USMC on Female Infantry Persons: That’s Your Call Congress

“Expanded infantry training for women does not mean the Marine Corps is ready to send women into combat assignments . . . We are not training women to be infantry officers.” That’s the Marine Corps’s mixed message on women on the front lines [via militarytimes.com]: Semper Fi but sit your butt down you’re not going anywhere Missie. Lt. Gen. Robert Milstead Jr., the deputy commandant for manpower and reserve affairs, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the USMC couldn’t deploy women in that role even if they wanted to (which I’m thinking they don’t). “We do not have that authority. That authority rests with Congress.” I know! How about an Executive Order? That ought to make the President popular with his base. Just sayin’.

comments

  1. avatar Tom says:

    “Expanded infantry training for women does not mean the Marine Corps is ready to send women into combat assignments…
    I actually think all members of the active and reserve armed forces should have good basic and a modicum of advanced infantry training.
    I know that it is proposed that some support units should never encounter combat, but…history has shown that during a war things can get very fluid in a war zone. Support units can come under enemy attack very easily in certain situations and actually the enemy doctrine would prefer to destroy the support units than the combat units.
    Support units should be able to act as a rudimentary infantry defense force on a limited basis.

  2. avatar gej88 says:

    Everyone learns the same combat skills in basic. Of course, those going in combat arms go to the more advanced course. They would have to simply expand to include incoming women in those schools, not too hard. Women have been in direct combat in different times and different places since the beginning. Worked for the USSR in WW2, Isreal and Canada today. There is no reason it won’t work in the US.

    1. avatar RAN58 says:

      Having served in the Infantry and in support units, I think it is a big mistake to allow women into direct combat roles. Note that the only countries that currently do so are small and do so largely because of demographic or political correctness reasons. I’m sure many will disagree but women don’t have the upper body strength to serve in a combat role. As well as many other roles in the military. If they did why the different standards in the Physical Readiness Tests?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        women don’t have the upper body strength to serve in a combat role

        Most women don’t. Some women do. But either way, it doesn’t matter. The military will only put women into combat who volunteer. The women that can keep up will do fine, the one’s who can’t will wash out.

        I know what you’re thinking — the women will bring down the men. Probably not, but it is a possibility. If it works out that way, then women won’t be allowed in combat thereafter.

        1. avatar Skyler says:

          No woman has that strength. None.

        2. avatar vermin says:

          Some do. But none of the women I met during the thirteen years in the Marine Corps did.

        3. avatar mikeb302000 says:

          Isn’t it more than physical strength that’s required? The kind of attitude that’s instilled into young marines during basic training, I don’t think can ever work for women.

        4. avatar Dan A says:

          Maybe they should start by making fitness standards for women the same as they are for men. See how well that goes.

      2. avatar Curzen says:

        It wouldn’t be a big deal if physical fitness standards weren’t double standards.

      3. avatar Dan says:

        The women who fought on the front lines for the USSR in WWII did a pretty good job, and I doubt Stalin allowed them to serve because he was being politically correct.

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

        1. avatar vermin says:

          The Soviets did that because they were running out of people. Regardless, the idea that we should accept 70 year old anecdotes from communists to the exclusion of the actual data from our own armed forces is absurd. It reduces effectiveness and gets people killed.

  3. avatar Qajaqon says:

    To not teach/train women to be combat proficient is an injustice to women and to those whom they serve. To deny women the opportunity to serve in combat roles, should they prove to make the grade, as men have to do, is a second injustice to women and those whom they serve.

    Women throughout history have shown/proven they can be quite capable in combat.

    LG Milstead Jr. is correct, it will take Congress’s Authorization to proceed.

    “De Oppresso Liber”

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    I defintely favor women in combat roles. Why should men do all the dying?

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      We must not hold women back in achieving their full potential. I’m all for real equality (and accountability) and not special class status equality for anyone. I have no problem with women or men serving in combat provided the conflict or war is justified which it often isn’t. Yup, it’s time for a Combat Affirmative Action Program.

