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  #121 (permalink)  
Old 04-25-2011, 18:45
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apache26 View Post
In spite of all my vituperations I would be willing to see this. The vast problems with having women in the service is well hidden because the services don't want to publish the issues, and they are intermingled with men who can pick up the slack.

If there were all female units that were held up to high standards, then the fraternization and discipline issues would be diminished. This would permit the services and the American people to have a true, side-by-side comparison. Although I don't think it would work very well for many reasons, if the American people were comfortable with it, then it would be a more reasonable approach.
It has happened, but I don't think the unit was actually a real military unit. I'll try to dig up the info. It was pretty chilling actually.

Quote:
Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
Hmmmmm, never seriously considered it until Apache made those astute points.

Agree on all of them.

Unfortunately don't think this approach would have a chance because it smacks of segregation, doesn't achieve "equality" and might actually show some real differences in performance.

Again, great idea (Apache & Rhino) but you have to ignore that those yelling loudest for "equality" don't really care about the impact as often they don't live in the real world or operate where results and consequences are actually important.
In the forces, but still not "equal". I could see that as a typical response.

I think it would be a more efficient set up alocating an all womens section, instead of trying to play nice and offer co-ed style set ups. Segregation in the name of smoothing ruffled feathers? Maybe. Some folks just aren't happy until they've actually ruined everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s_j_i View Post
I would feel sorry for the some of the girls if this was the case.From what I know of our services something like this could be an absolute killing field for all the predatory lesbians that inhabit the ranks,I heard some stories from some of the not as butch hetero girls of what the "strong" girls can get up to.I think having men around keeps this somewhat in check

but reverting to type...
girl on girl action in the ranks.c'mon!
Yikes, what a thaught, predatory lesbians, just as bad as men. Scary thaught.
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  #122 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2011, 10:52
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

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Originally Posted by cdn_rhino View Post
Yikes, what a thought, predatory lesbians, just as bad as men. Scary thought.
What's worse is that in actual fact they are/ were even more predatory (and territorial) than men.

The stories I could tell would have me labelled a mysoginistic homophobe/ sexist. Unfortunately they are true.

Never met a male soldier I wouldn't have stood up to if I thought I was in the right (even knowing they'd sweep the floor with my head). Some of those bull dykes however I'd run a mile the opposite way before even thinking about messing with.
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  #123 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2011, 19:25
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Scaley - I recommend you simply take the labels for what they are - slurs designed to keep you from telling the truth. If someone calls me a homophobe or sexist for being honest, I'll gladly wear the badge in this day and age.

I disagree with toughness of bull dykes. In the end, they are still women. The difference is that men (who aren't trying to kill each other) get into a fight and know that once it is over, things can be settled and cool.
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  #124 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2011, 10:40
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Apart from the fact that some were very big and scary , my biggest problem is one of upbringing - I was raised believing hitting women was wrong.

I've been around enough to objectively come to the conclusion that anyone, male or female takes a swing then I return the favour. Realistically I don't think I could...
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  #125 (permalink)  
Old 04-27-2011, 21:05
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Scaley, you are right about that. I was taught the same thing. I have never hit a girl nor do I plan on it. But if it were forced on me by a bull dyke, then a lesson may be in order.
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  #126 (permalink)  
Old 05-27-2011, 11:18
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Man, this thread scares me. I'm going down to OCS in January to become an officer in the Marine Corps. I'm kind of worried now. I want to go infantry, and if I get it, I would have serious qualms about sending women into combat, then again, any girl who signs up for that - her death is on her own head for defying the wisdom of time immemorial.

Last edited by Sawgunner; 05-27-2011 at 12:45. Reason: NO POLITICAL RANTING ALLOWED
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  #127 (permalink)  
Old 05-27-2011, 12:28
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Rokwing - After 20+ years of being an Infantryman I wish you the best in your future endeavors.

