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View Poll Results: Do you think women should be able to join the Infantry?
Yes 24 48.00%
No 22 44.00%
Other (explain) 4 8.00%
Voters: 50. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 06-30-2009, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,753,146 times
Reputation: 7396

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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
I hope the military never goes the route of "pc" fire departments who keep lowering the physical standards until women pass.

That's already happened, back in the 70's with the introduction of the VOLAR.

The PT test went from a five-stage event which tested combat related capabilities to the current three-stage even which tests only physical ability. That was a direct result of women being unable to pass the test in sufficient numbers.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,753,146 times
Reputation: 7396
As an old Grunt myself, I can see both sides of this issue, but lean toward keeping women out of the Infantry because of the physical demands and the inherent, internal dynamics of a combat unit.

At the end of the day, though, I really don't like to see ANYONE, of either sex, have to endure what the Infantry endures. It grieves my heart to see another generation having to be exposed to the horrors of combat.
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,179 posts, read 2,275,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
As an old Grunt myself, I can see both sides of this issue, but lean toward keeping women out of the Infantry because of the physical demands and the inherent, internal dynamics of a combat unit.

At the end of the day, though, I really don't like to see ANYONE, of either sex, have to endure what the Infantry endures. It grieves my heart to see another generation having to be exposed to the horrors of combat.
I bring up another point on the infantry demands though. Some people keep thinking of the demands of the infantry from other wars. Not only us, even leaders at national level tend to make this mistake, to wage a war based on the last one.

Infantry is demanding, no doubt about it. However, look at today's war in Iraq. It is not the same tactics and our Soldiers have more technology in their hands. Are the infantry having road marches of 10 or more miles a day as in past wars now in Iraq? As far as I know, they are not. With this in mind they do not require the heavier loads to be out ther in the field for day. So, in some instances it is smart of an infantry commander to decide what unit to send that is most suited for a mission.

Does roving around the city as our Soldier do today in Iraq something women cannot handle? I do not see a problem with that at all.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
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Old 06-30-2009, 10:49 AM
 
Location: New Mexico USA
17,450 posts, read 18,525,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stillkit View Post
That's already happened, back in the 70's with the introduction of the VOLAR.

The PT test went from a five-stage event which tested combat related capabilities to the current three-stage even which tests only physical ability. That was a direct result of women being unable to pass the test in sufficient numbers.
I remember VOLAR, Volunteer Army. Not sure about the woman not being able to pass in sufficient numbers to cause a change in PT tests. There were a few variations of the test, one included "Inclement Weather" PT test. Also women had a different score chart.

But the five event PT test, Hand grenade throw, low crawl, run dodge and jump, sit up's, push up's, monkey bar's, man carry (I know, that's more than five, their were some changes overlaps etc) was difficult to administer in a some situations. Sit ups, push ups and two mile run can be done almost anywhere, there is no additional require equipment.

I don't consider the 'five-stage event' as adequately testing combat related capabilities.

As I recall, VOLAR was a test which maybe only actually lasted about two years. It was part of the Modern Volunteer Army (MVA) program to evaluate the effects of VOLAR innovations on attitudesand carreer intentions. There was a massive report released around 1974? All the VOLAR initiatives were not impemented at all Army posts.


Rich
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
33,592 posts, read 28,719,976 times
Reputation: 15510
I am a River Rat that served in the boats around the Mekong. Occasionally we “checked out” villages to se if they were hiding any guns or ammo. Frequently the resulting fire fights were over in seconds. If we had been carrying 150 lbs of stuff we would have died before we could react.

Why does the Army expect soldiers to carry so much stuff? If they need that much then issue them a small wagon to drag it in. Very few men or women can move fast with 150 lbs on their back.
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:39 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,179 posts, read 2,275,450 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
I am a River Rat that served in the boats around the Mekong. Occasionally we “checked out” villages to se if they were hiding any guns or ammo. Frequently the resulting fire fights were over in seconds. If we had been carrying 150 lbs of stuff we would have died before we could react.

Why does the Army expect soldiers to carry so much stuff? If they need that much then issue them a small wagon to drag it in. Very few men or women can move fast with 150 lbs on their back.
Goooooood questions!!
They remind me of the mentality some infantry people have. When I attended the US Army Sergeants Major Academy in '00 we discussed this very same topic. The infantry guys were the most adamant against women in their branch. I showed them how things can be handle more smartly. I showed them in the "Road March" Field Manual (FM) how vehicles can be used to put some of the load. It also suggest how the loads can be rotated during the march so eveybody can have a break along the way as they march for a while without heavy loads on their backs. They would not buy any of the smart suggestions the FM gave. I gave a class on women in the military and in the infantry field. Well, they did not buy it and since they could not respond to why they did not agree, they resorted to name calling and with comments that the infantry will cease to be what it used to be and also about tradition, etc.

