A veteran’s thoughts on women in combat.
Posted by iusbvision on January 19, 2011
I was in one of the first co-ed basic military training unit’s in the Air Force. It was a disaster. The reactions were bad with some of the men and the women.
The males would not help the women and would not come in range of touching one because one complaint to “social actions” and things became “political” very fast. Two of the women in my unit were full blown nymphomaniacs and even though we slept in different rooms things still “happaned”. Training and combat are highly stressful and people behave very differently and much more impulsively under such conditions.
There were women who liked to become more helpless around men to try and get the guys to do things for them, or they just liked attention. There were men who behaved differently (sometimes foolishly) because women were around.
After a short time, some of the women realized that the political nature of being reported to “social actions” was a weapon they could exploit. In one example I remember a female trainee (I still know her name to this day) who just could not do several of the obstacles in the confidence course. She started to cry. The course military training NCO was a 22 year old buck sergeant. So here is an E-4 faced with dealing with a crying E-1, who can say anything she wants; who will be believed? So he did the only thing he felt like he could do and keep his career from being sullied. He gave her a passing score and waved her on. I saw things like this often.
One female trainee even got money out of a male trainee by threatening to say that he touched her. I saw all of this in one military training unit, over six weeks.
Even though all of these things happened, no one got caught, no one spoke up, because the pressure was on to “make the co-ed units work”.
This raised most everyones streess level. Not only did I have to worry about what I was doing, my assigned “buddy” was doing, follow a list of orders perfectly the first time, I had to keep a bubble around me in which no female should penetrate and watch all of the time.
It introduced and greatly amplified some social dymamics that become destructive in a military unit. It is because of dynamics similar to these that the female Navy pilot was killed doing a carrier landing. She got a waiver to get a lower score so she could get her wings.
Now I am not saying that all women are incapable or anything like that, what I am saying is that in combat and training environments things happen that shouldn’t. It has and will cost lives.
Note: Some say that Iraq demonstrated that women can fight the enemy. This is apples and oranges. Women who were forced to engage the enemy did so en route from safe zone to safe zone. These were small skirmishes; not military units isolated and in a combat zone for an extended duration.