Comment Of The Day: “Open Forum,” Training Thread

Well, that was humbling. Given the opportunity with this week’s open forum experiment to fly solo, the Ethics Alarms commentariat exceeded all reasonable expectations, producing multiple excellent topic threads and over a hundred comments (and counting) by 22 participants. It also generated several Comment of the Day quality posts, and I may end up posting all of them.

First up is this one, by Michael R, prompted by Steve’s jump-ball:

Now, a few years after women have been allowed to join the infantry, and hundreds have tried, only 30 percent pass compared to over 90 percent of males, but there are still only 24 women total in the Marine Corps Infantry.

Is it ethical to continue such an expensive and inefficient program?

Here is Michael R’s Comment of the Day on the training thread on the post, Open Forum Ethics:

Education is expensive. Should we accept people to training when we know that 70% of them will not be able to complete the training? We could be training people with a much better chance for success instead. A better question would be why don’t we have better screening for the female applicants? That would reduce the number in training, but increase the percentage that succeed

Better examples are probably the FAA’s air traffic control program and the military’s pilot programs. The FAA is facing a shortage of air traffic controllers. The new FAA biographical pre-screening for air traffic controllers is geared to select a ‘diverse’ force. They give more points for being unemployed than graduating from an FAA certified controller training program or having aviation experience in the military. The test gives more points for failing science than being good at science. People who do well on the Air Traffic Skills Assessment Test have no preference over people who haven’t taken it. This results in most graduates of the CTI (FAA collegiate training initiative) programs don’t ‘pass’ the new biographical screening. People who have CTI degrees pass the air traffic control training at a high rate. Those who haven’t, don’t. So, each class of air traffic control trainees now graduates fewer students. This new program has resulted in FEWER air traffic controllers being produced and the CTI programs are drying up because being prepared and educated hurts your chances of being selected.

Check here, and here.

The Air Force ACE program seeks to motivate people who don’t typically become pilots to be pilots. This is an expensive program. We are spending a lot of money to convince people who don’t want to become pilots to be pilots. We have no program to convert people who want to become pilots to become pilots. We spend a lot of money on low-yield programs and no money on high-yield programs.


8 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Open Forum,” Training Thread

  1. During WW2 many women were trained to be transport pilots flying a variety of aircraft including B-17s, many types of fighters, and C-47s. They did not see combat but they did fly to the Soviet Union and England. This ended with the Jet age and the WASP prorgram came to an end. They were all volunteers many who had flown as civilian pilots or worked as stewardesses on commercial airlines. I think there is a place for women in the armed forces today but they should carefully screened.

    • Agreed, they will have to be exceptional women to keep pace with the male standard. I don’t expect equal representation in melee combat oriented careers, the physicality just isn’t there biologically (and in that case trans count as their gender from birth, as musculature and bone density frameworks were made by genetics, not surgeons and supplements) But I would expect other military paths that aren’t infantry to have a higher portion of women. An outright ban is also wasteful of resources, there are enough women who dressed up to allow service, even in Revolutionary War and Civil War. That was done for a particular ‘mission’ of service undercover which didn’t seem to fit the identity motives of trans. I would be highly surprised if the military EVER went over 1/3 female for so many reasons with have little to do with patriarchy. Trying to force it higher is just as wrong as a ban.

      I do think that there should be equally high levels of advancement, that combat is not ‘realer’ than other paths. The female pilots in the military today, like the WW2 pilots, are still in high skills and risks even if they don’t do hand to hand. If the women can’t advance without combat, this problem will return.

      (as a side note, I’m still surprised that the selective service registration hasn’t died a quiet death. It’s been an volunteer service for longer than a majority if those in service have been alive. And honestly, the government already had far more information about us than is on that form. A selective service list could probably be cobbled from tax and census data rapidly if there was an emergency. And if there was an emergency, like Pearl Harbor and 911, people rush to enlist on their own. Congress-critters are just afraid they will run out of vod for their internatioal polices… I considered enlisting after HS and getting a couple friendly letters due to my ASFABs, but I took a hard look at myself and knew I didn’t have the grit and heft to equal the guys just to enter. I would bet money many who washed out fell for the marketers and pollyannas’ big lie, blathering that you can do ANYTHING you want.

      I still can’t flap my arms and fly across the river.

  2. I think your point is exactly right. We are spending a fortune trying to force a square peg into a round hole. Women, generally, are not fit for this kind of duty because of nature, not sexism. We spend unnecessary millions trying to find the rare exception to nature’s rule.

    The reason we don’t have better screening is obvious to me — screening is, by it’s nature, discrimination. You don’t really think that fact is lost on the military, do you? “I could’ve done it if you’d only give me a chance” is the very rallying cry of women who want to take up arms in the manner of men. So how would the armed forces “screen” out that sentiment and survive hundreds of thousands of hours being grilled by the House and Senate Armed Forces Committees on how they are rejecting women without giving them a chance to prove themselves?

    Your point is a good one. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the status quo, mainly because a more intelligent approach is also the approach most likely to get good military commanders fired for some version of bigotry.

    • Sorry about the unclosed bold tag. Jack, if you could edit the comment, it would be easier on everyone’s eyes. If not, no worries.

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