May 3, 2011

How's that coed Navy SEALs thing working out?

After success in the 1991 Gulf War made the military more prestigious, a remarkable amount of energy was expended in America over the rest of the decade to co-edize all aspects of the military. For example, as part of the feminist campaign for female fighter pilots, a huge scandal was ginned up when the Navy fighter pilots' Tailhook fraternity held a 1991 convention / victory party in a Las Vegas hotel and engaged in Las Vegas hotel victory party-type activities. Conversely, cover-ups of fatal female pilot screw-ups were engineered in which the Pentagon and press were complicit. Our leaders' motto in the 1990s was: What happens in Las Vegas gets publicized all over the world, but what happens on the deck of an aircraft carrier in plain view of hundreds stays on that aircraft carrier. (After the Private Jessica Lynch hoax in Iraq in 2003, this frenzy started to ease, its mission accomplished.)

The reductio ad absurdum of this protracted phase in American cultural history was the 1997 Ridley Scott movie G.I. Jane, in which Demi Moore becomes a Navy SEAL and wins a battle with Col. Qathaphee's Libyan Army. (Being a movie by Sir Ridley, G.I. Jane isn't as stupid as it would have been in somebody else's hands in that feminism-fevered cultural climate, but it's still pretty stupid.)

So, how many women Navy SEALs went into bin Laden's compound?

Well, as it turns out, the SEALs never were co-edized. Somebody, somewhere had the good sense to say that the SEALs were a bridge too far because: Someday, we may actually need these guys to get something important done. 

Wikipedia says: "Without exception, all SEALs are male members of either the United States Navy or the United States Coast Guard." Big swinging male members, I might add.

Gentlemen, thank you.

58 comments:

Wandrin said...

"So, how many women Navy SEALs went into bin Laden's compound?"

Special forces are the last refuge of sanity in the western world. If people keep mentioning this THEY will come and mess it up. Actually they probably won't because they need them to fight their wars but you don't want to tempt fate.

.
Have we left Afghanistan yet?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

And of course it continues in movies to this day. Any movie featuring a military team, unless it aspires to realism ("Behind Enemy Lines") must have at least one woman in the crew: "Stealth" (Jessica Biel), "G.I. Joe" (Rachel Nichols and Sienna Miller), "Annapolis" (Jordana Brewster) and Sucker Punch (Emily Browning, et. al.) Of course the male audience understands that their primary purpose is eye candy. The directors probably do, as well.

Anonymous said...

Well said Steve. Nothing to add but to add my thanks as well. A job this well done must be acknowledged.

tommy said...

My understanding is that the law itself prohibits women from joining special forces.

Anonymous said...

http://www.navyseals.com/memorial

Pictures of the 22 SEALs who have died in the War on Terror.

Thripshaw said...

Sorry, but this is definitely illegal under the "disparate impact" interpretation of title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Eric Holder, do your job! Punish these racist white males and destroy their fiefdom now!

Anonymous said...

This is the Anonymous from the previous post who got into an argument with Fred.
Steve and readers - stop with the grovelling about Special Forces. In my time serving in the Army, most senior officers despised special forces soldiers because they considered them to be an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement. There is no war or even major battle in the history of the United States that has been decided by the actions of Special Force soldiers. I am as glad as anyone that they were able to kill UBL but lets not get carried away. His death is largely symbolic. Commandos DO NOT win wars or even battles - scientific and industrial might plus large well educated, disciplined populations do. This is something that the HBD crowd should understand.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes Jessica Lynch. Just a poor girl who joined the army to be a cook and then ended up as a media created "GI Jane" who singled handed saved a whole truck convoy, except well.. she didn't. Some guys did that, who of course, we don't remember.

Partly this military femininzation has occurred because we no longer need (SEALS excepted) a super effective, everything else be damned military. The USSR and Nazi Germany are gone. Plus in the age of the H-bomb and cruise missiles you rarely need good old fashioned male courage and willingness to "close with enemy".

