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Panetta to Lift Ban on Women in Combat

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SOCOM: "Uhh...not so fast."

Blog from a fighter guy on the subject:

Want to read a fantastic double-entendre? "The order Panetta and Dempsey signed prohibits physical standards from being lowered simply to allow women to qualify for jobs closer to the battlefront. But the services are methodically reviewing and revising the standards for many jobs, including strength and stamina, in order to set minimum requirements for troops to meet regardless of their sex."

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That article, like all things Air Force Times, is full of shit. Read the source: Department of Defense News Briefing on Implementing Women into Previously Closed Positions

Below are the highlights I saw.

(Army) LIEUTENANT GENERAL HOWARD BROMBERG: Our plan, as you've -- as you'll see, has basically four lines of effort or four major avenues of approach here, and that's first by opening positions that are previously restricted by the direct ground combat assignment rule, such as I just talked about those positions in the brigade combat teams. And then their second line is to focus on gender-neutral standards, focus on the task requirements as we move forward, and our -- and our third line of effort is focused on a gender integration study, looking at those social and cultural aspects of integrating women into formations that -- where there have never been women historically before. And then our fourth line of effort to work very closely with Special Operations Command as they move forward in those areas, where we are expanding opportunity for women there. [...] when we say gender-neutral, these are tasks requirements of that operational specialty, so whatever that -- that job or that position is, we have to make sure that we have the requirements of that task established, regardless of whether they're male or female, because the worst thing that we could do is change that standard for that position, whether it's even a medic on the battlefield (inaudible) or whether it's an infantryman. Whatever you want to pick, you've got to be absolutely certain that that performance can be -- can be understood and then applied in a combat situation, because we don't want it set -- as already mentioned by one of my colleagues here -- this isn't to set anybody up for failure.

(Marine Corps) COLONEL JOHN AYTES: [...] we're going to be reviewing and validating those gender-neutral physical standards for all of our 335 of our primary MOS'. To date, we've determined that there are more than 250 physically demanding tasks among those primary MOS’, and what we have done is we've developed five proxy tests to represent these various tasks.

This summer we'll test 400 male and 400 female Marines using those proxy tests, and then we're going to correlate that data against those Marines' existing physical fitness test and combat fitness test, or PFT and CFT events, and using that information as collected, we're going to try to build a safe, a very simple screening test that we're going to use to contract our applicants coming into the Marine Corps. [...] What we've done is condense it down and boil it to five essential proxy tests. One of the tests, for example, will be simulating lifting a tank round. And this is a perfect example of a gender-neutral or a performance-based task standard. [...] There's -- there are some clean and press. There's deadlift. There's the 155 round, which is our artillery round. The tank round, as well as scaling a wall. [...] As the general said, those are -- these are performance-based jobs -- performance-based tasks to accomplish the job, regardless of whether you're a male or a female. Load the tank round has got to be one that is done by a male tank gunner or a female tank gunner. We don't have different size weight rounds for them, and it's got to be done by everybody.

Q: [...] How do you determine what number of women in a given MOS gives you critical mass? Because obviously you can't have just one woman who passes all the tests and then is the only women in that MOS. So do you have notional numbers or percentages that -- how many women have to be able to qualify to these gender-neutral standards before you can open that MOS?

(Army) LIEUTENANT GENERAL HOWARD BROMBERG: [...] But the second part of that is, once these MOS’ are open, just as they are today, we don't have specific goals and objectives, because a lot of this is propensity to recruit. How many women we bring in every year in the military may drive some of the numbers that you have to assign. And then as leaderships develop and as women grow in these ranks, it's not just that you have a woman soldier or leader in that specific MOS. It may be in a related MOS.

Q: [...] Earlier, you had said that the rank-and-file reaction was -- it seemed to say it was not necessarily positive.

MAJ. GEN. SACOLICK: [...] I mean, ultimately, these young men have volunteered multiple times. And we have a lot invested in them. And they've got to embrace it. I might add that sometimes we underestimate the capacity of our younger troops to embrace change, to embrace diversity, and I just want to provide them an opportunity to voice their concerns in this survey.

Q: [...] We've had surveys. We've talked about this forever and ever and ever. I think people are going to read the news today and see 2018, 2015. Why does this take so long? Why can't we get this done any sooner? There are already women serving on the front lines. They're already doing a lot of these things.

MS. JULIET BEYLER, OFFICE OF THE SECDEF: [...] They want the standards reviewed and validated by September of 2015. They want all studies completed, again, also by September of 2015 in order to lead to full implementation by Jan. 1, 2016. So understanding what you're saying, I think the key is setting it up for success and making sure that they have time to do it right.

