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#61221 - Thu May 24 2012 09:12 AM Women in Combat
Dark_Robo Offline
New Member

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2012
Posts: 22
Loc: NE
So just to see what everyones view is on the current topic of discussion within my unit, how do you guys see the Army dealing with the discussion of allowing women into combat units and possibly Ranger School?

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/05/ap-army-leaders-mull-sending-women-ranger-school-051612/

Now granted I know this is from the Army Times, and I'm sure that it's just like the Air Force Times and it is full of nonsense in some portions.

Does anyone think this will spread to our other services?

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#61222 - Thu May 24 2012 09:29 AM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
aidrius Offline
New Member

Registered: Sat Jan 29 2005
Posts: 94
Loc: USA
Capability needs to be the deciding factor.

Standards must not be altered to accommodate lower performance.

Sometimes capability is enhanced by diversity (USMC Female Engagement Teams), but diversity cannot override common sense.

You must be able to hold your shield for the man (person) next to you on the front lines or else you are a detriment to the team and shouldn't be there.

History is full of women on the front lines who have served honorably.

My experience working with women in the military is two-fold. I have met some who are experts at their craft that I have depended on heavily and I have met many who foster drama, discord, and cliques.

If standards are maintained I trust we will get fully capable women on the front lines... at this current time my personal bias and preference is that the person on my immediate left and right be a brother-in-arms... its just simpler... and sometimes simplicity adds to capability too.

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#61223 - Thu May 24 2012 12:45 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: aidrius]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: aidrius


Sometimes capability is enhanced by diversity (USMC Female Engagement Teams), but diversity cannot override common sense.
Do you even have a clue of what this capability is or it's purpose or operational enviroment it is employed into?

The Ranger School does not award a MOS and it doesn't result in duty assignment to perform US Army Ranger duties in the Ranger battalions. It has actually become a continuing education career incentive used to attract officers to gain infantry qualification that most would otherwise avoid participating in infantry leading training experiences in a physically demanding combat mission executing simulated environment without the Tab career incentive.

Within the Army’s tactical organization ability the squad (8-16 soldiers) formation and fire team are its smallest maneuver and fire element. Consequently it has been Army tactical organizations such as 82nd Airborne, 101st Air Assault and other maneuver and fire branches (formerly Combat Arms branches of Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery and Air Defense) that operate ‘prepare to train courses’ (pre-ranger) to ensure the volunteers they send to go through the US Army Ranger School have the reasonable chance of successfully passing the course and getting award of the Ranger Tab.

What is overlooked or perhaps deliberately ignored by many supposed combat and small tactical team leader development (or battle mind leading experience) experts is the Tab wear has a life-of- career criteria rather than being a one-time career advancement check the promotion incentive box off. The necessity of the Ranger School and education and development opportunities similar to it is all about sustaining a viable tactical leader capability in the force structure with the right character, commitment, and drive to be given command and to lead in the combat environment.

This life-of-career proficiencies and behaviors intent is most clearly disclosed in Army Regulation 600–8–22:

(13) Ranger Tab. The Ranger Tab may be revoked by the Commander, U.S. Army Infantry School based on the recommendation of the field commander (COL or above) of the individual in question, if in the opinion of that commander the individual has exhibited a pattern of behavior, expertise or duty performance that is inconsistent with expectations of the Army, that is, that Ranger qualified Soldiers continuously demonstrate enhanced degrees of confidence, commitment, competency and discipline. Award of the Ranger Tab may be revoked for the following under any of the following conditions:

(a) Dismissal, dishonorable discharge or conviction by courts-martial for desertion in time of war.

(b) Refusal to accept assignment to a Ranger coded position.

(c) Failure to maintain prescribed standards of personal fitness and readiness to accomplish missions commensurate with position and rank.

The opening of opportunity to participate in the Ranger School is all about female commissioned officers being able to get equal promotion and assignment opportunity. It has nothing to do with demanding women be exposed to the risks of being combat equal to the male enlisted grunt or survivability of squads and fire teams in the combat environment. The argument presented is given the increasing numbers of women in combat in support of military operations women deserve to have female infantry officers leading them.

There is very little discussion that sustaining survivability of fire teams and unmounted squads in the combat zone engaging the enemy or being attacked by the enemy requires availability of leaders who are functionally fit to perform in the environment and concurrently qualified and proficient in skill and task qualification necessary to get the mission accomplished. This essentially means sustaining maneuver and fire capability survivability has critical dependence on leader availability more so than individual combat readiness on any given day or during any month or year. Attrition loss of the small tactical leader is never discussed in terms of sustaining a dependable and reliable combat squad formation or fire team.

Female attrition loss statistics mid-career seldom discusses the multifactorial mission impairing effects in terms of sustaining survivability and availability of the squad or fire team. Women generally leave the service at higher rates than men. However attrition losses do not account for loss of availability do to classification into less physically demanding jobs and loss due to loss of physical fitness and medical disqualification.

Women often disclose their voluntary mid-career choice to leave often involves: desires to start a family; family stress; too much stress associated with family separation, assignment of new or unfamiliar duties, or desire for a less physically demanding duties. There are physically demanding duty opportunities open to women such as: US Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue swimmer, Navy Search and Rescue swimmer, Army Helicopter Medevac crewmembers and etc). The numbers of women making it through training is low, but even lower is the number of women doing such duties for more than one enlistment. However these duties are not inclusive of leading small tactical teams in the ground (surface) combat environment. Consequently the attrition loss or no-longer availability due to voluntary move to a less physical demanding occupation or duty position gets little attention as there is no mission impairing impact to squad or fire team avialability, reliability, dependability and survivability.

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#61225 - Thu May 24 2012 16:12 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
Lew83 Offline
New Member

Registered: Tue Sep 13 2011
Posts: 8
Loc: Colorado
I support women attending RS. RS is a gut check/leadership school/career boost. The technical and tactical skills learned are important to the battlefield leader, but are not exclusive to the RS graduate. Neither is the probability of having to execute said skills in a combat environment.

I will say that if say I were a convoy commander in combat under contact, and I needed a leader to execute a squad attack, if my choices to lead the attack were a male maintenance E-8 and a female RS graduate Chemical LT, I would choose the RS grad 10 times out of 10.

Woman are already "in" combat. We have airborne qualified females assigned to INF battalions, female MPs patrolling combat zones, the examples go on and on. One of my clearest memories of combat is a 120mm mortar slamming into our building in Baghdad, and me running over the female Arabic linguist I was talking to as I scrambled to check on my paratroopers pulling guard on the roof. She was in combat. She had to ride in a patrol to get there among some of the most deadly IEDs ever placed on this earth.

I do not, however, support integrating women into combat arms jobs across the services. The dirty, aggressive, sexually frustrated, highly trained, physically fit Infantry platoon is a beautiful, terrifying creature. The dynamic of this unit requires the aforementioned qualities. You s**t, piss, eat, sleep, dress (undress), bathe, and other personal rituals within inches of each other for months and months at a time. Imagine, "Doc, I have a tick on my balls!" being a commonly occurring event. Switch the sex/anatomy of either parties and you have just a snapshot of the myriad of problems that will arise. You wanna see a Infantry unit go to sh*t in seconds? Attach a female reporter/interpreter/whatever to the unit. Everything gets harder, every soldier's attention will instantly be averted to some degree, for varying reasons (protection, procreation).

I have heard that the directive to integrate the sexes into the services is being pushed by echelons above our military leadership. Leaders opposing these changes are being replaced. Its coming, I'm just glad I'm not the CO that has to figure out the "how?"
_________________________
Bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he refuses, destroy him.

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#61226 - Thu May 24 2012 16:18 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Yukon]
aidrius Offline
New Member

Registered: Sat Jan 29 2005
Posts: 94
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Yukon
Do you even have a clue of what this capability is or it's purpose or operational enviroment it is employed into?


Yes, I do have a clue.

With respect to the subject I addressed, which was, "Women in Combat", I stand by my post.

Regarding Ranger School specifically, I didn't address it, but what you said was informative.

Thank you.

- - - -

Lew83,

Agreed, on every count.

- - - -

...and BTW, happy memorial weekend to all, and thanks to all who serve or have served.


Edited by aidrius (Thu May 24 2012 16:34 PM)

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#61228 - Thu May 24 2012 18:53 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: aidrius]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: Lew83

Woman are already "in" combat. We have airborne qualified females assigned to INF battalions, female MPs patrolling combat zones, the examples go on and on.


Assigned to an airborne or infantry unit is inclusive of many types of positions having many differing performance expectations. Regardless the combat readiness suitability I put forth was not individual readiness but rather unit/team readiness.

Indirect fire (artillery, mortar, Rocket) impacting within a permanent fenced perimeter is not the outside the wire activity of maneuver and fight with combat load and immediate survival consumables of food, MRE, extra ammo, radio, and immediate need medical supplies of battle dressing. The focus is not the being exposed to direct or indirect fire but the performance resiliency and endurance being struggled with for more than just the engagement. IEDs are passive indirect fire in that you either get blown up by one or do not. There is no engaging or disengaging the enemy.

A convoy commander under attack making the decision on who to pick to lead the attack in response to an ambush, would be an extremely incompetent commander. Convoy, fire team, squad, platoon integrity concerning leading is done before executing the operation. It’s in ignorance or out of ignorance to back up “authority of testimony” that sounds impressive but ignores many aspects of warning orders, operations orders, and preparations to execute operations.

The RS grad brings with it no reliability skill proficiencies have been sustained after getting through RS successfully, more importantly the RS tab like rank doesn’t by its presence on the shoulder impart into the person having the ability to inspire the squad or fire team to accomplish the mission regardless of difficulties. The immediate reaction directing others to do requires proficiency to gain the confidence of the followers. Ranger School grad tab does not mean suitable ability present to lead when sustaining task and skill proficiencies has not been done. “Failure to maintain prescribed standards of personal fitness and readiness to accomplish missions commensurate with position and rank” in my previous comment in this discussion emphasized effective and efficient leading depends on suitable readiness to do is important.

Women-in-combat is just like having 12-17 year old children in combat. Can they strap on a bomb and be a suicide bomb, yep. Can they get killed by an IED, yep. Can they charge a machine gun bunker or charge up a hillside fortified with enemy trenches and bunkers, sure can. Do they have reliable and dependable individual utility and survivability, if trained and physically fit they can do it as well as any male 18 to 40 years of age. This however isn’t the discussion; the discussion is opening a small unit leader development course to women and not about assigning women to US Army Ranger duty positions in the 75th Ranger Regiment.

The discussion is about opening up opportunity to women, apparently specifically female commissioned officers, starting FY-13. Although the RTB has not been directed that all female candidates must pass regardless of performance, rumor is the word has been given the ability to dismiss underperforming woman from the course must comply to ensuring the pass/fail percentage women in each class mirrors the male pass/fail statistics. Essentially there is a diversity quota that for example if there are only two women in the class one of them will graduate. This diversity mandate nullifies the trained to criteria standards the tab is intended to represent. Might as well do away with the tab as it now represents quantity at the expense of quality.

The Ranger School is not RASP 1 or RASP 2 which is the screening, selecting and training required for a US Army Ranger duty assignment where the 75th Ranger Regiment philosophy is every member fights. Ranger School is not about going through RASP 2 each time the NCO or Officer in 75th Ranger Regiment gets promoted to demonstrate they are sustaining standards of personal fitness and readiness to accomplish missions commensurate with position and rank.

The OP posed a question element of allowing women into combat units and possibly Ranger School and this impact on other services such as the Air Force. Answering this question must address how it impacts small unit tactical combat/mission readiness. It requires 5-skill level to gain jumpmaster and other advanced capability leading duties and responsibilities. The necessity of required skills, knowledge, and experience to be a Pararescue Team Leader is possession of 7-skill level and NCO rank. By the book answer of how long it takes to develop a Pararescue Team Leader is 7.5 years or about 2-3 years after graduating the Pararescue pipeline and arriving at first operational unit. Large units such as the 82nd Airborne are able to absorb higher attrition loss and higher availability loss resulting from injuries, pregnancy, and loss of physical fitness to do the work in the operational environment. Small team capabilities being exposed to higher attrition loss and other availability loss of individual mid-career are no longer capable to provide a team due to lack of qualified and proficient leaders. The issue is not about the availability of a capable individual but about the availability of the team, squad level fighting capability to execute a mission tasking. The discussion cannot be about an Army of one, it must be about team, squad, unit integrity to function as a whole.

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#61229 - Thu May 24 2012 21:54 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
Lew83 Offline
New Member

Registered: Tue Sep 13 2011
Posts: 8
Loc: Colorado
Yukon, I was responding mostly to the OPs question, "how do you guys see the Army dealing with the discussion of allowing women into combat units and possibly Ranger School?" I have to say I disagree with you on many points. I feel you have taken elements of my post out of context, and at times respond based on presumption. There's a decent amount of logic error in your response which would require a significant response, I'm not going to go tit for tat, though.

My hypothetical situation of picking a leader for a squad attack was just that, a hypothetical. You are wrong to assume all elements of combat are handled in mission planning (WARNOs, OPORDERs, etc.)Maybe in your experience they are, but certainly not in the Current Operating Environment involving conventional forces. This is not necessarily the right way to operate, but it is how it goes. I don't appreciate the assertion of ignorance through "authority of testimony," that's not really accurate considering the context.

I respect you experience and institutional knowledge. I feel, however, feel your propensity for lengthy, authoritative posts at times stifles friendly discussion.
_________________________
Bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he refuses, destroy him.

