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USMC and women in infantry

Discussion in 'The Stump' started by USMCPrice, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. green slime

    green slime Member

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    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/10817250/Women-soldiers-could-be-allowed-to-join-SAS.html

    Mr Hammond said he did not “think there are thousands of women desperate to join the combat arms”. But he wanted to “send out a message” that the army was open to women to join across the board. He added: “I don’t think it is so much about the number of women who will want to go in, or will be able to meet the fitness test.
    “It is about the signal we send that all branches of the military are open regardless of gender. It will still be a requirement to meet fitness tests – so I think it is an important signal to send.” There was no “no resistance among the senior military brass to the idea”, he said.

    Mr Hammond said that the fitness requirements would not be reduced to make it easier for women to bear arms. He said: “I was with some engineers who were about to go out on an IED patrol in Afghanistan yesterday. “They were having to carry 63 kilos each in essentially a combat situation – so we won't compromise on the fitness that we require for people to be able to keep themselves safe and do their job effectively. “That will obviously mean that some roles will have limited numbers of women who are able to meet those criteria.”
     
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Their unit mascot:
     

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  5. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  6. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    This is not surprising. You also have higher failure rates among male patrols that have a particularly weak or incompetant male patrol member. That's because you have a fixed objective, it must be accomplished, if you have six good soldiers it is less of a burden (especially when being pushed to near your limits) than if five soldiers have to perform the same tasks.
    let's say you have a four soldier team that has to move to a location and observe it for 24 hours. You should report objective status every hour unless you notice enemy personnel and/or vehicles, in which case you should report immediately. If personnel/vehicles are spotted, higher HQ, depending upon the situation, may require you to engage or obtain further intell.
    You'd give your strongest/highest endurance soldier your heaviest weapon or commo gear, then try and distribute your additional required weapons, ammo and equipment across the entire patrol in an equitable manner. Pvt. Joe Schmoe is a weak slacker and after a few miles you know he's going to fall out or slow your movement to objective if you don't lighten his load so you take some of his load and distribute it across the remaining three members. Now, they'll be more tired, thinking less clearly, and will be less physically capable at the objective. But mission takes priority. Upon reaching your objective you find a good hide with a good line of sight to the objective and set in. You have to observe for 24 hours so you decide to maintain a 50% watch, in six four hour shifts. Pvt. Schmoe has a habit of falling asleep on watch so you decide that rather than endager the patrol or mission that you'll do the 12 hour shift during the dark hours, and each of the other two soldiers will pull a six. During daylight hours, each of you will pull a four with Schmoe as #2 man because visibility is better and you have a lesser chance of the enemy stumbling upon you without you being aware. With just one weak patrol member you have a much greater chance of mission failure, than if the entire patrol is capable and competant. One weak member greatly increases the stress, physical requirements and capabilities of all other patrol members. So they are actually having to perform at a higher level than a patrol with all decent members. So someone that might have passed without the extra burden will now fail. Seen it a bunch.

    I personally thought that while it did give lip service to the opposing opinion, it leaned towards the women were somehow discriminated against.

    With all due respect to the Colonel, she's never operated in that environment and does not know that any of the 19 had the requisite skills and strengths to complete the course. The Marine Corps recruited some of it's best and most fit female officers and they're 0 for 29 in graduating them from IOC. Almost all of them failing to make it past the first day.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I thought one of the most telling points though was when it mentioned that while some women thought that they had been discriminated against. Males who failed often thought the same thing.

    As for the greater failure rate indead as we've discussed before just having a team made up of "adequate" members can make things a lot tougher than one with just a few "outstanding" memebers. It could also be though that they were simply watching things more closely and perhaps catching things they didn't normally catch or that the increased observation itself put more stress on everyone in the mixed squads. I wouldn't be surprised if a little of each were in play but whether it made the difference of anyone male or female not makeing the cut I won't venture an opinion. Another factor may have been that in the mixed teams there was greater variation in the capabilities which while theoretically capable of meeting the goals requires more skill in determing just who does what. That sort of thing tends to increase the number of ways to fail and people that are tired and stressed often find them rather than the ways to succeed. Of course that's part of the point of the whole thing isn't it? Finding those who can figure out how to succeed even in very trying circumstances.

