Paula, when did you leave the Military?
Paula, now that I know that you are editor on this page, I want to know when you left the military. If you left prior to 1993, then you left at our height. It has steadily deginerated since you departure.
Entering the Army in 1986 I saw no problem with women in the military. They served in jobs and at levels that seemed to do nothing but contribute to the Army and military as a whole. After 1993 the Army took a dramatic downturn. Women being pushed down to levels that they are ill fitted for was and is only a sympton of a much greater problem. The total lack of regard for the military and its contributions to this nation. Clinton attacked us at every chance he could, never in public, only in private where no one could question him. I do not believe you are a Clinton supporter from you writings, but you support him 100% when it comes to women in the military. Why? Does the fact that you are a woman and the emotion of the argument cloud you from reality? Paula, I have no doubt that you served your country honorably and contributed much to the Army and the military as a whole. But, you did this in a capacity that best suited you as a female. Please don't continue down this path of suicide no matter how good it feels. We cannot afford this as a nation. Your heart is right, but your goal is wrong. Women can be President and Supreme Court Justices, why must you have it all, even if doom is the end result?
The present day politicians have neither the guts nor the intestinal fortidude to turn back the damage that has been done the the military by Clinton. All they think of is votes. Well, I think of the lives that will be cost in future wars if we continue down this path. When this disaster comes, the politicians will try and jump on board, but it will be too late.
Re: Paula, when did you leave the Military?
Also, what exactly was your MOS? I know you were in the 101st. Was it in CSS?
Re: Paula, when did you leave the Military?
First, I am not an editor. I work for the site as a aid for women who are seeking advise, information, or doing research. I also have done book reviews. I have no hand in the technical aspects of these boards, that is all done by the webmaster and the technical advisor. The opinions that I state are my own and not those of the site. I am subject to the same rules that everyone else who posts here are. What I do for this web site is seperate and different from the boards.
I retired in 1991, but stay very active in what has been occuring through not only a multitude of friends I have that are on active duty throughout the services, but also through many service organizations which include but are not limited to NCOA, AUSA, AMVETS, DAV, etc. Yes, you are absolutely right I believe that Clinton was one of the leading reason to much of the neglect of the military. But I also believe that much of the downward trend started with the Vietnam war where battles where planned and fought in DC rather than on the battlefield, the end of the Vietnam war which resulted in the modern volunteer Army, granting of amnesty to draft dodgers under the Carter admnistration, the downsizing and restructuring of the 80's, the continual thinking of the American public towards the military as a whole, the feel out of danger attitude of the US since the supposed end of the "cold war", as well as the continuous move towards reliance on technology rather than using it as tool.
I am not nor have I ever been a women's libber (and I'm not saying you are saying I am one, just stating a fact), I do however believe that people should be judged as individuals not in mass because of what race, sex, or sexual orientation they may be. I believe that PC has not only been the downfall of the military, but society as a whole. Somewhere along the line we lost the ability to laugh at ourselves and take everything said or demonstrated as a insult. We have become to thin skinned and set the path for those who know how to play the system to gain a foothold. If you continue to allow people to ride the system, they are going to take the easy way. Case in point is the welfare system and the Social Security system. Reform has started, but they have a long way to go to clean up the mess that has been put in place. Another is illegal immigration. Since the original amnesty that was granted in the 80's, illegal immigration has exploded, yet they want once again to reward illegal activities with blanket amnesty.
But I digress. I believe wholeheartedly that women can and will serve in combat positions. I don't believe it will happen tomorrow or even next week or even next year, but I do believe that within the next 10 to 20 years women will be working in these MOS's.
There are issues that have to be addressed and PC policies that are now in place revised or rescinded. Primary one I will agree is the pregnancy issue. Profiles issued for pregnant women these days tell them to roll over and die. They would not be that pampered in a civilian setting unless there were complications due to the pregnancy. The difference between when I was pregnant in the Army and now is like night and day. I worked up until I went into labor. I was in deployable status. I went to the field and qualified. I did PT, but will admit that it was a PT designed for pregnant women. But, that was a support MOS and combat is a different issue. I have no problem with single parents or dual status parents, but pregnancy the way it is set up today does create problems.
