Two Cheers for Lifting the Ban on Women in Combat


Real gun control

Women and men are entitled to the same rights, period. Discriminating against an individual solely based on his or her sex is wrong and if you do that you are not my friend. So my initial reaction yesterday to reports that the Pentagon was lifting restrictions on women in combat was: It's about time. I was confident that I could find data that would show that women and men would perform equally well in combat, so I went looking for it. To my surprise, I could uncover very little data comparing the physical capacities of female and male recruits.

The most comprehensive analysis of the issue that I could find is a 2011 paper by social scientist William Gregor in the School of Advanced Military Studies at the US Army Command and General Staff College located at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  Gregor's study, "Why Can't Anything Be Done? Measuring Physical Readiness of Women for Military Occupations," [PDF] looks at what data is available and finds significant differences in ability of female and male recruits to meet the military's physical performance standards.

Take, for example, Gregor's analysis of how well ROTC cadets have done on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) that looks at about 75,000 recruits who were commissioned by the U.S. Army through ROTC between 1992 and 2009. The performance of all cadets is evaluated based on how fast they can run two miles and how many push ups they can do. Gregor shows …

.. the distribution of cadet scores on the 2-Mile Run in 2000, the Push-Up, and the distribution of cadets by weight. The difference in performance is clear. Only 2.9 per cent of the women, 23, were able to attain the male mean score. The strength comparison is somewhat worse, 1.5 per cent of the women achieved the male mean. Given the difference in stature between the cadet men and women, the difference in absolute strength is very large. [The relevant charts are on pages 20 and 21 of the study.]

Gregor then looks at a comparison of the aerobic capacity of the ROTC cadets and reports…

…the aerobic capacity achieved by women regardless of their body composition is less than the capacity of men. …there are a few, exceptional women who best the bottom 16% of men, but these rare women are four standard deviations above the female mean, fewer than 1 in a 1000. In this exceptionally fit ROTC Cadet population, considering 74,838 records, not one women achieved the male mean.

According to NPR, qualifying for combat positions will be based on gender-neutral criteria:

Will the standards be different for men and women?

At a briefing Thursday morning, Pentagon officials repeatedly stressed that there will be "gender-neutral standards" for combat positions. This could make it difficult for women to qualify in roles that specifically require upper-body strength.

For example, to work in a tank, women will have to demonstrate the ability to repeatedly load 55-pound tank shells, just as men are required to do.

Infantry troops routinely carry backpacks with 60 or 70 pounds of gear, or even more. The most common injury in Afghanistan is caused by roadside bombs. This raises the question of whether a female combat soldier would be able to carry a 200-pound male colleague who has been wounded.

NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman recently reported on the first two women allowed into the Marines' grueling 12-week Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, Va. Both women were in outstanding physical condition, yet both dropped out early in the training.

If both male and female soldiers are expected to meet the same criteria, then this change will be good for our military. In any case, it's high time that the Pentagon become more transparent with its training data.

NEXT: 200,000 in Florida Didn't Vote Due to Lines

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  1. For ground-pounding infantry, this is a very bad idea.

    Its not just that with very few exceptions women aren’t as strong and fast as men, its that without exception they aren’t as resilient as men; that is, their bodies don’t repair the damage done by heavy exercise and deprivation as fast as men’s bodies do.

    And we all know the “gender-neutral” standards will be watered down so all the women don’t flunk out.

    1. Yup. Ron won’t be my friend, and this is why.

      Read the reports of women who have done tours. They physically broke down over those times, with one of the most notable becoming infertile as a result.

      Even if the standards aren’t watered down, they are incomplete on this critical dimension that RC points out.

    2. ^^THIS^^

      And when women end up in VA hospitals with broken down hips and backs, we will all hear about how the heartless military did this to them.

      And further, the dynamic of having women and men in the same unit does lousy things to moral. They are young people. They all immediately start screwing. They get drunk together and then there is jealousy, sexual assaults, false claims of sexual assault after buyers remorse. It is just a fucking mess.

      I was lawyer to an MP brigade for two years. Ron Baily doesn’t know a damn thing about what he is talking about.

      1. And further, the dynamic of having women and men in the same unit does lousy things to moral

        You did this RC’z Law yesterday, John. Do you mean “morals” plural, or “morale”?-D

        1. It would do lousy things to my morals, that’s for sure!

        2. Do you mean “morals” plural, or “morale”

          It’s both, actually – I was on board the Lincoln when we started getting women.

          One cute machinist’s mate was a model sailor, hard worker who did her job well. Of the rest, well, most of them discovered they could get the men to do their maintenance of them… and then one of them began a tryst with her LPO (they did it by the book requesting a transfer so they wouldn’t be violating regs). When the smoke cleared, she was a pregnant deserter, and his career was in tatters – as well as owing his ex wife (the one he left for the cute 21 year old girl) huge amounts of child-support/alimony.

          The guys who were getting action and the girls they were getting it on with were reviled by other guys who nevertheless wanted to get in on it. People started doing some pretty twisted things to impress the girls/kneecap rivals.

          It was a giant, distracting headache. I figure if they had sent us N/2 men instead of N women, we’d have been better off.

          1. The story Tarran tells can be told by a million other people in every other service. This will come as a shock to sheltered yuppies like Bailey, but not everyone is on the up and up in the world. There really are women out there who will happily lay on their backs to get ahead or avoid work and there are plenty of men who will take them up on the offer.

            1. It’s a story that can be told by a million other people who WEREN’T in the service. Should our entire society be gender segregated because some office drone screwed up his career by having an affair with a coworker?

              1. the rest of society is not the military. The demands are not the same and the life is not the same. When your company goes bankrupt because your CEO is fucking all of the secretaries, no one dies.

                1. I’m betting no one died because because the Lincoln lost one LPO and one machinist, either.

              2. If you think being in an infantry unit is analogous to being in an ordinary job, you know nothing about an infantry unit.

                Since when is the point of the military to be fair and just? The point is to do its job. Why should people have to die so people like you can feel better?

                1. No, I just that highly trained infantry soldiers should be expected to demonstrate the same level of self control we expect from untrained civilians. You seem to be portraying our military as a horde of sex fiends who can’t possibily be expected to behave properly in the presence of the opposite sex.

                  1. First of all Stormy, a private employer should be allowed to discriminate for any reason. Second, the differences between genders — both biological and social differences — do not impact other jobs in the same way as infantry.

                    Third, personal self-control is laudable and should be praised, but institutionally speaking there has to be a realistic assessment of where you want your discipline to be and what factors prevent you from reaching that target. There is a real trade-off in infantry between discipline, morale, and effectiveness on the one hand, and sex segregation on the other.

                    IOW, what tarran said.

                    1. A private employer certainly ought to be LEGALLY allowed to discriminate, but the question remains whether it is a good idea to take advantage of that allowance.

                    2. In the overwhelming number of cases, it is not a good idea to discriminate.

                      In cases where physical strength or a high amount of pressure are the order of the day, discrimination tends to be a good strategy for an employer.

                    3. Yes, I agree with the physical strength argument. The one I’m arguing against is the “we need to keep the women out, because they’ll corrupt our poor male soldiers with their insidious sexy bits!” arguments. If a private employer wanted to segregate for that reason he should be allowed to, but he’s a twit for wanting to, and frankly I’d be offended by the implied knock against my professionalism if I were one of his male workers.

                    4. I don’t think there’s anything inherently insidious about women or sex either (certainly it’s silly to have puritanical attitudes in reference to an organization whose chief purpose is to kill people and break stuff), but that kind of shit does have a serious adverse impact on morale, especially for long-term deployments. Yes, you can have regulations covering such incidents — but the military has regulations prohibiting adultery, too, and look how well that works.

                      I just don’t see much upside in making this change. Certainly this does not open up an enormous pool of applicants who can currently meet standards.

                    5. On the other hand, adultery is really a *problem*. Stiff penalties and a culture of loyalty to your shipmates means that adulterers rarely poach from the reservation – which is where the morale problems really come into play.

                      The vast majority of military adulterers are screwing around on a civilian spouse – this has so little effect on unit readiness that the navy doesn’t even bother to investigate of prosecute for adultery unless you’ve been charged with another crime (and they can’t find enough evidence to prosecute on that other crime so they’ll throw the book at you on the one they can).

                    6. Should be “is not”

                    7. If a private employer wanted to segregate for that reason he should be allowed to, but he’s a twit for wanting to,…

                      The military is not in any way analogous to a private employer.

                      Unless your private employer has complete control over you 24/7 for a fixed duration of multiple years, including his own police and criminal justice system and your being unable to leave said employment at will.

                      Military service is more analagous to your being a slave or a prisoner than it is to any job that you’ve ever had.

                  2. The military is a horde of largely young, physically fit people who can be expected to behave properly for the most part, but should not have to be expected to do so in close quarters 24/7. You are expecting them to be “on” professionally all the time and no one can do that.

                  3. 20-year-olds in dangerous situations are horny beyond anything you would believe.

                    The disaster that mixed gender units were in the first Gulf War was downplayed by the military and overlooked by the press.

                    1. it couldn’t have been too much of a disaster, as we won handily with fewer than 300 casualties.

                    2. Hope that we don’t fight a real army again.

                  4. As a former soldier who switched from combat arms to an intelligence field (men and women) later on, I can tell you it causes real problems. While I was at language school in the late 80s in one month we had five privates come up pregnant. All bets are off at that point by the way. The young women could choose to exit, after tens of thousands of dollars had been spent on their training, and most did. It was a regular Peyton Place I can tell you.

                    While deployed to Saudi in 90-91 during the first gulf war, there was one flame up after another over affairs, affairs which led to pregnancies and several divorces. One dude, a husband of one of our NCOs even took his self hostage (I’m not shitting you) when we returned stateside and she informed him she was preggers, already showing a little bump.

                    Soldiers, just like your civilians are people and subject to all weakness.

                2. Yep, John. The point is to do the job. So if an individual is capable and qualified, why do you care if that person has a vag?

                  1. Because when it comes to training a person, whether or not they have a vag correlates with a high R value on how expensive the training is.

                    1. whether or not they have a vag correlates with a high R value on how expensive the training is.

                      Not if you use the same standards.

                  2. The point is to do the job. So if an individual is capable and qualified, why do you care if that person has a vag?

                    because when you put a group of relatively young, fit men and women in the same group, someone is going to screw someone else. It is biology. And if you want to eliminate the vag factor, a single standard for each job, not separate ones for males and females.

                    1. Oh BULLSHIT.

                      First, I find this argument offensive. People can’t control themselves? WTF? Is it going to happen, sure. You deal with it and correct the problem. It’s not going to bring down the civilized world.

                      Second, I have stated repeatedly. NO DOUBLE STANDARDS!

                    2. it’s not about controlling themselves; it’s about hormones, nature, and all that. Young, fit people in close quarters, particularly under stress, are going to turn to one another. It happens.

                    3. Neither of your wishes will be granted.

                    4. Fran @ 7:33 pm,

                      You obviously have not been in the military.

                      You have no idea what it is like. I suggest you talk to hordes of people who have served and find out how hard it is for people to control themselves under stress.

                      You have absolutely no idea.

                    5. Um…dipshit…you have obviously no idea what you’re talking about.

                      I’m a retired Lt Col.

                      I suggest you fuck off and die in a fire.

                  3. Long before this discussion the Army was trying to play this equality thing and it’s always been one of those big lies that leads reasonable people to suffer cognitive dissonance. One example: Army Parachute School 1989. Men and women resegregated into separate groups for physical training – push-ups, sit-ups, running. Men required to perform at least 7 pull-ups to pass, women none. Men’s formations lapping women’s formations on the running track. Female awarded Honor Graduate at the end of my cycle.