    The final bit sounded like they were looking for quotes from two vocal females in opposing postions and found them.
     
  8. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    This is what I like about discussing topics with you. Well thought out, sensible, well expressed posts. You look past the surface and get into the nuts-n-bolts, nitty gritty of the subject. Great reply.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Looks like 3 made it through the Darby phase:
    http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/careers/army/2015/07/10/three-women-third-try-pass-darby-phase/29968107/
    Any idea what the attrition rates tend to be in the Mountain and swamp phases? My impression is most of those would be injury related but I'm not even sure how I came by that impression.

    Back on the original topic this article has me wondering
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/13/us/marine-commanders-firing-stirs-debate-on-integration-of-women-in-corps.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0
    Enough info to raise question but not enough to really answer them.
     
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  10. green slime

    green slime Member

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  11. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Here are some of my thoughts on the article:

    Marines have always had gender integrated recruit training. That has always been because if women and men are trained together, you either have unacceptably low retention levels for the females, if the physical standards are maintained. Or you relax the physical requirements and a sub-standard male Marine is sent to the Fleet. Neither is a good option. What they did was changed the training syllabus, so that all recruits completed the same tasks and events, but the females trained seperately. For instance during the Crucible, the male recruits will complete the road marches at a male pace, all platoons in the series competing with all other male platoons in the series. The female platoons will complete the event at a female pace and compete against all other female platoons in their series, but not against the male platoons.
    The article states:
    "When Lt. Col. Kate Germano took command of the Marine Corps’ all-women boot camp, the failure rate of female recruits at the rifle range was about three times higher than that of their male counterparts, and she said there was no plan to try to improve it." Technically she did not take command of the "Boot Camp", she took command of one of the four battalions that make up Recruit Training Regiment, which is in turn one of a number of commands that fall under the Recruit Depot. 1st, 2d and 3rd Recruit Training Battalions are all male and each has it's own distinct personality. The 4th Recruit Training battalion at Parris Island is where all female Marines are trained. Male Marines east of the Mississippi go to Parris Island, Marines from west of the Mississippi go to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. So she was actually one of four battalion commanders at MCRD Parris Island, that the commander of the Recruit Training Regiment should have held (theoretically) to the same standard. She did not have independant command of the women's boot camp.

    “She was telling them their male counterparts will never respect them if they don’t get good physical scores. You just don’t do that.” Lt. Col. Germano was correct, that is the reality in the Fleet. Fall out of a run and a male Marine is chastised, his promotion chances decrease, his subordinates or peers view him as weak, he will be put into a remedial program to corrrect his deficiency, not allowed to re-enlist, etc. a female, they just say "oh, well, she's a WM, what do you expect." Her male peers and superiors will be reticent to discipline her for fear of being accused of sexual discrimination. I have personal knowledge of a female named Fulton, fell out of every daily run for several weeks. Most times she barely made 300 yards. Troops started calling her "fallout Fulton", she heard some talking and using the nickname one day and filed a complaint, said it was due to sexual discrimination, because she was a female. The troops were chastised by command, warned that use of the "name" would result in disciplinary action, and she continued not to meet the physical standards, but was promoted on time, over other male and female Marines that always performed to standard. Command transferred her as soon as they could get rid of her because she was a disruptive element. They should have discharged her, but were afraid of political repercussions.

    "she was stunned by the low expectations that undermined female recruits’ credibility when she arrived at Parris Island in June 2014." Again, good for the Colonel. However, it didn't take any special vision, it's always been painfully obvious to the male recruits and Drill Instructor's. It is also a direct result of policies put in place by civilian leadership to increase opportunity for women in the military. The gender norming of physical standards, a political not military decision is the root cause.

