Military

Women Can Assume All Combat Roles in U.S. Military, Despite Marine Corps Objections

Gender equality arrives on the battlefield.

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lockheedmartin19/Flickr

The Pentagon announced Thursday that it will, for the first time, allow women to assume all combat roles in the U.S. military. "There will be no exceptions," Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said at a news conference announcing the change, which negates a 1994 rule restricting women from artillery, armor, infantry, and other combat roles (at least officially; female soldiers often wound up in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan).  

"As long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before," said Carter. This includes participating in front-line combat positions and serving as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALS, Marine Corps infantry, and Air Force parajumpers, jobs that were previously only open to men. 

As J.D. Tuccille noted last December, support from active-duty armed forces personnel for opening at least some combat-jobs to women increased from 34 percent in 2011 to 41 percent in 2014, while opposition dropped to just 28 percent. 

The decision to open all combat positions to qualified women—which comes following a three-year review—was supported by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Operations Command. Only the Marine Corps requested some exemptions, which Carter denied. 

"Carter said he overruled the Marines to open all combat positions to women because the military should operate under a common set of standards," The New York Times reports. 

The Marine Corps has long held concerns that integrating women into combat units could erode morale in all-male platoons and lead to increased sexual tension that would undermine fighting capability. But a Marine Corps study made public by a women's advocacy group this week found that after months of testing mixed-gender combat units, troops reported morale equal to that of all-male groups and higher than noncombat integrated groups.

In addition, the study found sexual assault levels no higher than in the Marines as a whole.

Nancy Duff Campbell, co-president of the National Women's Law Center, praised the announcement. "It's a thrilling day for women serving in the military — and for women across the country," she said. "We applaud today's announcement that knocks down the last remaining official barrier to women's military service and ensures the full integration of women into all military jobs, positions and units."

The Pentagon began lifting its ban on women in combat roles in 2013, under then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. The restriction was "seen as increasingly out of place during a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan in which women were increasingly in harm's way,"  Reuters notes.  

The first three women to enlist in the Marines' physically-demanding infantry course graduated in 2013; they had volunteered as part of a study on opening ground combat jobs to women. The three graduates were part of an initial group of 15, the rest of whom left the program voluntarily or were injured during the course.

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  1. As long as they can pass the exact same standards then this is as it should be.

    The problem is going to come when some special snowflake can’t pass those standards and makes a stink about it because she thinks the standards are sexist

    1. Already there.

    2. The issue will be years down the road when someone looks and says, “Whoa… there are only 3 women for every 10 men who are making it into combat roles! Combat roles are critical to high-level military advancement! Patriarchy!”

      1. You think it is going to be three women for every ten men? More like three for every 100 or 1,000 men.

        1. At the very most. Most women don’t have the bone mass or the muscle mass, or the capability to build such, that a line combat man has. That’s just the reality of our biology, and the rare exceptions will be quite rare. I’d lean towards the 3 in 1,000 for frontline units like Marine Corps combat platoons, and more like 3 in 10,000 for any of the Special Forces.

    3. There are also going to be fraternization issues. Getting pregnant conveniently close to deployment date issues. Makes in unit doing tactiticall stupid things to save female comrade issues.

      There are a lot issues besides the big one of mean physical strength capabilities.

      1. That’s an issue that is old hat in the military.

        1. Yes, but previously combat arms units didn’t need to assume they’ll have to replace 20% of their assigned females. Now they do.

    4. Pretty much, they’ll never hold women to the same physical standards as men and the marines know it. Thankfully we are getting farther away from muscle based war power. Hopefully we’ll keep heading in that direction and all this won’t matter.

      1. Thankfully we are getting farther away from muscle based war power.

        Actually, if we’re talking about the infantry (and it applies too for artillery and armor) we aren’t. Google the combat load we expect soldiers to carry these days. It’s ridiculous, something on the order of 80 to 140 pounds, depending on specialty and the nature of their operations. This study’s from 2003, but conveys just what a bitch, infantry operations are on the human body.

        The load breaks down twenty-something men all of the time. What chance does a woman have of performing these tasks through a typical enlistment?

        1. What chance does a woman have of performing these tasks through a typical enlistment?

          With or without shuffling off some of the load to her male companions?

