JANUARY 24, 2013 5:35AM

Pentagon will Remove Combat Ban Today

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                              220px-Lori_Piestewa

                                                Lori Piestewa 1979-2003

 

Lori Piestewa.  Over the years I have said that name over and over to myself.  It is rather lyrical.  For some reason it has been easy to remember over the last 10 years.  Some names are easy to remember while others tend to evaporate as soon as you say them.  One example is Gene Hackman.  As much as I like the actor, and much of his work, he has one of those names that never seems to stick.  I either have to be reminded of his name, or I have to struggle to find it in my memory.  

 

Lori Piestewa was not like that from the first time I heard it.  Unfortunately, the first time I heard the name Lori Piestewa was the announcement of her death.  Lori Piestewa was the first Native American woman to die in combat while serving with the U.S. military.  

 

After ten years, I still pause to absorb the significance of that fact.  The basic facts of the matter are simple.  The United States had invaded Iraq.  The United States Army, and combatants in opposition from Iraq, presumably their military, came into contact with one another and combat ensued.  As I recall, Piestewa drove in one of those long supply chains that were necessary because the U.S. had no agreement from other allied nations to allow for simpler logistical arrangements, so the U.S. had to supply itself with long drives from Basra in the South.  

 

In one of these long, vulnerable supply chains, the convoy was attacked.  This was the attack where Jessica Lynch was taken and held as a prisoner.  Lori Piestewa was wounded in the head in this attack.  Had they been in the rear somewhere, Piestewa could have received emergency surgery that might have saved her life.  Hospitals in combat zones are not as well outfitted, and have unreliable power, so the neurosurgery necessary for her survival was not possible.  Lori Piestewa died.  

 

It is of profound significance to me that Lori Piestewa is the daughter of a full blooded Hopi man.  Our country, Lori’s and ours, has a complex history with Native Americans, to put it mildly.  It is of profound significance to me that a Native American woman died in combat in service of this country.  

 

War is a horrible thing.  I don’t say that from experience.  I never went to war.  For me it is an academic understanding.  War is a brutal and rather costly exercise when diplomacy breaks down.  Truths get lost and obscured.  Intentions and justifications become cloaked in nationalistic nonsense for a variety of less than honorable reasons.  

 

It is important to separate out wars from warriors.  Warriors are doing their professional thing for the right reasons, for the most part.  People like Lori Piestewa step up and take a turn to preserve all that is good or potentially good about our country.  They deserve that credit because the good is preserved at the same time that other more powerful actors may be doing the wrong thing.  The flesh and blood volunteering to go into harm’s way, in combat, manages to hold our country together while we reconvene each morning and try to do better, to make a more perfect union.  It comes in fits and starts.  

 

As ugly and tragic as war is, we continue to have young people who want to contribute.  We have restricted who may serve over the years, and thus qualified their value to our country.  This qualification is on paper, of course.  It was official.  It is what we would allow ourselves to confess publicly, irrespective of the truths.  

 

Lori Piestewa is truth.  Lori Piestewa was killed in combat, working in a combat zone, nearly a full ten years before we would officially allow that women serve in combat.  It is not that we would not admit it, we just, as a matter of policy, would not admit them...to combat.  

 

Today, the Secretary of Defense will remove the ban that says women may not serve in combat billets.  As I understand it, some restrictions will remain.  Actual infantry positions will remain closed, but that is only a matter of time.  We will still have to reconvene daily in an effort to make this a more perfect nation.  That effort will probably go on forever.  I think it probably should.  The best of our wisdom about what is a just society can’t be known for all time to come.  We are not building a religion, but rather a society that is inclusive and works for the people, all of the people.  And while we have extracted the service of women in this society from its earliest point, we have not fully acknowledged it.  This step is just one more step in the right direction.  As recently as a few months ago, we could have taken backward steps.  We did the right thing for “the people” by choosing as we did.   

                              stocktrek-images-boots-rifle-dog-tags-and-protective-helmet-stand-in-solitude-to-honor-fallen-soldiers 

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This had to happen. This will ultimately mean that women will have the right to compete for all positions. Statistically they won't land them in the same numbers but they'll get the opportunities. From an egalitarian standpoint, this is a good thing.
Anyone who claims the President is a misogynist is a flat fucking liar. I'm not sure of that was strong enough. How about this, Safe_Bet's Amy is a character from anonymity who is smearing a good person for attention to herself. She will stop at nothing to garner that attention to herself, including misrepresenting the truth. She can't allow the fact that Rachel Maddow refers to herself as "gay" because it reveals her to be a loony smear merchant...from anonymity.
As you said, there will be some restrictions...and each branch will have a say in how and when some of this will be implemented...

