Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Role Of The Female Within A Miltary/Police Context

This post does not deliberately set out to denigrate or to champion the part that the modern female is expected to play within a military or policing role, that seems to some, to be the last bastion of male dominance. Rather, this article serves to introduce those who have never taken part in an occupational role within those two physically and mentally demanding professions that require constant training of the individual to maintain a physical and mental preparedness that most of the population have never been exposed to. This article also serves to explain the role that esprit de corps and morale play in any organization that is in existence to serve and to protect, or defend what is collectively recognized as that which is worth protecting, such as an innocent persons life that may be threatened by the criminal, or the securing and repelling of enemies from a nations border.

It may come as no surprise to some that in order to get the best physical and mental preparedness from an individual which requires that individual to stand and defend when circumstances present, rather than join in with the untrained civilian who will tremble and run, a certain level of aggression needs to be present within that individual so that the stand and fight mentality, that is so necessary to win against the violent criminal, or a nation's enemies, may be honed to the point that thinking about fight or flight, which affects those who are not adequately trained or lack the necessary aggression, is non-existent. In other words, the training and aggression must be such that thinking about anything other than the fight ahead does not enter the individual soldier or police officer's mind.

As an ex-soldier and police officer I am firmly of the opinion that not all males are capable of this kind of thinking, and that this kind of thinking cannot be instilled in the majority of females.

Are males and females really equal? Or are there physical differences between the genders, such as male physical/psychological strength as opposed to female physical/psychological strength? In my opinion, and generally speaking, I believe the differences are obvious, but having stated that, I have also worked with some very strong, both physically and psychologically, females, particularly when I was employed as a police officer. However, I have also worked with many females and to a lesser extent, males, who would have been better employed in other occupations as they could not be relied upon as backup in a crisis situation where lives may have depended on their lack of action. In the old days, these people would have been referred to as cowards. In my politically incorrect opinion, that is exactly what they are and they are filling in positions that would be better filled by more capable, and braver persons.

Those who have served in the military, or as police officers will understand that an Army, or a police force, is only as strong as its weakest members. In an infantry battalion in the Australian Army, sections of 10 soldiers are the backbone of the platoon, the company and the battalion. Sections can only move in combat, as fast as the slowest or weakest member of that section, because a fighting force must remain together if it is going to remain effective as a fighting force. Once any fighting force is split up through either circumstances of the battle, lack of leadership, or useless and inept soldiers who don't have the necessary physical strength or the aggressiveness to carry on the fight, that fighting force will be annihilated. Do you the reader believe that the average woman can carry a pack of around 60 kilo's, two or more waterbottles, ammunition and rifle, or light machine gun, over long distances on foot in all kinds of terrain and weather, and then step up to the plate and be shot at by those who are trying to kill her? Do you the reader believe that the average woman, and for that matter the average man, can spend up to six weeks or more in tropical jungle without even having a wash, and constantly changing two pair of socks so as to limit foot rot? The smell of the individual after six weeks in the 'bush' would put most people off their evening meal, only the Grunt grins and bears this imposition on the 'modern' human with stoicism and good humor that takes a special kind of person to endure. In my opinion, there is a limited number of the special kinds of people who can handle this role, and not many of them would be women!

Those readers who have a military or police background would also understand the importance of morale and esprit de corps in maintaining a cohesive and effective organization which is paramount in taking up the tasks given it to carry out. But what is morale?

Morale can be best described as the state of the spirit of a person or group, as exhibited by confidence, cheerfulness, discipline and willingness to perform assigned tasks. So what is esprit de corps?

Esprit de corps may be best described as a common spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm and devotion to a cause among the members of a group.

As the reader will note, both morale and esprit de corp are vital for any organization that values its existence as an entity to carry out allotted tasks. In other words, without good morale and esprit de corps an entity ceases to be as effective as it could be. But, what has morale and esprit de corps got to do with women in military combat roles and front line policing?

In my opinion, the very presence of a female or two, as part of an infantry section, or working with their male counterparts within a police force, places unnecessary obligations on the males they work with who are generally stronger, fitter and more physically capable of better performance, than their female counterparts, and are forced to limit their own abilities in order to cater for the slower and less able females who at times of crisis, the male also feels compelled to protect. Do you the reader now see how this situation can affect morale and esprit de corps?

It is wrong, wrong, wrong, to expect our fighting forces, and our police forces to accommodate the extra burdens to be placed on them by governments more interested in garnering the female vote than in providing sound and effective fighting and police forces. No government should be able to legislate to include women in front line combat roles within the military or have them working in large numbers on the streets of an increasingly violent Western society. The Israeli's are often cited as having women on the front line in combat roles. This is false, as no woman has been committed to front line fighting ever since the failed invasion of lebanon in 2005 which saw Hezbollah units deliberately target female Israeli soldiers that caused other male Israeli units to come to their aid which nearly resulted in a catastrophic defeat for the Israeli's.

Women do have their role to play within our military and police forces, but not on the front line!