Guest Authors

Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"

17 March 2013

Published here with permission from the author.

Written By: G.S. Newbold, Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret.)

120111-m-kw153-212-1000Marine photo / Cpl. Jennifer Pirante Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Michelle Berglin trains for an upcoming deployment at Camp Pendleton in January.

Myth #1“It’s about women in combat.”

No, it’s not. Women are already in combat, and are serving well and professionally. The issue should be more clearly entitled, “Women in the infantry.” And this is a decidedly different proposition.

Myth #2“Combat has changed” (often accompanied by “There are no front lines anymore”).

This convenient misconception requires several counters. First, any serious study of military history will reveal numerous historical examples about how successive generations (over millennia) believed that warfare had changed forever, only to find that technology may change platforms, but not its harsh essence. To hope that conflicts over the last 20 years are models of a new, antiseptic form of warfare is delusional.

The second point is that the enemy gets a vote – time, place, and style. For example, war on the Korean Peninsula would be a brutal, costly, no-holds-barred nightmare of mayhem in close combat with casualties in a week that could surpass the annual total of recent conflict.

The final point on this myth reinforces the Korea example and it bears examination — Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, where warfare was reduced to a horrific, costly, and exhausting scrap in a destroyed city between two foes that fought to the death.

The standard for ground combat unit composition should be whether social experimentation would have amplified our opportunity for success in that crucible, or diminished it. We gamble with our future security when we set standards for warfare based on the best case, instead of the harshest one.

Myth #3“If they pass the physical standards, why not?”

Physical standards are important, but not nearly all of the story. Napoleon – “The moral (spirit) is to the physical as three is to one.”

Unit cohesion is the essence of combat power, and while it may be convenient to dismiss human nature for political expediency, the facts are that sexual dynamics will exist and can affect morale. That may be manageable in other environments, but not in close combat.

Any study of sexual harassment statistics in this age cohort – in the military, academia, or the civilian workplace — are evidence enough that despite best efforts to by sincere leaders to control the issue, human instincts remain strong. Perceptions of favoritism or harassment will be corrosive, and cohesion will be the victim.

Myth #4“Standards won’t be lowered.”

This is the cruelest myth of all. The statements of the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are telling.

They essentially declare “guilty until proven innocent” on anyone attempting to maintain the standards which produced the finest fighting force in the world. There are already accommodations (note that unit cohesion won’t be a metric), there will be many more, and we will pay a bloody price for it someday.

Pity the truthful leader who attempts to hold to standards based on realistic combat factors, and tells truth to power. Most won’t, and the others won’t survive.

Myth #5“Opening the infantry will provide a better pathway to senior rank for the talented women.”

Not so. What will happen is that we will take very talented females with unlimited potential and change their peer norm when we inject them into the infantry.

Those who might meet the infantry physical standard will find that their peers are expected, as leaders, to far exceed it (and most of their subordinates will, as well).

So instead of advancing to a level appropriate to their potential, they may well be left out.

Myth #6“It’s a civil rights issue, much like the integration of the armed forces and allowing gays to serve openly.”

Those who parrot this either hope to scare honest and frank discussion, or confuse national security with utopian ideas.

In the process, they demean initiatives that were to provide equally skilled individuals the opportunity to contribute equally. In each of the other issues, lowered standards were not the consequence.

Myth #7“It’s just fair.”

Allow me two points.

First, this is ground warfare we’re discussing, so realism is important.

“Fair” is not part of the direct ground combat lexicon.

Direct ground combat, such as experienced in the frozen tundra of Korea, the rubble of Stalingrad, or the endless 30-day jungle patrols against a grim foe in Viet Nam, is the harshest meritocracy — with the greatest consequences — there is.

And psychology in warfare is germane – the force that is respected (and, yes, feared) has a distinct advantage.

Will women in our infantry enhance a psychological advantage, or hinder it?

Second, if it’s about fairness, why do women get a choice of whether to serve in the infantry (when men do not), and why aren’t they required to register for the draft (as men are)?

It may be that we live in a society in which honest discussion of this issue, relying on facts instead of volume, is not possible. If so, our national security will fall victim to hope instead of reality. And myths be damned.

Gregory S. Newbold served 32 years as a Marine infantryman, commanding units from platoon to the 1st Marine Division. His final assignment before retiring in 2002 was as director of operations for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff.

Comments   

 
+21 # Be careful...Kurt12 2013-03-18 15:20
I'm sorry, I'm from the old school, and I dont want this to sound sexist or chauvinist, I just think its a bad idea. When it causes ANY disruption wether real or imagined in life or death situations, women should be happy in their support role. I just care for women to much to see them potentially captured by a enemy that will do unspeakable things to a woman captive...
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+12 # StandardsRandy Shackelford 2013-03-18 16:10
"Those who might meet the infantry physical standard will find that their peers are expected, as leaders, to far exceed it (and most of their subordinates will, as well)."

This is, without a doubt, the best common sense statement I’ve heard since this topic has come up. The minimums standards are set up as a discriminator, but no one just does the minimum and succeeds in the Army. Can you imagine a PL of PS “just” getting a 180 on their APFT? Unless they have some other outstanding quality as a leader, they’d be a laughing stock of just not the platoon, but the company and probably the battalion as well. That’s not setting our leaders up for success at all.
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+21 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"a&n 2013-03-18 16:19
I'm a strong, athletic patriotic American woman who is very grateful to our Military. I'm smart enough to know the Military doesn't need me and I don't want to be there. I have other patriotic wars to fight right here at home. Unfortunately if this present administration keeps doing its best to destroy our Military along with everything else in the Country I may have to fight...right here at home. The article is exactly right. God help our Military and our Country because this present Government sure a heck isn't.
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+22 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"Michael White 2013-03-18 16:25
I have no experience to speak of, but as a father of a former USMC grunt, I think I can bottom line this issue. Let me set up a realistic scenario. My son weighs some 200 lbs. What's a combat load for a grunt lets say 70 lbs? Lets say he is in a unit of mixed sexes, and is wounded in a mortar attack, and needs his female teammate to get him and his gear out. Are you going to promise this father I can depend on that the typical woman to pick up her body weight, plus my 200 lb son, and his 70 pound gear, and her 70 lbs, durning an attack? Will I be able to depend on her, or would my son be sacrificed on the altar of social experiments? Let those that cry for these social changes become the first test in real combat!
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+10 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"SunTzu 2013-03-18 17:23
Quoting Michael White:
Will I be able to depend on her, or would my son be sacrificed on the altar of social experiments? Let those that cry for these social changes become the first test in real combat!


