Archive for the ‘Marine Corps’ Category


WASHINGTON — The Marine Corps is expected to ask that women not be allowed to compete for several front-line combat jobs, inflaming tensions between Navy and Marine leaders, U.S. officials say.

The tentative decision has ignited a debate over whether Navy Secretary Ray Mabus can veto any Marine Corps proposal to prohibit women from serving in certain infantry and reconnaissance positions. And it puts Gen. Joseph Dunford, the Marine Corps commandant who takes over soon as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at odds with the other three military services, who are expected to open all of their combat jobs to women.  …

Putting the social justice to the warrior.

Mabus on Monday made his position clear.

I’m not going to ask for an exemption for the Marines, and it’s not going to make them any less fighting effective,” he said, adding that the Navy SEALs also will not seek any waivers. “I think they will be a stronger force because a more diverse force is a stronger force. And it will not make them any less lethal.

It’s going to make the Marines less effective, and it’s going to make the Marine Corps a weaker force because diversity is not strength.  And it will make the Marine Corps less lethal to the enemy, but more lethal to itself.

In fact, the Marine Corps even did studies and found male units outperformed female units.  I hear next up they’re going to do a study in LeJeune to see if water is wet and then one in 29 Palms to see if the sun makes things hot in summer.

…the report also pointed to the 25-year-old report by a presidential commission on women in the armed forces that concluded: “Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.”

Mabus, however, told the City Club of Cleveland that while the Marines did a long study of the matter, it relied on averages — such as the average woman can’t carry as much or perform as quickly as a man.

“The other way to look at it is we’re not looking for average,” said Mabus. “There were women that met this standard, and a lot of the things there that women fell a little short in can be remedied by two things: training and leadership.”

I’ve said this for years now – this is about the cocktail party circuit and the DC circuit for these kinds of social justice progressives and their sycophants.  Mabus is not going to ever be in danger from harm because a BAM who can’t carry Fred is going to leave him bleeding in a street in Ramadi.

Training and leadership do not make up for millenia of biology.  The only leadership and training he’s going to put forth are either specialty programs to advance women at the expense of better qualified men (which is a waste of resources and ability) or that the leadership and training in question means the people who are allowing women to fail and that the standard will be adjusted by making sure more women pass.

The recent “grunt life” story also highlights a lot of the failures that it doesn’t take a psychic to forsee:

Lance Cpl. Chris Augello arrived at the integrated task force believing that women should get a shot at service in the infantry as long as they could meet existing standards. It was a perspective that made him different from most male Marines, he said, and he’d argued with his unit members for hours on the point.

When Augello checked out of the task force months later, however, he submitted a 13-page essay to unit officials explaining exactly why the experience had made him change his mind.

Another reservist from Delta Company, 4th LAR, Augello, 23, said he volunteered for the task force for personal reasons — namely, a chance to accrue the six consecutive months of active duty that would qualify him to take advantage of the post-9/11 GI Bill.

He was assigned to the light armored vehicle platoon once he got to Camp Lejeune. Over time, he said, discipline broke down because some noncommissioned officers were hesitant to hurt the feelings of more junior female Marines with orders or correction. Romantic relationships and friendships between male and female unit members also became a distraction, he said.

“The female variable in this social experiment has wrought a fundamental change in the way male NCOs think, act and lead,” Augello wrote in the 13-page paper he presented to Marine leaders, which he shared with Marine Corps Times. “A change that is sadly for the worse, not the better.”  …

… the lance corporal said he became frustrated during group assessments, such as an exercise in which platoon members had to work together to haul a dummy weighing nearly 200 pounds out of the vehicle turret and to a designated recovery spot dozens of yards away. When partnered with the platoon’s female Marines, he said he frequently had to compensate for their smaller frames and lack of upper body strength by hauling more of the load.

“I told myself, ‘I don’t know how much longer my back will have after doing this,'” he recalled.

During one assessment, Augello said he found himself paired with the smallest male Marine in the platoon — one who was physically shorter and slighter than a number of the unit’s female Marines. But the Marine’s build and musculature made a significant difference, he said.

“I didn’t feel a lot of stress on my back because he was able to actually help me,” he said. “His upper body strength made the difference at the end of the day.”

He’s carrying the extra weight.

Amazingly, they even include an image and caption of a female Marine who needs help lifting shells.

