The Pentagon has a policy of not having women serve in active ground combat units. Ground combat units essentially being various forms of front line combat units situated on land — Infantry in all of its glorious forms (11 series & 300 series), Tank, Artillery, Scout, special operation’s forces, etc. The closest that women can currently get to these operations is as Military Police.
The Pentagon’s decision has to do with countless factors, naturally, but we will discuss that later…
SAN FRANCISCO — Four female service members filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging the Pentagon’s ban on women serving in combat, hoping the move will add pressure to drop the policy just as officials are gauging the effect that lifting the prohibition will have on morale.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, is the second one this year over the 1994 rule that bars women from being assigned to ground combat units, which are smaller and considered more dangerous since they are often in battle for longer periods.
The legal effort comes less than a year after the ban on gays serving openly was lifted and as officials are surveying Marines about whether women would be a distraction in ground combat units.
“I’m trying to get rid of the ban with a sharp poke,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hunt, who was among the plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit and was injured in 2007 when her Humvee ran over an improvised explosive device in Iraq.
Hunt and the other three women said the policy unfairly blocks them from promotions and other advancements open to men in combat. Three of the women are in the reserves. A fourth, Marine Corp Lt. Colleen Farrell, leaves active duty this week.
Women comprise 14 percent of the 1.4 million active military personnel. The lawsuit alleges that women are barred from 238,000 positions across the Armed Forces.
At a Washington, D.C., news conference, Pentagon press secretary George Little said the Defense Department was making strides in allowing more women into combat. He said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has opened about 14,500 combat positions to women.
“And he has directed the services to explore the possibility of opening additional roles for women in the military,” Little said. “His record is very strong on this issue.”
American Civil Liberties Union Ariela Migdal, who represents the four women, said Panetta’s actions weren’t enough. She called for an end to the combat ban. “These tweaks and minor changes on the margins do a disservice to all the women who serve,” she said.
I love how the ACLU is involved — it shows their concern with meddling quite well.
The initial decision to not have women in combat roles stems from the most obvious reason: women do not have equal strength to men — women are 40-50% weaker in upper body strength, and 20-30% in lower body strength (roughly).Not to mention other general facts such as men have denser, stronger bones; 56% greater lung volume; men also tend to be 15 cm (6 inches) taller; men also tend to have thicker skin, literally, if not also figuratively…
In combat it is not unheard of for a person to incur a life threatening injury which requires evacuation from a dangerous area or the combat zone entirely. It is also not unheard of for a battle to occur over a prolonged period of time and perhaps, unbelievably, require rigorous movement and displays of power. Having strength on a physical level is traditionally considered to be an important part of being a front line combative.
Now, let us say that combat units had a larger number of female soldiers present. During battle it is not unthinkable that female members who do not have the equal upper body strength would fail to extract wounded soldiers and may also not have the strength to power through the entire duration of a prolonged battle; this would result in more deaths, potentially and greater combat ineffectiveness while also a lowering of morale for the unit as a whole knowing that amongst them are members incapable of saving their lives in a situation that their life depends on.
However, the ACLU and others feel that lowering the combat effectiveness of units is not a big deal because, after all, we’ll never, ever, ever have to worry about using the military to fight a war again, right?
The only concern could be entirely… unmilitary in nature. We would be having the ACLU dictating how combat effective the military would be allowed to be at the end of the day which is utterly illogical.
But… Do file suit.
In Obama’s new America we are willing to sacrifice the efficiency and ability of anything to accomplish its given task if it dares to suggest that there is an impractical element.