Women in Military Combat Arms

Women being allowed in combat arms are nothing about men vs. women; it is about meeting the standards of the US Army.  Yes, women should be allowed the same opportunities as men; however, they should be held at the same standards. The standard Army Physical Fitness Test, or APFT, for women is gradually lower than males. For a male between the ages of 22-26, they must have a minimum of 40 pushups and a max of 75; for sit ups they have a minimum of 50 and a max of 80 and for the run a minimum time of 16:36 and a max of 13:00. For women, minimum amount of pushups is 17 and the max if 46, the minimum for sit ups is 50 and max is 80, and the minimum run time is 19:36 and to max it is 15:36. Now everything except the sit ups is completely unfair. Yes, I understand males are stronger and have greater strength overall, but if women want to be in combat arms where being physically fit is key, then they must meet the same standards. I expect while women are deploying with infantry units, to have their standards raised up. The best source for viewing if this is a good idea is to see the views of these deployed soldiers, below is the link to do so. Also study the APFT chart to see the drastic differences between male and female scores, it will surprise you.



One quote that was very notable to me was that of Capt. Monica Paden, she said “Women want equality, and we cannot discriminate at this point now. We can’t ask for one thing and not another,” she says. “We’ve got to be able to jump into all roles, and it’s expected at this point.” This sums up my points, as she is saying women you asked to be in, now you must complete the physical requirements it is to be a combat arms soldier and more importantly an infantry women. SPC Chares Lencioni says he was never for the decision and explains how only a small portion of women will make it and that the public will see it as discriminatory towards women. These are all true points, now that women are going to be in combat arms, they cannot lower the standards women must live up to the set standards. The reason why there are standards for combat arms is due to the physical beatings these soldiers take out in the field. If a women can hold her own, then she can be an infantry women, but if she cannot, you cannot lower the standards to satisfy women who want to be in the combat arms, but cannot live up to the standards.

There are many other reasons, as for unit cohesion. I know multiple men who are or were branched infantry in the United States Army and they loved their fellow soldiers like brothers. If a women was put in the fold, who’s to say that the soldiers would look at her like a sister? Being men, men are protective and strive for competition, and if the women were in danger, all of them would try to. It could mess up the psyche of a squad or platoon. Being in training for the United States Army, I have also learned a great deal of the military and their ways. I am for women being treated as equal, but at the same time women need to meet the standards that have been set for the men.

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4 Responses to Women in Military Combat Arms

  1. Is physical strength the most important attribute for a combat soldier? It seems to me that intelligence, leadership, courage, and the ability to perform under intense pressure would all merit high consideration.

    It makes sense that physical fitness be one of many criteria considered. But what is the rationale for saying that the APFT is the bar women must pass to be in combat?

  2. vduku001 says:

    Even though I somehow agree with you, however, I will like to underscore some points. I personally do not think or believe that strength alone should be the only important thing for one to become qualified for a combat. I do think that other factors such as good leadership skills, ability perform the job assigned and the ability to help fellow wounded soldiers when call upon. I do not think that being unable to perform well no APFT testing does not means that you can do better in combat. I believe that women can do better in combat just as their males counterparts if they are all treated fairly and equally.

  3. dozto001 says:

    Yes I agree; however, there is a standard that not even many men can achieve. The physical and mental stresses are already great. The fact of the matter is that in Combat Arms, especially the Infantry, the physical strains are great. I am not saying women cannot be great leaders as there are numerous amounts of superb women military officers and NCOs, but rather can they live up to standards that have been put down for all soldiers to achieve and maintain. The APFT score is merely a small portion of what I am explaining. From carrying 100 lbs ruck sacks, to marching with that gear as well as ammo, body armor. If a women can achieve those standards as well as lead other soldiers, then by all means let her join.

  4. dozto001 says:

    This is all dealing with Combat arms, and closing looking at the US Army Infantry

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