Posted on Feb 26, 2020
PFC Landrew Usoalii S.
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Posted in these groups: Sf_regimental_insignia Special Forces
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LTC Kevin B.
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If they can do the job, why keep them out? Maybe men just need to learn how to not get distracted, and just focus on doing their job.
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MSgt Michael Smith
MSgt Michael Smith
1 mo
CPT Lawrence Cable - The ends of the bell curve (which is what professional and college athletes are) has very little in common with the middle. the middle is MUCH more comparable between the sexes, like it or not. If females can pass the tests and evaluations, then there is absolutely no reason they cannot do the job just like their male counterparts. And bringing up the FACT that pseudo-science is routinely used to justify policies that further both sexism and racism is hardly playing the race card. I would counter that the question at the heart of this threat --"why tolerate the DISTRACTION" of women serving in Combat arms is inherently chauvinistic.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
1 mo
MSgt Michael Smith - I didn't say why tolerate the distraction, but once again you are attacking results without providing any other answer than pseudo science. Here is what the science says about performance differences of male and female athletes, and the differences in jumping and strength are particularly telling. These are the comparisons of trained athletes and, as noted, they haven't really evolved much. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761733/
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SMSgt Operations Superintendent
SMSgt (Join to see)
1 mo
My thoughts exactly
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SGT Robert Pryor
SGT Robert Pryor
1 mo
MSgt Michael Smith - You captured what I was thinking as I read this thread. Thank you. I kept thinking where have we heard the same arguments in the past? Let me take it further -- for the benefit of the doubt, let's say that all the arguments against women in combat were true (which I don't believe for an instant) the fact is they are an integral part of the fabric of of what we call America. As such, they should be allowed to participate fully. The way similar arguments were used against people of color when the military integrated makes me want to puke.
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MSG Logistics Analyst
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Why is this a distraction? I guess its how your raised. I was raised to respect all people.
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CPT Lawrence Cable
CPT Lawrence Cable
1 mo
LTJG Stephanie Thompson - At some point it needs to be discussed if that injury rate has a detrimental effect on unit readiness. If I have time, I will try to find a translation of a critique of the IDF's renewed push for women in combat units which outlined a bit better the type of injuries (hip, pelvic, back and knees. Back and Knees being the big ones for males) and also the percentages in the line units. If it does effect readiness, then it absolutely should be a deciding factor.
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PFC Human Intelligence Collector
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1 mo
my claim may not have been from an article but it was from those who first hand deal with those in basic training. Sure, they might have been lying, but if they saw females as unfit I don't see why they would have. It's clear that nobody will change your mind, so this post is not for you Captain, it's for any one else who feels the need to read or any females who might feel tired of having to defend themselves again and again.

I did decide to dig into it a little more, I actually couldn't find an article about what exactly females are getting hurt. Don't you think they should be something talked about if they're going to write about the fact females are being hurt more frequently?

There was one that was a little more recent that talked about stress fractures being a main cause (not about what was causing the stress fractures though) and I had fun with that because I myself faced stress fractures in BCT. Women who had low iron and vitamin D are at higher risk to these. It's what helps keep the bones strong.

My body wasn't ready right away for BCT, my bones weren't used to it. AS A FEMALE MY BODY WAS NOT PREPARED...but you know what I was able to do? They gave me supplements, they gave my legs time off to heal and by the end of my treatment my doctors could actually see how my bones had grown stronger and thicker than they were before. My body adapted and while I *was* injured during BCT because my female body wasn't *used to* the amount of pressure I was using because my body *naturally* had less iron than my male counterparts that made me *weaker* I was able to grow and my body was able to change and while I suffered for months, sometimes in tears on a march with 35lbs for less than 2 miles, I now go on 50-70lb rucks at least twice a month for 16-20 miles without a single complaint because as a female I was still able to adapt. I even adjusted how I ruck (I allow myself do that little slow gentle jog instead of long steps because im shorter and taking those long steps puts my hips at risk. The light jog has small enough steps and is slow enough that it doesn't put too much pressure on my body to cause injuries related to ruck running. I didn't do this in BCT because I was scared I would spend too much energy and honestly I spend less energy doing it.)

