Amazons Attack!

 

 

Back in my misspent youth in the Seventies I served some time in the Green Machine.  (I like to think that I greatly contributed to the defense of the nation by leaving the Army.)  While I was learning the mysteries of how to manuever squads, the other officer cadets and I would train with female officer cadets.  Most of them found the fairly arduous training very exhausting.  A few of them were as capable as the least physically in shape of the men.  (I would have been in that category.)  This was only basic training and not the type of training that would go on at an infantry branch school for the Lieutenants assigned to that branch.  Women of course back in those days could not be assigned to the Combat Arms branches of the Army, and I do not recall one woman complaining about that.

However, now Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, on his way out the door, has announced a policy to allow women to serve in the Combat Arms.  Since my service was a peace time comedy of errors, and I have an XY chromosome combination, I will defer to the observations of Captain Katie Petronio, USMC, made last year:

As a company grade 1302 combat engineer officer with 5 years of active service and two combat deployments, one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan, I was able to participate in and lead numerous combat operations. In Iraq as the II MEF Director, Lioness Program, I served as a subject matter expert for II MEF, assisting regimental and battalion commanders on ways to integrate female Marines into combat operations. I primarily focused on expanding the mission of the Lioness Program from searching females to engaging local nationals and information gathering, broadening the ways females were being used in a wide variety of combat operations from census patrols to raids. In Afghanistan I deployed as a 1302 and led a combat engineer platoon in direct support of Regimental Combat Team 8, specifically operating out of the Upper Sangin Valley. My platoon operated for months at a time, constructing patrol bases (PBs) in support of 3d Battalion, 5th Marines; 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; 2d Reconnaissance Battalion; and 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. This combat experience, in particular, compelled me to raise concern over the direction and overall reasoning behind opening the 03XX field.

Who is driving this agenda? I am not personally hearing female Marines, enlisted or officer, pounding on the doors of Congress claiming that their inability to serve in the infantry violates their right to equality. Shockingly, this isn’t even a congressional agenda. This issue is being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS). Their mission is to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations, as well as matters of policy, pertaining to the well-being of women in the Armed Services from recruiting to employment. Members are selected based on their prior military experience or experience with women’s workforce issues. I certainly applaud and appreciate DACOWITS’ mission; however, as it pertains to the issue of women in the infantry, it’s very surprising to see that none of the committee members are on active duty or have any recent combat or relevant operational experience relating to the issue they are attempting to change. I say this because, at the end of the day, it’s the active duty servicemember who will ultimately deal with the results of their initiatives, not those on the outside looking in. As of now, the Marine Corps hasn’t been directed to integrate, but perhaps the Corps is anticipating the inevitable—DoD pressuring the Corps to comply with DACOWITS’ agenda as the Army has already “rogered up” to full integration. Regardless of what the Army decides to do, it’s critical to emphasize that we are not the Army; our operational speed and tempo, along with our overall mission as the Nation’s amphibious force-in-readiness, are fundamentally different than that of our sister Service. By no means is this distinction intended as disrespectful to our incredible Army. My main point is simply to state that the Marine Corps and the Army are different; even if the Army ultimately does fully integrate all military occupational fields, that doesn’t mean the Corps should follow suit.

I understand that there are female servicemembers who have proven themselves to be physically, mentally, and morally capable of leading and executing combat-type operations; as a result, some of these Marines may feel qualified for the chance of taking on the role of 0302. In the end, my main concern is not whether women are capable of conducting combat operations, as we have already proven that we can hold our own in some very difficult combat situations; instead, my main concern is a question of longevity. Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?

As a young lieutenant, I fit the mold of a female who would have had a shot at completing IOC, and I am sure there was a time in my life where I would have volunteered to be an infantryman. I was a star ice hockey player at Bowdoin College, a small elite college in Maine, with a major in government and law. At 5 feet 3 inches I was squatting 200 pounds and benching 145 pounds when I graduated in 2007. I completed Officer Candidates School (OCS) ranked 4 of 52 candidates, graduated 48 of 261 from TBS, and finished second at MOS school. I also repeatedly scored far above average in all female-based physical fitness tests (for example, earning a 292 out of 300 on the Marine physical fitness test). Five years later, I am physically not the woman I once was and my views have greatly changed on the possibility of women having successful long careers while serving in the infantry. I can say from firsthand experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not just emotion, that we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the gender-specific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.

