What Happens When Women Put on a Military Uniform?



Navy Times, April 15, 1961 As Your Business Blogger was looking through an old Navy Times for a listing of my dad’s promotion, I came across this cartoon.

The Old Salts knew even back then that sparks fly when men and women put on a uniform — in close quarters.

Sometimes the uniforms come off:


Deanna Allen getting out of uniform

in Camp Bucca.

She is clearly not a prudent woman,

See Pirate Codes below

A sample of Pirate Codes concerning women. And these were the uncivilized men:

Bartholomew Roberts’s articles,

One of the best known sets of pirate articles was set down by the famous Welsh pirate Bartholomew Roberts in 1720.

No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man were to be found seducing any of the latter sex, and carried her to sea, disguised, he was to suffer death; [so that when any fell into their hands, as it chanced in the Onslow, they put a sentinel immediately over her to prevent ill consequences from so dangerous an instrument of division and quarrel; but then here lies the roguery; they contend who shall be sentinel, which happens generally to one of the greatest bullies, who, to secure the lady’s virtue, will let none lie with her but himself.]

And from Captain John Phillips’s articles,

If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer present Death.

The Pentagon will not publish the pregnancy rate or the true number of non-deployable women. Not all military women are as, well, flashy as Deanna Allen. But the silence of the Brass makes the virtue of military women appear to be something out of the campus orgies in Tom Wolfe’s “I Am Charlotte Simmons.”

Are all women in the military un-dressing the troops like Deanna? I would hope not. But the pictures are compelling.

And this may get worse. Hillary Clinton wants more women in combat and open homosexuals in the military. More women and homosexuals in the armed forces; in harm’s way would not be helpful for unit cohesion or for what little privacy seen in the military.

Alert Reader David Hilgartner has more thoughts on the “weaker sex” in this terrible time of war, at the jump.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Your Business Blogger is a former Army Captain in Combat Arms. And never had women under his command. Not in the military; not in marriage. And don’t even ask about the daughters.


From: David Hilgartner,

And the comments that “if men would step up, women wouldn’t have to” are disingenuous – typical liberal feminist ‘spin’ on things. Liberal women are pushing for women in combat – as are many of the women serving in the Armed Forces. Most liberal feminists have never been IN the Armed Forces, so they have no idea what they are promoting… That would be like an enemy sympathizer commanding U.S. troops – oh, wait, we’re not discussing John Kerry…

I understand a female soldier’s desire to serve on the battle front – the military ALWAYS gives preference in promotion to commanders and NCO’s who have combat experience. I think anyone would agree this is right – that is the military’s primary function after all. Many (but not all) of the women I encountered in my stint in the Armed Forces were exceptional soldiers, and their career would benefit from a combat command. I still think it is a BAD idea to put them on the front lines, ESPECIALLY against Muslim jihadists!

If we are going to put them in combat, we need to eliminate the differences in the Physical Training test – women should have to meet the same physical standard as the men, if they want to be truly equal. If you say “but women are not as strong as men, especially in their upper body” that brings me back to THEY SHOULDN’T BE IN COMBAT. I read not too long ago about a Sergeant that was clearing an area of Bagdad, and wound up in a knife fight with a Muslim terrorist.

He won, due to his superior conditioning and UPPER BODY STRENGTH. He and his opponent were wrestling together – he could not reach his gun, nor could the terrorist. Finally, he was able to draw his knife and stab the bad guy. Why put a woman in a situation she will likely lose? Perhaps because the death toll would allow anti-war folks to get our troops out of Iraq faster. Think of the media backlash, when a disproportionate number of American casualties are female.

I have heard a statistic that says criminals are something like 10 times (I forget the exact number) more likely to resist when the arresting officer is a woman. Therefore, women police officers have to be MORE prepared, and at least as strong, as their male counterparts. News flash – bad guys don’t have “enlightened” views of women.

I have also heard that a number of Firefighters around the country are protesting the Firefighter physical test as well. It seems women get an easier version. Their test involves picking up a 140 lb dummy and carrying it up three flights of stairs. I don’t know about you, but I weigh 215 lbs, and I would hope that ANY firefighter that came upon my unconcious body would be able to carry my fat butt to safety. I don’t know many adult men that weigh only 140 lbs. Most office buildings are taller than 3 stories. I don’t like the idea of being SOL in a fire, because we are politically correct in our hiring practices.

On a slightly different, but related note, Iranians took away from their women all the advantages won through several hundred years of Western society; Iranian women can not attend University, can not hold jobs, and cannot even travel in public without a male family member as escort. I don’t know if you have met any women in your life, but I have noticed they are extremely social.