                    At a school known as PLDC (Leadership course for soon-to-be NCOs I had my first taste of female soldiers in the field. During extended field ops I, and every other combat arms guy could go for weeks without more than quick spit bath. At this school I, as the acting 1st Sergeant of the training company had to set up a special tent for the women to bath – on the first day in the field. There are all sorts of downsides to this that people who have not been in the military, especially the combat arms side, just don’t get.

              3. When the office drone’s affair creates a situation where a ship is delayed leaving port because the office drone’s affair caused him to cock up doing his bit of preparing to go to sea, yes. If you are scrambling to fill holes in your damage control teams right before a deployment to a war zone because half the women in your unit just got pregnant, yes.

                Seriously, if I were forming a mercenary unit, I would absolutely refuse to hire women for most of the jobs, and it would be an utterly rational decision, for the very same reasons that women aren’t scouted by the NFL or MLB.

                1. No offense, but if one LPO’s cock-up delays the ship’s underway time then the problem is much deeper than an inappropriate relationship.

                  You’ve got an LCPO and an ALPO and if necessary the skipper can get one of his peers to send another 1st over TAD for the deployment.

          2. er… when we started getting women in Reactor Dept. The non-nuke depts got women much earlier.

            Did I mention the prostitution ring operating off the ship that was bribing some low level petty officers in the master-at-arms division to provide security?

            Or the whole fiasco involving the aviation mechanics’ orgy in Hong Kong in 1998? That was a lovely one involving a girl falsely accusing a dude of raping her after she came to regret taking him as her fourth partner of the evening.

          3. When was that? I worked on the Lincoln as an engineer contractor for the 06-07 maintenance, which I’m guessing was well after you got out.

            Same experience from the sailors and officers I would hang out with. The dynamics were like engineering school x10.

            1. I sailed the stinkin lincoln 1995 – 1998.

          4. We had the same problem when they introduced women on my first ship (93ish). Two women on a ship with 5000 men. One of the was a 4 foot tall (and 4 foot around) AO who you couldn’t see for the double ring of men around here when she walked down the corridor.

            We got over it and got the job done. Two decades later almost all surface comabattants are coed with women making up 25-50% of their crews.

            We figured out the standards that needed to be set to allow us to function effectively and then carried on (and started patrolling the fan-rooms).

      2. Why not different units? Segregate them by sex just like they do with showers.

        1. Nope… showers be getting integrated too. This deal goes all the way.

          1. We’re nearing the utopia promised to us in Starship Troopers.

            1. I will only speak of the book – which really is a Libertarian utopia.

          2. Yes, otherwise you are not Bailey’s friend.

        2. That could work, and would almost certainly work better than what we have right now.

        3. That was Israeli’s solution – cram them all into one battalion, pretend it’s as good as the rest, and forget it.

      3. Uhm, I can say that after nearly 2 decades of serving alongside women on ships – in quarters that are tighter than what you’d normally find on the ground – that I haven’t seen this to be a huge (let alone insurmountable) problem.

        Yeah the stuff you mention happens, but its not destroying the navy.

        The issue, as always is to set boundaries, clearly codify what is unacceptable, and hammer the shit out of those who step over the line.

        1. Same in the AF. Shit occasionally happened, but not at a rate that anyone would consider concerning.

          Not an issue.

          In the B-1 the toilet was between the pilot and WSO stations. No door. No curtain. Women needed to go, they dropped their flight suits and went. The men averted their eyes.

          The vast majority of folks act professionally.

          1. I’m hoping the men averted their eyes when other men were using the toilet too. Having some guy staring at you while you’re trying to go would be really disconcerting.

            1. WSO’s are notorious gazerz. Comes from their need to prove they are just as good as pilots.

              1. Oh, FdA, this thread is a good one and you may find it of interest.

          2. Had a similar deal on the tugs I ran out of San Diego.

            No crapper built into the thing and on a 12+ hour shift sometimes you gotta go.

            Women learned to take a dump in the bucket with their head sticking out of the void like the rest of us.

            They adapted, mission got done.

        2. Well, I’m glad to hear that women in the navy and the air force haven’t caused undue problems.

          But, of course, we’re talking front-line units and infantry here. Not people manning or maintaining stand-off weapons.

          1. Except the *navy* has/had women doing convoy security in Iraq and Afghanistan for 5+ years in mixed sex units.

            Granted its not exactly front-line but its a combat posting.

            If *we* can do it, then *you* whose primary job it is can do it.

            1. But that goes both ways, doesn’t it?

              The Navy’s core competencies don’t include front-line or any other form of infantry. It doesn’t need to adopt best practices any more than a volunteer with the Humane Society would have to keep up-to-date on the latest best practices in the veterinary profession. When something is done with less frequency and is outside the core competency of the organization, it will require and receive less scrutiny. If you have evidence that transfers over to the other services, that’s one thing but if it’s merely a report that we haven’t heard anything bad, then that could mean one of a whole list of things.

              I do agree that the USAF and the Navy are the services most well-situated to have women serving in any capacity.

              1. Well, the navy is doing the same sort of convoy guarding the Army and MC does – we just did it to free up dedicated combat units.

                Ultimately women have been and are doing damn near every sort of thing men have been for a decade now. The only thing they’ve been kept out of is the assault phase (and I grant that that’s pretty damn important to have the right people doing).

            2. Having 2 women on my Navy convoy security team was more trouble than it was worth.

              One was definitely an affirmative action pick, and the other was there because we couldn’t have just one. Interestingly enough, we were allowed to fire the one after our male CO was replaced by a female.

              The team before mine had several sent home with injuries because they didn’t have the upper body strength to support themselves in the turret on a rough road. That was tough enough on some fairly hard guys.

              We have a few women in the battalion that would be perfectly capable, but when we had incapable ones foisted off on us we were unable to treat them as we did male turds that showed up.

              Set the standards the same and I’m fine with it, but that never happens. Disparate impact and all that.

          2. But, of course, we’re talking front-line units and infantry here. Not people manning or maintaining stand-off weapons.

            Not sure why there would be a difference. Is there some reason men cannot control themselves as they get closer to the front lines?

            1. front lines become a different dynamic. Men and women act differently when segregated and different when coed. And when the first guy is wounded, will the woman be able to drag him to safety? Will men compromise their own safety if a woman is in trouble?

              Not sure what the answer is but if we’re gonna do this, go all the way: selective service for the wymynz, too, or eliminate for all AND a uniform standard for whatever job.

              1. Do men compromise their own safety when another man is in trouble? Damn right they do. And yeah, she’ll be able to drag him to safety.

                If a 120 lb woman could drag my overweight arse wrapped in an x-large vest with SAPI plates then she can drag yours.

              2. In the jet, I didn’t give a fuck what equipment you had between your legs, just so you were getting the job done. Fucking anyone was the last thing on my mind. If a woman meets the same standards as men she will certainly be able to drag a man to safety. And speaking for myself, I sure as shit wouldn’t compromise my safety for a woman any more, or less, than I would a man. Wouldn’t even figure into the equation.

                We heard all these same arguments when teh wyminz were given the ability to fly combat. They never manifested themselves. I will say, however, that there was a double standard in a few instances, driven by PC and politics. This I warn against. There will be forces pushing to lower the standard. DO NOT!

                Yep. Register everybody or nobody. You want equality, you got it.

                1. Except that piloting an aircraft isn’t quite analogous to infantry. I understand that there are some hidebound troglodytes who are reflexively against the idea of any women being in the military, but there is a difference between the two in terms of the physical demands, the places you go, and the environments you operate in for long periods of time. Not saying that piloting is easy (drone pilot here), but it doesn’t present the same gender-based problems.

                  1. Different. Completely agree. Never meant to imply it is as physically demanding as what the ground pounders do. It isn’t, by a long stretch.

                    My point is, we’ve heard all these arguments before about blacks (Redtails is a fantastic movie, BTW), and they’ve been completely unfounded. Wyminz should have the same right to compete for these positions as men. Those with teh skillz should be allowed to serve in those capacities.

                    Did you fly drones right out of the shoot or did you fly something else first? You weren’t part of that test group by any chance?

                    1. Just because some arguments for discrimination are hate-filled and unfounded doesn’t mean they all are. Anyone with half a brain could have figured out that African Americans were a large recruit base and that there was absolutely no rational reason to think they couldn’t perform the job, especially after our experience in WWII.

                      Not part of the test group, btw. I clocked my last shift in ’06 (work as an actuary now); it was my last job in the AF and a lot of fun — didn’t shoot anyone or drop bombs, just surveillance.

                      That was back when enlisteds were flying the drones, too — I think some of them still are, but they’re moving towards having them be an officers’ demense due to how important the UAV stuff has gotten.

            2. “Front line” = Infantry, Artillery, and Armor. The most physically demanding job families in the military.

              The Canadians experimented with a female infantry class years ago – it was a complete failure. One woman out of 103 graduated. (There course is about the same as our Army basic Infantry class and less physically demanding than the USMC School of Infantry) Afterwards they dropped the whole silly idea.

              The worst problem women have in Infantry school is marching. We march long distances daily with heavy loads. The loads vary from 40 lbs to over 100 lbs if you get stuck carrying something like a mortar baseplate. It is impossible for a 120 lb woman to carry that weight 40 miles a day.

              1. Armor – a tank crew lives on top of each other and works with incrdibly heavy tools. I’ve watched M1 crews change treds – the sprocket screw is torqued to 700 lbs.

                Arillery – the projectile for 155mm howitzer weighs 100 lbs. If you cannot be part of a team that sets up, loads, cleans, and moves the peice fast, you don’t belong.

                This is what it looks like – and everyone on the team has to be capable of every job.

              2. One woman out of 103 graduated.

                So? Why would that necessitate BANNING women from those roles? If you don’t make the cut, you don’t make the cut. So be it. There will be very few women in Infantry, Artillery, and Armor.


                1. Does it justify building separate facilities? Then paying to send women to a school only to expel 99% of them? Is that really worth it?

                  Do you really believe our leaders will be able to resist lowering standards? I don’t.

                  1. Then paying to send women to a school only to expel 99% of them?

                    Jesus H. Christ! Is the Air Force the only military service that does any aptitude screening BEFORE sending people off to be trained for a specific job? No wonder the Army’s so fucked up.

                    Is that really worth it?

                    You do it for the men.

                    1. What does aptitude have to do with the ability to carry a pack 40 miles a day or load 100-lb shells into a cannon?

                      The Army and Marines won’t continue to train a man who doesn’t pass initial fitness test. What else would you have them do?

                    2. Okay Drake, I’ll type slowly.

                      Perhaps, just perhaps, the Army could change their paradigm and send folks to basic, and while there, evaluate which jobs the particular candidate is suited for. For instance, if someone’s strength was in working with numbers, they could go to finance. If they happened to be fairly slow, they could send them to whatever you did (just kidding). If someone, male or female, had physical strength they could go into Artillery. If they had endurance and can shoot too, perhaps the Infantry.

                      This way, you would have a fairly good probability that the candidate would succeed in their next phase of training, and the Army would have people filling positions they are most suited for.

                      Call me crazy…

                    3. Crazy.

                      Promising particular schools and jobs is how recruiters get people to enlist.

                      As long as their Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test score is high enough, s/he gets the job. Although bonuses might be offered for jobs they need more people in, and there might be a long wait for some specialties before you start training.

                      Some people pass the ASVAB but not high enough to get a guaranteed specialty. Those people are assigned an MOS after basic. The ones I knew ended up going to cook school.