I was a motivated, resilient second lieutenant when I deployed to Iraq for 10 months, traveling across the Marine area of operations (AO) and participating in numerous combat operations. Yet, due to the excessive amount of time I spent in full combat load, I was diagnosed with a severe case of restless leg syndrome. My spine had compressed on nerves in my lower back causing neuropathy which compounded the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. While this injury has certainly not been enjoyable, Iraq was a pleasant experience compared to the experiences I endured during my deployment to Afghanistan. At the beginning of my tour in Helmand Province, I was physically capable of conducting combat operations for weeks at a time, remaining in my gear for days if necessary and averaging 16-hour days of engineering operations in the heart of Sangin, one of the most kinetic and challenging AOs in the country. There were numerous occasions where I was sent to a grid coordinate and told to build a PB from the ground up, serving not only as the mission commander but also the base commander until the occupants (infantry units) arrived 5 days later. In most of these situations, I had a sergeant as my assistant commander, and the remainder of my platoon consisted of young, motivated NCOs. I was the senior Marine making the final decisions on construction concerns, along with 24-hour base defense and leading 30 Marines at any given time. The physical strain of enduring combat operations and the stress of being responsible for the lives and well-being of such a young group in an extremely kinetic environment were compounded by lack of sleep, which ultimately took a physical toll on my body that I couldn’t have foreseen.

Go here to the Marine Corps Gazette to read the informative rest.  This move is of course part of our current “Let’s Pretend” mode of setting policy in this nation, reality be damned.  The problem with this is that when pretense meets reality, reality is going to be the winner every time.  People will die needlessly because of this idiocy on stilts.

45 Responses to Amazons Attack!

  • We have lost all respect for women. We went from standing when they entered the room and opening doors for them, to putting them on the front lines?

    Donald your last paragraph summed it up nicely, “Let’s Pretend” mode is in full swing!

  • Why on Earth would the top brass listen to someone with actual expertise and experience when they can listen to a committee with a cool name like “DACOWITS”?

  • I should think of something insightful to say on the subject, but what really struck me is that you don’t often see a split-screen shot where the Fox News gal is the second-cutest.

  • As a former infantry medic I can tell you this woman is spot on. The physical rigors of infantry operations take a toll on men, and this results in accelerated joint degeneration. Knees, backs, feet, anything that bears a load takes a hit. My brother ended up with back problems from his deployment to Iraq due to wearing body armor. I injured my feet from running in boots with heavy loads during training.

    As part of my insurance work, I need to assess people’s employability after an injury, and this includes assessing prior employment within a certain number of years. I’ve had a few who had served in the military prior to a work injury, and that had to be assessed. Combat arms are always classified as very heavy, and involve lifting and carrying over a hundred pounds at times, and doing that in awkward, non-ergonomic positions. Women do not have the same bone structure as men do, and this can increase the likelihood of an acute injury, or a chronic degenerative problem that comes about over time. Once you begin down that road of joint degeneration, its natural course it to continue to worsen over time. When people are young, they aren’t aware of this possibility. They feel great and think they will live forever in perfect health. So they take out loans that their bodies must end up repaying over time. They find out when they are older what chronic pain is.

    I would hardly call this sort of thing compassionate to women.

  • It is not about compassion for women. It is about further transformation of society into the egalitarian utopia. Gays in the military was also part of the process. What next?

  • What next?

    A military disaster (heaven forbid) to knock us to our senses?

  • “What next?”
    Their bringing back Mr. Ed the talking Horse
    and Mr. Lumpit the talking fish. It’s going to be a “dandy” of a good Corps.

  • A military disaster (heaven forbid) to knock us to our senses?

    No, that never works–it just means that things didn’t go far enough.

    What happens next is the female officers that wanted this get their “combat command” box checked, a bunch of enlisted women are put in positions they’re not suited for, lots of folks get killed, and the activists demand more for their ideas. Why not, they’re not paying the blood price.

  • At least it should strike terror into the enemy, if Kipling is to be believed:

    “When you’re lying half-dead on Afganistan’s plains
    And the women come out to cut up what remains
    Just roll on your rifle and blow out your brains…”

  • Hmmm…this is an interesting issue to say the least!

