Army Combat Fitness Test Fiasco! Slides Reveal 84% of Women Failing ACFT

Discussion in 'Warfare / Military' started by Lil Mike, Oct 8, 2019.

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  1. Creasy Tvedt

    Creasy Tvedt Well-Known Member

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    They didn't "kick them out of the unit".

    It was a thing they did when our ship was in port for a long overhaul. They'd send the tubbies to some sort of crash weight loss program on the other side of the base.

    We'd see the tubbies jogging around the base in formation. We called them "The Pork Chop Battalion".
     
  2. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    I have a good friend who fits that description. She is, the best way for me to describe, the Chuck Yeager of our profession. Well was, she's out now. But was a certified bad ass of an aviator and a certified bad ass of a person in general. I always joke with her and say I seriously want to meet the guy she ever chooses to marry....It'll take a MAN to marry this woman lol. She builds her own weapons and hunts animals and makes her clothes out of them and lives in a cabin in the woods type chick. She's awesome. And she didn't play the whole female vs male PT test standards, she whooped all of us on the PT test using male standards...Routinely...

    She is the epitome of "If WW3 ever happens, break glass", because she's the first person I'm calling asking to come back to work if all hell ever breaks loose.

    Here's the crappy part, I worked with her for years and well....she caused problems...Not because she did anything wrong, hell she was more qualified to hold that position than any of the swinging Johnsons walking around the hangar. But she was a woman, and even though she is a woman that would likely whoop any of us, she was still a female who was surrounded by men. Her just being there caused problems while in garrison, when we deployed it got 5x worse. I could produce a list for days, but it was bad...

    And that's what sucks, she is the main reason why it's so difficult for me to have an opinion on this whole thing. She is beyond qualified to perform her duties, better than the rest of us at her job, and the textbook definition of who I want standing next to me or flying next to me in the event of a war. But the disruption she caused on a routine basis, through absolutely no fault of her own (well in some cases..), is something that is hard to just ignore and pretend didn't exist.

    For me it's like how exactly do I explain to myself that if given the choice I'd replicate you and replace the whole hangar with you if given the chance because you're that good but you being around causes more issues than it's worth? For her in particular my answer is the issues she caused are absolutely worth it to have her along side us. But I understand that she is a huge anomaly in the general sense. A remarkable exception as you said.

    And I know it's absolutely messed up beyond belief to say, and completely unfair, but part of me thinks that being exceptional is what's required in order for combat females to be "worth the trouble they bring". Which is completely unfair to women because it's not their fault but at the same time they DO cause issues by simply being there. My friend was no exception, even though she was exceptional...
     
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  3. Moonglow

    Moonglow Well-Known Member

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    In the army they were the duck squad.
     
  4. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    When I went through Marine Corps boot camp they had a fat farm along with two other infamous platoons.

    The fat farm which was the physical fitness platoon, PT all freaking day and a special diet of no sweets or other fattening foods.

    The Motivation Platoon:
    (declared to be politically incorrect by liberals in Congress)
    A whole crap load of PT, rifle drill and hands on motivation by the D.I.'s and even standing in front of a mirror butt naked looking at your sorry ass from dawn to dusk.

    It definitely motivated a young puke to put out 101% when he returned to a regular training platoon.

    CC Platoon:
    The Correctional Custody Platoon

    When a maggot violated the UCMJ they didn't get office hours standing before the man or a summary or special court martial or sent to the MCRD brig. They were given a second chance to redeem themselves with a whole lot of physical punishment and squat thrust forever in the pits.

    At the CC Platoon they took away your M-14 rifle and issued you an entrenching tool and a GI bucket.
    It was kinda like being inside a red line brig with a lot of hands on discipline by the D.I.'s usually to the gut and being choked until you passed out.

    At the MCRDSD CC Plt. there was that 1 1/2 mile run every morning to the end of the base just across the water from the San Diego Naval Recruit Depot where there was a huge mountain of sand. The prisoners would use their entrenching tools filling up their buckets with sand moving the mountain of sand across the field building a new mountain of sand. Once the mountain of sand had been moved...it was moved again back where the mountain of sand was originally located.

    After serving their tour of duty with the CC Plt. the maggot was allowed to return to a training platoon and 99% of the time played the rules.


