First Women Deployed on Spec Ops Teams

This morning we ran a story on that furthered the debate on whether the Army should allow females in front-line, combat arms units.

Army Special Operations Command has deployed its first teams of female Soldiers assigned to commando units in Afghanistan, and military officials are assessing their initial performance in theater as “off the charts.”

In a controversial move early this year, the Army created a new avenue for women to serve with front-line combat units in some of the most specialized and covert missions. The so-called “Cultural Support Teams” are attached to Special Forces and Ranger units to interface with the female population to gain vital intelligence and provide social outreach.

“When I send an [SF team] in to follow up on a Taliban hit … wouldn’t it be nice to have access to about 50 percent of that target population — the women?” said Maj. Gen. Bennet Sacolick, commander of the Army Special Warfare Center and School, which runs the CST program.

“And now we’re doing that with huge success,” Sacolick said. “They are in Afghanistan right now and the reviews are off the charts. They’re doing great.”

I’ve got to be honest with you, I was a bit skeptical of this program when we first wrote about it on (the program was originally called “female engagement teams” rather than the new “cultural support teams”) back in February, but after seeing the picture above, I was impressed. Sacolick is right: for the Special Forces mission to succeed, the force needs “enablers” like these gutsy women every bit as much as it needs JTACs. Their training program is sound and they gain valuable combat experience (and an SF combat patch) before going back to their parent units.

We’ll see how this evolves — I could see these women getting a bit more specialized training so that they actually could “fight their way in” if they need to. Having them on the ground as early as possible would certainly help.

  • Steven R.

    great idea and implementation but somebody is not gonna be happy especially rangers having to babysit

  • Golf

    I have no problem with giving females a chance to be in combat units but they should adhere to the exact same standards as males. What most are afraid of is that they lower the standards for females in the name of “giving them a chance.” That is wrong, they should train hard just like males if they want to make it in combat units. Sadly it looks like the compromising has already begun based on what the General said in your article: “I place less emphasis on the immediate physical standards,” Sacolick said. The hire ups are now going to push this issue even further using this experiment as evidence for change even though those teams are just combat support and not actual combat teams.

    • M-1

      Totally agree. “Equality” means SAME standards. They will never be respected otherwise. I do think they bring some skills to the table that us guys don’t see as “important”, but the reality on the ground sez different. Not all women want or qualify for combat duty, that is a fact, but the ones that do AND train same as they guys, should get their chance at hell week & deployment to hots spots… they want it? they got it.

      • Dan

        Combat ain’t a popularity contest. The enemy wont be easy on you just cause you’re a girl.

  • Steven R.

    Yeah we have female CIA paramilitary officers all over the world including Afghanistan, Bt I didn’t know about SF always having them in the units like what the article says.

    • Golf

      The primary role of the CIA is to gather Intel covertly not to kick in doors and get in firefights. The SAD is the only unit within the CIA that conducts those type of operations I believe and most of those members are made up of former JSOC members which are only made up of males. If there are females in the SAD, I’m sure they have proven themselves. Those type of units wouldn’t lower their standards just to give females a chance. Give them a chance, just don’t lower the standards. That’s what most of us are saying.

  • Markstrid

    We have had female soldiers on frontline for years they dont need any special treatment and are equally good or better then the average soldier usually because they are questioned on their skill so they train harder. There wont be many female soldiers qualifying for SF teams but as infantry no problem. And for SF teams its a common thing to bring experts in different fields with them so why not a female as long as she performs like a average Joe??
    Swedish infantry Officer afghanistan

  • Nathan

    If your gonna let em in.. make them do the same crap as the men… they wanted equal treatment so give them equal treatment… bye bye pedestal…

  • Will

    So the same people who told us that the UCP is a good camouflage pattern, that there no issues with the M4 are now telling us that the so-called “Cultural Support Teams” are a huge success. Sorry got to call BS on this.

  • Wow……loving the non-sexist comments above. I guess if it were up to all of you guys, women would still be secretaries and stay at home moms :b

    • LittleJohn

      Well if you can’t cut it or aren’t qualified for the job at hand then yes that would probably be their best bet.

    • GatintheHat

      Sexist? How is demanding the same standards that men live up to from women sexist?

  • markstrid

    Well u bring a worthless IP along to be able too talk to men why cant u bring a female infantry soldier too reach the other 50%???? Not saying all IP are worthless but many arent exactly soldier material.

  • geckcgt

    Not being sexist, but at least they’re operating in all female engagement groups.

    I’m saying that because there’s been a history of overaggression, and genetics kicking in (from the men) when female squad members were wounded.

    The instinct of “save the women first” has apparently plagued militaries that incorporate both sexes in the same squad.

    IMHO, until that stigma is gotten rid of, I don’t support integrating both genders, wouldn’t want to be the sergeant that has to watch his squad drop one by one just because they’re not thinking and are all spraying ammo, and popping out of cover to run to a wounded soldier.

  • quicksaber

    I will hold them to the same standards because a 100 pounds of gear and 100 + degree heat or 20 – cold and or a 20 mile march or a enemy bullet don’t know the difference. Thats the laws of physics not sexist.

    • bbb

      Because I’m sure you’re a flawless specimen of man, chief.

      • Littlejohn

        I’m failing to see where he claims he is or is that just a baseless accusation?

        • bbb

          I’m simply saying that physics and gender are irrelevant if the individual woman has the skills and the physical capability to do the same job, especially when there are plenty of males who would be incapable of doing what said women can do.

          • Will

            True, I’ve seen many examples of women outperforming men. But that was in the movies, it still counts, right?

          • bbb

            Because you’ve been on how many combat tours to make your opinion on women in combat worth something?