This comment along with the potetial of being captured prisoners and the special unspeakable tortures women will incur, is the best and most succinct argument AGAINST women as combat infantry team members I have seen yet 8)
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+2 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"s 2013-03-19 02:34
Rape is alive and well in the military, for both men and women. Prisoner torture is thus a non-unique factor and not what this conversation should focus on.
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-11 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"Christi 2013-03-18 20:15
if its a drag carry yes, otherwise the standard is buddy carry. If she can get through infantry training she'll be fine.
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# RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"Dude 2013-11-03 07:06
If she passes Infantry training, congratulations she has passed nothing. Literally Infantry osut is a complete joke compared to what an actual unit is like.
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+1 # I agreedkb 2013-03-25 04:50
This is exactly a conversation that my son and I had 2 months ago. He is very concerned about his chances of survival if females are allowed into his career field. He is TACP with the AF.
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+13 # Myth #110th SFG 2013-03-18 16:26
I strongly agree that a clear distinction needs to be made about what is being discussed here. I'm all for women being able to perform their chosen jobs in a combat environment if they meet all of the standards, but women can't and never will be able to meet the physical requirements to serve in a combat infantry unit as an 11B (or whatever they call an infantryman these days). Humping a ruck with all your gear, ammo, water, food, etc. day in, day out in harsh environments is hard even for tough men. Women's bodies are just not designed to handle these types of loads...period. Sure, you might find a few that could do it for a day, but they would not be abled to do it for an extended period before injuries would mount up. Remember, injuries on long unsupported patrols creates logistical issues that can jeopardize the operation.
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-23 # Hang on a secArmy Soldier 2013-03-18 16:44
While I of course respect the Marine author, the fact that he has 32 years in the Infanty does not mean his views are gospel. I work with plenty of people who have the same amount of experience in terms of years but they surely are NOT the Guru's of their profession. We are all guided in our beliefs by our experiences. I know several women from Israel who were front line infantry types. They stated it takes adjustment but it can and does work. Change can be scary. FYI...scoring max on your PFT does not make you a good soldier, Marine, or Airman either.
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+5 # RE: Hang on a secSunTzu 2013-03-18 17:45
Quoting Army Soldier:
While I of course respect the Marine author, the fact that he has 32 years in the Infanty does not mean his views are gospel. I work with plenty of people who have the same amount of experience in terms of years but they surely are NOT the Guru's of their profession. We are all guided in our beliefs by our experiences. I know several women from Israel who were front line infantry types. They stated it takes adjustment but it can and does work. Change can be scary. FYI...scoring max on your PFT does not make you a good soldier, Marine, or Airman either.


Yeah and that asinine comment and attitude is why you and the people you work with are never going to lead the First Marine Division or any division for that matter, and certainly never rise to the Pentagon level of operations authority, because they are just regular grunts, like yourself!

I guess the authors HIGH positions of authority and command and control over those 32 years are lost on regular folks like you!
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+4 # US ArmyFirst Sergeant 2013-08-05 04:27
The statement about Israeli women being "front line" infantry is pure and utter nonsense and was a post-1967 war propaganda venture to insult the defeated arabs - to suggest they, the macho arabs, were "beaten by women" (an extreme insult to arab machismo). The Israeli military is NOT dumb enough to put women in front line infanty units, and neither are most other country's militaries. Only the goons in the US civil political world would do such a dumb thing.....and those are the ones who never wore a uniform and who would never fight for this country, ever.
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# my two centswilliam campbell 2014-01-05 21:04
Agreed, my experiences as a foreign volunteer with the IDF, a "mitnadev b'chutz Israel" is that I did not see women serving with primary infantry or commando units. If you have a combat load of X-# of kilos then this might be upwards of a third of body weight for a male soldier. The same load might be over half the body weight of a female soldier, expected to ruck up and hump maybe 30 to 60 kilometers. If you reduce the combat load of the female soldier then either the unit will not have full combat fire capacity or someone will have to carry extra, does not not work out for these types of units. The IDF is also concerned about female soldiers in close combat being taken prisoner and abused. I did see female instructors and the one area where female soldiers do come into armed conflict is in serving with the border police. They have performed well in these areas but do not have to carry large loads for great distances in this capacity.
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# Not propaganda.C M 2014-10-09 02:05
“The statement about Israeli women being "front line" infantry is pure and utter nonsense."

I'd first like to say I am a 13 year old female who plans on joining the IDF, and who is NOT claiming to be a expert on anything. However, there were female Israeli soldiers on the front lines, mainly in the war for Independence. Once again I am not claiming to be a expert, but I had relatives in the Haulocaust. Consequently I have researched the Haulocaust and the founding of Israel extensively. I also do Lincoln Douglas debate, which requires a lot of research as well.

God Bless America.

Am Yisra'el Chai.
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+14 # Women cannot hack close combatSunTzu 2013-03-18 17:00
I am amazed at how many retards in the moron media who are so dead set against the military but is that ignorant breath want to see girls put into combat infantry roles :eek:

Asinine is kind word for this kind of stupidity. Unless they are some kind of Amazons, WOMEN cannot hack it because of their physical limitations. PERIOD! And lets not forget those PERIODS, mmkay? Something else nobody wants to talk about, but I will!!

Are they going to get days off, a pass, from combat duty every 28 days? WTF! The female body is NOT designed for heavy load carrying and rigorous combat operations and any moron who tries to claim otherwise is a fool and an IDIOT! Many of them can't even make it through a day at work in normal jobs during their PERIODS, now we are going throw them into the extremely high stress combat operation arena, WHAT?

How our enemies must laughing at our ridiculous attempts to put weak females in combat infantry roles!

Lower standards? NEVER EVER! Should never happen and to do so, as the author so rightly pointed out, is irresponsible and tantamount to committing murder and suicide all at once!!!

God help US we have to get these corrupt Communist jackanapes out of our government and our military structure, TODAY!

De we really care about women. or are we going to exploit them for political purposes in the hopes of appearing fair and equal?

There is nothing fair or equal about inflicting combat injuries and death on women in order to appear fair or equal!

You can quote me on that last sentence!
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-20 # RE: Women cannot hack close combatArmy Soldier 2013-03-18 19:22
Quoting SunTzu:

Unless they are some kind of Amazons, WOMEN cannot hack it because of their physical limitations. PERIOD! And lets not forget those PERIODS, mmkay? Something else nobody wants to talk about, but I will!!

Are they going to get days off, a pass, from combat duty every 28 days? WTF! The female body is NOT designed for heavy load carrying and rigorous combat operations and any moron who tries to claim otherwise is a fool and an IDIOT! Many of them can't even make it through a day at work in normal jobs during their PERIODS, now we are going throw them into the extremely high stress combat operation arena, WHAT?

How our enemies must laughing at our ridiculous attempts to put weak females in combat infantry roles!

Lower standards? NEVER EVER! Should never happen and to do so, as the author so rightly pointed out, is irresponsible and tantamount to committing murder and suicide all at once!!!

God help US we have to get these corrupt Communist jackanapes out of our government and our military structure, TODAY!

De we really care about women. or are we going to exploit them for political purposes in the hopes of appearing fair and equal?

There is nothing fair or equal about inflicting combat injuries and death on women in order to appear fair or equal!

You can quote me on that last sentence!


Wow, you can't make up what a moronic caveman you are. Your fellow marines must be so proud to count you amongst them. Like I said, I know some female soldiers that could slit your throat without breaking a sweat. Painting all women with that broad brush of yours is just stupid.
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+8 # TebowFanTebowFan 2013-03-18 19:53
Maybe not all women are physically inferior, but about 99%
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-8 # RE: Women cannot hack close combatSunTzu 2013-03-18 20:17
Wow, you can't make up what a moronic caveman you are. Your fellow marines must be so proud to count you amongst them. Like I said, I know some female soldiers that could slit your throat without breaking a sweat. Painting all women with that broad brush of yours is just stupid.

Talk about morons and they seem to come out of the wood work like cockroaches heralding imperious troll leftist agitprop attacks that expose their brainwashed ignorance and real intent.

I doubt you know any females that could do anything more than service your genitals and probably not very well at that!