                    4. And people volunteer to be GI?

                      (again kidding)

                      There are still ways to do it. You are going to X, Y, Z depending on how well you perform in basic. You spell out the standards before they go. If they meet them, they can go to the more demanding jobs/training.

                      This way the recruiter can send the requisite number of bodies (some men, some women, in proportion to historical performance) to cover X, Y, Z and if a chick can qualify for Z where a girly man can’t, she gets the job and the guy goes to the less demanding X.

                      All jobs filled, no money wasted, no discrimination based upon sex.

                    5. No way. Somebody aces the ASVAB and enlist for avionics school, he gets the school or his contract is invalidated. If he flunks out of school that is a different story.

                      It is called a “Contract” after all.

              3. “‘Front line’ = Infantry, Artillery, and Armor. The most physically demanding job families in the military.”

                As a Cav Scout who has served on the front lines (Rusafa/Sadr City and the Mada’in Qada), let me state that most of you have no idea what you’re talking about.

                As a Cav Scout, we walk in, sometime multiple miles over all terrains, carrying hundreds of pounds of armor, commo, rations, optics, weapons and ammo, and anything else we need for our OP. We spend days sometimes in an OP, and then come marching back out.

                Women can do MOST of the things men can do. Some women, maybe 1%, can do everything Scouts can do. 10 years in the Army tells me that those 1% won’t be the only ones forced into my job.

                Women ALMOST NEVER meet the MINIMUM male requirements on the PT test. I mean, it just almost never happens, and when it does, that woman will make rank faster than any man has any hopes of. I believe women deserve complete equality, but this isn’t about equality. It’s about combat efficiency, and life or death. I don’t agree with women in combat arms, not because they are all incapable, but because there is absolutely no reason to think the capable ones will be the ones who end up making it.

                1. So your problem isn’t with women in combat roles, it’s with the way the Army enforces standards?

                  1. You really believe you can separate the two?

                    I didn’t win honor graduate at PLDC because a female got a higher PT score than me, even if she didn’t outperform me in ANY of the categories on the PT test. She had a vagina, so her 14 minute 2-mile was better than my 13, and her 60 pushups were better than my 80. Not that I really care about that award, but change “Honor Graduate” to “Dismounted OP”, and “PT Test” to “General Fitness and Strength”, and people start dying.

                    I’m not willing to wager the lives of soldiers in the name of nonsensical social engineering that shows no evidence of a rational expectation of blind enforcement, basically.

                    Is your problem with starving children being fed, or with the way our society currently tries and fails to accomplish it?

                    1. So you’re problem is with the Army enforces standards AND you hold a grudge against a woman who had nothing to do with creating or enforcing said standards.

                      Got it.




                      Arguing that the Army will lower their standards, is an argument against Army policy, NOT against women in combat.

                      Do you see the difference?

                    2. AND you hold a grudge against a woman who had nothing to do with creating or enforcing said standards.


                      Arguing that the Army will lower their standards, is an argument against Army policy, NOT against women in combat.

                      Do you see the difference?

                      And the second is irrelevant without the first. I have absolutely no problem with women in combat, I have a problem with it being authorized in our Army, because I know where that will end.

                      In some magical mystery universe where results aren’t factored into the equation, yes, I would love for women to have equality everywhere. In this universe we actually inhabit, I’ll take what’s real over what’s desired.


                    3. Link?

                      Your words.

                      I didn’t win honor graduate at PLDC because a female got a higher PT score than me


                      That, my friend, is bullshit. They said the exact same thing in the AF and Navy with women flying combat missions. AND IT HASN’T!

                      It’s nothing but an excuse to keep chicks out of the boys club. That’s what it was in the AF and Navy. That’s what it is now in the Army and Marines. I fully acknowledge the differences, and if done correctly, maybe one in 200 women would qualify. But forbidding women who would qualify is unmitigated cock.

    3. …the aerobic capacity achieved by women regardless of their body composition is less than the capacity of men. …there are a few, exceptional women who best the bottom 16% of men, but these rare women are four standard deviations above the female mean, fewer than 1 in a 1000

      rc dean: And we all know the “gender-neutral” standards will be watered down so all the women don’t flunk out.

      As long as they keep the standards absolutely neutral and then only 1 in 1000 women qualify, then I’m good.

      But I don’t want to hear peep one from civilian social whiners bitching that there isn’t enough ‘equality’ in the ranks of critical positions which tend to require or favor combat experience.

      1. I read some years ago that standards have already been dropped to allow more women to serve, e.g. stretchers are now carried by four, not two.

    4. Yup. Gender equality where it makes sense (academics, most employment situations, etc) is great — though it shouldn’t be forced. There are tradeoffs when it comes to accommodating the fairer sex in the armed forces, and to be frank those trade-offs aren’t worth it where they can be avoided in an all-volunteer force. This has nothing to do with the individual merit of a female combatant — I’ve served under some great female officers in the Chair Force — but rather with how women in the aggregate simply don’t meet the standards set forth for men.

      These trade-offs completely break down where women as a group simply don’t have the physical or neurological capacities that are required for the job, and where implementation without a reduction in standards is impossible. If it helps, there are plenty of men who are also excluded from infantry or other aspects of the armed forces; any trace of asthma on your record disqualifies you from serving in the USAF for instance (a fact which sadly disqualified one of my friends applying to enter).

      1. Alright, I accept that the average women is physically weak but where do you guys get the idea that they are *mentally* so?

        You say they don’t have the neurological capacity, others that they aren’t mentally strong enough. Where’s the evidence for that?

        1. There are plenty of studies on the subject of stress between genders — I can’t find the neurological study I was thinking of, but the APA (psychology) notes that women are more likely to report physical symptoms in relation to stress and to “bow out” of a conflict, whereas men tend towards a “fight or flight” mechanism in response. There have been a number of studies evaluating the difference between responses to trauma between men and women, etc. In any case, whether that difference is socially or biologically constructed is irrelevant, since military recruiters have to deal with men and women as they are, rather than as they wish they were (socially, biologically or otherwise).

          1. Its not irrelevant – if its a social construct then they can be trained out of it.

            I’ve had plenty of women (and more than a few men) work for me who simply didn’t know how to use their bodies effectively. Even things as simple as how to work a prybar. Its not that they were too weak – they just needed the training. Its just stuff they had never been exposed to before.

            1. if its a social construct then they can be trained out of it.

              That is certainly possible, but if it is no military has found the secret to it yet — every treatment I’ve seen of the issue indicates that in armies where women serve as front-line infantry, those women tend to have much greater stress-related problems than their male counterparts.

              However, it is also true that women serving on the front lines has a relatively short history — it is premature to come to a declarative judgement either way right now, I should think.

            2. “if its a social construct then they can be trained out of it.”

              And I’m sure that question will be answered objectively.


        2. I’ve never understood why women are considered so weak that they require differently sized sports equipment.

        3. Women suffer from PTSD at twice the rate of men.
 differences in the sensitivity ptsd.pdf

  2. Women and men are entitled to the same rights, period.

    Interesting turn of phrase, no name author. Are you suggesting men and women are different somehow? There’s a reason the term “full stop” is used in Euro-landia.

    Also, what RC Dean said above @ 17.06, in spades.

    1. Interesting turn of phrase, no name author.

      No kidding. I hope this means women are entitled to be drafted now, too.

  3. It’ll certainly give new meaning to the term “hot bunking”.

    GI Grits and GI gravy, gee I wish I’d joined the Navy!

    I’m here all ze veek.

    1. “The navy gets the graaaavy, but the army gets the beans, beans, beans, beans…”

  4. How are women soldiers supposed to shoot straight with their boobies flying up in their face all the time? And isn’t this going to raise equipment costs with the army having to buy combat boots with high heels? And how will women soldiers be able to aim when they’re crying from their monthlies?

    1. How are women soldiers supposed to shoot straight with their boobies flying up in their face all the time?

      I would like to see how this works as well. I call for a forensic investigation.

    2. [C]rying from their monthlies?

      See my post @ 17.10, Hugh-bert.

      1. I dunno what kind of commie time you’re on, Doc. My watch only goes to 12.

        1. YEt my snark-o-meter goes to 11!

        2. It’s 00.53, and I’m up late going over some case studies. I was going to go to bed, but Ron’s post really pissed me off. It’s a Pyrrhic victory at best here, as carol astutely notes, yet Ron here is proudly wagging his “Holier than thou” plumage.

    3. Seriously, the biggest thing interfering with women shooting straight is their hair.

      They are allowed to keep it long, so they put it in a bun-type-thing on the back of their head, and that pushes their helmet down over their eyes.

      Enforce a uniform grooming standard and it would go away.

      1. There must be some secret to wearing that damn helmet I never figured out (during the short time-frame I had to wear it).

        Everytime I went prone the damn armor vest would push the back up and the front down over my eyes.

        1. Adjust the liner & harness.

          1. Well, that was probalby the problem – this is the navy, there was no liner.

            1. No hard-hay style leather ring at least?

              That helmet won’t do you a bit of good without it.

              1. “hard-hat”

  5. If they truly stick with gender-neutral standards, there will be women in combat in theory, but rarely in practice.

    1. p: Yes. I, too, believe that this will be so.

      1. You assume our leadership will tolerate a 99% wash out rate.

      2. As I outlined in an above comment the physical standards required for men vs. women in the Army even back in the 80s were a joke. The kind of lie that forces people to suffer cognitive dissonance because it’s right in your face but you’re supposed to ignore it. Why would they change them now?

        You can look this up in Army perfomance manuals. Can’t remember the numbers but on the Physical Training requirements, women have never been required to perform at the same level as men. It was kind of big inside joke.

    2. Which I think is the point. Few will qualify and there will be little if any changes going forward. Feminists won a symbolic victory but that is about it.

      1. Yes, under one scenario there will only be a handful of women in combat roles due to strict application of the relevant standards.

        But there’s another scenario, which is very plausible considering the grievance industry which will be trumpeting the “unacceptably low” levels of women in combat positions, thus “sabotaging and undermining the courageous decision to allow women in combat.” Leading predictably to watering down standards for women so the numbers come out right.

        Listening to NPR, I heard someone (in the DoD?) say that the military branches would have to justify to the SecDef if the numbers weren’t right – that is, not enough women passing the endurance tests, etc.

        Knowing what we do about politics, especially gender politics, which scenario seems more likely?

        1. Listening to NPR, I heard someone (in the DoD?) say that the military branches would have to justify to the SecDef if the numbers weren’t right – that is, not enough women passing the endurance tests, etc.

          I heard the same thing as I was driving home tonight. I believe the person speaking was a General Dempsey.

  6. Women and men are entitled to the same rights, period.

    Nothing spells equal rights like seeing a woman with her guts spilled over after receiving shrapnel from a tossed grenade.

    1. Yet, The Smartest Woman in the World and Greatest Sec. of State EVAR has been heralded for her crocodile tears act. Sheesh, UKR loves this woman for some reason. I’m tired of seeing her on the news.

      Does no one see this cognitive dissonance? Or is this yet another example of double-standards (yes, Ron Bailey that was an intentional pun) and, “Having it both ways?”

      Spokonoj nochi, Reasonoids.-)

      1. GM: Hey. Boehner (who is by no means the Smartest Man in the World) cries too.

        1. Yeah Ron. Because no woman would ever use her looks to manipulate a man. Never.

          1. I resemble that remark, John. Some of us men are stronger than that! Most of the time!

          2. J: Surely such transparent tricks (dare I say, “feminine wiles”) will not work on you!

            1. Ron,

              It doesn’t matter. See Tarran above. You have to remember who you are dealing with. Hint, they are not middle aged professionals. They are all young kids and not always from the best of backgrounds.

