Debate About Women In Combat Roles

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by wotan, May 26, 2006.

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  1. Today, the funeral for Capt Nichola Goddard is being held in Calgary. She is the Canadian FOO who was killed on 17 May 06 in ops in Afghanistan.

    As a result, a couple of columnists have since written articles questioning the wisdom of having women fulfill combat roles (Infmn, Artymn, Cbt Engr, etc) and also questioning whether the Canadian public is ready to accept women as combat casualties. Around 1989 the Canadian Human Rights Commission directed that the Canadian Forces would open all trades, including the cbt arms, to women and the Canadian government accepted this direction.

    Given the above, it would seem to me that the time to have had such a debate was 17 years ago, before accepting the CHRC direction to allow women into cbt roles. Mind, given the US experience in Iraq, where women are not allowed in cbt arms roles, yet have still suffered female casualties, not being in the cbt arms is no guarantee of women not becoming casualties.

    Have other coalition countries suffered female casualties (besides Canada and the US)? I can only assume the answer is "yes", so has there been similar debate/concerns about female casualties expressed in those countries? Is there any real level of support in other countries for having women placed into the cbt arms?
  2. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    God last time this subject was brought up a bleeding viking warrior bird tried to smack me about! Anyways...

    I'm not qualified to answer whether girls should or should not be in combat roles; but do you mean by "combat roles" Teeth Arms? Or Combat Support, or Combat Support Service arms?
  3. Pedantic tho' it may be, she is being buried here in Ottawa.

    Slightly off at a tangent, but I am a little appalled at the way the Canadian press has banged on, in a hugely sentimental fashion, about this lady being a pioneer for women's rights, having fought harder to become an officer in the CF etc etc. The more you make the distinction between men and women in the military, the more difficult it becomes to integrate. I am sure that she would have not have thought of herself in this way. By all accounts she was a damn good officer and she looked after her troops. THAT is the way she should be remembered.


    Exchange bloke in the Colonies.
  4. Only last week a female Pilot (RAF) was shot down and killed whilst piloting a rotary aircraft.....
  5. Whilst there may be many arguments against having women in Combat Roles, a lot of the concerns are palpably sexist or of second order importance. Women can and do play many roles within the Forces and do pay the ultimate sacrifice (see above). However, the vast majority simply are not physically capable of carrying out Combat (Teeth) roles. In contrast, the majority (but not all) of male recruits are.

    Shortly after the Labour government came to power in 1997 a group of female MPs examined the issue. Having tried to lift an Infantry full scales bergen, a Challenger II MBT track and to fire and manoeuvre carrying 44lbs - they thankfully withdrew the matter from Government policy and little has been said.

    There are a small number of women who could compete or maybe outperform many men, but they are the exception, rather than the rule. In my experience, I have found that few female soldiers, once they have been through training, would be interested in joining the Infantry.
  6. If you are going to be pedantic, at least do it properly - funeral is indeed in Calgary but burial itself is in the National Military Cemetary in Ottawa.

    Continuing the pedantic thrust- not sure being on exchange and calling Canada a colony will win too many friends either! Hope this is not a line in your DIN email sig block!

  7. My wife is Czech. She was a T62 gunner during the 70's. She can be extremely brutal to me and regulary disciplines me! I know my place and am most submissive when she is on heat! It would of been more than possible, for our 2 panzers to have clashed if the balloon went up way back then! God, it just doesn't bear thinking about! They used to regulary fight and outdrink the Ivan women tankists and then wrestle them in the mud, doesn't bear thinking about!!
  8. My wife is an ex soldier, I have a picture on my wall of her marching through Windsor Bayonet fixed to her rifle. It is a copy given to her from The Times as it appeared in that paper as she was one of a group of three who were the first women soldiers ever to do that in Windsor. In her opinion women make good soldier but not good combat soldiers, by her own admission she could never carry the wieght or have the strength that I do.

