Gender Integration in the Military

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The Special Forces operational detachment alpha is a highly trained 12-man team that can deploy worldwide and conduct special operations. The Special Warfare Center selects soldiers based off high standards for physical and mental qualities to serve on ODAs. SWC further tests these qualities during training and qualification of their specialty. ODAs frequently operate in restrictive areas with limited resources against different types of enemies (ARSOF 2022 1 2013, 4). ODAs allow senior leaders more options in handling and preventing threats to national security (ARSOF 2022 1 2013, 22). All positions on an ODA are closed to women. Women currently serve in SOF on cultural support, civil affairs, psychological operations, and female engagement teams. These teams make up a large portion of SOF and cater to the strengths women naturally possess. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate why women should not serve in an ODA. Men have a natural physical advantage over women, they are generally taller, have more muscle mass, stronger bone structure, and increased cardiovascular capability (Maust, 1993 "Muscle Types and Sex Differences"). ODAs need physical prowess to gain mental clarity to operate in dynamic environments. Soldiers and athletes with a solid physical foundation are able to learn faster and gain more from training. Time or resources will always limit training. The results of the recent gender integration in Ranger School highlight the factors of gender in training and readiness. The integration of women in ODAs will jeopardize safety and reduce readiness. Each member of an ODA has a specific responsibility and failure results in increased risk to the mission and team. It would be untrue to propose that all men are incredibly physical and not all women are. However based off human physiology an average man is physically superior to an average woman, in

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