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Panel Says Rescind Policy on Women in Combat
American Forces Press Service ^ | Lisa Daniel

Posted on 03/07/2011 4:52:06 PM PST by SandRat

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2011 – A commission established to study diversity among military leaders is recommending that the Defense Department rescind its policy that prevents women from being assigned to ground combat units below the brigade level.

In a report issued today, the Military Leadership Diversity Commission recommends that the department and the services eliminate combat exclusion policies for women, as well as other “barriers and inconsistencies, to create a level playing field for all qualified service members.”

Retired Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles, who chaired the commission, said the recommendation –- one of 20 in the report and the only one specific to women –- is one way the congressionally mandated body suggests the military can get more qualified women into its more-senior leadership ranks.

“We know that [the exclusion] hinders women from promotion,” Lyles said in an interview with American Forces Press Service. “We want to take away all the hindrances and cultural biases” in promotions.

The commission was established as part of the 2009 National Defense Authorization Act to evaluate and assess policies that provide opportunities for promotion and advancement of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the armed forces.

The 1994 combat exclusion policy, as written, precludes women from being “assigned” to ground combat units, but women have for years served in ground combat situations by serving in units deemed “attached” to ground units, Lyles said. That distinction keeps them from being recognized for their ground combat experience -- recognition that would enhance their chances for promotion, he said.

“If you look at today’s battlefield -- in Iraq and Afghanistan -- it’s not like it was in the Cold War, when we had a defined battlefield,” Lyles said. “Women serve -– and they lead –- military security, military police units, air defense units, intelligence units –- all of which have to be right there with combat veterans in order to do the job appropriately.”

Women serving in combat environments are being shot at, killed and maimed, Lyles said.

“But they’re not getting the credit for being in combat arms,” he said, “[and] that’s important for their consideration for the most senior flag ranks -- three stars and four stars, primarily.”

In the commission’s outreach to military leaders, Lyles said, at least a couple of service leaders thought there would be little interest among women to serve in combat. But when the commission brought in a panel of commissioned and enlisted women from different services, “that’s certainly not what we picked up” from talking to them, he said.

“I didn’t hear, ‘Rah, rah, we want to be in combat,’” he said, “but I also didn’t hear, ‘We don’t want to be in combat.’ What they want is an equal opportunity to serve where their skills allow them to serve. Removing the barriers for that, and removing the barriers to them getting credit for that, was our No. 1 focus.”

Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen Lainez said department officials "will thoroughly evaluate" the panel’s recommendations as part of their ongoing review of diversity policies.

Meanwhile, she said, "Women will continue to be assigned to units and positions that may necessitate combat actions within the scope of their restricted positioning -- situations for which they are fully trained and equipped to respond."

Women make up about 15 percent of active-duty service members; 18 percent of National Guard and reserves; and ten percent of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans; and 10 percent of those who have served in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters, Lainez said.

Retired Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles

Related Sites:
Military Leadership Diversity Commission
From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st-Century Military

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: combat; women

1 posted on 03/07/2011 4:52:09 PM PST by SandRat
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To: SandRat
The military is sacrificing efficiency on the altar of diversity to the god of liberalism.
2 posted on 03/07/2011 4:54:40 PM PST by Celtic Cross (Does your stream of thought have fish in it?)
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To: SandRat

Long, long overdue. One of the damn dumbest things ever done to our military. Any nation that needs to put women in that kind of jeopardy, ought to be ashamed of itself.

And get the the hell out of submarine duty too!

3 posted on 03/07/2011 4:55:38 PM PST by laweeks
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To: SandRat

1. women onto nuke subs

2. gay sensitivity training in the field for combat units

3. now this

LIB THINKING: Military should be our social experiment laboratory

4 posted on 03/07/2011 4:58:48 PM PST by gaijin
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To: gaijin

My prediction; they’ll start imposing weird regs on eating habits and coverage for military guys.

Like maybe the PX won’t carry candy and chips, or dirty magazines. Or...if you’re a smoker you’ll have to take the PFT more often....

There would be many ways.

5 posted on 03/07/2011 5:01:26 PM PST by gaijin
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To: Celtic Cross

How is permitting women to serve in combat “sacrificing efficiency”?

Towards the end of WWII Hitler sent old men and boys to the front because he was losing the war and desperate for more troops. So I’m concerned about what this means with regards to our involvement in the Middle East. This article just confirms my suspicions that we are overextended in the Middle East, that we are losing in Iraq and Afghanistan, and/or that 0 is planning another ill-conceived war.

6 posted on 03/07/2011 5:05:17 PM PST by SoCal SoCon (Conservatism =/= Corporatism.)
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To: SoCal SoCon
I'll say it raw; Men are stronger, physically and emotionally. Men are built for war, women simply are not.

Say a 220 lb. guy gets knocked unconscious; even a pretty strong women wouldn't be able to drag him to safety.

