Posted by Matt Fisher from Canada on April 12, 2021 at 21:18:34:
Lower training standards for
women still plague military
By Jon E. Dougherty
� 2000 WorldNetDaily.com
In the wake of a WorldNetDaily report citing evidence that the U.S. Naval Academy has lowered midshipmen leadership requirements to include more "diverse" candidates that better "represent" the school's student body, the issue of different training standards for men and women has resurfaced anew, prompting complaints from, among others, current Naval Academy attendees.
While a number of current academy midshipmen have since contacted WorldNetDaily and confirmed the policy shift, others have expressed concern that current performance rankings there and throughout the armed forces may be misrepresented because of the difference in military performance standards that exist between men and women.
For example, one academy source who requested anonymity said male and female academy students have different physical readiness standards, as evidenced by an online performance calculator located on the Naval Academy's website. Using identical figures for calculating the number of pull-ups, push-ups and run times required by students to meet minimum physical education requirements, the calculator tallies different scores for male and female candidates.
Service-wide, male and female recruits are routinely -- as a matter of policy -- held to different physical and performance standards, a policy that has sapped morale and decreased force readiness on occasion.
Worse, critics contend, the military's "gender double standards" do not hold men and women to identical physical readiness standards, even though many of the same military jobs are offered to both. And these days, more of those jobs open to both sexes involve combat operations, something unheard of for women just a decade ago.
"The job itself never changes, nor do the job's requirements," said another academy source, who also asked to go unnamed. "Yet there are different standards, as though the job is easier somehow if a woman is performing it."
As early as 1997, congressmen and military officials began voicing concerns about the differing standards, which critics say are detrimental to military readiness and have actually resulted in the deaths of at least one woman who was simply not prepared to execute the job she was given.
According to the Center for Military Readiness, the Navy, forced to act in accordance with a series of Clinton administration policy decisions to quickly integrate women into formerly male-only combat aviation roles, likely caused the death of Lt. Kara Hultgreen, one of the first two women trained to fly the F-14 Tomcat fighter from the decks of U.S. aircraft carriers.
Because of an effort to hide "a pattern of major errors, low scores, and preferential treatment," the Center said, Hultgreen was catapulted too early into the pilot's seat of the two-seat fighter plane, where she died trying to make a carrier landing on Feb. 28, 1995. Though the "official" explanation of the crash was listed as "engine failure" rather than pilot error, documents presented by the Center, corroborated by a secret crash investigation report made public by the organization, substantiated claims made before the crash by naval aviation instructors responsible for Hultgreen and her counterpart, Lt. Carey Dunai Lohrenz, that they were not ready to fly.
According to the center, "in 1993 a politically-motivated race began with the Air Force to get women into combat squadrons. The reckless competition, as instigated by aggressive female officers, feminist advocates, and Navy public affairs officers, had the effect of politicizing and degrading the integrity of training procedures in carrier aviation, the Navy's most hazardous occupation in peacetime as well as wartime."
In the summer of 1997, Rep. Steve Buyer, R-Ind., chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Personnel of the House Committee on National Security, toured several U.S. military units. One of the most common complaints he said he received from mid- and senior-level officers and non-commissioned officers was that recruits straight out of basic training lacked skills and proficiency in a variety of performance-based areas.
"Wherever we were, whether it was on the USS John F. Kennedy with the Navy or at Army training centers, there was a general complaint about the product coming out of basic training," Buyer told the Navy Times. "We were left with the impression they are soft, and basic training is not tough enough. They've weakened the standards, and we're concerned about it."
"Slackened boot-camp standards have highlighted the problems associated with gender-integrated basic training," said the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. "With the exception of the Marine Corps, the services have embraced the dubious practice of mixing male and female recruits while simultaneously trying to transform them into disciplined warriors.
"Army, Navy, and Air Force efforts to 'gender norm' basic training have fostered resentment and undercut respect for uniform standards," the foundation said. "In recent years, recruiting difficulties have placed additional pressure on military authorities to lower physical standards and thereby reduce attrition rates.
"If left unchecked, the erosion of rigorous military standards in boot camp will undermine military discipline, morale, and readiness. Ultimately, both the fighting capability and the deterrent value of U.S. conventional forces will be weakened," the foundation concluded.
However, in a similar study, the Rand Corporation said that readiness and morale were not being affected, despite the opening of 250,000 new opportunities to women in the military since 1993. The Navy, said the Rand study, has opened the most positions, qualifying women for about 92 percent of the service's jobs.
In fact, according to Rand, "at the unit level" researchers "were not told about any barriers to women serving in naval combat aviation assignments."
Nevertheless, critics maintain there is a trend toward "a more politically correct" military structure, one that stems from as far back as the late 1970s.
Tom Ambrose, a Florida website engineer, said he received a congressional nomination in 1976 to attend the Naval Academy at Annapolis by California Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman.
"During the application process, I received a telephone call from a lieutenant advising me that my SAT math score was about 20 points too low and that if I took the exam over I would still be up for consideration as long as my score improved," Ambrose said.
However, the officer "went on to inform me that had I been black, this minor discrepancy in my score would not have mattered," he told WorldNetDaily. "Largely as a result of that phone call, I changed my mind about the Academy and chose to enter the University of California system instead."
The House Armed Services Committee, which is working on proposed legislation to the Defense Authorization bill this week, told WorldNetDaily that a recent appearance by the military service chiefs Mar. 8 revealed no new complaints by any branch about differing standards or readiness issues related to the promotion of unqualified persons.
However, "they were here mostly to discuss recruitment and retention issues," said the official, who asked not to be identified. Of the testimony given by Pentagon officials, said the committee spokesman, most believe the services' falling retention and recruitment rates are "due in large part to the good economy."
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