              1. Different service, similar experience. You can tell them to remain hands off all you want, Tab still goes into slot.

                Just getting the kids to show up to work can be a challenge sometimes.

                None of this is to say that changes shouldn’t be made, but I don’t want my boys in combat, let alone my daughter. But if we are doing this, all 18s should be required to register for selective service or can the whole damn thing (my choice).

              2. What are you saying John, the troops are a bunch of dick-stroking dumbasses?

                Why do you hate the troops John?

                1. Enough of them are to create a problem in that regard.

          3. A few years ago, I ran an shop on a ship where I had 7ish young women working for me (and no male subordinates). I said ladies, I’m transfering soon so you all need to figure out how to get the 500 lbs of supplies out of the storeroom and to our shop – I’ve shown you how, given you the tools, now you have to figure out how to work as a team to get the stuff up here.

            And they did, all by themselves. They were smart enough to bat their eyes at some of the men who then proceeded to carry the shit up 5 stories for them.

            Whatever, they got the job done.

            1. Such is human nature.


              1. Well, technically it was “Listen up fuckheads . . .” but I’m trying to reign in my profanity for the good of my post-service career.

        2. Yes, and his mangina is larger than Hillary’s. And he boo-hoo’ed over something trivial and self-centred, plus I would not be surprised if he has a little problem with the sauce.

          She is a duplicitous hack and pulled that stunt to garner sympathy, which is my point. Nothing more, nothing less. She’s supposed to made of iron like some sort of Stalinka. Nothing more, nothing less. They are both held to different standards and thanks for proving my point.

          And Boner was ridiculed (rightly so) for his case of the vapour, IYRC.

  7. If both male and female soldiers are expected to meet the same criteria, then this change will be good for our military.

    We’ll have La Petite Arm?e once the army lowers the bar so “both male and female meet the same criteria.”

  8. Women and men are entitled to the same rights, period. Discriminating against an individual solely based on his or her sex is wrong and if you do that you are not my friend.

    So Ron, no heterosexual can be your friend? Doesn’t this limit your social life?

    1. t: I will have you know that some of my best friends are heterosexuals. The definition of discrimination to which I refer is: treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit

      In this case, I object to discrimination against people based on their sex.

      1. I discriminate against men when it comes to romantic partners, Ron… does this mean we can’t be friends? 😉

        1. I’d consider being attractive to me an individual merit. So far it’s only been women.

  9. And Ron

    When we get into a real war, and we will again someday, and have a large number of women captured and our enemy rapes the living shit out of them, what will we say then? Thems the breaks?

    1. They’ll probably be used to it if they attended any of the military academies.

      1. Zing!

        John: Yes, them’s the breaks.

      2. People who push this shit have never been around actual infantry and combat units. When you train a whole group of people to live hard and kill people and said people volunteer for it because they get off on it, it really isn’t a very pleasant place to be around.

        1. John,


          Most people, including military folks in the Navy and AF, who have never been in infantry, have no idea of what it is like.
          They also don’t know just how long deployments tend to make the worst come out of otherwise professional people.

    2. We should; seriously…. if you join the military, you should be prepared to face the consequences of that decision, which includes possible death, maiming, or great peril.

      1. We say that. But society would never think that way.

        1. Then let the progressives demand women be removed from combat roles.

          Just like the progressives reversed themselves on the 1st amendment.

        2. Uh, society never thought that way about racial integration. A large part of society says that we’ll never be able to integrate homosexuals into the military – even though they’ve been there with us for longer than I’ve been alive.

          And keep in mind that Germany has had women in frontline combat units since 2001. I don’t think anyone would say they’re completely ineffectual.

          1. And keep in mind that Germany has had women in frontline combat units since 2001. I don’t think anyone would say they’re completely ineffectual.

            I guess you haven’t been to Helmand Province recently. There are a number of institutional problems with the German military.

            1. The same army that was too fat and drunk to patrol if I remember the report.

    3. Uhm, yes. Just as we do now, and just as we do for men.

      In case you didn’t notice, we’ve had women on the front for a long time now. We have women patrolling, medics, mobile electronic surveillance, flying combat missions, really in just about every specialty *except* infantry/tanks.

      1. And which AGAmm, are very very different.

        It is one thing to experience occasional stress with periods of breaks in between which makes up most of the roles you stipulated.

        Those roles are not “front line.” You are comparing apples to oranges.

        Combat infantry is a whole different ballgame.

  10. As a combat-experienced Marine officer, and a female, I am here to tell you that we are not all created equal, and attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security.
    Capt Katie Petronio…..ated-equal

    1. Need to add Quotes. Need an edit button.

      1. Or you could change your name to Pat.

        1. or Ashley or Tracy or Chris…

  11. Besides the fact that one might think it a favorable thing for a civilized society that doesn’t send daughters to the front lines, I am waiting for the celebration from feminists that they can now apply for selective service.


    1. How about that Draft…err, SELECTIVE Service?

      Hey Ron! Shall we retrograde that too?

      There’s a TON of women out there that haven’t registered for that. All in the name of “equality”, you know.

    2. Also, s/retroactive/retrograde. DURR!

  12. So my initial reaction yesterday to reports that the Pentagon was lifting restrictions on women in combat was: It’s about time. I was confident that I could find data that would show that women and men would perform equally well in combat, so I went looking for it. To my surprise, I could uncover very little data comparing the physical capacities of female and male recruits.

    Oh horseshit. The only think that should matter to a military is combat-effectiveness. The physical differences between the sexes is pretty well documented, and for most combat roles that means that most women will not be operating at a severe physical disadvantage that will result in them not being able to function adequately in a long fight or deployment. Couple that with the expense of training a modern soldier, and it’s a fucking no brainer. It’s akin to hiring a person who reads at a 7th grade level to edit your writing.

    Sexual discrimination when hiring people where their gender correlates with their ability to do their job should be A-OK.

    1. t: With due respect, it’s horseshit to judge people on group averages rather than on individual merit.

      1. Not functionally. I agree with Paul — use the same demanding, strenuous standards regardless of gender — the same ones you’d use on a male-only military — and all the woman that also meet those standards are certified for combat. Simple and effective.

      2. Nice sentiment, but that’s kindergarten crap, Ron, and you know it.

        You should judge people on the best available info. If that means sometimes you have to make broad generalizations, you WILL make broad generalizations. Everybody does (including you, Ron), as everybody should.

        1. KP: Fortunately, nowadays we can obtain real data from tests to uncover merit rather than rely on broad generalizations.

          1. Bull. You never have perfect information, and usually, you don’t even have good information. I’m of course speaking “in general” here (irony?), not about the particular issue of women in combat. But your comment was a general one as well.

          2. Hypothetical…

            You’re walking down the street in a high crime area (averages!). Coming toward you is a big scary dude in a dark hoodie covering his face. On the other side of the street is a little old lady, also walking toward your direction.

            Do you cross the street? Do you judge the big scary guy based on his average likelihood of mugging you vs. the little old lady?

            Even if you don’t, do you fault somebody who does?

            1. If that little old lady is tottering down the street unescorted in such a bad neighborhood, I’m guessing she is a hell of a lot more dangerous than she looks.

          3. Or generalizations about broads.

          4. Ron, how many real tests did you look up before writing this article? I referenced the Canadian test in which more than 99% of the women could not physically complete infantry training.

            There are similar documented articles about the difficulties women have making it through the basic Marine officer course (which is less physical than the infantry course).

            1. D: Did you not see the article to which I linked which more or less reported the same data? Still individual merit is what counts, not generalizations about groups.

              1. No. Incorrect. You are applying a philosophy of government towards a totally different endeavor.

                In a combat unit, individual merit counts for nothing. The quality of the unit is everything. You live, win, lose, or die as a team.

                Notice how every veteran of a ground combat unit who has commented on this post thinks it’s a very bad idea?

                It’s a bad idea because our leadership will insist on results (# of women in units) which will force standards down.

                It’s a bad idea because it will disrupt morale in those units. How many first-hand stories do you want about fraternization and pregnancies?

                It’s a bad deal for the women who are put into these units (hopefully volunteers) and are set up to fail. Possibly doing real damage to their bodies in the process.

                It is a bad situation for the men in these units who will instinctively want to protect their women from harm – the reason the Israelis discontinued the practice the first time around.

                1. Doesn’t matter to Ron. Intentions are what counts with him.
                  See: Global Warming.

      3. It’s not horseshit.

        Let’s say 20% of women will make it through 5 deployments, while 60% of men will. Let’s further say that it costs $100,000 to train and equip a recruit.

        Every male noncom that makes it through those five deployments will cost $166 K to train, compared to $500K for each woman. Essentially the cost of training a female soldier would fund two male soldiers.

        Gender, like asthma, like a family history of ankylosis spondilitis is a good proxy for figuring out if a person will make a good soldier or not.

        Personally, I think the military should be free to decide who they hire, and if they decide that hiring women will work, more power to them… but I think the notion that the discrimination against women is baseless from a rational standpoint and is the product of ignorant prejudice is one of the more farcical notions I have come across this week.

        1. “Personally, I think the military should be free to decide who they hire”

          Gotta take issue with this. The tyrants would be able to fill the ranks with their supporters and sheep. Very dangerous. This isn’t a private organization governed by market forces.

        2. Let’s say 20% of women will make it through 5 deployments, while 60% of men will. Let’s further say that it costs $100,000 to train and equip a recruit.

          Looks to me like you just lowered the standards for women. Which I haven’t seen anyone (here) argue in favor of.

          1. It’s a matter of odds. If we had perfect information, then recruiters could hire whoever best fits: men, women, asthmatics, children, old guys — whatever. We don’t have perfect information, so using a probabilistic measure to determine in advance whether someone is likely to be a good investment as a soldier is perfectly appropriate where the gap in performance is sufficiently large.

            1. Use whatever measure you see fit. Just not vag/no vag.

              1. Well… that would be a silly measure if it was the only thing we did, I agree. However, there is nothing wrong with using gender as a screening measure much as we use various medical conditions to screen out applicants — if it is an ineffective screening measure then that’s one thing, but I don’t see any evidence of that and I certainly don’t see most proponents of lifting the ban making an effort to respond to the concerns that those in favor of the status quo have about removing the screen.

                1. So you think it’s okay to tell a completely qualified woman she can’t hold a position simply because she’s a woman?

                  I’ll give you that by and large, few women would make the grade, but as a libertarian, I refuse to accept telling an otherwise qualified individual she can’t just because she’s a girl.

                  Set the bar. Measure to the bar.

                  1. Not to be pedantic, but there are two ways of defining “qualified” in this context:

                    The first is, “meets whatever standards have been set to apply for the position”. If you set one of those standards as, “has to be male”, then by definition a woman does not qualify. Silly? I agree, so let’s move on to the next definition: “would be a good fit for the job in question”.

                    This is rather more difficult to determine in the application process, and any recruitment process will fail to hire all qualified applicants. If it’s the case that establishing a recruitment process to include all or most qualified females has more costs than simply filtering out all female applicants, then I prefer the latter — after all, recruitment is essentially an instrumental function, not a means unto itself. The same applies to any other category of human beings.

                    Aspirationally, I’m with you. Pragmatically, I don’t think that there’s a good recruitment policy that will reduce costs and maintain or exceed the standards that we currently have in place.

                    1. Isn’t that the purpose of initial/basic training. To find out which jobs the individual is suited for?

                      The AF had/has a flight screening program. They divide up pilot training into phases so they can wash out those who can’t perform before they waste a shitload of money training them.

                      They don’t do something similar in basic training? Evaluate the trainee’s aptitude to fill certain positions? I don’t see any reason a DI cannot evaluate a person’s potential to be in the infantry. Those with less physical prowess get farmed out to something more suitable.