  • That is not my issue. I agree that all personal in the field should be held to the same standards.The problem arrives when everyone automatically assumes that all women are incapable of performing such physically and emotionally demanding task. Even though it has been shown that biologically speaking women are better at handling pain and emotional stress. Which is a requirement for giving birth, (just giving a sample).
    This doesn’t mean we will see that every woman who tries to be part of a SpecOps Unit will be accepted. Even more so, I am sure the vast majority of women wouldn’t even bother applying, just like there aren’t that many women who join the service, compared to the number of men who do.
    And for those who do wish to apply, of course they will be put to the test. No one wants to baby sit anyone while on duty, whether they are man or woman.
    Seriously, it amazes me how much crap women get every time they try to push their way in to what has been a man dominated field for so long. Even though they have shown for the past decades that all they require is the chance, and they will demonstrate what they are capable of. Is the country seriously O.K. with female figures such as Sara Palin been in charge of the most powerful nation in the world, as President of The United States (not trying to voice my political opinion); but not with female soldiers fighting side by side with their country man to defend the nation?

    • GatintheHat

      So basically, you advocate for the inclusion of women into combat units on the basis that they are supposedly better at handling pain and emotional stress, despite the fact that every man who serves with SOF has those exact same qualities. Then, you backpedal and state that “I am sure the vast majority of women wouldn’t bother applying..”. Essentially, you want this to happen because the politically correct image of a woman who probably won’t bring any advantages to a team, running around in tactical gear, shooting people in the face is novel to you. With the sole exception mentioned in the article, there is no real role for a female in an ODA team, especially in the ME where women rank equally with animals.

      • GatintheHat

        No real role that a man is already capable of doing…forgot to add that..

  • FormerSFMedic

    As a former Army SF operator, I have to say that I believe woman offer new capabilities for the ODA. As SF, we work on a different median than the conventional Army. That median is people. Having woman augmented with the ODA will help with this unique mission. With that being said, I think the Army would be better off forming “Special Tactics Teams” of woman operators than trying to make them Green Beret’s. I don’t think we are even close to doing that anyway. This is simply a specialized need that is being fulfilled at this time. We are along way off from integrating woman into Infantry and Special Operations.

  • Mindbender

    Same standards all the way around. The problem will be the men who cannot believe that a woman could meet the standards. The reason for their disbelief will be that it was hard for them to do so no woman could ever do it especially in units with high attrition rates in training (SF, Rangers, etc.). In all my years in the Army I have known a dozen or so women who could make the cut of their own willfulness.

  • 18E

    By no means does mean that women are able to conduct combat operations at the same level as men do in information , whether it be via Clinic/Med Cap or conducting post operation KLEs with the local women. I’ve had Marine FET attached to my team, they’ve performed exceptionally well when working with women, and that’s it. I’ve had a CA female by to her credit probably one of the most fit females out there in today’s military, by no means physically able to perform to the same standard as the men. Not to mention she was unable to even physically reload our GMV’s 200 round ammo cans for the 50 cal. But she was the CA team’s “gunner.” Females are enablers, by no means do they make themselves more “special” than the ordinary female soldier .

    • 18E

      Typo* women aren’t able to perform to the same standards physically but are able to gather information where men are able to with the female populace. There will always be that tradeoff.

  • PBO

    We had them in the Australian Army in the 90’s.

  • MarineMustang

    When I was in, being a woman USMC, I was able to do dead hang pull-ups of 10 I did not train beyond that number; however I could have done so. When the “swing was allowed vs the dead hang ups came in” on swings I could do 30 pull-ups fairly easy 1 of 2 (the other was a male) which the group of 200 younger military men 190 males and 10 women including myself were the only ones who could do the 30 pull-ups which prior to the pull-ups were told we would be allowed to opt out of the three-mile run that was left having ran 1.5 miles in the Battalion. He and I did not drop out of the run although we were allowed to.
    Further I was able to do 100 sit-ups in 1-minute (time maximum for guys at the time; woman were allowed 2-minutes of which I cold normally do around 180 in the 2-minute time frame.
    On running, I could if “pushed by myself” could run 3-miles in 19 minutes & 30 seconds.
    True not many woman can nor will fulfill the the arduous physical qualifications ; but on the flip side not all MALES can nor want to qualify on any SPECOP team , regardless of the service.
    As NATO is “trying to win hearts and minds war” woman are needed esp. if non-family males are not supposed to touch a true Muslim even if they are not a true fanaticism, but they still have strong beliefs that non-Muslims let alone another male frisk them .
    Oh yeah with that being said, do not forget last year several men under a Burqa “slipped out of SpecOP hands” as they had no woman assigned to them regardless of beyond boot camp, some field combat training prior as they were doing as told not to press frisking woman in the various Muslim majority controlled countries. There were a few even in old Yugoslavia late 1990’s.

    • MarineMustng

      Further, you Males don’t even go there, I am not a lesbian. I am straight and have had a husband for 15 years until I landed in a wheel chair and told I probably not walk again. I have proved everyone wrong and walk now and even more! All from various injures incurred over many years in the service from Quantico, Va to ROK Korea, even down under on the West-side Australia.

    • asswipe

      You stupid bitch, just because you can do the same amount of pull-ups and stuff don’t mean you are just as strong as the males…. You have to think about how much you weigh. Of course you are going to do the same amount of reps.


    next year we’re ( AUS) going to be having women in combat aswell, and half the population voted for it, i think its crap, but then last night i saw on the governemtn criticising ghadafi for training women how to use guns ? that whole lybian thing is a crock of shit . Theres got to be something more to it then civil war, why isnt there an intervention for syria ?

  • markstrid

    Well i guess your culture aint mature for women at the frontlines if u cant separate a female for mating from a female soldier. When your culture has matured maybe u can enjoy the benefits of both sexes in armed combat.
    Afghan vet

  • MCO2

    I wonder what its like to grow up with the memory of the “Americans” whose women walked around with rifles and talked to their men as equals? Awesome job Army enfranchising 50% of the Afghan population for probably the first time iever and for giving them input on activities affecting their community by employing female operators.

  • Roger

    You’re contradicting yourself.