...but another significant barrier is down. Too bad it had to be the right to be killed in combat, but with each barrier that falls the notion of equality rises.

I'm wondering how the Republicans are going to play this. They seem so intent on shooting themselves in the foot these days, I wonder how they will manage to react in a way that will hurt themselves the most.
I hope there is never another war, and never another need for a single combat billet. That aside, as long as we do, and we allow one group of citizens to participate, and another is held out, then we are holding the value of one over the other. That should not be. Furthermore, we do ourselves a disservice if we can't tap into the genius that women provide to our society fully. As it stands, we are taking and not acknowledging. That is not a fair transaction. This is a step in the right direction on that question. On the larger question of war or no war, we should proceed toward that as well...together.
Bill,
You have better things to do with your time than bring extraneous people into your comment stream.
You're right, Kosh. But this is an indulgence. She has the right to remvoe me from hers. But she took a position on a matter of fact, and called me wrong. I will use what is available to me to state the truth.

She/he claimed that it is "pathetic" that I believe that the last policy barrier to professions for women is removed by removing the combat ban. As I stated earlier, I believe that to be so. Keep in mind as I said as a matter of "policy.", not that women have achieved parity.

Safe_Bet's Amy is a liar. I asked her if I am wrong, and I acknowledge that that is a possibility, that she should tell me the actual fact. What positions are now denied to women as a matter of POLICY. She deletes that comment and calls me a "bully." That is a lie. To protect against being exposed as wrong, she makes accusations about being harassed and bullied. Whatever is behind that character screen name, it is a soulless liar. That may be my indulgence to point that out, but I freely and openly take it. That liar wont smear me. I stand with the facts.
Bill,
I'm not arguing with you about principle, I'm arguing with you about tactics. She accused me of deleting her comments multiple times which, as I stated at the point of accusation, is an out-and-out lie. In addition, no one sanereally believes that the President is a misogynist. Please. However, knocking her is not going to hurt her reputation. Those who know her have already formed opinions. Most of us who read you certainly already know her.

If attacking her here out of the blue won't hurt her reputation, what will it accomplish?

Two things, really:

1. It will radically alter the subject of your thread. Your post is about changing roles of women in the military. Your comment thread is quickly becoming about someone who enjoys attention and enjoys playing the victim even more.

2. It will leave people with the impression that attacking her matters deeply to you. You're in an environment where that impression bounces.

I'm not interested in protecting her. I am, however, interested in protecting you.
Ah, friend, you are wrong. My post is a response to the lie that the President is a misogynist. It takes a wider view and a real world perspective.

Safe_Bet's Amy's post does three things. It takes her perspective in defiance of other lesbians, one referenced in the thread, and Rachel Maddow who calls herself "gay", she equates the omission about lesbians to mean all women, which is illogical, and she removed me on points which refute her in particular, and called presenting the above mentioned facts "bullying." She lied.

I acknowledge her right to remove, and even lie, but she can't censor me. I have access. Here is the result. The act of opening the roles to women in the military, and taking steps in the direction of greater, broader inclusion, are not the steps of a misogynist. It takes that on from a real world perspective. I state it openly as a real person. I examine the case of a real world person. I use it to validate the social justice bona fides of a real person. And I assail the smear made by a fake person. Furthermore, not everyone knows who either of us are. This is read by plenty who have no history of us, and will be read once we are both gone. Mine have real names, dates, and facts supporting my points. Hers/his have smears unsupported by any facts. That is the point of the post. Reality trumps lying puppets.
honestly not sure how i feel bout this.....as a combat vet the sight of total destruction of a human is bad enuff,but if it's a woman?
hard to imagine the effect on comrades in arms.....
that said,i suppose this was inevitable anyway...
The allegation that the President is a misogynist will never gain traction with a significant portion of the population because the majority of the population that really hates the President would probably rather he were more of a misogynist.
Look Kosh, we disagree on a certain fundamental level. In a free and just society, the truth protects. Evil doers seek to misrepresent truth in order to bend events to their particular twisted preferences. I dont seek to have anything outside of that which is real.

