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血汗创造历史:美国首批女性步兵毕业

更新时间:2017-6-15 10:17:29 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

For Army Infantry’s 1st Women, Heavy Packs and the Weight of History
血汗创造历史:美国首批女性步兵毕业

The first group of women graduated from United States Army infantry training last week, but with soldiers obscured by body armor, camouflage face paint and smoke grenades, it was almost impossible to distinguish the mixed-gender squads in the steamy woods from those of earlier generations.

上周,第一批女兵完成了美国陆军步兵训练。但在防弹衣、面部迷彩和烟雾弹的影响下,士兵的形象是模糊不清的,几乎看不出这些身处潮湿闷热的树林里的男女混编班组,和以前的有什么不同。

That’s just how the Army wants it.

这正是陆军想要的。

After the Obama administration ordered the military in 2013 to open all combat positions to women, the Army developed gender-neutral performance standards to ensure that recruits entering the infantry were all treated the same. Still smarting over accusations that it had lowered standards to help the first women graduate from its elite Ranger School in 2015, the Army has taken pains to avoid making any exceptions for infantry boot camp. To the pound, men and women lug the same rucksacks, throw the same grenades and shoulder the same machine guns.

在奥巴马政府2013年下令军队向女性开放所有作战岗位后,陆军制定了不分性别的成绩标准,以确保对进入步兵的新兵一视同仁。2015年他们被指为了让第一批女兵从其精锐的游骑兵学校(Ranger School)毕业而降低标准,由此造成的不良影响至今仍在。陆军小心翼翼地避免步兵新兵训练营出现任何例外。为此,男女新兵背同样的帆布背包、扔同样的手雷、扛同样的机枪。

The Army has also sought to play down the significance of the new female infantrymen — as they are still known — not mentioning, when families gathered last week for their graduation, that the 18 women who made it through would be the first in more than two centuries for the American infantry.

上周,当家人聚在一起祝贺她们毕业时,陆军还试图淡化新增一批女性步兵的重大意义——她们依然被称为infantrymen——这18名得以毕业的女兵,将是两个多世纪以来的首批女性步兵。

“It’s business as usual,” the battalion commander overseeing the first class, Lt. Col. Sam Edwards, said as he watched a squad of soldiers run past — including one with French braids and a grenade launcher. “I’ve tried to not change a thing.”

“一切照常,”负责第一批女兵训练的营长萨姆·爱德华兹(Sam Edwards)中校一边看着一队士兵跑过,一边说。其中一名士兵扎着法式辫,携带一支榴弹发射器。“我努力不作任何改变。”

Female grunts in the battalion see things differently. In interviews during a series of visits to observe training, many said the fact that they could finally pursue a combat career, and have it treated as no big deal, was for them revolutionary. Now many who dreamed of going into the infantry are no longer barred from the core combat positions that are the clearest career routes to senior leadership.

在该营,女兵低声表述着自己的不同观点。为了观察训练,记者曾多次实地探访。接受采访时,很多人说,自己最终能成为一名职业作战人员,并且不被当成天大的事,这对她们来说是革命性的。现在,很多梦想成为步兵的人不再被禁止走上核心作战岗位。这些岗位是通往高级领导职位的最直接的路径。

Just before graduation, one female drill sergeant pulled aside a group of female privates, who ranged from high school athletes to a single mother with a culinary degree, and gave them her unofficial assessment out of officers’ earshot.

就在毕业前,一名女性操练军士把一队背景各异的女兵拉到一边,在军官听不到的地方做出了她自己的非官方评价,她们中有中学运动员,也有拥有烹饪专业学位的单亲妈妈。

“This is a big deal,” she said as she looked into one recruit’s eyes. She said they were making history.

“这一点意义重大,”她看着一名新兵的双眼说。她说她们正在创造历史。

‘Misery is a great equalizer’

“痛苦能让大家变得平等”

Rain pounded the roughly 150 troops of Alpha Company, who ranged in age from 17 to 34, as they stood in formation during a tornado warning, waiting to hear if it was too stormy to train.

雨拍打着年龄在17岁到34岁不等的大约150名A连士兵。在龙卷风警报期间,她们列队等着听会不会因为暴风雨太猛烈而取消训练。

If the downpour let up, they would practice rushing out of armored vehicles. If not, they would tramp back to the foxholes where they had slept the night before and bail out the standing brown water with canteen cups.