    I don’t find Donald’s anecdotal evidence very helpful. It reduces the differences between man and woman to purely physical terms, or at least overemphasizes this approach. Yes, men and women are physically different, a difference that makes men far more capable of enduring the strain of combat. Most woman are not physically capable of undergoing the same type of physical exertion, at least not without a serious toll being taken on their bodies. Most women, like the young lady interviewed by Fox, should not be participating in combat.

    But what about the exceptions? What if there was a woman who was just as physically suited as her male counterparts to participate in and endure the bodily toll of combat? I’m not saying that it’s a certainty that there exists a female physically capable of enduring combat situations, but I think it’s a hypothetical that is most certainly plausible. So on what grounds would she not be able to fight on the “front-lines?” The type of argument used by Captain Petronino and, at least in this post, Donald would fail, because it solely addresses the physical limitations of MOST women. If those limitations are ever exceeded, then what case is left to be made?

    While I still maintain that women, on average, are physically ill-disposed to participate in combat, I don’t think that’s the primary issue we should be exploring. We should be talking about nature, and whether there is something inherent in the nature of woman that would seem to indicate their place is not on the battlefield (on a related note…what do ya’ll think about stay-at-home-dads?).

    Honestly, this dichotomy reminds me of a disturbing trend I’ve seen in pro-life argumentation against abortion. Namely, that abortion is bad not primarily because it’s morally wrong, but because it’s not good POLICY. This is an essay that elevated this concern: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/01/7630/

    The author’s point basically boils down to “proponents said abortion would reduce out-of-wedlock births, would reduce the crime rate, and reduce child abuse BUT IT HASN’T and therefore it’s bad policy.” But what if it HAD done all these things? And yes, I know there is something said about sin manifesting itself in a physical form, but it doesn’t always, at least no in an obvious or quantifiable way. My point is basically that these types of arguments are nice as supporting acts, but should never minimize the primacy of the “main show,” namely arguments focusing on the “nature” of things.

  • Here’s an article that, I believe, approaches this issue from a better place:

    http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/01/battles-are-ugly-when-women-fight

  • “It reduces the differences between man and woman to purely physical terms, or at least overemphasizes this approach.”

    This post was not meant to explore all the differences between mean and women JL. Having been happily married for over three decades, the father of a daughter and having a female secretary who has been my right hand for 27 years, I think I might have an inkling of all of those differences. It was meant to be a practical look at the drawbacks of this proposal in practical terms even for an uber physically fit woman like Captain Petronio. She would have been precisely the type of exceptional woman thought worthy to be in Combat Arms. Her testimony, riveting in detail, helps demolish the argument for the exceptional. As Foxfier, a female veteran of the Navy points out, this proposal will not be limited to the exceptionally fit like Captain Petronio. There will be immense pressure by the civilian leadership to put a lot of women in Combat Arms to demonstrate that the policy is a success. Physical qualifications will be ignored and a lot of women, especially enlisted women, will find themselves in situations where their inability, through absolutely no fault of their own, to keep up physically with their male colleagues will cost lives, quite probably a great many lives. To people who serve in the military that is what will count the most in regard to this new policy.

  • Not all comments have been about physical issues. As I noted, this was one more effort to engineer our society to an idealized state of equality. Something your link further suggests:

    “Long ago, we made equality our end, and this is the inevitable next stop on our long march. If that requires the sacrifice of our sisters and daughters, say the egalitarians, then so be it.”

  • “It is an army bred for a single purpose: to destroy the world of Men.”

  • “Not all comments have been about physical issues. As I noted, this was one more effort to engineer our society to an idealized state of equality.”

    I agree Phillip, I was simply pointing out that this post overemphasized physical differences in its argumentation.

    “She would have been precisely the type of exceptional woman thought worthy to be in Combat Arms. Her testimony, riveting in detail, helps demolish the argument for the exceptional.”

    No, I don’t think it does. She is one of what, less than 10,000 active women in the Corps? Sure she had some of the highest marks with regards to physical fitness amongst her female peers, but the sample size is still incredibly small when one considers there are over 3 billion women in the world.

    And yes, the Corps is obviously extremely self-selecting in the sense that people in peak physical condition enlist or become officers. This is probably especially true of the women who serve. But arguing that no woman is physically capable of enduring a combat environment because Capt. Petronino was not is obviously fallacious.

