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The Turret Gunner Was a She
Townhall.com ^ | February 8, 2013 | Paul Greenberg

Posted on 02/08/2013 9:37:49 AM PST by Kaslin

Martin Dempsey, the Army general who's now chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was a division commander when he got to Baghdad in 2003 and climbed into a Humvee for his first trip off base. "I asked the driver ... who he was (and) where he was from," the general remembers, "and I slapped the turret gunner around the leg and I said, 'Who are you?' And she leaned down and said, 'I'm Amanda.'

"And I said, 'Ah, OK.' So female turret gunner protecting division commander."

One of the things that makes a good commander is the speed with which he can adjust to changed conditions, and the general had just been introduced to another reality of the ever-new U.S. Army.

The general told that story the other day as he stood next to the country's secretary of defense to formally lift the Army's ban on women in combat units. No, not every woman -- or man -- may be fit for combat, but now every trooper has a chance to qualify for it. Which is as it should be -- at last.

Gen. Dempsey, it turns out, is a rich source of instructive stories. Not to mention comments that apply to more than their immediate subject. It was during this same news conference that he discussed the considerable problem of sexual harassment, not to mention outright abuse and rape, in the service. He traced it to treating women as less than equal. To quote from his remarks:

"When you have one part of the population that is designated as warriors and another part that's designated as something else, I think that disparity begins to establish a psychology that in some cases led to that environment. I have to believe the more we can treat people equally, the more likely they are to treat each other equally."

When you have one part of the population that serves in the military and another part that doesn't, a rift is likely to develop between those who have defended the country in uniform and those who have never had that privilege. And it is a privilege. As well as an education, not just an obligation. It's also a necessity in a democracy. For the divide between citizen and soldier may only grow greater as the years pass, and develop into mutual suspicion, even mutual contempt. And divided we fall.

Unlike generations of Americans, this one may be remarkably ignorant of both military life and the military virtues, not having been exposed to either. Which is why every citizen of a republic should serve in the military for at least a time. In order to understand that freedom does not come without obligation -- including a military obligation. And to realize anew that discipline, far from being the antithesis of freedom, is one of its requirements. They go together, like liberty and law.

The idea and ideal of the citizen-soldier has been at the core of democracy since the ancient Athenians invented it and entrusted the defense of their city-states to their hoplites, the first citizen-soldiers. Divide citizenship from military service and something essential to the preservation of democracy since the Greeks has been lost. Democracy and its defense will have been separated, and that is not a wholesome arrangement for either. To quote Thomas Jefferson, "Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state."

A professional army is a great asset -- a necessity, as many a democracy has discovered when it neglected to train one. But a republic needs citizen-soldiers, too. Without them, democracy is divided at its very core: between those who defend it and those who are defended.

It is not a healthy division, for the result is a mutual ignorance that leads to mutual estrangement -- between those citizens who have known military service and those who haven't. It is a division no democracy can afford. For the military needs a connection with the citizenry, and the citizenry with its military. Both benefit, and the country benefits most of all.

Or as Gen. Dempsey noted: "When you have one part of the population that is designated as warriors and another part that is designated as something else, I think that disparity begins to establish a psychology...." And it is not a healthy psychology, for it divides rather than unites. And united we stand.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: foreignaffairs; genmartindempsey; stupidity; stupity; usmilitary; womenincombat
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1 posted on 02/08/2013 9:37:52 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
Gen. Dempsey, it turns out, is a rich source of instructive stories.

There was a chick in the turret of a vehicle he was in once.

Helluva story, sir. Put 'em in the Infantry!

2 posted on 02/08/2013 9:45:02 AM PST by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: Kaslin
"When you have one part of the population that is designated as warriors and another part that's designated as something else, I think that disparity begins to establish a psychology that in some cases led to that environment. I have to believe the more we can treat people equally, the more likely they are to treat each other equally."

So I guess this means women will have to do the same PT test to the same standards as men and they'll be REQUIRED to sign up for the draft. equal and all, right?

3 posted on 02/08/2013 9:45:42 AM PST by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: Kaslin

The militant leftist campaign to pussy-fi American men and de-feminize American women takes a giant step forward.


4 posted on 02/08/2013 9:48:03 AM PST by Iron Munro (I Miss America, don't you?)
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To: Kaslin

I disagree with the General as I believe the suspicions, the distrust are as contrived as everything else the class warfare mongers persue to benefit their personal goals.

It’s not natural for people to distrust their military unless someone causes them to distrust those they depend upon for their freedom, their security.


5 posted on 02/08/2013 9:48:19 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Kaslin
For the divide between citizen and soldier may only grow greater as the years pass, and develop into mutual suspicion, even mutual contempt. And divided we fall.

What is this guy talking about? I think this might be what he hopes happens (General?). I'm confused. I don't know if there has been a time in history where the average citizen was more supportive of our Military and members except maybe WWII.

