From Bloomberg News:
Two female soldiers asked a federal judge to throw out the U.S. military’s restrictions on women in combat, claiming the policy violates their constitutional rights.
U.S. Army reservists Jane Baldwin and Ellen Haring, in a lawsuit filed today in Washington, said policies excluding them from assignments “solely because they are women” violate their right to equal protection guaranteed by the Constitution’s 5th Amendment. The complaint names Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Army Secretary John McHugh as defendants.
“This limitation on plaintiffs’ careers restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits,” the women said in the complaint filed by Christopher Sipes of Covington & Burling LLP in Washington.
As expected, there are women and lawyers suing to fight reality.
Rifle: 8 pounds
Boots: 4 pounds
Helmet: 4 pounds
Vest with SAPI plates: 15+ pounds
NVGS: 2 pounds
Gas Mask: 3 pounds
Water: 10 pounds
Ammo: 10 pounds
Pack: 50 pounds (sleeping system, medkit, clothing, socks, hygiene gear, etc.)
I’m just ballparking there – some items weigh more or less. The Interceptor with SAPI plates always felt like 25, but I’m sure that’s just because it crushes the breath out of you, too. Grunts also strap stuff more stuff to their vests than armor crews. Plus there’s 782 gear/FLIC to wear. Kneepads are worn because it hurts when you put 300 pounds plus down on hard ground. It’s almost like resting, except you know you have to stand again, and it hurts on the way up.
This limitation on plaintiffs’ careers restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits
Reality places limitations on the plaintiff’s ability to survive combat, their potential existence, and the possibility of them receiving any future promotions other than posthumous, and giving their retirement benefits to anyone but their family as life insurance. Lawsuits will not make the rigors of combat easy. It will force trainers and instructors to place objectively inferior women and men into infantry situations they should never be placed in just to make some cocktail party political general and leftist politician happy.
“The linear battlefield no longer exists,” the women said in the complaint, describing as “arbitrary and irrational” the combat restrictions for women.
“Woman are currently engaged in direct combat, even when it is not part of their formally assigned role,” the reservists said. Furthermore, the Army has “deliberately circumvented” its own policies by “attaching” women to ground combat units.
“There is no practical difference, in terms of the work that servicewomen do, between ‘assigning’ women to a ground combat unit and ‘attaching’ women to a ground combat unit,” the women said in the complaint.
There is a huge difference between a motor-T truck driver chick being attached to a combat unit and the same chick being crushed with 150 pounds of gear as an M240 gunner, or the A-gunner, who gets to carry his own rifle, plus extra barrels and ammunition for the M240. There is a huge difference between a radio maintenance chick who carries the crypto unit to update a vehicle’s radio and an armor crewman who has to break track.
This is just an MLRS track. Assuming it uses Bradley tracks, those blocks are something like 25 pounds each, times 82-85 per side. Lots of weight. Knocking the pins out takes a sledge and a special tool, and knocking the pins out from underneath the vehicle requires swinging a sledge in the prone sideways. It’s very hard work.
Knocking out torsion bars is done with a post driver level with the ground. It’s another thing that’s incredibly difficult (and the body motion required to pound something out at waist-level would probably result in EEO complaints anyway.) With actual tanks, the track blocks weigh something like 60 pounds each, the shells the loader moves weigh 50something pounds and have to be manipulated inside the vehicle. And that’s not even getting into towing and how much tank bars weigh.
Over at The Soldier’s Load, there’s an excellent piece on how Women Do Not Belong In The Infantry.
Women do not belong in the infantry.
It’s a simple statement and one that, until recently, nearly every civilized culture seemed to accept as a truism. For reasons as multitudinous as they are apparent and profound, in time of war men have shouldered arms and marched to the clash of legions or the sound of the guns. Women as a rule have not. Even in those scattered and wretched societies whose women prowled the battlefields to torture the wounded and desecrate the dead, no woman was thrown into offensive action against the massed ranks of the enemy. Show me an exception and I’ll show you savages.
I’ll note that the exceptions aren’t necessarily savages. They’re also last-ditch forces, partisans, and nations surrounded on all sides by genocidal enemies.
Of course, IDF girls aren’t as known for looking like this:
As they’re known for this:
And make no mistake, the tough-looking chick in the top picture still looks like the four in towels below underneath. She’s probably 5’8″ and 150 pounds or so if she’s big. And still, she’s not going to carry another 150 pound load-out. She’s not going to tack up and hump for miles and miles. She’s not going to carry a mortar base plate or a Javelin for 10 hours, or load 155 shells or change a final drive (a gear in tracked vehicles that weighs slightly more than Mount Rushmore). She’s not going to drag another troop who weighs 250 pounds loaded out of the line of fire.
Soldier’s Load goes on:
Most service members will admit that conditioning hikes are grueling exercises in physical and mental endurance. I personally despised them, especially when it was my turn to shoulder a 25 pound machine gun or a 45 pound, .50-caliber receiver. Each hike took all of my effort and physical fitness to complete. Unsurprisingly, during my time at The Basic School no female lieutenant completed a hike of greater than 6 miles with the rest of the 180 or so male lieutenants. Not one. And that’s with the male lieutenants carrying all of the radios and heavy weapons.
His whole post is very articulate, and worth reading here. He also hits on cultural, physiological, and other reasons that have been touched on here.
But this will be decided in the courts, and in the halls of government bureaucracies now run by leftist politicians who are out to make their political points and, as Evan Sayet says, elevate failed, evil, and wrong at every turn. Standards will be dropped, instructors who maintain the old standards will be accused of sex discrimination and driven out (never mind that reality discriminates), and the institutions will become weaker, and people will die for what some politically correct academic lawyer nitwit got into his addled little brain to impose on institutions that are light years away from his fantasy world. Women will die, men will die, conflicts will be lost, morality will be displaced, and the few who choose to nobly serve will suffer for the institutions made by the academic leftists.