        2. In a decade or two, they will all be wearing exoskeletons that will do the heavy lifting.

    5. Just like the fire departments now, soon they’ll be called “war-watchers” (or something a bit more clever)

    6. The standards for any elite unit is to be among the best of people tested. Women will never be that. That’s why they want static test that theoretically some women could pass given the right diet and exercise regime. Although in combat that regime will be unavailable and biological reality will take over.

  2. Women Can Assume All Combat Roles in U.S. Military

    As well they should.

    1. The girl stood on the burning deck ….

      Results of a Navy test to see how well women perform in damage control tasks necessary to save ships and sailors in combat:

      TEST
      % WOMEN FAILING % MEN FAILING
      BEFORE & AFTER TRAINING BEFORE & AFTER TRAINING
      Stretcher carry, level 63 38 0 0
      Stretcher carry/up, down ladder 94 88 0 0
      Fire hose 19 16 0 0
      P250 pump, carry down 99 99 9 4
      P250 pump, carry up 73 52 0 0
      P250, start pump 90 75 0 0
      Remove SSTO pump 99 99 0 0
      Torque engine bolt 78 47 0 0

      1. This is nothing more then a social engineering experiment by a class of people whose sons and daughters will never serve.

  3. One year left to fuck up everything as much as possible.

    So now Marine Infantry and Armor instructors have to learn how to toss women out of the course in a compliant way. Great use of time and resources.

    1. Angry yokel is angry, and unsupported by the evidence.

      1. So, what military is it you are currently a member of again?

        1. The objectivist militia – peikoff division.

          They march into battle with cigarettes in cigarette holders jauntily sticking out of the right side of their mouths, with their keyboards at left-shoulder arms.

      2. Your experience in the Canadian Army informs you that standards won’t be lowered?

  4. Gender equality arrives on the battlefield.

    Actually, it hasn’t.

    Because I can guarantee you there are military specialties that – with the exception of the occasional outlier – women lack the physical strength/stamina to needed to function at current minimal standards.

    And once it becomes clear that 100% of women are failing at getting into those specialties, there will be political pressure to alter the standards.

    So political equality has arrived – maybe. But actual equality is unachievable.

    1. It’s like they think all women are characters played by that one angry Latina in every movie.

      1. Hudson: Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?

        Vasquez: No. Have you?

      2. It’s like they think all women are characters played by that one angry Latina in every movie.

        Or they’ve seen the end of the movie where a woman in a P-5000 Caterpillar loader chucks the monster out of the airlock.

        1. Power armor is a least a decade or two away.
          And it squashes your boobs.
          And smells like ass.

          1. In all honesty, powered armor will probably have to be fitted to the individual user to be effective.

    2. As I said below, it’s not really about physical fitness. There are plenty of highly fit women in the military (and some hogs, too, but we won’t get into that now). The problem is that physiology means that women’s bodies aren’t designed to withstand the kind of pounding that the infantry requires. At least, infantry as American military goes. Someone else mentioned the Israeli Carcal Battalion, which is fine, but their role is not equivalent to an American rifle company and the demands put on them are lighter.

      And the last thing the world needs is a female cannon cocker. That job is pure brawn. Try loading 155 she’ll all day long.

      1. Oddly, one of the few female soldiers I know is an artillery officer. Don’t know how much of a gun bunny she is, or ever was. AFAIK, she’s good at her job.

        I agree with your points, and mentioned Caracal mainly to point out to Cytotoxic that, despite the IDF’s propaganda (including pictures of hot IDF chicks), they really don’t do integration of females in ground combat formations.

        That link’s probably NSFW, if you couldn’t tell by the title.

  5. They won’t pass the exact same standards. They already don’t.

    The standards will be lowered to ensure that a sufficient number of women pass. There’s already bitching about the fact that women can’t pass Marine IOC, yet have 35 percent or so of them that pass the enlisted SOI. This, in an cost-cutting environment where the military is trying to go through a drawdown in personnel.

    How does adding women to combat arms enhance the lethality or reduce the cost of the military? And if it does neither of those things, then why are we doing it? So more female officers can finally make flag rank?

    1. Women consume less food and stuff.

      1. Not when they’re stressed they don’t.

    2. They’ll use their words on the enemy.

      1. “We need to talk….”