    Then again she has a razor sharp wit and a look that can kill a man at 50 metres
  9. Oh dear oh dear chaps.

    I hate to jump on the pedantic bandwagon being pushed around here so much, but as the token crab on this thread I feel the need to correct a few misunderstandings.

    Just because the Mirror published a huge image of a RAF Pilot's brevet next to Flt Lt Mulverhill's picture, doesn't make her a "female pilot".

    She was actually in the Flight Operations branch of the RAF, which is a ground branch.

    I wouldn't believe everything you read in the redtops fellas.

    And as for women in the frontline? We may only have 2 female Harrier, and a few more helicopter and multi-engine pilots in the RAF, but the ones that make it to the frontline seem to get there on ability. I have not trained alongside any female aircrew to this date so can't make any assumptions about how much extra flex they are awarded to push them through the flying training system (although I have my suspicions about a couple I know). Unlike that bird who was practically led by the hand through the All Arms course....3 times!
  10. No debate here in Spam Central that I've seen. That was debated years ago. No direct combat jobs (except aerial ones). As usual, nobody is really satisfied nor are they totally dissatisfied with the decision. I'm sure that was the intent of the decision, anger no one. Or at least don't anger anyone too much...

    On another note, is it just me, or are the most vocal supporters of women soldiers the fellows in love with them? Sure do look that way.
  11. I get plenty of ribbing from my CF colleagues, but being a fairly level headed and good natured Army chap, I give as good as I get and don't feel the need to fall on my sword. Its called 'banter', so how about a trip back to the hospital to get that sense of humour bypass reconnected mate?

    A 'funeral', according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary (i.e. proper demotic anglo saxon, not sceptic English guv'nor), is a Burial or cremation of a dead person with its ceremonies. Your definition is from the the big boys down south. Quoting it in this fashion and on this post surprises me a little, as I believe that you are a Canadian. :?

    Now how about we get back to the subject at hand or are you going to be pedantic and have another feckless dig?
  12. the questions you have to ask yourself when considering women in combat roles are this...

    1. if they did join, would it weaken the unit, ie not as strong,fast ect.
    2. could it cause a problem, women and men, together at such close quaters
    3. cultrally is it viable? i mean 100 men have died in iraq, what if it was 50 women and 50 men, what would public thought be?

    1- if they passed the SAME tests as the men then fine, but if they have to pass watered down physical levels, then it can only weaken the completed team,

    2- lol, i know where my mind would be.

    3-i don't think we are in a society that is willing to accept women casulties on mass, on top of that everyone would say they died because they are not as fit, strong as there male counterparts,

    a few other points- the army, links with the queen country ect, also i feel links with christianity, it's 'unchristian' for women to fight, sure i don't think this should come into it, but it does imo...

    so yeah, i'm not really sure if there is a demand for women in combat, don't we have enough people for that? they should probabally join trades that 'suit their attributes more'
  13. I once overheard a judge say, "How do I know that I made the right ruling? When nobody's happy with it." :D

    It does seem to me a great disservice for columnists to use the occasion of her passing to monkeyfcuk this particular football yet again. She chose her occupation (of what was available to her), she was by accounts good at her job, and unfortunately she died fulfilling the responsibilities of that job.

    If I was her, I wouldn't be thrilled about being used to push someone else's agenda. I agree with wotan in that the discussion should have been put to bed 17 years does it help the other women serving in similar capacities now?
  14. J_D

    J_D LE

    I know a good few women that can do a job the same and if not better than a good few serving men, females are in the combat zone and will always run the risk of being hurt or killed. The rag feeds for the bad stuff and they will always make it a larger problem that it already would be, if a woman wants to be on the front line then I see no problem with it.

    However, saying that, it can affect the men. A man seeing a friend shot can cause problems on the field, however, what types of reaction will a male have towards a female when she has been shot or killed? Will a natural instinct kick in to protect her?

    This argument will go on for years and years 8O