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The Pentagon Is Closer to Deciding on Women in Combat

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
    Female officers in combat have to perform to the same physical standards as the men.
    Have they changed the PT Test to a same standard for men and women?
    Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by R.N. Armstrong View Post
      Have they changed the PT Test to a same standard for men and women?
      A general physical fitness test should be different for men and women. It is a measure of their general fitness and takes into account gender. That's fine.

      It's when standards for a particular job are redefined, either by lowering them to allow inclusion of those previously unfit for that job, or for some other artificial reason, that problems ensue.
      If the job requires you to carry / drag a 200 lbs. body 50 yards and there is a reason for that requirement then you either can or can't and if you can't you are not fit for that job.
      If it requires you be able to march without rest 10 miles with all your combat gear, then you either pass or take another job.

      Sometimes standards have to be lowered. You simply don't have enough people to meet one and there is no alternative but to lower them to allow more people in. But, you accept that you are getting inferior recruits as a result. That may mean less capability or using more people to make up for the lower quality.
      When you do this for simply social engineering reasons you are just deluding yourself with a fool's errand.

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      • #48
        Personally, I believe there should be a physical fitness test for each military occupational specialty. Then, for example, if there is a certain weight to be lifted to change track on a tank or replace a tire on a transport, then the person will qualify for the MOS.

        I suspect if upper body strength is a key factor, then it will separate most boys from most girls.

        The Olympics has different record scores between men and women for same events, and there are events which women do not entry.

        I don't think you understand the difference between equality and sameness.
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • #49
          My point on officers is that the evidence from past conflicts suggests that the military culture does not do a good job of advancing combat efficient officers in peace time. If the whole system needs revamped as I suspect it does then we just as well look at how to get intelligent, progressive, innovative, imaginative, woman promoted. Not all officers need to be in combat to be combat effective.

          If it turns out that the cost of evaluating female officers is out of proportion with the benefit to the military as it appears to be for enlisted woman then carry on gentlemen.
          Last edited by wolfhnd; 03 Nov 15, 01:14.
          We hunt the hunters

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          • #50
            I think there is a lot to be said about having all graduates of the academies, ROTC programs and OCS serve in the enlisted ranks for a year. If a person serves in Transport or a non-combat MOS they would not be immediately eligible to transfer to a combat MOS. They should also quit running off the Mustangs.

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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            • #51
              Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
              If the whole system needs revamped as I suspect it does then we just as well look at how to get intelligent, progressive, innovative, imaginative, woman promoted. Not all officers need to be in combat to be combat effective.
              What caused you to think that the system needs to be revamped?
              "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

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              • #52
                It sounds like certain civilians have already made up their minds and are just putting off making an announcement.

                Pruitt
                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                  I think there is a lot to be said about having all graduates of the academies, ROTC programs and OCS serve in the enlisted ranks for a year. If a person serves in Transport or a non-combat MOS they would not be immediately eligible to transfer to a combat MOS. They should also quit running off the Mustangs.

                  Pruitt
                  I don't necessarily agree with this idea, but it does have merit.

                  All of the lieutenants in the battery rotated out with the exception of the XO and we got four new second johns in from Fort Sill. The battalion policy was to have lieutenants from another battery serve in the field as the battery safety officer, and all of the officers had to be 'safety certified' by written and practical tests before they could shoot, including the CO.

                  I went a step further, and had the new officers serve on a gun crew in the field under the direction of the section chief (who could be a corporal or sergeant) until he was deemed fit by the battery artillery chief/battery gunny and the XO as knowledgeable enough to be a safety officer. It worked out quite well and they lieutenants were all complimented by other battery commanders when they served as such in the field.

                  My directions to the lieutenants and section chiefs for their training was that while the section chief and the gunners would definitely call the lieutenants 'sir' they would do what the section chief directed them to do or the XO and I would intervene.

                  I got the idea from the way the French trained their new artillery officers and Napoleon had done his stint as an 'enlisted' gunner.
                  We are not now that strength which in old days
                  Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                  Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                  To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Nichols View Post
                    What caused you to think that the system needs to be revamped?
                    It isn't just a problem in the military but is a problem in all bureaucracies. In some ways however the military has a unique opportunity to improve. A business would seem to have a narrow mission statement but in reality making a profit is complicated by the irrational desires of the clients and the stockholders. The military has a fairly clear mission statement by comparison and is somewhat isolated from irrational external interference. That is not to say it is a simple task but perhaps relatively speaking it is.

                    The military also has a relatively rigid command structure where change can be implemented top down by decree with the expectation of somewhat less resistance than other organizations. Again it is not as simple as issuing orders and expecting everyone to enthusiastically follow them but relatively speaking military people are inclined to adopt leadership in ways other organizations resist.

                    The top down leadership is obviously one of the areas in the military that needs the most delicate attention as soldiers without initiative tend to preform relatively less effectively. I want to take a look at this issue in isolation.

