Fox did a story about male training officers who had to wear pregnancy simulators so that they could get as close as possible to the feelings that female military members might have while pregnant.
Fox’s story closed with one of the trainers saying that the fake boobs and exaggerated belly was uncomfortable, but that his regular gear was a lot heavier.
At first I thought it was pretty stupid that the Army thought that just putting some sandbag like aprons onto male soldiers bodies was anything like the experience of pregnancy for women, but it turns out that the program is designed to help the male trainers understand the body limitations that women may have to face and that sounds like a great idea! Obviously the range of motion exercises have already been designed by experts. What we are hearing about is how male trainers need to understand the physical limits that their women students may have.
Despite what we hear from some presidential candidates, the military doesn’t seem to worry about having pregnant soldiers. They have it figured that 5-6 percent of female soldiers will be pregnant when they are needed for duty. That number isn’t so great that it’s a disadvantage to the US military as a whole to have female soldiers. However, in units where there are larger numbers of female soldiers there will be more serious losses in numbers of fully deployable soldiers, maybe upwards of 30 percent.
There are certainly questions that need to be answered when it comes to expanding the role of women in the military in the US. But I’m glad that America realizes that there are many different needs for the military and in order to be the best we need to have all the human resources, both male and female that we can.