With the Left ramming females in combat down the throats of compliant Generals who want to lock in their post-retirement consultant and political jobs, the Army has quietly begun an ingenious pilot program to test the waters.
In the late 1980's the US military had promoted reading material that would benefit both officers and enlisted members. One of these was Sun-Tzu's The Art of War. This classic is noted both for its keen insight in how to manage a military force and to wage war and also for its application of abstract and theoretical thought, both attributes being more commonly found in Western works.
Anyone who has read Sun-Tzu remembers,first and foremost, one maxim -
Win the battle without fighting it.
The Left and their radical feminist allies, supremely confident that our technological advantages will override all dangers of employing females in forward units (That being a verboten topic in our world of sacred Leftist pet positions), have claimed that we will be able to destroy the enemy's ability to operate as cohesive forces regardless of whom we throw out there.
In response to the overwhelming pressure, backed by the Leftist dogma of the "march of history" that assures us that gender differences are to be done away with in the end, the Army has elected to go with an "OK, come on over, knock yourself out*" approach.
They took one of the harder jobs and are letting females try their hand there.
The U.S. Army is studying how female soldiers will fit into new field artillery jobs, but there is still no word on how the service plans to bring women into infantry, armor, and other direct ground combat units. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno told lawmakers Tuesday that the service is conducting a pilot on the standards female field artillery officers will have to meet in the future.
Last week, the Defense Department announced it will open more than 6,200 new jobs to women in the Army and Marine Corps, but none of those positions include the frontline combat positions that have garnered the most attention since the Pentagon eliminated gender barriers in January.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., asked Odierno when females were likely to begin serving as infantry officers Tuesday during a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Odierno instead brought up the pilot being conducted for female artillery officers and how important it is to "ensure standards are the same for everybody." The service will likely conduct other assessments over the next two years and before integrating female officers into combat arms jobs at the battalion level and below, he said.
This is a brilliant move. If the females are successful, or successful enough for a longer working test period, they will still be in positions that do not operate directly at the front or are otherwise engaged regularly by hostile forces. If what I think will happen does occur though, the Left, the civilians who bit off more of the 'civilian control of the military sandwich' than they could chew, and the servant-like generals will look like fools.
The artillery is not a job for physically weaker individuals. In addition to heavy-duty maintenance work, the lifting is positively grueling. Males who are not on the strong side or have not been conditioned to the heavy lifting required to be a "cannon cocker" do not have an easy time of it. Projectiles are very heavy. It is extremely physically demanding work, especially over an extended period of time.
I hope that we get some reports on the progress of this pilot program soon. I do fear- however, that the findings will either be buried or that they will be censored by the apparatchiks to reflect the conclusions that they want. I will go out on a limb in this case and hope for the best.
For those who have seen the movie Saving Private Ryan, the fight scene in an upper-floor room between the US Private Mellish and the German soldier illustrates exactly what the real concerns are. No matter how well trained or conditioned one is, a hands-on fight for one's life with no help coming soon can happen to any soldier in direct combat. Physical strength and a testosterone-bathed brain will win out.
*"Knock yourself out" generally means that one does not care what the other wants to do. It can also imply, as in the above case, that the other individual will probably not succeed in the attempt.
-From previous posts:
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, acting ostensibly on the recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, left as his parting shot another Obama-inspired blow at the structure of our society. The one thing that must be remembered is that the Joint Chiefs no doubt only made whatever recommendation they were told to make by their nation-wrecking superiors. Not content with their pensions and book deals, these generals and admirals have sold out the organizations that made their careers possible in order to get commentator jobs thrown at them by CNN. The concept of civilian control of the military, albeit a necessary one, has been taken to the grossest of extremes by this administration more than once.
Women in all branches of the military soon will have unprecedented opportunities to serve on the front lines of the nation's wars.
Leon Panetta, in one of his last acts as President Obama's defense secretary, is preparing to announce the policy change, which would open hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday...."
The article describes this event as "groundbreaking". Yes, keep breaking ground until all that is left is a torn-up landscape.
The following is a previous post on this very subject. The last one is from a article written by a female Marine Capt. on her experiences with working long term in a combat environment.
