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Women can shoot as well as men—all things being equal. Which is like saying all women are as beautiful as Yaara Benbenishti—all things being equal. They’re not. And you don’t have to spend a day humping 100 pounds of kit in 120 degree heat to know that men and woman are not equal on the battlefield, where physical strength and endurance often determine the parameters of combat effectiveness. Saying that, this website has argued that the Army literally over-burdens our troops. Saying that, there must be a minimal physical standard for the job of soldiering. Of course, there is. And it looks like President Obama’s decision to lift the ban on women in combat roles will lead to the lowering of that standard. Here’s a read-between-the-lines heads-up from the heavily vetted (so to speak) . . .

The official said the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some jobs may open as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALs and the Army’s Delta Force, may take longer.

Each service will be charged with developing policies to integrate women into every military job. For instance, the defense official said, it’s likely the Army will establish a set of physical requirements for infantry soldiers. The candidate, man or woman, will have to lift a certain amount of weight in order to qualify. The standards will be gender neutral.

I don’t think that “gender neutral” means what the Administration’s flacks want us to think it means. I think it means that the Armed Services will do what it takes to make sure that women get into combat units. Yes, Special Forces too.

So a shooting test wherein a soldier must undergo extremely rigorous physical activity and then hit his/her target will be modified to reduce the amount of rigor to increase the amount of accuracy. I use the word “will” in the sense that I’ve got twenty bucks that says it will.

Why, you ask, did the administration embark on this odd and misguided rule change destined to cause rancor in the ranks? Here’s a clue:

This decision could open more than 230,000 jobs, many in Army and Marine infantry units, to women.

A jobs program? Hey, it’s how the Obamanation rolls. Unfortunately, it’s rolling right over common sense and logic. Someone, somewhere, is going to get flattened, and they’ll be one of ours.

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  1. I find the women I’ve trained to be as good a shot as any of my male students. You’ll always find a few people from either sex who easily outperform other shooters, and some who just plain suck and never really catch on. I recently had more female students which is a big change from the last few years, because it was a rare sight to have women who wanted to learn to shoot in the past. I hope more women continue to learn about firearms and it can only help the entire industry. I’d give them a chance as long as they can pass all the required tests.

    • From a Royal Navy perspective, which isn’t ground combat but can be very lethal as well… everyone needs to be able to run a barrel of AFFF to the containment party, and a simulation of that – a shuttle run carrying weight – is what we’re adding to the mandatory RNFT. It’s a gender-independent test (twenty litres of AFFF weighs the same whoever’s carrying it) and everyone now has to meet it.

      Other situations? I’m 6′ 2″ and about 190lb, I’m not easy for a fit strong man to drag on the flat, even across something benign like wet and frosty grass and I tore muscles in my calf hauling my partner too enthusiastically (0430 PT at Dartmouth, taking turns to use your oppo as an exercise weight…) Mongo the stoker might be able to haul me about singlehanded, otherwise casualties are at least a two-person lift.

      Back in 1993 when I was playing as a ‘distressed civilian casualty’ for the 101st Airborne (Ex ROARING LION on Salisbury Plain) there were four male US soldiers carrying me to the aid point, because I was being dragged in a poncho and I was meant to be badly wounded and helpless: you need numbers of the adequately strong to move a casualty over any distance without exacerbating their injuries, not one or two powerlifters. (Do I need to add that I was assessed as arriving in safely at whatever the US call their Regimental Aid Post? Good lads, a few tactical quibbles aside – professional, friendly, generous and likeable)

      • “professional, friendly, generous and likeable”

        Just like the squaddies I ran across.

        You make a lot of good points Jason.

      • US Army SAW Gunners routinely deploy into combat at altitudes above 9000 feet with a load out of up to 130 pounds, any woman that can do the same is welcome on the front lines

    • From the article, I’d say he means that women won’t be as good as men at shooting after they’ve all been run through a 5 mile obstacle course, not that they’re not equally good if they’re just at the range.

  2. Women have been proven to be effective in combat. Recent history provides us with the Soviets in WWII and the Israelis toady. Lowering standards is unacceptable though. That was done to accommodate females in our fire and police depts and has been a fiasco.

    • The Israelis do not use women in Infantry. The Soviets were in a back to the wall defensive situation.

      The idea that any useful number of females can walk up Afghan mountains while carrying an approach march load is a sick joke.

      • The Israelis did use women, they stopped for the only legit reason I’ve ever heard for keeping women out of combat. The Arabs would fight harder against them. Loosing to a man was one thing, being beaten by woman was quite another.

