Friday, March 04, 2011

Sorry Ladies, Not This Time

To put it more succinctly, not NO, but HELL NO!

I was ambivalent on the Don't Ask, Don't Tell debate because, quite frankly, I have a great deal of confidence in the average military service member to deal with any agent provocateurs that would infiltrate in an attempt to garner some headlines and be a martyr to the gay/lesbian community, but allowing women to be in front line Infantry units is not only a bad idea, it is a deadly one.

Infantrymen are the pointy end of the sword. I was one for 20+ years so it is something I can speak on with a fairly certain amount of expertise. We refer to ourselves as bomb dodgers and bullet stoppers. In the words of one senior NCO I had somewhere during my career, he stated that fully 95% of all weapons and tactics designed by man were developed with one intent. That is to maim or kill the Infantryman. The other 5% that were not specifically designed for that purpose could be quickly modified to do so.

Being an Infantryman comes along with a certain amount of unique characteristics. These are not only physical, but mental and sociological. Yes, the Infantry is the largest collection of good ol' boys you will ever find, but that is exactly what molds them into the most effective force. When you throw females into the equation that delicate balance is upset, and anything which upsets that balance leads to greater chance of injury and death for all. Surviving as an Infantryman, even when nobody is shooting at you, requires a great deal of effort.

A lot people will go on and on about the physical issue, which is very real, and regardless of what a bunch of eggheads want to theorize about, it is immutable and undeniable. But beyond that there is a thing called trust. Trust is the one intangible that receives very little attention, but without it, no front line fighting force can function effectively.

Trust is a reason I was ambivalent on the DADT question. I knew gays in the military, and while they were not in Infantry units, my contact came through the medics assigned to accompany us. I could have cared two flips less that you were gay as long as two truths remained. You could patch me up or get me to safety should something happen and you didn't go around dressed in drag propositioning me or my men. In other words, I could count on you to do your job and all that I had contact with could and did. If they didn't they would not have been around my unit very long.

Women are a completely different story. Infantrymen are macho, testosterone-laden Alpha males complete with an entire set of codes related to ensuring the safety and protection of the weaker sex. In addition to adding to their list of worries about bombs and bullets you now want to add the stress of protecting what used to be known as the kinder and gentler sex? Care to guess what happens when a couple of Alpha males wish to curry favor from the same female? I haven't even come close to what happens when the rumor mill goes into overdrive concerning what Johnny and Jill are doing.

I can tell you a long litany of anecdotal stories related to when units I commanded came into close proximity of women while in field environments and the often negative effects this had on the unit cohesion, but the talking heads would say that these social behaviors can be modified over time. Gentlemen and ladies who argue for this approach I would put this forth as an argument. Time is not an ally.

For much of my career, while stationed stateside I was part of what was then known as the Rapid Deployment Force. It's mission was to have boots on the ground anywhere in the known world within 96 hours. Do you think your high-minded social experiment will be ready for deployment in 96 hours?

Oh, no. Before any of you elitist social engineering snobs want to go tinkering with the front line unit dynamics I would suggest you spend about 30 days with them out in Injun country, far removed from anything approaching civilization. If you want to destroy the greatest military in existence you just go ahead and allow women to join the Infantry.


rich b said...

You can bet this is going to be a liberal social experiment that is going to get men (and women) killed. Thanks progressives for fucking up and fixing another thing that wasn't broken. All in the name of PC, which will contribute to death of our beloved country.

Dell said...

As a Veteran, I find myself in total agreement.  If the issues we are all aware of could be neutralized with a couple of training sessions, there would be no question...But, such is not the case and we all know it.  Mixing males and females in a combat setting is a formula for disaster.  There are just too many hormonal issues to deal with and even the best of both genders knows full well what "Johnny and Jill" will be doing, if given the immediate opportunity. Afterall, boys will be boys and girls will be girls and that combination simply doesn't work at the tip of the spear.  They are, afterall, human.

God Bless the ladies for wanting to do what they feel is "their part" on the combat front.  But, as JAG points out, the natural distractions upset the cohesian and create an atmosphere where the mission become secondary to personal thoughts and feelings.  We're already seeing problems of combining the sexes in the recent command house-cleaning of one Navy war ship.  We don't need that problem extended to fox holes!  (Pun intended)

the wolf said...

The military is poor theater in which to fight cultural battles.  The whole DADT controversy is/was a joke; liberals have a long-standing hostility toward the military and they saw the repeal of DADT as an opportunity to score points.  They have no interest in the safety of those in service.

msspurlock said...

I go back and forth on it. On the one hand, I think we should take all of the gays, feminist women and Democrats into an affirmative action quota program. We send them into battle first until as many of them have been killed as American straight men have died in all the wars to keep America and her allies free. Once enough of them are dead, they will be able to talk. Until then, they should shut the hell up. Since most of them would desert, change sides or surrender, I'm pretty sure we'd run out them before enough of them were dead, though.

Come to think of it, there is no other hand.