Judging by your inane attempt at attack with no real facts and idiot assumptions, you are a loser leftist Move-On troll hiding in your parents basement listening to Madonna records :-*

Anybody who uses the term "Moving On" around here is suspect of incompetence and low metal abilities, YO!

BTW it is idiots like you who are trying to paint women with a broad brush trying to miserably convey an inane position by saying without exception that women can hack combat infantry roles, when we have a female Army Captain saying exactly the opposite here on Michael's site, TROLL!
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# RE: Women cannot hack close combatRon 2013-03-20 14:57
What you just wrote is complete nonsense.

Start citing actual proof instead of "I know some Israeli chicks who can..." It doesnt mean shit
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+1 # protecting the speciesPatricia 2013-09-01 10:22
I agree with much of your statement. However, during stressful situations typically periods don't occur; it is evolutionary to protect the species. I also feel that men are predisposed to protect potential unborn by unconsciously protecting women. It's natural; however, who protects that man while he is protecting the woman next to him, unconsciously. A unit is only as strong as the weakest link :cry:
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+15 # BLUFJosh 2013-03-18 17:41
"Fallujah, Iraq in 2004, where warfare was reduced to a horrific, costly, and exhausting scrap in a destroyed city between two foes that fought to the death.
The standard for ground combat unit composition should be whether social experimentation would have amplified our opportunity for success in that crucible, or diminished it. We gamble with our future security when we set standards for warfare based on the best case, instead of the harshest one."

This, more than any other argument, MUST be considered long and hard before making our armed forces sacrifice their martial capability---th e very role and reason for existence---to cater to the identity politics of lobby groups.
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# Served With TF ChimeraTim Lum 2013-03-18 17:46
Had two women Paratroopers in TF Chimera in the Nijrab District of Kapisa Province and they humped the same red dust, climbed the same wadi walls and carried the same loads, 70lbs of armor and ammo and another 30-40lbs double combat loads in a pack on their backs, same as everyone else. Jump qualified, completed for their spots just like their peers. Saw the 19 year old remove, breakdown, service and replace the .50 cal. Solved more problems and caused none. Moving on guys.
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+4 # RE: Served With TF ChimeraSunTzu 2013-03-18 18:35
Quoting Tim Lum:
Had two women Paratroopers in TF Chimera in the Nijrab District of Kapisa Province and they humped the same red dust, climbed the same wadi walls and carried the same loads, 70lbs of armor and ammo and another 30-40lbs double combat loads in a pack on their backs, same as everyone else. Jump qualified, completed for their spots just like their peers. Saw the 19 year old remove, breakdown, service and replace the .50 cal. Solved more problems and caused none. Moving on guys.


So Timmy, are you really, really going to try to convince us these miracle worker Amazon women soldiers you wax poetic over, are the rule and NOT the exceptions. Excuse Me?

Have you ever, ever, in your feeble attempts to back a fallacious argument thought about what would happen to these amazing female soldiers if they were captured by the more radical elements of the Taliban, HAVE YOU?

You are going to try tell me and everyone else reading this, ANY average woman so inclined is going to fit the combat infantry mold without exception, when there are so many strong young guys who cannot?

Either you are delusional or you're making up your story to fit a politikal korrectness mold which many trolls for the left come in here and try out on a regular basis!
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+4 # StandardsTebowFan 2013-03-18 19:57
Standards are lower for women than men.
We raise them to man size, we'll see what happens.
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-5 # A LOAD OF BS!Tyler 2013-03-19 06:27
I have served with women like this too! If you want to meet women who can exceed the oh-so-hi minimum standards of the military, go to FT BRAGG!!! There are enough female Soldiers there that can easily hang with the men, they could fill at least one full light infantry battalion! And this poppycock about sexual assault--it already exists in the military, mainly IMHO, because of BS attitudes that women are inferior! True, not ALL women can/would want to do it, but not ALL men want to join the military or be infantrymen either! Hell, I have put out tons of "hard" infantry types because they can't hang. This entire diatribe is PATHETIC!
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+3 # First SergeantFirst Sergeant 2013-08-05 04:42
Only TWO? Where were the rest of them?
Not a particularly impressive statement considering there are over 15,000 women in the US Army today.
Having been a grunt for many years, the life of an infantry soldier is NOT an easy lifestyle by any means. It is hard, rough, arduous, physically demanding, chronically fatiguing, stressful, sometimes injurious, long hours for weeks at a time in all weather conditions from hot, to freezing and rain and snow and lots and lots of mud,with few or no opportunties to ever get rested or even clean. You have to carry your own gear, weapons, LBE, sometimes a 30 lbs radio and spare batteries, MREs, bandoliers - all on your physical frame (body) for long periods (25 mile or more "road marches" with few breaks). The infantry is difficult for the men. Women will likely never be able to stand up to the required rigors for more than a day at the most, and then they will be worn out, exhausted, pooped and wasted and ultimately, combat "ineffective" -- in other words, casualties waiting to happen.

Women in the infantry, Special forces, airborne, etc are liabilities to the unit. They are NOT assets. Anyone who thinks otherwise has never been in the infantry.....
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+5 # One other fact - not a mythRVN 68 Infantry 2013-03-18 19:03
I agree with the author's thoughts and add one more: the nature of offensive combat (quite different from the defensive combat that most women have experienced) that leads to harshness and coarseness that is the result of deliberately killing other human beings. This is how you get infantry soldiers urinating on enemy corpses. Women are to be the civilizing influence in a society. There will be myriad unintended consequences (unfavorable) when we embark on this latest attempt at social engineering. We snicker at the bumper sticker that says, "My Mom wears combat boots"; are we ready to see "My Mom is a grunt?"
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+3 # save usMartha 2013-03-18 19:28
Enough is enough
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+3 # women in combatSuz 2013-03-18 19:29
Enough is enough
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+10 # Women In Military RolesSunTzu 2013-03-18 19:43
Let me start off by clearing the air here, I am NOT against women serving in the military. I joined in the Air Force in 1975 when there was big a big push to "equalize" non-combatant male and female roles in the military. My squadron at Keesler AFB during my Tech School was almost exactly half women and it was a great new exciting adventure and experience for everyone, command staff, instructors, and students.

I served right alongside women in the 2nd Combat Communications Group who had to field deploy with us and live in tent city conditions and some of them even pitched in to do some of the more heavy lifting tasks but not many, because they just could not do it, period! But none us, thought ill of them for not being able to carry a medium GP tent ridge pole, which weighs about 120 lbs assembled! (There was one girl who could, but SHE was the EXCEPTION and not the RULE!)

I could not even conceive of our modern military NOT having women in prominent operational, command, and support roles, but having them exposed to direct combat infantry roles based inane rules of thumb in order to maintain some asinine insane politikally korrect equality standard, NO, BUT HELL NO!

But if you really want to go through with this abject surrender to poltical korrectnes nonsense, then at least make sure the ladies can really hack it! If they can hump the ruck, take the beating and risks that daily fully loaded patrols offer and are willing to put themselves at risk of being captured and raped by filthy Jihadist scum, then by all means let them go, but no special considerations because they are female, no time off for premenstrual cramps or pregnancy, NO PTIY, NO SYMPATHY, NO MORE CONSIDERATION THAN WHAT THE GUYS HAVE TO SUFFER!