                      What am I missing?

                    2. Army, AF, and Navy recruiters cost money. Army advertisement and propaganda — and there’s a shitload of it nowadays — cost money. All of these areas will come under scrutiny to promote “inclusivity” for women being looked at for infantry. And of course, the fact is that every infantryman’s a depreciating asset upon hire is something to consider — women much more so than men, if current knowledge on the average woman’s physical and mental capabilities are to be trusted. Combat is a team sport, and factors other than current fitness level are important (though even just fitness level disqualifies many women from serving in infantry). Fact is, there are definitely women out there who can make the cut and men serving in infantry who should be tossed on their asses. I just don’t trust the decisionmaking and standards processes in basic to establish a good benchmark for infantrywomen to select the qualified ones for the job even without politicization, I don’t think mixed units are cost-effective, and I sure as hell don’t trust the process not to be politicized.

                      I don’t particularly like the tradeoffs that inform my opinion, but there they are FWIW.

                    3. Well, that’s the best argument I’ve heard. Pragmatically speaking, politics and political correctness ALWAYS decrease combat capability by lowering standards.

                      I still disagree with telling a qualified individual she can’t just because she’s a girl.

                    4. Fair enough. I hope (but don’t expect) that the upcoming implementation will go forward addressing these concerns adequately. As a libertarian type, I’ve learned that there’s nothing I like more than having my expectations of political decisions to be proven wrong.

                    5. No. That is the purpose of the Aptitude Test they administer during the recruiting process.

                      The purpose of basic training is to learn military discipline, customs, basic skills like rifle marksmanship, and get the recruit into good enough shape for the next school.

                2. much as we use various medical conditions to screen out applicants

                  Yeah, but we make sure they actually have the medical conditions we’re screening for. We keep anemics from joining, we don’t say “well, African Americans are statistically more likely to be anemic, therefore we need an all white army”.

                  1. There are certain biological factors that come into play when you are a woman, including the fact that your body doesn’t produce as much testosterone unless you do some rather unhealthy things to change that. This of course inhibits the muscle gain that most males can come by relatively easily.

                    This is not wholly analogous to a medical condition, but gender and age both certainly carry certain physical characteristics which go beyond mere tendency.

          2. Again, that horse had left the barn even when I was in the army in the early 80s. Physical Training requirements, Army-wide, were lower for women on each of the required elements; push-ups, sit-ups and two mile run. Schools like the Parachute School at Ft. Benning even had extral requirements such as pull-ups (7) for men but women only had to hang for a certain period. Never been equal.

        3. This is (for me) one of the strongest arguements against.

          A similar mechanic works against equal pay for young, straight women in their childbearing years – they have a higher average cost than the alternatives.

        4. I think you meant ankylosing spondylitis

      4. So what’s your opinion on military disqualifications/recruitment policy based on medical conditions? By that same logic, shouldn’t one be declaiming the broad net that disqualifies some exceptional schizophrenic or asthmatic from serving his or her country?

        1. Age would be a more similar criteria.

          There are age cutoffs because a person about a certain age is simply less likely to be able to hack it.

      5. Ron,

        I am a female currently serving in the military. I have yet to find an individual female who can perform the role of infantry for a sustained period fo time.

        We can be troopers for a few weeks, but after that, our bodies simply cannot hold up. We become much more prone to injury and end up messing up the rest of our lives dealing with disabilities because we thought we could handle it.

        Your point is akin to the argument “if it saves one (or a few) lives, it is worth it.”

        No, it is not worth subjecting women to a life of misery dealing with incapacitation and injury for the sake of equality.

        And no amount of training will ever be able to prepare us women for gang rape – which will be exploited by our foes when we are captured. I can guarantee they are already strategizing how they can use that against us.

        You have good intentions, but as with most good intentions, they have many unanticipated and often worse consequences. The good intention of equality is going to screw the women that are told to take advantage of it.

        Spend some time in field, even if it just training, with an infantry unit and come back and tell us your thoughts. I guarantee you will change your mind.

  13. No more women only track and field events at the Olympics too or in collegiate athletics! Let them all just compete against one another!

  14. This is the military. If women don’t perform in frontline combat — if they’re a liability as combatant infantry — don’t assign them to frontline combat.

    If it turned out that frontline infantry composed solely of Irish dudes from New York were superior to all other sorts of infantry, then sending only Irish New Yorkers into combat would be perfectly logical and acceptable (assuming a sufficient pool of recruits).

    1. (assuming a sufficient pool of recruits)

      And lots o’ Guinness and whiskey. And potatoes, lots of potatoes. Kartofeli, in fact.

    2. (assuming a sufficient pool of recruits)

      And lots o’ Guinness and whiskey. And potatoes, lots of potatoes. Kartofeli, knonechno.

      1. Kartoshka = SAMAGON (moonshine). DOUBLE WIN!

        1. DA! Ja zhaju SAMAGONA, oche’ zdorove!

  15. I was a tanker in the USMC (2001-2005) and I tell you, this will be another egalitarian dream which turns out to be an absurd nightmare. Most of the reasons have already been given: they don’t have the physical (or psychological) strength and endurance for sustained duty in combat conditions, everybody will be screwing the women and fighting over them…it will introduce high school (and PC) bullshit to combat units, which will degrade and destroy their combat readiness and effectiveness, which IS going to get people killed.

    1. The left has turned this country (and the mind of Ron Bailey) into a kindergarten classroom where everything has to meet some arbitrary and unproveable anti-standard of “fairness”, which in this case means many, many men and women will lose their lives so girls can play GI Jane in the sandbox. This is ridiculous and pathetic.

    2. (or psychological)

      I was with you until this. Then you pretty much went off the rails.

    3. Come on Libertarius. You mean living in a tank for two weeks in the field with that little cutie in the picture wouldn’t create some sexual tension? You think it might be a bit awkward when it is so fucking hot out that everyone strips down to their underwear and a wet t-shirt inside the vehicle? People who push for this shit are people who have no idea what is actually involved in being in such a unit.

      1. You seem to be arguing against “women fighting together with men” and not against “women fighting in combat”. Is there some law that says they have to be together? And if not, and they put them together anyway, blame the military for it’s own incompetence.

        1. That is a good point. Is anyone aware of any military which employs segregated female-only units?

          1. Navy’s been looking into it for submarines.

            1. That’s interesting. I would be interested in seeing the results of any such program.

              1. It’ll be a while. Subs are sort of a special case, coupled with american prudishness means that there is likely to be a *huge* drop in (an already) low quality of life while deployed.

                Subs don’t have extra accomodation space like surface ships do, coupled with a need to keep the living spaces segregated means that you would have to define and keep at a very narrow ratio of men to women onboard.

                That, along with the knee-jerk “women can’t hack the rigors of sub life” crowd is keeping it from happening.

                1. Actually I’m wrong about that.

                  Since 2010 the Navy has allowed women on submarines – though only the ballistic missile carriers, not the fast attacks.

          2. put them together, let their cycles sync up, and you have one of the world’s most fearsome fighting forces for about a week.

            1. Unfortunately, officially the US military isn’t supposed to commit atrocities.

              50,000 cycle-locked PMS’ing women on the march would make even Mao retch.

      2. Having lived with women who haven’t showered for two weeks I can tell you that the sexual tension goes away real quick.

        Especially when you haven’t showered either and no-one has slept much during the same period.

        You can expect that when the troops are on the move and there’s a job to be done, sex is not at the fore-front of anyone’s mind.

        Now, once the job’s done and you’re back inside the wire that’s another matter.

        1. “You can expect that when the troops are on the move and there’s a job to be done, sex is not at the fore-front of anyone’s mind.”

          Complete bullshit. Anyone that’s been in the field for longer than two fucking weeks can tell you that the standards drop real fucking quick on both sides.

        2. Do you live in reality?

          In training, we regularly had people screwing one another in all situations, including in filthy dumpsters and without showers.

          Sex is one of the greatest comforts on earth especially during periods of high stress. How can you think that people who are subjected to extreme conditions will just shrug it off because they don’t smell that good?

          Experience does not agree with your idea.

    4. everybody will be screwing the women and fighting over them…it will introduce high school (and PC) bullshit to combat units

      So you’re saying that putting women in combat duty is a bad idea because military men are insecure little pussies?

      1. So you’re saying that putting women in combat duty is a bad idea because military men are insecure little pussies?

        No he is saying putting women in combat units is a bad idea because said units are full of young people and young people fuck. That is what they do. And when there is a high ratio of men to women in a place, the women turn into queens and the men fight over them. It is called human nature.

        1. There are a lot of aspects to human nature that the military trains soldiers to overcome.

          1. I can tell you from nine years of active duty, the urge to screw is not on of those aspects.

            1. John’s absolutely correct on this. To use a different area, but no less congruent, is the hospital environment.

              When you have both men and women working very long hours under very stressful conditions where there are a lot of emotions flying about with lives on the line, a LOT of fucking behind the scenes goes on. Between married people too, I might add.

              There is a demonstrable link b’twixt very stressful situations, bonding that happens during “baptisms by fire”, and “the urge to merge”.

              1. This is exactly why I never go to the hospital.

                1. I managed to make it through my career without boinking nurses and other docs is a testament to my resolve and willpower. That and boinking nurses and nurse’s aides is a sure fire ticket to fucking up (hurr!) one’s career and deserved social ridicule.

                  And getting a really pissed off husband or boyfriend confronting said philanderer at the hospital proper (I’ve witnessed that one too, on a couple of occasions).

                  1. Current GF excepted, konechno.-)

                    Though, she told me doesn’t like my First Assistant because First Assistant hasn’t been beaten with an ugly stick and a little younger than Dr. PG, even though First Assistant is very married and I don’t look at her like that anyway.

              2. Riyadh in ’91 was fucking nuts. Women getting sent home for pregnancy was a daily occurrence (some married and not deployed with the husband).

                Our scouts caught a male a female Marine screwing while they were supposed to be guarding our perimeter on the Kuwaiti border. They got sent back for a court-martial.

                1. “Our scouts caught a male a female Marine screwing while they were supposed to be guarding our perimeter on the Kuwaiti border. They got sent back for a court-martial.”

                  While working some flights back that were coming through March ARB, a female Marine was being escorted through the hangar after being processed. Turns out she was caught with a seabag lined with a few grand in small bills. This was a Captain.

                  1. Right before we flew out, they brought two WM’s back to Lejeune for court-martial. They were caught with over $50k in cash and checks.

                    1. I will let you all in on a secret that many of us military women know:

                      On Navy deployments, an ugly female can make over $100,000 by giving her male shipmates regular sexual services.

                      Some females make this their main Navy career.

          2. Maybe, but what’s the damn point? Why should we pay millions of additional dollars to accomodate a change which will not make the military more effective and which will in fact have the opposite effect? Playing at social policy with the military is not an acceptable reason for spending more money and making the military less effective.

  16. Discriminating against an individual solely based on his or her sex is wrong and if you do that you are not my friend.

    I’d have to know whose friendship I am risking for this to be an effective argument.

  17. does this mean that the military (all branches) can dump the differing physical readiness standards or will these new female combatants still get to do a “chin hang” instead of a chin up?

    1. eDG: It had better be a chin up.

      1. I have no problem if the young lady can GI Jane it and meet all standards, without “gender norming” or whatever it is called. But as some have noted, selective service needs to be gone or a universal requirement. No more of this bullshit more equal(selective) equality.

      2. It won’t be.

    2. Will they rework the obstacle courses to tear down the shorter “Female only” obstacles and cheater boards?

    3. They need to do this anyway. Is bullshit that I as a 40 year old have to meet higher PT standards than a 30 year old woman.

