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Women in Combat


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#1    Thanato

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:39 AM

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On the first day that Capt Ashley Collette and her platoon of 60 men were deployed in the remote town of Nakhonay, near Kandahar, they came under attack.
"I don't think that the enemy liked our presence," she says with a soldier's understatement. "It's kind of in the middle of where they want to be."
That first day set the pattern for the next few months. Twice a day, Six Platoon - part of Bravo Company in the First Royal Canadian Regiment - endured enemy fire, both on patrol and directly on the camp. It was so regular that the soldiers nicknamed it "contact o'clock".
Then, on 21 June, Sgt Jimmy MacNeil, an engineer attached to the platoon, was killed by an IED while on a foot patrol. He was a kind, popular soldier, and a close friend of Collette's.
"We still had six months to go," she says. "I remember thinking 'How am I, one, going to hold it together myself, and two, going to hold together this group of 60 people who are devastated by this event?'"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24622762

I was overseas at the same time as her in a different unit. We ran supplies to the PB which Bravo Company was based out of, and which a few good buddies of mine worked out of. I don't know her well but I've met the Captain a few times. They did a good job given the restrictions NATO put on them.

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Edited by Thanato, 23 October 2013 - 01:40 AM.

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#2    Likely Guy

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:54 AM

Thanks for the link. That's a great story.

As far as the title goes, 'Women in Combat', I'm reminded of an old addage. "It's not about the size of the dog in the fight, it's about the size of the fight in the dog."

I've lived in cramped quarters with a lot of women fighting forest fires. Like it basically says in the story, you give each their space and respect.


#3    Eldorado

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:19 AM

They should have full regiments of beautiful women.  The enemy would be surrendering to them in their droves.


#4    Skep B

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:43 AM

My adage with this has always been, regardless of gender, If they can fight, and think, send them, if they can think but not fight, have them stay and provide intel, if they can fight, but not think, send them in first.  If they can't fight or think....well they probably have media jobs already

Edited by SkepticalB, 23 October 2013 - 02:44 AM.

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#5    Agent0range

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:02 PM

I am heavily against women in combat specific jobs, but not against women in combat.  There are so many more factors involved.  Actually, I wrote a paper for my English class last week as to why women should not be allowed entrance into combat MOS's in the Army.


#6    Thanato

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:30 PM

View PostAgent0range, on 23 October 2013 - 12:02 PM, said:

I am heavily against women in combat specific jobs, but not against women in combat.  There are so many more factors involved.  Actually, I wrote a paper for my English class last week as to why women should not be allowed entrance into combat MOS's in the Army.

Well the subject of this article was an Infantry Platoon Commander who slept in dirt etc. lead her men on combat patrols and into contact with the enemy. And they lost people.

She seemed to do fairly good.

"Your toast has been burnt, and no amount of scrapping will remove the black parts!" ~Caboose

"I will eat your unhappyness!" ~Caboose

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#7    Babe Ruth

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:04 PM

View PostAgent0range, on 23 October 2013 - 12:02 PM, said:

I am heavily against women in combat specific jobs, but not against women in combat.  There are so many more factors involved.  Actually, I wrote a paper for my English class last week as to why women should not be allowed entrance into combat MOS's in the Army.

View PostAgent0range, on 23 October 2013 - 12:02 PM, said:

I am heavily against women in combat specific jobs, but not against women in combat.  There are so many more factors involved.  Actually, I wrote a paper for my English class last week as to why women should not be allowed entrance into combat MOS's in the Army.

I agree.  When I was in, the only women in the Army were WAC and nurses.  Being in the medical end of it, I was surrounded by nurses, as we lived in the hospital area.

I cannot see how for combat troops, living with women and working with women would not have a big influence on job efficiency and combat readiness.  All those young men and women would be more interested in socializing than in fighting, IMO.


#8    Thanato

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:00 PM

View PostBabe Ruth, on 23 October 2013 - 01:04 PM, said:

I agree.  When I was in, the only women in the Army were WAC and nurses.  Being in the medical end of it, I was surrounded by nurses, as we lived in the hospital area.

I cannot see how for combat troops, living with women and working with women would not have a big influence on job efficiency and combat readiness.  All those young men and women would be more interested in socializing than in fighting, IMO.

Well then take this article for an example of how it can be done and with the woman in the leadership role. There were a number of other women in the camp as well (and this was a fairly austere camp to begin with.

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"I will eat your unhappyness!" ~Caboose

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#9    Agent0range

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:32 PM

View PostThanato, on 23 October 2013 - 02:00 PM, said:

Well then take this article for an example of how it can be done and with the woman in the leadership role. There were a number of other women in the camp as well (and this was a fairly austere camp to begin with.

That's the thing..there were a number of other women there.  This was not your typical outpost.  The problem is...yes, some women can do it.  But in a study done by the UK stated that 1% of women currently in the military were capable of meeting the physical standards required by men to be in combat arms positions.  Why change for 1% of the population?  It will not make for a stronger military.

Yes, the front lines of wars have changed.  But, the women that currently see combat do so on a convoy.  They don't live on the "front lines" as many in combat arms do.  Living conditions vary greatly at these outposts.  Many don't have showers or bathrooms, and everyone lives in the same cramped room.  Putting women into these situations will be a logistical nightmare.  Say your platoon is the lucky recipient of one of the 1%ers.  She can't sleep, change, wash up and go to the bathroom in the same areas as a bunch of guys.  How safe is it for her to be alone?  The military utilizes the battle buddy system, where you are never supposed to be alone.  I'm kind of rambling now, but my point is, it goes well beyond being capable for combat.