    She is not some definitive “uberfrau,” the exemplar of physical prowess amongst her sex. And, in fact, she stands at only 5 feet 3 inches! I doubt many MEN could undergo the bodily toll of combat with a frame like that. Clearly, the link between “fitness” and “combat capability” is not a clear corollary, just as high SAT scores do not necessarily translate into academic success.

    I repeat, arguing that ALL women are not suited for combat because they are not physically capable of withstanding the conditions without a seriously detrimental toll on their bodies is foolish, and will be “demolished” if/when any woman ever shows herself TO be capable, which is a certainly plausible scenario to entertain.

    And yes, not limiting combat assignments to those women who are physically capable of enduring them is idiotic…but the same would be true of giving these assignments to MEN who weren’t physically cut-out for it, would it not?

  • JL, regardless of whether there are some women who might be able to handle the rigors of infantry life, the fact is that most will not. When I was in, I did an inordinate amount of heavy lifting for females. One lieutenant was physically incapable of even carrying her own duffel bag. I got off a plane from Korea once and had to carry my gear and hers.

  • I remember when I was at a Rights and Responsibilities Workshop during my Navy days. The subject of women in combat came up. This was over twenty years ago, mind you. Anyway, a Lt. CDR in our group, an electronics officer spoke up and said some of the best technicians he ever worked with were women. But in combat he wouldn’t want anyone of them around because they would be prime targets for the enemy. The demoralization effect it would have on the men would be insurmountable. He was absolutely correct.

    For similar reasons, I am also against women on NAvy ships. Ever since the Navy started allowing women to serve on auxilary ships like destroyer and submarine tenders, it has been an unmitigated dsisaster. Now, they are on combatant ships. And it’s an even bigger problem.

    Where are all the republicans expressing outrage about this and the overall gutting of our military by Obama? Another example of GOP weakness in the face of Democrap agression.

  • “JL, regardless of whether there are some women who might be able to handle the rigors of infantry life, the fact is that most will not.”

    And….so what? Doesn’t that simply mean that those women who are not physically capable of handling the rigors of infantry life should not be deployed in such a capacity? And isn’t the same true of men who aren’t physically capable? Again, I think any argument against putting women into combat is on extremely shaky ground if it is primarily based on appeals to physical differences.

    “When I was in, I did an inordinate amount of heavy lifting for females. One lieutenant was physically incapable of even carrying her own duffel bag. I got off a plane from Korea once and had to carry my gear and hers.”

    OK, this anecdote is helpful in allowing others to understand how your experiences have shaped your views on the issue, but, like Donald’s account, it really isn’t helpful to the overall discussion. The women you served with were not physically capable of undergoing demanding conditions, but I’m not sure why that leads to an argument like “MOST women are physically incapable of being in combat without severe bodily consequences and, therefore, ALL women should be barred from combat assignments.” Arguments against putting any of our wives, sisters, and daughters on the field of battle should be primarily concerned with the differences in the NATURE of men and women.

    And no one has said anything about stay-at-home-dads yet…

  • Sorry JL, but you are flat out wrong here. Women in the military have lower physical fitness standards than men. They’re not going to change this. There are no special physical fitness standards to be an infantryman vs. an office clerk. At any point, that office clerk can be propelled into the role of an infantry soldier, and so the physical standards are the same for all specialties, with the exception of certain elite units like the Rangers. But for infantry, armor, etc., its the same standard as for the guy changing bedpans in a hospital. Ergo, women, who have a lower physical fitness standard in the Army to begin with, will meet a lower physical standard than the men in an infantry unit. I don’t think you’ve actually served, or if you did you must have forgotten a lot. It’s simply not true that women will have to meet a higher fitness standard. It’s already the case that they have a lower physical fitness standard.

    By the way, it wasn’t only one incident that formed my opinion. It was my overall experience. When I was in combat medic training we had to carry stretchers with an actual soldier through an obstacle course which included trenches, barbed wire, walls, logs, and an assortment of barriers. Women had real difficulty with this, and the men had to take up a lot of the slack. These were female soldiers who had undergone many weeks of hard physical training to build up strength, and who would not even be at the school had they not met the physical standards in place **** for women****. Again, it’s nothing against women soldiers, but they are not physically identical to men and it’s asking for trouble to integrate them into combat arms. It doesn’t sound to me like you served with an infantry unit like I did. It’s clear you’re not familiar with how it works.

