View Full Version : Women in Combat
03-11-2000, 12:16 PM
I am a woman in the U.S. Army Reserve. I read someones statement earlier about bootcamp being too easy. That is a severe understatement. You can be out of shape when you get there and graduate out of shape. Plenty of my peers did. I hate the way I was trained. It was if we were being trained to the lowest solider in the groups abilities. Notice I said soldier. Not man not woman because I outperformed both sexes. There were men there that kicked my butt, but I doubt any of them worked harder than me. I graduated basic training disappointed. I thought I had joined a fraternity of honor and integrity. I see fat, lazy individuals all over the military. What kind of honor is that? Currently I have a goal. I challenge all women in the military to try it. I am going to max the mens PT test. I already pass with a 240(mens scale). It upsets me when I see women, giving the people who are preventing us from participating in battle ammunition to keep it that way by going on profile constantly, failing repeated pt tests, walking when she should be running, looking ate up, basically not setting any standards. I would like to see them do away with signing bonuses. Get rid of automatic rank. Possibly even go back to drafting. It would definately raise moral. I think. You would have higher paid soldiers who have to accept their duties instead of always trying to find a way out. I'm not sure if I made sense through all this, but my main point would have to be, "women, gut it out. Don't whine, just put up or shut-up. It's us who are going to have to prove we have what it takes so just do it. Pay attention, keep your head's up, mouth's shut, and tailend's moving. We got a lot of ground to cover and it's gonna take all of us." If you have comments about my letter feel free to email me. Dooby04@flash.net I am always in the mood to talk to someone who has an opinion on the matter. Thank you SPC Deborah Risley
03-12-2000, 02:15 AM
It is good to see your enthusiasm. Although I agree with the reinstatement of the draft for both men and women, not neccessarily will you get a higher calibre of soldier. Since Viet Nam the opinion of serving in the military has done a 180 degrees and the probability of getting a soldier who is happy to serve his country as opposed to being forced, puts you in the same situation we are in now. Just because they are drafted doesn't mean you'll get quality, it means you quantity, then see how many you lose.
With the booming economy statistics show that it is getting harder and harder to get volunteers. And the projected outlook doesn't look any better. The military needs the bonuses to compete in the MOS's that nobody wants to perform.
I also agree that the standards should be raised, but hand in hand with that we should also revamp the Physical Education for young women. Most are unprepared for the military regimine because they receive no training in advance. Young men are taught from the get go strength building, what do young women get? Arobics (nothing wrong with that, just doesn't build strength and endurance), sports with little physical contact, and my favorite - dance. You have to get them when they're young in order to build that stamina.
As for your basic, that breaks my heart. Yes, policies are a big part of the problem, but my question is just how hard did those DI's motivate these troops. Obviously not much.
I would make one correction to your little saying though, don't keep your mouth shut. You seem motivated and caring about what is around you. You may be a SP4 but it is the responsibility of each soldier to do on the spot corrections. Then follow through. Don't accept substandard performance! You don't have to be rude about doing it and if they blow you off, go to their squad leader. If that still fails to produce results, then yes, you have come to a stand still. But keeping your mouth shut will only perpetuate the problem. It may not seem like much, but if you set the example and follow through that's your first step. If the problems keep being identified, change will happen. Maybe not as quickly as you like, but you have to start somewhere and acceptance is not the answer. Action is.
03-13-2000, 07:19 PM
Your having said all this gives me hope there are some who still strive to be top of the line! Hoping Marine training would be that much tougher than TODAY'S Army Basic(which it is), I am actually becoming disappointed in what I hear from a friend of mine in the midst of boot camp right now, concerning her platoon mates. It seems as if a handful actually strive hard to attain the purpose they signed up for, while the rest talk while their mouths should be shut, and do the minimum required while not considering how it reflects on the platoon. It can be a frustrating situation I'm sure, when you are motivated and give it your all like you were expecting everyone ELSE to do as well, but you see it isn't the case!! Makes you wonder why these people choose the military life if they aren't willing to kick some Arse!!! And in the Marines, some SERIOUS Arse! I can only pray standards stay top notch in the Corps... and also think the Army needs serious help in its babysitting-training regimen which you have outlined here, yet another call to toughen soldier training. Women like you are what soldiers are all about!!! We need more people like you to bring up the standards, it is not a lost cause yet! Keep it up, there are those who quietly urge you on, so keep your head up and let it rub off on your fellow soldier, male and female. Glad to hear all of this.
All the best, Natalie T.
03-13-2000, 07:36 PM
I agree with what you say about there not being much prep encouraged for your average female-turned warrior! Seems you have to do everything yourself...grab every book you can on the subject of strength and fighting skills, push yourself to limits not normally placed, etc. People telling you 'don't bulk up', if your body type isn't that of ballerina, where do u go? One thing I have found though that has helped greatly in this respect has been karate...any form of self defense training. I have never felt anything less than an equal with the guys attending such classes, and reaction time and strength (and courage) are greatly enhanced. I would encourage any female looking to go into the military and needing to start somewhere PT-wise, to definitely look into a martial arts program.
