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Women in Combat Arms

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January 1, 1970
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Are we failing our females in combat arms? Are we stuck pushing Cold War-era conventional warfare tactics on the modern military? You can rage against the machine all day hoping women don't get into combat arms, but the truth is in our modern age, it's going to happen. But some things need to be consideredAllegations of special treatment at Ranger School for the first enlisted female to graduate have polluted the news. Several years ago, allegations of special treatment for the first women who went through the course also rose as the news broke of their graduation. These allegations, of course, were denied. Nobody in their right mind would own up to it, even if it had occurred.

"Yeah we totally fudged the numbers, just like we said we wouldn't."

Nobody is going to do that. However, if this Marine can say one thing, it's this. The Rangers and Ranger Instructors I have met are some of the most honorable and dedicated warriors in the world. If they are alleging that they were forced to give special treatment, I'm inclined to believe them. They know the price of shortcuts in warfare.Also breaking this week is the story that an Army 1st Sergeant had a torrid, consensual affair with one of his female PFCs in the infantry unit. Something many of those of us in combat arms warned about,but were ultimately ignored.So we've set up this scenario for you all and we have but one question to ask. Are we failing our females in combat arms by not thinking outside of the box? Are we so stuck in our ways and ingrained in how society wants us to do something that we have done nothing to advance the actual cause of women in combat arms? Are we so ingrained in our doctrine that we have lost our imagination when it comes to putting people in positions where they will be the most successful? Probably.An example of outside the box thinking would be the following;Specialized roles in special operations units. Due to a naturally lower resting heart rate, women have proven to be capable long-range shooters. Why not train them as snipers or designated marksmen for one of those units? Women have also proven to be quite adept as dog handlers, a school they already go to and have proven to be quite successful at across the board.Attach these highly specialized, highly lethal, and extremely valuable women to quick hitting special operations units that aren't asking a 5'5'', 130 lbs women to carry a 90 lbs ruck with the same efficiency as a 6'2'', 200 lbs male across arduous terrain.Place them in smaller, Tier 1 units, where any misconduct is immediately known and disciplined appropriately.We know we're probably going to catch some shit. We're not saying these are the end all solutions, but by forcing women to act like men, we've effectively set them up to fail, and if they do, we say...

"No wonder."

Like I said, maybe we're asking the wrong things of the women trying to break into the combat arms world. Maybe I'm completely and totally wrong. It's happened before, it might happen again. But I truly believe we can figure out better solutions than the ones we've managed to create so far. We can put people where their potential and natural skill sets foster growth and development, without leaving people questioning their ability.The solution is outside the box.

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