Yet Muslim society says they are ‘protecting’ their women. I think many would prefer a little more ‘danger’, and a lot more social interaction… If Muslims treat their OWN mothers, sisters, and daughters this way, what do you think they are going to do to ours, if they get their hands on them?

I find an Arab-American women protesting American women’s involvement in the war in Iraq to be ironic, to say the least. That’s like a black person protesting black regiments in the Northern Army during the Civil War…


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10 Responses

  1. I think you are a little lost. The 50’s are back that way a bit.

  2. Moe Tibbs says:

    Two thousand years of military history shows that just as much inappropriate hijinks happen when men are restricted to their own gender during wartime as well; I think stress and the celebration of machismo, both maintstays of my own experience in the military, are far more to blame than a mixing of the sexes.

    If anything, I’d say that the presence of women in my own unit in the Navy made the men there act far more like the officers and enlisted gentlemen we were trained to be.

    As for their ability to do the job – I worked closely with 7 female officers and three dozen enlisted women and found them every bit as capable as their male counterparts; often, they were far more capable and mature, as just to be taken seriously they were required to go far above the level expected of us males.

    I suppose you can appeal to the discriminatory in anyone and make an argument based on straw-men and emotional appeals. It’s much harder to argue the inability or inappropriateness of women in the military when you’ve actually served with them for 22 years.

  3. The US is not the only country with a military – the UK has allowed women in the military for time now. Not just in support roles, but combat too – Navy and air force will accept women in any position a man could take, and the army has only the most physically demanding roles off-limits. I dont know much about the internal politics of a military, but perhaps it would be reasonable to investigate the effects of women in combat over here before being so dismissive?

    We also have equal physical requirements for both genders.

  4. Tina Long says:

    Some women are indeed stronger than men. I am stronger than my husband. However, the bottom line is this. It should be about the individual. The military and firefighting forces need people who can meet the physical requirements meaning they should be the same for men and women. If a man can do it-he’s in. If he is not strong enough-he is out. The same should apply to women as well. That is true equality. I hate to say it but many of us seem to want our cake and eat it too.

  5. deb says:

    While I agree with the “Business Blogger’s” opinion that women should not be used in combat arms roles, there are so many more dimensions to this issue than meets the CPT’s eye.

    I’ve been in the military for 23 years and ‘back in the day’ the roles of combat and support services were much clearer, with the support roles being more protected. The war in Iraq has broken most of these barriers. Every Soldier is now trained for combat and is daily reminded of their eventual deployment and for the times they will inevitably be shooting at the enemy and taking fire back. So, IMHO, what really needs to happen is to reestablish the roles and stop using service support people as infantry. And to get out of the business of being an occuping force/police force.

    Second, the women I know who are professional and successful in the military do NOT behave as the cartoon that you displayed. Yes, there are many young or immature women (AND MEN!) who act promiscuously in these stressful environments and it is greivous. But in almost every case that I’ve seen, the women behaving this way is typically of much lower rank, while the higher ranking men present condone and encourage the women’s behavior.

    Thirdly, the comment that if men would step up and lead morally then you could phase women out of these roles IS completely relevant and not a secular invention. Read Judges. God will use whoever is willing. The military needs leaders. And most of our young men are not willing to serve. We have a voluntary military and if men don’t volunteer, women will. And parents simply do not encourage their boys to serve their country anymore. The lack of leadership all the way around is quite disheartening.

    Finally, concerning the lowering of physical standards to accomodate women: I agree that if women are to be sent into combat, they should be fit for it to the required standard. However, I don’t want women in combat, so I think women can be less fit and do service support (although that is not option in today’s Army) And do keep in mind, that standards are in jeopardy across the board. One might say that it is just as important to have a smart Soldier, or an ethical one, yet each year the bar is lowered on enlistment education standards and more waivers are approved for enlistees with arrestsm drug use, and serious credit problems.

    Please understand that simply stating your opinion and observations about women in the military will have absolutely no effect, if you can’t understand at the strategic level and talk through some of the big picture problems. But that’s where the discussion needs to go on the Hill. IMHO.


  6. Beth says:

    With all due respect, Jack, the Pirate Codes aren’t relevant. The US military does not consist of pirates or anything resembling them, nor are we in the 16th-18th Century.


    Are all women in the military un-dressing the troops like Deanna? I would hope not. But the pictures are compelling.

    As a woman who spent 11 years in the military, I find the implication here deeply offensive. It is akin to making the implication that male soldiers are rapists or child molesters, because as we all know, it DOES happen on occasion. There are bad apples in every segment of society, and to infer that military women are not “prudent women” because of this one (or any others) is the epitome of a logical fallacy, not to mention extremely insulting to those of us who would never (mis)behave in such a manner (which happens to be the vast, vast majority of military women–and as a former military officer, you likely know this).