I also do not think the draft would solve much, since volunteers are at least a bit more apt to become enthused about being in the military to begin with. As for Drill Sargeants, I have heard from a few and also read personal accounts as to just how frustrating it is to train soldiers when policy practically ties your hands behind their backs. It is a fine line one must walk to not overstep the boundaries of possibly 'offending' a recruit nowadays. Maybe it is still possible to turn out super motivated Soldiers, but policies in the Army definitely need some reworking before this can practically be accomplished. I can empathize with those who really do their best. I think standards should be raised continually until effects of untrained and unfit forces stop materializing left and right. A hope a change in Presidency brings this issue forth as pertinent to the state of our future branches of the armed forces.
03-15-2000, 03:59 AM
: It is good to see your enthusiasm. Although I agree with the reinstatement of
: the draft for both men and women, not neccessarily will you get a higher
: calibre of soldier. Since Viet Nam the opinion of serving in the military
: has done a 180 degrees and the probability of getting a soldier who is
: happy to serve his country as opposed to being forced, puts you in the
: same situation we are in now. Just because they are drafted doesn't mean
: you'll get quality, it means you quantity, then see how many you lose.
: With the booming economy statistics show that it is getting harder and harder
: to get volunteers. And the projected outlook doesn't look any better. The
: military needs the bonuses to compete in the MOS's that nobody wants to
: I also agree that the standards should be raised, but hand in hand with that
: we should also revamp the Physical Education for young women. Most are
: unprepared for the military regimine because they receive no training in
: advance. Young men are taught from the get go strength building, what do
: young women get? Arobics (nothing wrong with that, just doesn't build
: strength and endurance), sports with little physical contact, and my
: favorite - dance. You have to get them when they're young in order to
: build that stamina.
: As for your basic, that breaks my heart. Yes, policies are a big part of the
: problem, but my question is just how hard did those DI's motivate these
: troops. Obviously not much.
: I would make one correction to your little saying though, don't keep your
: mouth shut. You seem motivated and caring about what is around you. You
: may be a SP4 but it is the responsibility of each soldier to do on the
: spot corrections. Then follow through. Don't accept substandard
: performance! You don't have to be rude about doing it and if they blow you
: off, go to their squad leader. If that still fails to produce results,
: then yes, you have come to a stand still. But keeping your mouth shut will
: only perpetuate the problem. It may not seem like much, but if you set the
: example and follow through that's your first step. If the problems keep
: being identified, change will happen. Maybe not as quickly as you like,
: but you have to start somewhere and acceptance is not the answer. Action
Well thought I would try this from Bosnia thus the address change, you people fail to realize why a draft would be good for this country. Most tend to agree we would have mediocre soldiers who would not want to be here and this would destroy the motivation of those who do. But also one must look on the other side. Today's Army is made up of those who want to be in their livelihood depends on the paycheck the Army provides. Thus these soldiers do not make waves about problems fearing it would cost them their jobs. Let me give you an example that is recent. Remember here while back we were told if we spoke out against the actions of our President we would be kicked out of the military? You had many soldiers speaking out, which is good because they saw the person for what he was and questioned his authority and leadership. Then when this policy came out everyone shut up because they were afraid of losing their job. My uncle a Vietnam Vet who was drafted when told by me that to get kicked out all we had to do was speak up against the President stated "Hell I wish we could have had that type of policy when I was in we would have flown LBJ is an *sshole banners from the tail boom of our helicopters. One of the biggest problems with our military today is there is no dissent. This is how we get chemical suits that are defective going out to soldiers everyone saw the problem but nobody spoke up out of fear of losing their jobs. The same was in Somalia everyone knew the troops needed Armor but yet nobody wanted to second guess those in Command. If we brought back the draft you would see more dissent among the troops and less cover up of scandals and such. Also more debate would be had over hair brained missions as more families would be affected. It is easy for Congress to send troops that they do not know or have political ties to. But let a campaign financiers son or daughter get drafted and believe me the debate on such stupid deployments in the Hall's of Congress would not end.
03-15-2000, 11:46 AM
: But let a campaign financiers son or daughter
: get drafted and believe me the debate on such stupid deployments in the
: Hall's of Congress would not end.
Like I said, I'm for the draft, but unless major changes are made both in the active military and in draft policies, your last statement will never happen. Throughout the history of the draft, those are the first that are deferred.
03-15-2000, 08:43 PM
Very insightful points there, Ron!
02-13-2001, 09:06 PM
I agree with that fact that it is disappointing that women do not do better, in pt tests and such, I mean statistics say that 52% of the world's population are women, and only 48% are men, but yet we women allow it to be a male dominated society, if we want equality, in everything, including being allowed to fight, and hold combat positions, we need to do something about it, but the sad fact is, we do nothing. We allow the fact that women are not paid as much as men to be true to this day, among other things. I agree women need to do better if we want equality, in the military, and do what the men do, including putting up tents, etc.