That said politics is not something we discuss here on OSW and I'd hate for this thread to get closed down. Let's keep the discussion on the subject of women in combat and how THAT is a good or bad decision. Additional facts and perspectives are welcome, attributing this to any politicians isn't. A societal cause might fly but again we aren't trying to get the thread closed down.

Don't take my post as a slam. Just want you to enjoy the site and the members.
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  #128 (permalink)  
Old 05-27-2011, 20:22
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Rod or Steve,

Was there any mention for the females in Delta's "Funny Platoon" to be trained as active shooters? My guess is that they were for HUMINT purposes such as cover wives or female businesswomen in order to gain intel for the real active shooters.

Mark... you discussed Israel's use of women in tanker and infantry roles. How many pics have you seen of an Israeli woman carrying a MAG-58 machine gun on patrol or an M-21 sniper rifle? Answer none! An Uzi is nowhere near the size and weight of a GPMG. The average GPMG weighs about 24lbs empty without optics or belted ammo in place. As a gunner she would need to carry at least 4 100 rd belts on her person on top of personal gear. My point in my previous statement is valid.

As an infantryman who carried the M-60 and later an M-249, I had to carry at least 400 rds for each system plus my personal gear. Ammo is heavy when marching or climbing.
I definitely cannot see a woman doing continuous weapons PT with an M-240 or a female sniper lugging an M-107 around for long. Even males have issues with it.
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  #129 (permalink)  
Old 05-27-2011, 20:48
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Thanks a lot - and yes, you are right. I got too clouded by my own passion there. My bad. I shouldn't have gone on a rant, although what I meant to do was identify the source of the problem and identify a solution to it. Women in combat is a bad idea which mortifies me. I learned from a Marine yesterday that the vast majority of women do not want to be in combat. Most sign up for the education and other career opportunities and training, and their goal is to be support. While women getting caught up in combat has excited those who see is a progress, it has greatly hurt the cause of women in the military as a whole. The military used to be 20% female, now it's dropping under 15% because many women do not want to go into combat and are not comfortable with the way Robert Gates and other leaders are leading the armed forces. The armed forces has replaced them with more men. The Marine Corps has the least women now - a mere 7% of the entire Corps is female, and that number is dropping. They run the female OCS bootcamp only twice a year for the Corps now, and that could drop to one if things continue. When I first visited my recruiter, I learned that only one woman was even being processed with that specific recruitment center. Women are especially moving away from the Army and the Marines as they're the most likely to see combat. So, the women in combat idea is a detriment to women's career progress in the military - a whole quarter of them dropped out - tens of thousands.

Additionally, it's ultra difficult to get into Special Forces even as a male. You need to get into the infantry MOS, then you need to qualify at multiple schools, some with high drop out rates, pass an insane PFT, be ultra smart, and go through training that is so rigorous that it's promised that you will experience a lot of pain, not to mention a heavy mental toll. The NFL has allowed women for years, yet none, aside from a female kicker who was cut before the season began, have ever made the team. The Special Forces are arguably harder to get into than the NFL. I believe personally that the only way you can get women into the Special Forces is if you establish a quota and make the requirements much easier on females, as they did with the Marine Corps PFT test for females. This would weaken the Special Forces.

Democratic Senator Jim Webb wrote an article years ago on the subject: Jim Webb: Women Can't Fight - News & Features (washingtonian.com). It's called Women Can't Fight. He is a Vietnam War hero who took out many a Vietcong soldier, and became Secretary of the Navy under Reagan although he was in the Marines, which is rare.

One final thing. I think we need to take a gut check and ask ourselves: Is putting women in combat worth the societal toll? Do we want a world where women are respected and protected, or a world where those time-honored traditions are abolished for what some perceive as societal progress?

I hope I did not write anything wrong in this post, I took great care - love the site, first time I got drawn into actually posting.
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  #130 (permalink)  
Old 05-28-2011, 01:02
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Saw249man - What little I've heard/read on the subject lines up with your observation. Besides the "funny platoon" the ISA definitely has women in its ranks. They work VERY closely with the tier 1 units so it's plausible that women are doing a little more than humint and cover as the female in a couple. Shooters? HIGHLY doubtful but not to say that the women already discussed have had much greater than average marksmanship training.