        1. Well said.

    3. The “General Dempsey Rule” will shortly be in effect:

      “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”

  6. Standards will be lowered assurances to the contrary.

  7. The Kurds do it and I am pretty sure the IDF does it. There is no reason the US military cannot.

    1. The IDF places nearly all of its female infantry in one or two, nearly entirely female units. They tried largely coed formations earlier in their history, and found they sucked. Caracal, from what I’ve read, does fine in its job as border patrol. I don’t think the IDF took them with it when they went up against Hez in 2006. Good thing, as the fight against Hezbollah was tougher than they thought.

      Also, Israel actually has a manpower shortage. Hence conscription and utilizing women. The U.S. doesn’t. I haven’t looked at the Pesh, but I’m guessing manpower problems have a bit to do with their utilizing women as well.

      1. The Peshmerga is also very light infantry. They barely even have mortars, and they sure as hell don’t hump big ass packs and body armor.

    2. Can’t speak for the Kurds, but the IDF does exclude women from certain roles.

      (I’m not sure if emulating the Kurds or the IDF is really a goal worth striving for at any rate, so whether the US can seems irrelevant.)

      1. Thought they changed that Tak in 2000. Legally anyway. Though I’d be surprised if any women made it into a Sayeret in a direct action role. Probably quite a few in an intelligence gathering or other support function for them though.

        1. http://www.washingtontimes.com…../?page=all

          “The Israeli Ynet news service last week reported that the IDF studied the suggestion of women in tanks and rejected the idea based on physical shortcomings compared with men. Ynet also said the study found as problematic putting men and women in the intimate close quarters of a tank for days at a time.”

          “The Times of Israel said the IDF provided a statement that read, in part, that the “possibility of opening additional combat positions to girls is being tested all the time.” As of today, “infantry and the armored corps were ruled out for women.””

        2. This line stuck out too:

          “Retired Maj. Gen. Yiftach Ron-Tal is one of the IDF’s most prominent figures. He was top commander of all IDF land forces in 2006.

          He supported moving women into direct land combat but in 2011 announced a change of heart, based partly on increased injury rates.”

          1. but in 2011 announced a change of heart, based partly on increased injury rates.”

            Which is what should kill the idea here of integrating females into ground combat arms. I’m surprised the IDF didn’t just go with all-female tank crews, although their availability rate would’ve was probably abysmal if they had to do all of the maintenance themselves. Never done it, known people who have, and they tell me breaking track is a physically demanding, cast iron bitch. Bonus points for doing it in shitty weather.

            “Something, something, fucking Wildflecken, something.”

      2. It is also a bit easier to deploy lighter infantry in a defensive situation where the battle field is a few hundred yards from your home and a few hundred feet from your ammo depot

    3. And plenty of African warlords use children in combat, too! When will we join the modern world?

    4. Showing my ignorance of Kurdistan here, but do they have anything resembling a real military?

      The IDF always struck me as a glorified police force.

  8. Great! So this means chicks are going to have to register for the draft now, right?

    Can’t wait to see the outcry when even extremely fit women’s bodies start breaking down from the fact that being a grunt is a really hard, physically destructive job. Very few of them will last more than a couple of years before they either collect a medical discharge or lat move into a non-combat MOS. Hell, just in boot camp you could see that a good chunk of every 4th Battalion female platoon would be straggling behind the formation on crutches or light duty.

    1. I’m hoping it means draft registration will be abolished altogether. If it stays, though, it is hard to see how it would survive a civil rights lawsuit.

      1. “it is hard to see how it would survive a civil rights lawsuit.”
        Never underestimate how stupid judges can be.

    2. Welcome to Selective Service, bitches. I think I’m nearly aged out. Is it 38?

    3. Great! So this means chicks are going to have to register for the draft now, right?

      **Slowly Waves hand** These are not the Equalities you are looking for”

  9. What I really want to know is, “Do drones have a gender that I can discriminate against?”

    1. Drones are always male.

  10. You know, I haven’t seen G.I. Jane in a long time.

    1. Is that the movie she made so no one would say Showgirls was her worst performance?

      1. DON’T TALK SHIT ABOUT SHOWGIRLS

        It’s a camp masterpiece by Verhoeven. I mean, can you go wrong with a Verhoeven/Eszterhas combo?

        Also, Demi Moore was not in Showgirls, you cretin.

      2. Wrong stripper movie.

        1. I was wondering what the hell everyone was talking about.

        2. Whatever. Stripper movies never manage to capture the true nature of girls putting themselves through nursing school and making ends meet through vice without losing their heart of gold.