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#61231 - Fri May 25 2012 01:19 AM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Lew83]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: Lew83
feel your propensity for lengthy, authoritative posts at times stifles friendly discussion.
Perhaps but what you consider stifling friendly discussion is actually your perspective of what I consider supporting information that can be weighed and evaluated by readers to decide what it means and how significant it is. You put forth an appeal to have faith in the Ranger Tab as being the most reasonable or less risk of failure solution in a specific situational situation and I called it out as distorting with oversimplification and hidden assumption that depend on subtleties readers having no small tactical unit leader qualification and experience are clueless of (not every reader reading this thread has military training and experience to draw upon).

Originally Posted By: Lew83
My hypothetical situation of picking a leader for a squad attack was just that, a hypothetical. You are wrong to assume all elements of combat are handled in mission planning (WARNOs, OPORDERs, etc.)Maybe in your experience they are, but certainly not in the Current Operating Environment involving conventional forces.
Your hypothetical situation was the deciding who would lead decision is being made in the midst of engagement and/or disengagement actions. Accessing and deciding the leader of a critical team to execute an expedient flanking or direct attack tactical scheme during hostile enemy contact is certainly a “Hail Mary” act of desperation.

Hypothetical or not a formal chain-of-command to include who is leading special purpose teams is organization preparation to execute the impending mission whether it is a convoy or a raid operation. A convoy is typically nothing more than a column formation with certain inherent characteristics of control, security, flexibility, and speed.

The March 23, 2003 ambush of a convoy of the United States Army's 507th Maintenance Company and the 3rd Combat Support BN elements is a textbook example of a convoy conducting movement with poor mission planning and poor mission preparation. It was a convoy with no control, security, or flexibility as by the time it got ambushed the formation was fragmented into two groups. More importantly while there may have been key individuals in each group there was no actual team or squad tactical control being provided by a team or squad leader. The convoy was led by a supply officer with no training as a combat officer, weapons malfunctions "may have resulted from inadequate individual maintenance in a desert environment, and other findings such as route not being loaded into GPSs having capability of loading 20 routes with up to 125 way points per route indicates a lack of mission planning, poor mission preparation and weak situational awareness.

Regardless the ridiculousness I was calling attention to was picking between a male maintenance E-8 and female RS graduate chemical Lt to execute an attack only because one of them wears the Ranger School Tab. All the Ranger Tab (vs Ranger Scroll) indicates is the individual has proven during a course they can overcome seemingly insurmountable mental and physical challenges while under extended mental and physical stress. It does not necessarily mean gained and sustained competence and efficiency in all infantry skills, but more importantly if this is the experience and competence of who is leading the Hail Mary what is the experience and competence of those you are expecting to follow them. Pressing the attack requires a bit more squad or team integrity and knowledge of small unit tactics than is needed to hold a defensive position or disengaging to execute a tactical retreat or being the few survivors fighting their way out as the only means to survive.

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#61232 - Fri May 25 2012 02:25 AM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: aidrius
With respect to the subject I addressed, which was, "Women in Combat", I stand by my post.
The debate of opening the Ranger School to women shifts the focus from simply women-in-combat to specific utilization in combat which is not a necessity capability currently existing in or perhaps better described as being provided by the USMC Female Engagement Teams and the Army’s equivalent Female Engagement Teams.

This capability currently functions as a support element rather than as an autonomous combat capability. This means there are other ground tactical capability doing the scouting, doing the reconnaissance and doing point, rear, and flank security. As the purpose of the opening the Ranger School is to educate and develop small tactical unit leaders the hidden utilization is expanding utilization of women in combat to lead Ranger, Armor, Air Assault ground forces, Airborne assault forces and to be there participating in doing long range (deep) reconnaissance and raids. This level of utilization differs considerably from the utilization role and purpose for having female engagement teams as it currently exists.

The political drive of opening the Ranger School to women and getting women SEAL, Special Forces, Army Rangers has little interest in gaining opportunities for enlisted females, the agenda interest is all focused on getting women officers promoted into the top Combat Commander and Chief of Staff duty positions. There is no feminist interest or significant political action group interested in having GI Jane enlisted SEAL or enlisted GI Jane Ranger, it is all on giving women equal opportunity to be in positions of power and if training standards need to be lowered and availability of mission/combat ready teams, squads and units compromised, so be it. Consequently what are the gender neutral pass/fail and go/no-go standards going-to-be is strongly connected to this opening the Ranger School and all combat units to woman discussion.

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#61242 - Fri May 25 2012 15:05 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Yukon]
aidrius Offline
New Member

Registered: Sat Jan 29 2005
Posts: 94
Loc: USA
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood." - Stephen R. Covey

Yeah, I'm working on that. Right now, I am seeking to understand each person's perspective here. What I have gotten from this thread, besides no love, is that one man's definition of "in combat" is different from another's.

If "in combat" refers exclusively to ground tactical capability involving scouting, reconnaissance, and point, rear, and flank security, the conclusions drawn will certainly be different than if "in combat" includes any duties in a combat zone. For the purposes of this discussion I have personally considered "in combat" to be any duties in a combat environment/zone facing a high risk of violence from an enemy combatant. Being shot at in an aircraft, blown up in a convoy, or ambushed in a village all qualify by my assessment. Men or women in these situations are most certainly "in combat".

As far as no feminist interest in having GI Jane enlisted SEAL, it is my opinion that there is interest, but advocates currently lack compelling fuel for that fire. Baby steps... that day will come...

Yukon, I do agree with Lew. Lengthy academic responses with assertions of being clueless/ignorant give the appearance of a lack of basic mutual respect and make it difficult to respond constructively. If an open discussion is not what is desired then in the words of Borat, "Great success!"

A significant segment of experience is certainly in your corner, but as I understand it Lew has done some time too... and I also serve. I would hope that we could bring something to the table. More friendly/relaxed discussion might produce better ideas that we can all benefit from. Besides, winning all of the time probably takes a lot of energy! Just look at Charlie Sheen. laugh

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#61244 - Fri May 25 2012 21:58 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: aidrius

... I am seeking to understand each person's perspective here. What I have gotten from this thread, besides no love, is that one man's definition of "in combat" is different from another's.
My definition of in-combat is the same as everybody else’s participating in this discussion. There is no why, where, when or gender criteria attached to in-combat. Inside the wire and outside the wire or being and not being a combat aircrew member isn't the performance and suitability distinction of importance.

Where I differed was how capability (the unit, team, squad) usability is used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction combined with the human performance ability to maintain the necessary level and duration of operational activity to achieve military objectives. The asking of the employment concept of operations and usability of the female engagement team capability was asking if the state or quality of being useful militarily or enhancing an operation was understood and is being put forth as an appropriate performance and survivability combat capability example of being usability capable equal to the fully capable autonomous infantry squad, platoon, or company and even possibly being usability capable equal to the fully capable autonomous 7th Regiment Ranger squad, platoon or company.

Originally Posted By: aidrius
But as I understand it Lew has done some time too... and I also serve. I would hope that we could bring something to the table.
This experience and something time brought to the table is unknown, however if the burden of correctness or approval is experience than identify it in either your profile or in the discussion, I do not assume or presume duty experience that is not disclosed or is ambiguously disclosed. I’m not going to acknowledge or presume experience or the something being brought to the table that isn’t disclosed.

Setting aside the reality no experience was put on the table to consider my response would be the same if pick decision was a male warrant officer RS grad over everybody else because they were not Ranger School Graduates in the hypothetical situation given. The why is for the reasons I gave which is small tactical team leading 101 and sustaining unit/team integrity 101.

The opening Ranger School and the remaining close to women military occupations and duty positions discussion is happening on many forums and has been since before 9-11. Many forums are opinion clones of the same useless popular myths lacking substance uneducated no experience opinions. What I’m adverse to is another rehash of the same opinion of no substance that never influenced any policy decisions or policy changes.

I’m unaware of any other forum having somebody participating in the discussion who was participating involved in getting “where job related physical requirements would necessarily exclude the vast majority of women Service members” included in the current DOD Direct Combat and definition assignment rule. I was involved on one of the working groups that specifically resulted in Pararescue and CCT remaining closed to women in 1993 when all other AFSCs were opened (TACP whined and used the justification I help developed to keep their AFSC closed to women a few month later). I was also part of the subject matter advisory working group that advised the Coast Guard they should open Helicopter Rescue swimmer Program to Women but that they should implement gender neutral what is needed to do the physical fitness standards that exactly same for both males and females. This is my gender relevant experience I’m throwing on the table, let’s see somebody else’s pertinent experience thrown on the table, if disclosing experience is more important and useful than disclosing reasoning behind assertions, premises and opinion.

As I’m addressing this with some command, small tactical team leading and unit integrity experience let me throw-out I was serving as senior NCO during the years the 1730th Pararescue Squadron existed. The Squadron had two commissioned offices and all nine of it’s geographically separated detachments were essentially commanded by senior NCOs.

Quote:
Here is a recent email from one of the first term airman that worked for me at the time:

I never said how much of a good influence you were to me at Woody. It was my first assignment. I learned to be a good PJ from a number of guys there including you. But I learned to be a good NCO from you and Wayne Walls. The lessons you taught me by your conduct and work really carried through for me the rest of my carrier where the more rank I got the more important it was to be a good NCO. Thanks for all you did at Woody for me and everyone else there. I know all of us that worked with you took away an improvement in ourselves professionally.


Rex


There were a lot of operational missions we were involved with at Woody, however on one occasion I was deployed team leader and in process of helicopter engine start for a high priority mission I did not like the sound I was hearing in the back and I insisted on a maintenance cancel, maintenance, flight engineers insisted Helicopter was a-ok and not only did I refuse to fly I order my team they will not fly on the helicopter. Six hours later maintenance discovered the problem the whole time with the chain-of-command almost all the way up to SECDEF threatening me court martial and reduction in rank from E-7 to E-1. The problem was sheet metal had done a modification and used the wrong length of screws. These screws were acting as a lathe pipe cutter on the tail rotor drive shaft. The inspection results was after 15 minutes of flight the drive shaft would have been completely cut-in-two and the MJ-53 would have experience catastrophic tail rotor failure resulting in all of the crew and PJ team being killed. I could tell some on the ground tactical leading stories but unfortunately they are considerably longer stories and generally others tell about those events better than I do. BTW I believe Rex was on this deployed team I was leading. The point being I have made difficult leader decisions that has saved lives in more ways than can be summarized.

I’ve been retired since 1996 and basically do nothing here in Alaska as far as DOD or the Air Force is concerned but I still sometimes provide self-initiated input that influences policy change here and there. So in this way I suppose Charlie Sheen and words of Borat appropriately describe me. So put forth the experience and contributing influence you all are putting on or bringing to the table. cool

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#61250 - Sun May 27 2012 15:18 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Not so much a gender perspective but rather mission impairment influences of mid-career attrition losses pertinent to elements of the chain-of-command and employing elements of combat power specifically platoon, squad and team capability to execute and accomplish tactical operations.

Leading such elements is less a specific MOS/AFSC and rank and more a specific duty position performed by the service members who not only are of NCO or officer rank but also the service members who have completed the required training, education, and development to be put into duty positions of Platoon, Squad, and Team leaders. Pertinent to this formal in-resident training such as Ranger School has always been considered a continuation from basic skills to advanced skills training combined with confidence training (situational exercises) to determine if the individual is capable of conducting operations in the future in a leader position. Completion of these courses do not put the course or school graduate into the leader duty position, the unit commander does and the unit is supposedly giving additional in-unit upgrade to leader training. The unit is also “supposedly” periodically accessing it leader's skill and knowledge proficiencies and physical fitness is being sustained and to ensure ability isn’t becoming inadequate or unsuitable to perform leading duties. Please be aware E-5 is the lowest NCO rank in the Air Force enlisted force structure.

However the context of all this is there is other schools and courses other than the Ranger School connected to being put into a small tactical unit leader duty position. Such as:

STRYKER LEADERS COURSE / 2E-F207/010-F28: The Stryker Leaders Course is a career progression and a leader development course designed to provide Stryker Brigade Combat Teams designated Soldiers the ability to perform the technical and tactical capabilities of a future Stryker Leader. The Stryker Leaders Course trains enlisted personnel in the ranks of SGT through Master Sergeant and Officers in the ranks of Second Lieutenant through Major.

Bradley Leader Course 2E-SI3X/010-F25 (PI): Trains newly assigned Officers (Second Lieutenant through Major) and NCOs (SSG to SGM) serving in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle (BFV) leadership position. This course will train new Officers and NCOs on how to assume a vehicle commander position. This course will assist commanders in achieving full operational capability in the shortest time practical by training and certifying students on the BFV system and providing unit commanders with training needed to sustain tactical and technical proficiency.

SC 071, course 2E-F206/010-ASIB8, HEAVY WEAPONS LEADERS Course: Trains Soldiers and leaders via both resident and Mobile Training Team courses; producing Soldiers and leaders that are fully qualified, agile, and adaptive and have been equipped with the best tactical and technical knowledge to employ heavy weapons. Upon successful completion, enlisted personnel are awarded the additional skill identifier of B8.

Infantry Mortar Leader Course (2E-SI3Z/010-ASIB1): Infantry Mortar Leader Course (IMLC) provides NCOs and Officers with the knowledge to supervise and direct the fires of a mortar platoon. Instructions include tactical employment of the mortar platoon, graphics, fire planning, mechanical training, FO procedures, and fire direction control procedures. Upon successful completion, enlisted personnel are awarded the additional skill identifier of B1 and Officers are awarded the additional skill identifier of 3Z.