The Liberal elite continue to press their demands that women be allowed to serve in all Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) in the US military. The Army, being traditionally more inclined to be swayed by political and even social pressure, has taken far more steps in the direction of full integration than has the Marine Corps.
There seems to be no corner of the Western world that is not targeted for dilution. If the targeted group is comprised mostly or entirely of males, the attacks are nonstop. When the US Military faces a new offensive by Liberals that essentially demands that all restrictions are dropped, the question of whether or not females are inherently capably of shouldering the physical and psychological burdens of the Infantry Soldier/Marine is almost never included in the discussion. We hear that restrictions from Infantry assignments cause unfairly laid obstacles in the members career path, that women have successfully performed in combat situations in the past, etc.
When we fight, we are dealing with people who want to kill us. Training and physical conditioning, along with superior equipment, go a very long way to providing us with an advantage. We can not forget that the advantages from these are not without limit. At some point in the fight, which may be a period of extremely vicious and confusing violence ("The fog of war"), the time in which abject exhaustion has set in, or a combination of the two, the fighter must reach down deeply and tap into his basest of survival instincts. If the opponents are all men, then the opponents have an advantage at that point. Not only will they tend to have a greater collective will to destroy the enemy, they will also posses the physical resources from which they must draw to muster one or more necessary efforts.
I am a history fanatic. I obsess over reading historical accounts from all periods. I can tell you that, for example, I have immeasurable admiration for women who have engaged in combat such as Countess Matilda of Tuscany. I could waste my time by rattling off name after name but that would not do us any good. Yes, these women do exist, so the question has nothing to do with this. The main question is whether or not a woman has the abilities to carry tremendously heavy burdens on their shoulders for long periods of time and still be able to, weeks later, move from point A to point B with the speed necessary to keep up with the rest of the unit and thus engage the enemy from as safe and effective a vantage point as possible. The secondary question is if the female mind possesses the killer mentality that is needed to engage the enemy when each side is trying to destroy the other.
All in all, the male-only restriction is treated as if it is an artificial construct, one that has no basis in the inherent differences between men and women. We are supposed to believe that restricting infantry assignments to capable men (Not all men can do this either) is the same thing as prohibiting blacks from playing in the same leagues as whites in professional baseball or maintaining segregated military units or schools.
It is not even remotely the same thing.
Engaging in combat duties/situations for brief periods of time, especially when the vast majority of military personnel alongside you are men (Near 100%) is in no way comparable to performing these duties for weeks and months on end. The physical grind is incredibly demanding.
Marine Captain Katie Petronio has recently written an article on her positions on this subject. Her qualifications as an expert far exceed mine. She is the real deal as far as combat experience goes. She is clearly a physically and mentally tough professional Marine Officer whom I would want on my side in a fight. To add to that, I would not have a problem taking orders from a straight-shooter such as she. Although she restricts her arguments entirely to the physical demands of the work, (Which she concludes exceeds the long-term abilities of a woman, she does not treat the violent, killer mindset that is almost non-existent in the females mind but is so necessary to a infantry Soldier/Marine. She does discuss the danger of lowering standards in order to accommodate, and lessen attrition rates for, females in training courses. Her article is aptly titled-
"Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal".
Her article will appear after the following excerpts from previous posts.
-From the following posts from this site:
The societal current in the West is one of enforced silence on issues such as this. Those who dare raise their voices are met with mockery, outright hostility, or at best pursed lips and raised eyebrows. Anything that does not support the pretend-world that we have created is prohibited. We are effectively not allowed to make mention of the fact that women's and men’s bodies are appreciably different from each other. This applies to short-term bursts of strength as well and the ability to shoulder heavy burdens for long periods of time. It also includes standard infantry tasks like moving, wearing and employing increasingly heavy body armor, weaponry, ammunition, as well as manual labor such as digging and filling sand bags.
