GI Jane Essay, Research Paper
In today’s society, with affirmative action full out in most industries
and businesses, and the equal rights movement having made great progress;
there is finally a snag in the nylons of woman activists. The question of
whether women should have to serve in combat is upon us. And I am all to happy
to give my whole hearted no.
If you have kept up with the news in recent years, women have been
fighting their way into the top military academies, the Citadel being the most
recent case. These woman have claimed being just as tough as men, which is
scientifically incorrect, but hey it’s a defense. They have, through grueling
court battles, made their way into the elite schools of our great military,
where our best men have been serving us for generations. While claiming to be
every bit as good as the men, they have for a most part failed once they got in.
Ms. Faulkner won her legal battle to enter the Citadel, breaking a 152 year
tradition of training men only. On August 14, 1995, during her first day of
military training, she collapsed from heat exhaustion. Within days, she abruptly
withdrew from the college, forced to admit that she could not withstand the
rigors of “hell week.” Ms. Faulkner, fighting back tears, explained that two
and a half years of stress had “all crashed in” on her in the first days there.
After not quite making the cut, and surviving the stress and trials of these
places, they say that it is because the men were too hard on them. “Too hard”
is not a valid sentence in the military, you are either tough enough or you
I am not a sexist, don’t get me wrong. I know many woman who are my
intellectual superiors whom I admire. I have even met a few that I probably
would not want to mess with. What I am trying to show is that while in some
cases they can function in combat; they are, for the most part, detrimental
to military efficiency.
Chairman of the Department of Military Science at the University of
Michigan, who conducted a test of Army officer candidates, and found that: The
top 20 percent of women at West Point achieved scores on the Army Physical
Fitness Test equivalent to the bottom 20 percent of male cadets. Only seven
percent of women can meet a score of 60 on the push-up test, while 78 percent
of men exceed it. A 20- to 30-year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a
50-year- old man. Only one woman out of 100 could meet a physical standard
achieved by 60 out of 100 men. Woman by nature are smaller and slower, and
have 40% less upper body strength.
Those statistics being fresh in your mind I would like to give a few
examples of women in combat from a government report on woman in combat. The
day before the Feb. 24, 1991, assault by U.S. ground forces in the Gulf War,
CNN focused international attention on Army Maj. Marie Rossi because of her
status as one of the first women helicopter pilots to fly in a combat zone. Just
a few days after CNN televised the Rossi story she was dead, she flew the
helicopter into a 375-foot microwave tower in Northern Saudi Arabia, killing
herself and all her crew. Lt. Kara Hultgreen, 29, who was the first woman to
fly an F-14 fighter and one of two women who qualified for navy carrier
operations, crashed into the sea and was killed in October 1994 while attempting
a daylight landing on the carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. Her navigator pilot
ejected, he was fast enough, she wasn’t.
There is much justifiable concern about the high probability that all
females captured by the enemy will be sexually violated and raped. Army Major
Rhonda Cornum, captured when her helicopter was shot down over Iraq, initially
told the press she was treated “exactly the same” as male prisoners during her
brief captivity, only to recant a year later. Maj. Corium admitted that both
she and the other captured U.S. woman prisoners were sexually violated by the
Iraqis, a fact the Pentagon had also kept secret for a year. She told the
commission that being raped by the enemy should be considered “an occupational
hazard of going to war.”
Regardless of claims to the contrary, rape is “gender specific” and has
never been an “occupational hazard” for combat pilots or any other men
associated with combat duty until now.
Women may have a spot in the military, but as we have seen combat is not
the place for them to be.
Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, Report
to the President, November 15, 1992, pp.24-27, 36-37.