Women’s News: Women In Military In No Rush To Join Infantry

Women’s News: Women In Military In No Rush To Join Infantry

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Lessons For My Daughter And Lessons For Me — If Only We Would Listen

Inspiration Of Motherhood: Lessons For My Daughter And Lessons For Me — If Only We Would Listen

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

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Inspiration Of Motherhood: Lessons For My Daughter And Lessons For Me — If Only We Would Listen

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Raluca State

Mommy, blogger, PR consultant

It’s a New Year and with that comes another 12 months of experience, wisdom, mistakes and memories under our tightly cinched belts. There are so many things I want to teach my daughter in life and by the same token, so many things I am learning in the process of being the mother of a smart, sensitive, curious, creative little soul… if only we both would listen.

Lessons for my daughter: 
1. Don’t smoke.

2. Don’t date or marry a man who smokes.

3. Don’t worry about the boy you love at 13 who won’t love you back. At 30, you won’t remember his last name.

4. Do, however, worry a little about the boy you love at 24. He might become your husband, as your dad became mine. But if he doesn’t, that’s ok, too. You are only 24.

5. Learn only the basics in math. The quadratic equation will not come in handy. And I will not sweat you for it, I promise.

6. At your wedding, should you choose to go that route, spend the most money on your photographer and your rings.

7. Don’t get in cars with drunk people. Call home instead, no matter the time or how old you are. Ask for your dad.

8. Don’t stress about the cool kids. The less you care about them, the more they will care about you. And don’t let them talk you into smoking.

9. Intern. We will help with the rent while you do.

10. Don’t be defeated by “no.” You will hear it many times before you hear “yes.” Clearly, we are prepping you for that nice and early…

11. Don’t wear too much bronzer. And groom your eyebrows, but don’t go too thin. But you CAN sleep with your makeup on, really, it’s no big deal.

12. Don’t just be nice to your brother. Be his best friend, his biggest supporter, and his most constructive critic. Be the same to yourself.

13. Work really hard in your 20s, 30s and 40s, so that you hopefully won’t have to after that. But play really hard, too. Without smoking.

14. You can’t change people. Not men, not your friends, not your mother. Accept the ones you want to accept, move on from the ones you don’t (except your mother, of course). You won’t look back, I promise.

15. Know that the right music can change any mood.

16. Go to Paris. And then go again. And then go again.

17. Spend money on expensive shoes, handbags and jewelry. Don’t waste it on expensive makeup and jeans.

18. Create a memory box. Keep it small, and throw out everything else. Your prized possessions will edit themselves.

19. Don’t worry if you can’t cook. Some things are just genetic. You won’t starve.

20. You can hate me sometimes. And I can hate you sometimes. As long as we both remember that underneath all that hate, there is a love like no other.

Lessons for me: 
1. Don’t smoke.

2. Be happy you married a man who doesn’t smoke.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. No, really, try not to. And that includes basically everything work-related.

4. The following sayings tend to ring true 9 times out of 10: “this too shall pass” and “everything happens for a reason.”

5. There is no need to learn to drive a stick. Don’t let people pressure you into thinking there is.

6. Even though New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time and energy and you never stick to them, don’t give it up. If anything, it holds you accountable for a day.

7. Find time for your husband. Find time for your friends. Find time for your mother. But before all that, find time for yourself.

8. Learning to meditate is much harder than it sounds. If it’s stressing you out too much, it’s clearly not for you. And that’s ok. An hour in silence with a new issue of Vogue can be just as therapeutic.

9. When your 3-year-old is heading straight into meltdown mode, tickle her.

10. A well-positioned scarf can make any outfit look better.

11. A blow-out is worth every penny. Every time.

12. You know those best friends who never find time to call you back and only send you birthday greetings via Facebook? They are not your best friends.

13. Vacation once per year. A real vacation.

14. Snack.

15. When it is time to call it a day, call it a day.

16. When your kid is acting silly, laugh first, get annoyed second.

17. Embrace change. Of all shapes and sizes.

18. Create a playlist of your favorite songs from when you were 18. Keep it handy in the car.

19. Cry when you need to. But not at work.

20. Hate your husband sometimes. Hate your kids sometimes. Hate yourself sometimes. But remember that underneath all that hate, there is a love like no other.

Read More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raluca-state/lessons-for-my-daughter_b_2409695.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s News: Women In Military In No Rush To Join Infantry

Brilliant American flag flying atop the pole on the Delaney Park Strip in Anchorage, Alaska on July 4, 2009 against a bright

WASHINGTON — If or when the Pentagon lets women become infantry troops – the country’s front-line warfighters – how many women will want to?

The answer is probably not many.

Interviews with a dozen female soldiers and Marines showed little interest in the toughest fighting jobs. They believe they’d be unable to do them, even as the Defense Department inches toward changing its rules to allow women in direct ground combat jobs.

In fact, the Marines asked women last year to go through its tough infantry officer training to see how they would fare. Only two volunteered and both failed to complete the fall course. None has volunteered for the next course this month. The failure rate for men is roughly 25 percent.