  • barney

    Really nothing new and i say use all of the tools in your tool box.Women can and do bring allot more to the unit and help in accomplishing the mission.Those who have negative remarks about women in the unit are insecure about themselves and really don’t have a clue how effective having women can be.Women power all the way!!!!!. Hey jack m off you don’t have any problems with women in the CIA doing the same things as other agents. Wipe the crud from your eyes and open that narrow thinking women throught history have played major roles in winning battles.I am 100% all for women in these rolls and then some and for those little boys who can’t handle it on the play ground get over it!.If the only person around was a woman to save your little life what are you going to say?, no?, your going to say help and please so get up to speed women work!

    • GatintheHat

      I’m honestly curious about your first remark of “Women can and do bring alot more to the unit and help in accomplishing the mission.” Yeah, I’m sure they’ve seen action as medics and truck drivers, but what skills can they bring to an ODA team besides the one mentioned above? skill that a man isn’t already doing as part of an A Team. Notice that at least one of the posters who has concerns about this is a combat veteran who has served in this particular unit and knows what he’s talking about. Labeling such a person as “insecure” because his own personal experience does not agree with your “hooah” attitude seems…unsound. So please, explain.

  • Robert C. Zornes

    Put 70 pounds of parachute on them, 80 pounds of gear, food and water and start humping. I tell you from practical experience it doesn’t work. That’s not to say wome women can’t do it but there are inherent problems with the female nantomy that make it impractical. Women work fine when they have a platfrom to work from. That is, on a ship, in an airplane or maybe on a tracked vehicle. Does anybody ever say let them tee of from the same tees in golf? Or play in the NBA with the men? There’s a reason.

    I once had a guerilla band in an SF training operation that had females from a support unit. Thier Colenel came out and asked if they were geting taken in for showers and to clean up each day. I told hin no. He said they had to. I told them that if I traveled the roads that much I would compromise my team and if they went in again, they were staying there.

    I can also tell you that this was tried in Afghanistan and some of thenm couldn’t hump three miles.

    • barney

      I see you look for the downsides but ignore the many bennies women bring that men can’t do.You lack insight and have a closed mind to warfare which in the end make you lose the war. I don’t want to school you on the history and role women have played in the past in war because it would make you feel even dumber then you are now. I knew many troops who came fresh into theater who fell and couldn’t hump it out. Your statement shows that you may label yourself SF but that’s a joke. Real pro’s know what’s up.

  • Lloyd

    My contacts say the program is a huge success so far. I just sent our battalion’s first qualified Female Engagement Team member downrange. She transferred to our unit (an MI instructor battalion) a year ago and approached me on the first day with the question, “How can I deploy with an SF team?” We made a plan to get her through 35M (Human Intelligence Collector) school, a DLPT in a relevant language (she chose Farsi) and get her in shape for selection (which proved unnecessary – she’s a triathlete and a power lifter). If she did that, I’d make a few phone calls. She performed magnificently in the face of formidable REMF opposition from both the school and the brigade. I had at one point to ask the division commanding general to intercede. The fitness standards are a minimum 210 on the APFT, and 6 miles with a 35 lb ruck in 1 hour 39 minutes.
    She’s very happy and proud. The only downside, according to her, is that there aren’t any other lesbians on her team.

    • barney

      A sad attempt at humor, make all the lame jokes and statements but women are here to stay and they work. Make the excuses but they are a great tool to use in combat maybe not in the narrow minded way you claim but i know you can’t think outside of the box or you would be all for it. Many of our allies and enemies use women for a very long time with great outcomes and history has shown the same thing.

  • markstrid

    To >Robert C Zornes========= BS

  • crackedlenses

    Why do you have to prove you are as tough as a guy? Leastways that’s how this is coming across…..

  • GatintheHat

    There’s always one of you people who posts when Kitup puts up a story like this. You insult everyone with a different opinion or reasonable concern, regardless of their personal experience with whatever the issue is. Then, you throw out your overwhelming support for whatever issue it is, without giving any supporting arguments to defend your beliefs. Then, when the inevitable person asks you to go into detail (me), you call them “narrow minded” or “closed minded” because they’re not a mindless, brainwashed, liberal (you), rattling their particular sabre in support of your rant. Not only did you fail to answer my question, you gave an ignorant response. “Look into history” you say. OK, in the history of the US Army Special Forces, there have been no outstanding accounts of women handling themselves notably in combat in a manner decisive to a victory in a battle. Likewise, almost all roles that women have played in SOF units have been intelligence related. But then you would know that, and understand that there is no evidence to suggest their outstanding combat ability and record of influencing major battles in a Special Operations capability.

  • Nmate

    I remember reading in the 1990s, as a child, that Delta used women for intelligence gathering. As with anything related to that unit, who knows if it’s true. The point being, a man and a woman observing a target will draw a lot less attention that two large men would. Two women might even draw less scrutiny from security forces. These women were not operators, they didn’t pull triggers, but they had a very important job and did it well.

    I don’t have a problem with women being combat troops. As long as they can meet the same standards as the men, they should be allowed. That point is a must, though. They must be required to meet the same physical standards. Could many women do it? Probably not. Could some do it? Absolutely.

  • lonewolf4172

    Excellent point and well said.

  • lonewolf4172

    Great idea but sadly this is too little to late. Females should have been integrated and utilized much sooner.

    As a former PSYOP Team SGT with SOF and Conventional Army experience, I can personally vouch as to the effectiveness of females as “intelligence gatherers”.

    In the CAPSYOP community, winning hearts and minds is what they do and female PSYOP soldiers are specifically trained for this type of mission. Along with the regular training that IET soldiers receive, they also are granted a security clearances and receive advanced language, cultural and tactics training.

    Unfortunately due to policy, politcs, and perception these highly trained female soldiers were rarely given the opportunity to use their skills. Often they were kept at HQ to do admin or other support activities.

    However, I hope with the success that the Army has with this program, thedecision makers will see the value that woman have in the GWOT and change policy that reflects with the times.

  • barney

    hey crap in the hat you were insulting women just look at your posting dofus! you just can’t handle the true facts that women can do the job of men. you better check again moron in history i don’t have to school you do i? this would make you look even dumber then you are.