    • John, the Russians also used kids, some as young as 12, in combat roles.
      That’s what happens when your country is being invaded. Post WWII, they stopped using 12 year-olds, and women…

      As I recall, Canada tried this some years ago, and didn’t change the standards. Out of the initial pool of female candidates, one passed. A 26 year old former lumberjack. Just sayin’…

    • I did six years as a military police soldier. We had females integrated down to the lowest levels. In six years I saw a few females who were actually a net positive to whatever unit they were in. I saw hundreds who were a net negative. Literally hundreds. Most of them were a net negative. I was actually ordered to escort a female sergeant from the TOC (tactical operations center) to her position on the perimeter of our bivouac site because (I shit you not) she was AFRAID OF THE DARK! This was just screwing around in the woods in Georgia in peace time. Soo, we’re going to hear the same stupid back and forth about how some females are really effective, and how they don’t all drag units down in the field and how some of them actually keep up, and then we’re going to hear how it’s not like all the male soldiers are all in great shape, and then some genius will point out how there are (theoretically probably) some females out there who could out perform some males (the fittest females versus the weakest males), and it’ll all make neutered American males so proud of their “new and improved” country, and it’ll make the rest of us (the majority of us) want to beat our head against a solid object because we’re the ones who have actually been there, not just postulated theories about it in a classroom on some ivy league campus, BUT in the end we’ll lose because all they have to do is win ONCE and get something enshrined into law and then it never goes away because no one is going to get elected on a “hey, let’s return to segregation” platform, so you know what? PISS ON IT, let em have it. To me, the whole argument comes down to one test, and here it is:

      Could you have a combat effective military comprised completely of males? Now, could you have an equally combat effective military comprised completely of females? (this would be the point at which I would raise the mic sideways above my head, drop it on the ground and then give a deadpan stare for a couple of seconds, walk off and not bother to look back).

      Then again on the other hand, those Manson Family girls were pretty deadly…

  3. I worked with a former army guy and his comment on this topic was that even if women can match the men in combat capability, their presence on the battlefield would influence the behavior of troops because men (well at least real men) have it ingrained into them to inherently protect women. He also speculated that romantic entanglement might cause one solider to neglect another in order to protect their boyfriend or girlfriend.

    I don’t know that I agree, as there are a number of women I know who are more man than many men I know, but it is something to think about.

    • The Canadian officers and their female soldiers already admit this is a problem. And forget about the problems they aren’t willing to talk about. This isn’t a “jobs program,” but a “jobs for women program.” It’s just another attempt to bolster 2014 election results. As for “assessments of standards for….Delta,” well, that’s going to take a loooong time, I expect.

    • Exactly, the main reason the Isrealis stopped putting women on the front lines is because when men watch a female get her head blown off by a sniper, they either mentally break down or fly into a blind berserker rage *and then* break down.
      This is the same reason the US military bans unit mascots like dogs and monkeys. The men try to take care of the mascot (or woman), thus distracting them from doing their duty.

    • I was in Cuba in 1994 for something called Operation Sea Signal. Long story short, a few thousand Cubans who were in our custody rioted against us, really hard for about 3 days. Our platoon sergeant (a woman) would NOT allow females to work the camps after we got it all back under control because she felt that it put the females in a more vulnerable position than it did the men because a female soldier could be raped. SO, imagine that kind of thing on a much wider scale. BUT, what do I know, I’ve just been there and done that, that’s all. I think we should defer to a political appointee who just happened to sit around on a base in CA for 2 years as a lieutenant in what was then a mostly female free military.

  4. “more than 230,000 jobs”
    I heard that exact same line this morning on NPR. I’m pretty sure combat infantry is a zero sum gain in this conversation.

  5. I wonder what they will have to say when the first woman becomes a POW? I am pretty sure our enemies will not let our liberals dictate their behavior. With that being said what are the chances female POW’s will have to endure far more torture than their male counterparts, which will most likely include rape.

    • there have been women POWs, at least since Gulf war. Probably before then. Just because she isn’t in the infantry doesn’t mean she isn’t in combat. The only reference to other women POWs were Australian army nurses executed during WW2.

      • And we see how well that went. The resources dumped into the rescue of one Pvt. Jessica Lynch were unprecedented. Rewind to 1993, CWO3 Michael Durant, a special operations capable helicopter pilot was captured…and how many spec-ops units were tasked with his rescue? That’s right…none…

        Double standards. I hate them.

        Not to mention the sad fact that there are still a few soldiers/Marines MIA in Afghanistan…but they’re male, guess it doesn’t matter…

        • Lynch was used as a propaganda prop while being well taken care of in civilian hospital. The rescue was all show for propaganda. It pissed her off and and said as much. Meanwhile, there was another female POW from her unit, Shoshana Johnson, sat in cell with three guys from the unit. The double standard wasn’t that Lynch was female.

        • “the double standard wasn’t that Lynch was female”

          Yet, as you pointed out, there were 3 males and an additional female that were also held captive, and not rescued with fanfare. Returning 4 troops to their unit versus 1…had all 5 POW’s been male, care to wager which choice the CO would have made?

          Yes, it was all for show, and yes, it was all feel-good propaganda. Because Lynch was female. Double standard’s still there, it didn’t go away because she wasn’t a willing participant.

      • “Not to mention the sad fact that there are still a few soldiers/Marines MIA in Afghanistan…but they’re male, guess it doesn’t matter…”

        Tell me the names of the FEW again? there is one that is right ONE US army soldier from Afghanistan missing his name is Bowe Bergdahl and please please please tell me we are doing nothing to bring him home! then ask me how I know you are wrong! We (the USA) NEVER leave a person behind we spend more money then you apparently know ensuring that we bring ours back. Your comments tell me just how little you know about Personnel Recovery and the roll it plays in the modern military.

        • My apologies. It’s been a few years since I have been down range, and I could be confusing a few ISAF personnel with US troops.

