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USMC Study on Females in the infantry


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http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2015/09/10/mixed-gender-teams-come-up-short-marines-infantry-experiment/71979146/

The Marine Corps' data findings included the following:

All-male squads and teams outperformed those that included women on 69 percent of the 134 ground combat tasks evaluated.

All-male teams were outperformed by mixed-gender teams on two tasks: accuracy in firing the 50-caliber machine gun in traditional rifleman units and the same skill in provisional units. Researchers did not know why gender-mixed teams did better on these skills, but said the advantage did not persist when the teams continued on to movement-under-load exercises.

All-male squads in every infantry job were faster than mixed-gender squads in each tactical movement evaluated. The differences between the teams were most pronounced in crew-served weapons teams. Those teams had to carry weapons and ammunition in addition to their individual combat loads.

Male-only rifleman squads were more accurate than gender-integrated counterparts on each individual weapons system, including the M4 carbine, the M27 infantry automatic rifle and the M203 grenade launcher.

Male Marines with no formal infantry training outperformed infantry-trained women on each weapons system, at levels ranging from 11 to 16 percentage points.

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http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/story/military/2015/09/10/mixed-gender-teams-come-up-short-marines-infantry-experiment/71979146/

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I saw that and thought about posting.

I kind of feel that the Marine Corps should have final say in the ratio of females (including zero if they can justify that it's best) for combat arms. But combat arms, and the ban on females in them, isn't restricted to the infantry. There's artillery and tanks as well, and maybe some that I forgot. How would females do in those? I haven't heard any commentary about those.

If females want to be infantry they might find a better spot in the Army because of its resources and higher pressure to "succeed". The Army's size may be able to better afford any changes needed to be made in order facilitate this transition. May I even suggest the return of 'defense battalions' that were used during WWII to purely in defense. They would technically be combat arms, but maybe not full on infantry.

But let's not forget that at the end of the day this issue is little more than a pivot for people to choose sides on, regardless of their knowledge and experience in the military.

Edited by Exhausted
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I saw that and thought about posting.

I kind of feel that the Marine Corps should have final say in the ratio of females (including zero if they can justify that it's best) for combat arms. But combat arms, and the ban on females in them, isn't restricted to the infantry. There's artillery and tanks as well, and maybe some that I forgot. How would females do in those? I haven't heard any commentary about those.

If females want to be infantry they might find a better spot in the Army. The Marine Corps should maintain its high standards for infantry while exploring female roles in other combat arms. w

Put the girls in with the Army because The Core should maintain it's "high standards" for infantry? Really? Come on man! I've trained with jarhead infantry units. Not bad but not some sort of uber grunts so leave the OOHRAH at the door please.

Howabout this - if women meet the undiluted standards, allow them to join either branch. If they don't, keep them out. Pretty simple, no?

My personal take is that few women would actually want to join the infantry, fewer still would qualify. But if they want to and meet the standard, more power to them. The key is to not water down the standard. Two women just made it through Ranger school. From all I have read, it doesn't seem like they received any preferential treatment. If so, I'd follow those two Soldiers all the way to hell.

I think this thread will end up getting ugly, with lots of comment from folks who have never served in the military, let alone in an infantry unit. I'm in before the lockdown.

PS - never heard of the M27 (as mentioned in TT's report before). Interesting weapon. The HK seems like the way of the future for the assault rifle but as far as being used to replace the SAW, especially when using 30 round mags, I'm not so sure.

Edited by 11bee
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I served with female infantry back when I was a Company Sergeant Major 20 years ago. Some were good, some useless. Just like male soldiers.

Now, female medics, which is among those I commanded.(attached to a light infantry unit as HQ CSM) Same thing, but when you can not lift me, my weapon and pack plus your gear, there are issues.

It worked and still works for Canada. Do not see why it can't works for other services. And don't tell me Marines are super special. I served with them. Again some were great and some left a bunch to be desired. Just like my crew.

