Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pregnant Female Soldiers

The subject of pregnancy in the military arose earlier in the week when Major General Anthony Cucolo announced that he would punish female soldiers who become pregnant in the combat zone as well as the male soldiers involved. While court martial would be a possible punishment under Cucolo’s decision, it sounds as if he did not necessarily intend that this most drastic of punishments be implemented. Rather, he must have intended to underscore and control the seriously debilitating effects of pregnancy on troop and unit strength and was pointing out that pregnant soldiers are unable to carry out their responsibilities and so are a liability.

Kind of obvious, isn’t it? The Major General's stance was, of course, unpopular because it makes so much sense. That is, it is politically incorrect for a military commander to come out and state the truth. Cucolo's decision was also an uncomfortable reminder to our rights-crazed culture that, while men and women are equally entitled to the rights due all of us as human beings, men and women are not entitled to act the same because, quite simply, they are not the same.

Cucolo’s policy was over-ruled by higher authorities and a new policy will begin on January 1st which will prevent commanders in the field from implementing sensible policies like Cucolo's . Although the reporting on this subject consists mostly of snippets, Blackfive went into a bit more detail and mentioned a paper written back in 1999 on the subject of how pregnancy affects U.S. Army readiness. I’ve only read about 10 pages of this 36 page paper, and I’m not quite sure which side of the issue the author ends up on, but so far I remain wedded to my position that while women can and should find appropriate ways to serve their country, they should not deploy in company with men and they should not expect to serve in the military in the same capacity as men.

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