can operate as it should..............no problem.

The bottom line, is that these decisions should be made by military leaders, not civilian Presidents and politicians. Anything that deters from keeping the strongest force possible, needs to go. This does not mean that the military is homophobic, or gender biased. These decisions would be simply strategic.

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#17
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 9:42 AM

Kram is correct in his statements. I have personally seen both US Army and USAR combat support units that were downgraded as deficient and inefficient due to the opposite sex not being about to do several physical duties their male counterpart were capable of doing.

He is also absolutely correct that military personnel in this country must operate under both the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and the civilian laws and statutes.....there is duplicity, not just one set of rules and regulations, and it works extremely well (for over 200 years), hence I am not aware of a single incident in the history of the US Military of an insurrection or mutiny.

There are set goals and threshold that must be achieved in any given unit, whether it's a front line Infantry unit or a Combat Engineer unit (ie, a support unit). If an entire unit is degraded due to women not being able to performing up to the standards that their male counterparts are fully capable of achieving, then that unit cannot be considered "Combat Effective", and is usually relegated to the rear......it cannot be used to fight and win the battle against the enemy.

Now, with the other argument about women being the essential caretaker of humanity and should be in the service: times have changed and women want equality. In this country and several others they're volunteering to serve in their respective country's military. Nobody pushed them into it. Many enlist due to patriotism whilst others do it for educational advantages or economic reasons. I don't know of a single troop during my military career who joined the service just so that they could go out and kill the enemy just for the sake of it. Just the opposite in fact, for both men and women. As the old saying goes "Peace is Our Profession". We serve, or served, to maintain the peace. I like to believe that we did a damn great job of it in the USA since the end of the Viet Nam War draft with an all-volunteer military. For the most part we effectively countered and held the ground with military might of the free world against the expansionist designs of Soviet Union, the Red Chinese, the Warsaw Pact, Cuba, Nicaragua, N. Viet Nam, and North Korea, to name a few, throughout the Cold War that lasted nearly 46 years. Furthermore, please let me make this perfect clear: No soldier actually wants to go to war, but rather just the opposite, although we train to fight (and win) based on worse possible scenarios that there are despots in this world that crave domination over others that are militarily weaker.......usually countries that have small a small or ineffective military and perceived as easy prey and conquest....just look at what Saddam did to little Kuwait in August 1990......all of a small standing military force..........anyhow, having volunteers or a large standing army is something that didn't happen in this country prior to Hitler (and later Mussolini in Italy later on) starting WWII in Europe, or the Tojo starting his war in Korea and China in 1937. We had a very small standing army during the 20's and 30's....a national condition/movement borne out of the Isolationist Movement....and it literally backfired on us because we were perceived as weak and would not intervene in those two dictators plans of conquest over their neighbors and beyond.

I've gone on too far about this....long-winded is a better phrase I think. LOL

I've said my peace......

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#26
In reply to #16

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 7:30 PM

With the respect due to the rank structure and considering the pressures on a unit commander, I would not respect a commander who is prepared to not utilize whatever people have been sent to him to the fullness of their duty. I have seen commanders not want to integrate French speakers into their units, because of the "possible difficulties of communication", and French commanders who disrespect the Maudit Blokes who only speak English. When forced to integrate them, they were always pleasantly surprised at the results. Similarly the whining and complaining about women in police forces, fire halls and aircraft hangars is just that...more damned stupid whining. If I have to work late because some neanderthal captain can't abide female replacements, well THEN the whining will begin in earnest.

Good leaders make sure that the cards are stacked to win. Great leaders play the cards they are dealt and win.

Will there be a culture shift? Well, maybe, if so it was certainly shifted more than thirty years ago in MY unit! What's taking so long?

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#28
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 11:04 PM

You are perfectly correct. We are experiencing this phenomenon in workplaces(offices and factories). It may be there police and armed forces too. Women should not be trained to kill or destroy but only for good work as mothers,teachers,nurses,nuns,farmers and in some light industries or self employment if income of male member of the family is insufficient.

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#29
In reply to #15

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 12:59 AM

Hahaha!

So you want same-sex institutions?

