Friday, March 15, 2013

Women In The Military, Pt. Deux

{Full disclosure: This was intended and began its life first as a reply to a post about a recent Weekly Standard piece regarding the same topic, over on WeaponsMan's blog, which is a blog you should read anyway.
But this little rant is mine - except for statistical citations - it's long, and he recognized it as blog fodder when all I was looking for was a worthy reply, but slapping it up here assuages some of my personal guilt when I go a day or three without posting...stuff.
Yes, I did shoot, gut, and cook this, but in my defense, I needed to get the trout out of that rainbarrel anyways, even if it took the entire magazine. And neither Army Times nor the Marine Gazette are taking my calls on this subject.}

The strongest 1% of women are weaker than 84% of men.
But don’t believe me.

William Gregor, professor of social sciences at the Army’s Command and General Staff College, reports that in tests of aerobic capacity, the records show, only 74 of 8,385 Reserve Officers’ Training Corps women attained the perfomance level of even the lowest 16 percent of men.
In his examination of physical fitness test results from the ROTC, dating back to 1992, and 74,000 records of male and female commissioned officers, only 2.9 percent of women were able to attain the men’s average pushup ability and time in the two-mile run. (For the math-challenged, that means 97.1% of women were below average. And common sense means half of them are horrendously below average.)

So, just out of curiousity, what do they call the bottom 16% of performers at Ranger training, Airborne School, or SF Selection?

And what do those places tell people who can’t complete their pushups or make their run times? I’m spitballing here, but I don’t think any of the phrases used sound anything like “Welcome to the club!”

“USMC Women in the Service Restrictions Review” found that women, on average, have 20 percent lower aerobic power, 40 percent lower muscle strength, 47 percent less lifting strength and 26 percent slower marching speed than men.

Quick, let’s name an MOS or five that might conceivably require aerobic power, strength, lifting, and marching.

So when one is pinned down under fire, and waiting 26% longer for their relief to arrive on foot because they have women slowing them down, what should we call that? (Other than an unbudgeted need for buglers and pallbearers at Arlington.)

The “fight load” — the gear an infantryman carries on patrol — is 35 percent of the average man’s body weight but 50 percent of the average Army woman’s weight. Because tragically, packs, water cans, ammo loads, pyro, demo, and MREs don’t come in junior miss sizes, even if the troops carrying those loads do.

And nearly half of the women actually tested over 3 years at MCRD Parris Island lacked the basic strength to throw the crushingly heavy  (less than a pound) issue M67 frag grenade far enough away to escape self-injury from its casualty producing radius of shrapnel.

Despite this, the four-star invertebrates and the legislative and executive knobs they slob with such talent, finesse, and service-destructive abandon, seem hell-bent on saddling combat arms units with a failureproof quota of guaranteed slamdunk hopelessly unqualified, mostly unwilling, and all-around foolishly selected members, apparently solely on the dual theories of warfare best entitled
“Hey, we did it before, and Vietnam didn’t turn out so bad for us” and
“Women In Combat Arms: What could possibly go wrong?”

A 155mm arty round weighs 95 pounds. A tank shell is 44 pounds, and a section of track for an Abrams is around 100 pounds. When Suzy Cupcake can’t lift her pack, her basic ammo component, or her wounded fellow soldier, we’ll see another warm and fuzzy legacy of Vietnam, when the group’s perception is that their group’s survival in combat hinges on getting rid of the weakest links, even at the risk of fighting short-handed, and contrary even to the taboo of murder: they’ll introduce a growing number of their weaker co-workers to the blast effect radius of the issue frag grenade, by leaving same in the soldierette sleeping areas minus the safety pins. Or just hand them the mortar base plate before each stream crossing, and let Mr. Darwin take care of the problem.

