Lillie, I feel like your statements might be contradicting. Either it is for the job (because you could be called on to do anything) or for your age/gender.
I do think that the standards they use should be changed- but only because we know more about physical fitness now than when most of these standards were drawn up. Just like sports teams have changed their training regimens the more they know about how to keep their players healthy (which is the #1 waste of money in sports). For example, we know that flexion is damaging to soft tissues, so it would be better to change situps to a different strength test, just to keep our soldiers healthier.
Also, body measurements as a standard are kind of ridiculous, unless you are comparing individuals to themselves. When I entered the reserves I went with a couple of other girls from my hockey team. The best player, the one who was most fit, failed because she measured outside the norm for women. That was simply genetics- and those genetics are what made me want her on my team, and the reserve board wanted her too but there was nothing they could do about federal guidelines.
I don't know what the requirements for Seals are...have they changed at all since inception? If in 20 years, the average waist size for men, is say 28 (just go with it), would 35" still yield a good score on a PT test?
I have no idea what actual numbers are, so I'll make some up. If right now 5% of the military has what it takes to become a Seal but in 20 years, 30% have what it takes, won't they tighten up the requirements to maintain that 5% ratio? IOW, if you currently have to do 500 pushups in 8 minutes and only 5% can do that, but in 20 years from now, 30% of the applicants can do 500 pushups in 8 minutes, would they change the requirements to 700? or 500 in 4 minutes?
I'm looking at sports as an example of this. What may have been "good enough" to go professional has changed.
I am saying the same thing over and over actually. I'm saying it's perfectly acceptable to have different standards in the regular military, it's not acceptable to have different standards for Special Forces. The requirements to be a Sailor are varied; older people aren't expected to be as fit. The older you get, generally the less action you see and you become a member of management. The requirements of a Seal are the same for everyone; if you get too old, you find another job. Military members who's main purpose is actively fighting have a different mentality and of course different physical demands than those of us who's main purpose is support.
I don't spend all of my time training to go into combat. If/when I get tagged for it, I'll spend about a month with the Army, a month closing stuff off, start prepping my body for wherever I'm going, and generally a few days of vacation before I leave. Since I'm AF, I know my deployment will start sometime between April and August of 2014. A Seal gets tagged for it and he drops whatever he's doing and gets on the plane. His bag is already packed, he's beyond trained, and since this is his main job, he doesn't have to worry about delegating projects. He can't gain 5lbs because it'll make him slower, make his gear not fit right, and could be the difference between life and death.
You're right. Good enough does change. I'm guessing the requirements are only going to get stricter since a lot of people are trying to get into the military any way they can. We are doing a lot more with a lot less and it's just going to get harder for those who kinda got used to the "fat" (pun intended) years. If we're streamlining everything else, I'm guessing the physical requirements for all of us are going to get more serious; especially with all the new information and logic being used for physical training.
Let's switch to mental. To join the Air Force I had to pass the ASVAB. I forget what I got, but my score led my recruiter to have me tested for some career fields that you have to take a second test to get into. I walked straight out of the linguist test because I "knew" it was a waste of my time to finish it. I did finish the test (mainly because the recruiter was really pissed about the linguist test) for computer programming. I got in and went through the basic training and easily passed all their standards. I did NOT pass some of the standards for computer programming and had to wash back and redo a block of instruction. If I'd failed again, I would have been given another career (only because I did so good on the ASVAB, otherwise I would have been kicked out).
There are three levels before I got to be where I am. I had to pass the basic standards (Airman), the test to try to meet the standards of a computer programmer, and then pass the training for the job itself. I didn't get any special treatment (besides a lot of hard core teasing) because I wasn't as smart as the guys I work with or because I was female; I had to pass the standards that were extraordinarily difficult for someone like me.
Special Forces are the same. They passed the basic standards (based on their age/gender), took a test so they could try to meet the standards of their SF, and then pass the training for the job itself. You don't get a different set of standards because they are extraordinarily difficult because you are a woman. They can't use their intelligence until after they've used their body to get where they need to go.
Now, I'm perfectly fine with the exact same standards as you mentioned. However, I am not fine with the standards being used as a covert way of preventing people from meeting them. (Example before, minimum height set at 5'10" would disqualify a disproportionate amount of Asians and Hispanics as well as many women.)
Ok. To clarify, if the standards automatically exclude lots of women (and men) already, not an issue. If they changed the standards in order to exclude a gender or race, an issue.
-- ETA-- Did I feel Unequal..? Of course. We are unequal "not the same", in many things. Neither is better nor worse. I think diversity is good
Last edited by Rivergallery; 01-27-2013 at 06:53 PM.
DH-Aug 30th 1997 Josiah - 6/3/02 Isaac 7/31/03
Me believing that woman who choose to participate in combat roles has nothing to do with "equality". It has to do with fielding the best military that we as a nation can. If there are women who are qualified and prove it, why on earth would we deprive ourselves of wicked awesome soldiers solely because of their gender?
That said, if I were drafted into wartime service I would not go. I believe that I am uniquely unsuited to go to war, both as a Mother and as a pacifist. I would not go shoot other mothers children. So I would then dodge the draft and have to leave the country (which I don't want to do) or probably get pregnant. (Lets overlook the fact that at 37 they wouldn't want me, physical specimen that I am non with standing ) I think that a TON Of women feel like me. I do not believe that *most* women feel that soldier is a role they could play well. So then what? We have a rush of women leaving the country or a rush of 18 1nd 19 year olds getting knocked up to avoid service? I don't believe that that would logically benefit anyone in our military or our Nation. .
Do single fathers get drafted? I doubt it, though admit that I don't know. If it were up to me we wouldn't have a draft, and in my honest opinion a draft will never again be needed due to the highly technological nature of our military these days, wars are simply different. So I don't know ~ Maybe this ruffles your feathers and you are just dying to have your daughters registered for the selective service as some token shout out to "EQUALITY"!!! But I'm not.
Frankly I think that women are not meant to leave our young babies or children and go to war. And if that offends anyone, so be it. If that is what you mean by "equal", no I don't think that I am created equal to my husband in that capacity. I could not travel and be away from my babies the way he is. The simple logistics of nursing saw to that for 2 years after each of their births, but no, while we both love our children wildly, we are different. Most women I know could never, ever enter a service in which they 1:3 of them are likely to be sexually assaulted, for the purpose of killing people. Now, I admit that I have tons of options in my life, had I few options or ways to provide for my family I do see why some enter. It simply isn't for me and I believe that it simply isn't for most women. It is not an easy or a healthy life (IMO). The stats on soldiers coming home from war are terrifying. Between spousal abuse and murder, to unemployment, to addiction, to PTSD, it simply isn't a life that I could sign on for. I have gratitude for those who do, and am grateful for their service, but I don't believe that women are innately cut out for that and do not believe that in the event of a draft women should be drafted.