Woman in combat units?

by H. Thomas Hayden on January 17, 2011

The Administration’s “Military Leadership Diversity Commission” is reported to be about to announce a recommendation that women should be allowed to serve fully in combat,

 Big time bad idea.

The commission says that it is seeking to dismantle the last major area of “discrimination” in the armed forces. The commission was established by Congress two years ago. The panel is to send its proposals to Congress and President Obama. According to initial reports, “It is time to create a level playing field for all qualified service members.”

“To provide a level playing field” for what?

Better idea is to send all the Commission members to a combat out post and then walk a combat patrol. You can’t judge an all out war (World War II and Korea) and all its brutality on both sides by the nation building /near casualty free engagements going on today in the Iraq and Afghan.

It has been reported that there are approximately 32,000 women in the U.S. military, comprising about 13 percent of the total U.S. Armed Forces (Defense Almanac 1995). It is certainly important to give women an equal opportunity in the military but a combat role will not be equal.

Most studies found that men would be overly protective for women.

Women cannot carry the same loads required of long combat patrols. Most soldiers and Marines carry over 70 lbs on a normal insert to a new combat base. Rangers and Special Forces carry up to 120 lbs on their missions.

Normal female needs will be difficult at best in desert operations with no cover or concealment.

Think sexual harassment is bad now – wait until this proposal gets more light of day.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Philip Gold January 17, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Col. Hayden,

My wife, Erin Solaro, went to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2004 and 2005 to study the women over there. she was embedded with combat troops in both countries, including 2/4 in Ramadi. Her first book, WOMEN IN THE LINE OF FIRE is, in my unbiased opinion, the best thing done on the subject. If you like, I’ll be happy to send you a copy of a speech she gave at West Point.

Bottom line: maybe update your data base?


H. Thomas Hayden January 18, 2011 at 10:45 am

No full comment in your reply.
Pls send all info.
thx, tom hayden

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