          Your fervor tells me that this struck close to home. Your words tell me that you don’t know all the instances where we (the US) have not moved heaven and earth to reclaim out own.

          My point still stands; where is the clamor? Where is the fervor in the media to bring Bowe home? Where is it? Sadly, it isn’t there.

          Per my understanding of AMCIT and PR missions; while I’m not a part of JPRA, I am quite familiar with the process. Don’t assume that because the issue I mentioned strikes a chord with you, that I am totally ignorant.

          Badger 8-3

    • Hate to break it to you, but the (limited) SERE training I’ve had warns that if you fall into the hands of the Bad Guys, they’ll be using whatever viciousness and coercion they can, on whoever will best suit their ends, which may well include rape whether you’re male or female – or if they’re worried about a rescue attempt, they may go straight to the decapitation video.

      Bluntly, for the current conflicts, “don’t be captured” – it’ll be awesomely horrible and almost certainly fatal after much pain and suffering, regardless of whether you’re male or female.

      • exactly. its a funny thing that the only people that seem to be bringing up good points about females in a combat environment are familiar with SERE or have undergone it.

        • SERE aside (sucked knowing that no matter how well you did that first E, you still got caught…), I read Bravo 2-0 as a kid…told me all I needed to know about being captured.

          And yeah, depravity is equal-opportunity and gender neutral. Doesn’t mean everyone needs to experience it though…

  6. Joe, I started to write the same thing but canceled it, but you are right!

    And being a Veteran, I can tell you, not all “men are created equal” and I’m not talking about their junk. There were many who looked scrawny and couldn’t pull their own weight, but eventually out performed the jocks, so to lump all women into this weaker sex, don’t belong in combat category is wrong.

    Maybe those that follow this sight who are either LEs or FF can relate if standards were dropped or lowered to accommodate women in their ranks.

  7. It’s not about how “tough” the women are or are not. It’s about the very real effect they will have on the men that are already there in those units. It’s not realistic to demand other people’s biology, and morality change in order to accommodate someone else’s selfish dreams and aspirations. Please ladies, just stop. Don’t do this to us.

        • So which branch of the military did you serve in? You must be a combat-hardened vet if you’re willing to call women “selfish” for wanting to fight on the front lines of a war.

        • No reply button under LinbackerU…

          Selfish? Yeah…anyone who is willing to put others at risk by demanding that standards be lowered to accommodate them in a role that biologically they are not designed for is just that; selfish. Are there some who can qualify with the current standards? Certainly. But to modify the proven-in-blood standards in place to placate those who don’t qualify isn’t just foolish…it’s deadly.

          Flame me, call me a sexist, demand to see my jacket and 214, do as you will. Doesn’t matter. Combat is not an equal-opportunity “job”. Just an equal-opportunity killer.

        • Still active-duty Army. 15 days till retirement transition and it can’t come soon enough with all this foolishness going on.

          And the reality I have seen is that a much, much higher percentage of women end up on rear-d when it’s time to deploy. It makes no sense to intentionally start with a higher percentage of empty seats when its time for the plane to fly.

        • “Selfish? Yeah…anyone who is willing to put others at risk by demanding that standards be lowered to accommodate them in a role that biologically they are not designed for is just that; selfish.”


          badger, youre right on the money.

          the army, alongside the military, is in the business of winning wars, not catering to social experiments and political correct bullshit. I detect a small number of women feeding their egos only with intentions of personal gain, not looking out for that specific MOS.

  8. The Israelis actually banned females from combat roles in 1950. Like all other liberal social experiments, people will die as a result of this one.

    • I’m not properly up to snuff on my Israeli military history, so I’ll have to take your word that they were banned in the 50s, but they’re back in now. All the same roles that men have? No. But they have the ability to serve in a combat battalion (an integrated combat battalion) as well as other combat capacities.

      • Writes Edward Norton, a reservist in the Israel Defense Forces: “Women have always played an important role in the Israeli military, but they rarely see combat; if they do, it is usually by accident. No one in Israel, including feminists, has any objection to this situation. The fact that the Persian Gulf War has produced calls to allow women on the front lines proves only how atypical that war was and how little Americans really understand combat.”

        “Few serious armies use women in combat roles. Israel, which drafts most of its young women and uses them in all kinds of military work, has learned from experience to take them out of combat zones.

        Unless it’s been changed in the last few years, Israeli women have minimal roles in combat.

  9. Most of the push for this change within the military came from female officers who were not allowed to be in the “combat arms”. If you have not served in a combat branch, your promotion rate tends to fall significantly behind those with combat branch service.

    The problem on the sharp end is the lower upper body strength of the average woman, compared to the average man. If you are digging a foxhole, or dragging a wounded buddy out of a firefight, or humping 81mm mortar ammo, you need upper body strength. That doesn’t mean that many women won’t be able to do this, it just means that there will be a smaller percentage of them compared to the men in the unit.

    “The candidate, man or woman, will have to lift a certain amount of weight in order to qualify. The standards will be gender neutral.” And they will simply lower the standards until enough women to meet the quotas can qualify. But I will guarantee you that when the time comes to dig the foxholes or pack the heavy weights, there will be a great deal of resentment from the male troops toward any female troops who always seem to get to carry the lighter packs and not dig the foxholes. This resentment will be gender neutral, because the troops also get PO’ed at any males who are seen as slackers in the unit.