    That said, you are correct that there are a lot of other arguments that can be made regarding women serving in combat arms.

  • One factor that hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that women are more liable to be subjected to sexual abuse at the hands of the enemy in the event of capture.

    http://www.wnd.com/2003/11/21645/

  • “Women in the military have lower physical fitness standards than men. They’re not going to change this. There are no special physical fitness standards to be an infantryman vs. an office clerk. At any point, that office clerk can be propelled into the role of an infantry soldier, and so the physical standards are the same for all specialties, with the exception of certain elite units like the Rangers. But for infantry, armor, etc., its the same standard as for the guy changing bedpans in a hospital. Ergo, women, who have a lower physical fitness standard in the Army to begin with, will meet a lower physical standard than the men in an infantry unit.”

    I guess I’m not getting too caught up on what the official standards are. As far as I know, men have one standard, women have a different one. People want to merge them into “one standard,” which I think is problematic.

    But here’s the crux of the matter: If there was a women who was just as physically capable as a man who served in the infantry, on what grounds would you bar her from combat duty?

    “It doesn’t sound to me like you served with an infantry unit like I did. It’s clear you’re not familiar with how it works.”

    Nope, I didn’t. But then again, most bishops have never been pregnant. My lack of information is just that, a lack of information, not some unavoidable blemish on my opinions because I haven’t undergone the experience.

  • This would also seem to indicate that you’re wrong:

    “Military officials who briefed reporters on background said occupations such as infantry and artillery have exacting physical requirements and appropriate standards will be maintained.”

    Looks like standards differ for assignments.

    source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/24/women-in-combat-briefing/1861887/

  • One obvious problem is pregnancy. Given that women in combat roles would be in their prime, childbearing years, this can be quite an issue. The Navy is currently dealing with this with one year shore assignments. The problem is, what will be the impact on combat units.

    http://hamptonroads.com/node/343431

  • JL:

    You are speaking from ignorance. They said they won’t lower their standards. I’m sure that’s true. The standards have been in place for a long time, and they are different for men and for women. Given that they are already lower for women, there’s no need for them to lower the standards a second time. It’s already been done. Having served with an infantry unit, I can tell you first hand that all they need to do is pass the APFT to serve with an infantry unit, or any combat arms unit except certain elite units. You can find the actual standards here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Physical_Fitness_Test

    An 18 year old male must do 42 pushups. A female of the same age must do 19. In fact, the minimum passing score for a male is considered a “max” for a female who would score 100% on the test for getting the least amount a guy would get. It’s very nearly the same situation with the 2 mile run. They may be trumpeting that “standards won’t be lowered” but that doesn’t mean squat because standards have been in place for years and they aren’t going to change. They have been different for men and women for a very long time, but you won’t see them acknowledging that fact to the media because that would make the public question it. The vast majority of Americans have never served in the military and won’t know to question it. If you pass the APFT, you’re good to go.

    But don’t take my word for it. Go here:

    http://army.com/forum/infantry-requirements

    and see what a recruiter says about infantry requirements. Basically he states there are no special requirements, and you need to maintain a 60% (60 points) to stay in, which anyone in the military must maintain anyway. And it takes a lower level of performance to get a 60% for a female than for a male.

    The spokespeople are playing word games with the press when they say standards won’t be lowered. Technically, that’s correct. But….

  • “Be all you can be” Equality is not the same as sameness. The equality DACOWITS wants is sameness.

  • JL:

    Sorry, I didn’t scroll up far enough to see you other post. Regarding your question about what would happen if a woman met the same physical requirements as a man, as practical matter that’s not going to happen. They go off of percentages. Now assuming you do have some Amazon woman who consumed steroids from the breast milk of her East German Olympic team weightlifter mother, and who can meet the male standards for an infantry unit… no, let’s go even further and say she meets the physical standards for one of the Ranger battalions and successfully goes through all of the various schools that lead to that assignment. At that point, one can assume that unicorns do exist. It’s an absurd assumption. But let’s go with it anyway. That event is going to be so rare that it’s going to be outside the experience of nearly everyone serving in the military. And at the point, the same people calling for women to serve in the military are going to make sure that standards are lower for women in the name of “equality”. To ensure the outcome they prefer, they will absolutely gerrymander the requirements to get women into combat positions by hook or by crook. This will be bad for morale. Men will resent it, except those who know how to play political games. The NCO corps will become nothing more than a bunch of “yes” men rather than independent thinkers who can solve problems on their feet in stressful situations. We will destroy the military by driving away honest, capable soldiers. The only ones left will be the opportunists.

