Some women can do this but not many

According to a U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center study released in 2004, the average fighting load carried by an infantry rifleman operating in Afghanistan was 63 pounds before adding a rucksack. The average approach-march load in combat, which includes a light rucksack, was 96 pounds. The average emergency-approach-march load, which includes a larger rucksack, was 127 pounds.

True, it’s not the majority of men that can do it either but…..I think I would say that physical differences do mean that outcome equality in the military is unlikely at best.

37 thoughts on “Some women can do this but not many”

  1. Even an all-male military is full of inequalities of ability, though, and those inequalities lead to different soldiers carrying different kit. I’m not convinced that’s a problem.

    Say, hypothetically, it was discovered that women made better snipers. Would it be better, operationally speaking, to have female snipers and somehow make them carry less kit, or to refuse to use their superior sniping skills because they can’t carry large enough rucksacks? The answer might well be the latter, but it’s not obviously so.

    In recent years, the prison service has hired lots of female graduates not for tokenism but because it turns out they’re very good at running prisons. But they have also made sure that they keep a certain number of huge hulking great men who are good at violence, for obvious reasons. So they have the advantages of both. Seems quite sensible to me.

  2. You see S2’s point from trg onward; the prop forwards like me on the stretcher full of hernia boxes and pine poles, the racing snakes off retreiving code/medicine/whatever Maguffin the DS had come up with. However, the distributions of load-bearing ability and stamina compared with the operational requirement, combined with the fact that even most lasses in the military wouldn’t actually want to be in the PBI, mean I suspect Tim’s point holds.

  3. Average suggests differences in kit.
    The big bodybuilder may get extra to carry while the weedy soldier less.
    Ultimately it comes down to weapons, supplies, mission and transport.
    The guys in vehicles will carry a lot less while patrolling than infantry on a patrol in disputed territory. While on base patrol different again.

  4. When the SHTF “assigned roles” will vanish in the mess. As Tyson says “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the head”. Only the strongest 8% of tested female soldiers are stronger than the weakest 8% of male soldiers. Short of super tech gear–exoskels etc –which will breakdown anyway–you can’t get around that. It might not matter too much if everybody is going to fight with their arse on the seat cushions of an APC but without that, marching, the women will rapidly become a liability.

    S2–what are you references for women doing a good job running jails. All I have seen is a spate of US jail storys about female guards embracing the joy of sex with alpha psychopaths and sometimes getting up the duff on the job.

  5. Yes, but you want flexibility and the ability, in a pinch, for everyone to be able to perform to a certain standard. When Muscles McBodybuilder buys one and has to be carried out, along with his vital kit, it’s not much cop if Weedy Weederson is already at maximum load.

  6. All this tells us is that the Army cannot winnow down to ‘the essentials’ properly. If kits are running between 63 and 127 lbs., it simply means that even the strongest and best conditioned are being overloaded.

  7. This is specifically about whether women can be front line heavy infantry. Other roles n’ stuff, already agreed.

  8. Not so much, they’re talking about different kit for different jobs the same infantry might be doing.

    You going out on a day patrol with armour, grenades, ammo, emergency rations?

    Or on a 5 day patrol with sleeping bag, mat, tent, cooker, 5 day’s rations etc?

  9. Dennis the Peasant

    Define essential: A surprising item of modern army field kit is simply Lithium batteries, and the computer and radio equipment that they power. The amount of weight that each soldier carries has risen mostly out of a desire to do more with less men and that is where the communications gear comes in – Network warfare where you call in an air strike or seamlessly access data from an overhead drone quietly requires seriously powerful gear for the bandwidth that they use. – We’re not just talking about a field tent and a Primus stove anymore.

  10. Well, given that combat units aren’t generally deployed as a series of individual contributors but as units that must stay together at all costs, the idea of some unit members lagging behind is a rather large problem. As for loads, of course they are too heavy…but people have been saying this for fifty years and there’s been no change, you shouldn’t airily assume that this is going to change.

    Having women in direct combat isn’t a good idea for the very obvious reason that relationships develop, which cause all the usual jealously and fair treatment issues. There’s a reason why the forces keep siblings apart..

