Thursday, May 14, 2009

How to Get Out of Fighting a War, Even If You Have Joined the Military

A friend tells me that it is a known secret in the military that huge numbers of women get pregnant if there is a chance they are going to get deployed to a combat zone. Overall, less than 1% of the Army is non-deployable due to pregnancies. But the closer you are to live fire, the higher the pregnancies. Not surprising,the percentage of women in the Marines and Army show the highest non-deployable rates (mostly because of pregnancy) with the Navy and Air Force far behind.

Overall Percentages for Desert Shield/Desert Storm Non-deployability

NAVY 1.5% of males, 5.6% of females

AIR FORCE 1.8% of males, 6.4% of females

ARMY 2.7% of males, 9.0% of females

MARINE CORPS 8.8% of males, 26.3%of females

(Source: Presidential Commission on the assignment of women in the Armed

Merideth A. Bucher, Major, U.S. Army writes:
If pregnancy so obviously impacts readiness at the tactical level why hasn’t the Army addressed the problem? Army leadership is in a catch 22 position; they must maintain the fighting strength and readiness of the force while at the same time balancing the political issues of a dual-gender Army. It is considered “politically incorrect” or gender-biased to verbalize the problems pregnancies cause our Army, and as a result no one will admit there is a problem. .
Bottom line: Women aren't stupid.


  1. The PC solution would be to accept only gay men.

  2. It's never talked about, but most of the gender bias in the military comes from these very facts. Very few women in the military have any desire, let alone the physical ability, to be part of a "fighting force". The few that can, and want to, are almost exclusively restricted to the officer ranks, and still only a small percentage of those.

    My position (as a retired infantryman) has always been, women can have the option to serve, when they they have the obligation to serve. If a male enlists to be say a truck mechanic, but washes out of mechanic school, he goes to the infantry to finish out his contract. When the same thing can happen to a female, then we can talk about bias and equality.

    It simply takes a lot of physical strength to be a fighter in the military. One of the goals of the military is to kill other people, with your bare hands if necessary. This isn't the place to experiment with abstract concepts of equality. Only physics is relevant.

  3. Bob,

    that's actually a brilliant idea. With the exception of the effeminate minority, I am quite convinced that gay men make much better soldiers than straight men. Besides, this would reduce the likelihood of women being raped by the conquering army.
    Some historians believe that the Spartans were quite accepting of homosexuality - and nobody ever accused them of being sissies. :)

    Besides, if the army were to be known as a refuge of gay men, more gay men would probably be willing to apply. Positive feedback.

  4. My experience in Desert Storm was a mixed lot with the female soldiers. Most were professional, but with any unit you get the slackers and trouble maklers (male or female).

    My reserve unit (ammo/fuel) got it's orders to deploy and went to a nearby camp to train/upgrade our skill sets. We knew we were going to get CLOSE to the action since our main job was to supply tanks, APCs and SPA's.

    Right before our training started, we started to get "preggers" and moral began to slip. Making matters worse was that our female CO got pregnant and SHE WASN'T EVEN MARRIED!!! The males started to call this the "chicken out clause" and it caused a major resentment amongst the sexes.

    If a guy tried any kind of stunt to get out service (in a time or war or deployment) it's a career killer at best, a jailable offense at worse. If a lady gets pregnant, she gets a free pass.

    The female CO got reassigned to stateside duties but when the unit came back, she was treated as an outcast. The old XO, promoted to Captain when he got back, took over the unit.

    She ended up leaving for a civil service job.