Army Mountain Warfare School:

071-F1 (SUM) Assault Climber Course: The course is 14 days of continuous training, with an average of 14 hours of training every day. To train selected soldiers in the knowledge/skills required to lead small units/teams over technically difficult, hazardous or exposed (Class 4 and 5) mountainous terrain during summer months. Emphasis is placed on developing the Level 2 Assault Climber tasks described in Chapter 2, FM 3-97.6, Mountain Operations (2000 Revision).

071-F1 (WIN) Assault Climber Course: The course is 14 days of continuous training, with an average of 14 hours of training every day. To train selected soldiers in the knowledge/skills required to lead small units/teams over technically difficult, hazardous or exposed (Class 4 and 5) mountainous terrain during winter months. Emphasis is placed on developing the Level 2 Assault Climber tasks described in Chapter 2, FM 3-97.6, Mountain Operations (2000 Revision).

Ranger School: Ranger training, conducted at the USAIS, Fort Benning, GA, further develops leadership and CA-related skills of Soldiers eligible for assignment to units that primarily engage in the close-combat, direct-fire battle. The course requires Soldiers to perform individual and collective tasks and missions in a realistic environment under mental and physical stress that approaches that found in combat. Training emphasizes the development of individual abilities to apply established doctrine and to plan and conduct infantry, airborne, air assault, and amphibious squad and platoon operations. Soldiers are no longer required to be assigned against ranger authorizations in order to attend ranger training. The intended goal of this policy is to increase CS/CSS ranger qualified Soldiers assigned throughout the Army. However, attendance to ranger training remains limited to Soldiers for whom the DOD Direct Combat Rule Policy applies, as outlined by AR 600–13 and AR 680–29. Ranger training is available, on a voluntary basis, for commissioned officers and NCOs. (E-4 is a NCO rank in the Army, Marines and Navy, E-5 is the lowest NCO rank in the Air Force enlisted force structure).

Ranger Assessment Selection Program 1: This 8-week course trains soldiers in the rank of Private through Sergeant in the basic skills and tactics required to operate in the 75th Ranger Regiment. Upon completion of this course you will have the advanced skills, training, and confidence to be a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, capable of conducting operations as a member of a Ranger strike force or command element.

Ranger Assessment Selection Program 2: A 21-day course for soldiers in the rank of Staff Sergeant and above, and all officers volunteering for assignment to the 75th Ranger Regiment. This course assesses the suitability of mid-and senior grade leaders for assignment to the Regiment, and teaches them the operational techniques and standards of the Ranger Regiment. This course provides training in the special tactics, equipment, and missions that make the Regiment unique. Upon successful completion of this course, applicants will be assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment.

Considering the NCO rank (E-5, E-6, E-7, E-8, and E-9) and 7-skill level skill proficiencies and experience needed to be a Pararescue Team Leader, Instructor, or Evaluator; the female mid-career attrition loss statistics combined with potential loss of availability for 12 month plus month for pregnancy and time to get task skill proficiency re-qualified back to fitness standards and combat mission ready certified there is a considerable mission impairment as the enlisted gender ratio in the career field increases towards 50/50 to having team capability availability (career field is only 500 funded manpower positions) and or unit being able to train and keep qualified others in the unit.


It must be remembered the Pararescue Force structure exists to be immediate response to the unforeseeable incident or event and to be useable in an operational environment national command authority or combatant commander has determined loss of life and aircraft is an acceptable risk in getting the mission accomplished. The PJ Team leader’s job is to give the team its best chance of survivability and its best chance of successful mission accomplishment.


I recommend reading AFI 10-3502VI PARARESCUE AND COMBAT RESCUE OFFICER TRAINING and AFI 10-3502V2 PARARESCUE AND COMBAT RESCUE OFFICER STANDARDIZATION & EVALUATION PROGRAM if belief is held mid-career (after 4 years and before 20 years) attrition loss isn’t a significant unit combat readiness and team availability problem.


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#61266 - Wed May 30 2012 15:45 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Yukon]
aidrius Offline
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My comment about serving and my attempts at comedy were aimed at uniting us under the same bond of service and encouraging more casual conversation on the subject at hand... which seemed unnecessarily tense. I raise my white flag.

Yukon, your experience vastly outweighs anything most of us could muster combined. If my respect for you and your service has not been clear, I apologize, it is great.

I do, however, think that anyone with military service who has served with the opposite sex might be able to add to the conversation. I've found many times that data points are great, but sometimes it is the intangible gut feeling that the lowest man on the totem pole can bring to the table that can make the difference.

Nevertheless, per your request: I'm a C-130 Pilot and have been in for less than 6 years now... having often supported ST and SOF, which brings me here. In all seriousness, I can only hope to have a career as diverse and long as yours. Thanks again for your service, the info, and the challenging thinking points.

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#61268 - Wed May 30 2012 17:53 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
Yukon Online
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aidrius thank you for disclosing your military background, it wasn’t necessary as the point being made is does the person’s reputation warrant accepting an unsupported opinion, assertion, premise or perspective or not. I tend to give background information readers can research and look into further for deciding how significant it is.

For example the follwing picture is being discussed on some other forums and some of the discussion has gone to the gutter.

The actual article being discussed is Military mom 'proud' of breast-feeding in uniform, despite criticism

There are also discussions on other forums of the Air Force's first female Wing Commander of a Fighter wing and some of the comments suggest she is unfit because she may be experiencing menopause. Essentially uninformed, preconceived notions and personal preferences put the conversation into useless BS and considering the career fields discussed on these forums are essentially the very few closed to woman (PJ, CCT, SOW, TACP, CRO, STO) the conversation here should be held to a higher standard of quality critical thinking and reading.

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#61275 - Thu May 31 2012 15:13 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Yukon]
aidrius Offline
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I can see why that photo caused a stir...

Agree regarding the higher standard of critical thinking and reading.

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#61293 - Sun Jun 03 2012 15:00 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
boxinabag Offline
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Yukon... I feel like I just read an encyclopedia lol

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#61294 - Sun Jun 03 2012 15:41 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Dark_Robo]
Yukon Online
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Well, it's a complicated discussion with no simple answers.


Discussing Old people have distinctive smell, but it's not too bad, study finds and whether deodorant and perfume should be banned in the workplace because some can't stand the smell is probably a simpler conversation.

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#61303 - Mon Jun 04 2012 16:22 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Yukon]
boxinabag Offline
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It is also a discussion that left me well informed! V/R!

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#61376 - Wed Jun 13 2012 12:28 PM Re: Women in Combat [Re: Yukon]
aidrius Offline
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Interesting, related article. Admiral Olson says it well.

http://sofrep.com/8123/women-in-the-navy-seal-teams-admiral-seal-olson-discussion/

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#61465 - Thu Jun 21 2012 18:18 PM Women in Special Operations
Porcupine Offline
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Full Article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/30/women-in-the-military-inc_n_868736.html

Quote:
Across the services, just a handful of jobs are closed to women, and those are mainly combat, infantry, artillery, pararescue, tank and special operations forces.


We all know it's going to happen. But we like to pretend it won't....
I have nothing against allowing women into these roles, as long as the standards are not lowered. But history proves a different story.

It happened with the Marine Corps, Army Airborne, and just recently the Rangers:
http://weaponsman.com/?p=2814

My hope is that Pararescue being a much smaller community, will be able to resist a bit more, and not lower the standards as much. But women will serve in these units...

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#61466 - Thu Jun 21 2012 23:21 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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Originally Posted By: Porcupine


It happened with the Marine Corps, Army Airborne, and just recently the Rangers:
http://weaponsman.com/?p=2814
Unfortunatly you are a bit confused on what utilization change happened.

Completing courses and schools that do not award MOS or result in duty utilization to perform in a combat arms duty position is what change in being there doing utilization in the operational environment?

The Army has conducted only six large-scale operations of 2500 or more jumpers in its history. Approximately eleven combat airborne operations have been conducted by battalion to brigade-sized (500-2500 jumpers) units and approximately eight small-scale operations of 100 to 500 jumpers. Current Army doctrine concerning airborne operations in support of operational level objectives seem to center around the Airborne Brigade Combat Team (ABCT). I see plenty of female airborne support duty positions but I’ve yet to read there is a female holding an airborne infantry MOS.

Ranger School is not a Ranger assignment and not the RASP screening course. Nothing put forth in the article suggest or infer women will be put in duty positions assignments to reconnaissance squadrons, the 75th Ranger Regiment or special purpose units such as Special Forces, Pathfinder or Long Range Surveillance units in Rangers, scouts, reconnaissance infantry or other combat arms MOS duty positions.

So what exactly do you think has happened that has any influence or effect of your sister or girlfriend becoming a PJ, CCT, SOW, or TACP before you do?

BTW, This is essentially starting a new conversation thread on a recently discussed topic ( http://www.specialtactics.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/61221/Women_in_Combat.html#Post61221 ).

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#61467 - Fri Jun 22 2012 01:12 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Yukon]
Porcupine Offline
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Originally Posted By: Yukon
Unfortunatly you are a bit confused on what utilization change happened. Completing courses and schools that do not award MOS or result in duty utilization to perform in a combat arms duty position is what change in being there doing utilization in the operational environment?


I think that's the ultimate goal though. In my opinion it's important to have a good foundation from the start(i.e the same Assessment & Selection), so that when women do eventually work in these different combat units, they will be up to standard as much as possible from the beginning.

I am sure that there are allot of other factors I am not taking into consideration, including female physiology, male psychology, and how that will affect unit cohesion. But unfortunately common sense something that is lacking in D.C, and the concerns of operators will be largely ignored.




Originally Posted By: Yukon
So what exactly do you think has happened that has any influence or effect of your sister or girlfriend becoming a PJ, CCT, SOW, or TACP before you do?


I have no problem with women going through any of these schools. But when the government open these up, they will expect the same failure rate for both sexes, I think that's unrealistic. I think more women will drop out then men, and maybe not a single female would graduate the first few classes, but of-course a few eventually would, and they would have deserved it.

But politicians are not patient, and I think they would get real skittish if not a single woman graduates the first few classes. They would immediately say something is wrong with the course, and would require that the same percentage of women must pass. And this would in turn lower the requirements, and effectively reduce the quality of the unit.

As long as the current standards are not lowered, and the same is expected of both sexes, I have no problem with letting women try-out. But the same should be expected of everybody, and I am sure most of them would agree.




Originally Posted By: Yukon
BTW, This is essentially starting a new conversation thread on a recently discussed topic ( http://www.specialtactics.com/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php/topics/61221/Women_in_Combat.html#Post61221 ).


Sorry Yukon, I didn't see that thread. Could you merge this one with that other thread?


Edited by Porcupine (Fri Jun 22 2012 06:50 AM)

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#61468 - Fri Jun 22 2012 06:50 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
TE Offline
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Merge complete.
_________________________
TE
Pararescueman (Ret)/Webmaster/Administrator/RKC
The real test comes when all strength has fled, and men must produce victory on will alone...

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#61469 - Fri Jun 22 2012 06:56 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: TE]
Porcupine Offline
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Originally Posted By: TE
Merge complete.


Thx, TE.

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#61472 - Fri Jun 22 2012 08:32 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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The Huffington Post article causing your concerns was written over a year ago and while suggesting a writers feeling there may be women serving in frontline combat in the future, in what operational capability utilization is not clearly and concisely indicated by the writer. More importantly “a military advisory panel making recommendations” remains nameless, which compromises the worth and integrity of the writer’s reasoning and puts the article into the realm of political advocacy propaganda.

Perhaps the most egregious assertion in the article is: "One of the things we are seeing is that as women move up and get more and more responsibilities, our retention rates for junior officers and junior enlisted are going up as well," Mabus said. While retention is going up as claimed due to the weak job market and poor economy the dependability and reliability of fleet operations is going down the toilet and Navy’s disciplinary statistics are increasing.

Navy retention difficulties are influenced by ship type (destroyer, carrier, cargo) and the interrelationship differs between officers and enlisted. More importantly Mabus’ quote clearly is not addressing retention in the Navy’s Special Warfare small tactical unit community which consists of about 5,500 SEALs and support forces such as the Special Boat Units which have how many women currently assigned and performing these duties? His retention assertion also fails to address any statistics of the retained regardless of gender) remaining in surface warfare officer duty positions which is critical to sustaining dependable and reliable fleet operations. For example officers initially assigned to amphibious platforms tend to stay in the Navy, but transferred out of the Surface Warfare Officer utilization when transferred to another platform. Same can be said about rated Air Force officers until being entitled to flight pay was authorized when put into desk flying duty positions.

Essentially the article is a waste of ink and paper other than it does emotionally hijack the uninformed and ignorant.

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#61474 - Fri Jun 22 2012 16:55 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Yukon]
Porcupine Offline
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Originally Posted By: Yukon
More importantly “a military advisory panel making recommendations” remains nameless, which compromises the worth and integrity of the writer’s reasoning and puts the article into the realm of political advocacy propaganda.


Essentially the article is a waste of ink and paper other than it does emotionally hijack the uninformed and ignorant.


Let's hope you are right Yukon. I was wondering what you would make of this article:


Admiral Olson commenting on female SEALs:
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/female-nav...74#.T-UCpPXf7u4

Here's a quote from the Admiral:
"A Navy SEAL himself, Admiral Eric T. Olson said at the opening session of the 2011 Aspen Security Forum that he would like to see female SEALs in combat roles.