    • guest

      its hard to school someone when you dont even say anything to support your rantings. you are just dodging.

  • barney

    All i see are to many archie bunkers thumping their chests and thinking with very small narrow minds.You all claim to be big men this and big men that but really your just little thinkers who mean nothing. I am glad they are using women more because they are effective and have proven themselves before in the history of warfare. Use all the tools in the box push them to the max and think outside the box is what wins wars.Don’t like it? don’t read this or respond protest this by not saying a thing.

  • guest

    and how many combat tours have you been through

  • nraddin

    Women can actually carry more weight per lbs than men. They also have a lower center of gravity which means they can pick up more weight per lbs easier and it’s harder for them to fall over or even loose their balance. Women are better shots on average than men and can handle on average 2 degrees more heat than a man (Before needing cooling). Women tend to be better logical problem solvers and make smaller targets. They also tend to be less effected by adrenaline when it comes to problem solving and shooting.

    Not saying men suck here, they are larger in general so can carry more weight but if you look at the statistics based on scientific data you can’t help but think Women might be better soldiers all around.

  • barney

    My name is barney and i think your awesome and i have been trying very hard on this post to stick up for the women against pig headed morons who have had nothing but the lamest comments with their macho boy mental thoughts. I am very very proud of you and other women like yourself.I myself during the stone age years when it was never even heard of worked with women who could plow under many of these jerks and performed above and beyond the call of duty. To bad it was back in the cold war days when everything was hush hush for everyone and never mentioned and won’t be for another 25 years down the road. I have been attacked for my true statements about women through history in war and how very effective and equal you all are. I am proud to say comrade and i hope to see more women in the future working side by side with men.Thank you for posting!

  • Vicar

    Absolutely correct, USAR Civil Affairs has women all the way down to the CA Team level – the CAT-A. We had a CA outfit deployed at the start of OIF 1 directly attached to 10th SFG(A), and that CA outfit had women, and those women were in billets down to that CAT-A. And those CAT-A’s went all over the AO…sometimes with SF, and sometimes on their own…more often on their own. And at that time, USAR CA was part of USASOC. Not saying those women, or those CA units were SF, or anything of the kind, but they were Special Operations units and they were attached to and directly supporting an SF Group and all its units.

  • HSC

    As the father of two Battalion Rangers one of these Cultural Support Team members was older than most of the Rangers and decided to be their conscious when they had to go in hard. She question their tactics at almost every turn. They don’t go through their training cycle don’t bond with the units. And the wives weren’t too thrilled either. That is a story in itself

  • jim

    hey crap in the hat MarineMustang puts you in your place boy!

    • GatintheHat

      Yes and no. Yes, she’s physically capable, yes there are guys who can’t meet the standards for entry into a SOF unit, and yes, I’m sure she could beat me down in real life if she took offense to what I posted. That said, the difference here is that female Marines employed in FETs are not Special Operations personnel. My comments were in regards women being actively deployed in ODA teams as combatants instead of the role mentioned in the article above. My question to barney was, and still is, how can making as fundamental a change in SOP as adding women to an ODA make the team deadlier and better able to do their job than they are currently able to do. So far, the only answer’s that I’ve received are rabid accusations of alleged sexism and “narrow mindedness”. My question stands Jim.

  • jim

    HSC Marine mustange puts you in your place read her posting and weep puzzy

  • crackedlenses

    You don’t want to hear from the silent majority ever, because that means that the problem has gotten out of hand…..

  • Caitlin

    Wow. “Some of them couldn’t hump three miles,”?? And that’s reason enough to eliminate the entire female gender from combat ops? There are plenty of your ‘almighty’ men that cannot do that either!
    I attend a service academy, and can beat most of my male counterparts in a ruck run. My longest distance event was the Bataan Death March, which I ran this year, with OVER 50 lbs (including water – 47 lbs of straight weight) in a rucksack. This was a 26.2 mi event in sandy terrain, for which I DID NOT TRAIN, and I finished in a time of 6hours and 16 minutes. But because ‘some women’ that you have interacted with cannot “hump three miles,” women of my caliber and better should be automatically eliminated as a matter of course?

  • None

    Actually, our team is very supportive of our mission and of having us on the ground. I know it may be difficult to believe but CSTs are being requested because of the impact being made on ground.

  • MarineAuntie

    Babysit? How insulting. You’re implying these women are not competent warfighters in their own right. Plenty of women have proved their capabilities and their courage in the past nine years. Give the male chauvinistic “Suzy the Scared Little Screamer” crap a rest. Women have proved they can do the job.

  • MarineAuntie

    WHAT planet are you on where women get all this special treatment? Aside from the fact that they have to deal with an apathetic leadership which has failed to rein in the rape and sexual assault crisis which is occurring on an epidemic level, they have to deal with people like you questioning their work ethic or accusing them of getting special treatment. Men in the military don’t have to worry about whether their brothers will turn on them and treat them like a piece of meat or a handy prostitute, but it’s something women deal with every day. Despite that they still want to serve. They’re not asking for special treatment, but they are demanding and are owed respect.

  • MarineAuntie

    Point to a study which supports what you say because every study I’ve ever seen says the exact opposite. The women who have been in combat have performed as well as the men and there has been no evidence that the men tend to be overprotective of the women as you describe.

  • Anon

    Because of all the comments upthread and downthread about how women can’t hack it and shouldn’t be permitted? MM is just showing them that THIS woman could. And good for her!

  • elric

    Ummm lets be clear. They are not Special Forces. They are soldiers working to support the ODAs. That is very different from being an operator. ODAs often augment the teams with personnel with special skill sets from outside the community, such as EOD, USAF CTTs (SOF but not Special Forces), and augment teams with conventional units to provide area security while Teams execute their mission. That being said, there will have to be some minimum physical and psychological screening and training (SERE comes to mind) to ensure their presence is self supporting.

