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USMC and women in infantry

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

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    That old phrase about "divided by a common language" becomes applicable at the strangest times ....
     
  2. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    Men's best analysis may not be able to determine what a woman can accomplish when the tasks are defined by men. Example: A young lady was welcomed into the man's world of operations years ago when a great deal of speculation went out about how a woman would not be able to turn the hand valves on the pipeline to stop the flows. Every male there knew this was a fact because the valves were indeed hard to turn taking maximum strength out of every guy each time they had to be turned. As I was traveling about one day I happened on a lady operator who needed to make a drastic change in the flows and expected to be asked to help her on one of those difficult valves. To my surprise she did not ask but merely stepped down into the manhole(they should rename those now) and she leaned against the side of the concrete wall positioning her legs on the spokes of the wheel where she had enough strength to easily kick that valve around to the position it needed to be in. If she had listened to us men she would have been truly disabled.....but supervising herself she found a way to accomplish the same. The men were right in their clearly defined limitations of their own imagination and preconceived concepts of the difficulties. When things are redefined from the top down by the female mind we may learn a new thing or two. In the above arguments the top down info and understanding is purely male.
     
  3. Poppy

    Poppy grasshopper

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    Took a 2nd job years back. Had to fill/lug 20kg bags of mustard powder.
    Once you get the technique, it is easy. There was a 55yr old Welsh lady who had it down. She couldn't have been more than 120lbs. You could see she was exhausted after each session. ..But it made me pull my socks up, and work twice as hard. she gained my respect.
    Would I want her to be the fireman/ cop , compared to a big dude, who was to rescue big ol' me in a fire/crash?
    Nope.
    But would gladly take any help available.
     
  4. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    No you're correct there are different PT standards, and were when I was in. It never really effected me because I really wasn't around them much. I do know there is a lot of heartburn within MOS' that do have a significant number of females and high cutting scores. The WM's often get the nod for promotion over the male because their gender normed PT score gives them an edge (It's harder to score a perfect 300 on the male PFT than for a female to score 300 on their version). They didn't have the CFT (Combat Fitness Test) when I was in and I'm not sure if it has evened the odds or not. I didn't say the females had to do the same thing, they have to exert the same effort and complete the same training events/tasks, though at their pace/speed/duration. We've had WM's since WWI. They've worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor ever since then. I don't recall many (actually any) Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo, Pusan, Inchon, Chosin, Khe Sahn, Hue, whatever vets complain because these women had the title Marine.

    Once I joined the US Army however, I did have more interaction with female servicemembers and the difference in standards was glaring. Also a sure way to get NJP'd was to make a comment concerning the unfairness of the system. When I was at the Basic Medic Course (91A) there was a female Pvt. named Fulton. It was the general Army and the runs weren't particularly long nor the pace brutal. (In the Army overall the PT standards aren't very demanding. When you get into an all male unit like an Infantry Company they are harder, an Airborne unit even harder, Rangers and SF it get's pretty damn stout). She'd fall out of every run around the quarter mile mark. The male Pvt.s started referring to her as "Fallout Fulton". She caught wind of it and preferred sexual harassment charges against a couple of them and they were NJP's for it, claimed that they were singling her out because she was female. The way I looked at it they singled her out because she was a slacker, but my opinion is/was irrelevent.
    Same school, I was the Honor Graduate, however there was another soldier that actually had me beat by about .02 points in academics. He however did not pass the PFT and therefore did not graduate. He was a pretty weak individual because the Army's PFT really is pretty skate, the thing that chapped me though was that his raw PFT scores were higher than some females that graduated. I went to our Chief instructor and told him that I didn't think it was fair, and why was this soldier; one that was more academically qualified, and a soldier that had a marginally higher, non adjusted PFT score, not qualified to be a Field Medic when the females with a lower raw PT score and much lower academic status were considered qualified. He asked me, "Would you want him as your medic in the field?" I answered truthfully, "No, but he would be fine in a hospital environment". He replied, "Well the women will be in hospitals and ambulances, etc. but not in the field with the infantry because they are excluded from direct combat units. Because of this their lack pf physical capability is not critical. The other soldier is male and there is no way to flag him so that he's never sent to a combat unit where he couldn't do the job." "Now, you Sgt. need to keep your mouth shut, you're leaving in a couple days and going to an all male course. Don't get your arse in a sling by saying something that will get you in trouble and end up as a black mark on your record. Once you're out of here you won't have to deal with it anymore."

