The Integrated Military (was Re: Transgender marriage)

From: James Rogers (
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 12:47:44 MST

On 1/17/02 5:25 AM, "Tom Cowper" <> wrote:
> I am curious as to any other armies of the world that are fully integrated
> along the lines of Starship Troopers. As a former military officer I'm
> not aware of any. It "seems to work out MUCH better..."? If there are
> any and they do work MUCH better, I'd love to know about it.

Part of the problem with gender equality in the military is that in practice
politics screws it up shortly after it has been implemented. For example,
when the Canadian military officially integrated back in 1989, it took a
whopping seven years before politics became injected into it. In Canada's
case, they discovered that only a miniscule fraction of the women could meet
the standards to be in combat arms units. Furthermore, retention of women
in these units was terrible, due mostly to the filthy labor intensive
environment. The Canadian solution circa 1996: establish quotas and lower
standards until you can meet the quotas.

Incidentally, I once was involved in a joint exercise for a week with a
Canadian assault engineer unit that had some women in it during this
1989-1996 period of honest gender equality. The women in those units at
that time were pretty hardcore and pulled their own weight. (Contrary to
expectations, those women were prettier girls than the average US Army woman
by a good margin, a fact that many guys will probably find interesting.)

> I'd also
> like to know their demonstrated combat effectiveness or reputation for
> success on the battlefield. Because the fundamental issue here is not
> whether women can fight. They certainly can and do. The issue is how
> well a fully integrated infantry or combat-arms unit would fight, as a
> unit, over a period of time.

I would add that in my own experience, women do not function as well
cognitively in a strenuous combat environment particularly of the small unit
infantry type. The difference is pretty obvious on observation. During
times of sensory overload (e.g. a firefight involving a fair number of
participants), male soldiers tend to automatically partition the threat
almost systematically, having a good situational awareness of the
battlefield but their minds only focusing on individual targets. This
cognitive behavior is an automatic response to threats of this nature.
Female soldiers on the other hand, seem to take the whole situation in at
once without having the ability to really partition the threat into
bite-size chunks. I've observed this many, many times. If the number of
things to keep track of is too high, women become ineffective, whereas men
seem to have the innate ability to prioritize threats and focus on
individual targets. My suspicion is that this is probably due in no small
part to men having substantially better spatial processing capabilities than
women, being able to track multiple vectors on the battlefield with relative

I think a fully integrated military is possible, but that only a tiny
fraction of the population would be well-suited for that type of


-James Rogers

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