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  1. Military Guns and Ammunition - Women in the army
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  4. Posted Quote: John Wouters (johnwouters7) said...
  5. ...something needs to be done to reduce the load and make smaller stature personnel less liable to injury.
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  8. Reply: Gee, while we're at it, why don't we pass some legislation to change the laws of gravity and inertia? Because, in the final analysis, that's what you are demanding we do.
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  10. Does anyone commenting on this grasp the fact that there aren't two different sets of equipment out there, one for girls, and one for boys? That there aren't two sets of physical laws to chose from? The ammo weighs the same, the rifle weighs the same, and all the other impedimentia of war weighs exactly the same? It doesn't get magically lighter when a cute little girl goes to pick it up, nor do the hatches on the armored vehicles sense what gender is trying to lift them and make things easier for the girls. Reality bites, and it bites the small of stature and the weak a lot harder in the House of War. That's just a rather unpleasant fact of reality. A place some of you really ought to try visiting, sometime--It's nothing like what things are like in your head, I assure you.
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  12. Every time this stuff gets posted for discussion, some bright light wanks on about how the gear just "...isn't designed for the girls...". Well, no s**t, Sherlock--It ain't designed to make things easier for the boys, either. It is what it is. An M240 machine gun weighs what it weighs because that's how heavy it is, just like the hatches on the armored vehicles weigh what they do because of how much protection they're designed to provide. If we could make it lighter, we sure as hell would. The gear weighs what it weighs, and no amount of "let's make it lighter because, girls..." is going to fix the issue. You can't negotiate with the laws of physics, no matter how unfair you may think they are. The only real option would be to build that tank or MRAP with a set of hatches that are only proof against 5.56mm, instead of something that's capable of taking hits from a .50 cal or 14.5mm MG. Maybe we could give the girls smaller guns, something even lighter than a 5.56mm weapon... Perhaps something in .22LR? Does anyone think that's a good idea? I sure as hell don't...
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  14. I've been that NCO, standing there working out where the weight is going on my limited number of men and women. Here's a news flash: The gear that goes on a young woman who weighs 90 pounds soaking wet is already mostly proportionately scaled to her size. Her uniform, her body armor, all that stuff. And, it doesn't help very much, that proportional weight thing--Why? Where most of the bloody problem is stems from is the rest of the crap she has to carry--The night vision goggles. The ammo. The weapon. The wire cutters, or whatever bit of unit gear she gets tasked with carrying. And, there is no way to magically "fix" that issue.
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  16. Oh, and if the damn plates in her body armor really were "proportionate to size"? Then, they wouldn't afford the same protection level, now would they? Because they would have to be thinner, in order to be proportionate to her smaller size... In reality-land, for her plate set to stop 7.62mm AP, it has to be just as thick as the one I carry. Figure out a way around that little detail, genius.
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  18. You're not supposed to carry more than a third of your body weight in gear, but here's another surprising news flash from the real world: Because of that little problem with the fixed weights of weapons, ammunition, and other combat equipment, that 90 lb woman is carrying 60 lbs of gear, including her uniform items and combat gear. On me, weighing 210 lbs, that's a very light load--Not even a full third of my body weight. On her, it's two-thirds of her damn body weight, and we haven't even added in the body armor. So, right off the bat, bye-bye "rule of thumb".
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  20. The real-life example I'm using there? That's from before the advent of the IBA and its ubiquity on the battlefield. Nowadays, I really don't even want to think about it--There was really no damn way I could ever balance my loads for movement, even on an admin ruck march back in the old days, pre-body armor. I was always having to pick out one of the guys, and overload his ass with the radio, the spare batteries that used to be carried one per man, and everything else that has to be hauled around. Add in just a couple of women, and all that balancing goes right out the damn window--All of a sudden, you're putting huge loads on the limited number of guys in your element, just because those oh-so-equal girls really can't hack carrying the extra weight of necessary unit equipment like the spare batteries. God help the poor bastard who's faced with making a movement with the normal loads we used to have to carry on light infantry missions, where you're literally humping hundreds of pounds of explosives per fire team, just to get that stuff to your target. It's bad enough when every man in your squad has a load that weighs 70 lbs, and then you add in a couple of 40 lb shaped charges on top of that. I have done movements that literally had every man in my squad walking around under 150+ lbs of weight, and I can't even imagine what the hell the loads on them would have looked like if we'd had a couple of women in the mix.
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  22. See, that's a nasty little feature of reality, there: No matter who's on the mission, it's still going to take the same amount of energetic materials to do the job. Just because the nice people at assignments stuck a couple of women into your squad structure, you don't suddenly get more effect from less explosives, nor does the target say to itself "Oh, there are women in that squad coming to blow me up and render me useless to the enemy... I'll just be a nice guy, and accommodate the heck out of them, so I won't require as much explosives to blow up...".