  • Dan

    I’m on planet Earth, and I know of a prostitution ring run by lower enlisted females on my last deployment whose clients ranged from E-fuzzies to E-7s which gave them the top cover needed to do whatever they wanted. That ended, by the way, with a sexual assault charge for a joe who went into one of the females’ old rooms thinking she was still there only to find that a female from the incoming unit we were RIPing with was living there. Going rate? $300 for the whole shebang, the amount that could be drawn for casual pay every month.

    That’s an extreme case, so here’s a milder one. Had a specialist that came in as an E4 because of college credit who was the most arrogant disrespectful and out of shape soldier on the FOB. She threw a fit and started obscenely crying to the point that the NCO talking to her, a friend of mine, asked me to hang around in case anyone thought a black man was trying to rape a white girl while she was going nuts because they didn’t let her go on a mission. I talked to her NCOIC and 1SG routinely about her disrespecting NCOs and officers, and on top of that, she couldn’t even do her damn job. Apparently undisciplined, disrespectful, and ignorant of your field means you’re fit to be an NCO because they sent her to the board and promoted her.

    On the flip side, I’ve known stellar women, enlisted and commissioned, who I have no doubt would do well in combat arms. Unfortunately for them, their fellow sisters help propagate the negative views, attitudes, and treatment you complain about through their actions. With that said, I think women have as much a right to fight and die for their country as men, but if you want a shot in the infantry, you’re gonna need thick skin.

  • Chris

    They’re not getting the SF tab. The patch is worn by anyone serving in Special Forces Command, including the admin guys in the S1 shop.

  • MountainWife

    Roger that. This crap is so old, with each new group claiming “look, we’re the first to ever think this up”. In Afghanistan alone, I was on CJSOTF teams working this shit with females back in 2007…only I wasn’t stupid enough to think it was some new thing…or dumb enough to push pictures and brag to the world about what we were doing. Amateurs.

  • crackedlenses

    So? So what if she can? There aren’t hundreds of her just waiting to sign up if we allow women wherever they please in the military. And I dare you to tell the Israelis, who have not used women in combat roles since their 1948 war, that they are being chauvanistic or what have you…..

  • vermin

    ********. They receive special treatment at every step and are, almost without exception, useless in combat.

  • v.mccann

    Perhaps you would care to support your claims with a study. There haven’t been ant studies that have accurarely made such comparisons. All you need to do is look at the complete and utter failure of women to perform during training to understand why its absurd to put them in combat.

  • v.mccann

    But the problem is that because virtually no women have the required skills, we lower the standards and get people killed. PC bullshit is more important than human life.

  • v.mccann

    “The problem arrives when everyone automatically assumes that all women are incapable of performing such physically and emotionally demanding task. Even though it has been shown that biologically speaking women are better at handling pain and emotional stress.”

    The reason we make those “assumptions” is because they’re supported by thousands of years of history. Women are not better either at handling physical pain or biological stress. That’s just feminist propaganda.

  • v.mccann

    That’s all total nonsense. Women can carry far less in proportion to their body weight, because they have a much lower percentage of muscle. They are also much more likely to suffer heat injuries for the same reason.

    • nraddin

      Look it up man. Your wrong. I wrote a whole paper on this exact thing for one of my biology classes in high school. This was awhile ago, but I don’t think that women have changed that much in the last 20 years.

      • V.mccann

        Post a source. Women are much weaker that men in proportion to their body weight. That’s why their standards, on say, the Marine Corps CFT, where they have to carry someone of their size are so much lower. The single biggest predisposing factor the heat injuries is percentage of body fat. Women naturally have a much higher percentage of fat.

  • v.mccann

    Yes. Because the military doesn’t have the advantage of hand selecting individuals and is forced to make do with whomever shows up. Also, you are almost certainly a liar.

    • nraddin

      The military does hand select people. Sure they have to select from the people that show, but they have far more people show up each year than they need, so they get to select from them. Not that this even matters, the question is can they do the job? If the answer is yes and you are still saying no, it just shows that your sexist not that women shouldn’t be allowed. I know dozens of women that can easily pass all the requirements to graduate from inf school. (Mostly women that are in the services already).

      I suspect your problem is that this is a boys club, and you don’t like the idea that women might be as good as the boys. I am sorry that you are stuck in the mentality of the 1950s but this is different decade, century and millennia from that one. You say the same kinds of things that they said about blacks when they entered the services, it was idiotic then and it’s idiotic now.

  • v.mccann

    Actually, there are hundreds of cases of male/male sexual assault every year, but you’re right; the problem is much more substantial regarding men towards women. Women needing to be protected from male soldiers is one of the many kinds of special treatment they require.

  • v.mccann

    The actual, empirically collected data disagrees with you. Regardless, meeting the minimun standards is not an adequate test. The standards are so low that they’re a meaningless joke. On top of that, we’ve had to lower the already meaningless standards in order to facilitate the delusions of feminists and those otherwise entirely divorced from reality. The fact that your side of this argument has argument other than acusing people like me of being close minded is very telling.

  • v.mccann

    On average, males are physically stronger than females. The difference is due to females, on average, having less total muscle mass than males, and also having lower muscle mass in comparison to total body weight. While individual muscle fibers have similar strength, males have more fibers due to their greater total muscle mass. The greater muscle mass of males is in turn due to a greater capacity for muscular hypertrophy as a result of men’s higher levels of testosterone. Males remain stronger than females, when adjusting for differences in total body weight. This is due to the higher male muscle-mass to body-weight ratio.

  • Ploc

    physically men and women are built different, how do you hold both to the same standard, impossible, or should I say wrong.

  • youcantread

    there are many typo’s in that post to include the “typo*” correction. I don’t even understand what you “meant” to say… what is more “special” than ordinary female soldier mean? Is that like saying you are ‘more special’ than a female soldier because you are a man/boy?

  • dawn

    I am in the military and do not have a “different” pt test… what are the two?

  • truthful

    the “empirically collected data” says that the standards are so low because the community can’t get good enough people to WANT it anymore.. and are NON VOLing people!

  • HSC

    Jeez Jim you do sound puzzy whipped. Sorry I stepped on that sensitive tail of yours. Of course your response is probably typical. discourse for you.