The other reason is the middle class disengagement from the military. Basically, my father and everyone his age served. Even most the early boomers were in the service. But starting in 70s the middle class stopped serving in the US Military. You have young people who don't know ANYONE in the US Military, except maybe Grandpa.

BTW, are the Rangers Co-ed?

a woman said...

I'd love to kiss 'em all.

agnostic said...

At the same time, we should draw a distinction between armies that have no women on principle and those that allow for more social fluidity of women -- provided they can prove themselves the equals of male initiates -- but where no such women can be found.

The feminist period tried to reverse the first pattern -- that is, to *include* women on principle.

But from the mid-'70s through the late '80s, our culture was more like that of pastoral nomads. If there was a strong woman who could hang with the boys, then she was let in. Ripley in the first two Alien movies, Marian Ravenwood, that valkyrie chick from Conan, the pre-'90s Sarah Connor, and all of those Final Girl types from the slasher movies (who like Sarah Connor only became strong after undergoing a rite of passage, since it was assumed correctly that women don't start out very tough).

The less rigid role structure of the Celts or the Scythians let women participate in war, or even lead in war, unlike in the more hierarchical agricultural societies like Rome or China. The real Amazons were from one of those pastoral nomad groups from the Steppe, and the basis of the Mulan legend was from a similar group farther east.

Anonymous said...

I never heard the whole story about Lynch before. Steve's mention made me look it up. Good for Lynch that she did her best to set the record straight.

rainy_day said...

@11:08 PM Anonymous:

| an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement. There is no war or even major battle in the history of the United States that has been decided by the actions of Special Force soldiers.

You make their case! As for their not winning battles, well, if there were enough of them I'm sure they would.

Anonymous said...

The same goes for the crews of nuclear submarines - all are intelligence tested so that complete idiots are weeded out.
Somehow the writ of Griggs vs. Duke Power doesn't apply here.

Anonymous said...

"Commandos DO NOT win wars or even battles..."

Nope. They just reduce the number of men needed to die in order to do so, by taking grave risks upon themselves.

"BTW, are the Rangers Co-ed?"

My understanding is that by law *all* special ops units are restricted to men. This includes the Rangers.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

This is the Anonymous from the previous post who got into an argument with Fred.
Steve and readers - stop with the grovelling about Special Forces. In my time serving in the Army, most senior officers despised special forces soldiers because they considered them to be an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement. There is no war or even major battle in the history of the United States that has been decided by the actions of Special Force soldiers. I am as glad as anyone that they were able to kill UBL but lets not get carried away. His death is largely symbolic. Commandos DO NOT win wars or even battles - scientific and industrial might plus large well educated, disciplined populations do. This is something that the HBD crowd should understand."

I once read that Eisenhower despised commandos and such-like super-soldiers. I agree with you. The fact that modern american culture lionizes ninjas, assasins, snipers, stealth operators, and other forms of what essentially are professional killers is a sign of our moral decline. That kind of army is a far cry from the citizen soldiers of previous wars.

Fred said...

"This is the Anonymous from the previous post who got into an argument with Fred."

Thanks for that lame attempt to narrow your identity down for us. Just checked the previous post and I didn't even comment in that thread, let alone get in an argument with an anonymous commenter. But I'll try to indulge you here.

"In my time serving in the Army, most senior officers despised special forces soldiers because they considered them to be an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement."

You are dating yourself a little. It's been years since the special operators were scoffed at as snake-eaters - they have their own command now, for Christ's sake.

"Commandos DO NOT win wars or even battles - scientific and industrial might plus large well educated, disciplined populations do."

It depends on the battle. Commandos (specifically, the kill teams run by the Gen McChrystal) played a key role in grinding down Al Qaeda in Iraq. And more importantly, commandos are trained to do things that conventional forces can't: rescue hostages, capture or kill high value targets, etc. They did a spectacular job nailing OBL, and deserve credit for that.