    Same thing with the Airborne Course which I went to right before 91A school. We had 10-12 women on the day we picked up, but were down to two or three by about the third day. Because of the heat they'd run us through these shower things to cool us off. Then they'd take us to one of the sawdust covered training areas and roll us around to make "Pecan Logs", then incentive PT us for a while (just to see who really wanted to be there). The push up was/ is their favorite exercise, but the females did not have to do them because of the upper body strength thing. So they'd stand on the side while we were smoked. Really pissed me off. Then you had a PFT before you went from ground week to tower week (I think we had a PFT when we first got there too, but not sure). males not doing three pullups got dropped or recycled, females were excluded from the requirement. I thought this was screwed up because the canopies we were using there were the T-10 and MC1-1B (MC one dash one bravo is a toggle steered canopy with cutouts in the rear skirt). The T-10 had to be steered by pulling down on the risers, and you'd better be able to do a pullup with your body weight plus whatever equipment you were jumping or you couldn't steer it and you became a hazard to other jumpers. (Ask Bobby, he'll confirm. He used to be a Sky God.) So by exempting females from the pullup requirement they were actually endangering anyone that jumped with them, and if you've ever seen two jumpers get tangled up 600' off the deck you sure don't want it happening to you. (Worst I ever saw was when one jumper landed on another jumpers canopy, they were jumping the MC1-1 series. The top jumper ran off the lower canopy as you're supposed to do, but slipped through the cutouts in the skirt. He fell through the cutout but then came back through the shroud lines. As he fell, dragging his chute down, both canopies collapsed (stealing air from each other) and the two were hopelessly tangled. The immediate action is to pop your quick releases, to release the main canopies, then deploy your reserve. One did and one didn't and the mess got even more tangled up, with the just deployed reserve. I don't know if they lived but as jacked up as they were I'm sure they would prefer to have checked out of the net.

    [​IMG]

    MC1-1 canopy-note the cutouts, the small lines from the canopy skirt to the thick webbing attaching the chute to the harness are the shroud lines. The four thick webbing pieces between the shroud lines and the harness are the risers.
     
  5. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    Price, good stories...always a pleasure to read any personal, 'connected' stories.....good points there....of course, most everyone got verbally harassed, laughed at, etc, in any male unit...---to say the least....I can definitely see problems arising from this happening to WMs, as in Price's example...and the accidental touching problems....and we definitely see problems like this in the civvie world regarding the races.....I see double standards and hypocrisy....that's for another thread, but I see similarities
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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  7. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    that reminds me, they do get special privileges on ship because they have to have separate berthing, correct? there won't be as many females, so they have to go to a ''special'' berthing area?? there, some more inequality for you..females getting special privileges
    . I just saw where the Pentagon might lower enlistment standards, for males that is....
    LWD, she says she is getting stronger...but, generally, they can't get up to standards, physically, per the article I posted....
     
  8. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The question still remains as far as standards go. How do you determine what the minimum acceptable level is? If anyone can't meet that then they shouldn't be allowed in. Once they meet that then if there is competition for the slots it should be determined based on a combination of applicable standards. I.e. exceeding the standards should count but then so should other relevant skills. There are also cases like have been mentioned above where having a female as part of a patrol was of considerable import. If they are going to be part of an essentially infantry operation isn't it better to have them at least partially trained as such?

    The problems with stress fractures I would actually consider of as much or more import than not quite meeting the strength goals. Having a leg or hip fracture spontaneously while out on patrol would be a signficant problem IMO. Meeting the strength goals whether or not they are different from the ones males must meet wouldn't rule those out.

