Women in Combat
Syed Raza Fayyaz
We have an array of sensors, vehicles and weapons that can be operated by remote control or are totally autonomous. What difference does the gender of the operator make if she or he is trained in that operation? Military planners know that machines will be able to perform many of the most dangerous, strenuous or boring tasks now assigned to people. A fundamental change in warfare is happening right now. Autonomous sentinels on the ground, in the air and in orbit are probing with heat detectors, radar, cameras, microphones and other devices. Some can even penetrate darkness and bad weather. Targets are being destroyed by weapons from pilotless vehicles. The rapid shift away from people to automation certainly should not limit the training in this automation to men only. Many new devices will be much smaller and lighter, making them cheaper, more fuel efficient and easier to move.
Machines are better at tedious tasks that human soldiers find boring, like guard duty or CQ. Remote technology has to be operated by a real person - but the gender of that soldier, sailor or airman should not be in question.
Women become physicians and surgeons with no restrictions - they are not precluded from performing brain surgery. Women become civilian pilots with no restrictions - they are not restricted to lower altitudes or single engine planes. Military women pilots are flying combat aircraft - it only took fifty years. If women can do so many things then why not she let be on front lines in war?
Army researchers came up with a new study that concludes that, when a woman is correctly. Trained, she can be as tough as any man. The report by the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine at Natick, MA was led by senior analyst Everett Harman. "You don't need testosterone to get strong," Harman concluded. Through a regimen of regular jogging, weight training, and other rigorous exercise, more that 75 percent of the 41 women studied were able to prepare themselves to successfully perform duties traditionally performed by males in the military. Before training, less than 25 percent of the women were capable of performing the tasks. All but one of the females were civilian volunteers, and none had previously adopted a routine of strenuous physical activity. The women included lawyers, mothers, students, and bartenders. Several had recently had children and thought the training would put them back in shape. They were unaware that their performance might eventually be used to topple one of the last citadels of bias against women in both the military and society. The 24-week training study began in May 1995 with women spending 90 minutes a day, five days a week, building themselves up for endurance tests. They ran a two-mile wooded course wearing a 75-pound rucksack and performed squats holding a 100-pound barbell on their shoulders. Nationally certified trainers oversaw the conditioning. Improvement of over 33 percent was noted by the scientists who wrote the report. Nearly concurrently with this test, the Ministry of Defense in Great Britain conducted the same kind of study. The Sunday Times of London reported that "by using new methods of physical training, women can be built up to the same levels of physical fitness as men of the same size and build." The British article also notes that "contrary to the view of many traditionalists, the operational performance of groups improves greatly if both sexes are involved."