29 palms arty bam needs help

What’s funnier yet is she’s mentioned in a positive light in this story, despite being the slowest in the team.

I’ve said this about armor and artillery units before.  There’s a lot more moving of big, ugly, heavy objects and more manual labor than women are up to.  Yes, there may be a handful who can hack it (at least for a while), but the wear and tear and strain is not the same on women, and the effect of having someone incapable of the job who is in the job just means the capable male Marine has to haul more weight.

On top of that, in-theater, combat arms units are frequently thrown into other roles.  What springs to mind first is that my battalion in the mid-2000s ended up sending units to Afghanistan that promptly abandoned their AAVs and were simply “amgrunts” for the duration of their tours.  Not their specialty but it’s what they had to do anyway.  Infantry units don’t just march and shoot – they spend a lot of their time doing hard manual labor like constructing fortifications that last anywhere from overnight to months to years.  Arty guys and tankers get tasked with plenty of things outside their MOS as well.  Any line unit is no stranger to the phrase “working party up”.  The multitude of roles that can be assigned any combat unit are only limited by the vicissitudes of war.  Having people who are only marginally physically capable in their primary role engaged in an activity (war) that will probably put them in additional strenuous roles is a recipe for failure.

Brown, the lance corporal who was one of only two female Marines to complete the infantry assessment, said she is certain she has found her calling as a grunt. She loved the experience, she said, from grueling humps to sweaty field operations and rough-edged, coarse camaraderie with other infantrymen. She attributed her success in the physical challenges in part to her background in sports, including a competitive soccer career that began when she was 6 years old.

That sports background was probably helpful.  What’s not helpful is that in the field and outside of a controlled test environment, she’ll hold up every bit as well as Captain Katie Petronio did.  Biology doesn’t care.

And SgtMaj LeHew pointed out the obvious – though it’s probably best to just read his words on this:

Ok, been silent long enough on this. I have been a part of this process from the beginning and I am just going to put it out there. The Secretary of the Navy is way off base on this and to say the things he is saying is is flat out counter to the interests of national security and is unfair to the women who participated in this study.

We selected our best women for this test unit, selected our most mature female leaders as well. The men (me included) were the most progressive and open minded that you could get. The commander of this unit was a seasoned and successful infantryman. The XO of this unit was as good as they get, so good the USMC made her the CO of the Officer candidate school.

I just selected the SgtMaj of the unit to head up our senior enlisted academy at Camp Lejeune, NC. No one went in to this with the mentality that we did not want this to succeed. No Marine, regardless of gender would do that. With our limited manpower we cannot afford to not train eveyone to the best of their abilities.

This was as stacked as a unit could get with the best Marines to give it a 100 percent success rate as we possibly could. End result? The best women in The GCEITF as a group in regard to infantry operations were equal or below in most all cases to the lowest 5 percent of men as a group in this test study.

They are slower on all accounts in almost every technical and tactical aspect and physically weaker in every aspect across the range of military operations. SECNAV has stated that he has made his mind up even before the release of these results and that the USMC test unit will not change his mind on anything.

Listen up folks. Your senior leadership of this country does not want to see America overwhelmingly succeed on the battlefield, it wants to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to persue whatever they want regardless of the outcome on national security. The infantry is not Ranger School. That is just a school like any other school and is not a feeder specifically to the infantry.

Anyone can go to that school that meets the prereqs, just like airborne school. Kudos to the two women who graduated. They are badasses in their own right. In regards to the infantry….there is no trophy for second place. You perform or die.

Make no mistake. In this realm, you want your fastest, most fit, most physical and most lethal person you can possibly put on the battlefield to overwhelm the enemy’s ability to counter what you are throwing at them and in every test case, that person has turned out to be a man. There is nothing gender biased about this, it is what it is.

You will never see a female Quarterback in the NFL, there will never be a female center on any NHL team and you will never see a female batting in the number 4 spot for the New York Yankees. It is what it is. As a country we preach equality.

But to place these mandates on the military before thiscountry has even considered making females register, just like males, for the selective service is in all aspects out of touch with reality.Equality and equal opportunity start before you raise your right hand and swear and oath to this country.

Yes, we are an all volunteer force at the moment. Should this country however need to mobilize rapidly again to face the threats of the world like our grandfathers did, it will once again look to the military age males of this country to fill the ranks because last I checked, we did not require women to register for the selective service. Until that happens, we should not even be wasting our time even thinking about opening up the infantry to women.

