So, Some of You Ladies Think Combat Is ‘Fun?’

by lewwaters

02 NavyFew people reaching the age to enlist in today’s Military will remember the TV Show, Combat. It aired from 1962 to 1967 and hasn’t seen a wide syndication. But reading some comments from a few women and supporters of opening combat positions to women tells me they have unrealistic views of just what combat is, almost as unrealistic as it is portrayed in TV Shows, Movies and Video Games.

In announcing the end of the ban on women serving in combat roles, Leon Panetta said “everyone is entitled to a chance to become a combat soldier in a military that will now adopt gender neutral standards.”

One big problem for Mr. Panetta and those who feel they have something to prove, there is no such thing as “gender neutrality.” We are born male or female with distinct differences. One being upper torso strength, on average females having much less. And yes, I acknowledge that some females might have sufficient upper torso strength to equal the average male and even some men do not.

But our Military isn’t geared to individuals, it is geared to teams, units that are no stronger than their weakest link.

But what I find disturbing is quotes from former Military members who are female that were interviewed by the media bout the ending of the ban.

One, an Isis Costa interviewed at Ft. Bliss, Texas and who served in Iraq was quoted, “When I was in the military, I wish I would have been able to do combat, but unfortunately that was not an option.”

A former active duty Lieutenant, Valerie Warner says as a young officer, “she wanted badly to be part of an infantry unit” and that her biggest regret is that the decision to lift the ban came too late. “I wish this could have happened 12 years ago,” she says in a Washington Post article.

But what is disturbing is reading further, she says how she “loved walking long patrols, land navigation and firing weapons. It’s the fun stuff.”

Believe me, there is nothing “fun” about being in combat, especially when engaged in battle. And anybody who wishes to be in it is in for a very rude awakening should they ever make it.

Reading a little further we see Ms. Warner “wanted to be like her grandfather,” Volney Warner, a retired four-star general who “helped oversee the integration of women into the Army in the 1970s.”

Trying to live up to someone you admire is a very poor reason to seek serving in the infantry, especially given that the person she wants to be like says, “I remain convinced that women are better at giving life than taking it,” and “although women play an important role in the Army, they have no place in combat units.”

Somewhere along the line women have been convinced to surrender their unique femininity, just be one of the boys. Problem there, they aren’t boys and cannot be boys anymore than boys can be real girls.

It is not denigrating to recognize the distinct differences between men and women and the important roles each plays in our existence. We cannot balance nature and make things naturally unequal by the wave of a legislative pen, nature doesn’t cooperate.

Troublesome to me is the current unequal standards being used in order for women to qualify for other Military fields.

Since much of this is so women may enhance their personal careers, we can expect women to apply for Navy SEAL training, unarguably the toughest training within all of the Militaries that only some 25% of highly qualified & conditioned men successfully pass.

If they can’t match up and fail to earn their “SEAL Trident,” will there be lawsuits to lower the standards for women as we have seen in other areas of the Military and thereby compromise the SEALs mission capability?

I’m sure we all recall early on in the Iraq theater of the War on Terror, the hair raising tails of Jessica Lynch that were proven false after a few days. Less known, thanks to the Clinton-era toying with the Military to appease feminists, training standards were lowered and she did not receive adequate training for serving in a combat zone, much less combat itself.

From the article Private Jessica Lynch’s Army: The Clinton Legacy by Gerald L. Atkinson we read,

“ In a departure from the basic training given to Army mechanics, supply clerks, and cooks in America’s armed forces in the past, the Clinton administration (during the 1990s) watered down the physical and other ‘war-fighting’ standards for such soldiers in a New Age, a mixed-sex, gender-normed training program that essentially ‘feminized’ the tail part of the tooth-to-tail military. In a departure from their ‘fathers’ Army, where clerks, cooks, and mechanics were trained as, and expected to be ‘warriors,’ capable of fighting off enemy attacks on the often vulnerable ‘rear’ of an army, the Clintons’ Army would become a job-corps, a socialized military substructure that promised equal opportunity to minorities and women. Pvt. Jessica Lynch belonged to just such a ‘toothless’ unit.”

Sadly that was proved all too true when on March 23, 2003 her convoy came under ambush and her weapon, not properly cared for or cleaned, jammed, being unable to fire a single shot.

Eleven others lost their lives. During her brief captivity, she was raped.

She had joined the Army feeling it an easy way to earn college benefits and thinking war was not to come for her.