Then lets see where the chips fall :-*
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+2 # RE: Women In Military RolesArmy Soldier 2013-03-20 18:46
[quote name="SunTzu"]L et me start off by clearing the air here, ...I served right alongside women in the 2nd Combat Communications Group :D who had to field deploy with us and live in tent city conditions and some of them even pitched in to do some of the more heavy lifting tasks but not many, because they just could not do it, period! quote]

"Combat" and "Communications " can never be used in the same phrase/sentence . That explains everything. Thank you.
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+9 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"05Worth 2013-03-18 19:57
As a female veteran, I say "Amen" to what the general wrote. Standards do change when women are introduced. Some of that may be good but much of it is bad. When USAF was first putting women in the cockpit, I was solicited to apply. They would waive my vision. I am legally blind when uncorrected but I correct to 20/20. I declined.
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+8 # Commandante of the Home OfficePeter C. Krieger 2013-03-18 20:13
Just my two cents - it's not about opportunity but about feminist preening - looking good until the shit hits the fan.
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# oppositionPam Hopkins 2013-03-18 20:21
I know your instant reactions to my "opinion" will be either anger or irritation but please, just hear me out. Not one person on this planet is a duplicate of another. Man or woman. Who is capable and who is not capable of handling the stress, fear and trauma of war, is determined by our strength of both mind and body.. I love you all (our troops, men & women) but in my time it was the same as it is today and that is ancient history. No matter how strong we are physically or mentally, you still think the same as they did back then. You cannot put any of us (men or women) in the same category because we are all different from one another. I have been through extreme trauma in my life, Physical, mental and emotional. I almost died a few times and sheer will to fight and live trough many battles is the only reasons why I am still here. Like it or not, women are capable of carrying around the most horrific memories of the most painful experiences. We have also been known to carry extremely heavy loads when that adrenaline hits. I'm not trying to insult men, on the contrary, I love men, :P I am just saying that I had a right to fight for my country way back then, but I couldn't and now I am too old. If you have a problem with it and if you believe it affects the "team" efforts and/or successes, then why not put women together and none of you will have to depend on them to watch your backs. Other countries across this planet have conquered this very same fear and they did it a long time ago.. You see women fighting for their countries in every country but the U.S. I understand your qualms and sympathize but I personally would be honored to have a woman watching my back, because I know I can depend on those who do have the strength, courage and honor to fight & sacrifice for their country. They are formidable allies to have on your side. It is too bad you don't realize how much we females have in us, but there it is. Anyway...JMHO, so please don't take offense. :-) Have a great day! And thanks for your sacrifices to this country and her people!
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+11 # TF Chimera Women10th SFG 2013-03-18 20:36
I have to call BS on this one. These women humped 110 lb packs on a daily basis? And since you brought up female "paratroopers" I will tell you this: I went through US Army Jump School in 1980 and some females were in my class -- guess what? They had a whole different set of standards. They had these little sawed off chin up bars so that they could do their pull ups with their heels on the ground, and they did their push ups with their knees on the ground!

Later when I was in SF some loud mouthed butch type soldier was making all kinds of noise that she could do what we do, so we let her go out on a patrol with us. We didn't even get out of the main gate (on our way out to the ranges) before she started crying. Her ruck didn't even weigh 70lbs.

I understand that this was only one girl, but she was very butch and looked to be pretty bad ass for a girl, and she failed miserably.

I've also gone up against female black belts in Karate at the Dojo. They look really good doing their Kata's, but when it's time to spar, they simply can't match the power of a man -- even though they know proper leverage. I get so sick of hearing these fictitious stories of how women can match the strength and stamina of men.
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# US ArmyFirst Sergeant 2013-08-05 04:53
TF:

Roger on the different Airborne standards for women.
In 1965, most women didn't even weigh enough to open the standard-issue Army parachute. It took 110 lbs of weight to open the chute....so, we put full sand bags in their rucks to make them heavier.....to gurantee the chutes would open. This was in later years. Not sure how they do it these days now.
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+6 # Quick Test10th SFG 2013-03-18 20:53
Pam, carrying heavy loads when adrenaline hits is entirely different than carrying 100+ pounds all day in extreme conditions.

Before any more females post saying that women can do this, I suggest you do a quick test. Load 100 pounds into a pack and see if you can lift it onto your back, then walk around for 5 minutes. then sit down and type your response. This goes for you guys who support women in infantry units -- I bet you can't do it either.

I don't dispute your claims that women can endure pain and emotional suffering -- it's just the physical component that I'm harping on here.
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# 10th SFGPam Hopkins 2013-03-19 00:46
Thanks for responding without getting mad :) I know you are the experts and I respect your comments. I have hauled some pretty heavy loads but not in a pack. A barrel full of my own freshly chopped wood yes..but other than that...no, I probably couldn't. I'm way too old. Anyway, hopefully, we civilian women will never be put to the test by having to take up arms and fight for our freedom here in our own country where we won't have a choice. Whether we can pack 100 lbs or not might not be an issue then but you are correct in my case, I wouldn't dare to answer your challenge at my age but perhaps someone eventually will. Bless you and thank you, 10th SFG for your service!
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# RetiredJack C. Rookhuyzen 2013-03-18 21:06
NO !!! Enough of this P>C. Bull $h!T !!!
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+4 # NO...just NOGrammaSheila 2013-03-18 21:28
Men are men. Women are not. Women do not belong everywhere, regardless of "Can do" or "Can't do."
Mother of four women, grandmother of eight young ladies, seven young men.
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# TrojanRicochet 2013-03-18 21:35
My Norton just isolated a trojan attach when I logged onto Mikes site here.
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+2 # Very punny...whamprod 2013-03-18 22:16
Quoting Ricochet:
My Norton just isolated a trojan attach when I logged onto Mikes site here.

Strange.... My Honda is just fine. :P
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+2 # Find, fix & fightCavalry Scout 2013-03-18 22:11
I agree that the question is about the infantry (but would open it up to the maneuver combat arms) and not "combat". I believe the Marines and the Army have made the conversation go the way it has by not addressing the fundamentals. Hardly anyone makes the point that there is a difference between the manoeuvre combat arms and all of the other branches/specia lties. It is one thing to be a supply clerk, admin, trucker, ammo handler, comms person, etc. who gets attacked by the enemy. It is a wholly different thing to leave friendly lines willingly and set out to find, fix, and fight an enemy as you're main job.
It is in this vein that all of the issues gain their greatest clarity and their most extreme examples, especially unit cohesion. A supply unit stumbling into the enemy is called a security mistake. A combat arms team stumbling into the enemy is called a patrol or a reconnaissance- in-force.
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+1 # US ArmyFirst Sergeant 2013-08-05 05:06
OK, for all you female wannabe grunts, visualize this:

You are a female. You are in the infantry now.
We are in a shooting war. You are assigned to an infantry platoon which is on patrol in a hostile area known to be populated by enemy soldiers. They spot you; then, they engage you. There are twice as many of them as there are of your guys. Fighting comes to hand to hand and bayonet to bayonet. Your guys are having to react immediately with their bayonets, and are still wearing their rucks, LBE and are fully equipped with helmets, rifles. Quick reaction and engagement is crucial and critical NOW. There is no time to delay or unload your personal equipment. The fight ensues for more than 35 minutes. Bodies are flying everywhere, guts are being ripped open, heads are being smashed, there is a lot of yelling. The enemy force is ALL men and those guys are BIG, mean, scary, and fierce looking. The US females in the infantry engagement are the first to go down as casualties. They are too small and light for these guys who are overpowering and outfighting them. The enemy soldiers are extremely aggressive, unmerciful, and apparently not intimidated or afraid of our guys at all. The battle ends, they win, kill a few more of our guys and take the rest as POWs. Had we had more tough men, we might have won. Too many females, most unable to inflict any real damage to the close combat enemy. They did a lot of head smashing and thus our guys were defeated. Why? Wrong people in the wrong jobs at the wrong time. Women in the infantry, LOL...a real scenario yet to play out in some future war.
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+1 # *rolls eyesMark T 2013-03-19 00:20
Quoting Army Soldier:

Wow, you can't make up what a moronic caveman you are. Your fellow marines must be so proud to count you amongst them. Like I said, I know some female soldiers that could slit your throat without breaking a sweat. Painting all women with that broad brush of yours is just stupid.