      3. “Striptease” was actually a very funny movie when Moore wasn’t on screen. One reviewer described the film along the lines of “the other actors realize they’re in a comedy, Moore thinks she is in a Lifetime movie”.

    2. Why did you ever see it in the first place?

      1. Because I was interested?

        1. But why? Got a thing for skinhead chicks?

          There is no convincing me that it wasn’t terrible. 13 year old me has spoken, and I refuse to correct him. A similar line of thought is why I will never see Titanic.

          1. Skinhead chicks have some hair, actually. They somehow manage to look worse than just shaving it all.

    3. Why was that entire film shot with the fucking lights off?

  11. Interesting discussions happen when discussing Bridge. Apparently there are more women players than men, but the top players in the world are almost exclusively men. Now the “why” of that is hard to unravel (one theory is that basically in everything there are more male outliers on both the high and low ends), but in any event it’s not hard to imagine women not being generally as adept at combat as men, even excluding any physical differences.

    That said, I’d find it hard to believe that “none” is the correct answer when it comes to the question of how many women could be effective and valuable combat troops. “Not many” seems like it could possibly be a reasonable answer though.

    1. “Not many” isn’t a very good filter when you’re going to invest a lot in training.

    2. If “most” is the correct answer to how many woman could be a ineffective and harmful combat troops, then why take a chance on introducing any? Should we be playing games with military effectiveness just so nobody has the bad feels?

      1. No, I just think that if women can pass well designed but tough standards, they should be allowed. Not only is it “fair” but probably beneficial as well. Talent is talent and more is always good.

        Now if it’s not practical to do so without wasting a ton of money and resources (or at least a ton more than normal), well okay. But I find that hard to believe as well.

        1. You’re thinking about this from a white collar perspective. “Talent is talent.” Even the women who appear physically and mentally talented are going to break down at much greater rates than men. They’re going to get pregnant and be useless for months. They’re going to be clustered at ‘barely physically able’ at the beginning so they’ll be much less likely to make NCO.

          1. I don’t think the question is necessarily will women perform all of the same roles at all of the same levels as men in combat, I think the question is “are there at least a few women capable of serving valuable combat roles?” And my guess would be “yes, there probably are.” Finding ones that can, but also want to may be harder.

            I dunno. I don’t think the problem is solved by a blanket ban on women in combat. Even if that might be “for the best,” I doubt it’s politically tenable at this point. So a better idea might be one where you proactively try to find the right solution to avoid getting politically steamrolled into the wrong one.

            IOW, you’d want a solution that rather than tries to minimize the massive differences between men and women, one that acknowledges it and tries to work around it as best as can be achieved. How realistic that is, I don’t really know.

            1. So a better idea might be one where you proactively try to find the right solution to avoid getting politically steamrolled into the wrong one.

              IOW, you’d want a solution that rather than tries to minimize the massive differences between men and women, one that acknowledges it and tries to work around it as best as can be achieved. How realistic that is, I don’t really know.

              If you’re talking about all-female units that’ll be combat arms without hilariously huge rucks, that sounds great in the abstract. It sounds good as far as the Army and Marines implementing it. But politically, I don’t think that’s what this push is really about. Could be wrong.

              1. I personally don’t know. But I do know from other lines of work that at some point you have to stop pushing back against something that’s going to happen whether you like it or not, and transition to trying to push the inevitable in a way that you can kinda sorta live with.

                People with substantial amounts of political power want this and want it badly (I think the article makes that abundantly clear). It might make more sense to hop on board and give it to them in a way that isn’t “badly.” Now maybe the strategy might be to push back publicly, while privately using the bought time to devise ways to implement the right compromise. Again, I dunno.

                1. Well said.

  12. a 1994 rule restricting women from artillery, armor, infantry, and other combat roles (at least officially; female soldiers often wound up in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan).

    The parenthetical doesn’t make any sense. Women were restricted to non-combat jobs, but they were still in the military in a war zone.

  13. Okay, I’ll play along. Let’s assume, all evidence to the contrary, that physical standards aren’t being lowered. Are the women who can pass going to pass at the same average level as the men, or are they barely scraping by? Because if they’re barely scraping by, that means that the effectiveness of their units will decrease. Which means more body bags, and that’s a hell of a price to pay for being stylish.

