Of course, what's good for the grunts getting killed never makes much of a matter to suck-ass politicians.
Let me explain it this way. I have no problem with women in cockpits, be they support or combat. I'm not belittling pilots, it's just that — as any Huey or Blackhawk pilot or crewmember will tell you, it's a damn sight better flying up there, than ground pounding.
It doesn't take a genius to figure that out.
But what about the women who want to fight on the ground? And who are as qualified as a man to do so? (And I mean EXACTLY as qualified). I still think it's a bullshit idea, but let me put into something that less ephemeral than whether someone "should" be allowed in combat.
Can you carry your weight?
And I mean that literally.
After three tours in Viet Nam I arrived home weighing 135 pounds. That was after a third tour in the rear, so I'd venture to say that my fighting weight was about 125 (I was 5-foot-8). I haven't seen any of those numbers in many years, by the way.
Where am I going with this? I put together an equipment load for what we carried in the jungle. We worked in three-night/four-day missions, and our job was either finding NVA and not getting caught, or killing them and ditto. Most of my work was in the Central Highlands of South Viet Nam ... here's a description of the terrain:
"Within the southern portion of Vietnam is a plateau known as the Central Highlands (Tây Nguyên), approximately 51,800 square kilometers of rugged mountain peaks, extensive forests, and rich soil. Comprising 5 relatively flat plateaus of basalt soil spread over the provinces of Đắk Lắk (or "Dac Lac"), Gia Lai, and Kon Tum, the highlands account for 16% of the country's arable land and 22% of its total forested land. Before 1975, North Vietnam had maintained that the Central Highlands and the Giai Truong Son were strategic areas of paramount importance, essential to the domination not only of South Vietnam but also of the southern part of Indochina. "
"Extensive forests" means triple canopy jungle. The climate ranged from tropical monsoon, to mornings where temps dropped to the low 40s.
Not a nice place to fight, patrol, run, fight, live. They helicoptered us in surreptitiously and we tried to come out the same way. It didn't always work that way, but that was the idea.
So, here's my equipment list. I think it's a little light, but I think that any LRRPs who read this will agree it's close. Oh. We were in 4th Infantry Division - E Co. 58th Inf. (LRRP)/Co. K -75th Rangers (Abn).
CAR-15 w/ 15-20 mags 25 pounds
Four frags 5
Two smoke 3
One blood unit 1
First Aid kit 1
Food (LRRPs, etc) 5
Water (3 lbs per quart) 12 (mission dependent)
Sidearm (38 or 45) 5
Rappel Rig 5
One claymore 10
One bar C-4 5
Bedroll (a poncho and a liner) 10
PRC 25 (2) 25/25
Spare battery (2) 8
Spare handset/ant 8
One URC-10 5
So two guys were carrying 106 pounds and one guy was carrying 93 pounds, one 89.
Some ammo/gun loads differed depending on what gun was being carried — AK, M-1A1, M79, Swedish K, shotgun, etc. I can recall guys with M3, Thompson, Stens as well. Normal for us was a 15/16 or AK, however.
I was an RTO early in my tour, so I was 125 pounds carrying the 106 pound load. Show me a woman who can carry 84 percent of her weight for four days and fight with that load on ... and maybe ... just maybe ... you might change my mind. I doubt it.
If you don't know what LRRPs/LRPs/Rangers did Google it ... or check out this History Channel thingee they did a while back ... they got it down pretty well, though there are some questions about some things in it, but nothing a non-LRRP would care about. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghraumiVO2w