In August, 2015, two of nineteen women soldiers graduated from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School for the first time. 94 of 381 men also graduated.
After a three-year study on whether women should be allowed to serve in combat roles of our military, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced on Dec. 3, 2015 (in the immortal words of Capt. Jean-Luc Picard):,“Make it so!”
His decision overruled Marine concerns and will open the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations units to women who qualify. assignment or not.
The immediate question to ponder: “Is this a good idea?”
Elaine Donnelly, president of The Center for Military Readiness, (CMR) has called on Congress to weigh in on the issue.
From a special report by CMR
Researchers monitored individual and group performances by (U.S. Marine Corps) all-male and gender-integrated teams in tasks common to direct ground combat units such as the infantry, armor, artillery, and combat engineers.
All-male task force teams outperformed mixed gender units in 92 of 134 ground combat tasks. Significant disparities in physical size, strength, endurance, injury rates, and early onset of fatigue were found to affect women’s speed, marksmanship, and ability to march under heavy loads.
So, how did the Marine Corps. react?
From a memo written by General Robert B. Neller, Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC):
a number of PFT (physical fitness test) and CFT (combat fitness test) changes are being implemented that ensure standards are relevant, challenging, and also allow for greater distinction between Marines of different fitness levels and age groups.
The biggest change was the elimination of the pull-up and replaced by push-ups, a change that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Neller also claimed that “Push-ups are also a valid exercise and good test”. Not one male veteran will agree with that last statement.
Regardless, the primary reason for these physical exercise changes was to eliminate “a manpower problem by having some female Marines failing.”
CMR said that in 2015, the USMC Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force (GCEITF)
conducted scientifically monitored field exercises that simulated wartime requirements for direct ground combat units. The study found that all-male teams outperformed mixed-gender units 69 percent of the time and women had significantly higher rates of injuries and early fatigue.
Ray Starmann, a former US Army Intelligence officer and Gulf War veteran, wrote in an article, that this would be the greatest disaster in US history. He claimed
The standards were already warped so that the three females could graduate from Ranger School. They had months of special training, nutritionists, endless chances to repeat the course, etc. Ninety-nine percent of the women in the world simply cannot meet the male physical standards of the combat arms and special operations units.
And Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jessie Jane Duff said,
I did go on the humps with the men. I did do the marches. I did wear those packs. I understand that over long, sustained periods of time, the female body breaks down faster. Why would you want your daughters, your sisters, your mothers in hand-to-hand combat with ISIS? Why are you setting women up for failure instead of success?
There are those who quote that Israeli women are members of their combat forces. However, that is a myth. In a report for the Heritage Foundation backgrounder, John Luddy wrote:
Women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be. The study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield.
A new U.S. Army Ranger recently backed up Luddy’s statement fearing that he would experience the same thing. And so will other military leaders.
All of this sounds like a forthcoming nightmare, so stay tuned!