Thursday, June 20, 2013

Women in Combat Special Operations in 2016

The Air Force released yesterday, 19 June 2013, it's intentions to fully integrate women into the currently 7 closed Air Force career fields.  These career fields hold a total of 4,700 positions out of the over 500,000 total current.  Thus, 99 percent of the AFSCs in the Air Force are open to women in the Air Force, allowing them to do virtually whatever they would want in the Air Force, to include being a combat pilot.

Okay, so what are the 7 current male only career fields you ask?  Well, for starters they are all special operations.  We are looking at: Combat Rescue Officer (CROs), Special Tactics Officer, Special Operations Weather Officer, Enlisted Combat Controller, Enlisted Tactical Air Command and Control Party, Enlisted Pararescue (PJ), and Enlisted Special Operations Weather. 

(For more information on these career fields visit:  http://www.airforce.com/careers/#interest:special-operations )

I personally am somewhat baffled by this decision.  I can honestly state that Yes, I do know individuals that are CROs, PJs, Combat Controllers, and Special Ops Weather.  One Combat Controller, stated "I trained with some of the PJs...there is no way I could do what they do." The physical and mental training that these MEN go through is to the utmost extreme, preparing them for every worst possible situation that can be imagined and then some.  There is a reason that these jobs have a drop out rate of 90%.  They are HARD!  Young men train specifically for months, sometimes years, to enter into these jobs, and once they are in they realize that they just don't have what it takes, and sadly, at one point they find themselves hanging there heads in defeat, and calling it quits.

I am a woman.  I consider myself to be in fairly decent shape - I broke my back, pelvis and screwed up one of my knees while on active duty - I know my limitations.  I know women who run marathons all over the world, who compete and participate in triathlons, iron mans, mud runners, etc.  I personally have undertaken the "Insanity" workout.  However, I can honestly say, without a doubt, that not one woman I know would be able to handle the rigorous training that these men undergo to become apart of the AF Elite Special Operations Units.  I'm not saying that there isn't one woman who can do it, I'm simply saying that if, on average only 10 men out of 100 will successfully complete this training, the odds that a woman will satisfy all requirements is slim to none.  If you think you can do it, go for it, represent us, but don't be crying and dishonoring us and complaining that the physical and mental training is to hard and should be altered because you're a woman.  There is a reason why the AF hasn't altered the training so the drop out rate is lower, they want the best of the best. 

I only hope that the AF doesn't change the PAST test, and the additional requirements once women enter the program.  Currently the AF has different physical requirements, adjusted to meet the physical attributes to women, in order for them to pass their physical fitness tests.  I do not believe this should be applicable if women want to be apart of one of these elite Spec Ops forces. 

This is all my personal opinions, I am for equal rights, women's rights, etc.  But sometimes, yes, I set women's lib back a few years.  Again what I have written here are MY VIEWS, and not those of the AF, DoD, or other military affiliates.

Please leave me your comments and thoughts - I would love to hear them!

Current PAST requirements for AF Pararescue :  http://www.military.com/military-fitness/air-force-special-operations/air-force-para-rescue

Read more about the AFs Plan at : www.af.mil/news/story_print.asp?is=123353162