#10    Thanato

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:07 PM

View PostAgent0range, on 23 October 2013 - 02:32 PM, said:

That's the thing..there were a number of other women there.  This was not your typical outpost.  The problem is...yes, some women can do it.  But in a study done by the UK stated that 1% of women currently in the military were capable of meeting the physical standards required by men to be in combat arms positions.  Why change for 1% of the population?  It will not make for a stronger military.

Yes, the front lines of wars have changed.  But, the women that currently see combat do so on a convoy.  They don't live on the "front lines" as many in combat arms do.  Living conditions vary greatly at these outposts.  Many don't have showers or bathrooms, and everyone lives in the same cramped room.  Putting women into these situations will be a logistical nightmare.  Say your platoon is the lucky recipient of one of the 1%ers.  She can't sleep, change, wash up and go to the bathroom in the same areas as a bunch of guys.  How safe is it for her to be alone?  The military utilizes the battle buddy system, where you are never supposed to be alone.  I'm kind of rambling now, but my point is, it goes well beyond being capable for combat.

In Canada we've lost 3 women in Afghansitan. The fist woman to die in a combat position was Captain Nichola Goddard, an Officer in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and was killed exposed out the hatch of her LAV III spotting for the Artillery. Her vehicle was struck by 2 RPGs and she took shrapnal. Trp Karine Blais of the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, who was killed when the vehicle she was in struck an IED. Lastly was Kristal Giesebrecht who was a Medic who was killed responding to a call.

Two of these women where in the combat arm and did their jobs and sacrificed their lives. If a woman is able and willing to do the job there is absolutly no reason she should not. I have yet to see a major case were a woman in the Combat arm was a detriment to her unit or that it broke down unit cohesion or combat effectiveness.

The Canadian Army doesn't have a lot of women in the Combat arm but those that are are just as capable as the men in their jobs. Given the fact that Canada was in sustained combat operations in Southern Afghanistan from (end of) 2005 - 2011 should prove that the women can do the same job. Even in the platoon I was attached to we had a woman and she did the job just as well as the men and I didn't see any major changes in unit cohesion or operational effectiveness. (She was infantry).

It is true that not everyone is cut out for the Combat arm, this includes both men and women. I know plenty of men who I would not want in the same trench covering my archs.

~Thanto


"Your toast has been burnt, and no amount of scrapping will remove the black parts!" ~Caboose

"I will eat your unhappyness!" ~Caboose

****
"Freedom isn't bought in stores, it is bought on battlefields." ~Thanato
****

#11    Agent0range

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:14 PM

View PostThanato, on 23 October 2013 - 03:07 PM, said:


In Canada we've lost 3 women in Afghansitan. The fist woman to die in a combat position was Captain Nichola Goddard, an Officer in the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery and was killed exposed out the hatch of her LAV III spotting for the Artillery. Her vehicle was struck by 2 RPGs and she took shrapnal. Trp Karine Blais of the 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, who was killed when the vehicle she was in struck an IED. Lastly was Kristal Giesebrecht who was a Medic who was killed responding to a call.

Two of these women where in the combat arm and did their jobs and sacrificed their lives. If a woman is able and willing to do the job there is absolutly no reason she should not. I have yet to see a major case were a woman in the Combat arm was a detriment to her unit or that it broke down unit cohesion or combat effectiveness.

The Canadian Army doesn't have a lot of women in the Combat arm but those that are are just as capable as the men in their jobs. Given the fact that Canada was in sustained combat operations in Southern Afghanistan from (end of) 2005 - 2011 should prove that the women can do the same job. Even in the platoon I was attached to we had a woman and she did the job just as well as the men and I didn't see any major changes in unit cohesion or operational effectiveness. (She was infantry).

It is true that not everyone is cut out for the Combat arm, this includes both men and women. I know plenty of men who I would not want in the same trench covering my archs.

~Thanto


Again, you are going back to combat situations, and I am talking beyond combat situations.  You may not think so, but there is a huge difference in the way the Canadian military operates and the United States military operates.


#12    Thanato

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:29 PM

View PostAgent0range, on 23 October 2013 - 03:14 PM, said:

Again, you are going back to combat situations, and I am talking beyond combat situations.  You may not think so, but there is a huge difference in the way the Canadian military operates and the United States military operates.

I have worked with the US Army on Exercise. We are not all that dissimilar except for the plug and play nature of the US (Which means that troops are trained linear in one general task). The US has numbers on its side, and most of those are from lower income families. Where is in Canada we have a non linear training (Non infantry are trained on Section and Platoon level weapons, such as an Army cook is trained on the C6 GPMG and C9 LMG or rather the M240 and M249 respectivly). A large number of Canadian Forces members are well educated with a number of enlisted members having University degrees and others having collage diplomas.

We are different in a number of ways, but that we still fight in the dirt and train in the dirt doesnt change and that is where the biggest conceivable conflict would come from. There wouldn't be much of a difference in garrison.

"Your toast has been burnt, and no amount of scrapping will remove the black parts!" ~Caboose

"I will eat your unhappyness!" ~Caboose

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"Freedom isn't bought in stores, it is bought on battlefields." ~Thanato
****

#13    Yamato

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:45 PM

View PostEldorado, on 23 October 2013 - 02:19 AM, said:

They should have full regiments of beautiful women.  The enemy would be surrendering to them in their droves.
Politics are far more important to those with power than sexuality (errr... treason) could ever be.

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