  • In addition to the issue of disparity in terms of physical abilities is the factor the importance of the development of fraternal bonds amongst soldiers in an infantry unit. You inject sexual attaction into that environment, which will naturally follow with the mixing of the sexes, you have a serious problem in its own right.

  • Alphatron. I wouldn’t say I’m “speaking from ignorance,” I’m just simply repeating what professional journalists have said military officials told them.

    I’m going to try to address your points one at a time:
    -I know women and men have different standards.
    -Well, it seems like what the recruiter on the forum is saying contradicts what army officials have explicitly stated. One says there are elevated standards for infantry, the other says there are not. Both seem to have the requisite authority for me to take them at their word, so I’m not going to argue against either of them.
    -I will point out that, since women have been banned from combat, when people say “anyone who meets the requirements to get into the Army can be assigned to the infantry,” it’s possible that they aren’t referring to women at all since they can’t possibly serve in the infantry. So yes, any man who met the requisite standards could be called up to the infantry, but if they were going to allow women to enter the infantry, they probably would revise women’s standards, possibly creating explicit “not infantry approved” and “infantry approved” designations. I am just speculating, but it seems absurd to me to think that women being allowed to serve in combat capacities would mean that any women who meets the general standards for women would be allowed into the infantry.

    “Regarding your question about what would happen if a woman met the same physical requirements as a man, as practical matter that’s not going to happen. They go off of percentages. ”

    I’m not entirely sure what you mean by this. How is it “not going to happen?” If a man in the infantry has a certain score, and a women equals or bests it, how can she be barred from combat duty on the basis that she isn’t physically capable?

    “no, let’s go even further and say she meets the physical standards for one of the Ranger battalions and successfully goes through all of the various schools that lead to that assignment. At that point, one can assume that unicorns do exist. It’s an absurd assumption. ”

    Yah…I’m not really sure why you take my fairly plausible scenario (a single woman having scores comparable to any man serving in the infantry) and made it something ridiculous, which I haven’t even remotely suggested. It’d an absurd assumption because you made it.

    I’m not really sure I follow the rest of what you’re saying. It doesn’t really address my question, which I’ll word differently this time: if an individual woman achieved scores on these standards tests that were equal to or better than at least one man currently cleared for infantry duty, on what grounds could you bar her from the infantry? The “physically incapable” argument obviously wouldn’t work in such a scenario, because she’s just proved that she IS physically capable (unless the standards aren’t really a good indication of this, in which case they should be revised).

  • Alphatron. I wouldn’t say I’m “speaking from ignorance,” I’m just simply repeating what professional journalists have said military officials told them.

    Those same “professionals” think that identifying the spot a shoulder strap is attached to as a bayonet spot is a minor mistake, and using a picture of an AK-47 for a military style AR is no mistake at all.

    Women, even those who meet the same physical standards– which, as linked, are not special– do not respond the same to physical “stress.”
    Medics have pointed out the massively higher rate of injuries, and a Marine officer even wrote a piece for the Marine Corps Gazette.

    Somehow, didn’t get much attention from those “professional journalists.”

  • It has to do with the way it is scored. A person needs a certain score to be in the infantry. Men and women are scored differently. The minimum qualifying physical fitness performance for a man gives a woman a maximum score. The physical performance that would give a woman a minimum score of 60 would give a man a failing score, and he would be drummed out of the military entirely if he did not bring it up within a specified period of time.

    So when the media says they won’t lower the requirements for women, they are correct. A woman will still require a sixty percent score, just like a man will. But a woman will need to do far less to obtain that sixty percent score.