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  24. There's also a little secret for you geniuses, one that you don't know or consider: The opening of combat arms jobs to women really means that ANY damn woman, in ANY damn job that gets routinely assigned to a combat arms unit, is now going to have to serve in one, if that's the way the assignment die lands. If you're a medic, gee, hon--You're now in an infantry company. Have fun humping the infantry-scaled aid bag, along with your ruck. If you're a supply clerk? You can go infantry, just like the boys and girls who sign up for it. And, happy f**king day--They don't screen for those jobs, either. Ask me how I know. That's how I wound up with a young lady who was a four-foot, eight-inch ethnic Hmong, and who weighed in at around 85 lbs. She was our supply clerk, and guess what? She was expected to do the same damn thing one of the line dogs could, no matter what. At least, in theory--We never had to actually exercise the option of reinforcing one of our line units with replacements gathered from among the HHC. Thanks be to God...
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  26. See, it's not just the "real Infantry" you should be worried about, here--Opening the combat arms up means just that: Opening it up to EVERYBODY, even people who sign up with no damn intent whatsoever with going thataway. Anything else? It just wouldn't be "fair", now would it? We've already been down that road, and the result was that you cannot legally keep someone who is MOS qualified out of a specific unit, once it is opened up. So, the unanticipated side effect? You're going to have women who were never screened, and who never went through Infantry training, serving in those units. A rational army would have a policy that said all members of a unit must meet the same standards. Most armies aren't rational like that, though--Especially the US Army. I've observed the same syndrome with the British Army and the Aussies, though... I guess we're all 'effing delusional, that way.
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  28. In a rational army, the person filling that supply clerk slot would be at least physically capable of doing the job of any other soldier in the unit. Unlike the old days, when we had common sense, you can no longer re-task your manpower to do what's necessary. I've got an acquaintance who served in Vietnam in an Infantry company, and who probably has more direct combat experience than a lot of other Infantry-trained soldiers who were also in Vietnam. No CIB, either--Because he was the damn supply clerk, who got sent out with the line guys when they were short on manpower during the Tet Offensive. Never had a day of Infantry training, and yet... There he was, a living example of the exigencies of service. He arrived in Vietnam, and it wasn't until the day he left that they figured out that he wasn't a grunt. Full year, under a ruck, as an infantryman.
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  30. We no longer have the flexibility to do that, because...? Girls. No matter how much I may need to, no matter how short on people I am, I can't sub some flippin' munchkin for one of the line dogs who's out under a 150 lb ruck. It's just not physically possible. So, the unit is that much less capable, that much less flexible. Even if I was stupid enough to do that, no commander is going to let me. Imagine the Congressional investigation on that one--"You sent this tiny little girl out to serve as a replacement combat engineer? One who was never trained in the MOS?". Wow, what a smart way to organize things.
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  32. Seriously--You want to simulate what I'm talking about? Go get a military ruck. I'll wait, while you find one. Now, put everything in it that you'll need to survive for a couple of days in the woods in bad weather--Spare clothes, some food, all the other stuff you'll need. By the time you're done, it ought to weigh around 40 or so pounds, if you're lucky. Now, let's say that the mission for our squad is to go destroy or disable a bridge. Your share of the load is likely to work out to at least 80-120 lbs of high explosives, and that stuff is going to be packaged in some very bulky ways. A typical 40 lb cratering charge is a cylinder that is roughly 6 inches in diameter, and some 30 inches in length. Figure out how you're carrying that, with all our other squad gear you haul around--You're going to get two of them. Oh, and don't forget the weight of your rifle, your ammo, and your web gear, which with water is likely to be around 30 lbs. Body armor? The current lightest variant is around 28 lbs, for the average-sized guy. But, hey, it's proportional--So if you're a small guy who only weighs around 160 lbs, your set will only weigh around 22 lbs... Got all that packed? Good. Pick up the ruck, and now carry it for ten miles in the dark through broken terrain in the woods. We can't use the trails, because they're gonna be mined, and have ambushes laid on them... Oh? So, you can't pick up 120 lbs, while wearing 60 lbs of gear? Well, here's a technique, sweetheart: Sit on the ground, in front of the ruck, put it on, and then roll to your knees and then try to stand up with someone helping you. God help you if you fall over, because you're going to look like a damn turtle on its back... And, you probably won't be able to get up without dropping that ruck and starting all over, again.
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  34. Ever wonder where the overuse injuries come from? That's one area, right there: Normal combat loads. They're not even close to what's "in the book". Mission dictates, and the loads grow to meet those requirements.
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  36. That's life at the pointy end, when you're a Combat Engineer doing a light infantry role. The infantry doesn't have it any easier, because they're hauling ammo for the mortars and the machine guns, along with everything else. Did I mention the electronic warfare gear, the stuff that stops the enemy from blasting you to shreds with an IED? Oh, yeah... That's a set of stuff that weighs 80 lbs or so, before the batteries get factored in. No negotiating that--Someone in the squad has to carry it. All of it, at once--You can't break it down to "share the load".
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  38. In peacetime and in training, all this is a factor. You put the girls out there, and expect them to do a man's job. They break. But, it gets betterer!!!