     
  5. Ddyad

    Ddyad Well-Known Member

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    I suppose, in a sense, it's not fair that men can't have babies, but I am fine with that. ;-)
     
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  6. dairyair

    dairyair Well-Known Member

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    Really?
    The the CIC needs to pass the same physical standard.
     
  7. Seth Bullock

    Seth Bullock Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I agree with everything you're saying. I served in the Army with females attached to my unit and saw similar things.

    I think women should be allowed to serve. I think they can be very valuable to the military services. I think they should be allowed to do almost anything. I agree with you that if we're going to let women serve in combat arms MOS's, we should not water down fitness standards just to make that happen.
     
  8. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    Well thankfully it seems as though the Army understands that and have made the fitness standards even more strenuous, especially for combat arms MOS's, and without a difference in gender standards it looks like this is happening.

    This is 100% the correct answer. I'll never forget the time in Afghanistan when a large scale operation kicked off requiring troops to virtually scale a mountain and set up overwatch positions. Not a hill, but full blow mountain, with about 90lbs of gear (poor machine gunners). Even those without machine gun ammo all over them still had like 70-80lb rucks full of gear. Our aforementioned females were on that mission, they physically could not carry their gear up that mountain so in turn the men had to grab their gear and distribute it among each other.

    That led to my friend (the guy who dumped the cook) tripping and falling down the mountain and breaking his leg while helping carrying their stuff. Once again, I don't exactly blame the women, it's not their fault they can't haul that much weight they are not physically designed to do that and the women we had were not wannabe grunts, they were admin clerks assigned to talk to Afghan women for us. Hell we had plenty of the men damn near passing out trying to haul this stuff. But needless to say when that operation was over A LOT of guys were livid at those women for not being able to carry their own weight, literally.

    Situations like that are exactly why there should absolutely NOT be different standards for men and women in combat arms. This is the only part about this new ACFT that I am praising and I am glad that the Army has finally come around. The rest of the support MOS's I personally don't care, I don't think the physical standards need to be as high as they are for regular jobs in the Army.
     
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  9. Adfundum

    Adfundum Greeter Staff Member Donor

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    Ok, I have to call you out on this :)
    You say she "caused problems." Do you think that might be a bit patriarchal? Maybe it was the men who couldn't control themselves who had problems?
     
  10. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    Absolutely. In some cases at least.

    That was the point I was making which is why I always explicitly say that women usually aren't doing anything "wrong" and much of this is 100% not their fault at all. They are just "there", and them simply being there in itself oftentimes causes the problem for the reason you mentioned. You're dealing with what basically amounts to a college level male fraternity on steroids. You house a bunch of college aged guys in a dorm building then you add in 3 or 4 women in one of the rooms and the guys are going to start talking to them. Even if they are completely professional and good students who just want to get their degrees and do their work, they are still women in a room full of men. That adds a HUGE dynamic to the situation.

    Now imagine taking that college frat club full of men and isolating them from civilization for a year in the middle of nowhere. Then bringing in 4 women to live among them.....That is a heck of a situation to say the least.

    In the case of my friend she did "cause problems" by doing absolutely nothing at all but her job and doing it extremely well. She wasn't a "head turner" (for lack of better words) but she was still a woman in a world full of men and many of the men kept trying to talk to her. And men being men got mad at one another for trying to talk to her even though she dismissed everybody outright. Men wanting to give her attention, even though she wanted no attention, caused jealously among some of them. It caused stress within the unit and broken bonds, and as childish as it sounds it's not good to walk out of the wire into the warzone next to a guy who you are pissed off at because he's talking to the girl you like. It happens all the time. She is just one example of many that I have personally experienced.

    She also wasn't completely innocent either though, although she would quickly shut down any advances towards her she herself actually made advances to a good buddy of mine, basically my best friend. And he was HE who was turning her away but shes the type of person who is persistent and doesn't take no for answer. Shes very picky, in her words "I don't like most people but if I choose you then you'll know", and well, she sure as hell let him know and wouldn't let him not accept that lol. He finally gave in and then out of nowhere she just flat out changed her mind LOL. Nothing changed, in her words again "I have my mood swings, I'll decide what I want then sometimes I'll just not want it anymore, then I'll want it again, I'll let him know if I want him again".