There are now private charities and fundraisers to provide additional aid and support for everything from military wives and children for active service to Wounded Warriors. I trust and have confidence that if our soldiers ever had to "pick a side" (as I think this guy might be eluding too in his Us Vs. Them scenario) they would sooner go against the goevernment once the lines were clear and fight for the freedom of the people.

6 posted on 02/08/2013 9:49:38 AM PST by Tenacious 1 ("The British are Coming (to confiscate weapons)" - Paul Revere (We know how that ended))
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To: Kaslin

His story sounds as if he was disappointed........that it was a female whose knee he had just slapped........


7 posted on 02/08/2013 9:49:48 AM PST by Red Badger (Lincoln freed the slaves. Obama just got them ALL back......................)
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To: Kaslin

Did no one else pick up on the fact that he slapped the gunner on the leg expecting it to be a man? I am surprised she didn’t file a sexual harassment suit against the General.


8 posted on 02/08/2013 9:53:03 AM PST by heylady (“Sometimes I wish I could be a Democrat and then I remember I have a soul.”( Deb))
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To: Future Snake Eater

Does anybody but me doubt the general’s story?


9 posted on 02/08/2013 9:53:41 AM PST by shove_it (Long ago Huxley, Orwell and Rand warned us about 0banana's USA.)
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To: Kaslin

“Hi, I’m Amanda; I’ll be your turret-gunner today”.


10 posted on 02/08/2013 9:53:49 AM PST by Rebelbase ( .223, .224, whatever it takes....)
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To: Iron Munro

dempsey is a typical perfumed pentagon prince, the type of officer who, as someone else stated, would obey orders to fire on American citizens.

women have been in combat throughout history. our female soldiers can hold their own as well as a male in most combat situations. women in combat is not the issue; women in combat units is.


11 posted on 02/08/2013 9:54:10 AM PST by bravo whiskey (“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”)
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To: shove_it
Does anybody but me doubt the general’s story?

There was a recent Episode of "Last Man Standing" that featured an female Iraq war vet that had lost both her legs. She was a Turret gunner.

12 posted on 02/08/2013 9:59:03 AM PST by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: All

And with the rules endorsed by Dempsey and the other Perfumed Princes.....

The next time he slaps someones leg in a Humvee it could very well be a SHEMALE.


13 posted on 02/08/2013 10:03:54 AM PST by LegendHasIt
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To: Kaslin
and I slapped the turret gunner around the leg

When is his court-martial for sexual harassment?

14 posted on 02/08/2013 10:17:36 AM PST by donna (Pray for revival.)
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To: bravo whiskey
"our female soldiers can hold their own as well as a male in most combat situations."

Whatever you are on, ship me a case of it because it must be some pretty powerful stuff.

15 posted on 02/08/2013 10:18:58 AM PST by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12)
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To: Rebelbase; am; JDoutrider; rockinqsranch; Iron Munro; Future Snake Eater
"I slapped the turret gunner around the leg and I said, 'Who are you?' And she leaned down and said, 'I'm Amanda.' "

This is either crap, or a sad illustration of what is going on in our military. Put the female aspect aside and ponder this as I did:
I pistured myself in the turret gunner position and thought back to when I was in the Army. If Wm. Westmoreland had climbed into my PC and asked who I was I wouldn't have replied, "I'm Jim". I'd have been crapping my pants and half screaming as I tried to stand (or sit) straight while spitting out that I was; "Spec Four ***** Charlie company, 504thS&T, SIR!" (I probably would have added my serial number out of habit, too)

" Hi, I'm Amanda" -- GIMME A FREAKIN' BREAK!

16 posted on 02/08/2013 10:19:06 AM PST by Baynative (I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down.)
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To: Kaslin
It's interesting that the Israeli Defense Forces who once had women in the fiercest of combat situations, have removed them, for one very simple reason: when a woman was wounded, surrounding male soldiers would stop what they were doing and jump to her aid instead of simply yelling for a medic.

The Israelis concluded that it is simply the instinct of a man to protect a woman. The data that leads to the conclusion is costly and deadly. Too many Israeli men died supplying it.
17 posted on 02/08/2013 10:23:27 AM PST by righttackle44 (Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
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To: Baynative

Good point, and so true.


18 posted on 02/08/2013 10:26:09 AM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Kaslin
It was during this same news conference that he discussed the considerable problem of sexual harassment, not to mention outright abuse and rape, in the service. He traced it to treating women as less than equal.

Except that most rape victims in the military are men.

19 posted on 02/08/2013 10:32:49 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: heylady

Not every female is a fire-breathing ball of anti-male hatred.


20 posted on 02/08/2013 10:33:04 AM PST by righttackle44 (Take scalps. Leave the bodies as a warning.)
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