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#18
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 10:14 AM

I am sure most people of both sexes are capable of doing most jobs,
but that does not mean they are the right person or gender for the job.

jt.

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#19
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 10:42 AM

If women are considered as the "river of life" (mere men have no life without them)
How do women justify being used to kill another women's child? Even more so, men
destroying our creator? etc. Struggle with this, the formulation is a minefield. (!)

You kind of lost me on that one. Nobody likes war. If women have the desire and capabilities to serve, and want to volunteer to serve, more power to them. If their presence amongst a bunch of amorous 20 something men causes problems within a combat unit, they shouldn't be there. Again, it should be up to the commanders, and their decision should not be questioned.

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#20
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 11:10 AM

kram, my sentiments exactly.....their presence cannot be tolerated if a determent or interferes with unit effectiveness, combat readiness and strength, and cohesion.

Last word comes from the Commanding Officer......to make that determination.

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#21
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 2:56 PM

May I finally say (for what it's worth) I'm not against women playing their part in war,
(or as it is successful sold, as keeping the peace) in fact quite the reverse. Women
have (I do believe) a vital role to play. (but debating roles will confuse the issue.)

All I said was; I find it difficult to understand how a woman can equate equally, the
duties of a front line soldier (op) on active duty, with that of being a mother of men.

Obviously, and more so with technology, front line is not an impossible job for women.
However to me, this (front line murder) would seem a moral contradiction for them, a
mis-use (waste) of their attributes, also not being the "ideal killer" person for the job.
(unless they intend to charm the enemy to death?)

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#25
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 4:45 PM

Muirder is a moral contradiction for anyone...............or should be. Killing the enemy during war is not murder.

Anyway, I can't add anything to what I've already said, so I'm not going to argue it any further.

Good joke.

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#30
In reply to #21

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 7:04 AM

Not every woman is a mother. Not every woman wants to be a mother. Many women won't become mothers. This is a big flaw in your argument. (Not to mention that not all women are "charming".) Your views are outdated unless you're from a country that limits the capability of women.

It's like saying men shouldn't kill each other because it's like killing a son or a brother. So tell me - why are there still wars? (This was a rhetorical question; not looking to start a debate.)

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#31
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 7:46 AM

I think we are arguing on the same side. I totally agree with what you say.

But this does not make a flaw in my argument. Yes, some women deny motherhood,
and some men are pigs, but across humanity both have undeniable feelings. Men for
sons and brothers, women for the life time and love they put into their children.

I am only stating "horses for courses" While all can run, some are better suited.
Most women would be repulsed by the thought of killing some one - with exceptions.
Most men would have no difficulty in killing someone - supplied with justification.

Yes, I am old fashioned, and yes, a lot of women would do whatever is necessary to
stand by their man, and to help defend their home and country, no doubt about it.
(and "good on them" - we need all the help we can get when the chips are down.)

However, I think if most women were asked, they would say truthfully they have no
desire to kill someone - which is proposed by the op, - to put them in the front line
combat i.e. to participate in the "kill." For most, this would be a bridge too far.
(but no doubt there are many, who can be trained, and live with their conscious.)

jt.

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I replied, " Because we are not all there."

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#35
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 10:49 AM

Women by nature are soft and kind hearted. They should not be dragged into killing other lives. Even if lot of men die in war, women can raise families and increase the population. I heard in USSR after the second world war women who produce 10 offsprings were given gold medals. Now in many war ravaged countries like Bosnia,Kosovo,Chechenya, Srilanka,Palestine etc it has been realised.

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#36
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 12:35 PM

I disagree.

Soft and kind hearted? Not in MY experience. Women make great soldiers.

They fit into tanks and planes better, and generally speaking are more sensible.

What they are is smaller with less upper body strength. This article covers that quite well. This doesn't make them softer. Napoleon was a small, sickly child, who could not be a soldier, so he leaned how to lay guns. He became a great General. So strength is only a tiny tiny part of what it means to be a soldier. The modern military needs to be smart. Too many tough guys just don't have have the brains to do the right thing in combat. I refer to the book "from the jaws of victory" as a prime documentery source.

I think unless you are a soldier or have been one, you have no basis to judge. Even then, I have personally seen too many cases where some Rambo just failed, and blamed it on the "weak, exhausted, tired, and demoralized" men under his command.