如果雨小下来,她们会练习冲出装甲车辆。如果没有,她们便会踏步回到前一天晚上睡觉的散兵坑,用水壶杯把棕色的积水舀出来。

Either way, by day’s end they would be wet, tired, hungry and cold: the four pillars of misery the Army has long relied on to help whip recruits into cohesive fighting teams.

无论怎样,一天下来她们都会感到潮湿、疲惫、饥饿和寒冷:陆军长期依靠这四种痛苦的帮助,把新兵训练成有凝聚力的战斗团队。

“Misery is a great equalizer,” one male recruit said with a resigned grin.

“痛苦能很好地让大家变得平等,”一名男性新兵无奈地笑着说。

The rain eventually let up and the sergeants ran the platoons through repeated ambush drills. By the end, while some of the troops had buzz cuts and some had their hair in buns, they all shared the drooping weariness that grunts have worn for as long as there’s been an infantry.

天终于放晴了,教官们带着各排反复做伏击训练。队伍里的一些人留着平头,另一些则把头发挽成了小圆髻,但到头来,他们都会显出萎靡不振的疲惫,那是自打有步兵以来,每一个士兵都有的神态。

‘She’s a hoss’

“她是一把好手”

In the woods, after hours of mock raids, Pvt. Kayla Padgett rested her rifle against her rucksack and turned to her platoon, assembling them in three neat rows.

丛林中,若干小时的模拟突袭结束后,列兵凯拉·帕吉特(Kayla Padgett)把自己的步枪靠着背包放好,随即转向她所在的排,让他们整齐地排成三列。

It was 90 degrees. A tick crawled along the back of her shirt. The night before, the platoon had slept in the dirt. Everyone was dog tired. Many were covered in ant bites. But as platoon guide, it was her job to make them ready.

气温是华氏90度。一只蜱虫在她的衬衫背部爬行。前一晚,这个排睡在泥地上。每个人都累成狗。很多人身上到处是蚂蚁咬的包。但作为这个排的领队,她有责任让他们做好准备。

“All right, hustle it up, let’s count off,” she said.

“好了,快点儿,报数,”她说。

One by one the platoon of mostly men each shouted until all were accounted for.

排里的人多为男性,他们一个接一个地大声报了一遍数。

“O.K., good,” Private Padgett said, scanning the group with her blue eyes. “If you haven’t done so, keep loading up ammo, all your magazines.”

“好的,很好,”帕吉特一边说,一边用蓝眼睛扫视着人群。“还没装弹的继续把所有弹夹装满。”

Over the years, countless voices have warned that women could never handle the demands of the infantry, and would destroy its all-male esprit de corps. None of the recruits or drill sergeants interviewed at Fort Benning shared that fear. They all pointed to women like Private Padgett.

多年来,有多到数不清的声音警告说,女人永远也无法达到步兵的要求,还会破坏阳刚的团队合作精神。在班宁堡,没有哪个受访的新兵或教官有这种顾虑。他们全都提到像帕吉特这样的女性。

The 23-year-old track champion from North Carolina could throw a 20-pound hammer more than 60 meters while on the team at East Carolina University, and showed up at basic training in better shape than many of the men. She is now on her way to Airborne School, and wants to eventually become a Ranger.

这名现年23岁、来自北卡罗莱纳州的径赛冠军,在东卡罗莱纳大学(East Carolina University)校队时能把20磅重的链球掷到60米开外,参加基本训练期间的表现比很多男性都要好。她即将进入伞兵学校,将来想要成为一名游骑兵。

“She’s a hoss,” her drill sergeant, Joseph Sapp, said as he watched her. After a tour in Iraq and four in Afghanistan, he has served with his share of soldiers. “Forget male-female; she’s one of the best in the company. She’s one you’re happy to have.”

“她是一把好手,”帕吉特的教官约瑟夫·萨普(Joseph Sapp)望着她说道。去过一次伊拉克、四次阿富汗的萨普,已经和不少士兵并肩作战过。“忘了男女之分吧;她是连里最棒的之一。你会希望有这样一个兵。”

Not ‘treated special’

没有“受特别待遇”

In the new integrated infantry companies, women and men train together in mixed-gender squads from before dawn until after dusk: practicing the same raids, kicking in the same doors, doing the same push-ups when their squad messes up. No one gets out of a rotation serving chow.