SBA has alread placed the President's face on an Aunt Jamima waffle box. Does that mean she is a racist? I dont know. That can't be known by that act. Is it odd anti social invective? Certainly. And it further qualifies what she says in the wake of it. Lies of her sort have been used to damage people in the past. Calling the President a misogynist is serious. When it is devoid of all serious reason, it is just plain evil. SBA is not required to like the President. No one really cares about that. But making such a serious charge in such complete defiance of the facts is immoral.

She can delete my comment all she likes, for whatever reason she chooses, but she can't expunge the truth. Other lesbians disagree with her. Her charge is disrespectful and useless, except for someone whose intent it is to smear.

Protection would be great. I welcome it. But that osrt of protection is unreliable. The truth can't be changed, only concealed. I'll count on the truth to protect me, however long that takes. Any other sort of protection will just be a bonus.
The Infantry will be different as will the Corps, and Specops, although some will be able to complete that too, if as you say some versions of modern war, as in Iraq and Afghanistan don't have lines per se.
Whether that will matter in other versions of warfare... as to potential enemy reaction, say Iran, or more misogynist societies, hard to say, although the way they are doing that would clearly be a mistake. I doubt that would be a major adversary consideration, and would be an error, and with people who probably in general underestimate will.
Israel allows women in combat positions, if I am not mistaken. I sicnerely doubt the enemy nations which surround Israel give it a second thought. I also don't see that as the real progress here. The real progress is removing lines of policy by which some qualify women as less valuable. Separate but equal is not a valid concept in a free society because of how human nature works. Allowing distinctions will ultimately result in one being valued or rewarded in greater proportion. I hope all war is avoided in the future, but in the meantime, we will view one another differently and allow for results to be different in the broader society.

Desegregation of the military led to desegregation in society later. It touches on a fundamental value of fairness. While reactionary forces continue to pursue the removal of broad inclusion, progressive forces must press forwad for more inclusion. If you are standing still, you are losing ground to your philosophical opponent.
Good post.
Even tho I cringe at women in combat.
I cringe at anyone in combat.
When is the Great Enlightenment going to come? When is the *shift* gonna hit the fan?
In the meantime, can't but be in favor of equality of opportunity in all areas...
Haha, Kosh you will never get Bill to stand down any more than Bill will make a dent in Amy.

As a side issue, getting the labels right is always a challenge, esp. when the sub-group in question is not, haha, homogenous in its wishes. Right now here in Canada, where we're having a spot of trouble with the people originally (and by themselves as often as not) called Indians, there has been a need in the press and on Facebook to find the proper term. Aboriginal, Native and then First Nations ... tho someone on FB consulted some of the activists and reported back that Indigenous is now the preferred term. Tho there's no guarantee that all of them agree.

FWIW, if I have reason to refer to Amy's orientation, I would hope to remember to say Lesbian. And for Rachel M., gay. But I have limited space in my brain for everyone...
Back in 1990, when I was in the LAPD academy, we had these "sensitivity" courses. There was some number of hours built into our curriculum to address certain issues, and build understanding for new officers. Our training in the "gay/lesbian" issue described this particular dynamic. From that day forward I have always personally tried to use gay for men and lesbian for women.

But, I also know that these are not absolutes as SBA stated. From personal experience, I have seen my own family go from self reference terms like "Negro", "Colored", and "Black." I came on the scene when "Black" was coming to the fore, and I never changed. I never changed to "African American" for myself, but I recognize it as the broad standard. I even use it for myself in certain crowds, as they will presume that a self reference applies to others, but I never, ever say that my chosen reference must be used for all in my group. That's crap. Just like the email from the one woman said, the presumption that they all agree is insulting. That and a few other reasons support my idea that SBA is a complete fraud. Anyone in one of these categories would concede that some allow one term and others allow another. Calling the President a "misogynist" is a reach under any circumstance. On the case of referring to women as "gay sisters", it is pure bullshit. The fact is, that term is used by some who refer to themselves. If I were referring to SBA, out of respect, I would refer to her as a lesbian. I call people what they want to be called.
When I was a young Marine, I thought it was impossible for women to ever be in combat billets. I was not opposed to it because they were women, but I opposed it because of what I thought I knew about what it took, and what they could do. Time and experience proved me wrong, to me.