    Then she DID decide she wanted him again, and she came back once against not accepting no for an answer, then changed her mind AGAIN lol. And me, being this guys best buddy, had to sit around for months and hear about this mess. He was/is an excellent aviator, a deadly weapon, but during that whole fiasco he was all sorts of messed up and out of the game. He couldn't focus on anything but "this damn girl who keeps screwing with my head". These aren't college aged kids we're talking about these are middle aged folks.

    So yeah, her just being a woman there screwed up a lot of people in general but completely not her fault at all in most cases. But in the case of my buddy, she screwed him up bad she wasn't innocent on that one. That's why I say I'm a bit torn. This woman was one of the deadliest weapons in the US military arsenal, but her simply being there mentally degraded quite a few other people and she flat out disabled the guy who is probably ranked in the top 5 of deadliest weapons in the arsenal. I watched a game changing Soldier completely shut down and become worthless over this.

    It's comical to me now looking back, and I still give him crap about it to this day, but love, lust, envy, jealously, etc are powerful emotions. Bringing that sort of thing to the battlefield is dangerous and it can screw folks up and degraded their ability to effectively fight. And women, due purely to the nature of them just being women, introduce that dynamic to the battlefield...

    I know it's easy to say well just leave them alone, women are Soldiers too just treat them like everybody else and let them do their job and men need to control themselves. That sounds good on paper, but in real world experiments it doesn't work that way lol. Ask any Soldier in the world what "deployment scale" means and watch them start to nervously giggle. Not to sound chauvinistic or degrading or anything but when you put a bunch of guys in an isolated area for a long time even the "less desirable", for lack of better words (not trying to be offensive), women result in the men around them beating the **** out of each other over them lol...
     
  11. ARDY

    ARDY Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I confess near total ignorance on this topic
    That said, I still have some observations
    It seems to me that the nature of the army and its roles have changed substantially over the last 50 years
    In that the large majority of roles in the army would not require this level of fitness... particularly when you disregard specialized units like marines, seal, green beret

    and given that the army has a hard time filling its ranks in the the best circumstances.... I wonder if this requirement is really required for all the people who are taking the test?

    realistically... how many people in the army have ever been fighting in a fox hole? Imo, our national objective seems to be to reduce the number of people fighting in foxholes
     
  12. Adfundum

    Adfundum Greeter Staff Member Donor

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    Yeah...but sill...
    I understand what you're saying, and have seen such situations. The thing is that the wording suggests that the males are not at fault for acting the way they did. Yes, we are all animals undeniably chained to our genetic urges, but we also have the power to control our behavior. The presence of the women, per se, should not exclude the responsibility of the men to have control over themselves. More cold showers?

    MY story...Long ago in a world far far away--I used to work in a steel mill. When they hired the first women to work alongside the men, it was a circus. The guys would crowd around to watch the women working. This made the women quite uncomfortable. One job required using a five-foot piece of 7/8" round steel bar to turn over old rail road rail (weighing around 1500 lbs). If not done right, it could go very bad for a person. Long story short, there was a girl trying to do the job and a guy trying very hard to help her out. He kept reaching out to grab the steel bar from her to show her how to do it. The girl got mad and told the guy to f-off, that she would figure it out without him pawing all over her. While she was busy trying to put the bar in the bolt hole of a rail to turn it over, another guy on the other end of the rail had already started to flip it. Her bar came back and hit her in the face, breaking her jaw and knocking her to the ground. When the guy beside her tried to help her up, she slapped his hand away and told him to stop groping her. She got labeled a man-hating lesbian for all that, but the problem was that those women couldn't go anywhere without a crowd of guys following them. So, yes, she was stubborn (and pretty dang tough), and necessarily so.
     
  13. APACHERAT

    APACHERAT Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member

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    Fighting in fox holes is a potential reality for all combat personnel. I agree with you regarding support personnel, of which probably make up 90% of the military I would guess. But troops intended for combat should all be held to the same physical standards. A common philosophy in combat is 'no plan survives contact with the enemy.' Its always prudent to assume combat missions will go to ****, and prepare accordingly.
     
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  15. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    I guess for me the bottom line is simple. I always say the same thing, I view the world as it IS, not the way it "should be" or the way I wish it was, but as it actually is.