    As for "special berthing" is that really a source of inequality? Seems to me it would depend on whether or not those quarters were substantially better in some way other wise "special" is just a label for women's quarters.
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I've been on ship, ...very close living!..you can't use a main berthing area for just a few females...they would have to go to CPO or officer areas, or berthing with less bunks, what we in the USMC call racks...there are less racks, less idiots, more room, etc.....so it is nicer, special, etc....more room in the heads also....maybe the Navy guys here can give us more info on berthing available...where do Navy females hit the rack?
     
  10. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    The Navy has already integrated women on 'Gators' as well as the rest of their ships. I think the larger problem is with "unit cohesion" and accountability. Even with that I doubt integration for embarked life would be small potatoes.
     
  11. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    ok, but what kind of berthing?? is it a main berthing area, with just as many personnel as the males? or do they have their ''special'' area?? how many racks per area compared to males?

    '''On the Eisenhower, the changes are both physical and behavioral. The Navy spent $1.3 million to convert staterooms and bunks into private sleeping quarters and bathrooms for women. The sick bay now has an examination room for women, and ship stores stock feminine hygiene products and cosmetics.''' this is special treatment

    IIRC, the LSTs had only 2 main berthing areas for enlisted Marines, CPL and below...and they were just about full...I think when I made SGT, I went to the tracks' general berthing,area but it was somewhat separated from them......where would they put the females? the LSDs and bigger ships main areas are full, no??
    they can't be in the same type of berthing with as many personnel, because there are not near as many females as males..key word here is same, meaning, they get special treatment
     
  12. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    The same issue was mentioned in one of the CBS reports I linked to in the initial posts. In this report go to the 8:58 time point and watch to 9:40, the female Marine talks about hips being the main issue, due to the weights that have to be carried. The reporter asks about bone density.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/a-few-good-women/

    Here's a link to a paper at PubMed.org, national institutes of Health that discusses BMD (Bone Mineral Density) and BMC (Bone Mineral Content) differences in males and females and the relation of lower BMC/BMD's in an increased incidence of fractures.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15746999

    It's hormone related and gender specific due to changes that occur during adolescence. The culprit is testosterone. With the onset of puberty, males due to increased testosterone add more lean muscle. The bones compensate for this muscle increase around their attachment points by becoming more dense and larger. This increase in size and mass makes the bones capable of sustaining higher loads without fracture. On average a male will have more lean muscle mass and greater bone density. This gender variance can be greater or less depending upon the individual characterstics of the subjects being compared. You could take a male with a naturally low testosterone level or a very sedentary lifestyle and compare him to a female that was very active and athletic, and trained hard in sports/tasks requiring strength. The female would come close to being comparable to this particular male in bone size, BMD and BMC.
     
  13. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    You are just a bold type kind of reader, I can't tell if you are just being contrary for lack of something better to say or if you quit reading once you find something to nit pik .

    To answer your question:
    Women being accommodated on ships is nothing new; the extent of these accommodations I do not know, suffice it to say that there are already feminine hygiene products in the ship's store.
    I can only imagine that integrating women into the embarked berthing areas is only going to be a matter of when and the "how" will work it's way out.

    When I was on the Pelilieu there were a few (4-5) female 53 Pilots (Officers) embarked. The biggest impact was on the shower hours; the solution was to hang a sign on the officer's shower denoting the gender of the person taking the shower.

    As far as the goings on in the Berthing Areas PT gear was the minimum in the common areas.
     
  14. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    the women have to be in better conditions, unless they divide a main berthing area for the females, with them using just enough racks...but I don't think that's the case......of course the officers and senior NCOs will have their own berthing
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    This report would seem to indicate you are wrong:
    http://www.uscg.mil/history/people/women/docs/1974USNSanctuaryStudy.pdf
    Other sources indicate that females were consolidated into standard birthing areas to make most efficient use of the same in at least some existing ships. Whether this is better, worse, or just different is an open question. Furtermore ships under construction are being built with female sailors in mind. So in general your assumptions are at best questionable.