在新的综合步兵连里,男性和女性被混搭着编进各个小组一同训练,从黎明前直到黄昏后:进行同样的突袭演练,踢同样的门,在自己的小组出了岔子时做同样的俯卧撑。进餐时给人盛饭的工作是轮换的,任何人都不能躲过。

At night, they sleep in rooms separated by gender, in identical metal bunks with identically scratchy green blankets. To graduate, all must pass tests of the same infantry skills, including hurling a grenade 35 meters, dragging a 268-pound dummy 15 meters, running five miles in less than 45 minutes and completing a 12-mile march carrying 68 pounds.

夜里,他们按性别分房睡,但身下是相同的金属铺位,配有相同的毛糙绿毯子。要想毕业,所有人都必须通过同样的步兵技能测试,其中包括把手榴弹掷出35米远,把一个268磅重的假人拖到15米外,45分钟内跑完5英里,以及负重68磅行进12英里。

Hair is one of the few places where standards still diverge. All men get their heads shaved on arrival. Women don’t. Not wanting to be held to a different standard, though, many of the women decided a few weeks into training to shave in solidarity. They would earn back their hair, just like the men.

头发是标准仍然存在分歧的几个事项之一。所有男性一到这里就被拉去剃头。女性则不会。不过,很多女人不愿被加诸不同的标准,参加训练没几周便会决定一起剃头。她们会用自己的努力把头发赢回来,就像男性一样。

“I loved my hair, but didn’t want anyone to look at me and think I was being treated special,” said Pvt. Irelynn Donovan.

“我喜欢自己的头发,但不想让任何人在看到我的时候认为我正享受特别待遇,”列兵伊里林恩·多诺万(Irelynn Donovan)说。

‘I wanted to make history’

“我想要创造历史”

Private Donovan, 20, grew up outside Philadelphia with five older brothers. She was the only girl on her junior high football team. When assigned to write an essay about an adult she admired, she chose her grandfather, who had served two tours in Vietnam.

多诺万现年20岁,在费城郊区和五个哥哥一起长大。她在初中是校足球队里唯一一个女孩。老师要求写一篇以自己崇拜的一个成年人为题的文章时,她选的是曾两度前往越南参战的祖父。

“She’s just always been a badass,” said her mother, Cristine Zalewski.

“她向来都是个狠角色,”她母亲克里斯汀·扎列夫斯基(Cristine Zalewski)说。

She always wanted to join the infantry, despite a ban on women. On her forearm is a tattoo of flowers wrapped around a saying uttered by her single mother, who sometimes had to scrounge for change in the house to pay bills: “We’ll find a way”

她一直想要成为步兵,尽管存在针对女性的禁令。她的前臂上有一个文身,被花朵簇拥着的是她的单身母亲的一句话:“We’ll find a way”(车到山前必有路)。母亲为了付账单不得不在房子里搜寻零钱时偶尔会这样说。

As soon as the ban was lifted in 2016, Irelynn Donovan went to a local recruiter.

2016年,禁令一取消,伊里林恩·多诺万就去找当地的一名征兵人员。

“I wanted to make history,” she said. “Pave the way, if not for me, then for others.”

“我想要创造历史,”她说。“铺个路,就算不是为我,也要为其他人。”

During training, she wrote home complaining that she was exhausted and tired of being yelled at. “Everything is chafing,” she wrote. But she became a standout, nailing the physical tests for both men and women when she did 79 push-ups in two minutes.

训练期间,她在写给家人的信中抱怨说,她筋疲力竭,也厌倦了被吼来吼去。“每件事都不顺,”她写道。但她脱颖而出,在对男性和女性一视同仁的体能测试中表现出色,两分钟做了79个俯卧撑。

‘Hey, the infantry’s tough, man’

“嘿,步兵很苦的,伙计。”

Afghanistan and Iraq were turning points for the Army’s thinking on women in combat. The wars forced thousands of women who were not technically combat troops into fire fights. Nearly 14,000 women were awarded the Combat Action Badge for engaging with the enemy. Today most of the men leading the Army have served with women in combat for years.

阿富汗和伊拉克战争让美国陆军对女性参战的看法发生了转变。这些战争迫使并非严格意义上的作战人员的万千女性投身战火。将近1.4万名女性因为与敌人交锋而被授予近战突击徽章(Combat Action Badge)。现如今,领导着陆军的大多数男性都曾与女性并肩作战多年。

“We saw it can work,” said Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow, who heads Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. “And now we have a generation that just wants to accomplish the mission and have the most talented people to do it.”