"As soon as policy permits it, we'll be ready to go down that road," said Olson.

He added that being a SEAL is not just about physical strength. "I don't think the idea is to select G.I. Jane and put her through SEAL training,
"


He mentioned the "Cultural Support Teams" the Navy currently has, but the message I got from the article is that when given the opportunity these women will one day be called SEALs. Even if their role/training is not the same as the men's. In my opinion the "Cultural Support Team" structure currently used is just fine, there is no need to fully integrate them into the teams and call them SEALs.

If you are not going to give them the same level of training, I think giving them a trident or a beret has more to to with politics than anything else.

But like I said previously, if you are going to call them SEALs, Green Berets etc...you should train them to the same standard as their male counterparts, and then they truly would be qualified to serve in these units.


Edited by Porcupine (Fri Jun 22 2012 17:25 PM)

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#61475 - Fri Jun 22 2012 19:41 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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Originally Posted By: Porcupine


He mentioned the "Cultural Support Teams" the Navy currently has, but the message I got from the article is that when given the opportunity these women will one day be called SEALs. Even if their role/training is not the same as the men's. In my opinion the "Cultural Support Team" structure currently used is just fine, there is no need to fully integrate them into the teams and call them SEALs.

If you are not going to give them the same level of training, I think giving them a trident or a beret has more to with politics than anything else.

But like I said previously, if you are going to call them SEALs, Green Berets etc...you should train them to the same standard as their male counterparts, and then they truly would be qualified to serve in these units.
A SEAL Team and US Special Forces Team have many similarities. Perhaps the biggest is there have always been different flavors of SEALs and different flavors of US Army Special Forces. This similarity is being somewhat exaggerated in this summary to emphasize the quality of “of the same level of training” is not necessarily absolute exactly being the same to begin with and to emphasize availability for immediate unplanned response utilization is certainly not being the same considering all the mission areas these SEAL and SF teams are involved with and team composition generally being tailored for the mission tasking.

The CMF 18 (Special Forces) is subdivided into five accession Military Occupational Specialties (MOS's): 18A, Detachment Commander; 18B, SF Weapons Sergeant; 18C, SF Engineer Sergeant; 18D, SF Medical Sergeant; and 18E, SF Communications Sergeant. It also includes since about 1986 the warrant officer MOS 18OA. There are basic qualification and advanced qualifications and not all SF get advanced qualifications during first enlistment. Assignments include support and staff duty positions plus MOS composition of the teams change to tailor to the mission.

Although there is now a SEAL NEC the SEAL teams (typically16-man platoons) have SEALs with advance qualification that align comparable to the SF MOSs. The SEAL Medic is a SEAL who has successfully completed the Advanced Medical Training Course 18D.

Both SEAL and SF have a significant Foreign Internal Defense, Civil Affairs (public safety, finance, economy and support of dislocated persons, running health care clinics, and etc)and Psyops utilization. More than half the mission roles have no small tactical unit operations involvement. Furthermore there are about 5,500 SEALs and 10,000 plus a significant more Special Forces. There are about 500 PJs, 500 CCT or about 1000 combined force strength. The PJ and STS squadrons assigned support duty positions are other AFSCs doing rear element support meaning the support if deployed do not go outside the wire to accomplish the missions tasked to PJs and CCT.

Consequently SEALs and SF have plenty of overhead where political compromise is not necessarily increased operational risk for mission failure and unnecessary death and injury of the employed team accomplishing a tactical mission.

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#61479 - Fri Jun 22 2012 20:38 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Yukon]
Porcupine Offline
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Originally Posted By: Yukon
This similarity is being somewhat exaggerated in this summary to emphasize the quality of “of the same level of training” is not necessarily absolute exactly being the same to begin with and to emphasize availability for immediate unplanned response utilization is certainly not being the same considering all the mission areas these SEAL and SF teams are involved with and team composition generally being tailored for the mission tasking.


What I meant was not necessarily the follow on training these men/women might get. But the initial schools they have to go through to join these units(i.e BUD/S, SQT and the Special Forces Qualification Course.) The message I got from the Admiral is that these women would be attending a watered down version. I understand that what ever follow training they get will be up to the Navy to decide.

But I think it's important that every team member goes through the same exact selection process. I think it defeats the whole purpose of having a selection phase if you hold one group of individuals to one standard and not another.


Originally Posted By: Yukon
Furthermore there are about 5,500 SEALs and 10,000 plus a significant more Special Forces. There are about 500 PJs, 500 CCT or about 1000 combined force strength. The PJ and STS squadrons assigned support duty positions are other AFSCs doing rear element support meaning the support if deployed do not go outside the wire to accomplish the missions tasked to PJs and CCT.

Consequently SEALs and SF have plenty of overhead where political compromise is not necessarily increased operational risk for mission failure and unnecessary death and injury of the employed team accomplishing a tactical mission.


I agree with you on that, hopefully Pararescue and the STS community in general will have more say in what compromises(if any) will be made.

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#61484 - Sat Jun 23 2012 09:07 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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Originally Posted By: Porcupine
[quote=Yukon]
But I think it's important that every team member goes through the same exact selection process. I think it defeats the whole purpose of having a selection phase if you hold one group of individuals to one standard and not another.
Why?

Read book “No Room for Error-The Covert Operations of America’s Special; Tactics Units from Iran to Afganistan”. Page 195 gives insight to politics of the 1989 era when there were 4-stars wanting to eliminate the Pararescue career field entirely and pages 197-200 gives an insight to how, why and when CCT implemented its first stringent selection, screening, PAST and other standards for the career field. The resulting combined CCT-PJ Indoc program lasted until 2000 and the CCT-SOW selection screen process now differs from PJ selection screening process although both produce the same product for assignment to the first operational unit. Also 1988-1996 saw intense pressure for PJs to lower screening, selection, PAST, and Indoc Course standards. The summary of this history is you and most other worried about lower standards are ill prepared to discuss the subject as most are in ignorance in how and why the standards came to be and why they constantly survive year after year attempts to do way with the standards.

As mentioned before I was part of the working group that recommended to the Coast Guard its Helicopter Rescue swimmer program be open to both genders and the standards be operational environment driven and the same for both genders.

The issue of females is lack of numbers being able to function with sufficient survivability and satisfactory task and skill performance in performing duties in the operational environment combined with attrition and undependable career availability through the serving of two or more enlistments. The larger the organization such as 82nd Airborne Division the more ability to absorb career attrition and career nonavailability mission impairments.

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#61486 - Sat Jun 23 2012 11:18 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Yukon]
Porcupine Offline
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Originally Posted By: Yukon
Why?

You probably answered your own question:
Originally Posted By: Yukon
The summary of this history is you and most other worried about lower standards are ill prepared to discuss the subject as most are in ignorance in how and why the standards came to be
But in my uninformed opinion, what is the point of someone going through 9 weeks of hell if not to prove to one's self and to his/her future colleagues(the instructors), that when it really counts you wouldn't let them down...that you would march for 40+ miles, or that you would be willing to drown for your teammate. And that when you are in the middle of the north Atlantic you wouldn't say "I quit, this is too hard".



Originally Posted By: Yukon
politics of the 1989 era when there were 4-stars wanting to eliminate the Pararescue career field entirely and pages 197-200 gives an insight to how, why and when CCT implemented its first stringent selection, screening, PAST and other standards for the career field. The resulting combined CCT-PJ Indoc program lasted until 2000 and the CCT-SOW selection screen process now differs from PJ selection screening process although both produce the same product for assignment to the first operational unit. Also 1988-1996 saw intense pressure for PJs to lower screening, selection, PAST, and Indoc Course standards. The summary of this history is you and most other worried about lower standards are ill prepared to discuss the subject as most are in ignorance in how and why the standards came to be and why they constantly survive year after year attempts to do way with the standards.
The best I can do is trust your judgement...You sound pretty confident that the standards are not going anywhere, and that Pararescue and Special Tactics in general cannot afford to lower them.



Originally Posted By: Yukon
As mentioned before I was part of the working group that recommended to the Coast Guard its Helicopter Rescue swimmer program be open to both genders and the standards be operational environment driven and the same for both genders.

The issue of females is lack of numbers being able to function with sufficient survivability and satisfactory task and skill performance in performing duties in the operational environment combined with attrition and undependable career availability through the serving of two or more enlistments. The larger the organization such as 82nd Airborne Division the more ability to absorb career attrition and career nonavailability mission impairments.
I don't understand what you mean, you recommended that the Coast Guard Rescue swimmer program be open to both genders, and that the standards should be the same for both. But you also say that there are a number of different factors that would prevent women from fulfilling some these roles.....I probably misunderstood what you were trying to say.

Did you mean that the Coast Guard and Air Force's operational environment are different, and that the USCG has more "wiggle" room than the Air Force?


Originally Posted By: Yukon
Read book “No Room for Error-The Covert Operations of America’s Special; Tactics Units from Iran to Afganistan”.
Sounds like a really cool book, I'll definitely give it a read.


Edited by Porcupine (Sat Jun 23 2012 11:28 AM)

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#61493 - Sat Jun 23 2012 23:28 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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Originally Posted By: Porcupine
Originally Posted By: Yukon
Why?

You probably answered your own question
There was no attempt on my part to answer the why question posed to you. It did result in you providing the reasoning supporting your uninformed opinion which I can and will further respond to.

Originally Posted By: Porcupine
But in my uninformed opinion, what is the point of someone going through 9 weeks of hell if not to prove to one's self and to his/her future colleagues(the instructors), that when it really counts you wouldn't let them down...that you would march for 40+ miles, or that you would be willing to drown for your teammate. And that when you are in the middle of the north Atlantic you wouldn't say "I quit, this is too hard".
Unfortunately going through hell is not to prove to oneself or to others you wouldn’t let them down. It’s about what are the activities accomplished in the conditions of operational environment and the necessary ability to function effectively with the needed capability level of human performance to give satisfactory results. This influences (along with accident reports, mission reports, and after action reports) the implementation of minimum standards shown by scientific (reasoned/researched) study to have the force of probability to produce and sustain individuals and teams who are dependable and reliable in achieving satisfactory results to execute missions in the typical operational environment.

All standards originate objectively, rather than subjectively, from the competency and proficiency necessary to perform the necessary core skills and tasks in the encountering of the typical demands, duress, hardships, conditions and situation of the operational environment. Nobody actually cares what the individual proves to themselves; the candidate either meets performance standards or does not.

The duration of hell exposed to in the simulation training environment exists only to simulate the duress, hardships, and conditions of the operational environment for purpose of accessing human performance ability to adapt in a way to sustain suitable (survivability) function to perform tasks and duties in the operational environment. The candidate either adapts and functions to complete required tasks or refuses to function or is unable to function.

Originally Posted By: Porcupine


I don't understand what you mean, you recommended that the Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer program be open to both genders, and that the standards should be the same for both. But you also say that there are a number of different factors that would prevent women from fulfilling some these roles.....I probably misunderstood what you were trying to say.
The fitness and all other Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter Rescue swimmer standards are the same for both genders.

The factors preventing women from direct participation in some roles is pertinent to the-larger-the-manpower-pool the more flexibility exists to cover higher rates of not available for duty and if available for duty the larger force structure of several thousand and larger allows mission planners to strengthen operational survivability by stacking the deck so to speak on who will be the member of the team executing the missions having the higher operational risks.

There is precarious continuum hidden in the continuum of military operations (mission areas) both conventional and Special Operations Forces directly participate in doing. Many of the mission areas are not small tactical unit combat operations but rather advisor, trainer as for example Foreign Internal Defense entails activities taken to organize, train, advise and assist host nation military and paramilitary forces. These activities are often less precarious physically demanding and lack the exposure to the survivability risks of direct action missions. This gives some not-available and stacking the deck wiggle room that smaller in force structure Pararescue capability and CCT capability do not have.

Originally Posted By: Porcupine

Did you mean that the Coast Guard and Air Force's operational environment are different, and that the USCG has more "wiggle" room than the Air Force?
Yes, but the reasons are slightly different than large force structure reaoning as the Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue swimmer operational environment is a significantly narrow utilization continuum combined with the capability being ability of one person rather than a small unit tactical capability.

1. The primary mission of the helicopter rescue swimmer is to provide Rotary Wing (RW) stations with the capability of deploying a properly trained and conditioned person to assist persons in distress in the maritime environment.

2. The Rescue swimmer must have the flexibility, strength, endurance, and equipment to function for 30 minutes in heavy seas, and the skills to provide basic pre-hospital life support for the rescued individual(s).

3. The Rescue Swimmers are not Paramedic trained and qualified, they are not parachutist trained and qualified, they are not SCUBA/Combat Diver Trained and qualified. Coast Guard policy specially prohibits the rescue swimmer from using SCUBA procedures and equipment and further states “An Rescue swimmer shall not swim under parachutes or layers of ice. An RS shall not swim into or under a capsized or submerged vessel, aircraft, or vehicle. If deployed next to a capsized object, the RS is permitted to search visually and reach inside while maintaining a grasp on a reference point on the exterior of the object. If the RS determines that a person is trapped under or in the object and cannot be reached from the reference point, the pilot in command must request alternate assistance through the search and rescue mission coordinator or operations center.