For the record, plenty of men don’t want to be in the infantry either, though technically could be assigned there involuntarily, if needed. That’s rarely known to happen.

“The job I want to do in the military does not include combat arms,” Army Sgt. Cherry Sweat said of infantry, armor and artillery occupations. She installed communications equipment in 2008 in Iraq but doesn’t feel mentally or physically prepared for fighting missions.

“I enjoy supporting the soldiers,” said Sweat, stationed in South Carolina. “The choice to join combat arms should be a personal decision, not a required one.”

Added Marine Gunnery Sgt. Shanese L. Campbell, who had administrative duties during her service in Iraq: “I actually love my job. … I’ve been doing it for 15 years, so I don’t plan on changing my job skills.”

She’s an administrative officer at Twentynine Palms in California, serving in a once all-male tank battalion as part of a Marine Corps experiment to study how opening more jobs to women might work.

A West Point graduate working in the Pentagon estimates she’s known thousands of women over her 20-year army career and said there’s no groundswell of interest in combat jobs among female colleagues she knows.

She asked to remain anonymous because in the military’s warrior culture, it’s a sensitive issue to be seen as not wanting to fight, she said. But her observations echoed research of the 1990s, another time of big change in the military, when interviews with more than 900 Army women found that most didn’t want fighting jobs and many felt the issue was being pushed by “feminists” not representing the majority, said RAND Corporation sociologist Laura Miller.

Much has happened for women since then in American society and the military. Foremost in the military is perhaps that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars changed the face of combat and highlighted the need for women to play new roles.

Women already can be assigned to some combat arms jobs such as operating the Patriot missile system or field artillery radar, but offensive front-line fighting jobs will be the hardest nut to crack. Many believe women eventually could be in the infantry, but the Pentagon for years has been moving slowly on that front.

In April 1993, the Pentagon directed the opening of combat aviation occupations and warship assignments to females; the Navy and Air Force responded by opening thousands of jobs. Neither of those steps put women in the most lethal occupations such as infantry or tank units. Policy barred them not only from specific jobs but also from doing traditional jobs in smaller units closest to the front.

That arrangement came apart in Iraq and Afghanistan, where battle lines were jagged and insurgents could be anywhere. Some women in support jobs, including logistics officers bringing supply convoys to troops, found themselves in firefights or targeted by roadside bombs. Women were sent on patrol with men to search and get information from local women whose culture didn’t allow male soldiers to do so.

Developments over the past decade have been a main argument from those wanting more openings for women. So has the issue of equal opportunity and the fact that combat service gives troops an advantage for promotions, the lack of it leaving women disadvantaged in trying to move to the higher ranks.

“If there are women able to meet the required standard, then why not let them fight if they so desire?” said Maj. Elizabeth L. Alexander. Since 2002, she hass served in Pakistan once and Iraq three times in supply and maintenance jobs and is now with the 3rd Army in South Carolina.

More than 200,000 U.S. women have served in the wars, 12 percent of the Americans sent. Of some 6,600 Americans killed, 152 were women; 84 of them were killed by enemy action and 68 in nonhostile circumstances such as accidents, illness and suicide.

In February, the department altered rules to reflect realities of the decade, opening some new jobs and officially allowing women into many jobs they were already doing, but in units closer to the fighting. The new policy still bans women from being infantry soldiers, Special Operations commandos, and others in direct combat, but opened some 14,000 previously male-only positions, mostly in the Army, such as artillery mechanic and rocket launcher crew member. More than 230,000 positions remain closed to women, who are 15 percent of the 1.4 million in all branches.

Hundreds of female soldiers began moving into once all-male battalions, taking jobs they already had trained for, such as in personnel, intelligence, signal corps, medicine and chaplaincy. Forty-five women Marines similarly went to battalions as part of a large research effort to gauge how women might do.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been studying reports from the services to update him on progress with the newly opened positions, what’s being done to pursue gender-neutral physical standards and what barriers remain and whether more positions can be opened.

Panetta could announce the next step in the coming weeks, which might mean anything from further openings to simply further study.

“Yes, there may be a small number of women who are interested,” said Katy Otto, spokeswoman for the Service Women’s Action Network, an equal opportunity advocacy group. “But does that mean they should be barred from entry?”

Lory Manning of Women’s Research and Education Institute said female interest could be greater than expected.

“I think they’ll be surprised by the number that will come forward,” said the 25-year Navy veteran who retired in the 1990s. She said the Navy faced a similar question then: Did women want to go to sea?

“If you asked someone in 1985 about going to sea, she would have been thinking: `Girls don’t do that and so I don’t want to do that,'” Manning said. “But when push came to shove, they did it, they loved it.”

Changing the rules for a potential future draft would be a difficult proposition.

The Supreme Court has ruled that because the Selective Service Act is aimed at creating a list of men who could be drafted for combat – and women are not in combat jobs – American women aren’t required to register upon turning 18 as all males are. If combat jobs open to women, Congress would have to decide what to do about that law.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/05/women-in-military_n_2415748.html

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