Rokwing - Thanks for the article. Let you know what I think of it.
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  #131 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 11:36
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

I am amazed this thread hasn't been shut down already. That being said, this is the first open and honest debate I've ever seen on the subject. Many thanks to the OSW staff for allowing us to pursue this matter.

Last edited by Apache26; 05-30-2011 at 11:37. Reason: Additions
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  #132 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 12:52
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Yes thanks to the mods and thanks for those that have contrbuted to do so in a professional manner and avoiding the personal attacks seen so often in other venues.
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  #133 (permalink)  
Old 05-30-2011, 19:03
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

It ain't always pretty, but you guys have done a good job keeping it on course. I figured it fits under the "etc" part, and we'll go with that.
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  #134 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2011, 21:50
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Something I just received in my e-mail from a site I belong to. May be of interest to all no matter what side of the debate.
Female Special Operators Now in Combat
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  #135 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2011, 22:31
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Read the article. Basically it has women in special forces units to interact with the populace. Specifically states they won't be in a combat role and will go into more secure areas. They will receive some more weapons training and fast rope qual. Looking for nurses and MPs especially.

I'm totally OK with it. The Army had women on checkpoints in Iraq and the Marines copied the integration with the FET program. The ONLY problem is those with an agenda will use this noncombat role women are filling in special ops units as justification for a combat role. Totally unrelated but they will.
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  #136 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2011, 22:48
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Rod I totally agree. But then I was in Iraq '08-09 my last go around, with a female 2LT (acting commander) over an MP unit conducting PTT. She was an active CAB hunter even to the point that on more than one occasion disregarded orders and drug her convoys into black areas and would want us to clear random buildings that she felt were suspicious. Mind you it was only a squad with no back-up in an area that we were not supposed to be in. Sounds real smart right. Oh did I mention she had an affair with one of our female team leaders during pre-mob. I know that this is not indicitive of all female soldiers but damn what a long 16 month rotation (pre-mob to Homecoming)
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  #137 (permalink)  
Old 07-01-2011, 23:29
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Nick - I feel for you brother. What a crappy experience on so many levels!!! Its that kind of stuff that causes a lack of respect for officers in general. My apologies that you were subjected to that.

Funny story for you...

One night shortly after the cease fire in Desert Storm my unit was on the DML near Umm Qasr and Safwan. We took highly inaccurate sniper fire nightly and could rarely identify the source. One night my driver and I, returning from a BN command and staff meeting, had some Haji unload a mag into the sky off to the side of the road behind some dunes.

We pull over and jump out of the HMMWV and start manuevering on the dunes to find the SOB. A couple of minutes later hunched up against a dune with my driver I look at him and I ask him, "You thinking what I'm thinking Franco?" He replies, "Don't know Sir, what you thinking? I said, "I was thinking its was pretty effing stupid for a CPT and driver to be looking for a guy with an AK by themselves when theres a Bradley company a couple of klicks away." Franco says, "Sir, that's exactly what I was thinking."

We chuckled went back to the vehicle and called out a platoon of Bradleys. Never found the shooter but had a good story.
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  #138 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2011, 11:18
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Rod i can relate to your story as I am sure there are many soldiers (myself included) that have done similar things and then went WTF. The problem is when you continue to do it over and over just for some stupid useless badge. Not to go too far off topic but personally I believe the CAB was the most ill concieved trash award the Military has created. In personal experience on my last deployment it led to many soldiers to take too many risks and endangered the lives of too many soldiers for that useless crap. I have never needed a badge to tell me I saw combat or that I was "Over There". It is even more of a shame when leadership places the lives of their soldiers at risk so they can have that badge. She did this on many occasions "because as a female officer a CAB will help my career". Worst part is she finally got the badge. Her convoy was in Samarra on a routine patrol when the 5th MRAP behind her took a strike from an RKG-3. 200 meters to her rear, grenade attack on another vic, and she puts herself in for a CAB. Gotta love it !!!
Worst waste of a military award ever.
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  #139 (permalink)  
Old 07-02-2011, 12:00
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Nick - There's a reason for the creation of the CAB. I was working in a department of the Infantry School at the time and got to see some of the dynamics behind the scenes. The creation of the CAB was not so much an effort to recognize combat service as it was an effort to protect the CIB.