That said, we don't exactly have a great track record of winning wars since WWII, despite our scientific and industrial might, etc. The only major war you could say we won convincingly was the Gulf War, against puny Iraq, and with a slew of other countries on our side. Even there, we lost the peace.

You could make a case that we've won the current Iraq War, but it looks like an enormously costly, pyrrhic victory at this point.

eh said...

That Navy SEAL memorial site is a sad reminder of wasted lives, many of those poor guys killed by stepping on mines, getting ambushed in transit, or in sundry helicopter crashes.

Also sad the way the site has adopted some of the more ridiculous rhetoric of the 'War on Terror':

...was killed by enemy fire while participating in his team’s assault on a fortified enemy position in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, against terrorists who had been involved in the recent downing of a Coalition helicopter...

So if your country is invaded and you shoot at enemy helicopters you are a "terrorist".

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous: "In my time serving in the Army, most senior officers despised special forces soldiers because they considered them to be an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement."

In other words, Dear Anonymous, these are the quasi-sociopaths that quite simply get the job done. Read any of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's work ("On Combat" and "On Killing") about the lack of sensitivity to your fellow man that true warriors MUST have. And I for one am glad that we have people who will pull the trigger on you without batting an eyelash about culturally-constructed morality. They kill and that's what they're trained to do. God bless their strong will to kill.

John Mansfield said...

Having a girl on a commando team isn't a new trick for Hollywood. I'm thinking of older war movies like "The Guns of Navarone" (1961) and "Where Eagles Dare" (1968). Male-female interaction spices up even war movies. To they still make the occasional all-male piece like "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Twelve O'Clock High"?

Anonymous said...

Regarding GI Jane--

No, sorry: Hanoi Jane, and therefore off-topic...

See the current (May 9) issue of The New Yorker for a badly written profile of Jane Fonda by Hilton Als, which includes an interesting quote from a speech by Fonda's ex-husband Tom Hayden, at the wedding of Hayden and Fonda's son Troy Garrity. Hayden "said that he was especially happy about his son's union with Bent, who is black, because, among other things, it was 'another step in a long-term goal of mine: the peaceful, nonviolent disappearance of the white race.'"

Thanks, Dad.

By the way, in the lede graf, Als, who is black, weirdly refers to Fonda's drink as "vodka-and-orange-juice." If we aren't calling that a screwdriver anymore, then maybe American WASP culture really is in danger of disappearing.

Chicago said...

Men have been bearing the brunt of all these wars and it's time to have a little gender fairness. Women have equal rights so they should have equal responsibilities.
Form up all female and gay units and send them to the various fronts.
I'm told they're yearning to fight and die on behalf of the country so let's see to it they get their dreams fulfilled.
Roughly half the population is female; half of all military casualties should also be female.
It's time for the free ride to end and give the guys a break for once.

Anonymous said...

I thank the Seals too.

I have noticed that 9 out of 10 large mesomorph males are arrogant though. So on a personal level, I would not be surprised if they are cocks assholes as well.

Anybody know why large mesomorph males are so cocky?

stari_momak said...

I ran into a good number of SeAls during my military training, and new one fairly well, and I knew one well during in my master's program. In my sample, which may have been biased, they are not cocky guys at all, but actually pretty quiet -- though maybe if I spent time at Mr. P's on Coronado Island, I'd have a different opinion.

As to the GI Jane thing, I've read that Delta Force does have female operatives, for the very good reason that a few male-female couple would arose fewer suspicions (say, posing as tourist) than a large group of young men.

BTW, the link posted by 'anonymous' seems to be mistaken. With the exception of one Asian (Korean), they all seem to be white guys, and all except maybe one seem to be gentiles. That can't be correct, can it?

Half Sigma said...

Israel has lots of female soldiers, and the IDF kicks ***.

