Thursday, December 26, 2013

Case Made for Female SEALs

A recent article in The Atlantic states that based on the success of a few females recently graduating from Marine Corps infantry training the special operations community should integrate women into their ranks as well. The premise is if the women perform well as the team leader of a Special Forces Operational Detachment then they would be accepted as equals by the conventional infantry squad leader in the 82nd Airborne Division. See the article entitled "The Case for Female SEALs" published on December 24, 2013.

As a former member of the Special Operations community I can tell you that while this is an idea has been considered for decades it certainly isn't realistic or practical. Women have a long history of participating in Special Operations but only as specialists in a specific area where they add value. Certainly an intelligence officer serving in a unit's Intel section can perform her duties and responsibilities without the worry of physical limitations; and this applies to quite a few of the jobs in the Special Operations support and staff sections. Some of these other jobs might also require the presence of women on missions - as in linguists, interrogators, female searchers, or members of Cultural Support Teams.

However, it is on the teams (whether Special Forces or SEALs) where the physical differences are most noted. There are too many cases in the military where women have been integrated into male only training (not yet into Special Operations training) but only after the relaxation of physical standards to the point where the great majority of women could pass. This, of course, waters down the standards to the point where almost ALL men pass (not really good thing). It gives me chills thinking of how much the U.S. Army Special Forces training would have to be watered down so that women could pass this demanding course.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Marines have different pull-up standards for women. Men have to be able to complete 3 pull-ups and women none. Unequal standards? Read more about this here: