Brits say "no" to women in ground close combat...

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Nothing in the orgy of sexual anarchy these United States are giving ourselves to is easier to oppose with hard facts than our hell-bent rush to make our mothers, wives, and daughters kill and die for us as ground force combatants in the U.S. Armed Forces.

More than a decade ago, I spent a couple years working against this madness as a member of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America's Ad Interim Study Committee of Women in the Military. During my service there I was appalled at the connivance of a good number of PCA pastors and elders at these worst manifestations of rebellion against God's Creation Order of Sexualtiy. Both at General Assembly and on our committee, there were a number of pastors and elders (including military chaplains) who did everything they could to obstruct any attempt to call the denomination to say "no" to women in combat. On our committee, these men perpetually claimed there was no such thing as a front line, nowadays...

no line of combat; no distinction between combatants and noncombatants; that women's multitasking and digital skills uniquely suited them to serve in the modern technological forces; and furthermore, if the PCA condemned women in combat in the military, we would be the laughingstock of the world, essentially sending the watching world the message that the PCA believed it was the calling of every woman to be at home, barefoot and pregnant.

Yes, that was the level of debate I had with men who were church officers in the PCA and had arisen to the level of being appointed by a moderator of the PCA's General Assembly to that study committee. The ignorance of theology, church history, and the teaching of Scripture among these men was appalling.

By God's grace the General Assembly ended up condemning women in combat and you can read the report of the (bare) majority of our committee at the PCA's Archives here. Read it—if you won't be offended by my saying so, it's well worth your time.

All the above upon the occasion of this release by the British Ministry of Defence's study summary, Women in Ground Close Combat (GCC) Review Paper — 01 December 2014. Among their findings (kindly provided by the Center for Military Readiness):

Combat: The primary purpose of military forces.  "Combat and the requirement to retain the ability to close with and kill the enemy, sets the context for this review.  When dismounted, this includes the requirement to deploy on foot over difficult terrain, carrying substantial weight, to engage in close quarter fighting, recuperate in the field and then do the same again repeatedly over an extended period." (p. 2, #11)
The nature and character of conflict. "This report recognizes that the nature of conflict is immutable; GCC will remain an intense, visceral and unavoidably physical activity. Violent death, injury, all-pervading concussive noise, horror, fear, blood and high levels of emotion are common themes.  Combat exposes inadequacies and applies manifold stresses at individual, team and organizational levels.  These stresses are likely to occur repeatedly throughout combat operations and require high levels of both mental and physical endurance."  (p. 2, #12)
a.  Physical capability. "The physiological differences between the sexes disadvantage women in strength-based and aerobic fitness tests by 20 to 40%; so for the same output women have to work harder than men. (p. 4, #18a)
•  "Despite the differences, there will be some women, amongst the physical elite, who will achieve the entry tests for GCC roles. But these women will be more susceptible to acute short term injury than men: in the Army’s current predominantly single sex initial military training, women have a twofold higher risk of musculoskeletal (MSK) injury. (p. 4, #18a)
•  "The roles that require individuals to carry weight for prolonged periods are likely to be the most damaging." (p. 4, #18a)
b.  Morbidity and deployability. "Morbidity is the incidence of disease or injury in a cohort of the population.  Research indicates that the physical demands of GCC roles could result in chronic long term risks to the health of women employed in GCC roles. (p. 4, #18b)
•  "For instance; regular periods of energy deficit, which occurs during periods of high energy expenditure, such as robust training and operations, can affect both reproductive and skeletal health. (p. 4, #18b)
•  ". . . [Experiences] of elite endurance athletes are inherently different in that athletes are not required to meet the requirements of high readiness or to optimise their fitness levels to meet the requirement of unforeseeable contingent operations. (p. 4, #18b)
•  "The high and unaccustomed physical demands of initial training are associated with increased risk of Musculoskeletal injury (MSK) injury in recruits. The overall risk of MSK injury is higher for women, reaching seven fold in some studies of British Army training." (Annex B, p. B1, #6)
•  Trauma. "In spite of these interventions and with the majority (88%) of female recruits carrying 15 kg in training: the rate of trauma and overuse lower limb MSK remains two-fold higher in women and the rate of hip and pelvic stress fractures is ten-fold higher in women (2.8 per 1000 vs. 28.1 per 1000 trainees)." (Annex B, p. B2, #9)
c.  Survivability and lethality. ". . . The Infantry Battle School and Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) have conducted a number of qualitative studies into load carriage, examining impacts on lethality and survivability. (p. 4, #18c)
•  "These studies suggest that the relative strength of women, compared to men, when carrying the combat load are likely to result in the early onset of fatigue. This is likely to result in a distinct cohort with lower survivability in combat. (p. 4, #18c)
•  "Similar research points to a reduced lethality rate; in that combat marksmanship degrades as a result of fatigue when the combat load increases in proportion to body weight and strength. (p. 4, #18c)
d.  Medico legal implications. "The severity of the physiological impacts on women may be such that Defence is required to retain an exemption from women serving in some or all GCC roles, most notably those that are dismounted. (p. 5, #18d)
•  "To include women in GCC roles without further scientific review . . . could expose Defence to significant legal risk of personal injury claims (either under the common law of negligence and/or breach of statutory duty). (p. 5, #18d)
•  Pregnancy.  "British female soldiers have a greater risk of MSK injury during the first 12 months postpartum . . .Undertaking strenuous training with heavy loads during this period will increase the risk of skeletal injury."  (Annex B, p. B3, #24)
•  Health risks.  "...Whilst women have not been employed in GCC roles, research may indicate that the more extreme of these roles could have an impact on reproductive function and bone health. The immediate risk is stress fracture injury with training, and potential chronic risks may include irreversible bone fragility and infertility."  (Annex B, p. B4, #26)
•  Cohesion. "The basis of the retention of the exclusion in both 2002 and 2010 was the potential impact of gender-mixing in small teams in GCC environments. . . [I]t was the view of military judgement that under conditions of high intensity close quarter battle, team cohesion is of such significance that the employment of women in this environment would represent a risk to CE and no gain in terms of CE to offset it. (Annex D, p. D-1, #2)
•  ". . . [N]o substantial evidence has been identified to challenge the findings of the 2002 or 2010 studies and their findings remain valid." (Annex D, p. D-1, #3)
•  Relationship between cohesion and CE. "Newer evidence continues to support the assumption that cohesion is a key determinant of unit performance... the causation partly goes from performance to cohesion, rather than the reverse." (Annex D, p. D-2, #5)

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

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