I hear this BS all the time, and usually from people who claim to be in front line units themselves but parrot that they know women who can beat every man or slit peoples throats etc etc... Nobody said women cant kill, what IS being said clearly, is that women won't be able to meet and exceed the standards for infantry and that the standards will therefore be lowered. If that wasnt true, then they would already be competing equally with men in fitness competitions, and we know thats not going to happen.
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# LTC-RET PSYOP AssiciationJoseph Meissner 2013-03-19 00:31
This is not going to work. There may be some women who make the grade physically, but what about mentally and psychologically?

And what about the demands of the average woman's body? What about the normal 3 days of every month with a period? Will the enemy allow each woman soldier a three day rest period? What about women whose periods are irregular? Will a commander have to add this to all the other burdens of operating a unit in hostile territory?

Finally, how will an enemy react to American women in the very frontline? Do we expect them to treat women POW soldiers better than they treat men, or worse? Will women find their heads being sawed off? What about using women captives to weaken the will of the American public in a war?

I am sorry, but this does not sound like progress, even for women in the military. Isn't it amazing that with all the different armies we have had for thousands of years, no one has come up with this proposal ?
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-1 # Stryker DadMike Echo 2013-03-19 01:30
When your back is against the wall, like the Russians were at Stalingrad, you do what you must to survive. Even putting women in combat. Our backs are not yet against the wall. In WW11 women took the defense jobs to free up the men for combat duty. Unfortunately we may be sucked into another war in Korea where there are no rules and prisoners are never heard from again. In the meantime we need to stay out of other peoples problems.
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+2 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"William 2013-03-19 03:16
I was in the AF 1973-1977 and it was a time of bringing in women to the ranks and they were held to a different standard. Women were not expected to perform to the same requirements as the men. They were given waivers excusing them from what they couldn't handle. Men were not allowed to say anything that the women were offended by. I remember while at Lowry AFB, an airman said something about a female airman as a joke to fellow airmen that was relayed to her. She was very rude and vulgar in the way she acted towards the men and it was an off the cuff comment in response to what she had said But she did get offended and cried to her superiors. The base commander wanted a head to role because she got offended and issued a statement that the women could say and do anything they wanted but the men were not allowed to reciprocate. I was FCS but I had friends in ECM that I spent a lot of time with and they had a female airman. She only worked about a week each month because she got time off or light duty for premenstrual cramps, menstrual cramps, and post menstrual cramps leaving a bulk of her duties to fall on the guys. What made it worse is they could not say anything critical about the situation without threat of article 15 or other disciplinary action. Another thing I have noticed over the last forty years is a majority of women I have known or met are constantly complaining about back problems and other ailments from normal household duties or professional duties such as nursing so I am sure there is a good possibility those who do try to hack the backpack and harsh environments are going to suffer for it, especially since women have higher rates of osteoporosis than men. I have nothing against women serving in the military and even defensive fire situations but front lines infantry is a much different animal. I remember the men vs women competitions to prove women were equal to men. They were a joke and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt they were not equal physically. All the physical challenges were handicapped. In the endurance and track and field competitions they were given huge head starts which is right off the bat saying it was not equal. Heads up racing is equal, bracket racing is an equalizer for those who can't stack up the best. If women were equal, why is it they never come close to the male runners for the top spot. It is always the fastest male and fastest female but there is a noticeable difference. Problem is, an enemy combatant is not going to cut them the same slack as the government lackeys. I am sure there are some women who can be as rude, crude, and indignant as the men but they are the exception, not the rule. My grand daughter is a Marine and can shoot as well as the men and I could not be more proud of her, but I worry about her because her size and weight of 110 pounds is not going to have much affect on a 200 + pound, muscle bound male soldier in hand to hand which happens quite often in front line infantry duties.
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+3 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"Pam Hopkins 2013-03-19 03:57
Quoting William:
I was in the AF 1973-1977 and it was a time of bringing in women to the ranks and they were held to a different standard.

That should change with the times as well, because that's BS,. Equal rights means equal everything. How many would change their minds about this (men and women) if that was the case and standards were the same no matter what your gender? It is the way it should be, always.
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-9 # Has Beens Should Know Their PlaceTyler 2013-03-19 06:39
What I love about all the posts here is they are all by HAS BEENS. I got it, women "back in the day" (Vietnam era) couldn't hang with you imfantry types, and there are no women in your VFW lodges drinking beer with you now, but I HAVE served and AM serving now in a combat zone. I was in the military when 9/11 happened and haven't left. And I have been in infantry units and support units since then, and I am telling you, you are all WRONG. There are plenty of women who DO THIS NOW. Get over it. The world has moved on. Go watch the Bataan Death March Commemorative event every year and you can watch plenty of all female teams kick ass. They can do it boys. It's not an exclusive club any more.
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+2 # US ArmyFirst Sergeant 2013-08-05 05:18
Tyler:

You are missing the point in the discussion.

It is not about HAS BEENs. It is about DIRECT infantry engagement, not the defensive stuff some women are performing now in Afghanistan. There IS a difference -- YOU just haven't had your female ass kicked yet by REAL soldiers wearing REAL uniforms and fighting in a REAL Army. A few ragheads isn't quite the same thing girl......so, you got lots to learn yet before you start knocking us "has beens". At least, we COUNTED --- you don't, yet. We have traveled the road, and we KNOW the score. We also know what awaits YOU and other potential infantry women in the next war -- history tends to repeat, remember?? Rather than knock it, try and learn from it.............

Good night --signing off now

The Point is more about stamina, physical endurance, and physical strength over a long period of time and the ability to continue to function as a combatant for prolonged periods and without regard to all that is good.
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+3 # Retired InfantryChris G. 2013-03-19 06:49
Personally I think that women will do fine. It's us men that I worry about and that gives me pause to women in combat. We men in the Infantry have a puffed up sense of right and wrong; moral and immoral. When you are fighting alongside another man there is an understanding that "I have your back and you have mine." but with women it will be different for quite a while (not always but for a few years). It's more of a "whatever happens I have to protect her" mentality that I fear will dominate the minds of the men in combat.

When the question was first posed to me if I would have any issues with women in combat I initially told the gentleman (a reporter attached to C.Co 1-17 INF in Afghanistan) that I did not have a problem with it as long as the standards were just that.... standard across the board. However I have been thinking lately that there are a number of situations that give me pause on the issue. Now I know this does not happen often but if a man and a woman were taken prisoner the woman could be strong enough to not talk no matter what they did to her. I as the man would not give any information of any kind no matter what they did to me. But let me see them mistreat, beat, and rape a woman I am serving with and I honestly can not tell you that I could remain strong and silent.