    I won’t debate your position on women in the military here–I am not convinced either side has it right–but I will say your arguments as presented here are faulty and frankly, less likely to win any converts.

  7. Jack says:

    The Navy has prego numbers:

    “Women have never played a bigger role in the Navy. They fuel and fly fighter jets, stand watch on the bridges of warships, and build bombs. They also have babies.

    Reconciling those roles is a challenge for Navy brass. During wartime, sailors must be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice – something pregnant women can’t do and single parents can’t do easily.

    Compounding the issue is a rise in the number of single mothers in uniform and concern about unplanned pregnancies among enlisted sailors.

    The Navy’s most recent survey found 14 percent of all women in the Navy were single mothers in 2005, up from 11 percent in 2003 and 7 percent in 2001. Fourteen percent isn’t unprecedented – similar statistics were found in 1989 and 1999 – but military officials say they don’t know the reason for the recent increase.

    The Pregnancy and Parenthood survey also found that almost two-thirds of enlisted women who became pregnant in the previous year had not planned to do so.

    That’s higher than the overall U.S. unintended pregnancy rate of 49 percent – and well above the Department of Defense’s target rate of 30 percent.

    The biennial survey is being updated this year, with results expected in 2008.

    Whether expectant moms are single or married, pregnancy poses thorny issues for the Navy. There are more than 50,000 women in the Navy – about 15 percent of the total force – and most are in their prime childbearing years. The most recent survey found 38 percent of women in the Navy are mothers. Forty-seven percent of Navy men are fathers.”

    See hamptonroads — also has great charts.



  8. HB says:

    [credit to John Howland at USNA at large]

    This … brings back some vivid memories of my last duty station — Assistant Supply Officer in USS SAMUEL GOMPERS, a destroyer tender homeported in Alameda, CA.

    I served onboard from 2.92 until 8.93, and witnessed the same lack of combat readiness, not to mention lack of military presence and discipline, due to the pregnancy issue.

    I had been in the submarine community since completing Supply Corps school. After 3 boats and a department head tour at SUBDEVRON TWELVE under such fine submariners as DJ, EG and R M, I had run the gamut of submarine-related Supply jobs and was assigned to GOMPERS, a/k/a “the Love Boat”.

    What a culture shock! I’ll spare you the horror stories, except to share those related to our deployment, about 13 months after I reported onboard.

    As we approached our underway date, our medical officer (a female) lamented to me how she was seeing the same women, day after day, at sick call.

    They were desperately trying to get pregnant, in order not to deploy, and coming in to be tested almost daily.

    Navy housing in Alameda was at a premium, with many units occupied by single (women) parents with dependent children.

    Here was the way the system operated, according to my medical officer — the women got pregnant, were rotated to SIMA ashore (depriving some sea-going male of his shore billet), missed deployment, waited until the ship was well through the deployment, got an abortion, and awaited the ship’s return to port.

    I don’t know if it’s still current policy, but when the ship had pregnant females onboard (i.e., not on deployment, but doing short hops, work-ups, etc.), it had to be within helo/medevac range to accomodate the pregnant females, should any medical complications arise.

    The operational commitments of Naval vessels were driven by expectant mothers! And nothing warmed my heart more than hearing our XO (also female) apologize on the 1MC when the ship’s return to port was delayed by weather, etc.

    She took great pains to apologize to those inconvenienced mothers onboard whose arrangements for childcare, etc,. went awry due to the unpredictable nature of ship’s operations. How special, indeed!

    This was one of several other factors that precipitated my resignation at the 10-1/2 year point.

    Sigh . . .

  9. ST says:

    [this comes to us from USNA at large]

    Our son, Paul, who is an Army MP captain, just rotated back to Iraq. During our recent visit to see him and his family, we drove around Ft. Stewart where several female soldiers were walking in uniform near one of the clinics.

    I asked him what that was about and he explained that it’s quite common that when a unit is notified of its date to rotate back into a combat zone that a number of female soldiers take steps to become non-deployable.

    Which is to say, they become pregnant, more often than not in an unmarried status. These were soldiers from Brigades that had rotated earlier. His unit recently added to this special corps, though they’re not showing yet.

  10. Lou says:

    Much of the work done by Family Research Council is very good and well appreciated.

    But this article belongs under the category of “Unreasoned Audacity.” Please examine and seek to remove your personal prejudice, Jack. Your denomination has taken a biblical and balanced stand on this issue and you could learn a lot from reading their assembly’s report from a couple of years ago.

    Truly, you embarass yourself with gross and exaggerated accusations. Indeed, the tone and demeanor of your suppositions do nothing but harm.