Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MOOTW - Why Modular Units Excite Me

In the Army the overhaul of the organization of units from the old style of armies and divisions is exciting because it acknowledges the assymmetrical nature of modern warfare.  In fact the Army is seems to be constantly engaged in MOOTW:  often small-conflict and sustainment operations.  I just learned today how the Army is moving away from labeling the Front Line and instead referring to a 'Non-Contiguous Battlefield'.  The fact that support and maneuver units are more closely resembling each other in risk is also indicative of the whole Army approaching the moment when gender barriers can be lowered and eventually -hopefully - dropped.  On top of being the absolute right thing to do, the new structure is part of improving the entire organization.  Loosening the restrictions on what positions women may have serves to expand our society's ideas of gender roles in a way which allows both male and female employees to be more productive.  Diverse organizations are more successful organizations.  Success is more and more dependent on drive and innovation than gender.

Second, I was not the only little girl who loved G.I. Jane.  I am not the only motivated young woman in the Army.  And I'm certainly not the most qualified when I think of the high-speed I know who have been to SAPPER or who express an interest in EOD.  The problem is it really takes the wind out of your sails if you know you don't have to try as hard because you aren't allowed to pursue all the different avenues of advancement in the Army.  And on top of that, RANGER school is a Leadership School.  A leadership school, and why do guys go?  Is it because it's an all-male environment?  Is it because men love that sort of thing?  No, it's because they want the challenge.  Well, some women want that challenge too.  A friend told me that people are afraid standards will drop because of false charges of sexism.  They should be afraid at all times that standards will drop for all sorts of reasons, whether based on gender or the national level of fitness.  Obesity is a real and rising problem in the United States, but you can change your level of fitness through training.  You can't change your gender no matter how many pushups you do.

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