Female Role in Military

<p>My question relates to basically all of the branches of the military (although, more specifically, the Army and Marines), so I decided to ask all you parents who probably know a good deal about the military. Plus, the recruiting offices were closed at the mall the last time I had a chance to get out (and now school has monopolized almost all of my time once again, 0550 until 2130).</p>

<p>How does the female role differ in the Marines and in the Army (or any other branch)? I mean, which branch has more (or the most) options for females? I keep hearing from some officers and some enlisted that female roles are growing rapidly (but just how fast?). </p>

<p>What exactly is included in ground force Marines? Blowing up bridges?</p>

<p>I've tried looking online and in books for this information, but maybe I'm just a pathetic researcher. If you have any literature to point me to, I'd be grateful.</p>

<p>I'm no expert but I think there are more opportunities (options) for women in the army. It was one of the factors (probably the biggest one) affecting her decision to turn down the appointment to Annapolis and go to WP instead. It of course all depends on what YOU want to do--my daughter wants to be close to the "action" when it happens (not exactly her mother's and my hope)---USMA was her choice. If the Marines have a particular option you want that is open for women, by all means go for it! I think the options for women in all the branches are opening up more and more every year. An all volunteer military during the war on terror is going to demand it. All things and interests being equal, the fact that the Marines are a much smaller force, with a mission that is more narrowly focused you may find options more limited there.
I love the Marines by the way!</p>

<p>Shogun - My thoughts match almost exactly with your daughters (as far as wanting to be close to the "action"). I was pulled toward the Marines because of the "first in, last out" mentality (the way a job should be done), but WP looked so much stronger than USNA in leadership and had a more warrior-like-roll-in-the-dirt feeling. </p>

<p>When I asked my uncle about this (he's a retired Marine), he said USNA would be better because I'd be closer to other Marine hopefuls and the Marine training would take care of all the "warrior-like" training at USMA. Plus, the cross-commission to the Marines would be very slim coming from WP. By the way, I know a few people who have served in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Would it be possible to try to cross-commission to the Marines from the Army after 15 years or so?</p>

<p>I decided that when I choose an academy (assuming I get into both), I'm going to go for that service (Marines, Army, Navy).</p>

<p>The Coast Guard has tremendous opportunities for women. In fact, EVERY job in the CG is open to women, unlike the other services. From commanding a cutter to Commandant. The CGA also has the highest ratio of women of all the service academies.</p>

<p>From what I know, what's closed to women in the Marines is infantry, artillery, and armor. Although those make up a large portion of Marine total forces, pretty much everything else is open. Haha, and I do know a female Marine who's MOS is basically about "blowing up bridges". As a future female Marine myself, I've been looking into this a lot lately and have found there's a whole lot we can do. Although my dad is a Marine colonel, I realized last year that I'd never even met a female Marine, and made it a goal to meet one and sit down with her to talk about my options, and her own experiences. Very helpful.<br>
(And hey, you can't beat that Marine Corps uniform, it's just the best!)
semper fi, dictatoranna! </p>

<p>shawna</p>

<p>FWIW, after sitting in on a number of presentations, my impression is that women going to USNA have more career choices. If you like water, that is.</p>

<p>dictatoranna: If you haven't already found it, the website <a href="http://www.militarywoman.org%5B/url%5D"&gt;www.militarywoman.org&lt;/a> has some pretty interesting articles and links ranging from "Women who served in Hot Zones" to "Women Hair Issues".</p>

<p>Although I am biased towards West Point since our son is there, I concur with Boss51(a scary thought) that the Coast Guard is the most gender neutral branch in terms of officer leadership opportunies.</p>

<p>"WP looked so much stronger than USNA in leadership and had a more warrior-like-roll-in-the-dirt feeling." dictatoranna</p>

<p>dictatoranna,
Could you explain why you think usma looked so much stronger than usna in leadership, since both schools are clearly leadership laboratories? Additionally, both schools strongly admire and respect each other. Okay, I'll admit usma cadets appear to be much better at marching in formal parades. On the other hand, usna midshipmen are better at football (and sailing :) ).</p>

<p>Wow.......I sense the danger of a serious conversation here.</p>

<p>My own point of view is that the leaddership skills needed for and taught at both academies are just different. BOTH produce leaders but the nature of the skill is different because the missions of the majority of the graduates will be different. To generalize, a large portion of the army graduates will branch infantry---they will lead platoons in the field, often in harms way and at times separted physically from the chain of command except by data communication---they must lead 30-40 individuals on their own as they work to accomplish their mission. Contrast that with a typical Naval graduate who most likely finds themselves in the fleet, for the most part in close proximity of their chain of command (on a ship, etc) even in combat situations---I see the Naval officers prepped and ready to lead in the Naval environment but that environment is different, requiring different skills (and many times more technically oriented) than the Army officer on the ground. From the standpoint of interpersonal leadership skills I think WP has a narrower and more intense focus, as the nature of infantry movements on the ground require that, but I don't think the statement that says one produces better leaders than the other is correct. I would expect that Naval Academy graduates that choose the Marine option would experience more of that kind of leadership training when they report for training in the Marine Corps after graduation.
All the academies produce leaders.</p>