4. The helicopter rescue swimmer duties are performed by the Aviation Survival Technicians (AST) who obtain and sustain rescue swimmer qualifications, there is no requirement the AST must obtain and sustain rescue swimmer qualifications and more importantly there is no team leader career development connected to being the helicopter rescue swimmer. This results in it being much easier to replace the E-5, E-6, and E-7 attrition as there is less mission ready impairment to train a replacement involved, when there is no team leader education and development involved.

USAF Pararescue mission usability of will be employed in wider range of global and tactical operational environments combined with sustain ability to satisfactorily function for days rather than 30-minutes in heavy seas should demonstrate the Air Force's concepts of operational environment for Pararescue is a bit more complicated than the operational environment the Coast Guard puts its helicopter rescue swimmers into.

Quote:
Pararescue Specialty Summary. Performs, plans, leads, supervises, instructs, and evaluates pararescue activities. Performs as the essential surface, air link in Personnel Recovery (PR) and materiel recovery by functioning as the rescue and recovery specialist on flying status as mission crew or as surface elements. Provides rapid response capability and operates in the six geographic disciplines: mountain, desert, arctic, urban, jungle and water, day or night, to include friendly, denied, hostile, or sensitive areas. Provides assistance in and performs survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE). Provides emergency trauma and field medical care, and security. Moves recovered personnel and materiel to safety or friendly control when recovery by aircraft is not possible.

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#61495 - Sun Jun 24 2012 00:20 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Yukon]
Porcupine Offline
Member

Registered: Thu Apr 01 2010
Posts: 299
Loc: California, United States
Originally Posted By: Yukon
Unfortunately going through hell is not to prove to oneself or to others you wouldn’t let them down. It’s about what are the activities accomplished in the conditions of operational environment and the necessary ability to function effectively with the needed capability level of human performance to give satisfactory results. This influences (along with accident reports, mission reports, and after action reports) the implementation of minimum standards shown by scientific (reasoned/researched) study to have the force of probability to produce and sustain individuals and teams who are dependable and reliable in achieving satisfactory results to execute missions in the typical operational environment.

All standards originate objectively, rather than subjectively, from the competency and proficiency necessary to perform the necessary core skills and tasks in the encountering of the typical demands, duress, hardships, conditions and situation of the operational environment. Nobody actually cares what the individual proves to themselves; the candidate either meets performance standards or does not.

The duration of hell exposed to in the simulation training environment exists only to simulate the duress, hardships, and conditions of the operational environment for purpose of accessing human performance ability to adapt in a way to sustain suitable (survivability) function to perform tasks and duties in the operational environment. The candidate either adapts and functions to complete required tasks or refuses to function or is unable to function.

Yes, I 'am aware that your physical ability to perform the required tasks are also being evaluated. I was referring to both the mind and the body breaking. And how a uniform foundation for the entire unit should be emphezied regardless of any further training you might receive.


Originally Posted By: Yukon
The fitness and all other Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter Rescue swimmer standards are the same for both genders.

The factors preventing women from direct participation in some roles is pertinent to the-larger-the-manpower-pool the more flexibility exists to cover higher rates of not available for duty and if available for duty the larger force structure of several thousand and larger allows mission planners to strengthen operational survivability by stacking the deck so to speak on who will be the member of the team executing the missions having the higher operational risks.

There is precarious continuum hidden in the continuum of military operations (mission areas) both conventional and Special Operations Forces directly participate in doing. Many of the mission areas are not small tactical unit combat operations but rather advisor, trainer as for example Foreign Internal Defense entails activities taken to organize, train, advise and assist host nation military and paramilitary forces. These activities are often less precarious physically demanding and lack the exposure to the survivability risks of direct action missions. This gives some not-available and stacking the deck wiggle room that smaller in force structure Pararescue capability and CCT capability do not have.

Oh ok, I get what you are saying.


Originally Posted By: Yukon
Yes, but the reasons are slightly different than large force structure reaoning as the Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue swimmer operational environment is a significantly narrow utilization continuum combined with the capability being ability of one person rather than a small unit tactical capability.

1. The primary mission of the helicopter rescue swimmer is to provide Rotary Wing (RW) stations with the capability of deploying a properly trained and conditioned person to assist persons in distress in the maritime environment.

2. The Rescue swimmer must have the flexibility, strength, endurance, and equipment to function for 30 minutes in heavy seas, and the skills to provide basic pre-hospital life support for the rescued individual(s).

3. The Rescue Swimmers are not Paramedic trained and qualified, they are not parachutist trained and qualified, they are not SCUBA/Combat Diver Trained and qualified. Coast Guard policy specially prohibits the rescue swimmer from using SCUBA procedures and equipment and further states “An Rescue swimmer shall not swim under parachutes or layers of ice. An RS shall not swim into or under a capsized or submerged vessel, aircraft, or vehicle. If deployed next to a capsized object, the RS is permitted to search visually and reach inside while maintaining a grasp on a reference point on the exterior of the object. If the RS determines that a person is trapped under or in the object and cannot be reached from the reference point, the pilot in command must request alternate assistance through the search and rescue mission coordinator or operations center.

4. The helicopter rescue swimmer duties are performed by the Aviation Survival Technicians (AST) who obtain and sustain rescue swimmer qualifications, there is no requirement the AST must obtain and sustain rescue swimmer qualifications and more importantly there is no team leader career development connected to being the helicopter rescue swimmer. This results in it being much easier to replace the E-5, E-6, and E-7 attrition as there is less mission ready impairment to train a replacement involved, when there is no team leader education and development involved.

USAF Pararescue mission usability of will be employed in wider range of global and tactical operational environments combined with sustain ability to satisfactorily function for days rather than 30-minutes in heavy seas should demonstrate the Air Force's concepts of operational environment for Pararescue is a bit more complicated than the operational environment the Coast Guard puts its helicopter rescue swimmers into.
Wow, those are pretty constraining regulations. I had no idea they weren't allowed to perform some these tasks. Given what happened at the MS Prinsendam, and the Rear Admiral's recommendations. I would at least have thought that the Coast Guard would have emphasized on having some of these capabilities.

Here's an article describing how PJ's had to use SCUBA equipment in Afghanistan to recover the bodies of dead soldiers:
http://www.michaelyon-online.com/pedros/page-2.htm

Of course a Rescue swimmer would probably never encounter something like this. But if you remember in Italy when the Costa Concordia capsized, entire decks of the ship were submerged. If this had happened in America, having Rescue Swimmers able to use SCUBA gear to go inside those decks would be crucial in recovering survivors and/or bodies.



Going back to the original topic though. You mentioned earlier about Pararescue needing to maintain effective mission usability, and how that would essentially exclude females due too the career field's broad mission requirements compared to other specialties. And that makes perfect sense, but my original concern was not stating the obvious, but preventing the leaders who don't see it that way from changing anything. Basically what I am trying to get at, is when you told me how in the 1980's generals were even trying eliminate the career field all together. Who stood up to them? By what you have told me, Pararescue's foundations are pretty solid and it survived these onslaughts before.


Edited by Porcupine (Sun Jun 24 2012 05:18 AM)

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#61500 - Sun Jun 24 2012 15:02 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: Porcupine
when you told me how in the 1980's generals were even trying eliminate the career field all together. Who stood up to them?
Me and almost every Senior NCO in the career field at the time, the 210th Rescue Squadron Commander and a couple O-6 CCT officers in AFSOC who commanded the 720th STG . Some of the SNCO PJs put career advancement on the line more than others though.

However it is erroneous to consider the elements being “Pararescue needing to maintain effective mission usability”. Nobody really cares about Pararescue usability unless there are situation and circumstances happening that needs the capability. If the decision is made to open the career field to women it will not include the lowering of training and qualification standards to do so. However there is a career attrition cost specific to experience connected to NCO rank team leader duties of capable of completing mission tasks with limited supervision concurrent with having competency to direct completion of missions and supporting tasks by being there in the operational environment.

Unlike Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue swimmer duties being of collateral may participate in doing if qualified as a member of the AST rate (rate=AFSC), Pararescue (and CCT) has a cradle to grave capability requirement (career development) necessity to lead a team into the operational environment having the survivability responsibility for each members and for satisfactory mission completion. Satisfactory mission completion is more appropriate than successful mission completion as in most mission situation the decision of the risk of loss of life and injury in executing mission operations has already been accepted to some degree. It is risk of loss of life and injury being accepted that directly connects to as long as there are situations and circumstances happening that needs the capability. Put another way NCO rank (E-5 is lowest NCO rank in AF enlisted force structure) at minimum is needed to lead others with concurrent responsibility and accountability for the accomplishment of specific tasks, processes, and decisions needed to accomplish the mission assigned.


As long as Pararescue and CCT are small in force structure numbers it is attrition costs to mission impairment resulting from career nonavailability due to attrition and potential temporary medical disqualifications (pregnancy and multiple pregnancies) and not individual human performance competency standards that are the decision factors pertinent to opening the career field to women.


The DOD Direct Combat and definition assignment rule put in-place when the decision was to open as many as possible military classifications (MOS, NEC, AFSC, Rate) and duty assignments (82nd Airborne, US Army Ranger Regiments, or a Tactical Coxswain duty position, or a AST Helicopter Rescue swimmer duty position) provides four allowable restrictions for assigning women to duty assignments or classifying them into a military occupation. These allowable reasons are: (1) where the Service Secretary attests that the costs of appropriate berthing and privacy arrangements are prohibitive; (2) where units are positions are doctrinally required to physically collocate and remain in direct ground combat units that are closed to women; (3) where units are engaged in long range reconnaissance operations and Special Forces missions; and, (4) where job related physical requirements would necessarily exclude the vast majority of women Service members.

Item 4 directly connects to attrition and duty positions such as Helicopter Rescue swimmer, AF EOD, Tactical Coxswain, 820th Security Forces, AFSOC’s DAGRE capability, and AMC’s Raven capability (all open to women) continually demonstrate the gender specific attrition and nonavailability rates and statistics due to pregnancy, injury, loss of suitable fitness, loss of meeting weight standards differences.

To a lesser degree the October 3, 2008 separation of Special Operations Weather from an airborne combat weather team duty assignment to being a distinct and separate AFSC resulted from some influence of job related physical requirements (adopted CCT PAST standards and established a CFETP identifying core skills and knowledge required to perform expected duties regardless of duty assignment). A previous discussion of Weather Beret flash (February 2002) gives glimpse into airborne combat weather teams (1947) and special operations weather teams (had their startup in January 1963 at Hurburt Field). The special operations weather team capability in 1963 was Air Force weather service support to unconventional warfare mission areas of FID, PSYOPS, Civil Affairs. The mission area utilization activities undertaken by Army Special Forces these weather teams supported focused on to organize, train, equip, advise and assist indigenous and surrogate forces in military and paramilitary operations and/or (Foreign internal Defense activities) actions to organize, train, advise and assist host nation military and paramilitary forces rather than in the doing of direct action activities.

The old SOWT video (1968) you posted depicts a concept of operations usability but actual tasking to perform in the depicted tactical operational environment seldom, if ever, happened. For example there is no record of any mission free fall parachute jumps being done at by combat weather or Special Operations weather and finding record of an operation mission staticline parachute insertion is also difficult to identify in historical record. Lots of field exercises though. Another historical perspective is the 41st Rescue Weather Reconnisance Wing which had both 53rd, 54th and 55th Weather Reconnisance Squadrons as subordinate units. Plenty of PJs in the wings subordinate units, but no combat airborne weather teams and it was the PJs involved in the the recovery of devices dropped from high altitude weather balloons when the ATAR operation was unsuccessful. The context of this perspctive of utilization history is to emphasize the use it or lose it influences of nobody cares “unless there are situation and circumstances happening that needs the capability.” This is why combat airborne weather team duty positions and almost Special Operations Weather Team duty positions opened to women in 1993.

The focus of the “job related physical requirements would necessarily exclude the vast majority of women Service members” summary being provided however is fast forward to 1993 when the Air Force opened all career fields with initially only PJ and CCT being the only AFSCs remaining closed to women members (PJ relied on exception 4 rule whereas CCT, TACP, Weather relied on exception 2 rule). CCT quickly jumped onboard with the reasoning’s PJs provided. TACP and weather unfortunately never has been able to explain job related physical requirements would necessarily exclude the vast majority of women Service members or even a job related PAST requirement and this influence establishing the SOW AFSC and the being of AFCOC TACP support to USSOCOM and conventional ACC TACP support to the rest of the US Army. However the job related physical requirements cannot and don’t exist without the situations and circumstances happening that needs the operational capability to be available. This is also the uniform foundation for the entire unit or team more so than the individual. It’s not an army of one but the dependability, reliability and availability of the small tactical team capability that gets the mission accomplished in the operational environment PJs and CCT are put into.

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#61503 - Mon Jun 25 2012 06:45 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Yukon]
Porcupine Offline
Member

Registered: Thu Apr 01 2010
Posts: 299
Loc: California, United States
Originally Posted By: Yukon
However it is erroneous to consider the elements being “Pararescue needing to maintain effective mission usability”. Nobody really cares about Pararescue usability unless there are situation and circumstances happening that needs the capability. If the decision is made to open the career field to women it will not include the lowering of training and qualification standards to do so. However there is a career attrition cost specific to experience connected to NCO rank team leader duties of capable of completing mission tasks with limited supervision concurrent with having competency to direct completion of missions and supporting tasks by being there in the operational environment.