  • The navy had fail, probation, then various levels of “passing,” then “excellent”– it was a point of pride for me that I always got at least a mid-level “pass” for my PFT if I were a male, but so many women couldn’t pass even the low level stuff that they put in a thing where your score could be averaged as long as you didn’t flat out fail in any specific. (From memory, it was largely because the middle aged women couldn’t do sit ups as well.)

  • Hey!

    They can form women’s infantry battalions like the WNBA and women’s soccer, swimming, tennis, track and field, etc.

    In a violent world, peace is maintained by the disciplined valor of a nation’s armed forces.

    Will intergating women into ground combat units advance unit cohesion, discipline, and efficency (at destroying things and killing people)?

    Anybody around here old enough to remember a small Navy avaiators’ embarrassment called “Tail Hook”?

    Or, imagine a daughter of manslaughtering Ares, as it were, bursting into tears, and blubbering, “What difference does it make?”

    I’m glad the warden doesn’t read this.

  • In a democracy, who is a citizen?

    Under the Ancien Régime, the defence of the country was the task of the nobility, and the sword was everywhere the badge of the gentleman. In return, they enjoyed special privileges and a preponderant share in the government of the nation.

    The Republic declared that the nation is the community of all those who are not exempt from taxation, military service and other public duties, and, second, it includes all those, and only those, who are willing and capable of sharing in the service of the country. This was the logical basis of universal (male) suffrage.

    Accordingly, in France, until 1945, women, who were not liable to conscription, did not enjoy the vote and were ineligible for public office. This was logical.

    If women, as a class, are denied the right, or relieved of the responsibility, of defending the nation under arms, in what sense are they truly citizens? If men and women enjoy citizenship on different terms, how is the republic one and indivisible?

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour –
    bad logic, unless you plan to remove the citizenship of anyone who can’t qualify for combat. That would be the old and the disabled, as well as the XX chromosomed.

    France in the 40s is not the place I’d cite as an overwhelming logical argument against how bad of an idea it is to kill of the only people who can make new soldiers. A task, incidentally, which tend to kill more each year than enemy action, and all in the female category.

  • Even women oppose it.

    *waves hand wildly in the air*

    I’ve actually run into more bitter “manosphere” types that support it than women who do– and vanishing few military types that weren’t activists before they got in, or aren’t chasing stars.

  • When the French Foreign Legion in the 19th century came across female warriors in Africa they were reluctant to engage them at close quarters. As professional soldiers the idea of bayonetting a woman was repugnant. I have no doubt that our latter-day Amazons would have no compunction about sticking a bayonet in someone else, but what happens if an enemy soldier, suddenly coming face to face with a woman, hesitates, as well he might? Answer: he’s dead.

    No civilized society should even consider putting women in the front line, and those who advocate it do not understand the psychology of combat. The citizen-soldiers of the First World War, when they were pulled out of line, found that in the rest areas they encountered women, children, animals; this helped them forget for a time the horrors of the trenches. They were able to reconnect with their own humanity.

    Esprit de corps, unit cohesion, the idea of not letting your mates down – this keeps infantry soldiers going in combat. Introduce women into the equation and fighting just becomes a squalid business, devoid of the last remnants of honour and chivalry.

  • “Esprit de corps, unit cohesion, the idea of not letting your mates down – this keeps infantry soldiers going in combat. Introduce women into the equation and fighting just becomes a squalid business, devoid of the last remnants of honour and chivalry.”

    Good common sense John. It is frightening how uncommon common sense is becoming.

  • Michael Paterson-Seymour:

    Regarding the obligations commensurate with citizenship, I would submit that the bearing and raising of children certainly qualifies. Motherhood imposes obligations that certainly affect the nation.

  • I swear I’m going to strangle the next person I hear whining about it not being fair. The military is not your high school Glee club, it doesn’t matter if it’s fair or not. What matters is defending our country, if putting women on the front lines is detrimental to that (and it has been proven so time and again) I don’t care if the woman in question passed BUDS with flying colors and is the best soldier in the unit, if she lowers unit effiecency she shouldn’t be there. If that affects her chances at promotion, well… that’s not fair, but again, the military shouldn’t be concerned about what’s ‘fair’.

  • Unfortunately the once esteemed virtues of manliness and womanliness are being sacrificed on the altar of the false god of equality. Like same-sex ‘marriage’ it reveals the moral bakruptcy of present-day western society.

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