7:42 am, May 25, 2015

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  • 2

  • Lower Standards
    Radar Tech
    "Military officials say they will not lower standards..." Women already have lower standards than men. Women in the same age category as their male peers are not required to do the same number of pushups or run as fast as their male counterparts. Further, they are allowed to have long hair. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is. When women have long hair, they put it up in a bun. When wearing the kevlar helmet, that bun pushes up on the back of the helmet, forcing the front of the helmet down and obstructing their vision. I have personally witnessed dozens of women at the rifle range struggling to have a clear sight picture because of this. Generally, they try to lower the rifle, eventually driving the base of the magazine into the dirt in a fruitless attempt to maintain a sight picture. The standards for women are already low. If they can do the exact same job as men, with the exact same standards, then fine. Other than that, it is yet another social experiment.
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  • Oh?
    I see signs that the assurance that standards will not be lowered to accommodate women (especially when they have already been for many years, as seen in the existing lower performance expectations of female soldiers in the Army's APFT and other services' routine annual/semi-annual physical training tests) may be a bit on the shaky side. This is because, after giving such assurance, the article went on to say that military officials : "... are reviewing them [physical standards] to ensure they are necessary in making a warfighter and not just difficult to be difficult." Also, CNO Greenert's comment regarding existing standards gives some pause: ""It is a matter of what are the expectations, and is it feasible to change the standards they [special operations forces, such as SEALs] have right now, physical standards. They would say early on `No, we can't do that,' but I think that's really to be determined." In other words, it remains to be seen whether PC considerations will trump mission accomplishment needs of our "point of the spear" units. What may be acceptable by way of physical expectations for rear echelon units or personnel who are not routinely involved directly in line combat missions is not necessarily so when it comes to units executing such missions and the need exists to meet extreme physical demands in so doing. I'm reminded of a relevant comment of a co-worker, a retired Navy O-5, several years ago. He said that there are 20 plus physically demanding key tasks that shipboard personnel must be prepared to perform in the event of a major emergency at sea, such as a fire or explosion, and that female sailors consistently - with very few exceptions - have been shown unable to perform the majority of these essential ship survival-dependent tasks. I guess this could be called a "PC anchors away" approach.
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