      1. avatar Phydeaux says:

        +1

  5. avatar Sanchanim says:

    The Karakal Battalion in the Negev for the IDF is mixed sex and doing quite well I may add..

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Perhaps so. Yet, I will believe it when I speak directly with current or ex Israeli military men since I do not trust the media and government to report anything but what supports their agenda.

      1. avatar vermin says:

        It’s been every bit the spectacular failure that all informed, rational people expected–just like it has been for American forces.

      2. avatar Phrederick says:

        Only certain SF and home battalions in the IDF have women. The Israelis discovered, as the Russians did, that the problem wasn’t with women soldiers. It was the males. Once females were endangered, discipline broke among the males who defied orders and left positions to aid any female units taking loses.

        1. avatar vermin says:

          No. That was only part of the problem. The fact that they were likely to become pregnant and were too weak to function in combat even when they weren’t pregnant was another part.

      3. avatar Sanchanim says:

        I am ex IDF and never had an issue.

        1. avatar vermin says:

          So is it your position that when your unit did something like spending a day or two without sleep establishing a defensive position, the women were just as capable of carrying sandbags and digging holes while wearing their body armor as the men? In my experience, not only are women unable to do these things well, they’re unable to do them at all.

  6. avatar Military Vet says:

    I say let the women serve in combat.
    Other countries have long histories of allowing females serve on the front lines and have done quite well.

    The US Military is full of dinosaurs who need to either get with the program or go.

  7. avatar vermin says:

    We are a dying culture of dishonest, disingenuous idiots, and we deserve everything that happens to us in the next few decades.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Oh fine. Be that way.

      1. avatar vermin says:

        Well, maybe since we’ve agreed to pretend that the qualities actually required of infantrymen are irrelevant to being an infantryman, we should just agree to take away their rifles and arm them with good intentions and the power of diversity.

        This is absolutely absurd. There is no honest argument about whether or not integration of combat units reduces effectiveness. It does. (Read Flirting with Disaster by Brian Mitchell US Army ret.)

        The argument that they should be allowed to serve if they can meet the standard is completely disingenuous. The advocates of women in combat know women can’t meet the standards and therefore resort to silliness like arguing that the standards are just there to ensure general health and fitness. That’s like arguing that NFL quarterbacks just need to be generally competent at throwing a football or that someone is qualified to be an attorney if he is generally able to speak and read English. (Read Major Jane Blaire’s book for terrifying insight into how these people think.) The standards for female Marines are so much lower than those for male Marines that they are essentially nonexistent, and people have died already because of it.

        Of course, I am not assuming anything about the position you have personally taken with regard to this issue or trying to start an argument with you over it; I am merely providing an explanation for my earlier post.

        1. avatar Bpjester says:

          + 1.

  8. avatar Jess Banda says:

    I’m a former USN Deep Sea Diver and the physical fitnes requirements were the same for both males/females. During the 9 years I was in, there were only 3-5 female divers. If they can pass the physical requirements, let them serve…why not?

    1. avatar Jason says:

      Are they going to sleep in the same barracks and use the same bathrooms? You need to double the infrastructure for the few women that can pass. Then still have to deal with pregnancies? It doesn’t seem worth it.

      1. avatar Tatiana says:

        There’s a thing called Birth Control for a reason…

  9. avatar Aharon says:

    I can see how having women as fellow combat soldiers or marines might help at times in dealing with a local population. I can also see how having women to serve along side will make the men’s lives somewhat more difficult and possibly fatal. Either way, we can expect to hear only great things about the gals from the DoD, White House, and Congressional Public Relation departments.

  10. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    If we don’t allow women in combat, we are depriving them of their equal right to have their minds and bodies ripped apart during wartime. As it is, medals and promotions are awarded disproportionatley to men. What about the women’s equal opportunity to come home in flag-drapped coffins or rehabilitate with prosthetic limbs?

    1. avatar Liza says:

      I’m sorry but women do come back without limbs now. Women have been train for combat, being a former Marine and having proudly serve as a federal cilivian for the wounded warrior battalion men and women are effected in the front lines and in the rear. Whoever says it isn’t either you haven’t served or your just full of crap.