  10. Frankly, we need a few female commandos so they can do some things to female terorrists that males can’t get away with . . . . just sayinhg

      • wow. I don’t recall writing that. I guess that comes from you being a liberal puss. The locals in the sandbox don’t like men stopping and interrogating women because of cultural norms.

        • read the book “one of the guys” by Tara McKelvey. good book about women as torturers rather than soft victims.

          female commandoes? dont make me laugh. wont happen and it shouldnt.

  11. I’ve heard they (women) have to obey stupid rules that put them in danger currently, this might help with leaving them stranded between resupply runs.

  12. This move suggests that either 1)”equality” can be implemented now that the wars are winding down or 2) a big one is coming up, and they need more man, err, power.

  13. Women have been involved in ground combat throughout the whole “global war on terror.” Two earned the Silver Star for their actions during ground combat. They are on the battlefield right now in Afghanistan. The problems are going to begin when women are ASSIGNED to rifle companies, tank companies, cavalry troops and artillery batteries. Sorry, but the vast majority of women don’t possess the physical attributes to function in those type of units. The social engineers will see that combat does not offer separate standards for men and women. Good men and women are going to die at the altar of feel-good PC BS.

  14. Having no bias against the combat effectiveness of women, I will say this:

    Evolutionary psychology is going to be a huge factor that needs some serious consideration before any multi-gender combat deployment happens. Women and men are psychologically different. They respond to certain environmental cues regarding survival, self-protection, and group preservation/defense in drastically different ways. All things being equal as it where, a man responding to a fellow soldier at risk will respond differently in the case of a female to that of a male. This will compromise the decision speed and priorities of the soldier making the choices. The same is true for a woman making those choices. This difference becomes even more volatile when dealing with civilians and potential but unknown enemy threats.
    Though there is considerable overlap rather than a distinct line-in-the-sand difference, any soldiers that are on the far ends of the spectrum will severely complicate an already dangerous situation.
    Training can help, screening can help, but enacting the policy before those tools are in place is foolish.

    • Soldiers already have to be trained to overcome their aversion to killing other human beings. For that matter, doctors go through some severe training to allow them to inflict injury in order to conduct surgery. Why would training soldiers for a gender-neutral response in combat be any different?

      • It’s different because, like Billy said, there’s evolutionary psychology involved. It’s not just a matter of growing up believing killing or injuring someone is wrong- that can be trained out easily enough because we have evolutionary programming to allow us to kill and injure to protect and survive. This is different. This is genetic. Men respond to stress, particularly combat-type stress, with a “fight or flight” response. Training helps them strengthen the “fight” part. Women are genetically pre-programmed to “protect and nurture” under the same circumstances. Think rooster vs. mother hen with chicks. Are all women this way? Of course not. Will training help with some of this? Sure. But I agree with others who have said that this will not end well.

  15. Feminists, rejoice!! You now have the equal right to be blown to bits by road side bombs during immoral foreign invasions! Not to mention you’re equal opportunity to earn medals by killing those “other” women, children, and evil men too! Your government is finally allowing for your torn and dismembered bodies to be shipped home in flag-drapped coffins. Congratulations!

    • exactly right henry bowman

      im sure the iranians or north koreans will be utterly impressed by the technologically dependent, “diverse” army the Americans have assembled. LOL. Or the Russians and Chinese. Well see if this feminist army wins any wars (and it wont, i can guarantee you that).

      • Yes, I’m sure it will be a detrement to combat effectiveness, but to be clear, I don’t want anyone, men or women, killing and dying in foreign occupations orchestrated by coporate manipulation of government cronies.

        Bring them home!

        • henry, Yes! i agree 100%

          this should be a more compelling case than ever to keep our guys and gals in uniform home.

      • Hey now, you can’t stand in the way of female officers not being promoted as quickly because they aren’t in a combat branch!

        Think of the children! Err…wait…

        And in all fairness Mr Bowman, while I agree, I’d rather not have a restless military CONUS-bound, and thinking we look like nice, juicy targets.

  16. I expect better of this web site. The best essay I’ve seen on the topic was from an old issue of New Destinies (really, a science fiction book series, but both fiction and non fiction, like a magazine), from the late 1980s, by writer S.M. Stirling. While individual women are not suitable, neither are individual men. For the people who do make the grade, gender does not seem to make any difference. The tests do need to be realistic, for example, a test in the railroad industry involved picking up a heavy coupling one handed and carrying it a certain distance. In the field, this was never observed, two MEN would put a shovel handle through a loop, and carry it together.

    The only thing they don’t get now is the primary job of shooting back, they can do plenty of jobs that let them get shot at. Heck, back in the 1980s they could be MPs, which would mean that if the USSR invaded western europe, it would be their job to hunt down and kill all the special forces the USSR would drop in NATO rear areas, as the MPs are responsible for security.

    The Israelis stopped having women in front line positions for the only legit reason I’ve ever heard. The Arabs would fight harder against them. Loosing to a man was one thing, being beaten by woman was quite another. I think this may more broadly apply (look at much of the posts on this topic here).