  • Indianmedicine

    I notice many Prior & Current SOF types responding in the positive – because it is a positive for ODA’s, & SOF in general. You have to think outside the conventional wisdom, & look at the OBJECTIVE.
    I am professionally proud of that ability in SOF Members – gender is just a word.

  • Guest

    there are not two PT tests but there are two different standards.

  • guest

    Must score a minimum of 240 points on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), with no less than 60 points on any event, using the standards for age group 17-21. Must be able to meet medical fitness standards as outlined in AR 40-501. All Soldiers will be given a 50 meter swim assessment, conducted in uniform, to determine whether they have the aptitude to learn how to swim.

  • Chris

    All everyone is saying is there should NOT be relaxed standards for females… I don’t care if a woman want to go special forces or combat oriented positions but she needs to crank out just as many push ups and meet the SAME standards as the next GUY, end of story, if they can’t get lost…. You want your owed respect compete on an EQUAL level!

  • curiousMe

    enjoy? that’s what we’re afraid of.

  • Short, sweet, to the point, FREE-exactly as inorfmaiton should be!

  • iH3s5w byetwdkqyhcu

  • openmindedone

    But why women want to serve in that capacity? Is that needed to show something to someone?
    There must be respect for women, and men. But to grab a weapon to try to prove that “isms” are right or wrong, may be less perfect effort.
    Bit more traditional roles are safest bet on long run. And also,any kind of chauvinism is plain and simple bad.
    And yes, my profession entails that I carry a weapon. But that does not make me a bigger man.

  • Griselda

    how long did it take you to train?? You didnt just wake up one day and had all strength there .


    there is proof

  • chance

    Women should be able to serve on the front lines and i as a guy wouldn’t mind having a girl serving right by me and ever think because of getting intel how wrong it can be that women can get closer to the enimie then any guy could so that means getting the high value targets sooner and faster

  • Angela

    Give me a break! Really!? What the **** do you think women in SF support units do? So they don’t go to the Q course but they train every single day with Green Berets. Even when they are pregnant so cut the crap. Wow. This is unbelievable. I spent many months with a bunch of “men” who couldnt even pass the PT test that is set for women standards. Ha what a freaking joke. There are tons of women in combat today who HAVE proven that they could go to isolated FOBS and even go to COPS. I was 130pounds and I carried my 100 pound weight of tools (since I was a mechanic) with no problems. I rucked with the guys and worked with SF. Then I got a request to be in an SF Unit. Give me a break. I am sorry you will have your pride hurt and ego smashed if a woman upstages you(which I have seen it done on quite a few different occasions in Afghanistan). Pathetic comments!

    • When I was in SF we never trained with women. That was my experience anyway.

  • femalevet

    theres exceptions to every rule…you just make it out to be the norm and thats not the case. btw there are more pos males in the army than females. good ol boy system

  • rick collins

    I seemed to have missed the point of this ongoing conversation. It seems perfectly clear that women have excelled in the SOF role – as part of cultural contact teams/
    “Lionesses”, Civil Affairs, etc. Historically, even an extremely sexist society such as the old defunct Soviet Union was compelled to use women as ground combatants in partisan units or as fighter pilots during the life and death struggle against Hitler and his allies.
    Listen, if a woman or man meets the rigorous requirements and successfully competes to gain a spot in our SOF units , well , more power to her. She will have earned her slot/billet in one those very special “Bands of Brothers(Sisters)” at whatever role that she can serve our beloved country.

  • for fun

    Even if being able to carry more weight per lbs is true, it makes absolutely no difference. We don’t carry wieght according to our own body weight. We carry what we need to carry, regardless of how much the gear weighs. Carrying 70-80 lbs of gear is still going to be the norm regardless of ***, and in general women are quite simply less capable of doing it than men. This is not meant to be a judgment of how sound and idea CST’s are at all. I have yet to work with one so I reserve my judgment until a later date. I just wanted to point out that woman being able to carry more per pound is irrelevent.

  • pseudoSOF

    really? There are females in SAD? You know that there are female CIA paramilitary officers, but you did NOT know SF having them?

  • pseudoSOF

    There have been females in special operations forces for quite some time. So let’s be clear: they are special forces, just not 18-series.

  • pseudoSOF

    Probably because real SOF guys know that there are real SOF females.

  • Jersey

    Last portion of Infantry School is an 8 mile Force Road March with 70lbs on Soldiers Back.After a week long ARTAP,With 3-4 hours sleep a night. Easy you say.You not a grunt.

  • Menarealwaysbetter

    Of course women are not competent, thats why WE are in the combat arms and YOU talk with other “chicks” downrange listen to their gripes in the village. Now go be useful and make some cookies sweetheart, btw next time you can bench 315lbs, come talk to me. Other wise leave the war business to the best.

    • Chad (retired)

      Wow, have your ever talked to me that way I would put you in a nice tight bathrobe to make my dinner. You are talking to a solider that is probably a **** of lot better then you in any language, not to mention, experience. They do not need a “babysitter”, and they probably have more combat than you too… so I clearly can see where you have a problem with it.
      What did you not make SERE? I bet you they didn’t have a problem. Maybe you couldn’t make it through the “smart” phase….. It’s ok… and btw women don’t need to bench 315lbs, they just need to pull a 5 lbs. of trigger force to knock you are anyone down. So before you go off on a tangent about women that “can’t hang” go and hang out with one and see if they can “hang “or are you scared… its ok to say that you are… that robe is looking good on you and I like my toasted slightly burnt with a little butter and I like my eggs over easy.

  • Menarealwaysbetter

    Explain that to miss purty cheerleader with highlights and waxed eyebrows who grew up in a PC society. its pathetic to compare these women brought in to chat with local female variety along with MEN who kill bad guys for a living.

