The Few, The Proud have just confirmed what some of us have suspected for years: women aren’t men. Especially when it comes to integrating women in direct combat roles. And that’s okay. (More on that in a minute. Kindly keep your shirt on.)
According to the April 8 issue of the Marine Corps Times: “The two-and-a-half year period in which the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course (IOC) became gender-integrated for research will end without a single female graduate.”
The final iteration of IOC to accept female Marines on a volunteer basis began April 2. It included two female participants. One was a volunteer. The other was a member of the newly integrated ground intelligence track. Both were dropped that same day during the grueling initial Combat Endurance Test. Nine of the 90 men who started the course were also cut. Reports the Marine Corps Times:
IOC, held quarterly at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, began accepting female officers fresh out of training in September 2012 as part of a larger research effort into the feasibility of opening ground combat jobs to women. Lieutenants who made it through the legendarily tough 86-day course would not receive an infantry military occupational specialty or career advancement; they did it only for the challenge and the hope of being part of a historical Marine Corps achievement.
But as the research continued, few volunteers took advantage of the opportunity. By July 2014, only 20 female officers had attempted the course. Only one made it through the Combat Endurance Test, and none made it to the end.
This isn’t a big surprise to anyone with half a brain. Of course this excludes the FemiNazi and DemoLib mindset that sees the U.S. military as their private playground for conducting social experiments and political pandering.
One male USMC Infantry officer, now inactive, shares his perspective:
“Article 1 of the USMC Code of Conduct says:
‘I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.’
As I found in USMC Officer Candidate School, the Marine Corps is an elite fighting force. Serving with the Corps isn’t an invitation to a garden party or an equal opportunity program for fast-track career advancement. The mission of the Marine Corps is to defeat the enemy. The primary mission of the Marine Corps rifle squad is to locate, close with, and destroy the enemy or his will to fight by fire or close combat.
No Points for #2
Lest you scream “Sexist! Chauvinist!,” let’s remember that the military isn’t Meal on Wheels. It’s a fighting force. In war, you don’t get any points for coming in #2.”
Things may have changed some since I was in, but last time I checked, the battlefield isn’t gender-neutral. There’s no such thing as one type of war for men and another for women. Certain tasks and responsibilities specific to the military require significant upper body strength, size and bulk that most women can’t do or have trouble doing. This isn’t to say female military service isn’t valuable. But when the person next to you on the battle line – male or female – isn’t physically qualified to be in combat and got in because of lowered physical standards, your life is in danger.
The battlefield isn’t a social experiment. It’s about fighting an enemy who wants us dead. Why water down basic standards to accommodate women in combat? Is that any way to win?
Women Marines have a proud and distinguished heritage of contribution and dedication to the Corps. But shouldn’t certain physical roles and tasks requiring superior upper body strength and bulk such as hauling heavy ammunition or carrying a fallen comrade to safety be for those who can carry them out – for the good of the unit?
If a woman meets the minimum physical standards and performs, fine. But if she can’t, then she’s not qualified to be a U.S. Marine. Good bye. The same goes for any man who can’t meet the standards. Lowering standards isn’t a solution. It’s an invitation to disaster.
Imposing two separate standards – one for men and a lower one for women – is not only counter-productive, it can easily foster resentment (why do men have to perform at a higher level when women who want the same job can get in at a lower level?), negatively impact unit cohesion, needlessly endanger lives and dilute this elite fighting force into something other than an elite fighting force.
That’s not what being a Marine is about.
Equal Does Not Mean Same
At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur, let me restate the obvious. Men and women are different. Generally speaking, if your average woman gets in a physical altercation with your average man, she’s going to lose. This doesn’t mean one gender is superior to or more valuable than the other. It just means they’re different. These differences don’t magically disappear under combat conditions.
Carrying Out the Mission
The United States Marine Corps is an elite fighting force, not a playground for gender-neutral social experiments or placating a particular socio-political agenda. This old dinosaur argues that anything that dilutes or undercuts the Mission of the Marine Corps, whether it’s materiel, supplies, support, funding, espirit de corps or lowered standards that impinge upon the ability of any Marine to carry out his/her mission will needlessly endanger Marine lives. It should be avoided at all costs. Period.
The Mission of the Marine Corps:
“The Marine Corps shall be organized, trained and equipped to provide Fleet Marine Forces of combined arms, together with supporting air components, for service with the U.S. Fleet in the seizure and or defense of advanced naval bases and for the conduct of such land operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval campaign; to provide detachments and organizations for service on armed vessels of the Navy, and security detachments for the protection of naval property at naval stations and bases; to develop, in connection with the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, the tactics, technique and equipment employed by landing forces in amphibious operations; to train and equip, as required, Marine forces for airborne operations, … to be prepared, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components to meet the needs of war.”
– Guidebook for Marines, the Marine Corps Association, Quantico, VA, 1978
Article I of the Marine Corps Code of Conduct may have been ‘gender normed’ since I was in, but no Marine’s life should ever be placed in jeopardy needlessly, especially if it’s done just to placate a particular political agenda.”
Semper Fi, Marine.