And the invertebrate command staff will throw their hands to their foreheads and exclaim, “How can this be, for we need women in combat arms in order to win. Just like we needed them in the front line in Mogadischu, Panama, Grenada, Khe Sanh, Ia Drang, Chosin, Pusan, Bastogne, Normandy, Guadalcanal, Meuse-Argonne, San Juan Hill, Gettysburg, Yorktown, and Lexington. Where would we be if Wellington’s Amazon Legion had failed us at Waterloo, or if the Sisters of the Holy Tantrum hadn’t stood their ground against the Janissary hordes at the gates of Vienna?

The difference with this far-beyond-the-pale decision, and the integration of blacks or gays into the force, is that both black servicemembers and gays have the documented fact of actually having performed their service to the exact same standards of their fellow soldiers etc. for years beforehand, an accomplishment which has been accomplished by exactly no woman ever serving, either now or in living memory, in the armed forces of this country since females last snuck into ranks during the Civil War.

If women could hack it, I’d be the first to hand them a sword and spear, point them towards the enemy lines, and tell them just before the battle that the other side said that their cammies make them look fat.
But since they not only can’t, but likely never will, due to simple inconquerable physical differences, be able to do the job, the kindest thing to do would be to split their rations and ammo amongst everyone else who can do it, and send the G.I. Janes to the rear, defined as anywhere between Seattle and Savannah.

But maybe while the men are gone to war, that s.o.b. master sergeant at base ops will finally have soldiers who can clean, wax, mop, and dust a barracks well enough to get him to STFU.

UPDATE 2017:
I'm saving this here, as a mark of respect for what it meant to me, and from whom, in case the original ever goes away:

Sort of OT: We love our commenters

We have had a lot of good commenters, and sometimes one turns out to have his own blog, which is usually a little treasure of clever baubles.

Yesterday, “Aesop” launched a rant of remarkable clarity and vision into our (actually briefer and less well documented) latest rant on the Pentagon suit-and-brass-club’s brain-damaged push for women in infantry. This is a development that will work no good to women nor to the infantry. Despite that, it’s eagerly awaited by the mercifully small but large and loud bull-dyke subset of the set of extreme careerist Academy graduates (as if a small number of weaselly Academy men didn’t have any such requirement for rank-ascending weasels 100% covered, to the irritation of the actual mission-focused Academy folkss).
It was not the first such comment that he left us. We commented that he ought to blog himself, although we didn’t say what we were thinking, which was along the lines of “Dang. That’s a better post than the one we wrote.”
Screen shot 2013-03-15 at 1.11.47 PM
To which Aesop replied that he already is a blogger, over here at Raconteur Report. And so we went and looked. He did indeed extend his comment into a blog post so that many more people, we hope, will read his wise words. He also, though he doesn’t post on a schedule, has some very entertaining and characteristically well-written tales; he doesn’t abuse the term “raconteur” in the least. We particularly liked the previous post, a story of… well, let’s just say entrepreneurship in the shadow of mighty Hollywood. It brought a tear to our eye.
And then there were a couple of stories of wildlife encounters whilst serving in the Marines. Damn, the guy can tell a peacetime war story. We’re still grinnin’ — and still readin’. Raconteur Report. Highly recommended. Not too heavy on guns, but there’s attitude enough to cover ya.


Tam said...

...and for god's sake, do away with the retarded "age curve" on the PT test.

The enemy's not going to shoot at you less or move his objectives closer so you don't have to ruck as far to shoot at him just because you're over 26, pops.

Aesop said...

I'd be happy if the standard was set up for under/over the 0-6 level.

Full bird colonels/Navy captains and up shouldn't, as a rule, be doing too much rucking and shooting, and rank should have its limited privileges, since there are darned few at those grades under 45 years of age.

Anybody under that very well might, so no slack for them. (Sorry Sgt. Majors and Master Chiefs, but you guys knew the job was tough when you took it, and it's not like most of you couldn't PT the unprepared E-1s into the ground out of sheer spite, more often than not.)

Of course, re-applying the male (formerly "universal") standards across the board would weed out 97-99% of the women in the service in (literally) half an hour, and solve just about the same percentage of the PC nonsense problems in about as long.