    Men and women "should" be able to share the same confined spaces and work environments and have no issues. Women in the military "should" be viewed and treated by their male counterparts no differently than the males treat one another. They all wear the same uniform after all. But as we all know that's not the case. If it were then there would be no need for human resources departments to deal with work related issues or in the case of the military, SHARP program.

    As I said repeatedly, often times the "issues" caused by women in the military are not their fault at all and 100% the fault of their male counterparts who lust over them even if they want to do nothing but do their jobs well and be respected the same as everyone else. Guys SHOULDN'T be lusting over women at work, but they do in the real world. That's not to say that women are always innocent in this matter though. Once again not trying to be offensive or anything but rather speaking in the real world sense. The military is a different work environment, folks come from all over the nation to work together. Many women who may have received little attention in the civilian lives back home oftentimes show up to a unit as one of a handful of women in a sea of men and are elevated to virtual rockstar status. Some want none of that attention and simply want to be left alone to do their job just like everybody else. Others welcome the attention and are pretty thrilled with the fact that they now have a seemingly endless line of male callers at their disposal.

    In my previous unit we had quite a few women in that category. In regards to one young woman in particular who was set to leave the service soon there was a running joke among the senior leadership that when this women walks out of the door for the last time there are A LOT of guys walking around here who are secretly praying to God that she takes her secrets with her. Mainly because out of all of the men in that building there were a total of 2 who were not married. Myself and my best friend, and the aforementioned young women was having discreet, yet not so discreet, sexual relations with quite a large number of men in that building. And it wasn't my buddy or me...

    ^^That sort of thing "shouldn't" happen, but well, it does. We're dealing with mostly young people in regards to this sort of thing. Late teens and early 20's single men and women working and living in close proximity to one another for extended periods of time. They're going to talk to each other, they're going to oftentimes become sexually involved with each other, and jealously, envy, heartbreak, frustration, etc will follow along with that.

    We can make all of the policy letters we want, receive explicit guidance from Command prohibiting such things, threaten dire punishments for it, etc. Point is, if you put college aged men and women together like that then they're going to start having sex with each other, and no amount of Field Grade Article 15 threats is ever going to stop that. Because that's the real world as it is, not the world as it "should be". The Army isn't stupid, it knows that, which is why even on deployments when such things are explicitly prohibited there are still free condoms in a jar in the medic tents.
     
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  16. Adfundum

    Adfundum Greeter Staff Member Donor

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    Can't disagree with any of that. I guess I'm just anal about wording in some cases. Yes, lust, desire, all that--it's natural and can't be helped other than to not act on our urges at inappropriate times. It's the suggestion that men are not at fault when women are nearby that is a bit unfair. If a climate of "whatever" is tolerated, then people don't feel the need to restrain themselves. In such cases, I'd say it's not the women who were the cause of the problem, but the leadership that in some way tolerated what was going on.
     
  17. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    I suppose my wording was a bit off putting and that was unintentional. When I said women cause problems I wasn't trying to imply that they were at fault. Perhaps a better usage of words would be that they add a new dynamic to the situation.

    It's not so much that it's tolerated by leadership but rather understood by leadership based on realizing that at the end of the day there are only so many effective rules that can be made and enforced. A climate of "whatever" was absolutely not tolerated, in fact the complete opposite was pushed for many years. For years the Army instilled an iron fist SHARP policy and focused more attention on that single program than any other program, including essential warfighting training. Weekly lectures, classes, workshops, speeches, etc. The Army literally focused more on the SHARP program than it did training its Soldiers for war, mainly because of that movie that came out a few years ago.

    The program was even broadened and gave near 100% total control to female Soldiers. Policies such as "If both of you are drunk and you have sex then the man is at fault because the woman can't give consent while intoxicated but the man can give consent while intoxicated". Literally, that was a policy at one point. As well as "if you smile at a woman and she claims it makes her uncomfortable then that qualifies as a sexual harassment complain now". It was ridiculous, and with such asinine policies like that the training actually changed for the worse. Those tasked with training us changed their tactics and as in the case with an E-8 who gave a class one day "If you are in the gym and you see a female squatting and she is struggling to get the bar back up then your best bet is to let her just fall down because going over there to help her isn't worth the price you might end up paying if she decides you did something inappropriate". That was the climate that fiasco created, it went from trying to get all Soldiers to simply view each other as Soldiers to stay the hell away from the women for your own safety.

