integration of women into combat arms military occupational specialties
Debate Rounds (3)
Last week, the Secretary of Defense officially opened all MOS's (Military Occupational Specialties) to women. It is important to note that this move does not open all MOS's to all women. It only opens them to QUALIFIED women. As long as the standards do not change (and currently, at least in the Army, they have not), then only women who meet these standards will be allowed in. In essence, the policy says that if a woman meets the demanding standards currently placed on men in combat MOS's, then she can now join that MOS.
There are two main fears about this policy. The first is that standards will be changed (lowered) to accomodate women. If this were to happen, it would indeed be a terrible decision. But this does not appear to be happening. The stanards in Army Ranger School, which has been gender-integrated since January 2015, have not changed. There are many rumors out there about various forms of "special treatment" that happend, but they are all false. I was an eyewitness to the experiment, I saw women come through the course, and I can verify they were treated exactly the same. Ranger School standards are still as high as ever, and 3 women have passed to date. So far, there has been no need to change standards in order to allow women to pass.
The second fear is that even if women are able to meet current male standards and join combat units, their mere presence will cause problems. Critics claim that sexual assault, pregnancy, distraction, and jealousy will destroy unit cohesion. I once again point to Ranger School. These 3 women were imbedded inplatoons of 40-50 other men for 5-6 months. They were placed in the most extreme conditions of infantry life during this time including deficating into slit trenches, changing clothes in front of others, and being alone with other men in remote locations at night. What happened? Nothing - no one was raped, no one got pregnant, no sexual harassment claims were filed, and no one was taken out of the field every 3 days to shower. While these concerns may still have some merit, they are not enough to justify excluding people from serving in positions that they are fully qualified for.
I can say with confidence that I've probably heard every argument against gender-integration. They do raise some legitimate concerns, but at bottom they just don't hold water. Yes, there is a lot of scientific evidence to prove that women are physically weaker on average than men. But not every woman is weaker than every man. I have led infantry platoons, and I can say without a doubt that I have encountered women who were physically stronger than some of my soldiers. No one can seriously claim that there isn't a single female in the human species who can physically handle the demands of infantry life. There are, I have seen them. I have personally witnessed a female soldier defeat a male soldier in a combatives tournament. There are some women who can do the infantry job, and there are some men currently doing it who shouldn't be.
In summary, as long as the standards remain unchanged, I can see no legitimate reason for excluding female soldiers who exceed them simply based on gender.
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BradWalsh forfeited this round.
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