On Women In Combat

Awhile back, I reblogged a post from The Patriot Perspective about the problems with allowing women in the Marine Infantry School.  In the comment section, I mentioned learning that, for the time being, the Marines were not going to “gender norm” the physical standards, i.e., they will not make it easier for women to pass than men, based on each gender’s physical capabilities.

Short Timer has been kind enough to elaborate on the issue, and it’s worth sharing.  Beyond the basic question of “is she physically strong enough,” he details a few other reasons why women-as-combatants are problematic even if the answer is yes, she is physically strong enough:

  • Chivalry is an innate male behavior which cannot be entirely eradicated, and it will interfere with mission accomplishment.
  • Mixing young and healthy men and women together in will inevitably cause, um, distractions, and interfere with mission accomplishment (I discussed this issue regarding Navy ships here).
  • Accommodating the personal, private, and hygienic needs of men and women in a confined and dangerous space is logistically difficult, and makes mission accomplishment more difficult.

Even more important than all of that, Short Timer says that the Marines will use something called “gender neutral” tests, and that quotas will be imposed.  In other words, the Marines will simply lower the standards for both men and women, and require the Infantry School to pass at least “x” number of women.


You see, when I read over at Outside the Beltway that there would be no “gender norming,” i.e., no differing standards for men and women like we have in the Navy, I assumed that the standards would not be lowered at all.

Confirmation is right here:

“. . . there is a plan to evaluate male and female Marines against new physical fitness standards that are being developed.”

New physical fitness standards for both men and women are being developed.  Tricky.

Important, too, are the quotas Short Timer mentioned.  My own quick Google search does not unearth anything about quotas, i.e., requiring a military school to pass a certain number of females.

However.  I specifically remember an old friend complaining about “the quota” when he was an instructor at Officer Candidate School.  The requirement that at least 7% of the graduating class be female was a real source of frustration.  It was hard to find that many female candidates worth their salt.  (I think he said it was 7%.  Wish I could ask him now.)

So, thanks for the additional info, Short Timer.  And thanks for your service in God’s own Corps.

And read the whole thing, ya’ll.  He includes a little Rule 5 bonus.

CORRECTION:  My friend was an instructor at OCS (Officer Candidate School), not TBS (The Basic School) as I originally wrote.  Whoops.


24 thoughts on “On Women In Combat

  1. Citizen Tom 16 May 2012 at 8:04 pm Reply

    Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:

    What is war? War is regarded as nothing but the continuation of state policy with other means. — Carl von Clausewitz, On War

    When people don’t understand war, they confuse comedy with serious thinking.

    We have women in the military, but they don’t put us in the front lines. They don’t know if we can fight, if we can kill. I think we can. All the general has to do is walk over to the women and say, “You see the enemy over there? They say you look fat in those uniforms.” — Elayne Boosler quotes (American Comedian and Activist. b.1952)

    When a people and their leaders understand the reality of war, they make stringent preparations for it. They do not let anyone’s feelings get in the way of what they must done to protect their nation. When a people and their leaders do not understand the reality of war, war becomes just one more government jobs program — for a while.

    What is war? Ask someone who has fought in one.

    War is cruelty. There’s no use trying to reform it. The crueler it is, the sooner it will be over. — William Tecumseh Sherman (American Civil War General and a major architect of modern warfare. 1820-1891)

    • Right Wing Theocrat 17 May 2012 at 10:28 pm Reply

      Well said Tom.

  2. Citizen Tom 16 May 2012 at 8:10 pm Reply

    Sorry about repeating myself. I know I only pasted what I wrote once, but …. Not sure what the glitch might be.

    • nooneofanyimport 16 May 2012 at 8:46 pm Reply

      Fixed it for you! I totally had a glitch today too, getting the post published before I was done with it. Some new-fangled page of wordpress’ didn’t have the “cancel and proofread” option that I was expecting.