Of course, you have to factor in who they are fighting. Muslims are only good at doing suicide terrorist missions. When it comes competence at normal military operations, they suck. Which explains why we could invade Pakistan with severl helicopters, fight for 40 minutes only a short distance from their military academy, and they didn't even notice this happening.

The SEALs might not have been so successful if they had to invade Russia.

Anonymous said...

"In my time serving in the Army, most senior officers despised special forces soldiers because they considered them to be an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement."

LOVE IT!

Steve, please admit that you do not know dick about military matters, and that your groveling before the Special Forces gods is in itself an example of the hold that Hollywood has over your adolescent imagination.

Why don't you also mention that the SEALs are virtually all-white, and probably all Christian, so that you can hit all the bases at once and so the habitual anti-Semites who now form a large fraction of your readership can beat off?

Anonynamaria

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"I have noticed that 9 out of 10 large mesomorph males are arrogant though. So on a personal level, I would not be surprised if they are cocks assholes as well."

I read an interview with a SEAL instructor who said that it's the cockiest applicants who wash out in the selection process. As to why large men are cocky - some are narcissists obsessed with their bodies. With others that cockiness is simply confidence. Sorry if that turns you off. I'd wager that men with large bank accounts are pretty confident, too.

"That said, we don't exactly have a great track record of winning wars since WWII, despite our scientific and industrial might."

The wars we've fought since WW2 have all seemed "optional," so we haven't been willing to commit the resources necessary for winning. We've lacked the moral authority to use maximum force - Iraq and Vietnam didn't attack us - and we're far too willing to judge the actions of Roosevelt and Truman, for interning Japenese-Americans, or dropping the atom bomb, rather than give them credit for doing anything and everything they could to win. It's easy to judge them while forgetting that victory was not a forgone conclusion, or that it might have come at a much, much higher price.

WH Silver Star said...

I wonder how many of our special ops teams have been sent into Tripoli to put one into K'Daffy from 600 yards.

Another poll boost for Obama!

NPR was describing the steely bravery of those in the White House command center during the operation. It was described as if Obama and his advisors should all get a medal of honor or somthing.

Funny that there has been no photos nor mention of any of the actual SEALs who were risking their lives.

Truth said...

"In my time serving in the Army, most senior officers despised special forces soldiers because they considered them to be an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement."

You learned all of this from the kitchen?

HAHAHA, just joking with you Bud. Good point about lionizing trained killers!

Georgia Resident said...

Oh, my. Judging from the list of Navy SEAL casualties, they seem to be sorely lacking in Diversity. It's almost all white men, with one Asian. We need to bring in some black lesbians to make them more diverse.

Kylie said...

"Gentlemen, thank you."

Thank you (or as FLOTUS would put it, Thank-you) for what?

You mean the recent removal of bin Laden? How much of a threat to US citizens/interests was he? And what evidence is there that he was more of a threat alive than he will be dead?

Seems to me it's Obama personally who benefits most from all this. There are plenty of Muslims left willing to harm us.

The Seals acted at the President's behest which does not necessarily mean they acted in the best interests of the American people.

They fit Shane's description of a gun: "A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it".

This is not to slight their courage, expertise, resourcefulness and daring. Only to say that their function is to carry out the will of the American President, which may or may not be in the best interests of the American people. That is, I admire them greatly for what the can do but I'm uneasy about why they do it.

As for the smell of victory wafting around the assassination of bin Laden, there are plenty around the world who still smell only the stench of American opportunism, bullying and corruption.

Anonymous said...

The real Navy Seal - at least in Hollywood - is Charlie Sheen. That's just too good - it must be a wicked conspiracy.

Albertosaurus

kurt9 said...

Ridley Scott is my favorite director and "GI Jane" is my least favorite movie by him. I agree with Steve that it is still better than if anyone else had directed it.

