Sunday, January 15, 2006

Health and Performance Study of Women In The Military

The DOD has been looking at physical and health issues with women in the military.

Its a mixed bag.

Good news for staffing in general is that women can be trained to handle more jobs requiring physical strength with appropriate training. This training would include up to 24 weeks of 90 minute excercise periods multiple times a week incuding aerobic and low rep, high weight excercises for strength.

What the report fails to note is if this 90 minutes of physical excercise is above and beyond current requirements or how they change. Should this 90 minutes be a supplemental program or an increase in time expenditure over the current amount reserved for Physical Training this goes back to a staffing and budget issue e.g. how do you pay for the lost time from actual production that must be offset and what training or work is eliminated to make time for it.

A second myth expelled is that the increased workload would create women who were built more like men rather than the shape that meets most women and men's aestethic standards for the female form. Rather these women decreased fat content and increased muscle a look admired at most gyms throughout the nation.

Bad News the number of injuries per individual go up as a result. This is a bad thing as women already have higher incidences of stress fractures and injury than their male counterparts during the induction and initial training phases.

What is most interesting here is that should women in the military be provided with adequate physical training they are capable of handling more jobs within the military. In fact many previously considered weaknesses regarding the interaction of large amounts of physical work and impact on the female reproductive system were largly dispelled.

Of course from personal observation there is a sizable minority of women in the military whose excuse from the same work as their male peers has just been eliminated. No doubt the "can do" women in the military will look upon this with glee and enjoy every moment of pushing the "non hackers".

This does not say that women are fit for extended infantry operations away from a base of support. Nor does this report address differential loss of time due to preemptive medical care and injury between men and women.

Essentially this report says women in the military can do more however there are still limitations and significant physiological differences between men and women. Typical "gee no kidding" moment found in most of these reports.

Via Instapundit.

A pdf is available here.

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