    "Colonel Germano persuaded the training regiment to integrate the hike at the end of each training cycle, and tried to integrate other practice hikes, but some male commanders refused. One battalion commander said in an email that he saw “no value” in it."
    I disagree with this, the Marines move as a unit, they do everything possible to motivate the weaker Marines to finish. Male Marines are threatened, berated, cajoled, to prevent them from just quitting. Including females would have resulted in the male pace having to be slowed. Completing the road marches, sucking it up and ignoring the pain and fatigue is one of the things the recruits take pride in and builds confidence. Each platoon in a series makes the marches as a unit, they are not intermixed, but seperate entities within the larger series formation. If the Colonel had truly wanted to do something for the females she would not have tried for integrated hikes at first, (requiring the males to reduce standard, and causing pushback from male Drill Instructors and Series Officers) but would have had her troops maintain pace with the males as long as possible, even pushed the males to pick up their pace or be passed.

    "According to her statement, included in a command investigation obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Colonel Haas told her to stop contacting recruiters, saying she was being overly aggressive and breaking the chain of command. She responded that he would not say she was “being overly aggressive if I were a male.”
    She received a direct order and did not comply. Recruit Training Regiment is co-located with the Eastern Region Recruiting Command. The Colonel's proper course would have requested permission from her chain of command to contact the Recruiting Command about what she saw as ways to increase female retention, then allow Recruiting Command to disseminate the information to it's subordinate units. By contacting the recruiters directly she was undermining their chain of command also.

    "The male battalions had five drill sergeants for each group of recruits, but the female battalions had only three. Colonel Germano pushed for more staff, saying her sergeants were exhausted and unable to function."
    This is untrue, some male platoons have more than three, but three is the standard and normally if they have more than three, the other two Drill Instructors, are transitory, being assigned to the platoon for a short period after finishing DI School and preparing to pick up their own platoon. Another obstacle is the numbers. Only 7 percent of Marines are women. Duty as a Drill Instructor is voluntary. If not enough women volunteer, then you don't have the extra bodies to fill additional slots. The job is physically and emotionally draining. A fewer percentage of women, due to gender norming and lower standards, possess the extremely high physical capability for the duty. A vicious circle, I know.

    From another article: Master Sgt. Andre Robinson, a Marine Corps career planner. "If a Marine comes to me and expresses an interest in becoming a Drill Instructor, one of the first things I inquire about is their physical fitness," said Robinson. "They've got to be in great physical shape and have got to be squared away, but equally important they must live and breathe our Corps values of honor, courage and commitment."

    "It takes a lot of stamina and character to be a Drill Instructor," said Gunnery Sgt. Rose Cole, who served as a Drill Instructor from 1996 to 1999. "You have to be able to stay focused on the training no matter what. The worst part was the long hours and lack of sleep. Drill Instructors are up before the recruits and don't hit the rack until long after they are asleep, usually getting about three hours of rest a night for three months."
    Still, despite the hardships, Cole says she wouldn't trade her experience as a Drill Instructor for anything.

    In his statement to investigators, Colonel Haas agreed that their relationship “went south,” saying she disagreed with him over too many things and went over his head a number of times. “Making an argument is O.K. and encouraged, being argumentative is not,” he told an investigator.

    Continually going outside your chain of command is frowned upon, male or female. A male would most likely have been relieved earlier.

    "In the online survey, completed by about two-thirds of the battalion, half of respondents said the leadership did not promote a climate based on respect and trust. The majority of officers in the battalion interviewed by investigators said they feared repercussions for participating in the investigation."

    The complaints originated with female Marines. Female Marines substantiated the allegations, during two official investigations. So how is her firing gender bias?

    From Slime's linked Marine Corps Times Article:

    "Freedom of Information Act request, states that Germano displayed "toxic leadership" by publicly berating and showing contempt for subordinates, bullying Marines and singling them out for under-performance."

