By Javier Manjarres
One of the country’s leading politico’s who is raising questions about the recent lifting of the ban on women serving in combat, such as in infantry and artillery units is former Congressman and current Director of Next Generation programming for PJTV, Allen West.
Unlike some other national politicos, like Senator Marco Rubio who have come out in favor of lifting the ban, but have never served in the military, West served twenty-two years in the U.S. Army and knows all to well the impact that females serving in these combat units could bring to the cohesiveness and readiness of the unit.
West is not concerned that female would be fighting along side with males, because they are already doing that. West is more concerned with the ability of these female soldiers to physically perform to standard in these infantry and special operations units, that call for soldiers to meet more strenuous physical conditioning standards.
West also adds that he doesn’t know if the American people are “culturally” ready to see women in these units, this after the highly publicized capture of a female soldier who was sexually assaulted by her captures during the Iraq war.
I remember the young soldier who was captured back in the early days of the Iraq war and how there was such an outcry in this country about how we needed to quickly rescue her, and find her, I think then we come to find out that she was sexually assaulted. So I don’t know culturally if the American people are ready to have women in infantry units or in some of our Special Operations units.
The biggest concern that I have is that the standards must be maintained, we cannot adjust the standards. We want to maintain a high level of readiness and that’s the most important concern as we’ll continue to fight against a very determined enemy.-Allen West
We asked West if female soldiers wanting to serve in these combat units should have to match up to their male counterparts. West stated that “it should be the same standard.”
Absolutely, if you look at the Army’s physical fitness test you will see that currently there is a difference between the standards for push-ups, sit ups, two-mile run for males varying with the age group, as opposed to females. And I don’t believe that all of a sudden you want to get rid of the standard or adjust the standard, that is not the right thing to do, standards have to be high, they have to be maintained, and that is my big concern that people have not thought that through.
West added that female soldiers have already been carrying weapon, going out on different types of missions like resupply, military police, and flying attack helicopters. The real issue for West is female soldiers being assigned into elite units within infantry, Rangers, Marine Corp RECON, Navy Seals, Delta, and other elite units.
There are very elite standards for these elite warriors, and we need to make sure these standards are maintained.-Allen West
West added,” that means there could be some man that cannot make that standard to get in some of these elite units or to be in an infantry unit, but that doesn’t mean you lower the standards.”
The military is not so much about fairness and equality-Allen West
We then asked him if he thought that a female soldier could posed a risk to combat preparedness considering their monthly ‘changes.’
You bring up a great point about physiological differences and that we have to look at, because it affects the readiness.
You are not afforded at some of these small, close-quarter combat units the ability to have separate facilities, and things of that nature especially when you have remote forward operating bases where you are living very Spartan, so those are the types of things, when such as if you are talk about units that have to go in and train with foreign internal defense, with other countries like we have done with Mali, like we have done with the Afghan military, the Iraqi military, will we really be able to effectively implement this with females in infantry, combat, special forces type of units.-Allen West
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