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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Plans for Women in Combat Foretell New Problems for U.S. Armed Forces

The Department of Defense (DOD) is moving forward with plans to place women into combat military occupational specialties (MOS).

And these plans show that the U.S. armed forces will face a whole new slew of problems and degraded readiness.

The Soldiers magazine website published, “Women in combat: Education, leadership keys to success,” on March 15. Soldiers is the official U.S. Army magazine.

This article quoted Army Women’s Health Task Force chairperson, Colonel Anne Naclerio, who spoke on a study the Army conducted on female soldiers.

“‘We found that many of the women downrange didn’t know about urinary diversion devices — they called them FUDDs, female urinary diversion devices — and . . . they would withhold urine, try not to drink as much, try not to have to go to the bathroom. And by doing so, maybe they predisposed themselves to poor health,’ Naclerio said.”

This reveals that when complications arise from the physical differences between men and women the Army will respond that it needs to change, not that women are not suitable for combat.

The article later addressed women’s menstrual cycles, “The women the task force spoke with were also not aware of the option to regulate their menstrual cycle, which includes choosing to have a lighter menstrual cycle or suppressing it entirely while deployed.”

The inevitable problems that women will subsequently experience from disrupting their menstrual cycles (failure to become pregnant, etc.) will cause lawsuits. This in turn will cause legal and medical costs for the DOD and American people to soar.

It will also create additional administrative and medical work for the DOD.

Medical and legal costs will also skyrocket from mental issues unique to women. A 2011 article in USA Today reported that the rate of female soldiers committing suicide triples when women go to war. That USA Today article cited an Army study.

But the problems the DOD is creating by forcing women into combat positions will not just be limited by the physical and mental differences between men and women. Problems also will arise when the DOD forces women into positions over better qualified men.

The Soldiers article quoted Dr. Kate McGraw, identified as being associate director of Specialty Care for the Deployment Health Clinical Center.

At one point, McGraw talks about integrating women into combat units with men and says, “Without that strong leadership, being sensitive to both viewpoints, and being willing to shift the culture to support and encourage females to be welcome members of the unit, then it is not as likely to be successful.”

This shows that the Army will force men to accept women into combat units even when they do not perform adequately.

The article later provided some insight into how the Army will force this change. “‘We can ensure that we have senior NCO females there to mentor junior female enlisted and officers,’ and not just have one woman in an otherwise male MOS, but rather, always have a female peer, she [Colonel Naclerio] explained.”

Colonel Linda Sheimo, chief of the Command Programs and Policy Division at the Human Resources Policy Directorate, Army G-1, expanded on this.

“The Army will focus on recruiting women to newly opened MOSs not only from the outside, but also from within its ranks in order to fill important enlisted and officer leadership roles,” Colonel Sheimo is quoted as saying.

Therefore, the Army will force unqualified or less qualified women into men’s combat positions, leaving the Army degraded and less ready for combat and war.

A public affairs release from the Army (“U.S. Sen. Warren visits Natick”) during March provides additional evidence of how putting women into combat roles will degrade military readiness.

The public affairs release revealed that the Natick Soldier Systems Center in Massachusetts is currently developing “Gender Neutral Standards” for combat positions.

Gender neutral standards will degrade standards for troops in order to accommodate women in combat.

In February of this year, The Washington Times reported on gender neutral standards and how the DOD manipulates the apparent face-value definition of the term.

The Washington Times cited a Congressional Research Service report. “A plain reading of the term suggests that men and women would be required to meet the same physical standards in order to be similarly assigned. However, in the past, the services have used this and similar terms to suggest that men and women must exert the same amount of energy in a particular task, regardless of the work that is actually accomplished by either.”

The Washington Times later reported that Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has introduced legislation that would supposedly stop the DOD from using gender neutral standards.

However, even if Hunter’s legislation passes, or even if Congress would decide to override the decision to allow women in combat positions, it is unclear if the DOD would follow the law.

The Soldiers article quotes Dr. McGraw as saying, “I would say that women have been in combat now for quite a while unofficially, and in some positions officially, and I don’t believe their experience now is going to be any different (in) how they actually experience combat itself.”

In other words, the Army and DOD have put women into MOS and roles where they would see combat even when it was against the law.

Placing women into positions that engage in combat has already caused problems for the DOD and armed forces but the civilian and military leadership of the nation have ignored these problems.

And without strong leadership emerging from Congress to hold leaders accountable, the DOD will place women into combat positions even if Congress decides to pass legislation that enforces neutral standards or once again prohibits women from combat.

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