Another area that is a definite degradation to a Military unit’s Combat Effectiveness is seen in a recent article from Stars & Stripes, Navy Seeks to Combat Unplanned Pregnancies where it is reported that the Navy is suffering from “a staggering 74 percent unintended pregnancy rate.” While this is occurring in all branches of the Military, it the highest in the Navy.

A Military unit must be ready to deploy on short notice where needed, sometimes with but a few minutes to prepare, just long enough to throw a few of your belongings into a duffel bag. If they don’t have the full contingent of personnel, their probability of a successful completion of the mission is hampered.

Should a woman find out she is pregnant while on the front lines, she must be pulled back and they may be short trained personnel waiting for a replacement.

It also points out the very real problem of mixing the sexes in high stress situations and how people tend to cope with such stress, but only the woman will end with child, requiring she be removed to a rear area or back home for the birth.

A 2007 article that appeared in Marie Claire, Life as an American Female Soldier seemed to indicate some other areas of concern for women in the Military.

“Hair falling out, periods on hold, and peeing in a cup: for female soldiers, life on the front lines involves stuff men never have to think about.”

And that “stuff men don’t have to worry about?”

“…you had to wait in long lines no matter where you were: in the mess hall, bathroom, shower. Frizzy hair and no flatiron. You can’t wear earrings. Makeup can’t be excessive. There probably aren’t many times you can feel like a girl,” said Sergeant Stephanie James.

To counter her menstrual periods, she took Depo-Provera that has yet unknown long-term effects on women’s health, but “has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women under age 35.”

Another woman, Captain Jennifer Errington relayed a story,

“When you were on a convoy, you couldn’t say, ‘Please stop, I have to go to the bathroom.’ You just had to hold it. Once, a female second lieutenant asked if anybody had a cup. Two guys in the vehicle held up a poncho to give her privacy. She peed in the cup, then threw it out a window.”

A January 7, 2013 AP article found a surprisingly low number of women even interested in front line combat service. As one woman put it, “The choice to join combat arms should be a personal decision, not a required one.”

Men have not had that luxury in times past when there was a draft and thee is all likelihood that should we return to a draft, something currently advocated by many, there is the very real chance that women too may be drafted and sent where needed in the Military instead of where you would prefer to serve, now that the barrier to women in combat has been removed.

A recent facebook discussion over the woman’s comment I quoted about, about Combat being the “fun stuff” brought the comment from a woman, a Karin Olson of,

“And how many men thought the same? It isn’t about her comment it’s about being able to do the same as anyone else. Because you didn’t like the comment only verifies that she should not be in combat? I don’t think so. Who are the people that say one can and one cannot? Poor thing was born disabled being a woman and all. I remember wanting to wrestle in school [it isn’t combat} but never the less I was laughed at told that it just isn’t possible, that isn’t what girls do. Not the same yet it is. I have never put limits on myself since everyone else will do it for me.”

This is the mentality we see today from those who feel they are not receiving something they are entitled to. Nobody said anything about being born a female being a “disability,” just how ignorant it was to say that combat was “fun stuff.”

Combat is not an entitlement nor is it a privilege. It is a brutal, bloody nightmare when involved in it. It is an unpredictable as can be. You do not get to take a break, play down the controller and get yourself a drink and go back and finish the game.

It takes its toll on the body and the mind and anybody who thinks it is “fun stuff” is a raving lunatic.

But this is what a few women with penis envy have said they want. And now that they have it, the rest of you woman, many who know the differences between men and woman and appreciate that difference, will be caught up in it.

Women have long served our country with honor and distinction. We could not have won World War Two without their sacrifices and willingness to take over the job of building the tools of war. They have served in theater, given their lives and endured hardships, all without being front line Troops or held to the same standards as their male counterparts.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get our Military back to winning wars instead of using them as social clubs to make a few people feel good?

11 Comments to “So, Some of You Ladies Think Combat Is ‘Fun?’”

  1. As long as the standards for particular positions (MOS) are not watered down, I see no reason that women should not serve in whatever positions they are qualified to hold.

    We have many thousands of women serving as police officers, firefighters, and working in many other formerly male dominated positions — most performing very well in those jobs. I worked many years for a railroad — and in the 1970s and 1980s many formerly “all male” positions became available to women. There were a few jobs (such as brakeman) where the ability to lift weights above 50# caused few women to qualify, but there were many others (such as a train operator (engineer)) where physical strength was less of an issue and the real skill is the judgement in manipulating the controls to safely operate the train. I note that this “openness” tends to work both ways, as there are now many nurses — often receiving their original training as “medics” in the military — working in hospitals, etc. today.