    • As someone who works in the “railroad industry”… I do lift those heavy couplings (knuckles) by myself. In fact, most of the time there is no one to help with it! Also, I’ve had to walk over two miles from my train to help another train with a female conductor who couldn’t carry the knuckle by herself. I would have been disciplined for not being able to do it by myself.

  17. I want everyone to think of all the girls you went to high school with, now think of the mud and the filth of Verdun.

    Go read “With the Old Breed” and think of your sister or daughter living through that hell.

    For some that are not students of history think the all wars are like the ones we are or have fought in the middle east they are decidedly not.

    • I, for one, know that the current conflicts we are involved in are aberrations in the history of warfare, and that, inevitably, a large scale war between two first-world nations will erupt again.

      Professional armies do not use women in combat arms. Many have tried. None have retained female infantry (to include airborne and air-assault), armor, artillery, or special-operations (outside of rare, mission-specific instances) forces.

      Guerrilla forces use women…out of desperation and out of a need to maintain a low profile, and out of a psychological factor, relying upon their enemy to be less aggressive with a female. Historically, that has a low rate of success as well.

      Why America seems to think that where others have failed, we will succeed is beyond me. Trying the same thing, over and over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.

      • “Why America seems to think that where others have failed, we will succeed is beyond me. Trying the same thing, over and over and over again and expecting different results is insanity.”

        once again, you are spot on.

        this just makes me furious. I remember my days in airborne, light infantry, and ill be goddamned if there was a woman that could keep up with us. crossfit and bodybuilding gals accounted for, they still wouldnt be able to keep up i can guarantee you that. At the RTB? forget about it.

        keep women in support/aviation roles (severely limit co-ed units), but keep them the f^ck out of combat MOS’s.

  18. If they can do the job, then let em….no different than the scrawny man that’s trying to prove himself or the over kill testosterone man that does think before acting or how about the ones that just joined for the benifits? what I’m saying is that, if your qualified….good for you, should be able to do what everyone else is thats qualified. If not, then find something you are qualified for.

    • That’s just the point, Amy. The qualifications are to be modified until the quota is met, resulting in a less-effective fighting unit. All in the name of equality.

      For the record, most of those “over kill testosterone man” wash out, or are DD’d. See, we want thinkers and fighters. And the scrawny kid with something to prove? He’s trying to prove it to himself, and by the time he’s down range, he understands teamwork. He has no esoteric goal of proving the “chauvinistic male dominated” military wrong, in the name of “fairness”. Combat isn’t like coed college or high school or normal business; you either cowboy up, or you get people killed.

      • Badger 8-3,

        I’m from the UK not the US, but I’m willing to see women in any role they can qualify for.

        My background’s naval rather than infantry (though I did play weekend warrior with the Territorials two decades ago) but for getting to sea, issues like “the RN Fitness Test gives women more time than men to run 1.5 miles” is swamped by “pass Basic Sea Survival Course (firefighting and damage control – and not easy, and not gendered) or don’t deploy”.

        If women meet the standard, they’ll be an asset (just as dark-skinned men and gay men, who used to be rejected on principle as obviously unfit for service and dangerously disruptive to good order and discipline, now serve with valour and distinction if they’re up to standard).

        I do share your concern that the standard will be lowered, and that would be *very* unwise: front-line combat is a shockingly unforgiving environment. Set the requirement, admit those who pass, thank those who try but fail.

        Infantry combat is punishing work, and until you’ve fire-and-manoeveured two hundred yards across broken ground in body armour, fighting order and SAWES (now DFWES – the milspec Laser-Tag kit) under effective enemy fire you won’t know *why* its practicioners make such a deal of it. (And I wasn’t ever an infanteer, but I was at least trained by some very experienced veterans who made me realise how hard the job was)

        Admit anyone who can meet the standards required, but don’t drop the standards without diamond-hard evidence (and then drop them for *everyone*, not for particular sexual, racial, religious or political groups – should the US military have different standards for Democrat and Republican voters?)

        • Jason Lynch,

          While we are on opposite sides of the pond, I agree with you. What upsets me is the fact that the language used in the press release seems to indicate that standards will be lowered across the board, not maintained at current levels. If that depreciation in standards is due to hard evidence that current doctrine is producing masochists and not warfighters, then by all means, lower it to provide the necessary results.

          What I fear, and what I have seen happen before, is that the doctrine will be modified, and standards lowered to provide a different result; in this case, to ensure that females are in combat roles. As you well know, any member of a unit that cannot pull their own weight is a serious detriment to that units combat effectiveness, and that single individual can have a domino effect upon the rest of the unit.

          Now, if the standard is kept the same for both parties, male and female, and women can pass that bar and seek no special exemptions, by all means. If you are an effective warrior next to me, in that moment I could care less what your color, creed, or sex is.

          My other concerns behind women in combat-oriented units are many, and not suited to this forum.

          And personally, a line unit just wouldn’t be the same without the token Democrat…

          Oh, and we call it MILES gear, haha.

          Badger 8-3

    • Amy, you’re not getting it. The mission and the team must come first before the ego desires and whims of the individual.

