Impact of pregnancy on readiness?

FrumForum interviewed retired Major Merideth A. Bucher, author of the much cited paper, The Impact of Pregnancy on U.S. Army Readiness.

Bucher explains that a woman who becomes pregnant ceases to be available for combat service. She will be returned home; her unit is left missing a body, a soldier.

She passionately told of her own experience:  Two days before Desert Storm was to begin the female intelligence officer in the Major’s battalion became aware she was pregnant.  Because she could not deploy and was sent home the battalion was left vulnerable by having to fight without an intelligence officer present. By losing one person everyone else has to work that much harder to get the mission accomplished. And when a woman soldier in particular gets pregnant, Bucher argues, “it weakens every female soldier standing as a member of that unit.  If one woman does that it taints the water for everybody.”

Here is the link to Bucher’s paper, written when she was a major at the Air Command & Staff College, Air University.

The recent order about pregnancy while assigned to the AOR is in the process of being revoked, and the overall regulation (GO#1) under major revision.  There will not be a court-martial for getting pregnant or getting a woman pregnant.  My recollection is that the Navy went through turmoil when women were first assigned to combatant ships in mixed gender crews.  At the time there was in place a fairly rigid sexual fraternization order, prohibiting sexual relations amongst crew members, even if the couple was married.

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