It's not an issue of equality because I believe in equality in all facets of life. It is more an issue of your military trained and calculating mind and your moral and chivalrous heart being at odds with each other. Do I trust a woman to serve honorably and have my back in a firefight?... Of course I do. But if I am honest with myself; given a choice between saving my buddy on my left or a woman on the right. The decision would always be the woman on the right. I know that is not true equality but it is the way many of us were raised. To be noble and honorable towards women. But if i would chose her over my other buddy then I no longer have my buddy's back when the stuff hits the fan. And that process of wondering instead of knowing that I have his back and he has mine is an issue I believe will not be solved for a few more generations when women and men have finally reached a true place of equality.
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+4 # RetiredChris G. 2013-03-19 07:31
Just thought I should clarify that when I say retired I mean medically retired in 2012 from injuries suffered in Afghanistan not retired like the post above mine "Has Beens Should Know Their Place"...
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+2 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"Gordon B 2013-03-19 12:13
I've had quite a bit of exposure to various countries armed forces over the years (ABCA mainly) and also across a variety of branches (Inf, Armour, Engineers, Arty, Logistics, Aviation and SOF).

Canadian Forces have females in combat arms (Artillery, Armour, Aviation and also at least one female SOF operator). They didn't lower the standard for her and she got through.

The Brits had used female operators within the UW side in Northern Ireland for some time; though not in the pure infantry role. More undercover work etc...i.e. less likely to be noticed having a man and a women enter a pub then two blokes. Regular SOF wise it has been opened to them but no female operators have gotten through as of 2011)

Having female engagement teams has been a success for US/Australia in getting intel from the female population in Afghanistan (cultural thing where the women aren't likely to talk to men at all); on the converse side the local male population (esp in the tribal areas) aren't going to have a bar to do with any female soldiers.

Few years back I actually met a female Australian medic who was very physically fit (she was a stunt double for Nicole Kidman in Days of Thunder for e.g) and she was attached to a 1 CDO in Sydney for some time. She put her hand up to do all that the male SOF operators would do...i.e. fast roping, Urban work, humping rucks. She could keep up, however she admitted in the long run her recovery time compared to the blokes was a lot less.

Likewise for female soldiers in Australia prelonged deployments in the field (we are week+ here usually resulted in female hygiene issues).

All the infantry and Tier 2 units I've talked to were opposed to having women in their units. Surprisingly there is a more open attitude to it for Tier 1 units i.e. esp the UW role where having a women operator is going to assist.

I guess the main issue for infantry is going to be the close combat function i.e. getting in there and dominating in CQB..with bare hands, bayonets and fighting implements; this is where the danger area is. An enemy combatant (esp contemporary) isn't go to give a female soldier a fair fight just because of gender. Sure there are the examples of women they can keep up with the guys...but what is going to be effect of having had to patrol for days, be in a sustaine urban fight and then hit a building where you have to take down a haji loaded to the eyeballs with narcotics.

i.e. is a female operator going to be able to replicate that?

http://www.news.com.au/national-news/killer-commando-america-poaches-australias-toughest-man/story-fncynjr2-1226592161560
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# @gordonMark T 2013-03-19 13:11
Quoting Gordon B:

Canadian Forces have females in combat arms (...at least one female SOF operator). They didn't lower the standard for her and she got through.

how do you know they didnt lower the standard? I know plenty of people in the CF including women and the biggest complaint is lowered standards, so I have trouble believing that.
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# RE: @gordonGordon B 2013-03-19 13:52
I asked some of the operators myself. If anything selection is harder. Well at least for CANSOF.
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+2 # Will not make the Inf. or SF betterKurt12 2013-03-19 15:54
The only way women should be accepted is if they are going to make it any better than it is right now. Will they make either better? Can any woman say, being truthful that they will be better?...can a woman CQB with a man and come out the victor?...be truthful women...
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+1 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"Gordon B 2013-03-19 12:15
The issue of male soldiers protecting female soldiers within an infantry unit needs to be dealt with as well:
Israeli Experience with women in direct combat (sure there are female snipers etc; but they have a different role to what most western militaries define as sniping)

http://www.wnd.com/2001/08/10269/
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-2 # RE: Seven Myths About “Women in Combat"Are You Kidding Me? 2013-03-19 13:08
This is a GREAT article. A PUBLIC Hearing affords opportunity for the wisdom of a G.S. Newbold, Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret.). There wasn't any and the Bill was signed.

I want to extend the Idea of Myth#3 to address RAPE. I'll call this MYTH#8---"Despi te Best Efforts It's Impossible to stop Rape in the Military." RAPE will continue until Male Authority/Leade rship says RAPE stops NOW. Trent Mays & Ma’Lik Richmond, two teen football players from Stuebenville Ohio, were found guilty of raping a 16-year-old West Virginia girl while at alcohol-fueled parties last summer. We all saw the video & pictures, one holding her by her arms, the other by her legs wide eagle. Was that before or after the Rape---DOES IT MATTER? They took advantage of a very drunk girl. Posted these pictures online. The verdict was just, it didn't "ruin" the "promising" lives of Trent and Malik, their decision to RAPE did. There isn't much difference between the MINDSET of Revered Football players Raping a girl and young Military Officers Raping a girl. They rape them because they are THERE. They rape them because they know they have IMPUNITY. THEY GET IT---what we do HERE is different. This impunity will remain in force UNTIL Male Authority/Leade rship says RAPE stops NOW and that Rape is a first degree crime and will be prosecuted under Military & Civil Law. It won't ruin morale or good men, it will improve morale and good men! Women DON'T belong in Combat--PERIOD! The CULTURE of RAPE in the Military is wrong---PERIOD! THIS impunity and simplistic mindset (I can do to her whatever I want, she's Here) needs to STOP!
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+3 # Better Infantry?Kurt12 2013-03-19 15:19
To all the women thinking they can be in the infantry:

Be truthful, do you think that women in combat will make the infantry any better than it is now?...

You women who think you will make the infantry better are fooling yourself and will only lower its effectiveness and will get people killed. Its the epitome of selfishness to think you women can make it better or more effective...
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+3 # Hard Cold Facts10th SFG 2013-03-19 15:39
To support my previous assertions that women in general are just not physically capable of the daily rigors of life as an infantry"person ", I give you this. This is an official assessment from a Presidential Commission (funny how none of this ever surfaced with the media:

From the report of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces dated November 15, 1992, it states in part:The average female Army recruit is 4.8 inches shorter, 31.7 pounds lighter, has 37.4 fewer pounds of muscle, and 5.7 more pounds of fat than the average male recruit. She has only 55 percent of the upper-body strength and 72 percent of the lower-body strength. An Army study done in 1988 found that women are more than twice as likely to suffer leg injuries and nearly five times as likely to suffer fractures as men. Further, the Commission heard an abundance of expert testimony including:- women’s aerobic capacity is significantly lower, meaning they cannot carry as much as far as fast as men, and they are more susceptible to fatigue.- in terms of physical capability, the upper five percent of women are at the level of the male median. The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man. After a study was conducted at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, one expert testified that:- using the standard Army Physical Fitness Test, the upper quintile (top 20%) of women at West point achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom quintile (bottom 20%) of men.- only 21 women out of the initial 623 (3.4%) achieved a score equal to the male mean score of 260.- on the push-up test, only 7% of women can meet a score of 60, while 78% of men exceed it.- adopting a male standard of fitness at West Point would mean 70% of the women he studied would be separated as failures at the end of their junior year, only 3% would be eligible for the Recondo badge, and not one would receive the Army Physical Fitness badge.
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+5 # Re: Seven Myths About Women in CombatJust the facts ma-am 2013-03-19 19:38
As a former Amazon woman, I'm thankful that somebody in the position of Newbold is willing to be truthful. I grew up blessed with natural athletic ability and was extremely competitive with my three brothers (and everybody else). Up until about my 12th birthday I could cream any boy within two years of my age in any endeavor. I was certain that "anything boys can do, girls can do better." I was tall and strong and confident. But something started happening, and at first it just made me work ever harder to keep ahead - the boys started growing taller and stronger. After awhile I couldn't keep up. By the time we all graduated from high school even the smallest, "wimpiest" boys were stronger than I was (and I was still at the top of the heap of the girls). I've kept a very close watch as this very subject has been argued for the last 40 years, and nothing has convinced me that it would be good for anybody if infantry is opened up to women. Not because I couldn't hack it, therefore I don't want any other woman getting to, but because I knew if I couldn't neither could most others, so I know that the standards would have to be lowered to accommodate women. And that's the last thing any thinking person should want, if they believe that our military actually serves its purpose. But as my son the infantry Marine says to any woman who argues it with him, "Take your 70-lb pack and meet me with it 5 miles from here then try to kill me. If I die, you should be allowed to enlist as infantry." So far none has even accepted his challenge to carry the pack.
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+4 # Bravo ma-am10th SFG 2013-03-19 20:17
Thank you. Your son's challenge is perfect.
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+1 # Couple of thingsAnthony Storch 2013-03-19 22:09
Cold War vet, never saw the elephant...
Most of the guys in my USMC M-60A1 tank co could hold a 105 round (40ish lbs) under each arm when loading. The tank can be a dangerous animal to feed and care for, with burns, cuts and bruises lurking. I haven't seen may females who would relish and thrive on that challenge. Secondly, can u imagine the jr high vaudeville antics if a chick was injected in to my tank or a squad or a gun crew? "Oh, she likes the cake dessert, big can entrees? She can have mine", "Do you like me? Check box YES NO", "No, i dont mind jumping down in the shit water rice paddy or freezing cold snow and check the track tension and roadwheels." All the physical and moral objections are golden, but add the sexual dynamic? no effin way. Love the article.
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# Tank WOJohn Bump 2014-09-16 04:43
As I was reading the different points, I was reminded of two points in the 21 years as Gunny then Warrant in Tanks. The first was when someone messed up and sent a female supply clerk to me. She was an average Marine in her abilities to order parts. I, however could not put her on watch like my male marines nor could she carry her end of the 80lb toolbox from the maintenance vehicle to the front slope. Made that month a living hell. That was peace time in the states. The other point was my first experience in combat when things go off script. After retrieving many tanks out of minefields lanes 7 and 8 between Kuwait and Saudi the last tank i was pulling hit a bar mine that detonated under the escape hatch. The two crewman who were on the radio giving me directions to reverse to stay in the lane were buttoned up in side the tank to avoid getting decapitated by my main tow cable. I dont remember the run to the tank but I still remember their crumbled bodies in the tank floor amid the twisted metal. I remember going down in after both of them and hauling them out by their nomex straps. I don't know many women who have maxed their pft's that could get two 190+lb men through a 3' hole 7' off the turret floor. I think the General adds a really good perspective that reminded me of a 1sgt in the battle of Fallujah that rescued some of his Marines while clearing a building. He had his gear 70lbs and his weight 190+. He had multiple small arms and shrapnel wounds he had sustained as he was clearing the rooms of insurgents. Infantry day at work. I watched fences and done close quarter combat and they totally not the same. There are places for our sisters in arms but front line infantry is not one of them. Its one of the reasons you dont see ISIS showing any Marines in their videos because we never leave our own behind. Check out the 1sgt's citation at this site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_Kasal#cite_note-2
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# Am I the only one...Sean 2013-03-20 04:50
Am I the only one worried about the emotional effects of a period when combined with a loaded firearm in a stressful combat zone?

Way I see it, its like giving a guy with Bipolar a gun, training on how to kill, sticking him in a situation where he does kill, and expecting him to handle it well.

One too many verbal jabs and bam, Private Jenkins head just got vacated.
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+4 # Mr.John R. Schuh 2013-03-20 06:31
If someone were to mandate that women by permitted to play football, then standards would have to be lowered. Women’s bodies are designed to bear children.
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-2 # Treasure hunterDavej 2013-04-01 20:10
women are allowed to play football ,at least in my state Penn.,at the jr. high level about 20% girls in some schools, in the past twenty years I have heard of only two that made any high school team and they were both kickers. I think a lot of these arguments have very little based in fact but the basic truth remains the average woman is smaller than the average man.there is a reason they have weight
classes in wrestling, boxing and other pugilistic sports
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-2 # Free thinker and citizenJake Strickland 2013-04-06 20:37
At first I was riding the fence about female soldiers in combat situations but was leaning towards not supporting the idea. Then I took the time to read every comment posted here. I believe now, without question, that it's not the best idea, not because of fairness or what is or what isn't politically correct. I came to this conclusion because it may not be the best use of valuable human resources. The inherent differences between the sexes should be considered and then utilized with the sole purpose in mind of doing what's best in order to win a war, not some useless prize for social change. Females usually have greater attention to detail, intuitiveness, abstract thinking and statistical logic among other traits that might be better used elsewhere. If the objective is to win a war then EVERYTHING must be considered including the most beneficial allocation of resources. If indeed the intention is to achieve victory in the field then EVERYONE within the equation needs to be utilized where they will be the most effective. Gender shouldn't be the issue, the effective use of manpower is.
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-5 # Can You Be More StupidArianna 2013-04-07 17:28
Seriously..woma n are capable, it will open up higher ranks and more awards to them. It is a civil rights issue. Just because i m a female doesn't mean that I shouldn't be allowed to AT LEAST volunteer to go to Infantry School. Woman are all ready in combat. Doing the same things men are. So please stop being stupid and i also provided some links if you want to read them. With the unit cohesion and brother hood..I m a female and i get along better with guys then girls. When i play co-ed sports they dont go easy because i m a girl(if we play football they still tackal and deck me hard..and you know what i do? I deck them right back...So that your argument is invalid for the whole brother hood thing and guys wont accept and will go easy on them..
Here are the links you might want to visit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_Ann_Hester