  11. avatar LT says:

    I will support women getting the “full military experience” – front-line, combat roles – when they go through the full civilian experience, including the requirement to register for Selective Service. Let every single girl turning 18 enjoy the experience of putting her name in that hat and force her to update her registration every time she moves. Even then, though, I won’t agree that they should be on the front lines, because they shouldn’t – the Creator endowed us differently by design – but I’ll be willing to say “fair’s fair” if the rules are applied equally to ’em.

    That said, I don’t have a problem with “expanded combat training” for women – the lines between the front line and rear guard/support are becoming increasingly blurred, especially in modern warfare, and any soldier/sailor/marine/Coast Guard person (really? they still count as military?) should have training appropriate to that reality.

  12. avatar ST says:

    As a former Airman,my opinion is worth what you paid for it.If you are easily offended or are a feminist,click the back button now.

    Still with me?

    Ill state point blank,we should ask why women need to be in the U.S. Military at all.We are not Isreal or WWII Russia,engaged in a national struggle for survival.My reasons for posing the question are not based on sexism,but harsh real life experience with women in uniform.

    As the status quo is today,the standards of dscipline and conduct in the UCMJ and in the department regulations simply don’t apply to women.PT standards are one example.How is a 4’9″ woman buried with 95 pounds of gear supposed to drag her 250lb wingman out of the line of fire? A man who can’t hack the standards is appropriately separated.Women are not,due to lower standards or commanders uninterested in a career damaging sexual discrimination complaints.Even a bogus one can stop a 20 year military career cold.

    That’s the ‘standards’ problem.The disciplinary one is going to bite this nation in the gluteous maximus one day.I have personally known an Airman who went on leave with intent to get knocked up,so as to take advantage of the Air Force’s pregnancy separation process.My ex gf in the Knowledge Ops Squadron asked me to to ,ahem,’hook her up’ if she got orders to deploy.At the time I was horrified at the mere suggestion,but in hindsight I have to at least give her credit for asking permission versus just ‘skipping’ one of her military provided birth control pills……

    Back to topic,women can be unstable disasters in and of themselves without dodging hot lead and bag guys trying to kill you on top of things.

    1. avatar vermin says:

      Stop confusing the liberals with facts.

    2. avatar Aharon says:

      Bingo! You said it. Personally I don’t care about whether women are in combat or not. I wrote at this site months ago that women in combat arms can easily seduce a fellow marine/soldier to get pregnant, later claim the man raped her, and then she gets all taken care by the DoD and taxpayer with child support while he goes to prison. Chivalrous-minded officers and NCOs will also be biased in forcing the men to bear an overwhelming burden of the heavy work and to take more dangerous actions. It can’t help but happen.

      BTW, the Israeli military does not need to have women in front-line combat units. It was tried during the War for Independence and it failed. Since then women have served well in various support units and as reserve emergency combat units.

    3. avatar ihatetrees says:

      Excellent points. As an ex-Army infantryman, I developed a great deal of sympathy for men in co-ed direct support units (transport, supply, communications). A combined arms brigade of tanks and mech-infantry requires a lot of support – 12 hour days, 7 days/week were not uncommon.

      But, for women, the best way to get out of work / deployments / difficult duty was to get pregnant. Yes, guys in support units often got a little nookie on the side; however, many soon soured on the co-ed experience after seeing their workload upped 30% due to convenient work restrictions arranged by their female co-workers.

  13. avatar vermin says:

    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marines/a/cft.htm

    Debate over. There is no plausible argument in favor of women in combat, and those of you who support it are delusional.

    1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

      So, the lowest standards for men are higher than the highest standards for women. It seems like the Marines are acknowledging, through the Combat Fitness Test, that women are not fit for combat.

      1. avatar vermin says:

        Haven’t you heard? Diversity wins battles. Proficiency is irrelevant.

  14. avatar vermin says:

    Of course, there’s no reason the military can’t BOTH win wars AND rape itself senseless, right?