  18. I grew up knowing that life wasn’t “fair” why is this concept so hard to comprehend for the leftys?

    for all their talk of “science” they certainly don’t comprehend the basic science behind the physical and mental differences between male and female species, and for the most part, these differences occur across all species.

    1. What does the word “fair” mean anyway? Can anybody define it?

      Ironically, I do know the word has it’s roots competitive markets, as in markets used the be called “fairs”, so the “fair” price became the price you could get for something “at the fair”. It’s ironic because today the dipshits think markets are the most unfair of all.

      1. What does the word “fair” mean anyway? Can anybody define it?

        Yes. When the sum of the odds of any game == 1.

  19. Seems to me the solution to all the problems mentioned is to not have men and women serve in the same platoon or whatever.

    Then let the feminazi’s lower standards all they want. If the all-female platoon ends up being less effective, you can send them on less critical missions. And you wouldn’t get any funny business or jealousy or any of that stuff.

  20. Reason needs to seriously unfuck a large swath of its writing staff who seem to be delusional at best but more than likely outright retarded.

    1. Reason is evolving into a leftwing organization.

      Soon they’ll be embracing that fuckstain’s liberal-tarian label and shortly thereafter they’ll be full on proglodytes.

  21. OFF TOPIC:

    List of banned weapons under Di-Fi’s bill:…..805173.jpg

    Amazingly, I don’t see the Springfield M1A on there. Or this little gem.…..crb-45-acp

    1. The main combat rifle in World War II is perfectly okay. It doesn’t have one of those scary flash protectors. If these people were not so dangerous, they would be funny.

      1. Flash suppressors.

    2. they banned a fucking 22 LR.

      1. Re: el Diablo Gigante,

        they banned a fucking 22 LR.

        Feinstein (or whatever lefty group that wrote that thing) wants to ban them. They haven’t banned them yet, and they probably will not prevail – there are more guns today than in 1994, and more satisfied users as well.

    3. Change the name of the Bushmaster to the Obamamaster.

      Problem solved.

  22. Combat soldiers are basically professional athletes. The game is “kill the other team.” Now, look at other pro sports. Women don’t compete directly with men because THEY CAN’T. Hell, most male athletes are no longer competitive by the time they hit 35 years old. That’s why you don’t see too many 45 year olds toting packs in the 120 degree desert heat. They can’t do it anymore either. Women don’t belong in infantry.

    1. ^^THIS^^

      Why don’t we mandate women compete in the NFL and NBA.

  23. Leaving aside the obvious physical differences between men and woman, one thing that hasn’t been talked about much is the difference in how female captives might be treated in relation to male captives. Most of the people the US has been fighting in the last 12 years don’t exactly follow the Geneva convention. Islamist militants don’t think very highly of women in general, and probably would think even less of a captive female marine.

    1. I’m betting on incessant sessions of gang-rape to the point of total nerve death and mental absence, followed by mutilation and resultant death, or just immediate execution.

      Great odds.

    2. If they don’t like the risks, they should stay out of the military.

      1. Not to be coy, but its not just about them. How many rape of captives would need to happen before A, the military reverted to having woman off the front line, or B, the country decided said war wasn’t worth fighting?

        1. Well the current war is already not worth fighting.

        2. B isn’t a problem. If the war isn’t worth fighting, then it isn’t worth fighting – if it is then it is.

          If the nation is turned off of a war because some of its soldiers are being tortured then maybe that war isn’t important enough to fight.

          1. Well I generally agree, and during my lifetime none of the wars the country has fought would rise to that standard, in the past the US has fought wars that were vital and still required keeping moral up.

            1. morale*

            2. Which ones – there’s only 1 war I know of in the 20/21st century where America’s existence was even slightly threatened – WWII. And that one had slavery (conscription) to ensure a steady supply of soldiers.

              In the AVM era there has been not a single conflict that both *needed* to be fought and where there was a shortage of volunteers to do so.

              1. WWII was what I was thinking of, but you could also count the war of 1812. But even with conscription during WWII the government still tried to keep morale up.

  24. Shouldn’t Bailey be writing an article about the morality of abducting women in shuttles and going Warp Ten so they can turn into Salamanders and have sex resulting in Salamander babies? Lo

    1. Isn’t that a bad episode of Star Trek Voyager?

      1. 90% of them qualify under than criterion.

        1. Ya I was right about to post a humorous fix but you ruined it.

        2. 110% would be the correct figure.

      2. THERE IS NO VOYAGER!!!!!

      3. There were good episodes of Star Trek Voyager?

      4. It is the episode that officially never happened (the showrunners retconned out of continuity). That’s how bad and absurd it was.

  25. There were girls on my wrestling team in high school that could kick all ya’ll asses. Join the fucking Marines if you think you have what it takes just because you are a man.

    1. I am sure there were. But that doesn’t say anything about the problems created by putting men in women in such close confines.

    2. For a mathematician, you sure seem to have missed the point.

    3. I really doubt it. I took several years of Tae Kwon Do, and while women were every bit as capable at it, they lacked the muscle and the mass to really be dangerous. A kick from a 130 lb woman is nowhere near as painful as a 200 lb man. And punches are almost laughable.

      That’s why they have weight classes in fighting, even among men.

      1. What about a 200 lb. woman? There are fit 200 lb women in the world.

    4. Yeah, we had a girl in my middle school who was more muscular than the dudes. She played football, beat the crap out of my buddy with a lacrosse stick and was a real hardass of a personality. I bet she could handle the frontlines better than most any dude I’ve ever met.

      1. She was a line”man” in football, by the way.

        1. Yes, outliers should always define the rule. Brilliant.

          1. No, but outliers prove why stereotyping a whole gender is not a great idea.

            1. How so? No one on this board is disputing the existence of outliers nor diminishing the accomplishments of physically exceptional women, but rather pointing out the effort and costs in finding and retaining such exceptions compared to the benefit in what can only be a small number of additional recruits who can meet standards in a cost-effective manner.

              1. I would agree that the average woman would probably not thrive on the frontlines. I would say the same about the average man. If the military does not believe a specific woman soldier is fit for the frontlines, they don’t have to send her there. That doesn’t mean there needs to be a blanket policy keeping women out of combat.

                1. THIS THIS THIS

                2. I would say the same about the average man.

                  That means the proportion of capable women:men is even smaller.

      2. I bet she’s a fatass now.

      3. Not to dispute that there are outliers, but the “middle school” part here makes me question whether the girl in question is one.

    5. That’s possibly true. It’s also entirely non-responsive to the concerns raised vis a vis the proposal.

    6. There were girls on my wrestling team in high school that could kick all ya’ll asses.


  26. One thing that seems to be left out is that once the ban is lifted it is not the women who will determine if they go into combat units, it will be the military. They call it the “needs of the military” and if the military needs riflemen then that is what you become no matter if you are a 100 lb women who wanted to be a supply clerk.

    So while the 1/1000 budding Zena Warrior Princess gets a spot in the infantry platoon, it also means that the rest of the women can be put in that same platoon if the military needs trigger pullers.

    1. But the same thing goes for men. Martin Short can get pulled from his cushy 01 job and thrown into an infantry platoon.

      There’s tons of men already in the military that wouldn’t make the grade for an infantry job.

      1. I am just saying from what I have seen on the news they seem to be talking more about women being able to choose combat duty when in fact its the military which chooses and now women have lost any protection from that. As usual the news media and the politicians don’t seem to realize the consequences of what they are talking about.

        1. Well too be honest, I don’t know how many men *choose* infantry MOS’s rather than get told they don’t qualify for anything else.

          Then the option is to put up or walk.

          1. Infantry guys have a surprising number of the “philosophical killer” type who has a 120 IQ, doesn’t want to go to college (or didn’t like it), and secretly wants to shoot a guy in the face and watch him die as a step along his journey to self actualization and a complete life.

            Now artillery gun bunnies (I’m a field artillery officer), they’re just straight dudes who didn’t qualify for anything else or were indifferent enough to get hustled by the recruiter toward his 13B quota.

          2. Yeah, and you’d be wrong and applying a stereotype. My Recon unit consisted of 30 of the brightest guys I’ve known. Still in touch with many of them. I and several others went on to MI and became Arab linguists. One went on to become an Apache pilot and on and on.

          3. Ask a Marine recruiter. The longest waits for enlistments are always for Infantry MOS. I ended up as a Radio Operator in the Infantry instead of a rifleman because I didn’t want to wait a year.

            1. I don’t doubt you statement one bit, but how things change. In the mid-/late-70s the marines were having to take people even the army wouldn’t take. The Marine Detachment shared the head with Weapons Repair Department on one of the ships I was one, as well as, I shared a house with a USMC corporal on the beach before I got married. I used to wonder how some of the jarheads fed themselves (thought the same of some of the sailors, especially in the Deck department).

  27. Now efforts are going to focus on how to adjust standards for women while still maintaining that standards are gender neutral. While I’d like to see equal opportunities for everybody, this is going to be a fiasco.

    1. This, for me, is the real threat from allowing women in combat.

      It is entirely possible that the current standards are more restrictive than they *need* to be, but we can afford them.

      I fear that by allowing women in, along with a culture that wants diversity for diversity’s sake, we’ll get the standards lowered just to get more women in to maintain demographic parity.

      1. I agree with this. If the standard is the same for both genders, and is not watered-down, I don’t think the number of women that would be in combat roles would be significant enough for any of these nightmare (potential) consequences to become problematic.

        1. That’s a good point.

      2. Do you know what you are talking about when you say “standards”? There are physical fitness standards which are very different for men and women but really don’t mean shit. I knew plenty of women who could outrun me in running shoes and shorts.

        Then there are the real job standards. A Marine Infantryman can speed march over 40 miles a day with a full combat load – then fight. And that is still an applicable standard. That I could do as well as anyone – even with a fucking boat anchor radio like the prc-77 in my pack.

        The 7th Marine Regiment infiltrated 40 miles into Kuwait on foot before the official ground war started in ’91. Infantry units are patrolling mountains on foot in Afghanistan right now.

        I’m sure the tankers and cannon cockers have similar real standards.

    2. The physical standards have never been gender neutral even in the non-combat arms units of the army. The Physical Training test, at least when I was I (84-91), had different standards for men and women on every requirement – push-ups, sit-ups and two mile run. Another example: jump school at Benning. Men had to perform 7 pull-ups, women had to hang for a certain amount of time.

      1. So make the standards equal.

        1. You seriously don’t know the Army do you? The whole point of the differing standards was to allow women into the army in larger numbers than would have been the case had they been held to the same standards.

          1. I’m well aware. The AF does the same thing. They justify their fitness standards as the minimum standards for an Airmen to be considered “healthy”, not these are the minimum fitness standards to do your particular job. Then they can justify having separate standards for men and women.

            To justify women in combat they need to implement standards to do a particular job (as it should have always been).

            Gut check. For both the military and for equal rights.

            I have no doubt both will fail.

            I’m arguing principle. You are arguing how it will actually turn out. If the Generals had a single hair on their collective asses, they’d grab a nut and implement this based upon principle.

  28. OT:

    Outdoor show that truckled to the gun banners forced to cancel following massive boycott and withdrawal of sponsors:

    1. I’ve been following this since the get-go, and find it funny that it’s now the nra’s boycott. The NRA was drug kicking and screaming into this fight. Also, the boycott would have ended if the sponsor would have just allowed “tactical” sport rifles to be displayed like they are every year.

      1. Eh, I think the NRA was trying to get the show to back down. From what I’ve read, there were negotiations along those lines. But then the show decided to double down on stupid, and now the big guns are coming out.