To my female Marine friends out there, I love you to death, you are the best of the best and you have my continued admiration for what you do and to the Marines of the GCEITF….you are tops in my book for taking up the challenge…regardless what the SECNAV says about you not being the best that we could have put in that unit because you were….on all accounts.

And for those of you who don’t know Sgt Maj LeHew, his Navy Cross citation:

Citation: For extraordinary heroism as Amphibious Assault Platoon Sergeant, Company A, 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, Task Force Tarawa, I Marine Expeditionary Force in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM on 23 and 24 March 2003. As Regimental Combat Team 2 attacked north towards An Nasiriyah, Iraq, lead elements of the Battalion came under heavy enemy fire. When the beleaguered United States Army 507th Maintenance Company convoy was spotted in the distance, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew and his crew were dispatched to rescue the soldiers. Under constant enemy fire, he led the rescue team to the soldiers. With total disregard for his own welfare, he assisted the evacuation effort of four soldiers, two of whom were critically wounded. While still receiving enemy fire, he climbed back into his vehicle and immediately began suppressing enemy infantry. During the subsequent company attack on the eastern bridge over the Euphrates River, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew continuously exposed himself to withering enemy fire during the three-hour urban firefight. His courageous battlefield presence inspired his Marines to fight a determined foe and allowed him to position his platoon’s heavy machine guns to repel numerous waves of attackers. In the midst of the battle, an Amphibious Assault Vehicle was destroyed, killing or wounding all its occupants. Gunnery Sergeant Lehew immediately moved to recover the nine Marines. He again exposed himself to a barrage of fire as he worked for nearly an hour recovering casualties from the wreckage. By his outstanding display of decisive leadership, unlimited courage in the face of heavy enemy fire, and utmost devotion to duty, Gunnery Sergeant Lehew reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Give ‘im one!

Whole lotta stuff to go back and note.  Hopefully not too jumbled up, just going through stories of interest from the last couple weeks.

Birthright citizenship was recently the subject of no small amount of discussion – especially how exploitation of jus soli “the law of place” meant that anchor babies are a viable means of getting into the US.  First off – it costs the US taxpayers and existing US citizens a huge amount of money.  Ultimately the reason you have a country is because it’s either bonds of ethnic kinship (for most of the world) or bonds of creed (for the US – ideally – and a handful of other nations).  You joined together to take care of your own first, then depending on the nature of your country, help others as you see fit.  Not put yourself at a disadvantage to someone who breaks in to your home.

In 2003 in Stockton, California, 70 percent of the 2,300 babies born in San Joaquin General Hospital’s maternity ward were anchor babies, and 45 percent of Stockton children under age six are Latino (up from 30 percent in 1993). In 1994, 74,987 anchor babies in California hospital maternity units cost $215 million and constituted 36 percent of all Medi-Cal [California’s Medicaid program] births. Now [2005] they account for substantially more than half.

The article goes on to mention how once they hit 18, they bring in family.  That was intended back when immigration laws were modified in the 1960s.  Democrats saw their opportunity to bring in low-skilled, low-wage labor that would gravitate towards their pandering and handouts.  Ted Kennedy was no small part of the push for it as well.

Ho brings up some points, but also misses some:

We begin, of course, with the text of the Citizenship Clause. To be “subject to the jurisdiction” of the U.S. is simply to be subject to the authority of the U.S. government.

And with a simple policy and interpretation change, that could go away.  Someone who’s illegally in the country wasn’t inspected by an immigration official and can be considered to have border nexus and even being on “the functional equivalent of the border” definition could be moved to apply to them – meaning they wouldn’t legally be in the country because they weren’t allowed in, even if they were physically in the country by breaking in.  They’re not subject to the jurisdiction of the US government – they’re simply here illegally.

The law has two terms for people who come to the country – immigrant and non-immigrant.  The definitions are pretty lame, with non-immigrant being someone who comes in on a non-immigrant visa, and immigrant being anyone else.  Take away the idea the word immigrant from illegal aliens and you have someone who’s not blurring the lines between legal immigrants and illegals.  It also gives room for returning to “subject to the jurisdiction” of the US – which was originally written to exclude Native American tribes who were on US soil but not US citizens, because they were considered members of other nations.