    “In 2003, a survey of female veterans found that 30 percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans who were seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while serving. And a 1995 study of female veterans of the Gulf and earlier wars, found that 90 percent had been sexually harassed.”

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103844570

    We are a disgusting, delusional culture that does not deserve defense.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Did you notice that the article does not name the sources of the studies the journalist Helen Benedict is quoting? I’m certainly not buying it that 30% of women were raped in the military. Who are the study sources and how are they defining rape?

      “We are also going to follow the civilian practice of putting the burden of proof on investigators, not on the victim”

      The above quote from the same journalist in the Huffington Post is what the journalist wants the Pentagon to state. Note how in her mind an accuser is automatically to be considered a victim which then turns an accused person into the guilty party until proven innocent.

      She’s preaching feminist propaganda that has been debunked. The False Rape Society has done great work in exposing this epidemic.

      1. avatar vermin says:

        “She’s preaching feminist propaganda that has been debunked.”

        So are advocates of women in combat. Fitting that their propaganda be used against itself, no?

    2. avatar HSR47 says:

      Forgive me, but I have a hard time swallowing those stats, or at least those of the latter study.

      For one, they lump two completely different levels of contact into one overall number. Sexually assaulted could mean any number of things of varying degrees of severity. To lump it in with rape reeks of bias.

      As for sexual harassment….. It’s thought-crime, pure and simple. I could be standing around with a bunch of other guys, and some woman could walk past, overhear our conversation, and subsequently accuse us of “sexual harassment.” It’s BS, PC, feel-good nonsense, because the sole arbiter of whether or not behavior constitutes “sexual harassment” is the accuser.

      1. avatar vermin says:

        I won’t claim to know for sure that the surveys are reliable, but I do know from experience that there are astronomical rates of rape and sexual assault in the military.

        1. avatar Aharon says:

          Based on my experience in the military, they have been taking sexual assault, rape, and harassment charges so seriously for the past 30+ years that many innocent men’s careers have been destroyed and others imprisoned.

          I also know from experience in the professional corporate world how deceitful and manipulative female co-workers (especially the feminists) can be in playing poor-victim whether or not it includes sexual harassment claims or sexual discrimination.

    3. avatar Mark says:

      Hmmm… if getting raped is a problem, maybe combat isn’t for you?
      I would think that a soldier should be able to handle herself with her coworkers if she expects to be able to handle herself with the enemy.

    4. avatar Aharon says:

      90 percent of female veterans claiming sexually harassment? The physical appearance of the women in the military must have really improved the past 25 years. One of our marching songs compared the women in the Army to Frankenstein.

      Try working in Corporate America where women can openly make sexual jokes and sexually tease male co-workers without getting told by management to stop. However, see what happens if a man does the same or even less joking with a female co-worker.

      1. avatar vermin says:

        They say in the Marine Corps, the women are mighty fine.
        They look like Phyllis Diller and dance like Frankenstein. Hey!

        I once heard a boot ask his squad leader who Phyllis Diller is. He responded, “I don’t know. Some ugly-a$$ b!tch! Why?”

  15. avatar John says:

    Enter TV spot: The Real Housewives of the USMC.

  16. avatar dru says:

    I guess all those “god-given” “inalienable rights” really did just belong to men. It is quite a slippery slope to deny someone their freedom, no matter how ill-advised it may be.

    If a woman choses to enlist and passes whatever tests necessary, why not?

    1. avatar V.McCann says:

      There is absolutely no right to be in the military, and there is nothing more unequal than equal treatment of unequal people.The advocates of women in combat are not arguing that they should be allowed to serve if they qualify; they’re insisting that they are entitled to serve despite not being qualified.

      1. avatar dru says:

        There is a right to join and be treated as equals.

        I am not aware of anyone advocating that unqualified women be allowed into combat. This may be a lack of research on my part.

        What qualities are we talking about anyway, that make the average man different than the average woman in the military?