  3. neenergyobserver 16 May 2012 at 10:11 pm Reply

    I’m not qualified to have an opinion but, I do anyway. If they used the proven physical standards, I’m sort of OK with it (I have the same reservations as you). Lowering the standards for Marine infantry is not acceptable, the enemy (any of them) aren’t going to lower theirs. If you want to be the best, you had best be able to be the best. And remember 2d place in war as in so many other things is the first loser.

  4. heathermc 16 May 2012 at 10:17 pm Reply

    Knowing that the US Armed Forces is bowing to political correctness is frightening to me, and should be to all Westerners. I guess that the justification is that “technology” will be sufficient to smooth the differences. oh well. I remember seeing a doc on wounded soldiers in Walter Reed hospital. One was a helicopter pilot, a woman, who had lost both her legs in Iraq. Honestly, I don’t know why that seems more terrible because it is a ‘she’ instead of a ‘he.’ But it does.

    I have to recommend a movie about a marine, by the way. It is a soft focussed romance, based on a book by Nicolas Spark, “The Lucky One.” Well, the male character is a wonderful example of ‘manliness’, played by Zac Efron who, even with a very pretty face and blue eyes, is in incredibly good shape, and marches instead of walking. He fixes things, like an old tractor, and a boat. He’s strong, capable. Quiet, like Gary Cooper. Yep. I luv that movie!

  5. KingShamus 16 May 2012 at 10:55 pm Reply

    Another issue with women in combat: Where is the front line? Our last few wars have seen very nebulous hot zones. We can say women aren’t in combat…until some brainless muj decides to hit the self-destruct button in a supposedly ‘non-combat’ area.

  6. edge of the sandbox 17 May 2012 at 12:14 am Reply

    In Israel everyone serves, and I understand IDF has traditionally been the place where you meet your future husband. However, that’s Israel and it’s different there. For one, nobody is stationed far away from home, and the wars are local too. Women do some sort of basic training after which they are relegated to office duties unless they volunteer for combat.

  7. nooneofanyimport 17 May 2012 at 9:15 am Reply

    Heather, I’ll remember about the Lucky One, although I have to admit being a big baby who doesn’t like to subject herself to tear jerkers, is it one?

    KS, yeah, and I guess it’s always been nebulous, really, because if anything, women have provided shelter and medical care to the wounded, and that can put em straight into harms way.

    Missy, you bring up an interesting point. Certainly the culture is different. In Israel, I imagine that you are born and raised in an uncertain, dangerous environment, psychologically speaking if not literally. Always reminded that an enemy could be waiting around the next corner. Whereas here . . . we’ve enjoyed such unprecedented levels of security, even though 9/11 reminded us that we are not as safe as we think.

    I know so little re Israel, all is conjecture. But it brings to mind something from Short Timer’s post: “ask why we fight. We fight to protect our home and hearth – we fight to protect security, liberty for ourselves and our families, friends and neighbors. Humans as a species have fought for their noncombatants. . . . Women who fight because they must (like WWII Soviet women’s units) are something else . . . . Politicians wanting to put women in harms way to make them “equal” flies in the face of pretty much the whole history of humankind.”

    Is it possible that Israel involves the women because they must, like the WWII women’s units of which he speaks? Also, if the Israel female volunteers for combat, is she put into any MOS she desires, or is she limited to only certain ones that are not as physically demanding as infantry?

    cheers all!

  8. heathermc 17 May 2012 at 3:05 pm Reply

    “Women do some sort of basic training after which they are relegated to office duties unless they volunteer for combat.” You see? this actually makes sense, and proves that the Israelis live in a real world on a dangerous front line.

    I think this issue of ‘women on the front line’ is just another way for the Pentagon to say it is ‘with it’ and arrange for photo ops. Girls can be boys, eh? And boys can be girls, eh? And ‘The Law” and lawyers say women as well as men should serve in submarines. This is insane, although it looks good in a movie.

