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16 August 2009

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Patrick Lang

CWZ

How many women riflemen do they have? pl

Ian

About 15% of Canadian Forces personnel are women. That number is quite a bit smaller in combat arms, but not insignificant. 1.9% of personnel serving in combat arms are female, including 3.75% of officers in those units. Female casualties seem to be proportionate to those numbers, 2-3% of our dead.

So, infantry which are 2% female have been performing quite well in combat in Afghanistan.

Why only 2%? Apparently relatively few women want to sign up for the infantry, but it's a high enough percentage that it would be strange to call these soldiers "freaks."

If you want to argue that women should not be allowed to serve in combat roles in the American army, you need to make a case that the Canadian situation is significantly different, or that Canadian forces in Afghanistan have performed poorly. Sex jokes are not an argument.

Carl O.

I served with women in the Air Force in the 1980's and would never question that they have the same commitment to serve as any man.

That said, I can't escape the notion that there's something barbaric about sending women to kill and die in wars.

Sam Earp

My security person, Camp Taji, pre-surge (it was pretty bad), was a female who had just been med-boarded out after a tour with an intel MOS in Anbar. She carried a SAW on patrol, every day, blew out her back and the tendons in her chest, hence civilian status. She killed bad guys. She protected her buddies. She slept in the open. She ate MRES. She was a combat soldier.

For what it is worth, she was a fine soldier and demonstrated her worth on the battlefield every day, just like the folks with a combat arms MOS.

She didn't quality for the CAB, naturally. WTF? 360 degree war, all females outside the wire may see combat and had better be trained and ready for it.

This false dichotomy between "combat arms" and certain support jobs often done by women just perpetuates an injustice, IMO. You see combat, you are a combat soldier.

Stop with the condescension, already.

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