You will notice that almost all of the fighting in Afghanistan and the bulk of the serious fighting in Iraq was done by special forces and Marines. This is self-explanatory in a mountainous place like Afghanistan. It is true that the Turks did not allow the 4th Army to pass through their territory in order to enter Iraq from the north.

However, one cannot help but wonder if also the bulk of the fighting was done by Marines because they were the only effective fighting force of the necessary size to invade and occupy Iraq.

Dahlia said...

I have a relative by marriage who tried twice to get into the Navy Seals. He just couldn't hack it. He is also one of the most muscular men I've every known, however, he is short. I tend to think that handicapped him. Anyway, him failing his goal made us appreciate the Navy Seals that much more because he is so powerfully strong.

I looked at a lot of the pictures on the memorial site linked to above and most of the guys didn't stand out to me as being beefy, but rather normal-sized.

Truth said...

"Oh, my. Judging from the list of Navy SEAL casualties, they seem to be sorely lacking in Diversity. It's almost all white men, with one Asian."

Maybe only the mediocore ones got shot?

Truth said...

"He is also one of the most muscular men I've every known, however"

I don't know if the whole Brock Lesnar thing works so well when you have to swim a mile in the ocean with your hands cuffed.

Lions for Lambs said...

Didn't you guys see Robert Redford's lions for lambs?

The two US special forces heros trapped in the Afgan mountains were Hispanic and Black.

Look at the photo in the above link - white guys are obviously the lesser half of any US elite military force.

Steve Sailer said...

"How much of a threat to US citizens/interests was he?"

How much of a threat is Charles Manson?

This was capital punishment.

I approve.

Svigor said...

Anyway, him failing his goal made us appreciate the Navy Seals that much more because he is so powerfully strong.

From what I understand, it's more about brains than brawn. You know, mental toughness and being on the ball, as it were. And motivation. They starve you for a week. And drown you a couple times, too, or they did last I heard. Obviously you need to be in shape (endurance is probably a lot more important than strength here), but if you have your shit together upstairs you'll get into great shape long before you try out for the SEALs.

I'm just waiting for some Brit to come along and tell us how much better the SAS is. :) J/K.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you guys see Robert Redford's lions for lambs?

There's something wrong with that dude.

steve wood said...

Funny that there has been no photos nor mention of any of the actual SEALs who were risking their lives.

Not funny at all. It's common sense and, I believe, common practice to conceal the identities of those who engage in covert ops. When the operatives in question killed the leader of a fanatical gang of suicide bombers, it's even more sensible.

As for complaining that Obama is taking credit for the raid, well, that's what Presidents do. And he DID order it, and the men who carried it out DO work for him, so some credit is due.

FDR didn't personally invade Normandy, but he was responsible for leading the men who did.

It's possible to think Obama is a lousy President and still acknowledge that not everything he does is wrong.

Alberto Wong said...

A lot of the posters, as well as Steve himself, have made the odd presumption that the Seals and special forces stalwarts in general are all tall, swaggering, muscle-bound mesomorphs - Brock Lesnars in camoflage gear. From what I recall, however, the soldiers selected for these specialist duties tend to be of small stature and sinewy. The key attribute for special forces soldiers is stamina, and having a huge amount of red meat and muscle bulk diminishes endurance. It's why people are amazed when UFC heavyweights are capable of fighting at full pelt for more than two rounds - it's very hard to do when you're endowed with that much meat.

This is at least what I recall having read in a few places. I have met one candidate for the Navy Seals who was soon due to go through Hell Week, and he was much shorter and thinner than I am (I'm larger than average but not massive). I've seen documentaries and read a few books about the SAS - none of the guys appear much larger than normal.

I distinctly recall Gary Brecher stating in one of his articles that the ideal modern soldier is actually a small, sinewy guy with a lot of stamina - someone who can go for days and hide in small places. A muscle-laden mesomorph presents a huge target, and is less likely to have good stamina unless he's some kind of freak.