    However, I’m sure it will be fiddled anyway. Note :-

    http://www.army.mod.uk/news/26836.aspx

    “It will also deliver improved methods for conducting physical training that will have health benefits for the serving population of men and women”

    They’re getting the “gender norming” sorted in advance 🙁

  11. The thing is, the infantry isn’t some super-desirable job that happens to have some inconvenient physical standards, like firefighter. Being a grunt pretty much sucks and hardly any women are going to want to do it, so even if they open it up to women and lower the physical standards accordingly, the infantry will remain 99.5% male. Unless they force, more women into the infantry, which won’t go over well at all, I don’t think.

  12. Somewhat on topic, but I believe that the load the average grunt carries today is the same as the average Roman grunt carried – about 65-75 lbs.

  13. carries today is the same as the average Roman grunt carried

    makes sense, how much kit a solidier needs is limited by what a soldier can carry rather than what a soldier needs. If they could carry more, they surely would.

  14. The front lines in wars are not places for women. Ever. Their inferior spatial perception, their superior emotional empathy, their inferior physique, and the difficulty of deciding whether she’s wounded or her tampon is leaking – all make women unsuitable for the front line. But I’d make at least one exception: Julie Bindel for the front line!

  15. I’ve just finished backpacking the Pennine Way & was carrying maximum 13-15 kg (29-33 lb). At that weight you can go all day over rough terrain. A load of 96- 127 lb is an incredible weight to carry for any period- you are not dodging any bullets with that on your back!

  16. ‘All this tells us is that the Army cannot winnow down to ‘the essentials’ properly’.

    How do you ‘winnow down the essentials’ when you are on ops?

    Take ammunition, for starters. It’s heavy. Not just carrying it for your own personal weapon (250 rounds minimum), but also sharing the stuff around for the section or platoon ones. You can’t be jack and expect the GPMG gunner to carry all the 7.62mm link by himself? It gets shared out.

    Light anti-tank weapons (light, my arse). Javelin, MILAN etc is a killer to carry, but can make a massive difference in a fire-fight, even when it’s just the Taliban (bye, bye enemy bunker). Do you want to take risks in leaving it back at the FOB, and looking like a cock when the shooting starts?

    Then there’s kevlar helmets and body armour. Wearing it is a bastard, but it can be a life saver that’s worth the sweat. I know two men who could have died eleven years ago in a bomb blast if they hadn’t been wearing it.

    Water. Rations (in case you get caught out in the oulu because operations go on for longer than planned). Extra goodies like CWS night-sights (again, do you want to be like one of those Rangers in ‘Black Hawk Down’ who says ‘No dude, we’ll be back in a couple of hours’?). All of these have to go in your belt kit, or in your daysacks.

    Vehicles – great, if you’re patrolling in them. What if you get ambushed and they get disabled? What if you find that roads that are on the map don’t exist?

    The infantryman’s war is about carrying his life on his back. Webbing-belt order for the absolute essentials, the daysack for 24 hours of ops, a bergen for anything longer.

    And as for helicopters and troop lift – even the Americans can run short of them.

  17. My comment was based on the sort of winnowing done in the field by both soldiers and Marines during WWII and Korea. In both conflicts after-operations surveys of the battlefields showed an astounding amount of equipment that was discarded either before or at contact with the enemy. In fact, the Marine Corps discovered that one of the first things Marines discarded on a beachhead was their rations (!). What ensued was the issuing of an “assault ration” consisting of peanut butter & chocolate candy bars and hard candy to all Marines making a landing. Turned out the troops were more interested in getting a quick bit of energy while moving off a beach than in opening K rations and eating a full meal on it.

  18. Perhaps that admirable Yank habit should be adopted by our army. The threat of a diet of Hershey bars would get them off a beach fairly quickly.

  19. So Much For Subtlety

    Squander Two – “Even an all-male military is full of inequalities of ability, though, and those inequalities lead to different soldiers carrying different kit. I’m not convinced that’s a problem.”