But being Canadian we are of course just THAT much more awesome.rolleyes.gif

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\

Howabout this - if women meet the undiluted standards, allow them to join either branch. If they don't, keep them out. Pretty simple, no?

That time has passed. it passed decades ago, and we have been dealing it unsuccessfully ever since. Rather than fix it, we are doubling down

My personal take is that few women would actually want to join the infantry, fewer still would qualify. But if they want to and meet the standard, more power to them. The key is to not water down the standard.

I disagree seeing as injury seems to be rather common, there is a low yield for the amount of investment, and this is before we get into the pure joy of all the inappropriate relationships, lost time dealing with such, and destroyed careers along the way.

So not only are we getting less for our money, the "success" stories will have a high probability of ruining much better performing grunts. So we lose from both ends. Fewer infantry slots, fewer infantry. plus unit morale...

Now before I am called a horrible sexist curmudgeon, the USN has spent the last 2 decades trying to get men and women to integrate in close quarters with varying results, but has done wonderfully getting them to "integrate" in the one way they don't want.

we should integrate the military when we fully integrate sports. When the Pats draft a female Mike, I'll drop my argument.

Two women just made it through Ranger school. From all I have read, it doesn't seem like they received any preferential treatment. If so, I'd follow those two Soldiers all the way to hell.

Oh bless your heart

giphy.gif

I want to point out that no females have made it through Marine IOC.

I think this thread will end up getting ugly, with lots of comment from folks who have never served in the military, let alone in an infantry unit.

afewgoodmen_trailer_hd.jpg

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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Yup this thread it doomed, but it's going to be fun to watch it burn for a while.

Incidentally, I don't think anyone should have to have served, or know anything about the military at all to know that it's 20 freaking 15 and women have as much right as men to server, fight, and die for a country that's founding principles are built on equal rights.

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Yup this thread it doomed, but it's going to be fun to watch it burn for a while.

Incidentally, I don't think anyone should have to have served, or know anything about the military at all to know that it's 20 freaking 15 and women have as much right as men to server, fight, and die for a country that's founding principles are built on equal rights.

Did women suddenly become as physically capable as men when the Calendar switched?

Its 20 freaking 15, and if you can't do the job, you don't get the job.

The Calendar and social enlightenment/equality have zero to do with it. You can chant equality all you want, but there are physiological differences I won't bore you with since I'm not a 7th grade health teacher. or mid school PE coach

Military discrimination in action:

You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.

You must be at least 17 years old (17-year old applicants require parental consent).

You must (with very few exceptions) have a high school diploma.

You must pass a physical medical exam.

To join the... You must:

Air Force

Be between the ages of 17-27. *

Have no more than two dependents.

Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude test. (Minimum AFQT Score: 50)

Army

Be between the ages of 17-34. *

Have no more than two dependents.

Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude test. (Minimum AFQT Score: 31)

Coast Guard

Be between the ages of 17- 39*

Have no more than two dependents.

Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. (Minimum AFQT Score: 45)

Have a willingness to serve on or around the water.

Marines

Meet exacting physical, mental, and moral standards.

Be between the ages of 17-29. *

Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. (Minimum AFQT Score: 32)

Women are eligible to enlist in all occupational exception of combat arms specialties: infantry, tank and amphibian tractor crew.

Navy

Be between the ages of 17-34. *

Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test. (Minimum AFQT Score: 50)

Women are eligible to enlist in all occupational fields, with the exception of serving in the Navy Seals or on submarines.

This is 2015, and a diabetic 40 year old with one leg and a 22 AFQT score and 4 dependents has much right to fight, serve and die as anyone else.

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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I saw that and thought about posting.

I kind of feel that the Marine Corps should have final say in the ratio of females (including zero if they can justify that it's best) for combat arms. But combat arms, and the ban on females in them, isn't restricted to the infantry. There's artillery and tanks as well, and maybe some that I forgot. How would females do in those? I haven't heard any commentary about those.