    You have obviously found a few of the many negative situations that women have encountered while serving in or near combat (and I would submit that some problems are related to poor training by the military service involved). However, these events all occurred when the fiction of “non-combat roles only” for women was in effect. The truth is that many non-combat roles require soldiers to be exposed to enemy fire — and the management failure was that many such soldiers (of either gender) were not properly trained to deal with an unexpected combat situation.

    I note that I served in a combat engineer battalion during the Viet Nam era. I was in a “non combat” MOS in the supply section of the HQ company. However, during training, I quickly learned that as a water purification expert, our equipment was normally located far from the main encampment (we had to be near a source of water), and there was a very high frequency of the water purification plants (mounted on a truck with a very large and very loud trailer mounted generator) being destroyed by enemy action. Fortunately, the equipment, once set up, was highly automated, and the crew was able to ‘dig in’ some distance from the machines, reducing the chance of coming under direct attack. So much for the “safety” of a non-combat MOS. I also came to understand that mechanized units were protected by tanks and armored troop carriers. The engineers had our M-14s (later M-16s) and Caterpillar tractors and road graders — and we went in first to cut the road for the tanks and armored personnel carriers. The equipment we used looks just like what you see on the roads — with no particular armor or protection from enemy fire.

    Of course, there are some people who make silly remarks about what combat is like — particularly if they’ve never personally been in combat. FWIW, I never personally served in a combat zone, so I can’t really say what combat is like. I had enough friends who did serve — and who told me of some exploits — that I can imagine that it is exceedingly difficult. (Fun stuff, indeed.)

    But it makes no sense to block careers of young officers, trained at West Point (or other service academies) because they can not serve in “combat” positions. Obviously there are many women — and men, too — who might enter military service with incorrect visions of what they will be doing and the privations they will have to endure while doing it. But that can quickly pass in the first few minutes of their first action.

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  2. John, there are certain standards that cannot be over come or made equal. You cannot equalize nature.

    As has happened in the past, Clinton ensured more women qualified by lowering training standards.

    And yes, we do have women in the Police and Fire, neither of which comes close to combat.

    There is also the matter of ensuring our people reproduce in order to maintain our way of life. Killing off the only people capable of conceiving children is not conducive to that. Men cannot do it and we are already lagging behind others in population.

    And, will other women who disagree with this notion take kindly to being drafted, in the likely event a draft is reinstated in the future?

    Women have never been subject to the draft, but likely will be in the future. Of course, getting pregnant would likely earn them a deferment while men would not receive that consideration.

    The Military is already having trouble with this “gender neutral” blurring of the sexes and this is not going to help that one bit.

    Women have served in great capacity without being the front line Troops.

    But, demanding combat roles to advance a career will only increase the body bags. Even when men see it as a career advancement, other people die.

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  3. Well, John… I have to defer to female US Marine Captain Katie Petrinio who takes a decidedly different, and much more informed view, than yours.

    Nothing silly about it.

    However, one Marine is nervous that the decision to allow women to fight in the front lines of combat is being influenced by women who haven’t actually served in the military recently, and therefore are unable to understand the physical toll of combat and how it would effect women. In a straight-forward piece for the Marine Corps Gazette, Captain Katie Petronio argues that females simply are made differently from men, and so we can’t expect their bodies to respond to long-term time on the front lines like men do. She explains,

    “In the end, my main concern is not whether women are capable of conducting combat operations, as we have already proven that we can hold our own in some very difficult combat situations; instead, my main concern is a question of longevity. Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?”

    Can women handle the long-term pressure? Captain Petronio believes they can’t. And for her proof, she uses her own experience as a Marine. She entered the service at 5’3”, able to squat 200 lbs and bench press 145 lbs. She completed OCS (Officer Candidates School) ranked 4 out of 52 candidates. She was obviously an extremely fit and strong woman. However, her experience with the Marines has changed both her body and her outlook.

    “Five years later, I am physically not the woman I once was and my views have greatly changed on the possibility of women having successful long careers while serving in the infantry. I can say from firsthand experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not just emotion, that we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the gender-specific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.”

    More: http://www.blisstree.com/2012/07/05/sex-relationships/katie-petronio-marine-says-women-arent-created-equal-for-military-combat-305/

    “…we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the gender-specific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.”