    They usually carry different kit for specific reasons. Someone is in charge of the machine gun and the spares and ammunition – an issue which causes real grief and unhappiness on occasion. It is not that the girls can’t dig foxholes and so the boys have to do it for them.

    “Say, hypothetically, it was discovered that women made better snipers. Would it be better, operationally speaking, to have female snipers and somehow make them carry less kit, or to refuse to use their superior sniping skills because they can’t carry large enough rucksacks? The answer might well be the latter, but it’s not obviously so.”

    Hypothetically, if a sniper contributed so much to the group and to the mission, it would make sense to require them to carry less. We already do with a special class of soldier whose skills are deemed unique and irreplaceable. We call them officers. But it is irrelevant here as woman offer the military nothing. Whatever they can do, men do better.

    Except the whole sex thing I suppose.

    “In recent years, the prison service has hired lots of female graduates not for tokenism but because it turns out they’re very good at running prisons.”

    The only reason to hire female prison guards is affirmative action. As we see in America where they keep getting knocked up by the violent low life thugs they are guarding and where for young detainees, being sexually exploited by a female guard is now the leading cause of sexual abuse in prisons.

    “But they have also made sure that they keep a certain number of huge hulking great men who are good at violence, for obvious reasons.”

    For obvious reasons. Which means whenever there is any trouble in a prison, the first thing the male guards have to do is protect the female guards. Who are regularly over powered by inmates. This is, as usual, stupidity brought to us by the feminists.

  20. where for young detainees, being sexually exploited by a female guard is now the leading cause of sexual abuse in prisons

    I bet its not.

  21. Have I got this right? Rape is always about males abusing their superior strength to express their power over women. But males don’t have superior strength when it comes to marching over rough terrain carrying a huge burden?

  22. @ Charles
    15kg is far too much – not that you cannot carry it but why on earth did you need to? When I tackled the Pennine Way in 1970 I was carrying 19lbs. There is (or at least there was) a chain of youth hostels designed to cater for walkers tackilng it.

  23. ‘My comment was based on the sort of winnowing done in the field by both soldiers and Marines during WWII and Korea’.

    Where in both conflicts the casualty rates in combat were a hell of a lot higher than they are now, and where troops died of injuries that could be saved today.

  24. The US Army has a problem if it ups the weight carried in an emergency when you want to move faster.
    127lbs is a lot – I was starting marathons at 124lbs – and obviously finishing somewhat lighter – in my 50s; you need to weigh a lot more than the average fit young woman not to overbalance carrying that weight round a corner at a run.
    Belated thought about previous post on this topic 3 miles in 23 minutes is 3hr 20min marathon speed and my point is not that I beat that time in my 50s but that the first time I ran the Nottingham Marathon I was overtaken by a squaddie running in full kit, including army boots and a pack. If an unladen woman can’t keep up with a fully laden male soldier, she is a liability, not an asset.

  25. Andrew M – “Meanwhile, over at El Reg, robot prostitutes are the latest form of oppression against women”

    That is one seriously f*cked up article. Because she has some evidence-free belief that men treat prostitutes as objects (thus misunderstanding what the term objectification means), it is wrong to treat objects as prostitutes?

    Why does anyone take this person seriously?

    The question to ask her is whether vibrators should be banned. If robosexuality is bad for men, I am sure we would all agree it is bad for women too. Except we do not treat women who rely on sex toys in the same way we do men.

    john77 – “If an unladen woman can’t keep up with a fully laden male soldier, she is a liability, not an asset.”

    It would hardly matter either way. Women do not fight. They simply destroy the ability of men to fight. When faced with danger, women curl in a ball and wait for the survivor to come and claim them. As all the women in Jessica Lynch’s unit did. Not one of them fired a single round in defence of the men in their unit. When men see that refusing to fight carries no shame, they refuse as well.

    Even if women could carry the load, they have no acceptable function in wartime except providing food and sex. It is absurd to pretend otherwise and by the time we have finished letting these SJWs destroy every single Western Army, we will regret it deeply.