<p>just a note- it was so good to see a female cadet leading and in-charge of the entire West Point student body at the Army-Navy Game this year- "you've come a long way baby" came immediately to mind- and let me tell you, she looked GREAT!</p>

<p>shogun,
Very astute comparison of leadership situations. Thank you.</p>

<p>On another topic, what are your preparations for the USC/Texas football game? We'll be watching--my mid returns tomorrow...</p>

<p>Shogun: I agree for the most part with your assessment but I would argue that the WP leadership skills, by necessity, are broader, not narrower. Broader for the reasons your stated: 2nd Lt.'s will be on their own in the field, making quick judgements, assessing difficult situations, learning their men's skills and strengths. These are the same skills that companies and other organizations look for when hiring managers and leaders. The Navy, by contrast as your stated it, is training technicians to manage large pieces of equipment. It's the difference between training true athletes and training position players. The Navy may have a lot of Reggie Bush's but wouldn't you rather have Vince Young leading. </p>

<p>Best example is Jimmy Carter - he was very technically astute and understood how to run a nuclear sub but he will be perceived in history as one of our worst Presidents - right down there with Millard Fillmore. Carter typically read everything that was given to him and tried to make all of the decisions. Eisenhower, on the other hand, is undergoing a rebirth historically. As his papers become available it's clear that he looked at things strategically and on the tactical level hired good people to implement his strategic decisions. He tried to stay in the background. Need I point out that Richard Nixon was also a Naval Officer - he also trusted no one. Bush was in the Air National Guard - I guess we can all agree that his service probably did little to help him.</p>

<p>"he will be perceived in history as one of our worst Presidents..." biggreen</p>

<p>let's be careful to distinguish fact from opinion on this forum. Can you name another US President besides President Carter who received the Nobel Peace Prize?</p>

<p>I agree on being careful on such blanket assumptions. However, JC did not receive the prize for his performance as a U.S. President...(for SURE, in my humble opinion).</p>

<p>Well, I for one, believe international respect and recognition, i.e., the Nobel Peace Prize, of our leaders (both past and present) means a great deal.</p>

<p>Of course it means a great deal and JC is obviously an outstanding citizen, humanitarian and person. In my opinion, he just did not cut it as a president. Although I must profess, he's miles and miles above the most recent democrat we had in that office....:D</p>

<p>Also...they gave the same prize to Yasser Arafat. Not implying JC is in the same league by any means, just questioning some of the organization's awardee decisions.</p>

<p>Oops...
Just realized we're in a "Female Role in Military" thread. We should probably take this elsewhere...</p>

<p>USNA09 Mom</p>

<p>I am watching from home on TV, son is at the game but forced to watch it from the parking lot at a tailgater---only 2500 tickets made available by lottery for USC students--not like the academies where the student body actually gets to go to the really BIG games!</p>

<p>On the subject of Jmmy Carter I would say he was at least one of the most honest and sincere of our presidents. I believe US Grant was also one of those great leaders who ended up being seen as a relative "failure" as a President (lots and lots of scandal/graft etc in his administration).
The biggest failure as a President (IMHO) was the one who ended up resigning in disgrace--nothing to do with his party, but personal integrity needs to run both up and down the flagpole. Carter certainly ranked a bit higher than many in that category. Nixon's greatest legacy was to cripple the effectiveness of the next two to hold office, and to tarnish the image of the office far greater than anyone from either party has done since.</p>

<p>I see Eisenhower's biggest failure as president as not decisively addressing the social and racial issues that were popping up around the issues of segregation. He folded too quickly to southern political pressures and as a result any legislation passed during his terms was pretty ineffective Issues that came to a boil in the 60's. A great military planner but not exactly a dynamic and very effective president. The best presidents were FDR and Lincoln. No one else comes close. The jury is still out on W. Once the smoke from both side's political mischief clears, history will sort it out. Again, only my opinion.</p>

<p>Eisenhower did a lot of things quietly behind the scenes - from africanamericans.com (note comments on Kennedy):</p>

<p>"Although he declined to ask Congress for a civil rights bill in his first years in office, President Eisenhower was quietly determined to eliminate racial discrimination in those areas where the president had clear-cut authority and there was no question of overriding states' rights. Eisenhower therefore issued executive orders ending any segregationist practices that remained in the District of Columbia, in the military, and in the U.S. Government bureaucracy. He was the first president to appoint a black, Frederic Morrow, to an executive position on the White House staff. Eisenhower's record of achievement in the civil rights field was sufficiently impressive that he gained considerable support among black voters when he successfully ran for reelection to the presidency in 1956.</p>

<p>Eisenhower's policy of minimizing legislative requests and maximizing executive action was followed by his successor as president, John F. Kennedy. </p>

<p>Eisenhower's policy of minimizing legislative requests and maximizing executive action was followed by his successor as president, John F. Kennedy. It can even be argued that President Kennedy, by delaying signing an executive order to racially integrate public housing in the United States for more than two years, was less willing to use executive action on behalf of civil rights than Eisenhower was.
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<p>One thing we can agree on is that President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, and President Carter had honorable and distinguished military careers...</p>

<p>I'll definitely second that!</p>