“我们发现这是可行的,”肯塔基州诺克斯堡陆军征兵指挥部(Army Recruiting Command)负责人、杰弗里·斯诺(Jeffrey Snow)少将说。“而且现在这一代人只是想完成使命,让最具才干的人去做这件事。”

The Army is determined not to sacrifice performance for the sake of inclusion, and many women have not been able to meet the standard. Of the 32 who showed up at infantry boot camp in February, 44 percent dropped out. For the 148 men in the company, the dropout rate was just 20 percent.

军队决心不为了包容而牺牲对表现的要求,许多女性不能达到这一标准。2月进入步兵新兵训练营的32名女性中,有44%中途退出。而同期进入连队的148名男性的退出率只有20%。

Commanders say the higher dropout rate among females is in line with other demanding boot camps for military police and combat engineers, which have been open to women for years. In part, they say, it is a consequence of size. A 5-foot-2 woman has to carry the same weight and perform the same tasks as a man who stands a foot taller, and is more likely to be injured.

指挥官说,在其他要求较高的军警和工程兵的训练营内,女性的退出率同样较高,那些训练营多年来一直向女性开放。他们说,身材也是原因之一。一名1.57米的女子必须同一个比她高30厘米的男性承担相同的重量、执行相同的任务,并且更有可能受伤。

Why did so many more women fail? One female recruit summed it up by saying simply, “Hey, the infantry’s tough, man.”

为什么这么多女人失败了?一名女性征兵人员简单地总结,“嘿,步兵很苦的,伙计。”

“Is it fair?” said the brigade commander overseeing gender-integrated infantry training at Fort Benning, Col. Kelly Kendrick. “I don’t care about fair. I care if you can meet the standard.”

“这公平吗?”在本宁堡,负责监督步兵训练中性别融合的军队指挥官凯利·肯德里克(Kelly Kendrick)上校说。“我不在乎公平。我只在乎你是否符合标准。”

Male soldiers acknowledged in interviews that the women who remain, like Chonell Morgan, 18, are some of the toughest soldiers in the company. During a punishment run the platoons were ordered to undertake on a hot afternoon, Private Morgan, who is from Apple Valley, Calif., was near the front of the pack.

男性军人们在采访中都承认,剩下的女性,比如18岁的柯妮尔·摩根(Chonell Morgan),都是连队中最坚强的战士。一次,他们在炎热的下午被罚排队跑步,来自加利福尼亚州苹果谷的二等兵摩根跑在队伍前列。

The daughter of a NASA engineer, she postponed plans for college when she heard the infantry was opening to women. Her mother is still upset about the decision, but her father, Lorenzo Morgan, who served in the Army in the 1980s, said, “You have to let your children be who they want to be.”

摩根是美国航空航天局一位工程师的女儿,当她听说步兵向女性开放时,便推迟了上大学的计划。她的母亲仍然对这个决定感到不快,但是她的父亲,1980年代曾在陆军服役的洛伦佐·摩根(Lorenzo Morgan)说:“你必须让孩子成为她们想成为的人”。

An unspoken accomplishment

无言的成就

This month, after 14 weeks of running and crawling in the dirt, Alpha Company marched onto the parade grounds in crisp dress uniforms and carefully creased berets.

经过14个星期的跑步与匍匐前进,这个月,A连穿着崭新的制服和精心打理的贝雷帽,列队进入游行场地,

The company commander’s voice booming over loudspeakers welcomed them to the infantry, but he gave no nod to the women now joining the ranks.

扬声器响起连队指挥官的声音,欢迎他们加入步兵,但他没有对加入这一行列的女性们表示特别致意。

The women appeared to take it in stride. Private Donovan, who had won the award for the highest female fitness score in the company, finishing just behind the top man, pushed through the crowd toward her family, then shrank in embarrassment when her mother greeted her with a bouquet of flowers.

女人们似乎没有把这件事放在心上。多诺万曾获得连队女子健身最好成绩,成绩仅居于位列第一的男兵之后,那天她推开人群走向家人,看到母亲用一束鲜花来迎接她时,不禁倒退了一步。

“Mom,” she muttered, looking to see if anyone noticed, “you don’t bring flowers to infantry graduation.”

“妈,”她嘟囔着,看了看周围有没有人注意,“没人会带花到步兵毕业典礼上来的。”

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