Thursday, May 01, 2008

The military continues to be stupid

Pfc. Monica Brown became only the second woman since WWII to receive the Silver Star, for bravery under fire.

For her exemplary service, she was pulled from combat. That makes a lot of sense!

"I got pulled" by higher-ups, she said, because her presence as "a female in a combat arms unit" had attracted attention.

I love that. Attention for what? Bravery? Or bravery while female? Why is that a problem? Were they afraid she was makin' the boys look bad? Do they think Brown's male peers wish that they'd had their lives saved by a man that day? Do you really think they care?
President Bush has forcefully backed the Army's restrictions, asserting in a January 2005 interview with the Washington Times that there should be "no women in combat." Since her heroic actions, however, Brown was promoted to specialist and has been congratulated by Cheney in Afghanistan, praised in a meeting with Bush at a NATO summit in Romania, and offered a job on the White House staff.

Yeah, that's just what she needs - to go work for the idiot who thinks she can't handle combat (which she has already handled) because she has a vagina.

To be fair, this is the work of Teh Dubya, against the wishes of his own commanders:
Military officers in the field and independent experts have said it is both infeasible and contrary to the Army's own warfighting doctrine to prevent women from serving in proximity to – or together with – all-male combat units in today's war zones. They contend that if the goal of the policy is to protect women from capture or bodily harm, it cannot be done in the scramble of conflicts such as those in the Middle East.

Listen to the praise this medic has received from her superiors and peers:
No sooner were they in the ditch that insurgents began firing mortars. Brown threw her body over Smith, shielding him as more than a dozen rounds hit nearby. The ammunition inside the burning Humvee then started exploding, including 60mm mortars, 40mm grenade rounds and rifle ammunition. Again, Brown lay over the wounded.

Robbins, the platoon leader, repositioned his Humvee near the injured and was incredulous that Brown had survived. "I was surprised I didn't get killed and she'd been over there for 10, 15 minutes longer," he recalled.

"There was small arms coming in from two different machine-gun positions, mortars falling . . . a burning Humvee with 16 mortar rounds in it, chunks of aluminum the size of softballs flying all around," said Robbins, of Portsmouth, R.I. "It was about as hairy as it gets."

Across Afghanistan, female medics such as Brown are regularly sent to serve with combat units. "The real catch was to have a female medic out there because of the cultural sensitivities and the flexibility that gave commanders," said Maj. Paul Narowski, the executive officer of Brown's battalion. "It is absolutely not about gender in terms of how well they will do," he said, adding that he does not know why Brown was pulled out.

Silly, silly Major. Because she's a baby machine, and that's all that matters.

Hat tip: Jezebel.

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Blogger Letty Cruz said...

Isn't that charming? The usual rant of the chauvinist against women being in military service or combat is that they're not capable of fighting at a man's level. And now they fight TOO WELL or (gods forbid!) BETTER than men. It's depressing; I'm trying very hard to see the big picture, as Rob Brezsny (the horoscope guy) says, that despite the backward assholes and the concerted effort by "religious" orgs and others to turn back time, we have gone forward since the stone age and will keep going forward, or seal our fate as a species, simple as that.

& good morning; stealing some carefully alloted time before I have to hit the road for work, aaaaah espresso <3

6:50 AM  
Blogger Ginger said...

What kills me in this instance is that her commanders - all men - want her out there, but Bush, who'll never see a day of combat, has decided she's too delicate to handle it. Happy Friday!

8:35 AM  

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