Unlike Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue swimmer duties being of collateral may participate in doing if qualified as a member of the AST rate (rate=AFSC), Pararescue (and CCT) has a cradle to grave capability requirement (career development) necessity to lead a team into the operational environment having the survivability responsibility for each members and for satisfactory mission completion. Satisfactory mission completion is more appropriate than successful mission completion as in most mission situation the decision of the risk of loss of life and injury in executing mission operations has already been accepted to some degree. It is risk of loss of life and injury being accepted that directly connects to as long as there are situations and circumstances happening that needs the capability. Put another way NCO rank (E-5 is lowest NCO rank in AF enlisted force structure) at minimum is needed to lead others with concurrent responsibility and accountability for the accomplishment of specific tasks, processes, and decisions needed to accomplish the mission assigned.


As long as Pararescue and CCT are small in force structure numbers it is attrition costs to mission impairment resulting from career nonavailability due to attrition and potential temporary medical disqualifications (pregnancy and multiple pregnancies) and not individual human performance competency standards that are the decision factors pertinent to opening the career field to women.


The DOD Direct Combat and definition assignment rule put in-place when the decision was to open as many as possible military classifications (MOS, NEC, AFSC, Rate) and duty assignments (82nd Airborne, US Army Ranger Regiments, or a Tactical Coxswain duty position, or a AST Helicopter Rescue swimmer duty position) provides four allowable restrictions for assigning women to duty assignments or classifying them into a military occupation. These allowable reasons are: (1) where the Service Secretary attests that the costs of appropriate berthing and privacy arrangements are prohibitive; (2) where units are positions are doctrinally required to physically collocate and remain in direct ground combat units that are closed to women; (3) where units are engaged in long range reconnaissance operations and Special Forces missions; and, (4) where job related physical requirements would necessarily exclude the vast majority of women Service members.

Item 4 directly connects to attrition and duty positions such as Helicopter Rescue swimmer, AF EOD, Tactical Coxswain, 820th Security Forces, AFSOC’s DAGRE capability, and AMC’s Raven capability (all open to women) continually demonstrate the gender specific attrition and nonavailability rates and statistics due to pregnancy, injury, loss of suitable fitness, loss of meeting weight standards differences.

To a lesser degree the October 3, 2008 separation of Special Operations Weather from an airborne combat weather team duty assignment to being a distinct and separate AFSC resulted from some influence of job related physical requirements (adopted CCT PAST standards and established a CFETP identifying core skills and knowledge required to perform expected duties regardless of duty assignment). A previous discussion of Weather Beret flash (February 2002) gives glimpse into airborne combat weather teams (1947) and special operations weather teams (had their startup in January 1963 at Hurburt Field). The special operations weather team capability in 1963 was Air Force weather service support to unconventional warfare mission areas of FID, PSYOPS, Civil Affairs. The mission area utilization activities undertaken by Army Special Forces these weather teams supported focused on to organize, train, equip, advise and assist indigenous and surrogate forces in military and paramilitary operations and/or (Foreign internal Defense activities) actions to organize, train, advise and assist host nation military and paramilitary forces rather than in the doing of direct action activities.

The old SOWT video (1968) you posted depicts a concept of operations usability but actual tasking to perform in the depicted tactical operational environment seldom, if ever, happened. For example there is no record of any mission free fall parachute jumps being done at by combat weather or Special Operations weather and finding record of an operation mission staticline parachute insertion is also difficult to identify in historical record. Lots of field exercises though. Another historical perspective is the 41st Rescue Weather Reconnisance Wing which had both 53rd, 54th and 55th Weather Reconnisance Squadrons as subordinate units. Plenty of PJs in the wings subordinate units, but no combat airborne weather teams and it was the PJs involved in the the recovery of devices dropped from high altitude weather balloons when the ATAR operation was unsuccessful. The context of this perspctive of utilization history is to emphasize the use it or lose it influences of nobody cares “unless there are situation and circumstances happening that needs the capability.” This is why combat airborne weather team duty positions and almost Special Operations Weather Team duty positions opened to women in 1993.

The focus of the “job related physical requirements would necessarily exclude the vast majority of women Service members” summary being provided however is fast forward to 1993 when the Air Force opened all career fields with initially only PJ and CCT being the only AFSCs remaining closed to women members (PJ relied on exception 4 rule whereas CCT, TACP, Weather relied on exception 2 rule). CCT quickly jumped onboard with the reasoning’s PJs provided. TACP and weather unfortunately never has been able to explain job related physical requirements would necessarily exclude the vast majority of women Service members or even a job related PAST requirement and this influence establishing the SOW AFSC and the being of AFCOC TACP support to USSOCOM and conventional ACC TACP support to the rest of the US Army. However the job related physical requirements cannot and don’t exist without the situations and circumstances happening that needs the operational capability to be available. This is also the uniform foundation for the entire unit or team more so than the individual. It’s not an army of one but the dependability, reliability and availability of the small tactical team capability that gets the mission accomplished in the operational environment PJs and CCT are put into.


In summary let's recap all that you've told me so far in this thread.

Simply put:
  • In the event a decision is made to open these career fields, the sheer nature of the job precludes the standards from being lowered for anyone, regardless of gender.
  • There are other factors however that would hinder females from operating effectively in these AFSC's, such as: "pregnancy, injury, loss of suitable fitness, loss of meeting weight standards differences" and “job related physical requirements".
  • Pararescue and CCT are small career fields that cannot afford "attrition costs resulting from career nonavailability due to attrition and potential temporary medical disqualifications (pregnancy and multiple pregnancies)"
  • Elaborating further on the previous points: "The issue of females is lack of numbers being able to function with sufficient survivability and satisfactory task and skill performance in performing duties in the operational environment combined with attrition and undependable career availability through the serving of two or more enlistments."
  • Other special operations troops such as the SEALs and SF "have plenty of overhead where political compromise is not necessarily increased operational risk for mission failure and unnecessary death and injury of the employed team accomplishing a tactical mission." - in essence more "wiggle" room.


I think we covered the important bits right?

Correct me if I am wrong on any of them.




Edited by Porcupine (Mon Jun 25 2012 07:36 AM)

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#61506 - Mon Jun 25 2012 12:23 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: Porcupine

[*]There are other factors however that would hinder females from operating effectively in these AFSC's, such as: "pregnancy, injury, loss of suitable fitness, loss of meeting weight standards differences" and “job related physical requirements".
Efficiently (efficient/efficiency) is perhaps the better perspective. The always existing reality of the human species is there are women that can be trained and qualified to function with survivability and perform to do what is needed. Consequently the woman as a person or an individual are equally as effective as a man for duration they are mission ready qualified. The point of attrition being a concern is the efficiency costs of career usability where both performance level and competencies increase with rank and time in service.

Career usability efficiencies has perspective of looking at human performance not in job entry or job doing snap shot of technical expertise and performance in the work group or as a member of the team and sustaining this entry level mission ready qualifications, but at the whole expected contribution to sustaining team/unit capability from first duty assignment after completing all training required for award of 3-skill level until the completion of a twenty year or longer career. The efficiency costs of career usability which includes looking at potential mission impairment considers collateral availability to train others (OJT Task Trainer/Instructor/evaluator) and to lead (jump master, dive supervisor, Team Leader).

The element of attrition and not available to perform higher responsibility duties is it has multiplying impact on no availability of a small tactical unit or team capability. Attrition is unavoidable in either gender, but there are factors of gender that effect higher attrition rates and higher not available for duty rates. The military cannot prevent people marrying and starting families and neither can the military prevent people from aging (health/injury) and there are attributes of gender contributing to one gender having higher attrition and higher not available rates than the other. If the career field opens to women either increased authorized funded manpower positions needs to be paid for to negate higher mid-career attrition and not available for duty caused mission impairment or the mission impairment of operational capability not being dependably available will be accepted.

Perhaps the most visible and immediate gender impact concern is pregnancy. A pregnant mid-career PJ essentially puts the female jumpmaster, dive supervisor, team leader, instructor in a not available to perform any proficiency training requires to sustain mission ready qualifications and unable to perform jumpmaster, dive supervisor, team leader, instructor or even participate as a team member for nine plus months (typically 12 months) when excusal from physical fitness testing (PAST) is included. Then consider loss of mission ready qualification for twelve months typically requires 6-months of requalification training this is one heck of efficiency costs pertinent to loss of operational team capability to be paying for.

All tasks require a certain skill level, but when performed in the operational environment PJs are often unplanned and unexpected put into as first response a level of functional fitness is also required. While not a gender issue, the duress, physically demanding hardship and precariousness of tasks done in the operational environment PJs perform duties differs significantly from the recreational or sporting environment. Capable of doing recreationally (low-impact and recreational exercises are unlikely to constitute a repetitive injury or death risk factor) or in a sporting event (low death and permanent disability risk factor) has minimal, if any, direct connection to survivability and effectiveness in the operational environment.

Some food for thought: Gender related differences in body size, body shape, body composition and physiology contribute to there being human performance differences between men and women.

For example:

Most women have greater body-fat content than men of comparable age. A thicker subcutaneous fat layer accounts for greater maximal tissue insulation and lower critical water temperature. Despite this difference, however, greater body-fat content may not provide women with a thermoregulatory advantage over men. … under colder conditions that stimulate shivering the limited thermogenic capacity of women will result in a more rapid decline in their core temperature than in men of equivalent total body mass.

Anxiety and panic disorders are more common in women than men by 2:1

Women are more likely than men to develop PTSD. About 10% of women develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with 5% of men.

Women living at high altitude have an increased incidence of hypertension and preeclampsia syndrome during pregnancy, and low-birth-weight babies. Pregnant women visiting high altitude may have increased bleeding complications and preterm labor. Although there is little evidence for other significant problems associated with pregnancy at high altitude, pregnant women in the military probably should not be deployed to altitudes greater than 2,500 m (8,200 feet).

Occupation-related repetitive injury and physical trauma: Statistics and studies demonstrate women have a significantly higher joint disorder/injury risk factor (repetitive motion injuries and repetitive impact injuries –significance risk concern relevant to military parachute activities, military climbing activities, military land navigation carrying heavy loads activities, FAST Rope and rope repelling activities).

Consider also (from best info I have access to)---Each Us Army Ranger battalion is authorized 580 Rangers. However, the battalions may be up to 15% over-manned to make allowances for schools, TDYs and leave.

If US Army Ranger duty (unit assignment) positions opened to women and there is a 22% female presence, the gender demographics will be about 127 female and 453 males, how much more than 15% over-manned will be needed to sustain unit current combat mission readiness availability of each US Army Ranger battalion? I can’t answer the US Army Ranger need but to sustain the Pararescue mission ready capability availability would drive at least a 15% increase in funded manpower and this would drive a considerable increase in recruiting and production (BMT, training pipeline) cost too.

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#62504 - Fri Oct 19 2012 07:24 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Yukon]
aidrius Offline
New Member

Registered: Sat Jan 29 2005
Posts: 94
Loc: USA
Recent support for many of the comments above.

Gotta love the USMC.

Quote:
This is the Marine Corps. This isn’t JV.


Quote:
As one female Marine told msnbc.com, "No one questions why there aren't any females in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, etc. Olympic athletes are the elite of the elite. No one questions why the women compete against women and men against men. Those are great sports and achievements. But lives and missions aren't on the line. In our world, if you move slower one day, you don't get bumped off the medal stand, you could die or get someone else killed."


Women in the Infantry?

Female Officers in USMC Infantry Course

Great Comments Here...

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#62517 - Sun Oct 21 2012 09:35 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
PJ1 Offline
Operator

Registered: Sun Aug 25 2002
Posts: 929

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#62531 - Mon Oct 22 2012 13:39 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: Porcupine
But if you remember in Italy when the Costa Concordia capsized, entire decks of the ship were submerged. If this had happened in America, having Rescue Swimmers able to use SCUBA gear to go inside those decks would be crucial in recovering survivors and/or bodies.
Entering a capsized vessel is a extremely dangerous operation as there is no power lighting rooms and corridors and all kinds of debris and potentially hazardous flammable fluid and gasses floating around inside the vessel (acid and hydrogen gas from batteries, oil, gas, hydraulic fluids, etc More importantly the capsized ship is seldom in a stabilized not going to sink deeper situation.

Wave action can cause shift in doors and debris trapping you in a room or corridor and getting lost in the maze of corridors is another extreme danger. BTDT and the panic when completely in the dark and suddenly entangled in something takes significant effort to control.

Originally Posted By: Porcupine
…when you told me how in the 1980's generals were even trying eliminate the career field all together. Who stood up to them? By what you have told me, Pararescue's foundations are pretty solid and it survived these onslaughts before.
My name is primarily on the written documents of the 1993-1996 years, but a few Colonels and Generals gave me the political cover to disseminate the info to the MAJCOM/CCs and HQ AF. It doesn’t help career progression when you become a thorn in the sides of the politically motivated appeasers.

REPORT TO CONGRESS ON THE REVIEW OF LAWS...S. ARMED FORCES, February 2012. The executive summary pages i thru iii and specifically allowable exclusion number 4 and 5 of 5 disclose the chief concerns remain valid justification to exclude woman from certain duty positions and military career fields (occupations).

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#62544 - Tue Oct 23 2012 12:33 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
Operator

Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Body type classifications differ more among the female gender than the male gender. The three basic gender-neutral classifications are ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph, but the female gender has a much broader spectrum of body shapes and the shape is subject to change over time resulting from biological, metabolic, hormonal and physiological causes (puberty, child birthing menopause, weight loss and weight gain).

