Gender Wars: Do Elite OCR Females Prove Gender Equality for our Military?

 

Gender Wars

I, like most men, have been “chicked” by athletes like Rose Wetzel, Lindsay Webster and Amelia Boone on more than one occasion.  I am also an active duty member of a Special Operations Forces (SOF) unit in the US Military.  Does this mean that women are capable or should be fully integrated into all branches of the military?  This is a common line of thinking among some proponents of full integration, but the issue is more complex as you will see.

Are there women who are more physically capable then men for SOF?  The answer is unequivocally yes as proven by the above mentioned OCR athletes.  They are in better shape than 99.9% of the men on earth despite having XX chromosomes and lower testosterone.  Any male who says there are no women capable of doing their job is a complete idiot.  Even though most military events require carrying weight, something that does not get scaled according to bodyweight, these women could still outperform most men.  Case closed, if you are going to argue this point you are a closed minded moron.

women-combat

However, there are a couple of problems with the above.  The first is most of the women who are physically capable of doing jobs like SOF are not in the military.  These women are competitive athletes like the ones listed above.  You can make up for lower physical ability by having incredible intestinal fortitude like that displayed by athletes who may not be the fastest but are still very tough, like Amie “Live Wire” Booth and Shelly Koenig as demonstrated in their completion of the Death Race.  As far as I am tracking none of these women have served in the military, with the exception of Amie Booth (I apologize for creeping on your Facebook page looking to confirm facts, but it looks like she only served a couple of years in the late 1990s.)  While it takes a special kind of person to suffer at endurance events it also takes a special kind of person (which is sometimes different) to suffer for weeks at selection than volunteer to go places where people are trying to kill you.

The second problem is being physically capable is not the end all be all.  By this I mean there are a ton of mental attributes, including desire, that need to align with being in SOF or combat units.  I am not going to list all the attributes, but it takes a certain kind of person to brief a patrol while someone is shitting within arm length reach with their ass exposed (a common occurrence at some training…after all, you can’t poop without security surrounding you).  While above average men are capable of completing events like Ranger School, the females who can complete it are in the very best of all women.  The chances of all attributes aligning, including desire, mental fortitude, physical ability and intelligence, is low in my opinion.  Just look at the first class of women to enter Ranger School (a qualification course, not a career change).  An opportunity went out to the entire Army and after initial screening and Pre-Ranger (several week preparation program), 18 were sent to the course out of the original 56 who started Pre-Ranger.  Of those 3 passed, which is an 83% failure rate based off the 18 (or 95% failure rate if you count from the original 56).  This is about double the failure rate of men, which typically runs 40-50% failure rate.  I would count that hardly a success in my opinion.  (Author’s Note:  Numbers may vary slightly based off whose reporting you look at, but 3 of the women ultimately passed after recycling several phases.  Also, for you naysayers, what do they call a doctor that graduates last in his class?  Doctor…same concept goes for Ranger School.)

The final problem is it affects the dynamics of small teams.  This one is mostly the fault of men and has nothing to do with the women.  I’m just going to be honest here; the men are going to try to sleep with the women.  Some will be married and others will be single, but more than one will be working an angle.  Even the ones that are faithful will be posturing to impress, something that runs deep in the genetic code and I would argue will always be present on some level.

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So while women like Lindsay Webster, Siri England and Amy Pajcic show that women are capable of performing at the physical pinnacle, that is something everyone should have known already and really tells us nothing new (unless you are still think women running distance will make their uterus fall out).  However, there is more to being a SOF Operator than just being physically capable.

Regardless of my opinion or anyone else’s opinion on this subject, the bottom line is, it does not matter what I or anyone else thinks because it is happening whether I like it or not.  It was announced at the end of 2015 that there will be full integration into all branches (so the movie GI JANE will soon be a reality).  Who knows, maybe all the posturing I talked about will make men perform at a higher level.  Maybe getting “chicked” daily will make guys run further or harder.  Maybe the women will help build rapport in some cultures (something I have seen work first hand).  Maybe it will make the Army and SOF stronger as a force….maybe….or maybe not…only time will tell.

Operator OCR

Operator OCR is an active duty member of the US Military’s Special Operation Forces.Due to mission requirements, he prefers to remain unidentified by true name.A combat veteran with numerous years spent operating in a combat zones, he enjoys racing OCRs in his free time.You may recognize him by face or name, since he is often, but not always, on the podium of races.

“If you are going to win any battle, you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do… the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

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Comments

  1. OCR Performer says

    I don’t think there will be a female OCR athlete that will ‘Chick’ any of the top male OCR Elite when all obstacles are equal (carries, pulls, flips, ect….). Am I saying that the females are not capable for SOF, NO! What I am saying is there are many Elite Male OCR athletes that are in much better physical shape then most men for SOF. You can not compare the performance at an OCR event to the Military. Doing that is would make you a closed minded moron.

    • steve jackson says

      Actually, yeah, ya can compare the performance at an OCR event to the military. One is not comparing the top elites, male vs female, but the where they are overall. what does a person in the ‘military’ do? they have regular jobs. It is not like the commercials on T.V. Subs do not always come shooting out of the water, Combat information Center (CiC) is pretty boring 99% of the time. (I spent 11+ years in the Navy.)

      Now as far as the different special forces within the branches, they are all different, a Navy SWCC will have a different role than a Delta, than a Force Recon Marine, than a PJ. What they all have, however is that drive to be the best. Operators are not these huge beasts of guys most of the time.

      Let us look at Amelia Boone, a lawyer by day, and an OCR top athlete by night. that says a lot right there. http://www.athlinks.com/Athletes/129672173 how many men can compare in this small sampling? Let us take the Virginia Super Spartan she did in 2014, overall, 7th place, with a time of 1:58:36. I have been on that course, it is not a joke. It is that drive to oneself to be an Elite, even in the military.

  2. The “female” in the meme is actually a guy. The More You Know “TacoTuesdayMonica http://weknowmemes.com/2012/06/the-college-liberal-chick-is-actually-a-dude/

  3. Intestinal fortitude/guts/determination combined with desire, physical ability and oportunity make an elite Soldier. I like to think that I had all 4, but never at the same time. Many women have all three and at the same time, now they possess the opportunity. To make a regular Soldier(generic for Airman/Marine/Squid) not involved in Special Warfare does not require all of the above.. Until someone puts on a uniform and humps a mile in the boots you cannot compare gender equality of a civilian(awesome as they are) and a Soldier. Its more then physical. I feel they would kick ass and take names but they would also have to put up with the day to day crap and the training(they probably would get board or frustrated) and commit to the blank check written to the Government(My body and life are yours for the next X years, please don’t screw it up, and pay my family if you do).

    I would love to see more of our Special Warriors at events(did meet Seal members at Bonefrog, and some “unknowns” at Virginia( they would not come out but knew the places and some people i know of). I’d love to see more OCR runners in the military and more military in OCR, recognition of events by military, recruiting of OCR athletes as they do have a lot of cross over in dedication, training and physical skills to exceed expectations. 24 years active/reserve,officer/enlisted/Air Force/Army

    ps no offense was meant toward OCR athletes, women or Squids 07(salute)