I also still take those iron supplements from time to time when I remember, but I mostly don't need them anymore as long as I keep the work up. I'd like to think that makes me worth something to my unit.

Military taking care of females is fairly new and yeah, we have different requirements than men. You gotta give it time for them to get their things in order. In the meantime, trust me, the government is trying to take in every *able* recruit they can. Not every super soldier. All those injured female soldiers who haven't quite figured out their body yet are still doing their duties while injured. I didn't get a day off for my stress fractures. Even if it had kept me from a deployment I would have still been put to work.

https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2018/06/11/the-army-is-notorious-for-breaking-soldiers-bodies-but-its-now-working-on-ways-to-prevent-that/

Heres your link: but im sure you'll be mad that they have to adapt to the fact females bodies are different.

LTJG Stephanie Thompson (thought you'd enjoy the read!)
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LTJG Stephanie Thompson
LTJG Stephanie Thompson
1 mo
PFC (Join to see) this is a great article; thank you for sharing! This is clearly an issue taken very seriously by the Army, but I definitely agree with your assessment that any conversation related to women being hurt more than men should include the context of the actual injuries involved, rather than a general statement. It seems the largest category of injury in females (at least as can be surmised from the article) is stress fractures, which have a multitude of causes and severities. You mentioned that "women who had low iron and vitamin D are at higher risk." That is such a great point and worth noting, since iron and vitamin D are not things we can simply look at a person and determine whether their levels are sufficient for the type of physical training the Army requires. I would consider myself a fairly healthy person, but every time I go to donate blood, I am turned away. My iron levels just won't cut it. I don't feel any different with low levels than I do with high levels...a blood test is the only way for me to know where I stand.

It is so interesting that we can increase the strength of our bones in a relatively short time, as you did during BCT. Maybe one way to address the higher injury rate of women in the military is to have a pre-basic training (akin to the delayed entry program), where women (and men, too) go to prepare their bodies for basic training at a slower, less grueling pace. That way, when they do enter basic, their bodies will not be shocked by all the requirements put upon them, and will have already gained a fair amount of strength that will be conducive to an injury free (or at least lower injury rate) experience. Do you think that would be a reasonable approach? If so, how long would a pre-basic training last? This presupposes that it is not full-time. People are still going home to their families at the end of the day...it's a much slower pace than actual basic training, but would be designed to physically prepare the body for the arduous journey ahead. Is this realistic? What impact do you think it might have?
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PFC Human Intelligence Collector
PFC (Join to see)
1 mo
LTJG Stephanie Thompson -

So the army does have a "pre assessment" that you complete before you leave (I forget the official name) but its a series of different exercises and you have to score above a certain level for each to be considered fit enough to make it through basic training. (admittedly its very very easy to pass and I think they could make it a little higher, at the same time there was a very frail trainee at my BCT who had a recruiter lie for him on this test. He did not make it.)

The army has already made some changes, they now provide iron supplements to all females at basic training, but they didn't explain it a whole lot. Just kind of gave it to us and said "take it if you want". I didn't start taking them until I was instructed to around the 8th week by a doctor after the forge. I was getting very light headed (iron also helps with blood flow, so as you can tell its really just generally important to have plenty of).

It wasn't until I went to AIT that they took scans of legs that they could see the damage and then by then about 3 months later after recovery, more iron supplements, and the use of a shin bar(which helped increase blood flow in my legs), there was a measurable difference.

And because we are on the topic of the army making changes to assist with these issues, I also want to bring up that while I was going through they were giving training this heavy duty calcium bars. Like had a million warning labels on them about not eating more than 1 in a 24 hour period and I remember reading that it had lie 600% of your daily vitamin (something I can't remember) in it. They were giving these to trainees specifically to help with building bone strength.

My big point here is that the Army has seen the difference between males and females. They have acknowledged that there is a difference, and instead of saying "no, females just can't do it" they are taking steps to help them be able to do it and they see the value in females being able to do it.
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SSG(P) Infantryman
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Edited 1 mo ago
Probably because the women I've served with in SOF settings brought a perspective and skill set I or another man wouldn't have thought of. Women inherently bring a different set of emotions to the table, I think it's smart to incorporate that. YMMV

Edit: Once I hit SOF, they expected us to be better than the "distraction" I think you're referring to.
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