$35 million – the cost of integration
According to the Daily Caller, the Army spent $35 million to renovate facilities at Fort Benning to accommodate female trainees going through Infantry training. So far, those renovations have produced 22 female graduates, with thirty more in the pipeline. But, hey, what’s a few million bucks when we’re able to say that we’re diverse.
The money was spent on female living facilities and video cameras for security;
As part of the effort to integrate men and women in combat arms, Fort Benning has also had to develop new laundry policies. Before, laundry was open at any time of night. Now, it’s bracketed off at certain times for women.
Initially, Fort Benning officials wanted to place female living quarters on a separate floor, but the women didn’t care for that arrangement. Instead, the women are housed in one of four main sleeping bays.
Newly installed security cameras keep watch on the bay door and the stairs leading to the bay.
That won’t be the end of costs for the Army;
Female recruits have had a higher injury rate than their male counterparts. For example, in the last class, hip stress fractures were an issue for six out of seven females injured in Charlie Company.
From the Associated Press;
And as women drop out, those remaining are moved to new companies to maintain balance within units, said Lt. Col Sam Edwards, commander of 1st Battalion, 19th Infantry regiment. More than 36 percent of Benning’s women have left — about twice the rate of men. Injuries have sidelined other women who plan to restart the training.
Army leaders are closely watching the integration to track injury and performance trends and ensure there are no problems.
“It was a boys club for a long time,” Kendrick said. “You have to be professional.”
Yeah, a boys’ club, that’s what it was. This is only training, it’s not like three or four years of living the infantry life. Show me the stats on the other end – how many women are going to take a another hitch in the infantry after living the life.
So, 35 million smackers to turn out 30 infantry-trained women doesn’t seem cost very effective to me. Especially in these times when training money is scarce.