    This is common practice in the all male Recruit Training battalions with regards to recruits, if she was using similar tactics in regards to her NCO's and Officers, then that is a no-go and isn't done in public. By using the term subordinates vs recruits, makes me think it was the latter group.

    This reinforces my supposition above, "According to official documentation, 64 of the 99 members of the battalion took the survey,"
    99 members would be the staff, predominately NCO's and Officers with a few non-rates in clerical/administrative positions. The female recruits would number somewhat over 500 at any given time.

    "Germano's results in organizational effectiveness were below average in nine of 10 categories, the survey found."

    This is pretty damning statistic.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    My impression after thinking about this a bit before I read the last article was that what you had here was an officer and her immediate supperior who simply weren't going to get along. Higher command had to do something and there was simply a preponerance of documentable problems on her record. I suspect higher wan't happy with either party but took the action they felt necessary. Certainly the improvements that she made would have carried a fair amount of weight but she pushed things too hard too fast. Some of her other positions listed in one of the other articles may have given her the wrong impression on what she could get away with. My impression of her immediate commander is that he is doing a good job of keeping his head down.
     
  13. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Exactly my impression too.

    Another thought is, it seems this female battalion had it pretty smooth before she arrived, with lax standards / expectations. Of course its going to ruffle feathers and not earn you popularity points.

    I wonder what the survey was really measuring. How exactly does a survey measure "organisational effectiveness"? What is it? Is it the speed with which a command is carried out in an organisation? Is it keeping all the Battalion's paperwork squared away, and the administrator's happy? Her perceived ability to manuever through the echelon's of power, to achieve what she is attempting?
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  16. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  17. mcoffee

    mcoffee Son-of-a-Gun(ner)

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  18. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Beat me to it. :)
    Here's another article:
    http://www.armytimes.com/story/military/2015/08/17/two-women-earn-ranger-tabs-first-army/31889239/
    Given the publicity and scrunity I suspect that is not completely accurate but I also suspect they tried. The higher failure rate of males during at least some phases might suggest that if anything the standards were inforced a bit more rigorously, other alternatives are possible of course.

    And another more detailed one:
    http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/17/army-rangers-odierno-panetta/
     
  19. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    I wouldn't put too much stock in anything Dempsey says. He also said if the standards are so high that women can't pass then the standards are too high and the services need to justify why they're so high. That being said, from what I've read the two women have managed to convince a few doubters in the Ranger community that they have the right stuff. Whether that is the general concensus or the minority opinion, we will not know. Congress and DoD ordered it, the mainstream media is advocating it, and if a servicemember were to come forward with a contrary opinion they are ending their career. Unfortunately, this will now place additional pressure on the Marines to lower the standards at the Infantry Officers Course because NO women passed and very few made it past the first day.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Logically the way to handle it would IMO be to reexamine the standards to see if they could more accurately reflect what is needed in the infantry and any changes should reflect those needs. This might or might not make it easier for women to pass. The problem of course is this is politics so logic doesn't play a big part or the logic is directed at goals other than making the force the best possible. Indeed that 2 women passed Ranger school and no female Marines passed the infantry officers course, given the relative sizes of the Army and Marines isn't statistically sufficient to show that there is any difference in the standards. Indeed it isn't even sufficient to disprove that the hypothesis that Ranger School is harder for women to pass than the Marine Corp Infantry Officers Course. Somehow I doubt the proponents will address that though.

    For example looking at:
    http://iwl.rutgers.edu/documents/njwomencount/Women%20in%20Military%202009%20Final.pdf
    in 2009 there were ~1/6 the number of women in the USMC compared to the US Army. Thus if you accept that the two populations are essentially the same and the best were chosen for the Ranger course then if a porportional sample size was selected from the Marines one would expect about 1/3 of a Marine to pass (or alternativly if you ran three groups through 1 individual would pass). A lot of assumptions here but I think I made my point. If not I can try again if desired.

    (for 2014 it was a bit over 1/6 instead of a bit under as in 2009)
     

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