The Military, an equal opportunity employer

Going out on a limb here, might lose my publish permit, but I’m ready to rant.

Let’s talk about the women in combat thing. Our current leadership says we gotta have equality in everything . Wimmin on the front line, hauling’ the big pack and the 50 cal. Draggin’ the wounded out of harm’s way in spite of the smaller frame and muscle mass wimmin have. Being a grunt. One of the men guys troops.

Oh yeah. Let’s model all of society that way.

I’m waiting to see the NFL go 50% women.
Ban the women’s professional basketball league.
Pro baseball needs to be half women. “Batting clean up, number 7, Jennnny Parker!”
Why isn’t the White House staff half women?

How many female lumberjacks are there?

Push the parameters more, why isn’t the NBA an equal opportunity employer and why hasn’t the EEO gone after the NBA? The NBA is 95% black at present, a thirteen man roster should be, to reflect the makeup of the U.S. population like our government wants the military to be, 10 whites, one black, a Latino, and one whatever.  Half of those should be women. One should be gay. Or whatever. Where’s the government activism on the basketball court?

Why isn’t the Prez playing half court with women?

Just askin’.

15 Comments

by | January 29, 2013 · 5:02 pm

15 responses to “The Military, an equal opportunity employer

  1. Bill Brandt

    All good questions Busbob – and policies made by people basically hostile to the military, and spineless Generals and Admirals in the Pentagon.

    I think if you were to ask the typical grunt – in the field for who-knows-how-long without a bath, experiencing what they have experienced for eons, if they want to be there, well, I think the answer is obvious.

  2. xbradtc

    If SecDef was so big on integration, he should have started with the Academies NCAA Div I football teams. If that worked well, then we could move on to the combat arms.

  3. Hogday

    I can’t speak from a purely military perspective because I lack the close personal experience, my military connections being purely from operational co-operation and liaison.

    Some of the best police officers I worked with were men – and women. Some of the worst were women – and men. On the almost `para-military` tactical firearms teams what few women we had were good operators and I can think of no cases where they were not suitable or were a liability, but I let several male officers go, for reasons of their aptitude and abilities being below the required standards which were both objective and subjective, which doesn’t prove anything, because the men were the 98% majority in those units (and we did much to attract female applicants).

    Some of the most pernicious issues I became aware of (all outside of my area of command) involved women claiming `unfairness or discrimination` issues, not men. Some of those issues were exaggerated beyond reasonable cause and, on the balance of probabilities, was the complainant `playing the system`, but the fact that it was mainly females who brought these cases must have meant something was wrong,.I never hung around long enough to discover evidence as to precisely what and one of the reasons for that was that I’d had a gutful of how the organisation was bending over beyond backwards to try and cure what I perceived were the wrong things.

    They made the policies and rules so complicated and biased that they created an atmosphere of resentment and cynicism from the males, which in turn left those females who were genuinely discriminated against in the same category as those who were genuinely not suitable, allowing the latter to play that very same system to their advantage – and to the detriment of the organisation.

    When someone didn’t have the right skills, attributes or qualities I always gave them a comprehensive explanation of where they were falling short and offered them the opportunity to look at those things and decide if they could fix, improve or modify in order to pass. Some came back better, stronger, fitter, some didn’t.

  4. bmq215

    That was a beautifully reasoned and written reply, Hogday. Thanks.

    I see nothing wrong with allowing women into combat, provided they pass all the aptitude tests. A lot of people are making noise about “enforced diversity” and how units will have to be 50% female, but in reality nothing of the sort has been said. Sure, anything is possible but somehow I highly doubt it. Our leaders may be crazy but the people who actually make the real decisions in the military prefer to stay alive and effective. The bottom line is that change always evokes fear and exaggeration, which then evokes more fear. Nasty cycle, that.

    Most of the women I’ve known wouldn’t stand a chance of pulling me out of harm’s way. BUT I’ve met a handful that could, and who were probably a fair bit stronger than me to boot. Had my butt handed to me on the firing range more times than I’d like to admit too. If I have to go into combat with 7 other people, I’d rather they be the 7 best PEOPLE possible, as opposed to just the 7 best men.

    Just my .02

    • Hogday

      Roger that, Sir!

    • Bill Brandt

      You both made some good points – as long as they don’t lower the standards – i know – at least in my area – the women went into fire fighting and they had to lower some of the physical standards.

      But then I remember reading of several women who became instructor pilots in F15s and FA/18s – some of them are pretty good.

      I suppose another stereotype I had was broken – going into the service area of a car dealership – and seeing a few young women turning wrenches.

      Its a different world out there…

  5. MikeD

    Hogday, I respect you immensely sir, but I’m sorry. Even para-military police actions bear no resemblance to life at a FOB in Afghanistan. I’m sure you had many a sleepless night in an uncomfortable location, but how often were you called upon to personally carry a 130 lb (about 60kg) load for a two day hump into actual wilderness with no facilities for hygene other than an entrenching tool for the digging of a field expedient latrine and perhaps a few squares of TP? Or been sent on a 6, 9, or 12 month deployment to a foreign country to live rough (or if you’re lucky, on a base that has some facilities you get to visit on weekends with five days in the field in between)? Neither have I, as a point of order. But then again, I never asked to, I was an MI puke. My closest field experience was a three day FTX where I had to dig cat holes for excrement and live close with twelve other guys in the woods. And that’s NOTHING compared to what the infantry face.

