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Old 06-19-2013, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Women Doing USAF SpecOps Soon!

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Defense.gov News Article: Pentagon Announces Progress in Opening Jobs to Women

Pentagon Announces Progress in Opening Jobs to Women
By Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 – The services and U.S. Special Operations Command have completed plans to gradually open jobs to female service members that used to be closed to them, senior Pentagon officials announced today.

Joined by senior service officials at a Pentagon news conference, Juliet Beyler, the Defense Department’s director of officer and enlisted personnel management, said today’s announcement is a milestone.

She noted that in January, then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, rescinded the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule. That policy barred women from jobs -- such as tank mechanic and field artillery radar operator -- performed near combat units. It also prohibited women in jobs such as intelligence, communications and logistics from assignment at units smaller than a brigade.

“Our goal is to ensure that the mission is met with the best-qualified and most capable people, regardless of gender,” Beyler said in prepared remarks. This year, she added, the services and Socom have worked diligently to plan two lines of effort aimed at integrating women:

-- Currently open occupations that were restricted: for example, administrative clerk in a tank battalion or truck driver in an artillery battery; and

-- Currently closed occupations that require review and validation of occupational standards: for example, infantry, armor and combat engineer.

The services and Socom have filed separate plans, which Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has reviewed, she noted. Beyler added that while the plans differ, they all involve work with scientific and research agencies to review occupational standards and ensure they are current, operationally valid and applied on a gender-neutral basis.

All the plans are incremental in opening closed positions, which requires congressional notification, she said.

“Each service and Socom is conducting thorough doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, facilities and policy analyses to ensure deliberate and responsible implementation,” she said.

Pentagon officials said the department expects to issue a report to Congress later this summer detailing more implementation specifics. Full implementation across the services should occur by Jan. 1, 2016, officials said.

The services and Socom have identified decision points by which they will make final determinations to open occupations and positions or to request an exception to policy to keep a position or occupation closed, Beyler said. The defense secretary and the Joint Chiefs chairman must personally approve any exceptions to policy, she added.


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And now this:

SOF Warriors,
Some recent media reports about the lifting of the combat exclusion for women have been confusing, so I want to clarify our plan for the USSOCOM enterprise.
As you know, the SECDEF rescinded the 1994 Direct Ground Combat Definition and Assignment Rule. Simply put, this means that women are cleared to serve in units whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.
Consequently, we are in the process of implementing the SECDEF’s guidance to integrate women in all combat Military Operational Specialties (MOSs) no later than January 2016.
However, as we begin the implementation process, if we determine that there are SOF unique issues affecting the successful integration of women into SOF, then and only then, will I submit a request for exemption to the SECDEF.
We have had women attached to our combat units for several years as Cultural Support Teams, Civil Affairs, Military Information Support Teams, Intelligence and a host of other MOSs and they have performed magnificently!
The question for SOF is whether we can absorb women into those Special Operations units whose job generally entails small teams, operating for long periods of time, in close proximity to the enemy or behind enemy lines and in close quarters with other soldiers. And, can we achieve this level of integration without lowering our SOF standards?
This is what we must find out.
I want to briefly summarize for you the basics of the assessment that we are conducting, which will ultimately provide a single, consistent procedure for execution throughout USSOCOM. Once the studies are complete and the facts and data are collected, I’ll make a recommendation in conjunction with the Service Chiefs via the Chairman to the SECDEF.
Our analysis will focus on the special operators in eight SOF specific occupational specialties:
- Special Forces as well as the Infantry positions assigned to the Ranger Regiment
- SEALs; Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen
- Marine Critical Skills Operators
- Special Tactics Officers; Combat Controllers; and Special Operations Weather Personnel.
We will also look at the 46 additional enabling occupational specialties that are not SOF-specific, but are assigned to our formation. The analysis will require close coordination with the services before a decision is made on which specialties, if any, will require a request for exemption from the integration policy.
Our Components are in the process of conducting a thorough review with emphasis on our organization, training, education and leader development programs. They will report their findings in July 2014.
SOF standards have always been gender-neutral; they are just “the standard.” Our review will be a good opportunity to verify this assumption. And we will look at every task in each of our entry level qualification courses to be sure they are decisively tied to an operational requirement. Gender-neutral occupational standards will be validated not later than September 2015.
We have asked our Joint Special Operations University to conduct multiple studies, including one primarily focused on the social implications of integrating women at the team level. Their findings are due in July 2014, as well.
Additionally, we have commissioned RAND to provide analysis on both the behavioral and cultural aspects of integrating women into our formations that operate in remote environments, in order to get a non-biased third party analysis of our qualification course standards.
RAND will also report their findings in July 2014.
All positions will be identified as either open or exempted by the Secretary of Defense by 1 Jan 16.
I want to reiterate that we are not predisposed to any particular course of action, and no decisions have been made regarding our course of action. I am committed to maintaining the highest standards and delivering the most qualified SOF operators to this Nation, regardless of gender.
Adm. William H. McRaven


Read more: http://sofrep.com/22765/admiral-mcra...#ixzz2XlOD2MXf
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Last edited by everex5; 07-01-2013 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Just as long as women can pull their own weight all is well but that goes for everybody on the special forces team though.
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Chair force special ops? Is that something like advanced reclining? Maybe swivel bar stools?
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ashley Scherff: I hope they're making them pass exactly the same physical fitness tests as the men! Sorry but when my husband needs rescued, I want someone going in there to get him that can physically pick him up and carry home to safety.
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United States Air Force: Ashley, the Air Education and Training Command physical performance test and standards study will be used to develop and validate occupationally specific, operationally relevant, and gender-neutral Air Force physical performance tests and standards for all seven closed air force specialty codes. (VH)

Double speak translation: We're going to come up with a set of standards that both genders can pass.[/
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Old 06-19-2013, 05:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by everex5 View Post
Ashley Scherff: I hope they're making them pass exactly the same physical fitness tests as the men! Sorry but when my husband needs rescued, I want someone going in there to get him that can physically pick him up and carry home to safety.
Like Reply 158 3 hours ago via mobile

United States Air Force: Ashley, the Air Education and Training Command physical performance test and standards study will be used to develop and validate occupationally specific, operationally relevant, and gender-neutral Air Force physical performance tests and standards for all seven closed air force specialty codes. (VH)

Double speak translation: We're going to come up with a set of standards that both genders can pass.[/
plenty of strong women. you'll be fine.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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plenty of strong women. you'll be fine.
The problem is that, historically, when the military has opened up new fields to women they haven't enforced the existing physical fitness standards and allowed those women who can meet them to join.

They've lowered the standards to give more women a "fair" chance to join the group. That's great on paper, and yay for equality, until you're in a situation where you and your gear weight 190 pounds, but the minimum "drag test" was reduced to 150 pounds and the woman trying to pull you out of a burning helicopter isn't physically able to do it.

I have ZERO objection to the thought of a woman in a combat role. But some roles properly have a brute strength requirement, and the average woman isn't as strong as the average man.
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Old 06-20-2013, 10:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Women should be able to do whatever they want to do, as long as they are treated the same way. If there's a 225 lb squad member and you can't sling him over your shoulder to carry his *** out in a **** storm, you don't belong in that squad.
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Average men and average women can't cut it in SF.

My only concerns about this are lowering of standards to qualify (and the lives that this endangers) and wasted time and money when people (either gender) start deciding to sue because they didn't get in.
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