You have a great day.
El Amigo

Last edited by elamigo; 06-30-2009 at 01:21 PM..
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:46 PM
 
Location: NE Oklahoma
1,036 posts, read 1,774,052 times
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I can only tell you my experiences. When I was 25 I thought I was as in good a shape as any man the same age. I was not in a war, let me say that also. I worked at Lowe's in Muskogee, OK loading dirt, rocks, bags of mulch,and plants (mainly trees) which the lightest was 40 pounds. I didn't carry them uphill into combat but I did load them into pick-ups, cars, trucks, ect daily in 100+ Oklahoma heat. I was point blank told I wouldn't make it because I was a girl. Mindset can go a long ways in a situation like that I can tell you. Here is what I know also though. The results of that physical intensive job is a very bad back and knees for me where the guys I was working along side have no physical issues. Their body's held up better in the long run than mine did. Personally, I don't think women should be in front line combat situations, I think men will suffer and I think the women themselves will suffer more in the long run. At the time I could have done it, but I also think I would have suffered more as I aged than I did.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,753,146 times
Reputation: 7396
Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
Goooooood questions!!
They remind me of the mentality some infantry people have. When I attended the US Army Sergeants Major Academy in '00 we discussed this very same topic. The infantry guys were the most adamant against women in their branch. I showed them how things can be handle more smartly. I showed them in the "Road March" Field Manual (FM) how vehicles can be used to put some of the load. It also suggest how the loads can be rotated during the march so eveybody can have a break along the way as they march for a while without heavy loads on their backs. They would not buy any of the smart suggestions the FM gave. I gave a class on women in the military and in the infantry field. Well, they did not buy it and since they could not respond to why they did not agree, they resorted to name calling and with comments that the infantry will cease to be what it used to be and also about tradition, etc.

You have a great day.
El Amigo

But, the problem is that Light Infantry, which includes just about every unit now except those rifle battalions in the 1AD and 1IN, don't have enough vehicles to carry everything. That's why they're called, "light." Ironically, that results in the troops having to carry heavier loads than their mechanized "heavy" counterparts.

Yes, in Iraq and in some scenarios in Afghanistan, they have additional vehicles assigned, that is not always the case as is not part of the TOE equipment, so an Infantryman MUST be prepared to carry as much as 120+ lbs of gear in temperatures which may exceed 120.

Additionally, even though the Iraq war is still vehicle intensive, that is not the case in Afghanistan where foot patrols in the mountains can last quite some time.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,753,146 times
Reputation: 7396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poncho_NM View Post
I remember VOLAR, Volunteer Army. Not sure about the woman not being able to pass in sufficient numbers to cause a change in PT tests. There were a few variations of the test, one included "Inclement Weather" PT test. Also women had a different score chart.

But the five event PT test, Hand grenade throw, low crawl, run dodge and jump, sit up's, push up's, monkey bar's, man carry (I know, that's more than five, their were some changes overlaps etc) was difficult to administer in a some situations. Sit ups, push ups and two mile run can be done almost anywhere, there is no additional require equipment.

I don't consider the 'five-stage event' as adequately testing combat related capabilities.

As I recall, VOLAR was a test which maybe only actually lasted about two years. It was part of the Modern Volunteer Army (MVA) program to evaluate the effects of VOLAR innovations on attitudesand carreer intentions. There was a massive report released around 1974? All the VOLAR initiatives were not impemented at all Army posts.


Rich

I was a Drill Sergeant at the time and can tell you from personal experience that much changed when co-ed basic training was instituted, which was a large part of the whole VOLAR concept. Training schedules were adjusted, wet bulb became a more critical issue and the PT test was changed to accomodate the women.

I'm not knocking women soldiers, they do a magnificent job, but when they first tried to plug them into a male-dominated service, it just didn't work because of the very real physical differences. But just because the training scenarios were adjusted in reaction to that difference, that does not mean the real-world, field environment tactical scenarios changed along with it.
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Old 06-30-2009, 08:23 PM
 
6,245 posts, read 5,607,972 times
Reputation: 6199
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
I am a River Rat that served in the boats around the Mekong. Occasionally we “checked out” villages to se if they were hiding any guns or ammo. Frequently the resulting fire fights were over in seconds. If we had been carrying 150 lbs of stuff we would have died before we could react.

Why does the Army expect soldiers to carry so much stuff? If they need that much then issue them a small wagon to drag it in. Very few men or women can move fast with 150 lbs on their back.
Nobody carried more than 75 lbs, much less than 150 lbs, where I was at.

One and a half gallons of water @ 12 lbs. (sometimes I carried two gallons)

M-16 @ 8 lbs.

32 magazines @ 3/4 lbs each = 24 lbs

4 smokes @ 1 lb each -2 lbs

Poncho liner = 4 lbs (total guess on my part)

C Rations = 3 lbs (about)

Medical kit = 12 lbs (I was a medic so was spared carrying extra ammo since I had the medical kit)

Claymore mine = 2 lbs

Webbing = 5 lbs

Personal junk = 5 lbs

Total = 65 lbs and most of that was water and ammo. 65 lbs was plenty enough.


If we weren't going to be gone long or it was the cooler season we would drop water to two or three canteens instead of the bladder bags.
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