I have witnessed this topic being brought up on numerous occasions. This point will of course be dismissed as biased as currently in the US military women are still barred from serving in these unit, but the fact remains that men who have actually been in these units are not calling for women even to share the burden in the infantry. If anything, they would call for stronger restrictions on what men are allowed to be in the infantry. Barely a current or former infantryman exists who, weighed down by a machine gun, a tripod, water, ammunition, a base plate or tube for a mortar (Can't assume that all mortarmen are uninjured), optical equipment, radios, and more, did not have thoughts of dropping out of a formation due to exhaustion while simply moving the distance from Point A to Point B.
The reason that he did not was that his body has the ability to be pushed physically by his will to continue.
A person, even one who starts out in great physical shape, may have all the right intentions to push on, but if the body does not have the tools to do so, it will fail.
I served both in units that allowed females and those that did not. The women, although in good shape and spirits, simply did not posses the ability to perform this type of heavy manual labor that was required. The only people whom I have witnessed calling for such a move are those who have not been in that environment.
Today we define things from the outside. We decide things are what we would prefer they be.
An interesting note is that I have heard isolated support for allowances of this type from some civilian police officers. It is a known fact that females do indeed make fine law enforcement officers; especially since the days of needing the 6' 4" 220 lb Sheriff/Cop are long gone. Our tools, which include tasers, pepper spray, and vastly improved radio communications have eliminated much of the advantages of the big guys in this case.
Some cops who have never been in the military though, tend to heap much importance on their work tasks and thus equate their work more or less with that of infantry soldiers (This is particularly true with SWAT personnel). They move and communicate tactically, shoot military-type weapons, stay in better physical condition, etc. The similarities stop at that point. From there the infantryman picks up a long, extremely physically demanding grind of heavy and extended work that taxes every guy until he needs to call upon himself to continue, even if it is to avoid being ostracized by his peers for failing to keep up.
As societies become more safe and secure, one of the results is that women begin to demand to be allowed to everything that the boys can do. For most jobs, that works out well and fine. Few would hold that women cannot drive trucks, do tree cutting, roofing, sanitation removal, or any other civilian jobs.
Fighting, especially when it is done within the context of killing or destroying an enemy force's ability to destroy you, is an entirely different matter
When we begin to presume that the current level of security that we enjoy one that we have created as a result of years of technological and material superiority will continue forever, we paint ourselves into a dangerous corner.
Men's bodies are capable of shouldering much heavier burdens for long periods of time than are women. They have a much more aggressive, fighting-oriented mindset. This is of course partially due to environmental/cultural factors, but it is also a natural result of the male mind, which is formed by male hormones. When a man engages the enemy, he does it in a ruthless manner with the intention of killing him. This mindset is essentially foreign to that of a woman. The reason that men have borne the burden of fighting through the millennia has nothing to do with a “no girls allowed" mentality; the reason that women have not historically been fighters/soldiers is that they can not do the job in a manner that a guy can. Ancient societies needed soldiers that could wield clubs, swords, shields, armor, and other tools germane to those who will be either on a long campaign or sent to commit to a pitched battle. Any society that may have included women as part of its regular fighting force is no longer around. The reason for this is that any such force was annihilated in combat and therefore has been lost to history (For the record, although some ancient Iranic tribes did teach women to shoot arrows from horseback, the actual "Amazons" are an absolute myth).
An argument often employed in support of allowing women into combat roles is that we no longer have to fight with shield, sword and spear. The conclusion is that, since we now have so much heavy equipment and technology on which we can rely, brawn and killer instinct is no longer necessary.
Such a position leaves out a wealth of factors.
A fighting force needs people capable not only of being able to shoulder and fire a weapon, but also those who can carry, extra ammunition, body armor, communications gear, sufficient quantities of water, tripods for machine guns and base plates for mortars, etc., and still be able to relentlessly deliver aimed fire at their opponents for sustained periods of time.
Another factor not taken into account by the "girls are as good as boys" mentality is that nothing guarantees that any fighting force will always be able to operate in the manner in which they expected the operation to proceed. Sure, we have tanks, armored personnel; carriers, etc, but what happens of an enemy force of substantial size is able to approach one's position and attack at close quarters? When something like this occurs, being able to shoot a weapon like it is done at a rifle range or other training conditions is only a small part of what is now needed. The enemy must be repelled by vicious and terribly violent actions that are both physically and mentally exhausting. Not only must one be able to shoot, move and communicate while carrying his rifle, he may also have to pick up a machine gun, move it to another position, set it up, and have it delivering fire in a matter of seconds. We cannot ignore the possibility that the battle will turn into a matter of who can kill whom when ammunition is not longer available. At that point, swinging rifles and the utilization bayonets, knives, entrenching tools, and axes/tomahawks are what will make the difference.