Around 2003 several things were occuring to further cheapen the CIB. Generals were signing orders awarding the CIB to individuals who clearly didn't qualify (not infantryman, not infantryman serving in an infantry unit at BDE level or below, sustained combat etc.). The climax came when a NG General (Arkansas I believe) said he was going to put his states guard through a shortened "Infrantry School" when they got back so they'd all have the MOS and he could award the entire unit the CIB.

Instead of standing by as the CIB was further eroded, the Infantry School changed its longstanding opposition to a new combat badge and became a promoter of the CAB. Today I believe more CABs have been awarded than all the CIBs since Vietnam (maybe longer).

As I see it, the CAB is DEEPLY flawed. That's primarily due to the false premise that one contact = combat. (True the CIB can be a result of ONE contact but its rarely awarded that way.) Its also awarded to soldiers whose specific mission is to go out and engage the enemy in close, personal combat hence its prestige. The way the CAB's requirements are written it just begs badge hunters to go out and play. There are some very deserving CAB wearers but they are a small minority. It would have been much better to limit it to an MOS specifically Armor.

Putting oneself in for an award whatever the rank is OBSCENE!

Taking uneccessary risks? Never saw too much of that. Then again the guys I served with had enough risk on a daily basis and couldn't escape it.
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Old 07-03-2011, 11:31
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Nick and Rod,

I had the same exact experience with my former PL during my second go around back in 05-06. Although he wasn't as Gung-ho about getting it nor did he go looking for contact to get it, the results were the same as Nick's story. He was in lead truck of a twelve vehicle convoy spaced out 150 meters per truck. The fourth vehicle was hit by an IED. He made sure that him and his team got the CAB even although they were 600 meters from the detention. The other MP truck that was part of our platoon was less than 50 meters from the fourth truck and they got jack &*@).

However Nick, I will totally disagree with you on the CAN being 'Worst Waste of a Military Award Ever!'. During my first go around in Iraq in 2003 my MP PLT was only 2 squads of 3 with the PL Team (unlike the 3 squads of 4 teams nowadays). During our tour, we went on 137 Raids that netted over 673 EPWs, 572 weapons confiscated (including 22 Russian-made SA-7 Surface-to-Air missles), and I don't know how much of ammunition, intel, and explosives siezed. We were involved in 15 sustain firefights (sustain was used by our Company to charactize firefights that lasted well over 10 minutes), hit by 6 IEDs, and suffered too many to count IDFs (two of such attacks struck within 5 meters of our tents causing two minor wounded (thank God which it could've been worse). The Combat Action Badge wasn't around back then so we would only thump our chest and slap each others' back on a job well done. Fast forward to 2005, most of the PLT is still together when the CAB comes out and is grandfathered back in 2001. Our former PL and PSG made damn sure that we all got put in for one even going as far as hooking up with those that PCSed to make sure they got theirs. As Major Milller (than 1LT) said 'I don't give a ratass' what they say, our PLT earned that damn award through months of sweat, blood, tears, and ^%@*).'

Am I condoning the CAB Chasers out there that needlessly put their troops' lives at risk to earn the CAB. Hell no I don't and I don't think any of them should ever led troops at all if their just looking for personal gain. But don't critize the award that was earned by those that fought hard over a period of months because of a bad experience with a former acting CO.
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  #141 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2011, 12:37
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Shaggy - Good story. Like I said there are some deserving ones out there. Personally I don't think taking artillery/IED should automatically qualify for a badge, way too much room for abuse. Shrapnel in your vehicle, returning fire? THAT'S combat no doubt.