The basic four female body shapes of Inverted Triangle Body, Pear Body, Rectangular Body and Hourglass Body has expanded to eight. Straight body type (most common), Pear Body Type, Spoon Body Type (sometimes called Figure 8), Hourglass Body Type (what most women strive for), Top Hourglass (bust larger than hips), Inverted Triangle Body Type (a proportionally larger upper body), Oval Body Type (waist larger than bust), and Diamond Body type (hips broader than bust and waste the largest part of the frame).

The characteristics of the three basic gender-neutral body type classifications are:

Ectomorph summary:

• Delicate Built Body
• Flat Chest
• Fragile
• Lean
• Lightly Muscled
• Small Shouldered
• Takes Longer to Gain Muscle
• Thin

Mesomorph summary:

• Athletic
• Hard Body
• Hourglass Shaped (Female)
• Rectangular Shaped (Male)
• Mature Muscle Mass
• Muscular Body
• Excellent Posture
• Gains Muscle Easily
• Gains Fat More Easily Than Ectomorphs
• Thick Skin

Endomorph summary:

• Soft Body
• Underdeveloped Muscles
• Round Physique
• Weight Loss is Difficult
• Gains Muscle Easily Like the Mesomorph.

The endomorphs are at the greatest risk for developing obesity, mesomorphs are at a moderate risk and ectomorphs are at little or no risk.

Each of the four or eight female body types have different hormonal and metabolic characteristics which play an important role in where weight is gained but more importantly determine how much muscle the body can have, bone density/strength, endurance, adaptability to temperature extremes, and even impacts training fitness regime differences required to sustain adequate/sufficient fitness necessary to perform duties safely in the operational environment.

The basic four body shapes as these are the most applicable of concern pertinent to performing physically demanding military combat activities in the combat environment.

Inverted Triangle Body Characteristics: Generally top-heavy (generous bust; full back and wide middle) with narrow hips and slender legs. Some call this the "round" shape.

Pear body Characteristics: Generally bottom heavy. You have a slender neck, narrow shoulders, smaller bust, as well as a shapely waist, generous lower hips and full thighs.

Rectangular body Characteristics: Generally, an upper and lower torso that are equal in width, an average bust, undefined waist, flat bottom, and slender legs.

Hourglass body Characteristics: Generally a small bone structure; defined waist; curved hips; protruding bottom and shapely legs. The body shape that most clothes designed for women today are made for.

Quote:
GCSE Revision - Age and Gender in Sport

The fact that women rarely compete against men, children are not often involved in adult competitions and there are sometimes separate veteran events show that both a competitors age and their gender affects their sporting performance.

Effect of gender in sport

Men and women rarely compete against each other because of some significant differences in our physical make-up:
•Men have longer, heavier bones
•Women have a wider and flatter pelvis
•Women carry more body fat than men
•A womens menstrual cycle can affect her performance
•Men have higher testosterone levels and so bigger, stronger muscles
•Women tend to be more flexible due to a lower muscle mass
•Girls reach their physical maturity at 16 or 17, 3-4 years earlier than boys









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#62564 - Wed Oct 24 2012 17:28 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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Gender in itself, male-and-female, is not a defect impairing, hindering or preventing anyone from having daring to do things or not to have confidence in himself or herself. Gender doesn’t defy or prevent obtaining and sustaining fitness of legs, arms, and body. Neither does gender influence the quality of the worth or value of any person’s character of being valiant which is the strength of the heart and soul to be obstinate in courage and sustaining conviction of will to continue even though there is risks doing so. Such worth of doing acts and deeds is said to be doing with valor.

Gender inopportunely too often does dictate bodily frame and pertinent to bodily frame it can be demonstrated body frame can be too small or too large to result in being a functional fit disadvantaged if not unfit to take on the unexpected mission anytime, anyplace.

There are many exercises that may or may not depend upon arm and leg strengths to demonstrate a bodily frame regardless of gender having fitness. Running, swimming, jumping (jump rope), throwing has usefulness and suitability to disposition of body to have prowess (superior ability), but such practiced won capability lacks substance equivalent to having sufficient vigor (intensity, force, energy) and endurance to adapt with reasonable effectiveness and efficiency into the anytime, anywhere operational environment.

The value and worth of the direct ground combatant is the ability as a member of a team to go the left, to the right, uphill and down, over and through obstacles as the wind of circumstances carries or the fog of war causes the stumbling into blindly. The Army of lone warrior disappeared when the ancient armies of the Greeks developed the phalanx fighting formation and subsequently the variety of battle formations the ancient Romans used depending on the situation.

The United States Army’s and United States Marine Corps’ tactical chain organization doctrine asserts the dismounted squad (9-13 combatants/2-3 fire teams) is the smallest most basic in assets tactical maneuver and engagement formation. The effectiveness, efficiency, and survivability are dependent on the functional fitness and core task-skill-knowledge proficiencies of every member of the team. Bodily frame size is significant to having functional fitness to be there participating with equal ability and capability contribution.

It follows diminutive (smaller than average male) bodily frame size will have greater mission impairing impact to the smaller teams utilized to perform Special Operations. Joint Publication 1-02, DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms 08 November 2010, as amended through 15 August 2012 defines Special Operations: “DOD) Operations requiring unique modes of employment, tactical techniques, equipment and training often conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and characterized by one or more of the following: time sensitive, clandestine, low visibility, conducted with and/or through indigenous forces, requiring regional expertise, and/or a high degree of risk. Also called SO. Source: JP 3-05”

Certainly the mission utilization of USAF Pararescue and job description of --“Performs, plans, leads, supervises, instructs, and evaluates pararescue activities. Performs as the essential surface, air link in Personnel Recovery (PR) and materiel recovery by functioning as the rescue and recovery specialist on flying status as mission crew or as surface elements. Provides rapid response capability and operates in the six geographic disciplines: mountain, desert, arctic, urban, jungle and water, day or night, to include friendly, denied, hostile, or sensitive areas. Provides assistance in and performs survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE). Provides emergency trauma and field medical care, and security. Moves recovered personnel and materiel to safety or friendly control when recovery by aircraft is not possible.”--- certainly exposes why policies of: (1)“The Secretary of the Military Department concerned may restrict positions, which include physically demanding tasks that would exclude the vast majority of women”; and (2) “The Secretary of the Military Department concerned may restrict positions involving long range reconnaissance operations and Special Operations Forces missions” are applicable to a very few Air Force specialties.

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#62577 - Fri Oct 26 2012 18:47 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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In absolutely every activity of life where genders mingle both men and women are equally capable of can be very cunning when they are in a predicament of performance deficiencies, misconduct or in need to gain advantage. The unscrupulous in such situations and circumstances deliberately engage in mischief having purposes of avoiding responsibility and accountability or for bypassing authority or for personal gain, but members of the female gender have advantage of misleading and hiding behind being good examples of feminine virtue diligently resisting all pressures in order to preserve their chastity. This being pure, decent, modest and avoiding indulging in unlawful sexual activity gives cleverness advantage by bringing them great honor if it is well-guarded and great dishonor if it is squandered. In this way, members of the female gender may and can exercise their cleverness for bad purposes and often get away with it.

Quote:
Hillary Clinton ‘can’t stand whining’

In an interview published in this month’s Marie Claire, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed her future plans and her hatred of whiners.

Asked about Anne-Marie Slaughter, who says she left her post as former director of policy planning at the State Department because she could not balance her job and her family, Clinton was less sunny.

“Some women are not comfortable working at the pace and intensity you have to work at in these jobs,” she said.
It appears Hillary and I do have some in common work place experiences.

Quote:
Single mom challenges dismissal from Air Force

Thirteen weeks into her pregnancy, she was sworn in by her father as a second lieutenant and started making plans to go to Virginia to begin her military service. Nearly six months into her pregnancy, she said, she told her new commanders that she was going to have a child, ….

Citing a contract she signed in 2007 when she enrolled in ROTC at age 18, the Air Force said she committed a fraud by not reporting a change in her medical condition, as indicated in the contract.
It takes two to “Tango” or artificial insemination to get pregnant and she exercised a choice that resulted in her getting pregnant. She also exercised a choice to not disclose and be untruthful and is now using feminine virtue to get out of the predicament.

Quote:
Problems existed at Lackland long before sex scandal broke

Between September 2002 and December 2011, 24 instructors, most of them male, faced administrative or criminal charges stemming from illicit conduct with trainees, according to records obtained by the San Antonio Express-News.

Air Force officials characterized all of the sexual relationships as consensual.

Did the Air Force fail to spot a culture of sexual misbehavior within its elite instructor corps?
Members of the male gender may and can be ravenous scoundrels pertinent to sexual misbehaviors, but sexual promiscuity isn’t limited to the male gender. Sexual relationship problems have complexity and general temptation is to deal with such problems in the easiest, quickest way possible, with ready-made indulging feminine virtue solutions having the strongest appeal. In such situations and circumstances, the vice of one man or a few often brings dishonor on all other men in close proximity and members of the organization whereas each female member of the organization is considered a potential victim having individuality and apart from the acts and deeds of others. Reference in article of "The Air Force removed two key commanders this summer from their posts: Col. Glenn Palmer, who arrived at the base a year ago and was in charge of the 737th Training Group when allegations began to build". The reason cited was a “loss of confidence” in his leadership with emphasis he didn't create the environment that resulted in the misconduct. The results of this scandal demonstrates members of the male gender may and can be thrown under the bus to give public relations appearances the right things are being done. BTW he and I were stationed together when we were both MSgts during 1989-1992.

The absurdity occurring is less about gender and more the unintended collateral damage effect of mischief resulting from feminine virtue allowing diversion or misdirecting away from determining what actually happened and the impairing impact to a military unit, organization, installation, vessel, aircraft, or vehicle (tactical capability) standing at the ready having efficiency and effectiveness.

The purpose of military law is to promote justice, to assist in maintaining good order and discipline in the armed forces, to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the military establishment, and thereby to strengthen the national security of the United States. [Manual for courts-martial United States, Part I, Preamble, 3. Nature and Purpose of military Law]

The specific policy guidance to consider concerns superior-subordinate and instructor-student relationship that holds the superior or instructor to a higher ethical/moral standard of responsibility and accountability even when the fraternization and sexual misbehavior is consensual.

Professional Relationships. While personal relationships between Air Force members are normally matters of individual choice and judgment, they become matters of official concern when they adversely affect or have the reasonable potential to adversely affect the Air Force by eroding morale, good order, discipline, respect for authority, unit cohesion, or mission accomplishment. (AFI 36-2909, Professional and Unprofessional Relationships). [AFI 1-1 Air Force Culture, Air Force Standards]

Quote:
From AFPD 1 Air Force Culture:

It is every Airman’s duty and obligation to act professionally and meet all Air Force standards at all times. Only by doing so can the United States Air Force continue to be the world’s greatest Air Force and retain its time-honored culture and the vital trust, respect, and confidence of the American public.

From AFI 1-1:

--- Relationships are unprofessional, whether pursued and conducted on or off-duty, when they detract from the superior-to-subordinate authority, or reasonably create the appearance of favoritism, misuse of an office or position, or the abandonment of organizational goals for personal interests.

--- There is a long-standing and well-recognized custom in the military service, as well as set forth in the UCMJ and Air Force Instructions, that officers and enlisted personnel shall not fraternize or associate with each other under circumstances that prejudice the good order and discipline of the Armed Forces of the United States.

--- Relationships in which one member exercises supervisory or command authority over another can become unprofessional. Similarly, differences in grade increase the risk that a relationship will be, or will be perceived to be, unprofessional because senior members in military organizations exercise authority, or have some direct or indirect organizational influence, over the duties and careers of junior members. The danger for abuse of authority, or the perception of such abuse, is always present. The ability of the senior member to influence, directly or indirectly, assignments, promotion recommendations, duties, awards, and other privileges and benefits, places both the senior member and the junior member in vulnerable positions. Once established, unprofessional relationships, such as inappropriate personal relationships and favoritism, do not go unnoticed by other members of a unit and call into question the superior’s impartiality toward the subordinate and his or her peers. Failure to maintain relationships between members, and between members and other members’ family members, in a strictly professional manner undermines morale, good order, and discipline and corrodes the indispensable respect for the chain of command and unit cohesion.

--- Your primary responsibility is to do your part to accomplish the mission; however, accomplishing the mission requires more than just technical proficiency. You must be a team member. You must be responsive and accomplish your duties in a timely and efficient manner. You must be dependable and responsible for your own actions and avoid the need for supervisors and commanders to constantly monitor or follow up on your activities. You must be a good Wingman for your fellow Airmen and other co-workers. Quality and quantity of work are both important since they are the primary measures of efficiency and productivity. Your conduct and performance must be guided by the Air Force core values, and be consistent with the safe and proper fulfillment of instructions, directives, technical orders, and other lawful orders.


The team mission ready sustainability impact is regardless of the gender of the member is there are persons who deliberately engage in mischief having purposes of avoiding responsibility and accountability or for bypassing authority or for personal gain.

The most significant ramifications compromising team mission ready sustainability is potentially inappropriate relationship. Mischief resulting from such fraternization usually favors feminine virtue as the superior (higher in rank) in even the consensual relationship between two unmarried military members holds the greater accountability and responsibility.