It's perhaps also worth pointing out that one of the recent arguments touted for the greater strength and muscle mass for Sub-Saharan Africans and Polynesians is their inability to develop effective projectile weapons. The selection pressures were for success in melee combat, which favours large frames and muscles. Technological advances negate this preference.

"The real Amazons were from one of those pastoral nomad groups from the Steppe, and the basis of the Mulan legend was from a similar group farther east."

I'd also like to point out in passing that Agnostic is a credulous fool.

Anonymous said...

"Not funny at all. It's common sense and, I believe, common practice to conceal the identities of those who engage in covert ops. When the operatives in question killed the leader of a fanatical gang of suicide bombers, it's even more sensible. "

Also time to note that these SEALs were able to wander into Pakistan near its military academy so probably weren't the sons of midwestern farmers but perhaps had a hotel managing father in Michigan or Texas. And that all these SEALs were necessarily men, I doubt it...

stari_momak said...

"Maybe only the mediocore ones got shot?"

Touché

Anonymous said...

"In my time serving in the Army, most senior officers despised special forces soldiers because they considered them to be an undisciplined problem with no respect for rank or rules and no respect for normal rules of engagement."

We tended to see special ops as psychos and weirdos, and often off the rails. But admittedly that was a different time and place. I must admit that looking at today's unilateral aerial bombardment (formerly known as 'war'), it is hard to enthuse about manly warrior qualities. A slightly limp-wristed WWI officer like Robert Graves knew more about courage, duty and selfless sacrifice than some hi-tech robocop of today.
Gilbert Pinfold.

Anonymous said...

Israel has lots of female soldiers, and the IDF kicks ***.
--

1. All of them except for those pulling guard duty on the Egypt border are in support. So they aren't real combat troops.

2. They fight Arabs.

Foresight Gaga said...

Our Ships Are Sealed.

Anonymous said...

Also time to note that these SEALs were able to wander into Pakistan near its military academy so probably weren't the sons of midwestern farmers but perhaps had a hotel managing father in Michigan or Texas.

---

A theory of Patel domination of SEAL Team Six. Most ethnic desperate post ever.

Anonymous said...

I think the Marine Corps has been pretty effective in isolating women from men, but the Army, Navy, and Air Force not so much. I don't think any women serve in combat for the Marines. I watched a good chunk of that documentary "Carrier" and although there were some female pilots in the Navy squadrons, I don't recall any in the Marine ones shown on that documentary, also I believe Scout/Snipers, Recon, or Force Recon are currently male-only as well. From that documentary it would seem like women can serve just about anywhere in the Navy except submarines, but I that might have changed. Clearly, Special Forces is still off-limits as well.

agnostic said...

Alberto Wong, a cyber-stalker I recall from another thread. Did the Mulan reference touch a nerve? If memory serves, you're one of those white dorks who memorized East Asian culture in the hopes of getting one of their women to talk to you.

Did you get shot down by a pastoralist Mulan type or something?

Anonymous said...

"Also time to note that these SEALs were able to wander into Pakistan near its military academy so probably weren't the sons of midwestern farmers but perhaps had a hotel managing father in Michigan or Texas."

Well, from the bottom of their boots, dangling from the helicopters, zooming by at 120 mph, at 1 in the morning, they certainly looked like Patels.

Planning the successful invasion of Normandy (or Iraq) was substantially more difficult than finding and taking out OBL. Of course Roosevelt, Bush and Obama didn't do the planning, but they chose the men who did.

Alberto Wong said...

Agnostic said:

"Did you get shot down by a pastoralist Mulan type or something?"

No actually - I've dated Manchu and Kazakh girls before, and I'm actually Chinese, if the surname wasn't a dead giveaway.

I just enjoy pointing out your a dope - though you seem to resent it intensely.

Anonymous said...

Of course you won't find the women serving in a combat related capacity because they are legally barred from serving in a combat unit.

It doesn't stop the military from sending females out on combat missions, though. They just merely attach them to a unit instead of assigning them and then you get situations like the one involving Jessica Lynch.

