Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Assignment #15

Two women become Marines' first female frogmen

Marines Cheng Chih-ya and Hsu Yu-ting made history yesterday after completing nine weeks of gruelling training to qualify as the military's first ever female frogmen.

"They are now fully qualified frogmen. They have proved it with their remarkable performances during training, even better than some of their male counterparts," said Lieutenant Colonel Ku Chang-chih.

Ku said that he was very impressed by privates Cheng and Hsu during training, since both of them performed well in the 50m swim with one breath and the 26km run, doing better than everybody else in the program.

"They fully deserve all the [praise]," Ku said.

Apart from Cheng and Hsu, a total of 118 other marines, including ranks from privates to lieutenant colonel, volunteered for the training program. Only 44 of the volunteers finished, however, graduating as qualified frogmen.

The 123rd Amphibious Training Program was an intensive nine-week program, including physical training, military combat training and underwater demolition training. In the middle of the program, trainees have to endure a "three-day-stay-awake" exercise that sees them continue the physical challenges at sea and on land without sleep for three consecutive days.

All 44 marines were officially certified as frogmen yesterday morning after completing the "Road to Heaven" challenge, which involves doing various tough exercises along a 50m long path that is littered with coral and rocks.

"I just wanted to challenge myself and prove to everyone that I could do it, and I did," Hsu said.

Cheng had already made the front pages in August last year when she gave up a place on the national swim team and the chance to be an elementary school teacher to join the Marines.

"You always have chances to prove yourself and challenge yourself as a Marine. That is something I like about it," Cheng said.


Questions:
1.) What do you think about women in the military?
2.) Should women be allowed in combat (as Israel and the US do)?
3.) Why would someone want to become a "frogman"? And should it be "frogperson" now?

For the real article:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2008/01/09/2003396348

2 comments:

Wait for me, my dear bus!! said...

1. Women can also be in the military, of course. No matter what your sex is, you should be treated equally. Why should we discuss the question of "women in mulitary"? (no offense) It has no differences between male or female soldiers. (in the spirit meaning)

It's the end of the computer class.
I'll continue later. Carrie

pete said...

No offense taken, but I will answer your question: "Why should we discuss it?"
The reason this is still an issue is because it is a new phenomenon. Women have only been allowed combat roles recently (very recently in Taiwan). So I think it bears discussing. Also, do you think the public would react different to a female soldier that was killed in combat?