Even in your case though the LT was at least outside the wire doing something. Though I think forgetting troops closer to the explosion was pathetic. What's worse is the fobbit that happens to live on a FOB that took indirect? He isn't adding to the mystique of the award. This is what I'm thinking whenever I see a general wearing a CAB.
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  #142 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2011, 17:50
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Shaggy, No offense to you or others that wear the badge in my last post. It is simply my own opinion and in no way a slight to those soldiers that truly deserve the award. I do however believe that the standards and quals for the awards are way too slack for the award. I am sure that at some time there has been a grunt that has chased after the CIB as well, but I would bet not on the scale that non-Combat MOS's seem to chase after the CAB. As I stated in my earlier post I never needed a Badge to tell me I was "Over there" in "90-91 nor did I need one in my last go around in "08-09. I feel the true nature of the award has been cheapened and I watched to many being handed out for the wrong reasons. My last deployment I saw CAB's handed out faster than Plt Medics hand out Ranger Candy. Yes that bad.
As I said no offense to you
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  #143 (permalink)  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:01
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

No offense taken.

And I know a few grunts out there in 2/8 INF, 4ID back in 03-04 that were a bit tick off that the TOC Roaches got awarded CIBs even although they never went out on any ops but suffered IDFs weekly. And yes CABs are handed out like candy (I think on my last go around of the 161 soldiers assigned to the Company, only 18 soldiers had a CAB from a previous deployment; and 105 soldiers were awarded the CAB). I think the requirements diffently needs some serious relooking into.
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Old 07-07-2011, 21:41
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Just stumble on this news.. that happened to Australian Navy.. stuff like this happened its just that it takes courage for someone to speak about it...

Australian sailors operated 'sex ledger' of women recruits - Telegraph
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Old 07-31-2011, 15:12
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Seems that Australia has announced opening ALL combat specialties to women in response to their recent skype scandal where a male streamed video of himself having sex with a female cadet.

Combat roles offered to women | The Australian

The details of the integration plan have not been formulated, specifically if women will be expected to meet the same standards as men. Critics charge this decision by Australia's first female Prime Minister is an attempt to diffuse the skype scandal and is not well thought out and presents significant risks to Australia's combat formations.

NO women have entered any combat arms training though a study is supposedly being conducted to look at the situation.

I'll be very interested in the results.

rokwing - Read that lengthy article by Sen Webb. It was worth it and am including it in my reference articles as it touches on several issues that interest me. I will also write Sen Webb communicating my deep agreement with many of his points and asking if he still stands by his comments. For those that haven't read the article its from 1979.

Apache - READ THE ARTICLE!

http://www.washingtonian.com/article...tics/2182.html
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Old 07-31-2011, 15:21
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Just seen this Admiral Olson on female SEALs in combat billets


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Old 07-31-2011, 16:35
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

I saw that and the source article for the kit up story. I commented and was still scratching my head until I read the article again.

The headline is misleading as was the characterization of what Admiral Olson said.

“I don’t think the idea is to select G.I. Jane and put her through SEAL training, but there are a number of things that a man and a woman can do together that two guys can’t,”

So he's making the case for having women when there's a need (like liaison) but not as full fledged SEALs on every mission. On the other hand he refers to them as female SEALs which is VERY CONFUSING since he doesn't propose putting them through the SEALs pipeline.

He also caveats it all with "when the policy changes" so he might be making wild a-- comments to ingratiate himself with activists though this sort of stuff is self defeating.
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  #148 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2011, 18:43
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Quote:
Originally Posted by major.rod View Post
I saw that and the source article for the kit up story. I commented and was still scratching my head until I read the article again.

The headline is misleading as was the characterization of what Admiral Olson said.