    And we’re damned well going to do it anyway.

    And people will shed their own blood…. and the blood of others in their units… as a direct result.

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  4. This last move by Mr. Panetta demonstrates why the question should have been analyzed by honest, trustworthy female military members and not exclusively by males and women conspiring with these men. This is why I say this: How will the Military set rules for combat women who become pregnant? This is a 9-months+ disability. No male soldier could ever be such a liability to a front-line unit. Would this disability alone put us right back where we started in the first place? But let’s look at who is getting screwed here. Are not the American People the ultimate victim here where the “POLICY” of this decision is nothing more than punishment for the American People for living by a culture and standard of living that is against women serving in combat roles, primarily because any such decision would endanger the life of the unborn child? Isn’t this not just another way of shoving abortion down our throats and showing disrespect for human life? Does this not fit the template of people who are for abortion and anti-war and guns? Is this not but a clever fraudulent scheme to match the talking points in favor of abortion, gun control, etc. to women who lose their life in combat while pregnant? I can see the headlines: FEMALE COMBAT SOLDIER WHO WAS 2 MONTHS PREGNANT KILLED BY TALIBAN SNIPER. CHILD DIES ALSO: Critics call for more stringent gun control and better access to abortion clinics and drugs.
    So tell me Hank: Why do you drank? (Hank) Why do you roll smoke? Why must you live out all those songs that you wrote?

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  5. K.J. Hinton, The point Captain Petronio USMC made so eloquently was that women can handle the stress of long term combat operations, and they do and have earned the respect of troops in their units and AO, However, The toll on the female body was such that as a career path in combat arms under the conditions our troops have had to be accustomed would disable female officers physically, causing early retirement,and prohibiting advancement to General Officer ranking.

    Continuous and lengthy deployment did cause her to lose certain physical capabilities, which while in combat could potentially put members of her unit in harms way. In the best tradition of the corp she adjusted and performed her duties in a manner that were a credit to the Corps.

    Physical stress involved in combat arms, which has known effects on males, creates issues for females that have just not been thought through. Stress on the female body are known to cause infertility. While I do not think Secretary Panetta’s decision does anyone any favors, I know that we have only begun to learn to deal with the effects that combat has on females. If the reason for allowing females into combat arms is to give female officers a chance to earn that second third or fourth star, the decision is a poor one..

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  6. Time to bring home our National Guard units. We will begin seeing early retirements of those we can not afford to lose, especially those trainers unwilling to pretend they are not downgrading the readiness of their units. This is now an old trick used by these insidious domestic enemies- just get them to quit. How proud I have been of our boys and girls. They are not yet broken. Let’s bring them home before they are ‘fixed’.

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  7. I do not see hygiene raised here. Imagine getting stuck in the bush for a month (or 2-or 3) with little water to drink, much less else. Soldiers called it the Red Ass, and it was no laughing matter. The physiological hygiene demands alone make this a ridiculous idea.

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  8. A friend mentioned that “war on women” and “women in combat” have both been hot topics recently. It is ironic when you think about it that the opinion that women can purchase their own inexpensive birth control is so ‘hostile to women’ that it’s like declaring war but women in combat is supportive. Strange times in which we live.

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  9. As with virtually any Liberal position on a social “issue,” the decision to allow females to serve in combat capacities in forward areas is prompted by a view which reduces to “It’s the right thing to do.” It is not a coherent logical posture but is rather an emotionally-driven sense of “fashion” and elitism. The fact that it took so long to free females to serve so dangerously gives Liberals a necessary outrage and prompts left wing pundits to imply that such a long delay in liberating women to full equality satisfies the definition of a social emergency. Of course, fashion being what it is, a change of Liberal position is not simply likely but is a certainty; that which the Democrat finds in vogue on a given Monday may not continue to find favor with the contemporary oracles of social engineering even so far as the following Friday. Girl, you’re on your own.

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  10. Dare I say thanks to the women libs we are about to witness equality in some of the least attractive ways I could’ve ever imagined. Wow! This sucks and I always hated that whole womens lib movement. It really was okay to have gained equal status in voting rights and work rights. It would be nice to see equal pay for equal work but I think it is just plain stupid to say we are all equal in our ability to do all things. Nature proves otherwise daily. The inability to accept oneself is just sad and the idea that some one else’s inability to accept themselves should create an issue on the rest of us is ridiculous and reduces us all to stupid.

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