Pssh, Get in the kitchen and make some pie Valkyrie!! J/K!! Seriously though, way to push the political hot-button on this one
As a serving officer who has experienced combat I can't really say whether the lifting of the ban is a good thing or not honestly. The fact that nearly every battlefield/space for the foreseeable future will be asymmetric gives credence to the conclusion that woman have already been in infantry type combat on land and they have been dropping bombs from USAF and USN fighters for some time makes whether they SHOULD be "allowed" a moot point really.
In my mind the truly important issue is one of capability i.e. if women want to be in combat, fine, but they had better be able to meet the EXACT SAME requirements as men. On the surface that seems an unfair requirement given the different bio-chemical properties of our respective bodies but the fact is the military is VERY task oriented and if you cant actually perform the physical task, and lets be clear that IS what we are talking about, the physical not the mental aspect) you have no business being in that place at that time on purpose. If I'm a Abrams commander I need to be able to count on my loader being able to feed the gun every one
of its rounds if we find ourselves in an prolonged action and they weigh a lot. People's lives depend on it. If I'm wounded I need to know
that my female medic can drag me out of there. People's lives depend on it. The physical requirements do not change because of the gender of the person doing them. If women can meet the same requirements then have at it.
I think all the stuff about degradation of unit cohesion and morale with/because of mixed gender units is about who you talk to and finding out why they think the way they do. Earlier in my career I was embarked on a Nimitz class carrier that was one of the first surface ships to have a mixed gender crew. The biggest gripe I heard relating to women was that they could not perform the tasks they were given physically. Another gripe was pregnancy, and to be fair this was as much a systemic problem with how the navy moves personnel as a individual problem, the men in a given division were irritated that all three women in their work center had gotten pregnant and would be transferred to shore duty before the deployment was over without replacement. In essence it meant that they would have to that much more work shorthanded. Now before you say "well tough cookies that happens in the civvy world all the time" let me just say in the military you cannot just go hire some temps and if the bureau of personnel won't / can't send a replacement you're SOL. In this particular instance it just so happened that this was the air traffic control division and a vastly higher rate of mistakes started happening because people were standing markedly longer watches for an extended period. Within the male personnel of that division it lead to a great deal of resentment of female personnel and it did affect the morale of those guys. By contrast I remember talking to one Senior Chief that didnt much care that his division officer was female because she was "a lot smarter than the last guy" lol. My personal experience has been it comes down to both capability and
motivation. If women do their jobs like everyone else without asking for or expecting special treatment because they're female, no one gives a sh*t they're female. The one thing I can say from a combat perspective is that it is different, psychologically, seeing the dead body of a woman or child opposed to a male and most of my buddies agree with me, although we couldn't offer a rational explanation for it honestly.
Anyway, might be way more than you wanted Valkyrie but there you have my opinion.
PS Congrats on the baby Steam!!
This post has been edited by Von: 24 January 2013 - 08:12 PM
The first qualification of a general-in-chief is a cool head; that is, a head which receives just impressions, and estimates things and objects at their real value. He must not allow himself to be elated by good news or depressed by bad. The impressions he receives, either successively or simultaneously in the course of the day, should be so classed as to take up only the exact place in his mind they deserve to occupy... - Emperor Napoleon I
See in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend, those with loaded guns and those who dig. -The Good
...but you know the pity is when I'm paid I always follow my job through... -The Bad
When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk. -The Ugly