As I stated earlier, I was never in combat in the military. But I will qualify that now by saying that I was in combat os a police officer in the LAPD. In that role, in urban combat, I served with many excellent officers. I brought very high standards of conduct and competence to my view of the role of police officer. Among those many excellent officers, many with amazing abilities as police officers, actually on top of all of those officers was one officer. The single most excellent officer I ever worked with was Julie Boyer. As the name might hint, Julie was and is a woman. Julie did not meet the standards of the job intellectually, practically, and physically. Julie set the standard. Los Angeles is an active war zone every night. If a woman can do it there, women can do it anywhere. Julie was decisive, and fierce. She was also compassionate. I was wrong about what it took to function or excel in such conditions. My partner Julie demonstrated that to me.

Not all women will be able to handle combat. But let's face it, not all men can either. Some will forget that fact. Maybe most men think they can, or maybe most think most men can. That is not the case. Most men can't be officers on the streets of L.A. either. It's tough. But there are women who are fully capable to not only meet but excel in these roles.
This piece is a lovely tribute to Ms. Piestewa and all the other women who died in combat. I'm glad there are women brave enough and tough enough to consider a job on the front lines -- for me, it would be terrifying.

The best way to silence someone is to refuse to respond or react to anything they say. Nobody worth arguing with is going to believe President Obama is a misogynist.

Lezlie
Considering I was deleted repeated by SBA for challenging her post about Pres. Obama being a misogynist I appreciate this post. I respect the advice to ignore those that post for attention and use inflammatory rethoric to gain an audience, but I think there is a certain aspect of slient approval in that. I thought that it was outrageous for SBA to claim Pres. Obama is a misogynist because he used the words "gay sisters" instead of "lesbians". I used her exact words to ask her: "Are you a racist or just stupid?" and noted that she had previously put up a post of Pres. Obama and the Aunt Jemimia charater. I also gave her a link that listed Pres. Obama's female appointees. I was deleted and called an asshole, and a bully, and when I asked why she was so upset by her own tactics she accused me of harrassment.
The evidence that Pres. Obama is no misogynist is overwhelming. I don't want to give that a free pass...
You're all right, and L and Kosh are right. There is a fundamental question in philosophy which asks, should you merely because you can. Going after SBA was wrong even if I was right on the facts. The world is just going to have some graffiti. I need to accept that. Lesson learned.
I like the way you rebutted the assertion with facts. That is the way to go, and I'm glad you did it!
I'll never be sorry that I did. I confess that it galls me that vermin crawl in the darkness and spread disease, but most people avoid vermin, and the risk of their disease is less than I tend to imagine.
"Actual infantry positions will remain closed, but that is only a matter of time."

And that's the problem. In liberal ideology, being "equal" is the most important thing, and anything that is not equal must be made equal. So eventually women will have to be included in ground combat positions. The great majority of women will be unable to meet the physical requirements of ground combat. Then, the requirements will be declared "sexist," and lowered so that more women will qualify.

And then there are the many issues related to men and women living in close quarters to each other, up to and including sharing the same foxhole.

But more to the point, the issue is this: what is the purpose of the U.S. military? Is it to prevail in combat, or to provide equal-opportunity career paths?

Interestingly, Bill's post contains not one word on how having women in infantry positions would help the military accomplish its mission. For him, this is all about being "equal" and "fair" and "inclusive," not about prevailing in combat.

While Bill apparently looks forward to the day that women are in infantry positions, it's interesting that we have separate sports for men and women. This is because the vast majority of women do not have the speed and strength to compete with men. They can't compete with men in sports, and they certainly can't meet the physical requirements of combat. So there are two options: either you redesign ground combat units to allow the rare super-strong woman in, or you lower the standards. And in keeping with the liberal cult of equality, the standards will have to be lowered.

And the sad thing is that there are already so many non-combat positions that are open to women, positions that are every bit as important as combat. Even many of the non-combat positions are dangerous, and we certainly don't need to increase the danger by putting women in front-line combat units.
Mishima666, you'e smarter than some of the sloppy assertions that you just made. First of all, I would not describe myself as "looking forward to it." I'm not. I hope there is never another need for another infantryman or woman. I just no longer think the gender differences make the difference.