ďI donít think the idea is to select G.I. Jane and put her through SEAL training, but there are a number of things that a man and a woman can do together that two guys canít,Ē

So he's making the case for having women when there's a need (like liaison) but not as full fledged SEALs on every mission. On the other hand he refers to them as female SEALs which is VERY CONFUSING since he doesn't propose putting them through the SEALs pipeline.

He also caveats it all with "when the policy changes" so he might be making wild a-- comments to ingratiate himself with activists though this sort of stuff is self defeating.
How is the title misleading? It's Adm. Olsen's comments about females in special operations combat billets. You can hear his actual words.



The comments are about an hour in. He basically says when the policy changes they'll be ready to move forward. He reall didn't call them female SEALs, except to say that women currently in special operatons weren't female SEALs.
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Old 05-22-2012, 15:29
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

New information on this. Looks like its going to be happening sooner than later

Odierno: Army Moving Toward Opening Combat Arms to Women
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2012 – Army leaders are asking whether -- and how -- to open infantry and armor ranks to women, the service’s senior soldier said today.

Officers in charge of training and force development are now gathering data to help answer those questions, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno told reporters during a Pentagon briefing.

In line with Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta’s policy, the service has already opened 13,000 previously all-male positions to female soldiers, the general noted.

“Earlier this week more than 200 women began reporting to the maneuver battalions in nine of our brigade combat teams, selected to participate in the exception to the direct ground combat assignment rule,” he said. “Additionally, co-location [with combat units] as an assignment restriction is rescinded.”

A Defense Department report to Congress in February outlining the assignment policy changes included a vision statement that said the department “is committed to removing all barriers that would prevent service members from rising to the highest level of responsibility that their talents and capabilities warrant.”

Odierno noted the changes open new opportunities to women, who comprise 16 percent of the Army’s ranks. “This revision … allows us to leverage the tremendous talent resident in our ranks,” he added.

Women will likely filter in to the new positions for “several months,” the Army chief said. Two categories of assignments are now open to women: jobs such as tank mechanic and field artillery radar operator that are necessarily performed close to combat units, and a limited “exception to policy” opening select positions at the battalion level in jobs women already occupy.

“My guess is, based on my experience in Iraq and what I've seen in Afghanistan, we'll then move forward with a more permanent solution [involving those two assignment categories] inside of the Army probably sometime this fall,” he said.

Odierno said the next step is “to look at, do we open up infantry and armor [military occupational specialties] to females?”

He emphasized no decisions have yet been made on the question, but noted the answer will have implications for all-male Army formations, including the Rangers.

Army Rangers are rapidly deployable, light infantry troops trained to engage conventional and special operations targets. While there are only three Ranger battalions, with a special troops battalion and a separate Ranger training brigade, Odierno pointed out the “Ranger tab” denoting completion of Ranger training is a key to advancement among infantry officers.

Ranger school consists of three phases -- mountain, desert and swamp – over 61 days, and combines rigorous infantry training with famously sparse amounts of food and sleep.

While Odierno cautioned, “I don’t want to get ahead of myself,” he noted that some 90 percent of Army senior infantry officers -- all male -- are Ranger-qualified.

“So, if we determine that we’re going to allow women to go into infantry, to be successful they are probably, at some time, going to have to go through Ranger school,” he said. “We have not made that decision, but it’s a factor that I’ve asked them to take a look at.”

If combat arms jobs open to female soldiers, “We want the women to be successful,” the general said.

The Army, like DOD, is committed to providing maximum opportunity for its members, Odierno said.

“We’re going to move toward it,” he said. “It’s how we do that, what we have to do, [that we’re assessing] as we move forward.”
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Old 05-22-2012, 21:59
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Re: Recommendation Made to Army & Marines Allow Women in ALL Combat Specialties

Shaggy, you may have missed the preceding story to this one...

