Re: The Intergrated Military (was Re: Transgender Marriage)

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jan 17 2002 - 17:09:11 MST

Andrew Clough wrote:
> > > The only fair solution I've seen was a fully integrated unit as
> > > portrayed in "Starship Troopers." "Starship Troopers" was the book
> > > that convinced me to join the USMC and I was delighted to learn
> > > it's now on the boot camp recommended reading list.
> >
> >Yup, read it twice. However, it's been quite a while since my last
> >reading, before the movie came out. My recollection (admittedly flawed on
> >occasion) is the book didn't deal with sexual integration at all. No
> >shower scenes that I can remember. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the fully
> >integrated showers was a Paul Verhoeven creation.
> You're right. Out of all the members of the mobile infantry, we don't see
> a single femaleand in fact, in "A Tunnel in the Sky" the main character's
> sister was a member of "The Amazon Corps" or something like that, so he
> probably wasn't a supporter of integrated combat units. The "starship
> troopers" book and movie really had very little to do with each other,
> except for the character names.

Actually, Heinlein claimed that women didn't belong in combat because
they were typically more bloodthirsty than men once you got them to a
certain point (see Farnham's Freehold, Grumbles from the Grave, The Cat
Who Walks Through Walls, The Puppet Masters, among others).

However, I'm not sorry to see Verhoeven integrating basic training
(beyond just the shower scenes). I went through basic in 1988, when Air
Force basic training and technical training was integrated (though we
didn't bunk in the same rooms). While women were held to lower physical
standards than men (which is rather disgusting, considering how pathetic
Air Force physical standards were for men, even), technical standards
were equal. I did know a few women who were rather kick-ass who went out
for the Survival Instructors and Combat Controllers Schools with me, and
most of them were able to keep up with the hard core physical standards
set to get into those schools.

Part of the reason for lower standards in training for women is because
they are held to lower physical standards in high school as well, so you
are starting off with lower caliber stock to begin with.

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