My first unit was light infantry. My ruck weighed about 80 plus lbs. We rucked up to 25 miles at a time. When I went to PLDC (E-5) we had women with us. They had problems carrying a light ruck and 249's for more than even a few miles.
I know there are some very strong able bodied women but in general men have much greater upper body strength.
Other than that I don't think there would be a problem, but I just can't see a female mortar squad moving very far very fast.
If they can be in postions where weight is not an issue I don't see any problem.
Male musculature is prominent from roughly the iliac crests of the pelvis up, while female musculature is more prominent from roughly the diaphragm down
. Part and parcel of the sexual dimorphism of H. sapiens
This is a biological difference, but far from insurmountable. Learning the mechanics of one's own body can enable one to do things that most other people would think you can't do - and even to do things that you yourself didn't think you could do.
The problem women would have with carrying a load would not be strength or endurance in the legs or lower trunk, but in the back and shoulders.
This can be handled by modifying their exercise programme - but not modifying physical standard (my wife's hobby is working in the yard, spends a lot of time with a spade. You'd be surprised at the power she has in her upper body - the only thing that really restricts her WRT load carrying is that she doesn't have a lot of experience rigging a load onto her person, nor a lot of training. We've been working on the latter, and this small 56-year-old woman can carry more than most women half her age, and carry it longer. After
having had a new right knee and new right hip put in! Hell, she can carry more than most men
roughly her size and half her age, now. Hell, she's 5'2" and can haul my
300# arse around if she needs to!)
Biological differences are not insurmountable differences - they need to be accounted for in personal training, but that doesn't mean that gender norming needs to happen, nor that PFT standards should be relaxed.
And women don't need to look like female bodybuilders (grotesque!) to meet unisex PFTs, as long as those standards are not falsely elevated with an eye toward keeping women out of those fields. (And I don't wish to sound like I'm just knocking female bodybuilders - frankly, I think most male
bodybuilders look freakish as well. I've nothing against women being fit, muscular, or athletic - but simple "definition" is plenty. I honestly don't think anyone looks good "cut" or "ripped"...)
@Ambugrl - I wonder if this isn't a common dislike among women? My wife is also only bothered by bogies - she didn't have any trouble when I was getting my thumb sewn back on, didn't have any trouble when I got all busted up from being hit by a car, and tends to joke with the surgical staff when under a sedated local and likes to watch arthroscopies (on her!) in a mirror or - if she's lucky and they're set up for that - on a monitor. (Medical imagery and such fascinates me as well - I've gone in for ultrasounds, and made the tech turn the screen so I can see. I like to look at raw CT and MRI imaging on myself whenever possible. I used to enjoy watching surgery on university TV stations - I learned a great deal that way.)