The government loves a good story and it's not limited to females. They tried to spin the Lynch story in the same way they tried to cover up the circumstances of Pat Tillmans death as well. They just want to spin it into a good old fashioned war hero story.

Jesus Christ Supercop said...

As I recall GI Jane wasn't about SEALs, but a fictional unit recruiting members from all special forces, including Delta which itself recruits from other special forces. The idea that a female desk jockey could pass a selection process designed to weed out special forces veterans is ridiculous, to put it mildly.

Anonymous said...

As to the GI Jane thing, I've read that Delta Force does have female operatives

Not unless they have all joined in the last half year. I saw a quote by Defense Secretary Gates that was dated 9-30-2010, saying that he believes that SF will yield to accepting women in the future, but I haven't seen anything saying they have. Considering how much the MSM likes the idea as Steve as pointed out, I'm sure we would have heard something about it by now if they had been accepted. I'm sorry but the number of women who could physically do that job would have to be literally one in a million or more. Any woman with those physical attributes should be an Olympic or professional athlete.

Israel has lots of female soldiers, and the IDF kicks ***.

Israel has female soldiers, but after 1948, and until relatively recently again on an "experimental basis" women didn't serve in combat roles. I would also be pretty close to certain that the Israelis have no women in their versions of SF either or being used as fighter pilots.

Kylie said...

"'How much of a threat to US citizens/interests was he?'

How much of a threat is Charles Manson?

This was capital punishment.

I approve."


I see. I'd thought of it as killing an enemy combatant, not executing a criminal. That POV makes more sense of it.

Thanks for explaining.

Un Ros Bif said...

Svigor said...

I'm just waiting for some Brit to come along and tell us how much better the SAS is. :) J/K.

Haha...nah. Heres to the SEALs. Good job well done.

In any case FYI, the UK equivalent of US Navy SEALS would probably be the SBS:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Boat_Service

And, from what I've read the SBS have had a better (Afghan) war than the SAS.

One incident which most readers might remember was the Taliban prisoner uprising at Qala-i-Janghi fort:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Qala-i-Jangi
At 2:00 pm a mixed Special forces team, formed with nine U.S. Special Forces and six British Special Boat Service operators, arrived and joined the Afghans firing at the prisoners from the northern part of the fort

According to my copy of Special Operations Forces in Afghanistan pp28 "an American special operator who fought at Qala-i-Janghi recalled: '...a USAF major came along with the ad hoc team to see if they could help out. The SBS really saved the day on the 25th...All were extremely professional, aggressive, and cool under fire'...The US showed its appreciation to the SBS by attempting to have them recognized with US decorations, but British bureaucracy prevented these awards."

The commentator on this news clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amV0kMEKXU4&feature=related calls the British special forces (shown here in the battle of Qala-i-Janghi) SAS when actually they are SBS. I believe the soldier seen firing a machine gun from the hip is Sergeant Paul 'Scruff' McGough who tragically died in a hang gliding accident in 2006 - and therefore he can be named and acknowledged.

Its all a bit like Call of Duty innit? ;)

none of the above said...

This is a tails vs middle of the distribution thing. If you have some job that requires the 99+th percentile of physical ability in men, you won't be able to find any women who qualify. (There are some amazingly strong, fast, talented women out there. But the best female weightlifter or boxer or sprinter is just not able to compete with men in the Olympics.) By contrast, if you have a job that requires the 50th percentile of male physical performance, you'll be able to get a smallish number of women to qualify at the same level.

Correction said...

It doesn't stop the military from sending females out on combat missions, though. They just merely attach them to a unit instead of assigning them and then you get situations like the one involving Jessica Lynch.

Jessica Lynch wasn't sent out on a combat mission. She was a supply clerk for the 507th Maintenance Company driving in a supply convoy when a number of wrong turns led the convoy into an ambush.