    1. Are the women who can pass going to pass at the same average level as the men

      No.

      Because if they’re barely scraping by, that means that the effectiveness of their units will decrease.

      Probably no more than having men who barely scrape by.

      1. Probably no more than having men who barely scrape by.

        Not quite true, due to statistical oddities. If you have a selection of men who try to do A, and 60% of them pass, then there will be a quite a few of them who are above just scraping by. But now, if you have a selection of women do it, and only 10% pass, then odds are most of those 10% who passed were really just scraping by.

        Now, if you only take 100 people altogether into the group who did A, the average level will likely be somewhat lower if you have women and men together, rather than just men.

        (This is not to show that it’s a bad idea to integrate the armed forces. There are many other much better reasons not to do that…)

        1. Very true.

          I just don’t know what the makeup of women in combat roles will ultimately be. For instance, if you had a unit of 100% women pitted directly against units of 100% men, it’s reasonable that the men will prevail most of the time.

          A good non-life threatening test would be to mix males and females in professional sports.

          I can say that anecdotal evidence suggests teams with a larger female mix pitted against teams with a larger male mix will get killed. Happened to my nephew’s soccer team. They played against a mixed team of boys and girls and routed them. The parents and coach of the mixed team complained, of course, that the whole thing was unfair and sexist.

          1. I should have added that a unit of 100% women who passed under the same standards as a unit of 100% men.

          2. Your nephew’s soccer team?

            Try putting some women in the NFL, NBA, or MLB – the difference would actually be life-threatening.

          3. A good non-life threatening test would be to mix males and females in professional sports.

            Cyclist Carmen Small rode the North Star Grand Prix this year with the men because there was no women’s race this time around. She was on the form of her life and her goal in the race was to finish it within the time limit.

            http://www.cyclingnews.com/new…..wz-racing/

            1. Carmen Small to race men’s North Star Grand Prix with Elbowz Racing

              ‘What do I have to lose? If anything, I have a lot to gain’

              Exactly. If she shows poorly, hey, she was riding against men. If she shows well…

              1. She did well to finish, though that is pretty much never the point of a professional bike race.

                The purpose is either to win or to help your teammate win (or win something). Yet her purpose was just to finish.

                Why was that her goal? Because pro cyclists aren’t idiots and they know what power they can produce and for how long. It’s pretty likely she was the weakest rider there, though some men dropped out when the crashed or got sick. She was winning a bunch of women’s races but was on the lowest tier of the men.

                It’s cool that this happened, but it just goes to show the differences in physical prowess of men vs. women. She wasn’t even riding with the best men in the world as they would have been riding in Europe at the time!

              2. So according to Cycling News, Carmen Small is a “world class road racer and time-triallist”, who is “at the top of her game in road racing”.

                The North Star Grand Prix is a 6-stage men’s event in which only a handful of riders would be considered professionals, and virtually none would have been competitive in an international competition.

                She finished 72nd out of 80.

          4. A couple years ago the Women’s National Soccer team, played the Under-17 boys national team. The final score was 8-2. A tweet from Heather Mitts:

            “My horse wasn’t as fast as my opponents today. #demoralizing”

      2. So when do you ship out?

  14. The difference between men and women.

    My wife will work her ass off to maintain a reasonable level of fitness.
    I on the other hand am more or less a couch potato when it comes to activity level. The extent of my training is I take walks with the wife once or twice a week, and mow a small lawn when the grass gets tall enough.

    Our vacations are rather physical. When we go on a vacation I carry our 3 year old in a backpack, the camera, and other necessities (jackets, snacks, etc) up and down mountains, and the wife carries a liter of water.

    Despite carrying an additional 20% to 25% of my body weight that I don’t normally tote around, I often find myself waiting on her. Why? Cause she’s an average female and average females just don’t have the same strength and endurance potential. Nothing wrong with that we’re just from head to toe made differently. Blame biology.

    1. Blame biology.

      Sexual dimorphism is a tool of the patriarchy.

  15. In my 10 years between the Marines and the National Guard I saw it all. Women Marines arrested for prostitution in during Desert Shield, women getting pregnant weeks before a deployment, females seriously injured during the most basic of infantry exercises, dropping out of runs, and above all – avoiding marches 100% of the time.