Men are also much less likely to falter on a psychological level in combat. No one claims that men never suffer form Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The difference is that a man's mind is programmed to override the otherwise overwhelming fear during a high-stress situation. It is far more likely that a man, when faced with the powerful fear of being killed, will immediately be able to turn the switch and convert that fear into either a resolve to kill as many of the enemy as possible or to descend into an outright rage. A related factor is that that men are much more likely to so fear the loss of respect from their peers that would result from allowing fear to impair the ability to "keep up" in a fight that one, who would otherwise run away, will stand and fight with a fury to avoid having to be ashamed when faced with his teammates after a battle.
Even the normally mundane task of staffing a guard post at a checkpoint can turn into a maelstrom of hectic and savage violence in a second. That checkpoint is in place for a reason; it is needed both to prevent the entrance of an enemy and to serve as an observation post from with communications can be made so that reaction forces can be deployed in the event of an attack. If we allow women in combat roles, then we must allow that there will come a time when a checkpoint with be staffed entirely or almost entirely by females. In an event such as this, we are not looking at an infantry company in which one or two female soldiers are not going to make an appreciable difference in the fighting strength if the unit. At this point, those who staff the checkpoint are the fighting unit, and there is little between them and the inner perimeter of a military unit. That position must be defended with a ferocity, the nature of which is almost unimaginable. Are to assume that a force comprised of, say, experienced Taliban fighters, will be held off by females for a sufficient amount of time to deploy a reaction force to the threatened area?
The problem that we face is one inherent in political correctness. We are supposed to be so afraid of the social stigma of being branded a sexist that we bite our tongues when topics such as this arise.
Those in decision and policy-making positions at the Pentagon are going to have to be honest with themselves and the American public. War fighting, and the preparation for the same, is not a forum into which we can bring the “everyone gets a trophy” idea. If female soldiers want to be foolish enough to pretend that they are being unfairly discriminated against, then they need to be reminded do the facts. A Military is formed with the purpose of being able to destroy wither the entire enemy force or severely impair its ability to damage ours. It is not a place to make people feel good or “empowered”.
As an aside, we must also note that, is females are allowed in combat roles, there will be many more female prisoners of war. It is sickening that we are so afraid of hurting feelings that we would even consider subjecting our soldiers to, not torture and rape, but mob-rape. We cannot allow the hubris of some women who affect to be unconcerned about such a possibility to influence our decisions
Captain Petronio's article:
Bolding is added.
"The Marine Corps Times recently published a handful of articles in regard to opening Infantry Officer Course (IOC) to females and the possibility of integrating women into the infantry community. In mid-April the Commandant directed the “integration” of the first wave of female officers into IOC this summer following completion of The Basic School (TBS). This action may or may not pave the way for female Marines to serve in the infantry as the results remain to be seen. However, before the Marine Corps moves forward with this concept, should we not ask the hard questions and gain opinions of combat-experienced Marines (male and female alike) as to the purpose, the impact, and the gains from such a move? 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.
As a company grade 1302 combat engineer officer with 5 years of active service and two combat deployments, one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan, I was able to participate in and lead numerous combat operations. In Iraq as the II MEF Director, Lioness Program, I served as a subject matter expert for II MEF, assisting regimental and battalion commanders on ways to integrate female Marines into combat operations. I primarily focused on expanding the mission of the Lioness Program from searching females to engaging local nationals and information gathering, broadening the ways females were being used in a wide variety of combat operations from census patrols to raids. In Afghanistan I deployed as a 1302 and led a combat engineer platoon in direct support of Regimental Combat Team 8, specifically operating out of the Upper Sangin Valley. My platoon operated for months at a time, constructing patrol bases (PBs) in support of 3d Battalion, 5th Marines; 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; 2d Reconnaissance Battalion; and 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. This combat experience, in particular, compelled me to raise concern over the direction and overall reasoning behind opening the 03XX field.