  • Menarealwaysbetter

    They are not inside of any SF teams, they are attached, just like the dog handler or the terp who translates for the commander. There other secondary mission is to party with the SOF boys and keep’em happy ;)….don’t believe me, ask any SOF dude in KAF, FENTY or BAF. They “love” their attached female teams. LOL, this article is PC crap for stupid civilians….HAHAHA

    • Chad (retired)

      wow, you are really good at using Google I am proud of you for all the acronyms , do you realize that you are the only person on this blog that actually puts down women, maybe you need a psych eval. And if you are in the military maybe you should turn in your commission, or retire.
      Question?, Were you beat by you mom or a women? I say this because you have no regard for a woman. To you they are baby makers and house wife’s, if you said that to my wife you might have a 45 slug in your knee , she doesn’t believe in killing but she will make you feel pain before you get arrested or die….. Whichever takes the shortest time?
      I believe in equal rights, if a person can do what I do good, put them there (no matter gender) , don’t dismiss because this because they are a female. Don’t dismiss them like they are useless, because that’s what you were taught; by your unschooled *** or FYI they don’t need you now and can make babies without you. That must hurt a little.
      So the next time you are in “combat” (I don’t think you ever have been) think of that female doctor or nurse or orderly that is taking care of you ( as you put it that they are only good in the rear)( sorry people, military term not the actual rear…… .) . Maybe you can change your mind about this, I know it might be hard and you might actually have to serve first, but really think if that person wasn’t there for me would I make it. Probably not.

  • Menarealwaysbetter

    Why don’t you cry after the cookies you are suppose to bake for me. Boohoo, ever looked at the PT test requirement of women compare to men, there is your special treatment. You DON’T belong……..

  • Menarealwaysbetter

    Well duh, We own the military. We fight the wars, and we kill bad guys, you are just eye candy….now help Aunt Martha or whatever bake some damn cookies.

  • Menarealwaysbetter

    RGR That bro.

  • Menarealwaysbetter

    Nope but I bet he is smarter than you ;), now go help that old lady with my cookies.

    • Chad (retired)

      Menareealwaysbetter, now I like my cookies hot, just FYI. If you were a real solider you wouldn’t think this way. I have met some female soldiers that could out do me in everything and I know that, that is the exception and not the rule, I realize that but your comments towards women really concern me. I really think you need help with you anger toward women.
      Maybe you are the hardcore person that you say you are. That’s great going, out there and fight for our country. Or yours……. (not sure if you are American) you type like you hate women. Is that the problem? Are you afraid a female can out do you? Get used to it. Deal with it.

  • Justin Lee Harris

    steven if u don’t have respect for soldiers get out of the UNITED STATES got me with out my wife being in the UNITED STATES Marines as a Major i would not have made in Iraq

  • B

    You must be infantry or a FOBBITT support guy. Either way every time I’ve had to deal with you unprofessionals, I lose 10 of my brain cells. However, whenever I (as a female) work with the real guys…nothing but the utmost respect from them because they see the bigger picture unlike conventional boys. Infantry…simply monkeys with guns and don’t have the intelligence to make it to the next level.

  • xcalbr

    “Infantry…simply monkeys with guns and don’t have the intelligence to make it to the next level.”

    In their defense, where do you think people that make it into “the next level” (LOL) come from? Infantry. I did. But I can certainly agree with you somewhat on that point. The ******** I dealt with was the reason why I moved on to greener pastures from the Infantry. The bureaucracy and illegality of government was the reason why I left :D

    When talking to members of the opposite ***, “do you speak to your mother or grandmother that way?”


    One thing that ****** me off is why do our women have to dress acording to the dam ******** custom? They are soldiers in the US military. That being said I would not want to depend on little Suzy trying to drag my butt back if I went down . I say if you let the split tails in you do not make any exceptions, they take and do the same training as the men.Not related to this but just a thought. We all no space is tight and at a premeum on a sub. Now that women are allowed on board what space is given up to stow their tampons and sub pluming was not designed to have them go thru the *******. Also being that some go out for 6 months at a time would you want to be under the water that certain time of the month with them?

  • Winghunter

    Israeli’s reveal what US military covers-up: Women must NOT be assigned to combat!

  • Winghunter

    Israeli’s reveal what US military covers-up: Women must NOT be assigned to combat!

  • Winghunter

    Despite the military brass best efforts, we see and hear of several instances of pregnant soldiers being sent home.

    Think back to how many stories over just the past few years about misconduct on ships and bases that has ruined HUNDREDS of soldiers careers which would not have happened if women weren’t present.

    If those facts weren’t pathetic enough:

    The Homosexual Agenda and the U.S. Military

    Pentagon DADT study was biased
    ”Where was it reported that 1,167 retired generals and flag officers support the ban on homosexuals? Why wasn’t the focus that the vast majority of our combat troops and Marines oppose a quad-sexual military?…
    Rather than asking if our troops were biased against LGBTs in the workplace, they should have asked questions concerning forced intimacy, forced morality and the LGBT medical readiness issues….”

  • Winghunter

    You could try to school me, Bubbha Barney. Just make the offer.

  • Winghunter

    I’ld love to see you try the bathrobe, retired or not, your mouth is writing checks your *** can’t cash.

    Primary weapon fails and a team memmber goes down in the line of fire. Do you pretend to think that 5 pounds of force will take care of the situation, idiot!?

    Yeah, LOVE to give you the chance for a bathrobe fitting.

  • Winghunter

    Oh? They don’t?? Get a clue, moron:

    Male Rape in the Military

  • Winghunter

    Female soldiers out do you in everything?? AND you were going to put someone in a bathrobe!? ROFL!

    Put the ***** down, do it now.

  • Get her in uniform to protect her from over zealous combat arms soldiers doing their
    J.O.B. I would think she is out of uniform would cause mishaps. Please please let us become a PEACE CORP. Disband the National Guard — They basically carried this
    war. PEACE CORP — USPC — OR UN/USPC. Yep,,, that will work. I have watched
    this infectious political correctness for too long. May the libertarians be content,
    and Commando in charge be glad and happy. It is sad state of affairs.

  • Santiago R.

    When females have to register for the draft, then we’ll talk about it.