Go back to illegal aliens being members of their own foreign nations, and the problem is solved.  No more anchor babies, and those poor aliens can be repatriated to their ancestral homelands to once again share in the bounty of success of their rich, diverse cultures.

An Alabama detective feared being labeled racist… so he let himself get roughed up.  When the choice is between temporary pain of a whooping and the longer term legal suffering and targeting that comes with the charge of wrongthink by the media especially when you’re innocent, it’s probably better to just get roughed up.

Instead of following policy to try to get the man back in the car, the officer says he hesitates. It’s just enough time police say for 34-year-old Janard Cunningham to sucker punch the officer, knocking him unconscious. He then allegedly takes the officer’s gun and uses it to pistol whip him.

From Bob Owens at Bearing Arms:

This is the world that the criminal-coddling, police-hating mainstream media hath wrought…

There’s no small amount of irony in CNN reporting this story, and the attack’s callous aftermath, which saw sick criminal supporters take mocking photos of the unconscious officer instead of attempting to help him. After all, they’ve done so much to fan the flames of discord that have bought us to this point, with their serially dishonest portrayal of lawful self-defense shootings by police officers and citizens alike…

And this is the world that the police hating mainstream media hath wrought…

Miles is accused of killing Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, in northwest Harris County. Investigators say Deputy Goforth had worked an accident scene at around 8:30pm, then went to a gas station on Telge and West Road. As he was pumping gas, detectives say Miles approached Deputy Goforth from behind, said nothing and fired multiple shots. Once he fell to the ground, authorities say Miles fired more shots at the deputy. Deputy Goforth was pronounced dead at the scene.

It’s not yet a return to the bad old days of the 70s as far as the violence goes, but the rhetoric and justification for the violence by the leftist media is certainly at a fever pitch.

Meanwhile, in Waller County, TX:

Armed-Black-Panthers-in-Waller 150812

WALLER COUNTY, Texas — A group of armed members of the New Black Panther Party marched on the Waller County Jail Wednesday afternoon chanting “The revolution is on… Off the pigs,” and “Oink Oink… Bang Bang!” The group of about fifteen Black Panthers exercised their First and Second Amendment rights. The group was met in Waller County by a large contingent of Harris County (Houston) Sheriff’s Office deputies.

It went peacefully, mostly because it was a standoff, and because when you’re chanting “kill the cops” in front of them, if you do something stupid you’re going to get mowed down.

First off, I’m supportive of them exercising their First and Second Amendment rights.  An armed society is a polite society – presence of arms kept both sides from acting the fool because both sides knew the consequences of their actions.  But I don’t think it’s terribly productive to protest someone while armed saying “we want to kill you”.  Not exactly from the pages of Dale Carnegie’s books.

I’ve said it before with regards to gun control in California – no small part of that state’s slide into draconian laws was done as a response to a Black Panther march on Sacramento that scared the white people in power.  Everybody lost for that.  It was a loss for the average citizen who committed no crime but lost a right, it was a loss to the CA government and the Panthers because it ended discourse and started a backlash by the power structure.  The grievance wasn’t really heard when a threat was made.

Same goes here.  If you don’t chant “die pigs die” (yes, it’s only reported they said “off the pigs” but it’s the same thing), you might get a better response.  Sling your arms like Open Carry Texas does and have the same march without the death threats and you’ll get a much better response.  The action also further illustrates the hypocrisy of the left – if a group decided to protest other government officials with “off the ____” – making threats against higher elected officials (especially Democrats), they’d be jumped on by the FBI so fast their heads would spin.

This is a lot more effective display anyway – assuming one’s concern is about lives:

his life matters 150814That turns down rhetoric and shows a desired goal of racial/ethnic harmony.  Of course, that’s assuming one believes that groups like #blacklivesmatter (apparently run by white leftists) actually give a crap about any lives and aren’t just pushing for their own hard left political angle.

The effects of that kind of ramping up of hate and distrust of local/state authorities is a good way to build up more demands for federalizing the police and controlling everything from DC.  The answer is always more power for those who want even more power.

It’s also why the “police acted stupidly” with the professor, why “if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon”, etc., is always the first thing the pres says, while at the federal level, anyone who questions Eric Holder about the Obama ATF sending guns to narcoterrorist cartels is racist because Eric Holder is black.  (And to the Obama administration, Mexican lives don’t matter unless they’re illegally in the US voting for Democrats).