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  40. See, in wartime service, all the "theory" goes out the window; you do things by what's actually possible, and nobody is dumb enough to send a small woman to do even a medium-sized man's job. Practical effect? Combat arms units filled with women who never go out of the perimeter. God help the lone male medic assigned to an Engineer unit in Afghanistan--That poor bastard will never, ever get a break: Every element leaving the perimeter on foot will have him with it, while his female compatriots run convoys in vehicles, or sit on their asses back in the aid station. Care to guess the impact on his health and well-being? One of my guys from my time as a Support Platoon Sergeant was supposed to be the senior medic, doing supervision and admin work by that time in his career. Instead, he was constantly out on missions, because he was one of three male medics available in a unit that did a lot of foot movements supporting the Infantry unit they were attached to. In the year he was in Afghanistan, he did twice as much time outside the perimeter wire as the typical Infantry grunt in the unit he was supporting, because he'd finish one mission with one element, and have to go right back out with another. When he got back, he told the re-enlistment NCO something along the lines of "...kiss my ass...", and the Army lost a damn good medic. Again, girls...
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  42. Assigning women to combat arms units doesn't mean that you're sharing the load; it means that whatever poor male bastard is out there in those low-density jobs is going to most assuredly get ass-raped by "fairness". There are something like 8 medic slots per Engineer battalion, when last I played this game. Fill six of those slots with women, and what does that mean? Every single mission requiring foot movement in the mountains gets filled by the same two guys, and if they need more medics, the unit often either doesn't do the mission, borrows a male medic who can keep up, or winds up going out on the mission without a medic. Because... Girls. And, fairness.
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  44. The practical effect of all this is that your margin of failure is going to be that much smaller, because you're not going to be able to gather up that scratch force of rear-echelon types, and send them forth to do battle with the enemy. You can, but a lot more of them are going to wind up dead, and a lot of commanders just aren't going to give those orders. Because... Girls. Which means that those poor bastards out on the line cannot expect any form of reinforcement, or relief--At least, from within their own unit. As with most of this crap, it just means that "someone else" will have to do it. And, after awhile, you start running out of "someone else" to call on.
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  46. You can't wave a magic wand and "fix" any of this, and even if you could, why bother? You're still sending a literal 90 lb weakling into direct, anticipated front-line combat against people twice her damn size, and with the notional "lighter gear" that is being fantasized...? What's the damn point? I take that "lighter gear technology", and slap that onto bigger example of soldier, and now I've got someone with much more endurance and margin to carry more things we actually need, like additional ammo, explosives, and weapons. Which is why all the recently developed and procured "lightweight gear" hasn't actually resulted in any smaller combat loads. You're always going to keep adding stuff until you hit the limits of human endurance--Roman legionaries under Marius didn't have it any easier.
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  48. I really wish some of you fantasists would actually get your asses down to a recruiting sergeant, sign up, and then go out and try to make your little fantasy fairy tales come to life for yourselves. Then, you can be the one looking these young women in the eye as they're getting medically discharged with life-long disabilities and piss-poor VA medical care to look forward to, and tell them it was all worth it, just to prove your wonderful egalitarian little theories out. You can be the one to look that male soldier in the eye, the one who did two or three times as many missions outside the wire because you thought it would be all cool and s**t to have girls in the combat arms. Of course, statistically, you likely won't have to look him in the eyes--But, you may be forced to meet those of his wife and kids, at his memorial service. Assuming you have the balls to show up for that.
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  50. I've been down that road, and I'm here to tell you that you're all flat-out delusional. I'm also still pretty enraged that I had to put people through that, and then be the guy in proximate authority, who had to look them in the eye and tell them I was a caring leader, looking out for their best interests. Y'all basically turned me into a Judas Goat, and I'm ever so grateful to your ilk for that.
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  52. Not to mention, there's the moral degeneracy of the whole issue. You don't send people off to do things that they're physically not capable of doing, merely because you think that's the way "...things ought to be...". But, that's what every one of you precious little theorists is actually advocating, whether or not you want to admit it. What really pisses me off? Ain't none of you geniuses going to be out there having to deal with doing it or coping with the after-effects. That's all going to be down to "someone else", isn't it? Because, you'll never, ever have to look someone in the eye that you quite literally persuaded to break themselves, while trying to get a mission accomplished. Y'all will just sit quietly on the verandah, sipping at the beverage of your choice, and ignoring the real-world impact of your moral righteousness, while opining on the "fairness" of it all. I don't have words to express how grateful I am that I am now past all this, and will no longer be responsible for enabling this utter BS.
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  54. If there is such a thing as reincarnation, I truly hope some of the people advocating this crap come back in their next lives as women, and then get drafted into these jobs so that they can feel the effects of all this for themselves. It would only be just...
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  57. Source: http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/main.asp?webtag=autogun&nav=messages&msg=6033.12&prettyurl=%2Fautogun%2Fmessages%2F%3Fmsg%3D6033.12&gid=2002460419
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