You are right that my view is not about improving the effectiveness of combat. I had not given that much thought. Upon further consideration, I recall that once women started shooting with men during my time in the Marine Corps, women quickly held all of the marksmanship records. Women are better shots for a variety of reasons that are attributable to their ideology. What does your military experience tell you?

The Joint Chiefs unanimously support this action. These individuals are tasked with knowing and doing what it best for the military in their respective services. I completely trust that they are doing so with that in mind, and not for political or social justice reasons. I have zero doubt about that. What does your military experience tell you about that?

Finally, women have been serving in roles which are absorbed into the modern battlefield for decades if not centuries. The distinctions have been mostly arbitrary. And if and when more barriers are removed for occupational specialties like infantry or whatever, like I said earlier, even men can't do it if they can't do it. They must perform to be allowed to be admitted. If they pass, they are trusted. The people who put this military together know what they are doing. Don't you remember that?

And finally Mishima666, don't ever attempt to say "Bill thinks" such and such. That is not your place to say. Speak from your own experience. If you know that women are not capable even with the qualifying certification of those who teach and evaluate these positions, I would be interested in knowing from your experience why this is not valid.

You're on, Mishima666.
Oh, shoot, I neglected to mention your sports analogy nonsense.

Sports on the professional level is segregated primarily because it is a source for gambling, not because women are incapable entirely. There are women playing major college football and high school football with men and boys already. So your sports analogy is actually just wrong. Beyond that, sports and combat are not directly analogous. Women can be quite lethal in the arts of war. Again, what does YOUR experience tell you?
(Correction) Women are better shooters for reasons attributable to their biology, not ideology.

To explain that, marksmanship principles applied in the same manner work better when women do it because their respiration and heart rates are lower. They own the shooting records in the military, and the military will always find a use for those who shoot well.
Mishima666, your ignorance is insulting on so many levels. It would serve you well to listen and learn, but you burp nonsense based upon things that you know nothing about.

For example, this sports analogy is so flawed. Speed and strength are not what it takes to be a modern warrior. Physical fitness, yes, but what sort of "speed" do you think is necessary for you to reach for a sports analogy?

Warriors are not competing in 100 yard dash, or a marathon. It doesn't work that way. Furthermore, if that were the case, military excellence would be judged by the largest and the strongest. It isn't. It never has been. That is a notion formed by an unsophisticated mind, from a great distance.

Audie Murphy, the most highly decorated combat soldier during World War II (on our side) was 5'5" tall. He was a little dude. Your simplistic notion would eliminate this highly successful soldier before he performed a single act. I can guarantee you he was not the "fastest or the strongest. He may have never played sports because of his size, I dont know, but he was very effective as a combat soldier.

Along with that, I can find women in their 50's who can outrun lots of men in their 20's. Your imagination that there are not women who can out do men in athletics is ignorant. Combat is not football requiring someone running through a line of 300 pound men. Combat is not a measured sprint against an enemy on a track. What are you talking about, dude?
Joan of Arc led men into battle in the 15th century in Europe. Women in the American Revolutionary War dressed like men and melted into the lines and fought. This has been a part of war since there has been war. Whenever you get over the embarrassment, you can reach me here.
Notice Mishima666 hasn't said squat. He is a waste of my time.

I remember when Riddick Bowe joined the Marines. Bowe had been heavyweight world champ in boxing. The day I saw the report I said, this dude wont last a week in boot camp. He didn't. Bowe was 6'5", and about 240 pounds. He was a muscle bound freak. Obviously an athlete. This sort of person does not necessarily make a good warrior.
Bill writes: "First of all, I would not describe myself as "looking forward to it." I'm not. I hope there is never another need for another infantryman or woman. I just no longer think the gender differences make the difference."

Well, you look forward to it in the sense that you would approve of such a policy, and you think it is just a matter of time until that policy is in effect, right?

Bill: "You are right that my view is not about improving the effectiveness of combat. I had not given that much thought."

And that's what troubles me. Not just that you hadn't given it much thought, but I haven't found anyone who has given it much thought. And to my mind, that's putting the cart before the horse. The primary concern about any change to front-line combat units should be the potential effect of the change on combat effectiveness. The military spends years doing research on the tools of combat -- weapons, uniforms, boots, food -- but when it comes to putting women in front-line combat units it's like "try it out, see what happens."