  19. As a Marine 0331 Machine Gunner with two deployments to derkaderkastan I think women shouldn’t be infantry. Some of yall may not know this, but a female Marine captain was on a FET and wrote a giant ass paper saying women shouldn’t be grunts. There are too many problems that would be caused by integration. The peacetime Marine Corps is getting stupid.

  20. i’m all for it not because i think it’s a great idea, but it’s just one less thing for politics to bitch about…

    maybe i’m looking at this the wrong way and i should be ashamed of myself, but one less topic as a speaking platform is good in my book

  21. I’m a Marine vet who never made it to either sandbox but was almost deployed twice. One of my fellow Marines who went was a female and I would have much rather had get fighting with me than most of the men. However, she was a physical freak at 6′ 170lbs, extremely tough, and exemplified a Marine. I have no problem with women in combat if they can cut it like the men are required to do and aren’t given special exemptions. They need to be able to hike their gear and firemen carry like we can along with everyone else. As for special forces, I doubt women will end up there because they would have to be an olympic level decathlete in order to pass the physical requirements.

  22. Men and women are equally capable of getting the job DONE. The standards need to be the same for both. I served with several women who in my opinion would shame some of the males I served with including myself.

  23. There are plenty of women who do possess the physical capacity and the will to make it as combat troops. However, it’s not just any woman (or man) who can carry that kind of weight.

    But, for how long will this pack-mule style of infantry last? Are we better served trying to preserve one style of soldiering, or should our military be constantly evolving its tactics in order to avoid providing an exploitable weakness to the enemy?

  24. I heard they had two females attempt the Marine’s Infantry Officer Course and held them to the same requirements as the men. One failed the PFT at the beginning and was dropped. The other failed later on in the course.

  25. I was in the us army infantry. I recall the huge double standard for just the PT tests, not to mention the others. It was and still is something that angers me. I’m not against woman in the infantry and similar jobs. So long as they meet the same requirements the males have to meet. I do not favor double standards nor do I believe we should lower the standards any further. Do so will create less useful soldiers.

    When they get to their units they will be “smoked” until they either quit or they meet the current SOP for combat arms.

    Sorry for the rant.

    Also I recall reading a bit ago That the marines had opened their infantry officers course, I think that’s what its called, to females. 2 females had signed up and failed miserably. They had excelled academically but could not survive the physical requirements.

  26. In terms of weight and gear, id say we could probably learn a thing from Blackwater in that less can be more.

    Im all for equality but im not sure this would be too effective. Sure women are good at intelligence, medical responsibilities, and artillery platforms, but take into account the physical and mental differences of men and women; as well as primal instinct. Wouldn’t it become more about a mans need to protect the women then camaraderie between warriors? Moral up and discipline down?

  27. Dear Victorious American Withdrawing Army,

    Many thank yous for billions greenbacks and left-over gear. Selling heroin never pays more, good. Russians loving the stuff. All tribal elders and warlords now having condos in Dubai. No must leave. Please, two more years stay, hurry send the girl soldiers?

    Thanking you so much,

    Joe SixAK’s
    Taliban PR and Fulfillment Division

  28. The first issue has to start at the beginning. One look at the PT tests… For instance the Air Forces PT tests and you see that woman get more time to run the mile and a half and have less requirements for push ups and sit ups. If I am downed in a burning plane I want the biggest strongest rescue troop to come get me. Not someone who had a lesser set of requirements and could barely pass. I am not saying they shouldn’t fight. I am saying make them pass the same tests and if they cant….. Find a use for them somewhere else. There are plenty of guys that don’t cut it and they do other things. Each person needs to be judged by one set standard.

  29. The terrible irony of the situation is that if they do lower the standard then the dismal results will be a clarion call to keep women out of the military for a few more decades, including the ones who would legitimately contribute.

  30. Brings a whole new meaning to sharing a foxhole with somebody… I hope it’s one of those models RF keeps talking about. (“This is my rifle, and this is my gun, one I use for shooting, the other, well baby come over here…”)

  31. As a current US Army Soldier, I’m sorry to say that I don’t like the sound of this. We can’t lower the standards, and if women want to serve in combat roles, they’d better meet the same standards men are expected to (this would weed out about 99% of them from my experience). This includes being able to carry the same amount of gear, carry a wounded buddy, etc. Not to mention the psychological ramifications.

  32. I’m in the Army National Guard and dread the day that women will be allowed into my unit. I’ve seen the quality of women serving in support units and I am not impressed at all. The only bright side is that I do not think there will be many enlisted women who will actually want to be in a combat MOS. Hopefully the few who do opt in will at least be motivated and capable soldiers. Crossing my fingers on that one. With all this talk of equality, I think we should propose new legislation making all women register for the Selective Service when they turn 18, just like men.

  33. First, thank God I am retiring in a year, taking my 25 years of experience and going to the house. No mas.

    Second, are they going to do away with the female standards on the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test)? The test requires 180 points (out of 300) to pass. As a 46 year old male, my minimums to pass would be around a 220 for a 18 year old female. My last 240 (not a great score for a combat arms officer, well short of what’s need for the Expert Infantry Badge, but I’m old and had two surgeries in the last year plus 105 parachute jumps….other assorted excuses) would be off the scale for a female.