        The NRA is a heavyweight. You gotta be careful about punching down. Sooner or later, you’ll boycott or condemn someone who really doesn’t deserve it, and then you’re a bully.

        At this point, the SAF is the sword, the NRA is the shield. They can stop any new gun laws from being passed while the SAF systematically guts the federal gun control laws.

  29. OT: Rand Paul’s week keeps getting better.…

    1. Who is the hottie who keeps sitting behind Senator Paul? She was at the Benghazi hearings as well.

      1. I was wondering the same thing, I think the off-center shot is purposeful. She’s like the angel on his right shoulder, and that “What’s your fucking answer, John?” look steals my heart over the skimpiest SnorgTees sidebar ad.

        1. Maybe Rand puts her there to keep people’s attention? It is cspan after all. If thats the case its certainly working.

  30. “I was confident that I could find data that would show that women and men would perform equally well in combat, so I went looking for it.”

    I’m not sure how this could be a joke but I hope it is. Has Bailey never noticed any significant discrepancy between the physical capabilities of men and women?

    1. Zena the Warrior Princess never had any trouble kicking guys ass.

      1. Don’t forget Summer Glau.

    2. MR: What I was looking for was data showing the percent of women and men that could pass whatever physical threshold the military thought adequate for combat fitness – it turns out that the military actually does not report such data. This lack of transparency is worrisome.

      1. The military doesn’t report it because it would get a very hostile reception from their political bosses.

        I linked it once already, but this has some good leads on other studies.

      2. Ron,
        Just as every marine is a rifleman, every sailor is a firefighter. Damage Control, the collective term for firefighting and repairing damage that might sink the ship, is every sailor’s job and important whether the nation is a war or not. Navy ships are full of things that will burn or explode and then there is the whole keeping out the water thing (x2 on a submarine). Ships, even in a peace time navy, will try to kill you*.

        This is the best I could find in a quick google. I don’t know who this guy is that references the navy study on his web site: (see table midway down the web page). However, I do remember reading of the same study circa late-80s in the Navy Times, but only once. I believe no more references were made because it contradicts the politically correct party line.

        *I have spent more time in sickbay for industrial accidents than John Kerry did when he received three purple hearts.

        1. Fred Reed’s weekly column is always worth reading. If you doubt this realize he wrote a book named A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be.

      3. No, you said you were confidant that you could find data that men and women would perform equally well in combat. That rather suggests that you don’t believe there are differences between men and women or, if there are, they some how do not matter to combat performance.

        I think this is troubling as well, but for the opposite reason. The gap is so wide that this policy is laughable on its face.

  31. Most women in the army probably have more upper body strength that me 🙁

    1. Which means you have no business trying to join the army.

  32. There is an analogy to gays in the military. Above there is a post saying women may be sexually assaulted, or the moral could be affected by men thinking about the women. Then again, wouldn’t gays in the military have the same effect?

    At one point they didn’t want blacks in the military because they feared an uprising.

    1. What evidence is there that blacks don’t meet the standard or that they are not a large potential pool of cost-effective recruits?

      Marginal cost/benefit analyses can similarly be used for gays.

  33. To my surprise, I could uncover very little data comparing the physical capacities of female and male recruits.

    Well I’m no data-mining genius, but I’d bet the PT scores aren’t just numbers pulled out a hat.

    1. Having been in the military, I’d bet they were.

      1. +20 crunches counted as sit-ups

      2. Well maybe not a hat, but its another three letter word with an A in it.

      3. Having been in the military

        Air Force or Navy?

          1. never fails …

          2. Air Force, here. At least I had one of the fun jobs…

            1. never fails …

      4. I scored Excellent or Outstandings in every PT test I took, however if I’d been male those all would have been barely passing. I’ve always said there should only be one standard and if women can’t cut the mustard, they just get the fuck out.

  34. First of all, let’s get real–this decision has jack-shit to do with combat effectiveness and everything to do with politics. It’s a well-known fact that in the Army and Marines, it’s damn near impossible to make General unless you’ve had a combat command of some kind, and this will allow female officers who previously were limited to the intel/logistics/training path with that inside track. It’s a lot easier for a woman to make general in the Air Force because there’s so many support divisions of which they can be placed in charge.

    Secondly, I’d take this little piece of political theater more seriously if they were forcing women to register for the draft and raising their PT standards to those of men. But we all know the minute that happens, the graduation/retention rates for both officer and enlisted women would go through the floor.

    1. Yes, totally agree about selective service. That’s one of very few remaining gender-based legal restrictions and an utter crap one at that.

    2. Bingo, Rocks. There was even somebody saying this was a great idea because it would allow women to be The Big Boss. There will be quotas. There will affac. Standards will be lowered.

      People will die.

    3. Probably right – although I would hate to be in the platoon or company that gets saddled with some ambitious ring-knocker female lieutenant out to get her ticket punch.

  35. Nothing wrong with this idea except a few minor points:

    1) Opening combat positions to women + grievance/victimology industry = pressure for the equivalent of quotas for women in combat positions, at the expense of standards.

    2) Women in combat = no more rationale for the men-only draft, thus paving the way for drafting young women.

    3) Disruption due to the attraction between men and woman soldiers.

    4) A society where the men are no longer conditioned to be protective toward women in extreme situations = a desensitized and crueler society.

    1. It is amazing that women aren’t more worried about #4 than all the other crap combined.

  36. I’m a genius moment: to avoid the hany-panky problems, have the women serve only with other women and gay men. There problems solved no more screeching about how this will destroy the army.

    1. But what about gay women?

      1. And an attractive man being gay doesn’t mean he won’t be a distraction to straight women.

  37. As a combat infantry veteran, I can say this will be a disaster, as inevitably occurs whenever any leftist wet dream encounters reality. And serving in the military is not a right, so no, women are not “entitled” to combat specialties. Regardless of how many times they repeat it, the standards will absolutely not be equal. Just compare the PT test standards for the sexes; a maximum female score is a borderline failing grade on the male scoring scale.

    First, women are physically incapable of doing the job of an infantryman day in and day out. And it’s not just endurance and strength; it’s durability. Women are many times more susceptible to stress injuries. This will increase the individual burden on the male members of the unit, who will have to make up the difference. Infantrymen are already overloaded to the breaking point in combat (see this: the average infantryman approach march load for a 72-hour mission ranges from 127 to 148 lbs!).

    1. The army max run time for women right now can be pulled off if you’re a fast walker. I’m not kidding about that.

    2. There will be morale issues, psychological and emotional issues, readiness issues from venereal disease and pregnancies, medical and field hygiene problems, exorbitant additional medical costs, and logistical problems. Infantry units can be required to stay in the field in unsanitary conditions for literally months at a time; is birth control going to be mandated for women? To say that men and women work fine together in the civilian world, or even non-combat military professions, is irrelevant to an infantry unit in a combat zone, which has its own physical and mental stressors. And like most government actions, it will be impossible to reverse once its applied, no matter how much real world data shows it to be a spectacular failure.

      1. Support units are already doing this. Medical, MP, translator, supply, convoy security, artillery, flying combat missions – these units have already faced these problems and solved/adapted to them.

        Why would there be “exorbitant additional medical costs”?

        The only logistical stressor women have that men don’t is the need for a steady supply of tampons and vagisil.

        About 90% of the hygeine problems women have can be solved simply by getting them to wear cotton underwear and change their drawers regularly. Oh, and no make-up.

        Birth control doesn’t need to be mandated – its already available for free anyway (both condoms and the pill/injection).

        1. Support units are very different from frontline combat units.

          1. Uh, after the initial assault phase there isn’t a whole lot of difference between front-line combat unit and support. MP’s are still patrolling the same streets the infantry is. Supply is still running convoys.

            1. Someday we might fight a real war – and it will be with the army we have.

        2. Support units are not carrying out the infantry mission. For example, an MP unit garrisoned in a FOB that leaves the wire to conduct 12-hour convoy security missions is not equivalent to a rifle company in the field conducting combat operations out of patrol bases for six months.

          Some of those problems are already widespread in support units, but would be exacerbated in infantry units, and have real life and limb consequences in infantry units in combat. An example of an additional logistical burden would be CASEVAC for a pregnant female soldier or one who goes into toxic shock from wearing a tampon in the type of field conditions that infantry units regularly operate in. I refer to medical costs relative to those for male soldiers due to a greatly increased injury rate. For example, women are several times more likely to suffer stress fractures.

          1. For example, women are several times more likely to suffer stress fractures.

            [Citation required]

            1. Mr Anconia

              Two seconds of googling yields this:


              Musculoskeletal injuries are a serious problem for recruits participating in military training, but may be especially important for women. Prospective studies of military populations participating in different entry-level programs have consistently reported higher injury rates among women than men. In particular, estimates of stress fracture rates of 5-12% have been reported among women undergoing various entry-level military training programs, rates that are about twice as high as those reported for men undergoing the same training

              1. Thank you both.

          2. Here is a timely article on soldiers with unintended pregnancies. I’m reminded of the first time the Eisenhower sailed with a mixed gender crew and had to offload 15 pregnant sailors. Earning it the nickname “Love Boat”.


            1. Ways around this too. General Order #1. No sex in country. If you get knocked up, you are violating a direct order. Court martial offense. Condition of employment. The pill is dirt cheap.

              1. I can see Senator Feinstein’s reaction already when she finds out that one of her constituents is getting Captain’s Mast, let alone a CM, for getting pregnant. Orders, like threats and laws, that are not enforced are worse than useless.

    3. “. . .so no, women are not “entitled” to combat specialties. . .”

      They are entitled to equal treatment under the law however.

      1. So are old people.

        1. So, let ’em compete for infantry slots too.

          1. “Compete” being the operative term. And therein lies the problem.

      2. Up until they start bitching that they can’t meet the physical demands of the job and our pozzed-out republic caves in to their crying.

      3. Equal protection of the law, which seems irrelevant to me since our military is voluntary. It is no more discriminatory than preventing soldiers taller than 6’1″ from being tank crewmen.

    4. B: With due respect, the point of my blogpost was to cite data that supports your point (you may want to read the full report) – but if some women can meet the physical requirements then they should be allowed to serve in combat.

      1. but if some women can meet the physical requirements then they should be allowed to serve in combat.

        Ron, there wasn’t a policy preventing women from being “in combat.” There’s jobs that are classified as combat arms. The physical requirements for these jobs are the same as the others — you pass a very easy PT test to go to basic training. Most of the men are eventually able to meet the stricter physical standards for their combat arms jobs. Very few of the women will be able to do that, so there’s going to be a clusterfuck. Either they’ll be in limbo doing PT all day, moved to a different job (wasting a lot money along the way), or standards will be lowered. It’s inevitable.

      2. By “combat” you mean killing and possibly dying for the government’s wars.

        Combat is just a weaselly euphemism to disguise the actual nature of the act.

        By the way, i never knew someone could have a right to kill people on the other side of the world for some lame reason.

        Then again, this is not a libertarian site, is it?

  38. Isn’t the real question “will this make the military a better fighting force”? Will this help us win wars? The debate seems to be over whether it will only make the military a little less effective, or a lot less effective. If that’s the range of options, why do it at all?

    Assuming standards aren’t lowered, how does having a few out of a thousand of our frontline combat troops make the military more effective? And , of course, once you concede that standards will be lowered, then there’s no question at all that this will harm our ability to fight and win. And if you thinks standards won’t be lowered, well . . . .

    1. The debate seems to be over whether it will only make the military a little less effective, or a lot less effective. If that’s the range of options, why do it at all?

      That’s what we in the business call a rhetorical question.

      And with that RC Dean has summed up the thread, methinks.