I also agree that the touchy feely policies in place go to far. Harassment of any kind will never go away as long as you have different people working together. As far as sexual harassment goes, overall the incidents throughout the military are less than in the civilian population. I also feel that too many find this an easy way to ride the train. One "ooo I can't carry that" and there are 15 men lining up to carry it instead of saying tote or go. Then there are cases, one I remember in particular with the Signal Battalion, where an assumption is made. The commander automatically assumed the women could not carry radios and placed all the women in desk jobs while the men had to carry the load. Once the problem was identified by the CSM of DISCOM (which came to his attention because of replies that were being made on the promotion board), the workload was redistributed the way it should have been. Don't get me wrong, there are genuine cases of harassment and not just for women, but in too many of these cases fear keeps them from talking. I understand completely the frustration and intimidation these policies create. A touch is no longer just a touch or a word simply a word.
I also believe that education of what the job we perform as support units is sadly misunderstood at times. Too many assumed that my MOS, bandsmen, just tooted horns all day, that we never faced combat. Although we do not train to the intensity that an infantry or artillery unit does, our primary mission in combat is perimeter defense in conjunction with the infantry of the DTOC and access and control of the DTOC, not play music. We are also the only self sustaining units in the Army. There are no support personnel assigned to the unit. We do everything from armor to admin to supply ourselves. Our TOE in a division includes not only instruments, but .50 cals, M-60s, and everything else that is needed to support an infantry platoon. I heard too many times we couldn't do it, but because of our training, we did. Performance of bands in combat is written in history of the Army to include a Medal of Honor winner. This from a unit that only toots horns.
Point here is that perception is that this is a unit unable to perform in combat, but it does. I feel perception of women's capabilities to perform have been hurt by policies. Policies that have been written by others than those who serve and with an agenda. They work against women setting up discord, but do not allow women to prove their abilities. Like men, not all are suited for combat. And I don't believe that when it does happen it will be like the floodgates are opened and women will pour into the combat arms, more of a trickle. Like everything else, it will take time. It will take changing what is accepted norms of society. As each area has opened up in the military, the growth of women in the military has increased, but not overcome, but the key word here is increased. No men and women aren't equal, they are different.
I look at myself, yes, I was in support because that was my only option. I wanted to be a tanker. Had that option been open at the time, I would have served and served well. I have no problem lifting rounds or doing road marches with a 100 lb. ruck. I was able to pass the Physical Fitness test for men at that time. But it wasn't a choice for me. I am aggressive (and sometimes maybe too aggressive). Although I could not serve in combat arms, I did everything in my power to learn all I could and take advantage of any training that was afforded me. There are many women out there who are like myself and I want that option for them that I didn't have.
I will agree that many things in the Army need to change, but I will not agree that women are incapable of serving in combat nor will I agree that they are the only ones who know how to get over in the military (ROADS are perfect examples). I will not agree that women were the cause of all that has transpired in the military, but will agree that special interests groups have a foothold on dictating policy not just for women, but the Army as a whole. I believe as women perform more and more in jobs that are not considered "acceptable" or "normal" for women, you will see traditionally thinking of men reverse itself. It's happening already. I look to my own son and many of his friends whose view of what women are capable of doing knows no limits because this is what they have seen in their own mothers. I do not agree that women are the sole nurturing of children and that all women are instinctually drawn to having a home and family. I believe that the warrior spirit is alive and well in women and given the chance will prove it.
Re: Paula, when did you leave the Military?
I was an 02Z5M with a SMOS of 71L as well as other AMOS. I carred the skill identifier of B for EO. This is all in my bio. I was a bandsmen as that was the option I had at the time.