USMC 4-star: Women to attend infantry school

By James K. Sanborn - Staff writer
Posted : Wednesday Apr 18, 2012 15:36:36 EDT

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news...d-amos-041812/

The Marine Corps school that produces infantry combat officers will enroll its first-ever female students this year, Marine Corps Times has learned.

As part of the service’s extensive research campaign to determine what additional jobs could be opened to women, an undetermined number of volunteers will attend the Infantry Officers Course in Quantico, Va., said Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Corps’ assistant commandant. There, Marine officers are groomed to serve in direct combat roles and lead troops into battle.

“We are in the process right now of soliciting volunteers,” Dunford said on Wednesday.

It’s a monumental — if controversial — move for the Marine Corps, which until now barred female Marines from the program and required instead that they attend other courses aimed at preparing them for assignments in support roles such as logistics, personnel administration and aircraft maintenance, among others.

Soon, enlisted women also will have an opportunity to attend infantry training, Dunford said. Marine officials are developing plans to assign female Marines to the Corps’ Infantry Training Battalions, which fall under the Schools of the Infantry.

Officials don’t yet know how many women — officer or enlisted — will be put into the academic pipeline for the Corps’ “03” infantry occupational code, Dunford said. All will be volunteers — and it remains to be seen how many will answer the call, he said.

It’s not immediately clear either what the next steps will be for those women who successfully complete the Corps’ infantry training programs. Marine officials at Quantico, who have led the service’s effort to explore lifting restrictions on women in combat, said these details are finalized, but declined to discuss them pending an official unveiling in the coming days.

The Marine Corps’ top general, Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, traveled Wednesday to Camp Lejeune, N.C., where among other business he was expected to meet with Marines and explain the service’s plans for expanding women’s career opportunities, Dunford said. Amos was joined by his senior enlisted adviser, Sgt. Maj. Mike Barrett.

“I think the important thing for us is to articulate the commandant’s intent, and to explain what he is doing and why he is doing it,” Dunford said. “The best way to do that is face-to-face, and he, with the sergeant major … is doing that right now.”

The Corps has been studying this issue for more than a year. In February, officials announced that company-grade officers and staff noncommissioned officers would be assigned for the first time to select jobs previously open only to men, though not in the infantry or any billets for which ground combat is a primary mission. Starting in May, women will be considered for about 400 positions within six types of battalions:

• Amphibious assault

• Artillery

• Combat assault

• Combat engineer

• Low-altitude air defense

• Tank.

Additionally, new functional fitness tests are being developed to help Marine Corps leaders determine how women and men perform in, and cope with, various combat tasks. The goal is to establish “gender-neutral” physical fitness standards. Details are scant, but the Marine Corps’ Training and Education Command is looking to purchase a variety of new equipment specifically for these tests, suggesting the tasks associated with them will closely mimic combat-essential duties such as operating and moving heavy weaponry, and carrying casualties from the battlefield.

The Marine Corps defines gender-neutral physical standards as being identical for men and women, rather than weighted — or “gender-normed” — like those applied in the service’s annual Physical Fitness Test. During the PFT, women can earn a minimum or maximum score with fewer repetitions and a slower run times than their male counterparts.

This suggests that women wanting to serve in ground combat units will be given the shot to do so only if they can keep pace with their male counterparts. Standards would likely evaluate Marines not as women and men, but simply as infantrymen, tank crewmen or artillerymen, for example.

“There is a plan to … evaluate males and females against those standards and, potentially, a downstream plan to put women through other training that actually will be informed by our experience” with infantry training, Dunford said. “I think you will hear more from the commandant on that coming up.”

The data gleaned from all these efforts, Dunford said, will be used to inform a recommendation from the Marine Corps to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. That’s expected to be done by mid-November.

This past winter, the Defense Department published a report saying that nonlinear combat against a shadowy enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan has negated the notion of a frontline behind which women can be kept safe. Working in support roles, 144 women have been killed in action and 865 injured since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to Defense Department data. As such, old prohibitions have become irrelevant, according to the report.
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