Bill: "Women are better shots . . . "

That's great, but in many cases the enemy is never seen. A platoon takes fire from a treeline, so they put fire on a treeline. One of my coworkers carried a machine gun in Vietnam for a year, and he told me that he never once saw a live enemy soldier. I know another veteran who was in combat in Vietnam for a year. In that year he went from 180 pounds to 120 pounds while going up and down mountains and through jungles. When he got home and his mother first saw him she started crying; he was so emaciated that she thought he was dying from cancer. How many women would be capable of that kind of physical exertion? We don't know. But we should know before we change the policy.

Bill: "The Joint Chiefs unanimously support this action."

Where are their data? Where are the studies? Have you seen any? How did they make that decision? What they are doing is approving the policy first, and then figuring out the exceptions later. Again, it's the cart before the horse. From what I've read, even congressmen don't know how the decision was made.

Bill: "They must perform to be allowed to be admitted."

Since the policy decision has already been made, there will be great pressure to ensure that it "works."

Bill: "And finally Mishima666, don't ever attempt to say "Bill thinks" such and such."

I certainly don't want to hurt your feelings. How about "Bill appears to think," or "Bill seems to think?"

Bill: "Speak from your own experience."

With all due respect, I will speak from whatever goddamned perspective I choose to speak.

Bill: "There are women playing major college football . . . "

Yeah, a handful of women kick field goals. They are the exceptions that prove the rule.

Bill: "Mishima666, your ignorance is insulting on so many levels."

Look, before you go off in another one of your tantrums over my ignorance, let me be clear: 95 percent of what bothers me is that I disagree with setting a policy prior to doing the research, and I have seen no evidence that having females in front-line combat units would improve combat effectiveness. If you, in your astonishing wisdom and knowledge, have access to that evidence, please present it. I'm talking about research, studies, data, things like that.
Mishima666, I am not responsible for making policy. Here is what we can both see from our chairs right here. The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously endorse this action. Do you presume that this was done without research?

Again, I am a private individual. I recognize and defer to their expertise. Like I said in my succeeding post, this process has been going on for decades. The symbol of this post, Lori Piestawa, died serving in a billet that might just as well have been a combat billet. The fact that it was not is a pencil whip. The "research" that exists to support it is reality.

You made certain assertions that are obviously false the minute they hit your keyboard. For example, the spreading of diversity would cause lower standards to be condoned. Mishima666, where is the evidence of that? Where is it? West Point did not fall into the Hudson River or mediocrity. Annapolis did not fall into the Chesapeake Bay...or mediocrity. You said that previous standards would be called "sexist." Where is your research, Mishima666? Where is it?

Those statements are actually false. Decades of history are evidence to the contrary.

In 1215, Magna Carta moved a feudal society to a slightly more liberal feudal society. Nobels aquired a check on a king who had previously had unchecked divine right. England did not descend into mediocrity. By the 1600's the English Navy dfeated the Spanish Armada and became the world power that gave rise to our United States, which was a further push toward liberalism in a variety of ways. The United States and it's relatively liberal principles of inalienable rights of citizens became a stronger country than the more conservative system from which it extricated itself. History is evidence that liberalism does not produce weakness by necessity. Each step in that process included more inclusiveness.

Where is your evidence, Mishima666?
As for women playing football, there are women who play offensive line against teams of men, and there are women playing quarterback. Clearly you did not do your research.

Look, like I said, over and over, your football analogy does not make your case. There are also many men who do not play football because they can't. There is a process by which they are eliminated from selection. The process does not have to change. Will women gain access in equal numbers? No. Not gonna happen. Did anyone say that they should? No. Your logic blindly infers that. The process for selection determines who can participate and who can not. There is no need for a policy barrier. That is the point.
Mishima666, have you given any thought to the wattage of the traffic lights in your town? I haven't. I freely admit that. You know why? Because that is someone else's job. Traffic lights tend to work without me having to be concerned about what it takes to make them function properly.

Such is the case with staffing the military. From close observation of having spent time in it, I can tell you that making military professionals is unparallelled. I do not know of a profession that is as paintaking as to standards. They know what they want, they know what they need, and they know how to get it. I dont think about whether or not they know how to staff up with the proper sort of talents.