If females want to be infantry they might find a better spot in the Army. The Marine Corps should maintain its high standards for infantry while exploring female roles in other combat arms.

But let's not forget that at the end of the day this issue is little more than a pivot for people to choose sides on, regardless of their knowledge and experience in the military.

They competed the study with women performing in arty and tanks in the USMC and conducted a similar test in the Army early this year. Both services paid over $50 million for this study and tapped somae bright objective minds to analyze the data....the Army's results haven't been published and the results that the USMC has released speak for themselves. Concerning the USMC Artillery and tanks, the main concern was the weight of the round...and the concern ended up being valid. Washout rates were supposedly in the 60-70% range and the stress fractures and medical issues significantly increased.

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Howabout this - if women meet the undiluted standards, allow them to join either branch. If they don't, keep them out. Pretty simple, no?

Here is the problem, they are given diluted standards, and have been ever since being allowed to serve. One area in which they are given slack in the Physical Training test. Their standards are much lower than males for passing the PT test. For example.....

Minimum pass (60%) for 18 year old male in 2 mile run, 16 minuites

Minimum pass (60%) for 18 year old female in 2 mile run, 20 minuites

Minimum pass for 18 year old male in push-ups, 42 in 2 minuites

Minimum pass for 18 year old female in push-ups 13 in 2 minuites

Two women just made it through Ranger school. From all I have read, it doesn't seem like they received any preferential treatment. If so, I'd follow those two Soldiers all the way to hell.

They passed the school, but they aren't assigned to the Battalion, and the Army hasn't been forthcoming on weather the women had to go by male PT standards, or if they went by the female standards.

I think this thread will end up getting ugly, with lots of comment from folks who have never served in the military, let alone in an infantry unit.

I am an Army Vet and I served alongside women in most of my assignments. There are a few women that can give the fellows a run for their money, but most can't.....good luck for the political powers that be to change biology......

Edited by Johnopfor
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Incidentally, I don't think anyone should have to have served, or know anything about the military at all to know that it's 20 freaking 15 and women have as much right as men to server, fight, and die for a country that's founding principles are built on equal rights.

With all due respect, without having served in said MOS's, one doesn't have the ability to fully evaluate this issue. Everyone is welcome to their opinion but without any first hand experience, it's difficult to truly understand what is involved.

As far as your last point, I'm in agreement. Let them join, as long as they meet the standards and said standards are not tinkered with to make them "female friendly". That means, they meet male PT requirements as well.

Personally, I'd rather not see them in combat arms, since it will undoubtedly introduce some "distractions" but as you put it - it's 20 freaking 15 and I have a feeling that things are going to be changing regardless of anyone's opinion on this subject.

Edited by 11bee
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I don't know much about women in the infantry, but in Army aviation, I know pretty much.

My XO was a women who if I remember correctly was all about 5'5 or so and she could take a blackhawk and absolutely fly the pants off of it. She flew that helo better than most of the men pilots in my unit and this was in the 82nd Airborne--a combat ready unit!

It's no coincidence that the're are more and more women combat helicopter pilots in the US Army then there was before. Women have better hand/eye coordination and can handle multiple tasks at once. ie, multiple control inputs at the same time with your arms and legs moving together.

And she and I served in the 82nd back in the mid 80's. Back during a time when women in combat was just a thought being thrown around across the table.

I have to admit though, when I would stand out front for firewatch and clear the P, I could see her head only above the IP.

And that was with her seat stroked all the way up!

She was a darn great pilot and she was a cool officer as well. All 5'5" of her.

PS--And she was Airborne qualified!!!

Hoorah!