    Call me a neanderthal if you like, I know it’s not true. I’m completely in favor of women having the same rights and privileges of men. But what I’m NOT going to do is say that there’s a need for women in combat arms when there clearly isn’t. I’m not going to say that it will enhance readiness when it clearly won’t. I’m not going to say that it’s in the best interest of the military to do this when it clearly isn’t. And I’m not going to say it’s WORTH the inevitable consequences of allowing women into combat arms when it clearly WILL NOT BE.

    The driving force for this push is supposedly that the top echelons of command are closed to those without combat arms experience. And I’ll even grant that’s likely true. But then, it seems the SOLUTION is to remove those impediments rather than harm combat readiness. Remove the institutional blocks to allowing a Sergeant Major of the Army to come from a branch OTHER than combat arms (there’s never been one yet that wasn’t). Remove the institutional blocks to allowing the Commandant of the Marine Corps from being only an officer who served in combat arms (there’s never been one) yet that wasn’t). Remove the institutional blocks to having a Joint Chief of Staff that didn’t come from a combat arms branch (again… never been one). Remove those impediments, don’t incur costs, harm readiness, and put lives at unnecessary risk, just so we can state that we’re being “fair”.

    • Hogday

      Quite agree Mike. I wasn’t making the comparison with the job of a soldier at all. The longest stints of duty I had to perform was 50 hrs on a counter terrorist task where we slept in wet out buildings/under hedgerows as you surmised. Other than that our helicopter drills with the Army and Navy and drug interdictions on RiB’s with the SBS (Royal Marines) as boat drivers and support, were all over and done in around 48 hrs – and the `enemy` wasn’t everywhere and hellbent on killing us. Our own covert obs teams (snipers, we used to call them `till the pc brigade changed that) would do very long stretches in hides, with nil latrines, just plastic bags to leave no trace on exiting the hide, but “FOB Robinson, Musa Q`ala” it wasn’t. I was looking purely at the `social science` behind the equality thing which, essentially, applies the same principal, in my opinion.

    • Bravo, MikeD, for looking past the media headline commentary (and for stating it so well, besides.)

      I had wondered the same thing: if the purpose of this “women in combat” exercise is to de facto open up the highest military positions to women, then that’s where the focus needs to go. Revamp evaluation and promotion structure; DON’T force the military to accept women in combat roles for which they are likely not suited (for multiple reasons.) OTOH, if those impediments to promotion are removed, then it must be gender neutral: those women competing for those highest positions need to be evaluated on the SAME criteria as all non-combat men in competition for the same position — at NOT given special preference within that model.

      Some people & the media either don’t understand or are ignoring the fact that the military is not like the corporate world or the civilian government employee world. As you note, the military has a mission, one sole mission: to fight & conquer our enemies. Nothing, but nothing, should interfere with the most efficient and least costly accomplishment of that mission, least of all pandering to a socially activist agenda.

  6. Grumpy

    As a boy, about 55 years ago, I had the honor of meeting the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. She had an interesting take on this whole discussion. It was her view, the men were men and women were women that they both had something to bring to the theater of operations. In the field of battle, each sex should stay in their world and not mix them. When you mix them, this is a formula for disaster. As each sex has a role, so do the politicians. It is equally true, that when you mix them, you have the formula for a disaster. I do not care if you are a Republican or Democrat, this is not your world, get out! Both parties have violated this principle, which has wound up as a disaster.

    There are many roles that women can fill, much better than men and vice versa.

    Can anybody out there, show me this so-called, “rant”?

    • Well, I was p***ed off about the entire message the outgoing person in charge was sending, it’s just that you can’t see me getting red in the face and yelling my questions. Read my post and yell. And it’s hard to let spittle fly on the laptop effectively and translate that onto the web page. And instead of signing off with “Just askin” I shoulda said “I WANT ANSWERS!”

      It’s all in the follow through…

  7. Old AF Sarge

    FWIW Busbob, excellent post. No danger of you losing your “publish permit”. Of course, we may actually expect you to post more often.

    A good rant is good for the soul.

  8. Grumpy

    My point is this, FWIW, it is my view, that you’re “Preaching to the Choir”. Yes, a good rant is good for the soul. I see no place for “slightly pissed off female trigger-pullers” on the battlefield, itself. As a good rant is good for the soul, so is a little good sarcasm. *Now, you want answers!* This is like opening Pandora’s Box. *Flash Message: Pandora is not a lady* If you go into this problem with the idea of “demanding answers”, you are going backwards in time, including the basic document, US Constitution. If you demand answers from Obama, the same is required of all living former living US Presidents. The whole Administration is answerable. This would include all actions as C-N-C of the US Military.

  9. I’m just hacked off with the `social experimenting` that’s been going on. Be fair by all means, but that doesn’t mean make everyone a winner by abolishing pass marks, does it? The social experimenters in the UK even wanted schools to remove competitive sports so that kids wouldn’t have to deal with losing. I was in discussion with the Colonel of a British Army regiment a few years ago and we were comparing recruiting standards in our respective organisations over the years. We agreed that we both had anecdotal evidence that the typical recruit had been socially `altered`. He said they now had to start by teaching them that it was ok to `have an adventure` ie be out in the woods, in the dark, getting wet and cold, climb things, get a bit risky. But once they’d taught them it was ok to do that, they usually got the gist and accepted the rest of the army training just fine. But tough as it is, not everyone can carry a 160lb pack in sweltering heat, or fly a military aircraft, or shoot straight, or teach or perform surgery or win the Superbowl etc. I’m just glad that there are those who can and who step up to play the game, try their best to get in the premier league but accept it if they can’t quite make it and be the best at what they can do. So I guess I’m one of Grumpy’s choir.

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