Straight shooters

Vast majority of special ops forces believe women will hurt their teams’ efficacy

Cpl. Kristine Tejada, a truck commander for 1st Platoon, Higher Headquarters Battery, Task Force 2-82 Field Artillery Regiment, provides security at the ancient Ziggurat of Ur, Iraq. (U.S. Military photo)

A survey of more than 7,600 of America’s special operations forces found that the vast majority don’t believe women have the physical strength or mental toughness to be functioning members of their teams. In response to a voluntary survey conducted by the Rand Corp., 85 percent said they opposed opening special operations jobs to women, 70 percent opposed having women in their individual units, more than 80 percent said women weren’t physically strong enough and 64 percent said women weren’t mentally tough enough. “I weigh 225 pounds, and 280 pounds in full kit, as did most of the members of my ODA (a 12-man Army Green Beret unit),” one respondent said. “I expect every person on my team to be able to drag any member of my team out of a firefight. A 130 pound female could not do it.”

Other concerns included unequal treatment of women in the unit, problems caused by sexual harassment or illicit affairs, and the possibility of disrupting team unity. The survey’s results were released by the Pentagon when Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced last week he was opening all combat jobs to women. Top officials reiterated that standards will not be lowered for special operations, and that women who pass said standards will be welcomed.

Read the full story at Military Times.

Related:

Retired Admiral William H. McRaven weighs in on women in combat

Pentagon officially opens all combat jobs to women

Revealed: Women in special ops helped lift ban on ground combat

3 myths about American women in combat

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