http://nooniefortin.com/afghanistan.htm

http://www.nooniefortin.com/iraq.htm


By the way I m a 14 year old FEMALE and its my dream to go MARINE CORPS INFANTRY. And your arguments are horrible.
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+8 # RE: Can You Be More StupidJack Strickland 2013-04-07 18:17
Arianna,
Sorry you feel the way you do. You're viewing this issue solely with the
mindset of what benefits you as an individual. Any branch of service you
undertake will skew the notion "the individual" by the third week of boot
camp. I'm all for you serving in whatever capacity you are qualified to
serve in, as long as the minimum standards are NOT reduced to allow you to
do so. If the military has to reduce it's standards to allow you your
desires it would endanger the lives of many others, not only yours. I'm
looking at the bigger picture as what is the best allocation of human
resources in what is the most deadly profession known to mankind.
I'll let the "stupid" jab slide because your a 14 year old, not because of
your gender. Simply calling someone with a differing opinion stupid is a
childish and immature response.You've a lot of maturing to go through
before you're eligible for military service. In the time you have before
you enlist, concentrate on education, improving your physical condition,
and getting yourself together mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Don't
let me or my opinion keep you from following your dreams, pursue them with
all that's within you. I'm happy and proud you want to serve our country. I
wish you only the best. I have no intention whatsoever to squelch your zeal
to serve. I'm giving my opinion as to what I believe is best for our
country and ALL those who serve under her flag.
Respectfully
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+3 # Women in CombatKurt12 2013-04-07 17:42
Arianna, just as you say, you're 14 years old. You have NO idea what you're going on about. Women in combat will not work, nor will it ever work. You Arianna, could not carry 80lb pack, 400 rounds of ammo, M4, wearing body armor and march in the moutains for hours, possibly an hours long firefight, maybe having to drag a 200lb soldier out of harms way....be realistic, you could NOT fullfill the duties of an 11b....never...
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# re: Can you be more stupidJust the facts ma-am 2013-04-07 19:17
Arianna, I was a 14 yr old once who was probably very much like you (I played tackle football with the boys, could still beat most of them arm-wrestling, all that). As I stated before, over the next few years things changed. And now I've been the mother of an infantry Marine. If you want to try out for Infantry and you're not going to ask for any exceptions, I'm not against it. But in the history of things that's never happened (women being allowed into a former all-male endeavor and no exceptions/exem ptions made). Even though I think it would be damaging to unit cohesion (and women's rights in general - yes, I'm a feminist and I just said that - but remember, I've been watching the world quite a while and simple "no-brainers" seldom are [no-brainers]). I'd still let you try out, because I don't think you'd make it. The problem is that if enough people decide that this is really something we ought to do, they'll dumb-down the requirements so women can get in (like they've already done in other areas, your links notwithstanding )and women would get in who can't meet the minimum standards to actually pull their own weight. And the lives of good men, like my son, would be compromised. And that would make people like you, well-meaning though you may be, complicit in whatever the outcome. Let's say my 6'2" 200 lb son was on your fire team, and he got shot (heaven forbid!). Let's say his leg is broken and he's under withering fire and his only hope is if you can drag him the 50 yards to relative "safety." Can you do that? If you can't, you just murdered my son. Because his shortest, smallest male teammate could have, but you beat out his space because somebody decided women should have this opportunity. And you may actually be able to do that. But my son also carried 86+ lbs through Iraq for three months, many days without adequate water (their supply trucks kept getting blown up), and never enough sleep. When he wasn't in firefights he was filling sandbags. He lost 20 lbs, mostly muscle. Could you do that? My son is as nice a fella as you'll ever hope to meet, and loves his mamma and his sisters and his girl friends, but whenever he encounters a girl who tells him women should be allowed in the infantry he does issue the challenge I stated earlier: You take a 70 lb pack, I'll take my 80 lb pack, we'll both hike 5 miles with them, and when we get there you try to kill me. If you even get into a position where it's possible to try to do so, then I'll vote for you to have the chance to try out for the infantry." I'm all for allowing women into the infantry, if they can meet that challenge.
@Sean, I take exception re: your comments on women and guns and periods - many thousands of women now have CHL permits, and carry every day of the month, and there has been no rash of PMS-related shootings! Please don't demean our very valid arguments with stuff like that!!! Thanks!
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+2 # US ArmyFirst Sergeant 2013-08-05 05:45
Late note.

Seems a lot of posters are not or have never been in the infantry, so have NO clue of what the infantry is all about. This is especially true of a lot of the female posters, but the males just as well.

I spent 25 years in the US Army Infantry. I also trained with US Marine Infantry. Not a great deal of difference. Over the years, I have been in the 1st, 3rd, 8th, 7th, 24th, 25 and 2nd Infantry Divisions. I have been a Squad Leader, Fire Team Leader, Platoon Sergeant, and First Sergeant of Infantry Troops. The work is rough and tough and many times, I have been the provervial "hatchet man" in the unit often forcing soldiers to do things they do not want to do......being an infantryman in all forms of their Military Occupational Skill sets. Train and Maintain.....

For women who aspire to become Infantrymen
or Infantrywomen -- take the time to do the research of what lies ahead. You might be surprised. You might be shocked too. Look at the infantry of any army thru history. The concept is still the SAME today as it was 2000 years ago (the Romans). Only the tactics, weapons and technology have changed with time. Otherwise, it is still what makes up an Army and is the reason for an Army (or Marine Corps).

Nuff said

The Infantry, by its' nature, is an aggressive, kick-ass, take no names, front line fighting force. Its' PRIMARY function is to take the fight to the enemy directly, engage him head-on. It is the tip of the spear; the cutting edge. It is unlike any other part of the US Army. Its' training is rough, very rough. Its' standards are high. The lifestyle of an Infantryman is not a walk in the park, such as with the Quartermasters, Signal Corps, Admin types or Motor Pool mechs. It is dirty work, many times in real war uncivilized, harsh, cruel and unmerciful. Stress levels are horrendous. We are the nastiest, dirtiest part of the Army -- we kill people on purpose, deliberately and methodically. For this, we are called the "Queen of Battle", and are often the Army's elite force. We are both ground infantry (legs) and Airborne Paratroopers. We go anywhere and everywhere. We trust each other absolutely and we depend on each other without fail or hestitation. We are a cohesive force (team) which is an absolute for a combat force.

It remains to be seen how women will fit into this concept of military force structure. Perhaps in small numbers, they may do well. In large numbers, not so well. Only time will tell - or the next real war involving direct ground combat with Army to Army engagements where real people are turned into hamburger meat.
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# mean greenCrystal 2014-06-30 06:53
ok, so I get why women should not be on the front lines. Many of you are correct in that a woman can kill with no problem but it is the weight of the equipment that needs to be hauled around daily while out that would be taxing on a woman's body. What I don't understand is why so many of the men keep bringing up the fact that women have periods. Do you honestly think we take 3 or 4 days off from other jobs because of our periods? police women don't, fire women don't, teachers with screaming kids don't (insert sarcasm), your personal trainer at the gym doesn't.. basically what I am saying is that there are a lot of jobs that are physical that women do and we don't take a few days off because of our periods. You sound ignorant when you use that excuse. Most women have periods and do just fine with mild cramping and it is not debilitating at all. But maybe I am not taking advantage of the whole period thing? Maybe I should tell the hubby that I cant run any errands for three days because I am cramping. Bon bons and movies for me!! Seriously though, I do agree that the front line is not the place for a woman, and I am a go get 'em' beat them up kinda woman. But I don't want a large man to have to rely on me to pull him and his gear to safety no matter how much adrenaline I may have in the moment. Lots of love for our military. I have never personally served but those closest to me have and some still do. I support all of you fully from the home front.
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# why can't women be in the infantryChristopher Edwards 2014-09-12 15:43
I think that the government doesn't want women in the infantry because they think that they will get hurt and can't compete with men. :sigh:
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