    2. If that’s the range of options, why do it at all?

      The same reason as all the other progressive foolishness — either it works, more or less, and they’ll remind us till the end of times or (more likely) it doesn’t and opens the door for more social engineering they want anyways.

  39. Assuming standards aren’t lowered, how does having a few out of a thousand of our frontline combat troops make the military more effective?

    It doesn’t.

    How does allowing blacks to sit in the front of the bus make the bus lines more efficient?

    Am I at the right site? Where have all the libertarians gone?

    1. The military’s purpose is instrumental. It’s not an end unto itself and if it doesn’t achieve the means for which it is designed (protecting its client nation in the most humane way possible), then it is a failed institution — and the extent of failure is proportional to the extent to which the military is not an effective fighting force. Anything else (inclusivity, equality, etc) is a nice bonus.

      Voluntary society and individual rights are not instrumental (at least, not to deontological libertarians) — they’re a moral end unto themselves and should be the object of a good military’s defense. There is no ends that they are required to perpetuate in order to be justified.

      That’s the difference, IMO.

      1. Those in the military have no individual rights?

        Did you really just say that, or did I misinterpret?

        1. You misinterpreted. Members of the military have rights, but being part of every pool of applicants for every military job isn’t included in those rights any more than they are in the civilian world. Policy related to selecting pools of applicants should conform to and improve on the instrumental functions of the military — if women serving in front-line infantry improves on or doesn’t impair those functions, it should be encouraged or allowed, respectively.

          If it does the opposite, then a sense of fair play (which is different from an individual right) should give way to the aims for which the military was established.

          1. Agreed.

            How do you determine the net effect is going to be negative based upon the sex of the individual?

            Blacks are prone to sickle cell anemia, sickle cell anemia is a disqualifying disease, are you going to claim it right to disqualify all blacks from service on this basis. Of course not. You screen for SCA.

            Women are prone to be less physically capable…

            1. A lack of testosterone is more than a propensity, and it adversely impacts muscle development in a significant way. This affects almost every single woman. In contrast, the rate of sickle cell among African Americans is something like 1/4% and the viable AA recruitment pool for the military is huge.

              Women in the military is a good idea (though the double standards currently in place suck). Women in infantry, less so. Discrimination should not be hate-based or irrational, but it should be rationally employed where there is cause. IMO there’s cause when it comes to infantry based on the current science regarding physical and mental differences between men and women, and a rational basis for believing that mixed-gender units are less effective and that a female recruit (often for factors that have nothing to do with her individual performance or ability) will be more expensive to recruit, train, and maintain than an equivalent male. It is just as rational a reason as age cut-offs and medical disqualifications, and done for the same reasons. Yes, there are troglodytes who don’t want women in the military or have some irrational hatred for the opposite sex — suffice it to say, we only agree on this issue by accident and for very different reasons.

    2. “Am I at the right site? Where have all the libertarians gone?”

      Maybe they were never here?
      They certainly don’t seem to be among the writers’ ranks.

    3. Am I at the right site? Where have all the libertarians gone?

      Shut up, you cosmatarian piece of shit.

      1. Fuck off you immoral statist cunt.

  40. This experiment will last until we get in a real war. When you’ve got a division trying to escape Red Chinese hordes a’la Chosin Resevoir in the dead of winter, we will see how well this works – or doesn’t.

    And there are interesting ethical conundrums at work here: What happens to women POWs? Not so fun in the Hanoi Hilton getting passed around by the guards.

    All this social tinkering with the military by a clown posse with not a year of uniformed service to their credit, led by a fool who’s never even fired a gun. The People’s Liberation Army celebrated today.

    1. Yeah, the PLA has found the right moment to unleash their secret plan to conquer the United States … lmfao

      1. That joke would have worked in 1949 too.

    2. The PLA should get back to failing to effectively occupy a bunch of Tibetan monks.

      1. If/when we get into a fight with the PLA it could go something like this:

        I don’t think having a bunch of women around would improve our chances in a contest like that one – actually I think it would be a drawback on net. But enjoy laughing your ass off.

        1. China doesn’t have the ability to carry out and sustain an invasion and occupation of most Latin American countries, let alone the US. It will be decades, if not longer, before the PLA could pose a credible offensive threat to the US. And that’s not even accounting for if/why the Chinese would ever want to do that, or the massive nuclear stockpile of the US. And honestly, if the US was ever invaded by China, a country of over one billion people, I think we would be desperate for any available person to send into battle.

          1. The Chinese were far less powerful than they are today, had no nuclear weapons, and yet we found ourselves in a war with them, right? Nobody invaded anybody either, unless you count the poor Koreans.

            Who cares if the Chinese can invade the United States or not? Nazi Germany never had that capacity, nor the Soviet Union. And the proverbial “enemy” doesn’t have to be the PLA – they are just a handy example of a competent potential opponent. And it speaks to my original point: The social tinkering with the military will last until we actually get in a real war where winning is not tactically assured.

            1. You’re right that our government will probably get us into a stupid war that has nothing to do with our national defense at some point against someone a little more powerful than Iraq and Afghanistan. My point is that there really is no legitimate reason why to get in a war (especially a land war) with China or a nation of comparable strength any time in the foreseeable future. I think the goal of our foreign and military policy should be to defend the country. If a foreign country is not a threat to invade, then there better be a damn good reason why we are going to war with them – and I don’t think there will be any such reason to go to war with China, Russia, etc in the foreseeable future. Given our government, that doesn’t guarantee we won’t get into stupid wars anyways

      2. The PLA should get back to failing to effectively occupy a bunch of Tibetan monks.

        The PLA overran Tibet, kicked India’s ass two years later in the same neighborhood, and is presiding over the slow demographic obliteration of the Tibetan people, and has ‘effectively’ done that for the past fifty-four years.

        1. “Kicked India’s ass” is both a minimal accomplishment and an exaggeration. The logistics involved in the Tibetan campaigns and occupation were not insignificant, but otherwise the achievement of overrunning a rabble of medieval peasantry is less than impressive.

          Not saying that women in combat is a good idea, but China is, at best, a very long-term threat in this scope.

          1. Not saying that women in combat is a good idea, but China is, at best, a very long-term threat in this scope.

            Rare do folks see the next war coming, I have no idea who the next opponent of the USA is. And given our political clowns, it could be Canada.

            But the Chinese – and the PLA specifically – are a great example of a proverbial competent opponent, and that’s my point.

  41. What happens to women POWs?

    They get raped, just like the men.

    1. *Just* like men? I don’t remember hearing that anyone at the Hanoi Hilton got raped. I suspect that I would have if there had been female POWs there.

      1. a. Who cares, that’s their (the woman’s) decision, not yours.

        b. Pretty sure I’d rather take a dick in the ass than be cut or have bones broken.

        c. Not sure how prevalent in Vietnam, but you think male POWs have never been sodomized?

  42. I think if a woman can PROVE herself capable, then why not!

    1. what do you mean “IF”?

  43. Since no chivalrous or worthy foe would strike a woman, this should give us a tactical edge wherever we find ourselves opposing chivalrous and worthy foes.

    Oh, never mind.

  44. I thought the most important thing to libertarians was liberty. So why is it that nearly every time I read an article in Reason, it includes a demand that we prostrate ourselves to the God of Equality?

    1. Totally agree. Many of the Ayne Rand followers are the same…they carry the libertarian mantle right off the cliff to anarchy.

    2. Because Reason is egalitarian, not libertarian.

      It is much more concerned in peddling P.C. egalitarian hogwash that will keep them endeared to liberals, while simultaneously pretending that liberty really is their goal, so as not to distance non-PC libertarians from them TOO much.

  45. Meh. This whole issue will be moot as soon as the FedGov collapses under the weight of its own indebtedness.

  46. 1) How will American society at large handle their “girls” coming home in body bags? I’m skeptical they will tolerate it at the same level as the “boys” coming home in body bags.

    2) Will female recruitment drop? Yes women can currently be deployed to some very dangerous situations, but if they know there is a chance they could be sent to an infantry unit, will they back out? I’m guessing some will not want to risk being captured and likely brutally assaulted.

    3) Will the progressives throw a hissy fit if the DOD mandates that women in combat roles be on birth control? But hey, at least it would be free (to them).

    4) I’m all for blind testing. Set a standard for the job, and then anyone regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation who passes qualifies. Just don’t lower the standard.

  47. I want to extend my congratulations to egalitarian “libertarian” (cough) Ronald Bailey.

    Finally he can whoop and holler as BOTH men and women now get to invade other countries and shoot brown people for the interests of the American government.

    Surely, gender equality in committing evil is a step in the right direction.
    You can always count on writers at Reason Magazine to understand where priorities lie in achieving freedom.

  48. If you’re cheering this “progressive” attitude, you are cheering for women to die in combat.

    1. Ronald Bailey believes there is nothing wrong in killing and dying for the government’s wars.

      But at least 50% of those dying should be women. That’s only fair.

    2. Yu are cheering for US soldiers of both sexes to die in combat so people like Bailey can feel better about themselves.

  49. It’s already clear how this is going to go down. Right now, the only physical “standard” (in the sense that regulation requires it) for Army infantry is a 180 on the PT test, which is the same as the rest of the Army (a few elite units actually have higher minimums, but not the regular infantry). Of course, a 180 for women is already based on a ridiculously easier scale. In fact, though, no one gets anywhere in the infantry unless he has a 300 PT score (on the male scale) and can do a number of common physical training tasks (fireman carry another soldier 100 yards, ruck 150 lbs 15+ miles, etc.). None of these are official “standards” because they aren’t required in a regulation, but they are de facto enforced by washing out soldiers that can’t meet them (or learn to meet them). Once women are introduced, they will be held to only meet the official standard of 180 PT test (on the female scale), and commanders will be pressured if they try to wash them out for not meeting the unofficial standards (which virtually no woman alive can do).

    I saw an interview of a former female colonel and a former male infantry marine on the news yesterday, and when the marine brought up the fireman’s carry, the colonel questioned whether that was really a “standard.” It’s clear where it’s going.

    1. Forget the Fireman’s carry. How about the rifle and pack carry?

      A female Marine who cannot keep up on a march or patrol will simply not be accepted as a member of a unit. If other Marines have to carry the gear assigned to her or do her job for her, it will be worse – they will actively try to get her hurt or thrown out. She will be a pariah.

      When a platoon of infantry Marines is led by a woman physically incapable of leading them, they will not respect her and, since she won’t be in the field with them, they will mock and ignore her whenever possible.

  50. My opinion on the matter can be summed up thus:

    Remember the D-day scene from Saving Private Ryan? Remember seeing all the men huddled up in the transport boats, some literally scared to incontinence? Remember how many of them got mowed down almost as soon as the transport boats doors opened? Remember seeing the man cut entirely in two, his guts strewn about, his last words simply crying for his mother? Remember seeing sights of warfare so intense, it brought the actual veterans of WWII to tears? What kind of person sees such a scene of total human carnage and thinks, “How can I get in on that?”

    I say this not as someone who thinks women in combat would hurt readiness, but as someone who thinks war is not healthy for anyone, and that we should have less people in combat not more. Not to mention that all stories I see and hear about this issue only mention the benefits the women would be entitled to for being in combat, not the maiming, the PSTD, and having to deal with the terrible VA system that comes with it. What kind of society have we become when people not only want to go into the kill or be killed meat-grinder, but we applaud them when they do?

    1. I agree with you…and another thing, why do outsiders get to decide how one government agency functions, when mistakes within said agency result in massive deaths, but any outsider (aka private citizen) who criticizes any other government department is a racist right-wing extremist?

      I guess putting people’s lives in jeopardy by telling them to make their already dangerous jobs harder is just not as bad as questioning how someone is spending your hard-earned money. Priorities.

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