(Army) LIEUTENANT GENERAL HOWARD BROMBERG: [...] You know, it takes time to enlist and take people -- so, for example, we're already through our 2013 enlistment. We're halfway into middle year of January -- middle year of 2014. We have people that are enlisting today, but we don't have school seats for them until almost nine months from now. So you buy that time when you enlist people to begin with.

The Air Force rep., BG Grosso, didn't say much other than the Air Force was continuing to study the process.

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Some interesting information in the recent House Armed Services Committee regarding "Women in Service Reviews". There's plenty to read--these two caught my eye:

BG Grosso

The Air Force has approximately 4,600 positions closed to women in the following seven career fields: combat control, special operations weather (officer and enlisted), pararescue, special tactics, tactical air control, and combat rescue. In close coordination with our Army and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) counterparts, we have developed a comprehensive plan, complete with detailed tasks and timelines, that ensures we will complete the necessary steps to open all remaining positions by the January 1, 2016 deadline [...] A necessary first step in removing gender barriers to our closed specialties, is validating performance standards for these physically demanding career fields to ensure that all associated physical tests and standards are both gender neutral [...]

And the appendix of E. Donnelly's statement has an astoundingly good review of other countries attempts at implementation of this policy. It is definitely worth the read for the critiques of similar policy reviews in Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and Israel. The rest of her statement is good too, but a bit dull.

Edited by deaddebate

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http://www.stripes.com/news/us/3-women-pass-marine-corps-endurance-test-1.306447

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/10/03/three-women-pass-marine-corps-endurance-test-paving-way-for-possible-first-female-graduates-of-infantry-school

Three female Marine Corps officers on Thursday passed the grueling combat endurance test that kicks off the service’s screening for infantry officers

So from 2012 to present, 24 women have attempted and 4 have passed the qualifying test. Of those, 1 failed (medical injury) and 3 hopefuls are starting the main course.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2014/0930/Army-opens-Ranger-School-to-women-a-historic-leap-toward-equality

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765659921/Army-opens-Ranger-school-to-women.html

For the first time, women are being invited to apply for training with the Rangers, the elite group that the Army considers its “premier direct-action raid force.” At this point, women will not be allowed to join the Rangers even if they complete the course; the ban on women in combat still holds. But that ban is slated to be lifted no later than January 2016, potentially opening the Rangers – and other combat roles – to qualified women.

While completing the leadership course would let women wear the coveted Ranger tab, it does not let them become members of the Ranger regiment. [...] Women can now begin volunteering for the course and will also be asked to serve as advisers and observers.

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http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ff32e0a3426a4f379a4f4d503cfe881d/ap-exclusive-special-ops-troops-doubt-women-can-do-job

Studies that surveyed personnel found "major misconceptions" within special operations about whether women should be brought into the male-only jobs. They also revealed concerns that department leaders would "capitulate to political pressure, allowing erosion of training standards," according to one document. [...] The main survey went to about 18,000 people who are in positions closed to women, and the response was about 50 percent. The high response rate, officials said, reflects the wide interest in the subject. [...] One survey, by RAND Corp., reflected doubts that women could meet the overall job demands, found concerns that sexual harassment or assault could increase, and cited worries about "unequal treatment" of special operations candidates and personnel. Some worried that if women were let in to some jobs, they might be treated more harshly. Survey details have not been released. This was the first time that officials from Special Operations Command publicly discussed the results. [...] "They're concerned that this might result in the lowering of the standards in what are currently our male-only occupations, and that would then reflect on either them or on the women who come into those occupations," said Hamilton. [...] In an email last month to members of the special operations forces across the services, Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Special Operations Command, said leaders had done initial analysis on training, facilities, education and other policies. Now, officials are examining "the social and cultural challenges of integrating females" into male-only jobs. Next, Votel said, officials will analyze requirements for the jobs to make sure standards are accurate and gender neutral. "We will continue in our commitment to provide the best manned, trained, and equipped special operations personnel to execute our nation's most difficult and sensitive missions," Votel said. "With that in mind, we can assure you that our high standards will not be lowered."

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The main survey went to about 18,000 people who are in positions closed to women, and the response was about 50 percent.

Wow.. imagine if the any survey the AF did had that type of return. What was the last Climate one... 12%?

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FACT: SECAF is hosting a conference on "Increasing the number of minority and female pilots." This will be attended by CSAF and several MAJCOM/CCs.