Who is driving this agenda? I am not personally hearing female Marines, enlisted or officer, pounding on the doors of Congress claiming that their inability to serve in the infantry violates their right to equality. Shockingly, this isn’t even a congressional agenda. This issue is being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS). Their mission is to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations, as well as matters of policy, pertaining to the well-being of women in the Armed Services from recruiting to employment. Members are selected based on their prior military experience or experience with women’s workforce issues. I certainly applaud and appreciate DACOWITS’ mission; however, as it pertains to the issue of women in the infantry, it’s very surprising to see that none of the committee members are on active duty or have any recent combat or relevant operational experience relating to the issue they are attempting to change. I say this because, at the end of the day, it’s the active duty servicemember who will ultimately deal with the results of their initiatives, not those on the outside looking in. As of now, the Marine Corps hasn’t been directed to integrate, but perhaps the Corps is anticipating the inevitable—DoD pressuring the Corps to comply with DACOWITS’ agenda as the Army has already “rogered up” to full integration. Regardless of what the Army decides to do, it’s critical to emphasize that we are not the Army; our operational speed and tempo, along with our overall mission as the Nation’s amphibious force-in-readiness, are fundamentally different than that of our sister Service. By no means is this distinction intended as disrespectful to our incredible Army. My main point is simply to state that the Marine Corps and the Army are different; even if the Army ultimately does fully integrate all military occupational fields, that doesn’t mean the Corps should follow suit.
I understand that there are female servicemembers who have proven themselves to be physically, mentally, and morally capable of leading and executing combat-type operations; as a result, some of these Marines may feel qualified for the chance of taking on the role of 0302. In the end, my main concern is not whether women are capable of conducting combat operations, as we have already proven that we can hold our own in some very difficult combat situations; instead, my main concern is a question of longevity. Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?
As a young lieutenant, I fit the mold of a female who would have had a shot at completing IOC, and I am sure there was a time in my life where I would have volunteered to be an infantryman. I was a star ice hockey player at Bowdoin College, a small elite college in Maine, with a major in government and law. At 5 feet 3 inches I was squatting 200 pounds and benching 145 pounds when I graduated in 2007. I completed Officer Candidates School (OCS) ranked 4 of 52 candidates, graduated 48 of 261 from TBS, and finished second at MOS school. I also repeatedly scored far above average in all female-based physical fitness tests (for example, earning a 292 out of 300 on the Marine physical fitness test). Five years later, I am physically not the woman I once was and my views have greatly changed on the possibility of women having successful long careers while serving in the infantry. I can say from firsthand experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not just emotion, that we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the gender-specific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.
I was a motivated, resilient second lieutenant when I deployed to Iraq for 10 months, traveling across the Marine area of operations (AO) and participating in numerous combat operations. Yet, due to the excessive amount of time I spent in full combat load, I was diagnosed with a severe case of restless leg syndrome. My spine had compressed on nerves in my lower back causing neuropathy which compounded the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. While this injury has certainly not been enjoyable, Iraq was a pleasant experience compared to the experiences I endured during my deployment to Afghanistan. At the beginning of my tour in Helmand Province, I was physically capable of conducting combat operations for weeks at a time, remaining in my gear for days if necessary and averaging 16-hour days of engineering operations in the heart of Sangin, one of the most kinetic and challenging AOs in the country. There were numerous occasions where I was sent to a grid coordinate and told to build a PB [Patrol Base] from the ground up, serving not only as the mission commander but also the base commander until the occupants (infantry units) arrived 5 days later. In most of these situations, I had a sergeant as my assistant commander, and the remainder of my platoon consisted of young, motivated NCOs.[Non-Commissioned Officers (Corporals and Sergeants)] I was the senior Marine making the final decisions on construction concerns, along with 24-hour base defense and leading 30 Marines at any given time. The physical strain of enduring combat operations and the stress of being responsible for the lives and well-being of such a young group in an extremely kinetic environment were compounded by lack of sleep, which ultimately took a physical toll on my body that I couldn’t have foreseen.