Having been around combat soldiers all my life, I can state that the last thing you need is muscle. Brains and cardio will trump muscle every time, and that is what women are good at.

So if I were a commander, why would I not use such a great resource?

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#22
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 4:26 PM

War is an abomination.

Women are not the "river of life". Women don't get a pass just because they have a uterus, when the time comes to defend her country, she should, and WILL be there, defending her home and her family. Her alternative is to become the prize, and THAT is even MORE deplorable.

So why is this even a question?

As far as the question of "difficulties" in the ranks during combat, well, first of all, at the risk of creating a clinton here, what do you mean by "combat"? And what do you mean by "difficulties"? Remember, they also serve who only serve the guns. Brute strength all by itself has never won a battle (ask Napoleon, Churchill or Mao)...nor has brute strength ever been required to be a fighter ace, or a general, or a quarter master, a gunner or a corpsman.

War really IS an abomination. It is the last hope when diplomacy breaks down. It is also the prefered method to deal with invaders. Since somebody is always the "invaded", there will always be warriors. Prepared to do what the average 99 per center won't.

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#23
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 4:34 PM

There always has been war and there always will be - any doubt about it?

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#27
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 10:12 PM

There used to be women who could handily defeat and decapitate men with a sword...

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#32
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 8:04 AM

Ever noticed that in nature, ie. bears, tigers, lions, etc., it's the females that do the protecting and killing of threats. The males are out looking for food or sex.

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#33
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 8:14 AM

I like my cougars bear and lion down...

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#34
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/19/2011 8:21 AM

You ain't right. That's what I like about you.

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#24

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/18/2011 4:38 PM

I recall reading something quite some time ago when women first began to serve in combat roles. I think it was Isreal that was the first to deploy women in combat, and they discover that troops with a significant female makeup recorded higher casualty rates. What an indepth study found though was not that they were poor soldiers, it was that the enemy refused to surrender to them and would fight to the death.

My opinion is if they want the job and can do the job, let them have the job.

I would just like to thank all those, male or female, who have undertaken that job on my behalf through out the years. I really do appreciate the sacrifices made by all the men and women in uniform.

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#37

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/30/2011 1:30 PM

There are plenty of examples of women in 'front line combat'. Properly equipped and trained they are very effective. The Vietcong is a 'recent' good example of 'best tactical use' of female combatant skill sets.

However, this article is about lifting the 'last barrier' for women in the Australian Army.

The Air force and Navy already have women effectively in 'front line' combat - as do such as the US Air force.

Around 14% of the enlisted personnel in the ADF (Australian Defence Force) are female.

Some 90% of roles are/were, open to women. This change is simply lifting that to 100 - subject to qualification and meeting the standing physical benchmarks.

All enlisted personnel may be called upon to kill. All should be trained in the skills. Not training 14% because of gender, is tantamount to regarding them as 'sacrificial' - if it all goes pear shaped.

But, as this 'cultural shift' is principally about 'front line trenches' - as opposed to being overrun by hostiles;

The ADF is a 'volunteer' based system. Meaning everyone has to actively pursue selection to an active unit and/or training for a role an active unit is seeking. This was even (mostly) true during conscription eras. (an exception being the medically qualified)

I.e. In the ADF, if you're on the front line, you are there because you chose to be.

As for the 'psychological' or 'sociological' suitability of women as "killers" - (as alluded to above) - try threatening their children. In that context, I'm sure the Neanderthals in any society will be 'scrabbling to resist' more 'combat trained females'.

Personally, I welcome lifting the barrier on the freedom to choose - and this is all this is.

Then again, I don't see proficient women as a threat to my "masculinity".

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#38
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Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

10/30/2011 1:40 PM

GA. All I have to do is drink beer and attempt to shrug off responsibility to turn my wife into a potentially lethal fighting machine.

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#39

Re: Women in Combat Signals Culture Shift

12/26/2011 11:51 PM

women have always been the back up for men in any war just because there is not enough economic action to keep them bust working job or money to shop does not mean much of a change. Holding a weapon and using it is not that big a deal to me but having kids and raising them up to be good people is a real big deal.

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