Friday, April 14, 2017

Women in combat?

Maybe not so much.  Data from 2016 indicate that 16% of deployed women became pregnant on deployment.  If we assume that only 10% of combat troops are women, we would infer that in a given year, about 1% of troops on a given ship would need to be de-deployed in a year.  20 years back, about 10% of the women on the "Love Boat" became pregnant, so it's a consistent problem.

This is  close to the proportion of soldiers in a unit that General Patton said would die in a really terrible battle when he was preparing his men for Operation Overlord.  Now we can argue all day (in a silly way, but we can) about how well qualified women are for combat positions in terms of physical and mental aptitudes, but the simple fact of the matter is that attrition of female soldiers and sailors due to pregnancy is similar to the effects of a major battle on units. 

And really, it's no surprise.  What's going on is simple; when you take young, healthy people ten thousand miles from home and put them in a situation where they are lonely and more than a little bit scared, they tend to fornicate.  All the regs in the world can't stop that, but our regs ought to acknowledge it.

One final note; a West Point graduate of my acquaintance told me a few weeks back that when the Army tried to correlate success as an officer to the experience at USMA, the only thing that correlated well was how well the candidates did in their physical education classes.  This stuff matters.


Hearth said...

I predict a return to the draft - if they add women to the list, which they keep saying they will, and does seem fair, in today's political climate - will result in a rapid increase in the birthrate.

And I say that without rancor, because it's exactly what I'd have done.

Bike Bubba said...

Certainly that is the incentive--they don't want to be there, and they know that two pink lines gets them out. That's got to make a lot of soldiers look a LOT more attractive.

Plus, I'd have to guess that a lot of noncoms would tacitly encourage this, as they really, really, really don't want to have soldiers that need to be helped physically to keep up with the unit.

Prediction; if women are kept in combat, somebody's going to float the idea of mandatory birth control or abortion.

Hearth said...

I know a vet who said it you got the shot in the hip par for the course as a female marine back in the day (Depo). I'm sure they'd float mandatory abortions ... very briefly. Instead they'd probably work out some sort of disciplinary kicking-out.

I know I see male Marines getting married or making babies right before deployment *all the time* - there's some instinct operating there. So?

Bike Bubba said...

Understood, but discipline doesn't solve the problem--you end up drumming people out of the platoon anyways, and since WWII, the policy (a good one) is not to insert fresh recruits into hardened units while in service. Doing so tended to get both new and old soldiers killed.

I think they've opened up Pandora's Box here, and any sergeant looking at retirement could tell you exactly what was going to come out.