Tim

Edited by hawkwrench
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11Bee, I'm sorry, that wasn't a wise choice of words. I'm more of the persuasion that the Army will have more pressure to succeed, and I think some people in the branch will do whatever it takes. I went back and revised so it doesn't seem like I'm insinuating that Army infantry isn't a first class force. We Marines are constantly reminded that we have a world class army and air force, and that the only reason we still have a Marine Corps is that Americans generally want one. I consider you guys heroes :)

Fulcrum thanks for shedding light on arty and tank mos's. I know most tank rounds seem to fall in the 40-50lb range, but then there are also 100+lb wheels that need replacing. But if there's a woman who is willing and able to do hack it, then more power to her. I don't see too many more making it into the infantry. I do believe that because of the Army's size, there will be a larger push to make it work in the branch. I also believe that the push for integration generally comes from those who probably can't even name all of the branches. Have there been any high profile military veterans that advocated for this change?

Edited by Exhausted
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As they have lower standards for women, would you expect any other result?

It seems pretty simple to me, one standard for combat troops male or female.

I would be more sympathetic if the answer from the military for every change asked of them wasn't DOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!

The military has integrated minorities, women, and homosexuals into the service, each time insisting that it would have dire effects on combat efficiency, yet somehow the world still turns and we aren't speaking Russian, Chinese or Canadian. Not sure why I should believe the hype this time.

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The Israelis seem to be doing well with their women in combat units. Some units are made up of 60% women in front line units! I do not understand all the studies being carried out when women have been fighting and dying just like men for decades now in military service of many countries including the U.S. I served in the USAF security police with women and they could shoot just like a guy, live in the crap just like a guy, and do any task asked of them, just like a guy. No matter what service you are in, you will find strong servicemen, weak servicemen, strong servicewomen, and weak servicewomen. Given a opportunity I think women will do just fine in combat arms. The truth is combat will weed out the bad ones and favor the good ones of both sexes.

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They passed the school, but they aren't assigned to the Battalion, and the Army hasn't been forthcoming on weather the women had to go by male PT standards, or if they went by the female standards

Male standard and they still have to make it through rtac. Ranger school is now open to females and the 2NOV class will be the first official integrated course. However, you hit on something most miss and most in the Army have no clue about, they're not Rangers. Ranger school is a leadership course and as such it is my opinion that it should be open to women as long as they meet the same standard as their male peers. I imagine the two graduates and the third (true grit there....two kids and 37 years old)wouldn't want it any other way. I think it will be interesting to see how many women actually try and earn it after the hype has died down.

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The Israelis seem to be doing well with their women in combat units. Some units are made up of 60% women in front line units! I do not understand all the studies being carried out when women have been fighting and dying just like men for decades now in military service of many countries including the U.S. I served in the USAF security police with women and they could shoot just like a guy, live in the crap just like a guy, and do any task asked of them, just like a guy. No matter what service you are in, you will find strong servicemen, weak servicemen, strong servicewomen, and weak servicewomen. Given a opportunity I think women will do just fine in combat arms. The truth is combat will weed out the bad ones and favor the good ones of both sexes.

The Israelis are having a tougher time than you think. The Army flew their leadership out to various training bases in the US a couple months ago to have a candid discussion about the topic and how they could mirror the successes and avoid the pitfalls that still plague their unit to include the Caracal BN. Somewhere around 0.02% of deaths in OEF and OIF have been female and of those the majority where caused by IED, plane crashes, and non combat related deaths in theater. I only mention that because of the misconception that women have been fighting. Yes, they have engaged the enemy, but outside of Military Police, pilots, and a few CST members it hasn't happened as most have assumed it has. Just like the AF security forces the Army utilizes females in their Military Police to varying degrees of effectiveness.

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Ummm, help me understand something here. They passed the school and their NOT Rangers!

Last time I checked, if you passed the school, you earned the Ranger tab and was considered a Ranger!

Just sayin

Tim

Rangers serve in the 75th Ranger Regiment, a special operations force. If you went to the school you're Ranger Qualified.

Edited by fulcrum1
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You went to the school, you're Ranger qualified. (Your words!) so because you're qualified (passed the course) you earn the tab which says Ranger.

I went to Airborne school, got the wings and wore the tab above the AA patch of the 82nd, but I was in the 82nd Combat Aviation Battalion which didn't jump much, but I was still considered Airborne.

That would be like saying you got through flight school but you're not a pilot.

Come on, are you even current or former military?

If not, listen to those of us who were or are!

Tim

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You went to the school, you're Ranger qualified. (Your words!) so because you're qualified (passed the course) you earn the tab which says Ranger.

I went to Airborne school, got the wings and wore the tab above the AA patch of the 82nd, but I was in the 82nd Combat Aviation Battalion which didn't jump much, but I was still considered Airborne.

That would be like saying you got through flight school but you're not a pilot.

Come on, are you even current or former military?

If not, listen to those of us who were or are!

Tim

You can call them whatever you would like. Scroll or tab is a stupid argument, but words have meaning. The importance is in this context because by stating they are Rangers most assume what they know of Rangers...Blackhawk Down. They are not in the 75th nor is the infantry or Special Operations open to women. Building on what people read or watch CST/Ashley's War gives a false perception of how women have engaged in combat. I don't know when you served or still do, but go find and ask a current tabbed IN NCO or heck, cal the Regiment PAO for clarification.

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This has me thinking back to something once said to me on the subject by a former colleague who had spent time as an infantryman in the British Army.

Basically, he likened a well trained and conditioned frontline foot soldier to a professionally trained, world class athlete with combat skills thrown into the mix.

He gave me quite a detailed rundown of the weekly and even daily physical training they were put through, a good deal of it in full combat gear, just to keep the conditioning up once they had achieved it.

At the time he left the service, there was a ban on women in front line combat roles in the British Army; the ban is still in place though they seem to be aiming to lift it next year.

He talked about seeing women in physical fitness training for other roles that were open to them at the time he served and noticed quite few not making it through due to injuries connected to overstressing on joints, particularly the hip joints.

If we go with his analogy of the frontline soldier to the world class athlete, then it doesn't make too much sense in a combat context to see a woman the same way as a man. In sports we don't see them the same, women compete against women and men compete against men and there's good reasons for it.

A woman wouldn't be made to go against a man in a 100m sprint because the physiological differences put the man in a position of unfair advantage. They aren't equals in that context and nobody expects them to be.

Now, transfer that to a 50km march at a set speed in full combat gear. You'd be hopelessly naive to think those same physiological differences wouldn't come into play just as much as they would at the race track. On physiology grounds alone, why should we see the sexes as equal in the context of frontline infantry when we don't in high level sport?

The physical toll it takes on the body, going by my former colleague's example, is not that different in either context; so why should our viewpoint differ between them?

To quote Phantom from his above post:

"Now, female medics, which is among those I commanded.(attached to a light infantry unit as HQ CSM) Same thing, but when you can not lift me, my weapon and pack plus your gear, there are issues."

There's a ton of sense to this argument and it transcends the military. In the civilian world, I want to be sure that if I need any of the emergency response services for any reason that whoever gets sent to help me has the physical size and strength to do so.

I'm not the biggest guy in the world, but if I'm overcome by smoke and the firefighter who comes to pull my butt out of there can't carry the combined weight of me and their gear; well, they aren't doing anybody any favours by being there.

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Kevan's comment reminded me of sports news coverage when one of our women's soccer players was injured right before a big match with a torn ACL. It was pointed out that ACL injuries were more common in women's soccer than men's for physiological reasons. The basic geometry of women's legs is different - wider hips mean the femurs are angled in from hip to knee, then below the knee the leg straightens back out. So for women the knee is always at an odd angle, which results in the ligaments being looser than they are in a man's knee, and when a women is doing repetitive quick starts and stops combined with sudden changes in direction it is much, much easier for something to give and never good when it does.