    One of the events in the TCGST (Tank Crew Gunnery Skills Test) is to load the main gun in three seconds. From a seated position open the ammo door, pull out a 70 pound top heavy projectile, flip it, and ram it into the breech. How many women can do that once, never mind 25 or thirty times in six or ten minutes?

    How many women can lug 85 pounds of armor plus two or thee mortar rounds up the side of a mountain, and be ready to fight when they get to the top? Then lug her wounded 225 pound squad leader back down? I have no problem with females as pilots, MPs, medics, air defenders etc. Women are not physically suited for Armor, Cavalry, Infantry or Artillery. Sure, maybe 10% are, but they will force the other 90 in.

    But what do I know, unlike the SECDEF I’ve served in combat arms, I have an EIB, and fought in close combat. He’s a lawyer.

    • “But what do I know, unlike the SECDEF I’ve served in combat arms, I have an EIB, and fought in close combat. He’s a lawyer.”

      Thus is the reason for the screwy ROE’s and lack of aggression at appropriate times for fear of legal action. In fact, it’s the reason for a myriad of problems that have led to less victory, and more stagnation…

    • +1.
      Excellent points, especially about the TCGST. As a Mech Infantryman from the Gulf War era, we got a familiarization with the Abrams. I developed a new respect for tankers after lifting a few 120mm shells.

      Very few women have the physical ability to make it in the combat arms. If the standards are not changed, they will be when only 2% of women succeed.

    • regardless of my Infantry-mentality of disliking tankers, i still respect them for a reason.

      cramped and confined for weeks at a time inside of a M1 (especially during the first years of the iraq war), with heavy shells, steel interior, and loud noise definitely takes a unique human being. That is not even getting into the health issues: M1 crewmembers are exposed to depleted uranium, which the army is denying as a cause for health problems, and the attributed cancers and exposures to such materials would cause terrible consequences on females.

      i can just imagine a female artillery crew when the fire command for a FFE comes down the line, as i said yesterday. Or the same aforementioned command with a M120 mortar system (which is no joke; im glad i was never a 11 chuck). hours and hours of loading heavy shells causes physical exhaustion among very disciplined and physically fit male soldiers.

  34. I don’t know what you guys are all het up about. Personally, I vote for women in combat. Why should men do all the dying? It’s just not fair. Let the women die, too. I’m sure they deserve an equal opportunity to get sent home in a flag-draped cardboard box.

    And you male soldiers: stop complaining. If a woman can’t hack it out in Indian Country and you think that she’s going to get y’all killed, try fragging. It’s a process that was very effective during the Vietnam conflict for removing bad officers.

    Now, to get back to the important politics of the day, how do you feel about Diane Feinstein in combat?

  35. If they can hump a 130 pound Load-Out at 10,000 FT while assualting a fortified position I see no reason to keep them from enjoying combat

  36. Nice M-16A2. I think the reason and problems why women should NOT be in combat units is more psychological than physical.. Men’s focus will be interrupted in combat having to care for and think about the smaller woman in there unit is one example. More prof Obama is destroying the military as well as the constitution.

  37. Fair warning: I haven’t served, so this question is asked out of pure, unadulterated ignorance.

    Is this possibly related to the blurring of the front lines and rear echelons seen in Iraq and Afghanistan? Could the aim of this be to allow for combat decorations (CIBs?), hazardous duty pay, etc. for previously non-combat personnel? Are transport or air defense artillery troops excluded from those types of recognition?

    • CIB’s are reserved for Infantry and Special Forces MOS’s only. But women can get CMB’s if they are medics, and CAB’s for all other MOS’s. Special pay like Hostile Fire Pay and Hardship duty Pay are given based on the theater your serving in, not what your job is. Hazardous duty pay is for service members serving in specific jobs, most of which are open to women.

  38. Absent anywhere in the news is the fact that only the Marines
    hold males and females to the same standard for PT. Air Force,
    Navy and Army all have differences (some major). There’s a big
    difference between being told your equals and actually being
    equal (physically anyway). If the Pentagon would openly speak
    up and standardize PT and physical standards, the issue of
    women would work itself out.

    Another thing I haven’t seen mentioned much is the average height
    differences. Height restrictions (both tall and short) were removed
    a few years ago. This increases the problem with standardizing gear.
    I’ve seen soldiers too small (mostly girls but a few guys as well) to
    be effective in a lot of vehicles and even to small to use standard
    weapons. Many could work around this issue, but more than a few

    One final thought, what is the long term effectiveness of female
    soldiers when pregnancy and child rearing are factored in?
    A few years ago the navy did a study that stated up to 15% of females
    on shipboard duty end up pregnant, and close to 25% leave after
    a 4 year hitch due to pregnancies or child care issues. This
    definitely raises problems with long term cost/benefits. I can’t find
    any current statistics or any stats on the other branches so feel
    free to correct or update me.

    • Last time I checked. The Marines have a double standard for their PT test.
      A 17-26 yo Male must do a minimum of 3 pull-ups, 50 crunches, and a 28 min 3 mile run.
      A 17-26 yo Female must do a 15 second flexed arm hang, 50 crunches, and a 31 min 3 mile run.

      • I’m an active duty Marine grunt. They do not hold the genders to the same standard. At least they have some plans in the works to do so though.