    I have to say that the whole affirmative action thing is deeply, fundamentally, frivolous.
    If the US were actually not deeply fundamentally frivolous, it would be encouraging young women and men NOT in the Armed Forces, to take emergency measure training. You know, the sort of knowledge that could actually be useful if the local mall is blown up by a misguided ‘youth’.

    And no, The Lucky One is not a tear jerker. Tho, I rarely if ever cry at movies.

  9. Teresa Rice 17 May 2012 at 5:49 pm Reply

    I have mixed feelings on this one but definitely understand the concerns.

  10. Citizen Tom 17 May 2012 at 7:09 pm Reply

    Do women serve in combat positions in the IDF? I guess they do in theory. I think the IDF trains women, but IDF men don’t want their women in combat units any more than most American military men want to serve along side female soldiers. This is one of those cases where what sounds interesting in theory does not work in practice. In God’s eyes, men and women are equal. Nonetheless, we were made to serve differently.

    There is this curious thing about diversity. It is the folks who crow the most about diversity who have the hardest time accepting our differences.

    Anyway, here are several short articles.

    I served in the Air Force in the officer. I worked in noncombat positions. I have no problem with the competence of women. Nonetheless, I cannot imagine the benefits hard core combat units would gain by including women would outweight all the problems they would also bring. Human nature is what it is, and to deny what we are is just stupid.

  11. Right Wing Theocrat 17 May 2012 at 10:33 pm Reply

    For me personally I don’t have an issue with women serving in the military, so long as the military don’t have a problem with it. There may be roles that are better suited to women, hearts and minds comes to mind, however I think it should be left up to the military to decide how and where, not some paper-pushing bureaucrat or some politician pushing a liberal, equality, PC-agenda to get some votes.

    • Citizen Tom 18 May 2012 at 7:48 pm Reply

      however I think it should be left up to the military to decide how and where, not some paper-pushing bureaucrat or some politician pushing a liberal, equality, PC-agenda to get some votes.

      I like the theory, but it cannot work in practice. So long as we have a constitutional republic, the people we elect, not soldiers, will determine how our military is run. Therefore, the only way we can have soldiers, not a paper-pushing bureaucrat or some politician deciding how to run our military is to elect former soldiers. Unfortunately, our people do not always have the wisdom to elect candidates with genuine military experience..

      • nooneofanyimport 19 May 2012 at 12:02 am Reply

        Bingo, Tom. Thanks for answering for me. The minute I saw “it should be left up to the military,” I thought, but it can’t. Congress and the Executive (ie, paper pushing bureaucrats and politicisans) decide how and where. The only way to solve this is indeed as Tom speaks: to elect politicians with genuine military experience. Politicians with more wisdom than Truman, who is the root of the “politics before military victory” mindset (so says the hubs, anyway).

        • Citizen Tom 19 May 2012 at 7:28 am Reply

          Thank you for an excellent post and your hubs’ observation.

          The Americans who built this nation succeeded because they put their Christian beliefs into practice. They acted upon God’s command to love their neighbor, and they recognized that without favortism God loves both men and women.

  12. […] this topic seems to be getting bounced back and forth with No One Of Any Import – most recently on Import here and Patriot Perspective here, I notice there are a couple things worth revisiting. Even more […]

  13. Freedom, by the way 18 May 2012 at 9:18 pm Reply

    This is crap. (Not your post, of course). What is the purpose of the our military–to protect America’s interests with the threat or use of force. If having females, gays or pet hamsters is going to prove a distraction to that mission and weaken our forces, then out they go. Affirmative Action has outlived its usefulness in all areas or our society and it should never have a role in our military.

  14. […] On Women In Combat […]

  15. […] NoOneOfAnyImport: On Women In Combat […]

  16. […] to the last topic of the week.  Short Timer has been kind enough to elaborate on the issue of women in combat.  His wisdom needs repeating, for this reason: Even dyed-in-the-wool, military-loving […]

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