    For lack of better words it was stupid. And the women that I know hated the program because it had the complete opposite effect. Instead of tightening the bonds between male and female Soldiers it isolated the female Soldiers because men were so terrified to even smile at them that they just stopped interacting with them at all. I'm not exaggerating, it was comically ridiculous. A friend of mine was sitting at her desk having computer issues and asked the resident computer nerd to help her out. He walks up and stops about 10 feet from her and asks "Do I have permission to come up to you and look over your shoulder?" She was like what the hell? That's how terrified of women the men became because the Army put out a policy that said if you do ANYTHING at all to make them uncomfortable then that's your ass.

    My aforementioned super bad ass warrior female friend HATED the policy because it even isolated her from us and she was our friend. She'd walk into a room and everybody would just freeze and be quiet and she would get livid at us and start fussing trying to continuously reiterate that she had a more foul mouth and stash of dirty jokes than all of us combined (that she had no shame in telling all the time) and we didn't have to all freeze and fall silent whenever she came around because of the new dumb SHARP program. But even us all having known her and known who and how she was for years, she scared us.

    And at the end of the day, even after that entire SHARP fiasco, there was a 0% decrease in SHARP cases from before and after the iron fist zero tolerance policy was instilled. Point is, there is nothing anybody can actually do about this dynamic. You can make strict rules about female and male interaction or you can have lax rules about it and it changes nothing. Men and women at that age are going to do what they want to do and there is nothing anybody can do to stop it. So at the end of the day the underlying question is simple. Is it worth it to have that dynamic or not? That was the point of the original discussion.

    Is the dynamic created by allowing men and women to fight alongside one another beneficial or detrimental to overall mission readiness? No emotional aspect, no political correctness, no fairness involved. If the answer is yes then ok. If the answer is no or maybe then that is a discussion that needs to take place.
     
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  18. Adfundum

    Adfundum Greeter Staff Member Donor

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    Definitely not an easy question to answer. I would be against using women in remote combat locations for the reasons you've mentioned.

    My son served on a submarine and he said the total lack of privacy back then made it impossible for women to serve. I don't know if it's changed.
     
  19. Nightmare515

    Nightmare515 Ragin' Cajun Staff Member Past Donor

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    I think it'll be a slow process to fully integrate mixed gender units but we are making progress with it. One of the original complaints about this whole thing was the logistical aspect. The Army has a policy about women and men sharing the same tents and whatnot in the field so it became a logistical pain in the ass to bring women out there because we'd end up having to bring a whole other tent and shower trailers, etc for them even though there was usually only like 2 or 3 of them. The need to have to drag out 33% more equipment to accommodate like 2 people was an argument that did actually hold weight. The Army has sort of cut back on enforcing that though, at least in some units. We aren't at Starship Troopers level of showering together yet or anything but women and men do tend to share the same sleep tents more often now. Which I agree with, we are an Army that utilizes rapid deployment and speed as a large part of offensive and defensive operations. Having to set up and tear down twice as much gear because we have 2 or 3 women in the formation who had to have their own living areas was detrimental to that. Plus that policy was detrimental to the mission in general. In my specific case a couple years ago our primary operations planning officer was a female friend of mine. We planned missions in our tent because it was the only place to do it and she was strictly prohibited from even entering our male sleep tent to assist, even though she was the primary planning officer. So they took away a key member of our team with that stupid red line policy. Thankfully those rules have been relaxed in many units.

    As far as using women in remote combat locations sometimes we have no choice as in the case in Afghanistan and Iraq. Due to respecting the local culture men are simply not allowed to even talk to civilian women so we had to have female Soldiers there to do that. So in turn the female Soldiers had to live out in the remote outposts with the male Soldiers and be available to interview the local female civilians if necessary. It simply isn't feasible to the mission to have all female Soldiers in the rear stationed at huge Forward Operating Bases and fly them out to the outposts when needed.

    In more traditional conventional wars it's much easier to draw a hard line and have female Soldiers restricted to rear posts performing only support operations such as the case in WWII or Vietnam while the male combat troops fought the war. But in these weird complex terrorism wars with no battle lines that require continuous interaction with civilians it's not as easy.
     
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