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FACT: SECAF is hosting a conference on "Increasing the number of minority and female pilots." This will be attended by CSAF and several MAJCOM/CCs.

Why does there need to be any kind of forced expansion for certain demographics? If more qualified minority and female applicants want to attend UPT and make it through, then that's great. But there's no reason to forcibly increase said ratios just so we can say there's lots of female/minority pilots. Lets just focus on how many pilots there are, regardless of gender/race/etc

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FACT: SECAF is hosting a conference on "Increasing the number of minority and female pilots." This will be attended by CSAF and several MAJCOM/CCs.

This is the kind of crap key leaders are wasting their time on? Still not surprised.

For the record I am a minority pilot

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http://abcnews.go.co...31#.Ua2WCpx1D40

http://www.amazon.co...k/dp/B00D5CXCLY

A former member of the elite U.S. Navy SEALs has come out to say she's now a woman.

What you have here is still a man who is emasculated and has nice tit's, everything else is still a man who made through BUDS/Seal school.

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Why does there need to be any kind of forced expansion for certain demographics? If more qualified minority and female applicants want to attend UPT and make it through, then that's great. But there's no reason to forcibly increase said ratios just so we can say there's lots of female/minority pilots. Lets just focus on how many pilots there are, regardless of gender/race/etc

Couldn't agree more. How about the leader of our AF (SECAF) spends her time figuring out how to increase the quality of our pilots and then retain the most qualified.

In my opinion, no one has proven WHY we need to look at increasing minorities and women in the service.

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What you have here is still a man who is emasculated and has nice tit's, everything else is still a man who made through BUDS/Seal school.

Agreed. He/She wouldn't be allowed to compete in the Olympics because that wouldn't be "fair," but to call that out in the military and say women need to be at the same physical standard as men your a sexist.

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The only factor that should be considered regarding a change in policy is,

"Will this change improve our fighting forces?"

If the answer is no, which is the only honest answer in this case, then shelve the idea......period!

And if any of you think that the standards will be upheld and no women will be allowed to pass at a lower standard, your smoking crack!

Edited by Vito
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The only factor that should be considered regarding a change in policy is,

"Will this change improve our fighting forces?"

It would be impossible to demonstrate that it WON'T "improve" fighting forces...which is why DoD probably will make some changes.

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It would be impossible to demonstrate that it WON'T "improve" fighting forces...which is why DoD probably will make some changes.

Then why the difference in standards? Specifically with the Army? Though I'm sure the USMC will eventually cave and have different standards as well.

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Then why the difference in standards?.

Because that's what "equality" actually means...change the standard to achieve an equal result

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http://www.defense.gov/News/News-Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/614654/department-of-defense-press-briefing-by-secretary-james-and-gen-welsh-on-the-st

SECAF James: We currently have seven career specialties that are still closed to women. We, of course, are the most open at the moment of all the services, having the majority of our jobs open, but there are still seven that are not open, and they relate to the special operations world for the most part. So as you reference, what we have been doing is, we have been working on establishing gender-neutral and operationally and occupationally relevant standards, and once we have them in place, it certainly would be my anticipation that we would be in a position to open up these jobs to women in the future. Of course, I have not yet received the recommendations from the field, nor has the chief, so we're awaiting those. And then we in turn owe the secretary of defense our Air Force recommendations by around the first of October, and then we would anticipate a public announcement towards the end of the year, beginning the 1st of next year. [...] a team that has included people from the special operations world, is establishing these standards that women appear to be doing well, some women, as well as some men, because these are hard standards, as you can imagine. The key thing is, we don't want to lower standards. And so I'm optimistic about the outcome.

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They can open those careerfields if they adhere to the male fitness standards.

FTFY.

 

Set the standard, achieve it.  No problems with that.

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we have been working on establishing gender-neutral and operationally and occupationally relevant standards

So they're changing from the current standard?  I have zero problem with women in these jobs, being firemen, etc, but they need to pass the same, unchanged standards, not some newly made up "general neutral" ones.  The ones that currently exist are general neutral simply because there is not a distinction between male and female.  This line can only communicate they think the current ones are too hard for women to achieve, therefore they will adjust so women can achieve them, all while hiding behind the "gender neutral" moniker to defend them as "not lowered for women because the men have the same standards."

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Do they still require cock pushups? That's the only gender-specific exercise I can think of.

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Do they still require cock pushups? That's the only gender-specific exercise I can think of.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk

Just one, cause that's all anybody can really do.

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