By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy [This appears to be the opposite of atrophy from under-use] in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported. Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement. I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.
There is a drastic shortage of historical data on female attrition or medical ailments of women who have executed sustained combat operations. This said, we need only to review the statistics from our entry-level schools to realize that there is a significant difference in the physical longevity between male and female Marines. At OCS the attrition rate for female candidates in 2011 was historically low at 40 percent, while the male candidates attrite at a much lower rate of 16 percent. Of candidates who were dropped from training because they were injured or not physically qualified, females were breaking at a much higher rate than males, 14 percent versus 4 percent. The same trends were seen at TBS in 2011; the attrition rate for females was 13 percent versus 5 percent for males, and 5 percent of females were found not physically qualified compared with 1 percent of males. Further, both of these training venues have physical fitness standards that are easier for females; at IOC there is one standard regardless of gender. The attrition rate for males attending IOC in 2011 was 17 percent. Should female Marines ultimately attend IOC, we can expect significantly higher attrition rates and long-term injuries for women......
Even if a female can meet the short-term physical, mental, and moral leadership requirements of an infantry officer, by the time that she is eligible to serve in a strategic leadership position, at the 20-year mark or beyond, there is a miniscule probability that she’ll be physically capable of serving at all. Again, it becomes a question of longevity.
Despite my personal opinion regarding the incorporation of females into the infantry community, I am not blind to the fact that females play a key role in countering the gender and cultural barriers we are facing at war, and we do have a place in combat operations. As such, a potential change that I do recommend considering strongly for female Marine officers is to designate a new secondary MOS (0305) for a Marine serving as female engagement team (FET) officer in charge (OIC). 0305s would be employed in the same way we employ drill instructors, as we do not need an enduring FET entity but an existing capability able to stand up based on operational requirements. Legitimizing a program that is already operational in the Corps would greatly benefit both the units utilizing FETs and the women who serve as FET OICs. Unfortunately, FET OICs today are not properly screened and trained for this mission. I propose that those being considered for FET OIC be prescreened and trained through a modified IOC with an appropriately adjusted physical expectation. FET OICs need to better understand the infantry culture and mindset and work with their 0302 brethren to incorporate FET assistance during specific phases of operations to properly prepare them to serve as the subject matter experts to a regimental- or battalion-level infantry commander. Through joint OIC training, both 0302s and FET OICs can start to learn how to integrate capabilities and accomplish their mission individually and collectively. This, in my mind, is a much more viable, cost-effective solution, with high reward for the Marine Corps and the Nation, and it will also directly improve the capabilities of FET OICs.
Finally, what are the Marine Corps standards, particularly physical fitness standards, based on—performance and capability or equality? We abide by numerous discriminators, such as height and weight standards. As multiple Marine Corps Gazette articles have highlighted, Marines who can run first-class physical fitness tests and who have superior MOS proficiency are separated from the Service if they do not meet the Marine Corps’ height and weight standards. Further, tall Marines are restricted from flying specific platforms, and color blind Marines are faced with similar restrictions. We recognize differences in mental capabilities of Marines when we administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and use the results to eliminate/open specific fields. These standards are designed to ensure safety, quality, and the opportunity to be placed in a field in which one can sustain and succeed.
Which once again leads me, as a ground combat-experienced female Marine Corps officer, to ask, what are we trying to accomplish by attempting to fully integrate women into the infantry? For those who dictate policy, changing the current restrictions associated with women in the infantry may not seem significant to the way the Marine Corps operates. I vehemently disagree; this potential change will rock the foundation of our Corps for the worse and will weaken what has been since 1775 the world’s most lethal fighting force. In the end, for DACOWITS and any other individual or organization looking to increase opportunities for female Marines, I applaud your efforts and say thank you. However, for the long-term health of our female Marines, the Marine Corps, and U.S. national security, steer clear of the Marine infantry community when calling for more opportunities for females. Let’s embrace our differences to further hone in on the Corps’ success instead of dismantling who we are to achieve a political agenda. Regardless of the outcome, we will be “Semper Fidelis” and remain focused on our mission to protect and defend the United States of America."