I am ex-military, and always had a devil of a time with chin-ups. I was good on the run and sit-ups, but never had the upper body strength to do much more than the bare minimum of pull-ups, plus I am clumsy enough to never figure out how to properly "kip" to let inertia help. But I never got a "pass" for that. No one ever said "LanceB sucks at chin-ups, so let's let him do a flexed-arm hang instead." Yet the women got a pass...

That said, I did serve with one woman who insisted on doing pull-ups during her "flexed-arm hang". She always ran a 300 PFT, and if she had been a man she would have scored 300 as well. Her attitude was she was a Marine and would meet Marine standards, not "Woman Marine" standards. She was well-respected by her male co-workers, not so well-respected by other woman Marines.

I think there is a place for women in the military if, and only if, they can meet the exact same physical standards as men for the job in question, but that raises another problem. Male Marines do not have different levels of basic physical requirements based on job description. Grunts, pencil-pushers, grease monkeys and pilots are all supposed to meet the same base standard, although a clerk is never going to have to run 500 meters under fire carrying his file cabinet. But even the base requirements are, frankly, going to be insurmountable for your average woman. So either you make everyone meet the base standard and have an incredibly small, but very rugged, group of women in the service or you have different standards for different occupational fields which would be incompatible with the Corps' "basic rifleman" philosophy.

I am not sure what the answer is, but in jobs where the lives of oneself, one's co-workers and other people could be on the line, as in the military or for emergency responders, the notion of "equal while meeting unequal (inferior) standards" is ridiculous and shouldn't be allowed.

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I would be more sympathetic if the answer from the military for every change asked of them wasn't DOOOOOOOOM!!!!!!!!

The military has integrated minorities, women, and homosexuals into the service, each time insisting that it would have dire effects on combat efficiency, yet somehow the world still turns and we aren't speaking Russian, Chinese or Canadian. Not sure why I should believe the hype this time.

Thats a simplification of this issue. Everytime there has been changed it hasn't exactly gone just perfect first of all and there were all kinds of race issues in the 1960s and 1970s. for example.

The other issue with women that you mention is that again, its "working" but at the cost of additional efforts, additional blood sweat and tears, inappropraite relationships, pregnancy, harassment etc. Its ground careers into dust, and continues to do so. And this is before we get into other issues like just basic preferential treatment. in order to make it work at a basic level we had to lower standards right off the bat.

I don't look at the last 20 years with women in the military as "success" its been a long painful process that cost us in ways most people don't even realize. Bascially military leaders are under constant pressure to make the square peg fit the round hole. Every prediction in the mid 1990s has come true. More work, less payoff

This is going to sound basic but what helps achieve the objective is a good thing, and what gets in the way is bad. Sexual harrassment briefs, Court martials, pregnancy, inappropriate relationships, and reams of paperwork do not help you kill the enemy and win wars. Sorry.

This is ARC, where a if a study found the F-35 was only 90 percent as effective at CAS as the A-10 there would be a riot since the A-10 saves the infantry, yet if we put in actual infantry with females that 70 percent or less as effective, we are fine with that. I don't get it. I told "ask any infantryman, they love the A-10" funny the survey question doesn't include women in the infantry.

If we thought of it in terms of weapon systems (which Infantry are) or athletes as Kevin appropriately mentions (which Infantry are) we have a case of system/player A vs System/player B.

System A is strong, faster, more resilient and has a higher pass rate and better accuracy with fewer injuries vs system B, which is not as strong, not as fast, less resilient has a lower pass rate and lower accuracy with a higher rate of injury (AKA downtime)

which do we pick Coach/Commander/Taxpayer?

The last little gripe that really russles my jimmies, is that we have har 14 years of heavy infantry combat, and rather than put woman in we expanded the serivices and constantly redeployed males. My point being this amazing equal untapped resource, remained untapped. But now we are winding down on combat (so I hear) and now this issue comes up again?

Where were all these voices in 2005? 2006? Why didn't we use these additional combat forces then? I can think of a 14 year experiment we could have run that is as realistic as it gets, yet we didn't.

Edited by TaiidanTomcat
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