    The last day of MCT (the first half of Infantry school) we march 40 miles on a blistering hot North Carolina day. During Desert Storm we were next to the 7th Marine units who marched into Kuwait at night prior to the start of the Ground War – carried all their gear ammo and food for a week.

    I seriously do not believe that there is 1 woman is 500 who could survive in the Fleet on a mortar team. The ones that make and those who come close and fail will have permanent damage to knees and hips.

    I’ll leave this oldie but goodie.

    http://www.heretical.com/miscella/frcombat.html

    1. I seriously do not believe that there is 1 woman is 500 who could survive in the Fleet on a mortar team. The ones that make and those who come close and fail will have permanent damage to knees and hips.

      It might not be, and that will be the ultimate test of this policy. If we keep the standards the same and only 1 in 500 women can pass, what will be the temptation to lower the standards?

      1. Seriously? The 499 women who got flunked out – many of them in the hospital.

        You think the political commissars who run the military will allow that? I just hope it’s purely voluntary for women and they aren’t throwing female enlistees with open contracts into combat schools just to watch them flounder.

        1. Indeed, I see no reason this won’t end up like every other realm of life: first: “why aren’t women allowed in?”; second: “why aren’t there more women here? At least 40% should be women”; and third and finally: “My, this is so tough for women (who cares how tough it is for men though), let’s make it easier (for women at least).”

          “I just hope it’s purely voluntary…”
          Why should it be any more voluntary than it is for men?

  16. Carter said he overruled the Marines to open all combat positions to women because the military should operate under a common set of standards

    Ooh-frikkin-Rah, I guess the other branches are jealous of how awesome Marines are in general. After all, all other branches have to go through Combat training before becoming cooks, clerks, and mechanics… right?

    1. Who would know better, the Commandant of the Marine Corps or a bureaucratic douche who has spent zero days in uniform?

      1. This is nothing more then a social engineering experiment by a class of people whose sons and daughters will never serve.

    2. If they operate under the same standards, does this mean that USAF recruits will go through USMC boot camp?

      1. Hey, are you going to let logical consistency come between you and your goal?

        Extremist!

      2. And honestly, without genetic engineering, there will be a very few outliers who can pass USMC officer training (in one of the linked articles, the first female class went 0 for 29). These types of training are meant to be ridiculously challenging to very fit males, and will probably hurt a lot of women who could even pass Boot Camp. Most combatant role women ought to be for the Air Force and Navy (many roles shipboard, and at Air bases, don’t require the same physical strength and endurance as front line infantry). Because disparate impact is going to raise its ugly head (if nothing else, it’ll be a way for the Dems to continue a “War on Women” narrative), the standards will have to be lowered.

  17. I predict the main effect of this will be more complaints and calls to do something because there will never be equality of outcomes

    1. Don’t forget “rape epidemics”!

    2. Rejoice, though, “a study” found that all this trouble does not affect soldiers.

  18. On topic, and extra thanks to Gilmore for introducing me to the Great War Youtube channel:

    What woman in combat can be

    In the next war, there were females fighting with the Partizan movement, too. USSR had some women in combat formations, too (not “just” as medics or snipers). Difference, of course, is that
    a) for many, it was fight or die
    b) any of those women could probably break today’s applicants in half (I’m sure there’s an exception or two, but damn, if you watch the video, how many men would be able to do all that?)

  19. I realize Kratman is a dirty word around here, but he wrote about this is A Desert Called Peace series (The Amazon Legion).
    If we absolutely must have women in full combat roles, then probably should have them in all women units. My guess (although in all fairness, my experience is as a Naval Officer, not a ground pounder) would be at the battalion level. Enough independence that they won’t always be having to fight alongside men (and thus have to carry the same infantry loads, etc.), but can still rely on the infrastructure at the brigade level.

    1. Kind of what the Israelis did. Shoved all the women who insisted on a combat role into one Regiment, then put the Regiment on the quietest part of the border.

      1. Yep! Now look, when the enemy is literally at the gates, then EVERYBODY has to pick up a weapon, including my sons (13, 11 and 9). And so in 1948, when Israel declared independence and all of the Arab armies invaded, it was either fight and possibly die in combat, or not fight and (for women) get raped and die.

        But until that point, we must recognize reality. There absolutely can be a place for women in combat if they so choose. But it should be done very carefully.

        But it won’t be. And in the first significant ground action with women next to men, some of our troops will pay for it.

