When Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that females would now be allowed into all military occupations, including combat arms jobs, many were happy to see the change. However, when it became apparent that this also meant that females would be allowed to join special ops teams, many of those serving as operators began voicing their disapproval. It is no secret that special ops, in all branches of the military, are some of the most dangerous and demanding jobs known to mankind- and this seems to be the crux of the controversy.
The Rand Corporation did a voluntary survey recently in which 7,600 special ops personnel were asked to share their opinion on whether or not females would be a benefit to special ops overall. The overwhelming consensus was no! The survey asked personnel if women on special ops teams would diminish the team’s effectiveness, as well as lower standards. It also asked if having females on ops teams would cause men to avoid joining those teams.
The responses were straightforward, blunt, and often laced with more than a little profanity. The vast majority of those who responded said that they strongly believe that women simply cannot do this type of work. Most notably were responses that said that women simply did not have the physical strength or the tough mental attitude needed for these types of extremely demanding jobs.
The decision to allow females to participate in all military jobs was based on an extensive study recently completed. All of the branches of military were involved in the study, and only the US Marine Corp asked for certain exemptions, which Carter has subsequently denied.
The Rand survey contained 46 questions. Of those responding, 85 percent felt strongly that females should not be allowed into special ops jobs at all, and about 70 percent said that they did not want to see female operators in their individual teams or units. Over 80 percent said that women did not have the needed physical strength to handle the job, and about 65 percent said women did not have the mental toughness needed.
Many of those responding felt that opening up special ops to women was more of a political ploy than anything else, noting that gender equality, in this case, might very well lead to more death and casualties on the battlefield. Some said that given the places where special ops are most often needed these days, ie the Middle East, having females on teams could lead to cultural problems in those areas were females are not considered equals by any measure.
All of this has not gone unnoticed by the powers that be. Gen. Joseph Votel, who is the current head of U.S. Special Operations Command, sent out a memo and posted a video online after Carter’s announcement. In both, Votel says that current qualifying standards for all branches of special operations jobs will not change. He went on to say that, in some special ops jobs, women are already pulling duty and doing a fine job at it. He mentioned jobs such as cultural support, helicopter pilots and crews, and information services.
Gen. Votel said “If candidates meet time-tested and scientifically validated standards, and if they have proven that they have the physical, intellectual, professional, and character attributes that are so critical to special operations – they will be welcomed into the special operations forces ranks.” Some of those responding to the Rand survey were more inclined to at least give it a try, saying, in general, that inclusion of females into all areas of the military is inevitable.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.
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