  39. Or is it so that when reluctant troops are sent out to do a “domestic theater peace-keeping mission,” and a chick gets shot, the troops will suddenly be willing to act very aggressively toward their fellow citizens ruthless enemy??

  40. But not all wars ARE Iraq and Afghanistan. Point of fact 10+years in these wars have to caused as many US losses as 10 days in some of the island battles of WWII.

    • That should read-

      But not all wars ARE Iraq and Afghanistan. Point of fact, in 10+ years these wars have not caused as many US losses as 10 days in some of the island battles of WWII.

      • Gloomhound,

        Same point in the UK. We’ve lost over four hundred KIA in Afghanistan since 2006; we were lucky to only lose that many on one _good_ day in the summer of 1944, fighting through Normandy.

        Discretionary wars far away have one set of rules: most of which become toilet paper when you’re genuinely fighting for national survival.

  41. What does this have to do with guns? Nothing. But here we are.

    Physical requirements should remain the same for combat roles, you’re right about that. However, your claim that “men and woman are not equal on the battlefield” is unsubstantiated. If the women in question meet the same physical requirements as men, then they are equal on the battlefield. That’s logical. Dismissing someone before they have a chance to take the test is not logical, its prejudiced.

    If by “reading between the lines” you mean “making stuff up” then you’re spot on about the military lowering their standards for women. Just like TTAG has lowered their standards for articles. I expected better from you.

    • On the physical side of things, currently females
      DO NOT have the same physical standards as
      their male counterparts. In every field of a PT
      test females are can do less/have slower times.
      The military has one of two options. Tell females
      to meet the male standard or lower standards to
      better accommodate females. Active or
      subconsciously knowing you are arguably
      physically inferior to another can cause
      psychological manifestations and possible alter
      actions but we’ll skip over this for now.

      Psychologically women have a very different makeup
      from men. This HAS been substantiated.
      Read for an intro:

      The problem is there are those that actively impede
      study into this area (politics is a huge factor).
      With the research that’s been done so far, we do
      know that females think and act differently than
      men in any given scenario. We can even estimate
      how each gender will react. And finally, by logical
      extension, while we may not have large studies on
      how females react in combat units, we can conclude
      that they WILL NOT act identically to males.
      Whether this difference is critical or not is still
      unknown, but denying that there is a difference
      can only lead to problems.

  42. Seems like most of the comments center around either a) will standards be lowered or b) whether or not women will be effective in combat.

    Here’s something else to consider. With an all volunteer military, what’s the likelihood that recruitment of women will suffer because of the higher probability of seeing actual combat? I’m not saying all female recruits would be thinking this but some will, just as some men must be thinking this when they decide against a military career.

  43. note to female soldiers: stay out of infantry and special operations!!!

    so help me god, if one of my friends is killed because of one of you egocentric feminists, then ill become a lobbyist to get women completely removed from the military 😀

    • We need to stop agreeing…

      You ever need someone watching your six or taking point, give a yell.

        • I think you may be right.

          I’m not advocating it or hoping for it, but I will not go quietly into the night, either.

          I’d send ya my email address so we can get in touch, but PERSEC and all… *shrugs* Durka. 😀

  44. At first glance the picture looked like a little child dressed up playing soldier. It is probably only a matter of a generation or two at the very most before the US military goes the same way downward as other once-strong American cultural institutions have such as education, health care, the mass media, entertainment, government, and religious denominations. It is a proven formula: saturate a quality productive cultural institution with female values and decline always follows.

  45. Frankly pure physical strength is of much less importance in the modern battlefield than it was in the past, and even before firearms were invented endurance, proficiency in a fighting system and inteligency were of more importance than pure physical strength. Women generally are smaller and weaker than man, but in pure endurance there is practically no difference. I think that the military’s physical standards should be revised to take into account what really matters in combat and that the load the soldiers have to carry should be optimized and reduced. That being said I also think that only one physical standard regardless if that means more women would be rejected. History is filled with cases of women fighting at wars in all levels and positions, and fighting well, the only reason there aren’t more of those cases are social norms. And if a male soldier can’t control his instincts and focus on the battlefield them he is already a bad soldier to begging with.

    • And most of the historical examples we know of only because of their wounding or death. That may be a death after a long carer as an officer, many battles, and several duels, in one case I can think of.

  46. Finally… You see, when my combat “C Rated” unit deployed on war training missions, our full strength of 230 was struck by the mandate that the 95 female officers and enlisted stay home!!!

    We were in Europe, as NATO troops, with 230 M-16’s, and 20 sidearms.
    The double standard of not allowing women to even participate in our war games,
    crippled our capacity to fight! Trying to convoy 156 rolling vehicles with 135 drivers is quite a trial, and far from reality!

    At the Range, and on the job, the women performed equally or better, than the men, under my command. Too bad they were restricted from duty in Combat
    Rated units! It was like our government shot our military in the foot, as we
    stepped off the landing craft at Normandy!


  47. An after-thought:

    If the Pentagon and White House have determined that women can serve in combat then it is time to legally require women to register for Selective Service upon turning 18 years old just as men are legally required to do. If there is no political move to require women to register and especially if there is resistance then the issue is laid bare and open that this recent action is nothing more than political theater.

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