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Now THESE are strong women!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

“Women prove themselves in grueling Army course”

I’ve written a lot recently about choices and opportunities for women past and present, so this story immediately attracted my attention. (Link to the full article is at the end)

DH was an Army combat engineer like the soldiers in this report. I remember his basic training, and it was nowhere near as physically demanding as the special program described in this article. We lived in an apartment off post and he came home every night.

Some main points:

“Sapper Leader Training” attracts only a small percentage of that branch of the army (Corps of Engineers).

Sapper: Combat engineer who can “move through the toughest terrain to blow up obstacles or clear mines.”

“For more than a decade the Army has quietly put women through this course, putting them through the same training as the men.”

“The integration of women here caused barely a ripple.”

“The fact that we didn’t change the training standard is what has made it frankly so successful.”

“Only a small number of women have volunteered for the school. Though their graduation rate started out lower, it’s now roughly the same as men’s: about 50%”

I don’t have a military background and never had any desire to test myself in this way, but I admire those who do and am pleased that some women are strong enough mentally and physically to be successful.

I know there are many concerns about women in combat and many are expressed in the article itself. I will leave that to those with more knowledge and experience than I.

However, consider that:
Once women were discouraged from pursuing weight training.

Through most of the 1960s girls were considered too delicate to pay full court basketball. The RULES of girls’ basketball required them to play 6 on 6 and never cross the center line. Two dribbles and you had to pass the ball.

The first woman to register for the Boston Marathon was dragged off the course. Only men were considered strong enough for such a distance.

This was all “for our own good” we were told.

So, is it any wonder that I’m happy to see that training like this is available to those women, ready and able to test their limits?


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I read this article the other day. Agree with you 100%!

    2454 days ago
    I'm glad to see that they have a single standard! More power to all of those folks who can make it in such a challenging field. I, for one, am glad to see women with the determination to succeed in what was definitely once considered a "man's" field. And they are doing great!
    2454 days ago
  • DONNA5281
    I think that men and women should be treated equal if they are able to do the same job!!

    I have always felt this way!
    2454 days ago
    People are people and can do whatever they decide they are going to accomplish...regardless of gender. I accept that some professions have specific skill sets and strength requirements...but women should have an equal chance. Whoever can pass the tests gets the job...regardless of gender.
    2454 days ago
    Strong women indeed. Everyone treated equally. Perfect.
    2455 days ago
  • DR1939
    To me it is not a question of whether women can do it but a right and an obligation to serve their country in a time of need. Some women are strong enough, some are not, but the same is true of men. I have never been an advocate of war, but if war must come I have always felt everyone should contribute. BTW, I am 73 and have believed this as long as I can remember.
    2455 days ago
    I agree. Let women test their limits. I am glad more and more women are being given a chance to do so in the military.

    Interesting blog.
    2455 days ago
    Thanks for sharing this. My favorite part is that women joining "barely cause a ripple". This makes me excited for my daughter and the possibilities available to her.
    2455 days ago
    Interesting Blog Thanks !!
    2455 days ago
    I am an Army engineer and had the privilege to work with a lot of really fantastic women soldiers and engineers. It is nice to see them getting the recognition that they richly deserve. In most of the units I have served in, there aren't women soldiers and men soldiers, there are just soldiers, all working hard to get the mission done!
    2455 days ago
    I feel women can do anything they put their minds to. Women have come a long way in their fight for equality. Thank you for this article. have a great day
    2455 days ago
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