Drafting Women


Anna Granville has a post over at Task & Purpose arguing that it’s time that women should have to register for the draft.

The picture at the top of the article shows a group of female soldiers training with the M9 pistol and it shows one of the subtile difficulties in integrating women into the combat force. The soldier in the foreground is not only left-handed, her hands are too small to properly grip the pistol. As a result her strong hand is twisted clockwise around the grip so she can reach the trigger. Such improper alignment of the hand, wrist, and arm typically allows the hand to involuntarily rotate at the wrist as the trigger is pulled causing the muzzle to move toward the weak hand (the right for a southpaw). This is a common problem for those of us with small hands. I find the Beretta 92/M9 difficult to manage. Someone with hands the size of Mrs. Hoge’s would likely find the M9 even more difficult, but she might have no trouble with a pistol with a smaller grip such as a Browning HiPower or a M1911.

This is not to say that women can’t be better integrated into combat forces, but if we are going to do so, they deserve to have equipment that fits their generally smaller physiques.

8 thoughts on “Drafting Women

  1. I have the same problem. I may have long fingers (piano player!) but the palm of my hand is small forcing me to position things awkwardly where someone with a larger palm wouldn’t. 1911 fits just perfectly, however. 😉

  2. When I was in I weighed in at around 270 pounds in just a uniform and boots. I’m not sure how many woman could carry a guy that size off the field let alone when both are wearing combat gear. In my unit every man could carry every other man if needed. If women can’t do that they have no place being put in a situation where they would need to pull a fellow soldier out of harms way.

    • My daughter flies the copter that would evacuate your 270 lbs and she carries 4 pistols and has no problem walking around thhe desert alone

      I hear you about the physical part and agree however, our modern army especially the special forces are light weight long distance runners not big ones like you and me.

      The military is more focused on smaller guys who can run miles like Zulu warriors and shoot people from distance, we old door kickers are out to pasture – the army is going to be focused on light weight – fast lightening fast deployment and retrieval. All army weapons are under review – motors are going lighter, crew served weapons are being phased out and mountain warfare training is soon going to be the norm.

      Interesting times

    • That carrying thing: even in the all male mech. infantry and combat engineer units I was in, that was never close to true. I wasn’t as heavy as you, but there were plenty of little young guys who couldn’t have carried me, never mind the older NCOs.

  3. Women’s musculoskeletal systems will be wrecked in short-order by the rigors of carrying standard loads in combat. Even the women who can pass rigorous physical standards will not hold up as well as men. Women will be retired due to disability at rates far higher than men, assuming they don’t get killed in combat first.

    Women in combat arms is a bad decision that will degrade combat effectiveness and lead to sub-optimal results which include a lot more dead, wounded and disabled soldiers.

    But, Obama and Ash Carter don’t care at all….

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