                    The military is a fairly unique social institution so care should be taken to not expect practices that work in the private sector to translate directly into success in the military. That said we can see what other people think on the subject of the "yes man" problem and culture.

                    Take a look at this article and see if any of it applies to the military.

                    The "Yes Man" Syndrome -- The Root of Many Crises
                    by Jonathan Bernstein

                    The press makes much of whistleblowers and their role in uncovering organizational crises, and those organizations often try to paint the whistleblower as a disgruntled employee whose viewpoints and facts are skewed by personal bias. That's an argument hard to make with whistleblowers such as the FBI's Coleen Rowley. Her professionalism and dedication to the Bureau led the agency's director to acknowledge that her now-famous letter was appropriate given the non-response she'd received when trying to work within the system.

                    But, in my experience, a more problematic root cause of many crises, and an exacerbating factor for others, is actually the "yes man," or "yes woman." What does a "yes man" or "yes woman" look like?

                    He is so eager to only give his supervisor good news that he sits on anything HE thinks is bad news -- including information that his supervisors, with a bigger picture, can identify as a warning sign. Like the information forwarded by Agent Crowley.
                    She is afraid of confrontation so doesn't speak up when she sees someone -- especially her boss -- making a mistake that can lead to a crisis.
                    He, at some point, makes a decision that career success is more important than personal and professional integrity.
                    Aiding and abetting the "yes man" and "yes woman" is, of course, the organizational leader who fosters an environment where giving a dissenting opinion is dangerous to one's career. The same exec who will, just to go through the motions, hire expert consultants and then ignore their recommendations -- or terminate their services -- because they don't agree with her pre-set ideas.

                    If you're truly committed to preventing crises, examine your organization's willingness to listen to sometimes-painful truths. And contrast that to the pain of enduring avoidable crises. Ego versus good business practice. I vote for the latter.
                    http://www.bernsteincrisismanagement...mgr020601.html

                    It is hard to see how the military can simultaneously maintain the command and control culture why addressing the "yes man" syndrome but it is an interesting question but perhaps other people here with more experience will have some ideas.
                    We hunt the hunters

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                      somewhat isolated from irrational external interference..
                      This is being driven by an outside external interference.

                      Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                      It is hard to see how the military can simultaneously maintain the command and control culture why addressing the "yes man" syndrome but it is an interesting question but perhaps other people here with more experience will have some ideas.
                      From my limited experience; Command and control is generally not centralized, maneuver warfare pretty much killed that method of leadership.

                      In the combat arms, "yes man" doesn't last through the first detailed after action review (AAR). Just about every activity concludes with some level of an AAR.

                      Something to think about, this subject obviously lacks "yes man" from the most junior Marine both male & female that conducted the test to the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
                      "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                        My point on officers is that the evidence from past conflicts suggests that the military culture does not do a good job of advancing combat efficient officers in peace time.
                        I think that notion was dramatically changed in the post-Vietnam era after a generation of officers who were raised in one to three tours in Vietnam and possessed a more operational approach to training than previous peacetime focus on parades, motor maintenance and inspections.

                        The culminating result was the creation of the National Training Center which produced near-real combat resolutions in actual force maneuvers. The level of proficiency was evident in the 100-hour ground war in the First Persian Gulf War and the rapid take down of Iraqi state in the Second Persian Gulf War.

                        I would add the greater operational from experience spilled over into doctrinal writing (FM 100-5 et al), sparked good tactical discussions and debates, sought greater reading in military history ....
                        Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 05 Nov 15, 07:44.
                        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          The post Vietnam operational sense was to rebuild the army from its debilitating insurgency fighting (neglected training/leading a large number of armored and mechanized troops to being able to fight a conventional war which had been neglected during the Vietnam war). Just as current insurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have modified force structure and training.

                          Additionally, IMO, the emphasis on political correctness issues has distracted the leadership and dulled the honed, tactical edge as well.
                          Last edited by R.N. Armstrong; 05 Nov 15, 11:15.
                          Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                            Why are they even doing a survey? Twenty or thirty years ago women joining the military knew that the chances of getting combat roles and qualifying for star ranks were nil. I don't see changing the system so some women can retire a full bird colonel or better. Almost all will fail on physical strength issues unless they curve the test.

                            Pruitt
                            P, I have said it before and I will say it again, if you are going to open all military specialties to women the existing gender based standards need to be eliminated. Physical fitness and grooming standards need to be identical. If the civilian leadership and the brass did that, then issues like last years tempest in a tea pot over cornrows for black women could be eliminated by simply putting all service members in a high and tight. Likewise, if male Marines are required to do pull-ups, female Marines should have to do them as well. Until these separate gender based requirements are eliminated I will not be able to take these moves to open combat specialties to women seriously.
                            Give me a fast ship and the wind at my back for I intend to sail in harms way! (John Paul Jones)

                            Initiated Chief Petty Officer
                            Hard core! Old School! Deal with it!

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