  • Spud 11

    I believe it makes a lasting impression on the village elders when we care enough about them to bring our women along. It also serves to convince them of our peaceful intent. That’s powerful mojo that the misanthropic jihadis can’t fight. It must make them yank their beards out in imptent fury, and the thought of that makes me happy.

    Be safe out there, gals. Make us proud.


  • L. A. G.

    Look to Isreal — Requiring Military Service — Both Male & Female — FREEDOM — They EARN IT AND UNDERSTAND IT — A core sense of being an American is needed to keep us as the bench mark for the world to admire —
    YOU’VE GOT TO EARN IT TO UNDERSTAND IT — It’s truly sad that so many don’t understand the “Earn It” factor until AFTER they lose It !
    O & O

  • Women are some some times very much needed in frontline infentary units or holding SF units as We had very bad experience in SriLanka while IPKF operations and got many of our officers shot in back by Tamil Tiger wemen hidden cadres, which were the most snide and lethal even got our former prime minister killed by these Tamil female special forces trooper.

  • mka

    They are no more qualified to be rangers ,SF or any other “patch” than my wife.

    This is an insult to all who have earned this designation and an impossibility for99.9 %of all women unless they are roided up. They and the military have a lot of nerve calling these women anything but political correct clown acts. Put their soft handed ,menstruating fluffy

    asses in real training and see how wonderfully they work out.

  • mka

    bbb two tours tiger force Vietnam silver star bronze star purple heart and dd214 to prove it.

    wann bet 10,000 I am available with the proof.

  • mka

    waiting for your challenge and money sweetheart.

  • mka

    Just noticed this is an old-old post.Why not update something or just leave it out so us responder do not feel so taken.

  • himmul khan

    i say everyone should be given a chance to serve their country in the way they want too no matter wether they are men or women

  • ConcernedCitizen

    I have no problem with women tagging alongside SF teams, as long as they can handle themselves. As long as they stick with what they’re supposed to do, the “Cultural Support Team” or whatever, I have no issue. Giving them a Special Forces patch though? That’s asinine. They’re not Green Berets, no matter how much they play pretend. Now if a female could actually handle the physical requirements AS THEY STAND CURRENTLY for SF, I don’t see why it’d be an issue. The problem is, the majority of them can’t. The Military isn’t about equal rights. It’s about who can get the job done, quickly, efficiently and without loss of life.

  • Not Important

    Infantry is no joke, agreed. And for the Air Force SOF career field Combat Control, the assessment or “tryout” for crosstrainees just to be accepted into the 2+ years training pipeline for Combat Control consists of a week like that, accept the standards are higher and it also involves many water confidence areas that are challenging mentally to many. Also, it is still a try out so you can complete the assessment and they still do not select on average around 50% of those that make it through the assessment. My reference base: I’ve been to the Combat Control/ SOWT assessment.

  • OD LT

    That statement right there says it all: “Unfortunately for them, their fellow sisters help propagate the negative views, attitudes, and treatment “

    The acts of one individual are attributed to one’s gender instead of the individual’s personal shortcomings. Men, for the most part, don’t have to deal with this. Men who fall out of company runs or who can’t pass height and weight are considered failures because they didn’t try hard enough and their failures are not attributed to their gender. However if a woman falls out of a run it’s not because this person didn’t try hard enough but instead it’s because she’s a girl and girls can’t run fast. This sort of thinking is poisonous for the Army and it is the reason behind the difference in our PT standards.

    We live in a patriarchal society that, historically, has valued men over women. If the greater part of society realizes this and decides to modify attitudes and beliefs about gender, then maybe we will start accepting females serving in masculine roles.

    For my gender I am considered a PT stud, or studdet, however by male standards I am average. I had no difficulties passing the physical requirements of Air Assault School and I ended up being the only member from the FSC to complete the spur ride (it’s a CAV thing) and I would very much like to try out for this CST. I can’t bench 315 pounds but I can drag your fat ass to cover if need be. People look at me and consider me an anomaly and I hate it because it means they are seeing my gender only. I want people to see me as a Soldier. I’ve earned this uniform, these badges and patch. I am an American Soldier and I want to seen as one.

  • Roceo

    I am happy to hear women are given the opportunity; but at the same time these are jobs more suitable for males… women should learn how to hold their weight but should also realize that STANDARDS are everything to the USA military. No matter what political agenda this administration has, the military will always make it work… however, it seems to me standards are already being lowered… our infantry men will suffer unnecessarily… lets hope these women who want to be a part of the GRUNT task force will have the strength to keep up and/or bring fellow infantry men to safety. I hope these men realize that women shall succeed only in the presence of male testosterone clinging to keep a female safe from DEATH!!! Death is around every corner in Iraq and afganistan… to think of it is chilling… but to think that your life rests in the hands of a female and its up to her to get you to cover from a firefight kind of seems like the female has the work cut out for her. The reality is women should be happy they dont have to deal with death…. infantry wreaks of death… women are emotionally weak..

  • Roceo

    Israel requires military service from both sexs due to the fact that they are located in the middle east where vast war threats have been made by countries that think israel shouldn’t even exists on the global map…. they literarly need ALL HANDS ON DECK…. they’re country is pretty small… the last thing they need is for their women to be useless….. our women participate in the military.. we encourage women to join.. but on the real side… women shouldn’t be given the option of serving in a black heart platoon/ killing enemy grunts…. lets face it… women can’t protect against a fellow soldier going crazy and raping her…. people do go insane.. soldiers do crazy things when pressure is extreme…. it might be sexist but come on… women are sooooo vulnerable all the freaking time…. who’s to say they can hold their own THEIR OWN out in the field where infantry is the HELP>>. INFANTRY DOESN’T CALL FOR OTHERS TO HELP…. INFANTRY IS THE HELP!!!!

  • Roceo


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  • Wait.. so are you saying that men have a higher muscle mass than women?

  • telephoneman

    The Isrealies have been deploying women in their SOF teams for decades. So how are we smarterfor not usinga possible asset?

  • pat62

    YEAH OK. But it hurts when I laugh