Re: The Integrated Military

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Sun Jan 20 2002 - 14:47:53 MST

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> Brian Phillips wrote:
> > From: Mike Lorrey <>
> >
> >
> > <<The Navy had the worst problems during the Gulf War. I read that at
> > least 2/3 of the naval women in the Gulf got pregnant before the end of
> > the war and had to be sent home (well, with all those seamen running
> > around whaddya expect? ;) ). I would be for a regulation that says that
> > in order to serve in a combat position, you must agree to a Norplant or
> > other such device during combat operations.>>
> Actual references please. I find this quite unbelievable and
> quite disparaging of women in the service. Put up facts or
> withdraw it please..

At the following page:
"Question #3: What are the potential consequences of women and men
fighting alongside one another?

Answer: Combat is a team activity which brings people closer together
than any other profession. A small number of women may possess the
physical and mental toughness to perform some combat duties; but
teamwork matters more than individual capabilities in combat, and this
teamwork generally is undermined by the presence of women. On one
support ship during Operation Desert Storm, 36 of the 360 women on board
-- ten percent -- became pregnant. (Alecia Swasy, "Shipboard Pregnancies
Force the Manly Navy to Cope With Moms," The Wall Street Journal,
October 3, 1991, p. 1.) In a Roper survey conducted during the Gulf War,
64 percent of military personnel surveyed reported that sexual activity
had taken place in their unit. (The Roper Organization, "Attitudes
Regarding the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces: The Military
Perspective," September 1992.) Mixing men and women in military units
invites sexual attraction and special relationships, and these
relationships -- or even the perception that they exist -- destroy the
morale and cohesion which any fighting force must have to win wars. If
more women join combat units that become open to them as a result of the
Administration's new policies, this problem will only worsen. "

So, I will correct my earlier assertion about the actual quantity of
pregnancy copouts, but the fact that the rate was so high on at least
one ship and the rate of sexual activity between members was so high
(where said women were not generally in contact with their actual spouse
for a number of months prior to discovery of pregnancy) still lends
credence to the claim that at least some women will cop out of their
jobs when wartime occurs in order to get out of a combat zone.

Now, it does take two to tango, as they say, and I recall that even in
the well segregated/chaperoned conditions of basic training when I went
through, at least a few female recruits managed to get pregnant in basic
training (and a few couples were caught, rather comically, 'hooking up'
in dumpsters, which says something about the effectiveness of putting
saltpeter in the drinking water).

That some will cop out is evident, but one has to wonder about their
will, since the same paper talks about how training commanders
determined that only 1 percent of women can meet a standard of physical
fitness that 60 percent of men can meet, and that therefore it reduces
military effectiveness and increases training costs markedly to allow
women in the military:

"Only one woman out of 100 could meet a physical standard achieved by 60
out of 100 men. Gregor concluded that going through this process would
mean that "I have just traded off 60 soldiers for the prospect of
getting one. The cost considerations are prohibitive." (Lt. Col. William
Gregor, USA, testimony before the Presidential Commission, September 12,
1992, cited in the Presidential Commission's Report to the President,
November 15, 1992, p. C-42.) "

Furthermore, it seems that more women in the military just don't have
the guts to take on combat roles:

"Question #4: How do women serving in the armed forces feel about being
assigned to combat units?

Answer: In a 1992 survey of Army women, between 70 and 80 percent of
respondents favored allowing women to volunteer for combat. Yet, among
the same respondents, 90 percent of female noncommissioned officers and
88 percent of enlisted women indicated that they would not volunteer;
only 14 percent of the Army officers surveyed indicated that they would
volunteer for combat assignments. And fully 52 percent of Army women
claimed they would leave the service if women are compelled to serve in
combat. (Laura Miller and Dr. Charles Moskos, "1992 Survey on Gender in
the Military," Northwestern University, September 1992.) "

Furthermore, it seems that claims that barring women from combat
inhibits their career path is groundless:

"The charge that barring women from combat units inhibits their career
advancement is groundless. According to Department of Defense
statistics, even with the combat exclusion for women, the services are
promoting females at similar or faster rates than males. (Department of
Defense, "Military Women in the Department of Defense," Volume VIII,
July 1990, pp. 30, 73.) Expanding combat "opportunities" places the
aspirations of feminist activists ahead of the wishes of most military
women, who have expressed consistently strong personal resistance to
being assigned to combat. "

Also, it seems that popular claims about the effectiveness of integrated
combat units are a myth:

"Question #5: What has been the experience of nations that have mixed
men and women in combat units?

Answer: History shows that the presence of women has had a devastating
impact on the effectiveness of men in battle. For example, it is a
common misperception that Israel allows women in combat units. In fact,
women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review
of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be.
study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than
continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in
greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit.
The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw
women killed and maimed on the battlefield. (Presidential Commission on
the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, International Trip Report,
September 14-27, 1992.) "

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