    Indeed from:
    http://habitability.net/WebData/T9640-AC-DSP-010_HAB.pdf
    Page 3-1
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    LWD, tha'ts a hospital ship.....big difference....you don't have female infantry there, but a lot of nurses, correct? we are talking females on a combat ship, in a combat role.......unless there is something in there about Gators or Navy combat ships..is there?..what is the accommodation for lower rank females on Gators and Navy combat ships?...
    what if there are 5 females in a USMC platoon? they can't stay with their platoon...so, no matter what, they are being treated differently.......and if they do make special berthing in new ships, they would have to be in better conditions, because there would not be as many in their berthing area....the conditions are better than being with a full company....for it to be the same conditions, the number of females would have to be equal, or close to, to the number of males...
    yes it says the males and females will be separated......so the females will go the the areas with less racks, better conditions, or if they go to an area with mucho racks, better conditions.....it is better living when there are significantly less people in the living area
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Did you look at the second source? Have you done any of your own searches? So far there haven't been many femail enlisted assigned to combatants. The berthing issue appearse to be one of the reasons. The latter document I posted made it pretty clear that "gender neutral" is the rule and the goal. As far as I'm concerned the ball is now in your court as far as supplying facts and sources.
     
  18. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    yes, I have been and did see it, per your quote, which I think was the your main idea pertaining to the subject, no?....it says they will be separated...correct me if I'm wrong, it says the compartments will be 'designed' as gender neutral, but the sexes will still be separated... http://www.statisticbrain.com/women-in-the-military-statistics/ I thought we all knew there are not nearly as many females per males in the military...here, this says the total percentage of USMC and Navy females combined is about 23 percent....so even if you combine both on a combat ship, you can never have nearly the same amount of females as males....so as I stated before, I don't see, mathematically, how the females can be in as big a berthing area, or as crowded, as the USMC main units...mathematically impossible....even if some more females make it into combat units......it will not be the same living conditions
    I have been on 3 different types of Amphib ships...I've been in the different types of berthing areas...the racks were even different on some ships...so I've at least got firsthand knowledge of the area, space, etc of those areas....
    couldn't get a message to you LWD, ...full?
     
  19. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Why do you keep saying this?
    Here is what the US Navy has to offer:

    "All new surface ships are built from the keel up to accommodate women. Other ships receive the required habitability modifications in order to embark enlisted women. Habitability modifications for enlisted women require removing urinals and replacing them with toilets. There are no other modifications necessary except to ensure male and female berthing meet Navy privacy requirements.

    Both enlisted and officer women may be assigned to any type of squadron and embarked on any type of ship, providing availability of adequate berthing"
    (http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/organization/bupers/WomensPolicy/Pages/NavyWomenFactsStatistics.aspx)

    Here is another article:
    http://www.navy.mil/submit/display.asp?story_id=64492
     
  20. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    they are in better conditions because there are less personnel in their area...I don't care what the make up of the racks, toilets, etc are....it is much easier living on ship, or anywhere, when there are less people in the immediate area....ie a berthing area with 30 people v a berthing area with 100..
    ie, before our company went on ship, a staging party went in to put names on assigned racks, etc....I got there and switched my name to a rack next to a bulkhead....most of the other area had a double row of racks next to each other..I only had to share that rack area common space with four marines instead of eight..this was much more preferably and easy.....but, we still had to share the TV, common passageways, etc with the whole company...with less people in the area, more TV time, less noise, less problems, etc....but I never watched TV much, if at all....
    do you not agree, it is much easier sharing with less people, than more??
    and I loved being on ship...for 1,.I used to read about it, of course, so I got to actually do it...the LPH and LHA were 'near' the size of a WW2 carrier.....plus, all we did was have some classes, training, and worked out a lot...after chow, I could read, or go to the top decks and relax....
     

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