It is an ill-conceived plan. Leave it to the liberals to screw stuff up.

7 posted on 03/07/2011 5:10:14 PM PST by Celtic Cross (Does your stream of thought have fish in it?)
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To: Celtic Cross

Bingo, name a potential enemy that we may face that will have front line women combat soldiers.
The rest of the world is using common sense.

And the Isreal excuse, well if we were surrounded by thousands of feral muslim humans bent on our destruction, then yes that would make sense to bring women into the fold to defend the country. We are no where near that, yet.,

Give obama a chance and we will be there on the southern border.

Thanks libs.

8 posted on 03/07/2011 5:17:08 PM PST by Texas resident (Hunkered Down)
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To: SandRat


Hump 150lbs packs, in the Anartic, Iraq, Hindu Kush( 15,000 ft) , for one year tour. Two, three year tour. And flab thigh slap twat gets your BN post when your are toast.

9 posted on 03/07/2011 5:24:27 PM PST by Leisler (Our debts are someone's profit. Follow the money, the vig.....)
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To: SandRat

No no a thousand times no. Women ARE different than men and do need male protection. Don’t put them into combat. PS I am a former military woman.

10 posted on 03/07/2011 5:35:28 PM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Celtic Cross

Women currently serve in MP units down to the section level. They are in combat. They are being shot at, wounded and killed and they are pulling their weight—for the most part. Female MP soldiers have even rucked it in the boonies for weeks at a time with SF units because they do not have females in them and they cannot touch Islamo women.

That said, we know Muslims abuse the american female soldiers they catch. Worse, they use them to get the men to give up info. The IDF withdrew women from front line combat decades ago for precisely that reason. It greives me that we don’t seem to ever really learn from history. We simply repeat the same mistskes over and over.

Like Marxism, which fails every time it’s tried, here we have a Usurper in the WH trying to take us down that failed tracke—again.

11 posted on 03/07/2011 5:43:39 PM PST by dools0007world
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To: SandRat

Before they make this move, the powers that be should take a really hard look at the muscle/skeletal problems the returning vets are starting to suffer following carrying 70 yo 100lbs of gear. Women cannot carry t that much wt. And in a combat situation, each “grunt’ has to carry his own load.

12 posted on 03/07/2011 5:47:29 PM PST by celtic gal
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To: celtic gal

Reality does not matter to the PC crowd.

13 posted on 03/07/2011 5:57:13 PM PST by SandRat (Duty - Honor - Country! What else needs said?)
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To: SandRat

The Venturer Commission say to put women back in the WAC’s the Waves and other Womens organisations and man the military with men. Straight men.

14 posted on 03/07/2011 6:04:30 PM PST by Venturer
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To: celtic gal

I’ve seen it. I know a young female vet who probably weighed 110 soaking wet. A year in Iraq with the body armor and she has a VA disability of 100 percent.

15 posted on 03/07/2011 6:43:27 PM PST by sgtyork (The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage. Thucydides)
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To: SandRat

Please explain to me why there are no women in the NFL, a sport.

And then explain to me why there should be women in combat, a brutal contest where the end game is death and destruction, not a sack or a tackle.

16 posted on 03/07/2011 7:24:53 PM PST by oldbill
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To: sgtyork

Yep..but the Molly Yards of the PC world are going to go after this without any regard to the payments that will be going out to this new group of disabled vets..
Oddly enough, however, there are some, but not all, service women who are all for this change.

17 posted on 03/07/2011 9:37:02 PM PST by celtic gal
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To: celtic gal
Women in combat units? No! Hell, no!!

There are two countries in the world with extensive experience with women in combat roles: 1) Israel in the War for Independence (1948-1949) and Russia during the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945). Combat training to females is still given but neither country puts its female fighters in the combat arms. Why?

1. Disproportionate casualties as women try to “prove” themselves and men try to protect them.
2. Damaging effects on morale as the grim attrition of war counts up the butcher’s bill. Both men and women are hideously affected.
3. Physical strength and stamina over high stress actions on the battlefield. Like it or not, men are NOT equal in physical strength or abilities; it's called biology! You can blather all you want about male-female “equality”, but you cannot trump biology.
4. All female or mixed male-female units have more problems with fraternization, favoritism, petty jealousies, and in-fighting than comparable all male units.

There are a lot of female officers (and politicians) who are pushing for more women in front-line combat roles. Why? The military calls it “getting your ticket punched.” A combat command in your service record is a fast track ticket to promotion and stars on your collar. The fact that war and combat are equal opportunity killers that do not respect rank or gender doesn't seem to have affected these “upwardly mobile” careerists. One thing you don't see is herds of enlisted females beating down the doors for assignment to front-line combat units.

18 posted on 03/07/2011 10:19:13 PM PST by MasterGunner01 (To err is human; to forgive is not our policy. -- SEAL Team SIX)
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