The most often ramification unfortunately results from the member using mischief to direct attention somewhere else away from them. Members of both genders have equal causing mischief potential using such manipulative and deceptive methods; however, there exists an abundance of accounts from ancient to recent times throughout the ages of the female gender gaining dominance control by misleadingly suggesting their feminine virtue is being violated or unfairly being taken advantage of. Generally, protective policies give immunity to sexual harassment and hostile for female work environment complaints even when the complaints were unfounded or outright false. Even the anonymous unfounded allegation is often sufficient to remove the “male” noncommissioned officer or “male” instructor from duty position and often the unit.

The potential operational loss costs and risks resulting from these conduct and behavior human factors are seldom considered. No minimize stressors on female members solutions are implemented other than lowering standards and allowing special considerations. Furthermore physical fitness competiveness is often confused as being equivalent to having the vigor, endurance and the resiliency necessary to adapt to and function in the aggressive direct ground combat fight. Gender brings with it differences other than reproductive organs that effect performance and behavior.

The conceptual approach for improving the status of women through demand for removal of all barriers preventing members of the female gender to serve their country to their full potential in every direct combat or special operations forces capacity is folly. Gender differences brings with it functional fitness differences dictated by genetics which cannot not be changed or compensated for through training and learning. The convincing a woman has the right to choose life or abort life, is control of the influence of performance and behavior menstrual cycle affects, and can be by sheer willpower be of masculine vigor, endurance and resiliency conflicts with actuality. Awkwardly career attrition, work place injury, and disability compensation claim statistics fail to support such beliefs.

Geoffery Chaucer (1340?-1400) in his “The wife of Bath’s Tale” wrote what women desire most is to have the sovereignty to sit in rule and government above their husbands. Pertinent to this the United Nations organization every five years since 1995 publishes “ The World’s Women: Trends and Statistics”. The centerpiece goal in these documents is to encourage change in the statistics of women are rarely employed in jobs with status, power and authority or in traditionally male blue-collar occupations. There is specific emphisis concerning the lack of gender balance in decision-making positions in government persists. The diversity of gender in direct ground combat is not about women being infantry privates or enlisted special forces assets, but about female commissioned officers getting promoted to the top military positions. Essentially militant feminist philosophy is it doesn’t matter how many expendable enlisted men get killed and wounded so long as we have females in the highest military positions of power. Unfortunately, this allows unfounded and even untrue sexual harassment and hostile for female work environment complaints to be a means to achieve the goal.

Gender diversity on the direct ground combat battlefield is putting people into performing duties at a pace and intensity they are either unwilling to adapt to or lack the functional fitness to adapt to. The demand for removal of all barriers preventing all Americans to serve their country to their full potential in every direct combat or special operations forces capacity is demanding avoidable and unnecessary increased operational risks be tolerated for social and political purposes.

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#62609 - Thu Nov 01 2012 11:43 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
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Ranger School open to women update

Since then, we've seen the following developments:

1. The first females will probably be freshly commissioned West Point grads. They will be volunteers, Note that while all Ranger students are nominally volunteers, an infantry officer, particularly an Academy grad, who opts not to go will be explaining that decision to a superior. Infantry officers are already prepped for Ranger School at IOBC, and officers from other branches can opt for extra-session ranger prep at their basic courses.

2. No enlisted women. They're not the ones clamoring for a shiny.

3. They will be given a variety of training before the course to ensure preparation/success. So far it looks like this is not a special course like the SOPC given to 18Xs but is existing courses like the Warrior Leader Course.


According to Odierno, about 90 percent of senior Army infantry officers have gone to the school and are qualified as Rangers. Allowing women to go to Ranger school, he said, would allow them to be competitive with their male counterparts as they move through the ranks.

Ranger School for Females?National Security Law Brief

Both Sapper School and Airborne School are open to females; yet, the schools differ in how they became co-ed. Sapper School maintained uniform standards for males and females physical tests. At first, female graduation rates were about 38%, but now they are equal to the male graduation rates. Conversely, Airborne School modified the physical standards for females at first. Later, Airborne School revised its standards, making them uniform for females and males. With these experiences to learn from, Army officials are researching whether to maintain uniform physical fitness standards or modify the standards if females are integrated into Ranger School.


The Department of Defense revised the combat restriction for females in February, and since then, questions have been circulating regarding future revisions. The DoD revision now restricts females from serving in direct ground combat units below the battalion level. This departed from previous policy, which restricted females from serving in direct ground combat units below the brigade level. Typically, an Army battalion has about 3,000-5,000 soldiers, while a brigade is the next larger unit, consisting of about 3-5 battalions. Changing the combat restriction opened over 14,000 Army jobs to females that were previously only opened to males.


Women in Direct Ground Combat? Not Quite Yet


The so-called collocation rules have been set aside, a policy that had been in effect since 1993 when Title 10, sections 6015 and 8549 were repealed, allowing women to serve in combat aircraft and combat ships.

The new policy opens many new occupations and billets to women.

The Ground Combat Exclusion Policy is still in effect, however. No women will be assigned to combat billets, but the current practice of attaching women to combat units will continue. Although this meets the letter of the policy, it is still counter to the intent of the policy, which is to keep women out of ground combat.


It brings them closer to parity with their male peers for occupational specialties and positions that are required in order to be eligible for promotion to the top ranks.

Overall, the evolution of women’s occupational parity is slow, but at least it is moving forward. It would be really nice to see the next female four-star admiral or general have an occupational specialty that includes combat, something that at this time can only be found in the Air Force or Navy.

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#63087 - Fri Jan 25 2013 08:56 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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AF to open remaining combat positions to women

And one way or another the academic arguments are over.

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#63088 - Fri Jan 25 2013 11:16 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
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Registered: Wed Sep 28 2005
Posts: 453
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wow....
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"Decide you'll deal with anything that comes your way, then deal with it."-TE

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#63089 - Fri Jan 25 2013 12:21 PM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: NOtrainee]
Yukon Online
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Yes--really wow for all the male SIEs and failure to trains up until now who will be seeing females making it through the training and bumping them from their second and third chance opportunities of getting into and through the required AFSC awarding training. They must be feeling an imminent self-esteem crisis need to visit mental health for depression to get PTSD documentation into their official military records for their VA disability rating.

--Yes Sergeant I quit, I don't want to train any more. Schedule me for a mental health appointment immediately; the trauma of quitting has given me PTSD-- laugh

I’m curious of the implications for Special Operations Weather (AFSC 1W0X2-established 2008) as the opening of all job classifications and duty positions to women negates or invalidates reasons or justification of transforming a portion of the duty assignment combat weather AFSC shred to a separate AFSC.

The whole SOW capability was duty position driven of being collocated with and to support Army Ranger Units, Army Special Forces Units and AFSOC.

ACC had the conventional parachutist coded weather positions and AFSOC had the special operations parachutist coded positions. There has been gray beret wearing weather members of the female gender on parachutist status for years (ACC-82nd Airborne), since 1993 I believe.


TACP is in a panic considering ALO 13L (the Battalion Air Liaison Officer (BALO) and officer qualified JTACs) was opened to females last year and have females in the training pipeline.

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#63094 - Sat Jan 26 2013 02:57 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
NOtrainee Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 28 2005
Posts: 453
Loc: RAF in England
wow....
_________________________
"Decide you'll deal with anything that comes your way, then deal with it."-TE

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#63097 - Sat Jan 26 2013 09:02 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: NOtrainee]
Yukon Online
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Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
Posts: 1748
Loc: Anchorage AK, USA
Originally Posted By: NOtrainee
wow....
I ‘m medically moral and ethically bound from my limited psychiatric emergency medical training to question the second wow. laugh Do you need a referral? wink The WOW symptom indicates possibility of a serious psychiatric break down. crazy I’m copyrighting the creation of a new psychiatric disorder or psychiatric emergency with this post (in other words I just made it up).

WOW syndrome=Walking-well Obfuscation Worried-well syndrome. The new medical disqualification to avoid saying I Quit.

Walking well are persons who are indeed ill, but still able to walk. Similar to Walking Wounded in military medicine is all ambulatory cases. (Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary)

Obfuscation is mental confusion. (Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary). Although there is still some academic debate obsession, or obsolescence in some cases may be more appropriate.

Worried well are persons who are indeed well, but because of their anxiety or imagined illness, they frequent medical care facilities seeking reassurances concerning their health status. (Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary)

Obsolescence is the condition of becoming useless or out of date. (Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary) The presumption is the person was useful to begin with. Thus the academic debate.

Obsession is the neurotic mental state of having an uncontrollable desire to dwell on an idea or an emotion. (Taber’s cyclopedic medical dictionary). The obsession is it’s only a matter of not quitting and when the quit becomes a reality the subsequent belief a do over is deserved and must be given. The presumption is the person actually got into the training pipeline and quit. Thus the academic debate.



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#63099 - Sat Jan 26 2013 11:28 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
NOtrainee Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 28 2005
Posts: 453
Loc: RAF in England
It's always nice to know, that you'll take time out of your day just for me grin
_________________________
"Decide you'll deal with anything that comes your way, then deal with it."-TE

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#63117 - Tue Jan 29 2013 08:09 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
NickP Offline
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Registered: Thu Jul 26 2007
Posts: 304
Loc: In a dream world
It seems more likely than not, women will be apart of AF Special Operations in the near future. May we all hope the standard of these careers do not desintergrate because women want to intergrate. Will we see the day where men have to run the 6 mile in 44:02 and the woman in 48:00? Men at 5x1:30 under waters and women at 2:30 intervals? I truely hope not! what would this mean to the men serving in these jobs? The safety of team! How could a team operate safely and successfuly when they have to focus on the survival of their own team members first and the mission second? I only hope the standard does not change.
_________________________
Quitting Hurts.... Bad!!!
www.unitedstatesairman.com for Air Force information

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#63118 - Tue Jan 29 2013 11:11 AM Re: Women in Special Operations [Re: Porcupine]
Yukon Online
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Registered: Wed Mar 14 2001
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Originally Posted By: NickP
I only hope the standard does not change.
The Air Force has no special operations occupation having a classification standard. There is no core-task unique to performing special operations tasks. Each and every classification standard is result of core task and performing core task in the occupation utilized in (or employed into) operational environment. The more harsh and physically demanding the operational environment the more robust physical ability and stamina necessary to give reasonable survivability in performing the tasks in the operational environment.

If the mission ready status standards are not prescribed in the Career Field Education and Training Plan (CFETP) forward and retention of awarded AFSC and the appropriate 10 series publications (CRO/Pararescue), 13 series publication (13L ALO, TACP, JTA, CCT/STO) and 15 Series publications (combat weather team and SOW) do not require an annual evaluation of member sustaining a minimum level of Physical Ability and Stamina there is no standard to lower.

The PJ, CCT, SOW and TACP occupation classification and mission ready status standards are either valid or not on how and when members of these occupations are utilized in the operational environment. In this regard, PJs have more of a global into the oceans (thus the robust swimming standards) than CCT, SOW and TACP. It is utilization into the operational environment directly connected to core tasks and skill required to accomplish in the operational environment that “scientifically” validated the Physical Ability and Stamina Test standards of an occupation or a duty position.

It’s an occupation standard when all duty positions the occupation fills have requirement to be utilized equally in the operational environment. TACP lacks this consistency even with duty positions in the same unit. It should also be noted JTAC is a 7-level requirement and no physical ability and stamina standard has ever been established for performing JTAC duties, just a vision (eye) standard. This is why TACP PULHES changed from an 111121 standard to an 111111 occupation classification standard. The operational environment and the doing the tasks of these duties necessitated the change for survivability purposes of avoiding blue-on-blue deaths.

FYI: A review of TACP and 13L ALO CFETP and 13 series publications from the time these AFSCs were established to currently published versions of these publication will show lack of AFSC awarding and retention Physical Ability and Stanima standards and the same for obtaining and sustaining TACP and JTAC mission ready status. TACP has no "official" and scientifically validated standards to lower.

Page 35 of TACP CFETP provided "only" student PAST and ruck march standards. Page 26 prescribe the award and retention of AFSC physical ability and stanima standards but there is nothing prescribing a proficiency training stanard for retention of AFSC (page 24; - This mark is used alone instead of a scale value to show that no proficiency training is provided in the course or CDC.)

An interesting read: 2 women take first steps to front line published 28 January 2013.

Quote:
...
The Marine Corps wants to test about 90 female volunteers in the course at Quantico, Va., and use their performances to inform decision-makers on allowing women into the program and the infantry, Marine officials said.
...
The Corps will identify the physical requirements for those jobs, then test 800 male and female Marines this summer. Afterward, Marine officials will correlate those test scores to their physical and combat fitness test scores in order to devise a test recruiters can use to assign recruits to new combat jobs.

"We have 335 [jobs] in the Marine Corps. We're going through as part of our very measured, deliberate and responsible process of evaluating and validating all of the thousands of tasks in all of those 335 [jobs] and schools," a Marine official said.

The Infantry Officer Course's gender-neutral standards have been reviewed and validated, and will not be raised or lowered, the official said
...
"If the only women that can qualify are Olympic-class athletes, then maybe that will be a specialty that remains closed to women," a senior defense official told The Wall Street Journal.
...
The armed services must submit to the defense secretary plans for implementing the policy by May 15. Thirty days after Congress has been notified, the services can begin making changes, with full implementation of the policy to be completed by January 2016.

The defense secretary can grant exceptions for any jobs that the services deem should remain closed to women, based on the requirements of those jobs.

"The assumption is that it's going to be opened. If it shouldn't be opened, it's because we have a really darned good, strong argument as to why not," a senior Marine official told reporters.



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