  26. And so … what precisely?

    British women don’t even have that much experience fighting. Despite their strong ideological commitment, both the Soviet Union and Israel tried female soldiers, found them wanting, and got rid of them.

    There is a lot of fighting in Africa. Women are not noted for being among the fighters.

    There is only one lesson we need to learn from Israel. We need to adopt Ezer Weizman’s policy – “The best men for flying, the best women for the pilots”. Except he was an Air Force commander so biased towards pilots.

  27. “Sending your women out to fight”.

    This is not even a half sensible discussion: 2 minutes versus 9 months – what am I missing here?

    If you wanted your tribe to succeed, then you protected your women? Everything else leads from that.

  28. “the difficulty of deciding whether she’s wounded or her tampon is leaking”

    I hope that the British Army isn’t giving guns to people so thick that they can’t figure that one out.

  29. “I think I would say that physical differences do mean that outcome equality in the military is unlikely at best.”

    As long as there’s input equality – let women apply, if they don’t make the grade then so be it.

  30. SMFS: “The only reason to hire female prison guards is affirmative action. As we see in America where they keep getting knocked up by the violent low life thugs they are guarding”

    there have been a number of such accounts.

    ” and where for young detainees, being sexually exploited by a female guard is now the leading cause of sexual abuse in prisons.”

    Given the sodomitic horrors that go on in American prisons that is hard to believe,

  31. So Much For Subtlety

    Matthew L – “As long as there’s input equality – let women apply, if they don’t make the grade then so be it.”

    That is to live in a make believe world. The whole trend in the world of grievance politics has been for equal outcomes, not equal opportunities. If this were granted, and it was, it would just be used as the thin edge of the wedge to demand to know why so few women were passing and hence imposing open or de facto quotas. As it was.

    The choice is reality or feminist fantasy land. There is no point offering women an opportunity because they cannot cope. If we offer them an opportunity, they will only use it to impose a quota. The only sensible policy is to tell women to go back to the kitchen and make some sandwiches.

    Mr Ecks – “Given the sodomitic horrors that go on in American prisons that is hard to believe,”

    I am dubious about how horrific America’s sodomitical horrors actually are. There are people who claim that there is very little homosexual rape in prisons and they have a rather compelling case. However even the Left has noticed what is going on with female guards:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/07/04/sexual_abuse_on_the_rise_at_us_juvenile_detention_facilities_partner/

    The Justice Department first discovered the startling form of abuse in 2010, when it surveyed more than 9,000 youngsters living in juvenile halls and group homes. More than 10 percent of the respondents said they’d been sexually abused by staff and 92 percent said their abuser was female.

    In the last three years, the numbers haven’t changed much.

    The Justice Department released its second report last month, and this time researchers surveyed more than 8,700 juveniles housed in 326 facilities across the country. In all, the facilities house more than 18,000 juveniles, representing about one quarter of the nation’s total number of youngsters living in detention centers.

    Drawing on their sample, Justice Department researchers estimate that 1,390 juveniles in the facilities they examined have experienced sex abuse at the hands of the staff supervising them, a rate of nearly 8 percent. Twenty percent who said they were victimized by staff said it happened on more than 10 occasions. Nine out of 10 victims were males abused by female staff.

    Nearly two-thirds of the abused youngsters said that the officials lured them into sexual relationships by giving them special treatment, treating them like a favorite, giving gifts and pictures.

    Twenty-one percent said staff gave them drugs or alcohol in exchange for sex.

    I don’t know what the staff to prisoner ratio is for these homes but I suspect that this is getting close to 100% of female guards are sexually abusing children in prison.

  32. “I don’t know what the staff to prisoner ratio is for these homes but I suspect that this is getting close to 100% of female guards are sexually abusing children in prison.”

    That in itself should be suspect. The source of these claims is the offending youth.No doubt some have been abused. And equally no doubt some are telling tall tales. To be taken more seriously corroborating evidence would be needed (hidden cameras, sting ops etc). If 100% of the female guards are involved it deserves to be treated as a very serious issue, 100% corruption in any institution should be–except of course the HoC.

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