        1. “But until that point, we must recognize reality. There absolutely can be a place for women in combat if they so choose. But it should be done very carefully.

          But it won’t be. And in the first significant ground action with women next to men, some of our troops will pay for it.”

          Can’t beat that summary. Well done.

    2. I didn’t know Kratman was talked about around here. I too have read him and there is much wisdom in his words.

  20. Gender equality arrives on the battlefield.

    What a silly subscript. Gender equality will arrive on a battlefield about same time it arrives on an NFL field.

    1. “Equality” is a laughable idea, at its level of abstraction. It supports egalitarianism as well as the right to discriminate “arbitrarily”. And still I share your sentiment. The expression appears humorous, though. War of the sexes; an idea arriving on the battlefield; female-friendly battlefields, name it.

  21. Will women now have to register for the draft?

  22. From the last line of the piece:

    “The first three women to enlist in the Marines’ physically-demanding infantry course graduated in 2013; they had volunteered as part of a study on opening ground combat jobs to women. The three graduates were part of an initial group of 15, the rest of whom left the program voluntarily or were injured during the course.”

    They weren’t necessarily the first to “enlist” in the course, they were the first women to graduate. And it was 3 out of 15. And to those people who have never know the joy of military service, leaving the program voluntarily means they washed out. BTW: all of the women who were accepted to the ITB course had to meet MALE physical fitness standards to get accepted.

    So bottom line: the very best physically and mentally prepared women (already chose the Marines, prescreened from many other choices, and only those who could meet the male standards) have a much higher attrition rate then the men.
    And of the first 10 women who were selected for IOC (Infantry Officers Course) NONE of them made it. And this from women who already made it through either Annapolis, or Marine Corps OCS. And the traditional attrition rate for IOC is 25%.

    But hey, women and men are exactly the same.

    1. It’s somewhat unlikely that these women are representative of any “normal” woman applying. Given how politized this whole thing is, you can’t assume that there isn’t external influence, nor that there’s no such self-selection. The entirety of it is chaos. I’d have advocated for female-only combat units, male-only combat units, and mixed units, to get to anything like a decent idea of what’s going on. Not that the numbers would suffice.

  23. My $0.02:

    During my time in combat survival training a number of years ago, I was placed into a fireteam containing three women; the objective was to coordinate and lead your team to a safe extraction point without being discovered or captured by the enemy. None of them carried their own rucksack for the full duration of the course. Me and the one other guy usually carried two rucks, rotating the women’s rucks so that one was carrying her own while we carried those of the other two. Even then they still struggled. And this was in a relatively low-intensity course (relative to operations downrange, that is).

    In Airborne school, if you’ve ever been there since women have been allowed to attend, part of the qualifications standards include doing pull ups to demonstrate one’s ability to pull a slip riser. Only that standard is waived for women. One of my instructors remarked (privately), “they must issue them women with magical never-fail parachutes.”

    I do not foresee this whole scheme working out well, especially for the very, very, very few women who make it into SOF units, if any make it at all. The regimen there, both during training and operations, is enough to chew up even the country’s most capable young men in a few years, and I’ve seen it happen time and time again. How does anyone think this is going to work out for those gifted with two X chromosomes?

    1. Frankly, I’d say the ones getting screwed over the most are the men who will be forced to pick up the slack for women who can’t carry their own rate. Some will get injured or killed because of it.

  24. And the war on biology continues.

  25. This is a great step of us staying out of unnecessary wars. After all, do you think Americans would have allowed the war to go on as long as it did if tens of thousands of mothers, daughters and wives were being slaughtered by the Vietcong….yeah didn’t think so. The political war hawks are really going to miss their male disposability.

  26. “The Marine Corps has long held concerns that integrating women into combat units could erode morale in all-male platoons and lead to increased sexual tension that would undermine fighting capability. But a Marine Corps study made public by a women’s advocacy group this week found that after months of testing mixed-gender combat units, troops reported morale equal to that of all-male groups and higher than noncombat integrated groups.

    In addition, the study found sexual assault levels no higher than in the Marines as a whole.”

    Yeah, that’s highly convincing. What study?

    “(…) they had volunteered as part of a study on opening ground combat jobs to women. The three graduates were part of an initial group of 15, the rest of whom left the program voluntarily or were injured during the course.”

    I guess that’s about as representative as the ominous study above.

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