        1. avatar V.McCann says:

          No. People who are the same have the right to be treated equally; the military is under no obligation to ignore relevant differences between men and women when making personnel decisions. For clarification as to what those differences are, refer to my earlier posts about how the standards for female Marines are so much lower than those for male Marines that 18 y/o female Marines are considered to have achieved a “perfect” score on the Marine Corps CFT even when they can’t meet the minimum standard for male Marines who are 20 years past the age at which they were eligible for retirement. Or just refer to common sense. Are you really telling me you don’t understand the differences between how young men interact with each other and how they interact with young women? Have you never heard of pregnancy? This is a non-argument. There is absolutely no merit to the idea of female infantry.

        2. avatar V.McCann says:

          For additional clarification, the entirety of DOD gender policy as it currently exists consists of assigning female personnel to positions for which they are unqualified. Valid arguments can be made about whether there should be physical qualifications for many military jobs, but the infantry is not one of them. Regardless, there are no military positions in which women must meet the same standards as men.

          Additionally, any argument premised on the idea that there is a right to be in the military is inherently flawed. There is no merit to the position that, despite the fact that the military is able to trample all of the substantive rights of its member at will, there is an inviolable right to whatever asinine utopian idiocy liberals happen to be demanding.

        3. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          You must be a space alien to even ask such a question.

          When one looks at the actual physical capability differences between men and women, it’s not even close. I, as a middle aged male of 50, can carry more, further, lift more, etc than a physically fit average female of 20.

          On average, men have more muscle than women, greater lung capacity, greater bone strength, etc.

          Here’s a real world military test for you:

          Hang 80 lbs of gear on an average male and on an average female. Require both of them pass the required military physical fitness tests *for their gender*. NB that the females aren’t required to pass the same fitness requirements as men.

          Now, with that load, tell them to march for 10 miles in 90F temperatures.

          Now, with the women who survived the first test (which won’t be all of them, due to shin splints and stress fractures), repeat the same exercise… at 8,000 feet ASL elevation, which is actually relatively low elevation in Afghanistan.

          Now, explain to us what you’re going to do with all the gear of all the females who can’t hump their loads?

          Here’s another real world military test for you:

          Have a 180lb (before load-out – which means he’s more like 240 to 260 lbs in total) man in full web gear flop down on the ground – his armor, etc still on him. Pretend he’s injured and needs to be dragged out of the line of fire behind hard cover (eg).

          Have a man (in his armor and web gear) drag the disabled man 25 yards.

          Now have a woman (in her armor and web gear) attempt the same thing.

          Get back to us with the results.

  17. avatar GS650G says:

    If you thought the media did a great job slamming our troops so far just wait until more women casualties start making the news. Jessica Lynch was only the tip of the iceberg. When a captured female soldier is brutalized on video by our enemies we’ll check back in on those positions.

  18. avatar Tarrou (Joshua Grabow) says:

    Everyone always talks about “identical physical requirements”. Well, here’s the real world, when they integrated the rest of the military, women couldn’t handle even POGly POGGY-ass PT requirements, so they were slashed. Now the absolute worst score a man can get and still stay in the military is higher than the top possible score for women of the same age. I’ll repeat that. A woman who maxes her PT score, perfect 300, would be kicked out of the Army as physically unfit for even desk duty were she a man. There is no equal standard. And those who claim that we should still let women into the areas where that standard is needed to save lives aren’t arguing for anything but their own political issues. There is no right to serve in the military. There is no right to serve in a particular MOS in the military. Go ahead, go tell the recruiter you have shin splints or Asthma and try to join the Infantry. You’ll learn quickly how many “rights” you have to that 11-B. Oh, and followup on that marine story, two women volunteered for Infantry training as a pilot program, of the 90 they asked. Both promptly washed out. All the bullshit in the world about how women are just the same as men comes crashing down when objectively measured. When women give up the WNBA and try out for mens basketball, when there is no LPGA, and no women’s sports at all, when they remove the red tees from the courses and truly compete on an even playing field, then I’ll say sure, let’s let them try out. Until that day, The sky is blue, the grass is green, and I know the reasons for both. No girls allowed.

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