When I asked you certain questions about your perception, you fled. You make discussion difficult. One question early on was, do you think the Joint Chief are making this decision for reasons other than the benefit of their respective services? If you would have answered that, it would circumvent a lot of this bullshit. That kind of cuts to the point. Either, they are willfully doing something for political reasons, or they are doing it thinking that it is beneficial, and they are wrong while you are right. If there is another option, I dont know what it is. You never answered.

It is not necessary for me to consider whether or not the action will be of benefit to the military. People whose job it is to know such a thing have endorsed it. I can't possibly know that better than they can. Explain to me how you seem to.
You know, its's funny, Mishima666. You ask me about data, and I tell you that I spent ten years, equally split between the USMC and the LAPD. Having worked with many excellent officers, the best one was a woman. No standards were lowered to get her in there, and the streets did not turn into My Fair Lady when she showed up somewhere. I give you personal experience, historical delevopments as far back as ancient China, and the increasingly diverse U.S. military since 1976. There is some data for you.

When I ask you about your experience (data), you consider that question off base. Or you offer me your friend who went to Vietnam.

'Tis true, a machine gunner need not see a target. Let me hip you to a few things. First, they dont admit ANY blind people into the service. None. Not a damn one. You know whay? Sight is a necessary requirement. You may find yourself in a situation where it does not serve you, but that is a very narrow circumstance.

Second, sight and markmanship are necessary for combat billets. It is of premium importance. Competence in this essential function is highly valued. Even drone operators who work control panels from thousands of miles away require sight.

Third, women excel in all sort of endurance activities, including military roles and training. It exists now and has for a very long time. Asking you what informs your perspective is asking for your data. I understand why you refuse to discuss it. Clearly it does not serve your point.
Bill writes: "You made certain assertions that are obviously false the minute they hit your keyboard. For example, the spreading of diversity would cause lower standards to be condoned. Mishima666, where is the evidence of that? Where is it? . . . You said that previous standards would be called "sexist." Where is your research, Mishima666? Where is it?"

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey, press conference, January 24, 2013 -- "Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?"

So on the one hand they're saying that the standards won't change. And on the other hand it's like " . . . maybe they will change."

And on a different note, it would be SO nice if you could refrain from "obviously false the minute they hit your keyboard," and things like that. Ever since I done got me book learnin' I can do all sorts of things -- read, add and subtract, spell, tell time and such like. I can even read press conference transcripts, something that I highly recommend to you.

Bill: "As for women playing football, there are women who play offensive line against teams of men, and there are women playing quarterback. Clearly you did not do your research."

Which women are playing quarterback in college football? Do you have a name?
I said high school and college football. There are girls playing line in high school, and there are girls playing quarterback in high school. There are women kicking in college. Read more carefully.

As for your press conference transcript, where is your evidence that standards have been lowered and weakened the service? In addition to that where is your evidence that liberalism values inclusion over effectiveness, that effectiveness has or is suffering?

Now, when I said that you can't speak for me, it is not about hurt feelings. It is just that it is just plain false. It is a false argument. Liberalism is not why I value value this step which increases inclusiveness. That is not for you to say. To make that claim is a lie. I favor it because it works.

Erin DiMeglio is the name of a girl playing high school quaterback in Loxahatchee Florida at South Plantation High school.

Holley Mangold, younger sister of Nick Mangold, center for the NY Jets played high school football at Kettering Archbishop Alter high school in Ohio. So far all of the women in college football have been kickers.

What position did you play in college football?
Oh, um, don't ask me what position I played in college. I didn't. But, I am not the one saying that women can't do it. You are.
Thank you, Seer. These attest to exactly the things I was talking about. Of particular interest to me is this one.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/world/middleeast/looking-to-israel-for-clues-on-women-in-combat.html?smid=pl-share

Maybe some are not able to sniff out bullshit. Or maybe he meant it as a gag. I can't know for certain. But when he gave that story about the machine gunner never seeing his target, that was such a piece of nonsense...and this is the perfect response to it. It was a crap argument for so many reasons. A machine gun does not equal the set called combat. Machine gun is a small aspect of what combat is. This not only demonstrates the skill more accurately, but it also demonstrates what combat is becoming as opposed to 19th century battlefields, 15th century Viking raids, etc.