It’s also how people started making excuses for a narcissist news reporter murderer:

Revenge race murder: Bitter black reporter who gunned down white ex-colleagues live on air and posted the video online blames Charleston shootings and anti-gay harassment in manifesto

…he professes a deep respect for other mass shooters like Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho.

‘Also, I was influenced by Seung–Hui Cho. That’s my boy right there. He got NEARLY double the amount that Eric Harris and Dylann Klebold got…just sayin’.

He goes on to say that he has faced both racial and sexual discrimination as a black, gay man and that he was just waiting to explode.

‘Yes, it will sound like I am angry…I am. And I have every right to be. But when I leave this Earth, the only emotion I want to feel is peace…’

‘The church shooting was the tipping point…but my anger has been building steadily…I’ve been a human powder keg for a while…just waiting to go BOOM!!!!’

At one point in the manifesto he even confesses to killing his cats in a forest close to where he lives, blaming the news station for the animals’ deaths.

Except that apparently nobody really discriminated against him.  He just blamed other people for his problems.

Flanagan, 41, had ‘a long series of complaints against co-workers nearly from the beginning of employment at the TV station,’ said Dennison, now an official with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

‘All of these allegations were deemed to be unfounded. And they were largely under along racial lines, and we did a thorough investigation and could find no evidence that anyone had racially discriminated against this man.’

Yeah, no one disliked him because of his skin color or his orientation.  But the media provided and he readily took in a steady stream of toxic “everyone hates you because you’re black/gay/something and they’re racists/homophobes/somethinghaters and thus you’re justified in your actions“.

Welcome to the new leftist America, where if someone has a different opinion than you that you find distasteful and against leftism, you can go tell them how to live, and when they tell you to get lost, you can attack them.  And the police.

RACINE, Wis. (AP) – Authorities say a Racine man was arrested after forcing his way inside a home to take down a Confederate flag placed in a window. …

A criminal complaint says a woman and Boatner told police he had politely asked her to remove the flag from her kitchen window Friday, and she moved it to another window.

According to the complaint, both started yelling, and the woman used a racial slur toward Boatner. Authorities say Boatner pushed the woman down and walked into the house to remove the flag. According to authorities, Boatner later argued with police and struggled to avoid being handcuffed.

Sticks and stones will break your bones if you use words that hurt my feelings.

Everything’s Trump these days (rather than Cruz, Walker, or Paul), but a reminder… people hate leftist ideas from Obama but love them from Trump.

By being loud and obnoxious, he’s bringing things to the forefront that sometimes need to be discussed – illegal aliens murdering US citizens, for example.  He’s also getting free airtime that’s being redirected away from better, actually conservative candidates with voting records who weren’t Democrats a couple years ago and didn’t invite Hillary to their weddings.

If you think that “people hate ideas from Obama but love them from Trump” is an exaggeration, consider this:

obama trump health care

My broad opinion of Trump is negative for reasons I listed a couple posts ago, but he is shaking things up.  There is some good in that, and assuming he sticks to his “I won’t run third party” pledge, hopefully he loses the primary and directs his energy more towards Democrats rather than Republicans.  It’d be nice to see him go after Clinton or Obama as tenaciously as he’s gone after Jeb Bush.  Jeb Bush probably deserves it, but Clinton and Obama deserve it even moreso.

And finally, despite being a eulogy, still a story of the success a heroic aviator:

BALTIMORE — Frank E. Petersen Jr., the first black aviator and brigadier general in the Marine Corps, has died.

Frank E. Petersen III said his father died Tuesday at his home in Stevensville, on Maryland’s Kent Island, of complications from lung cancer. He was 83. …

According to a news release on the Marine Corps website, Petersen was commissioned in the Corps in 1952. The Marines say Petersen served in the Korean War in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. He received the Purple Heart for wounds suffered when he ejected over the demilitarized zone in Vietnam, The Post reported.

During his career, Petersen flew more than 350 combat missions and more than 4,000 hours.

frank e petersen

He, Roy Geiger and Alfred A. Cunningham are probably having a few beers and swapping stories now.

From the Washington Times:

“The pressure is on the services from the White House’s politically correct crowd vis-a-vis Obama’s Pentagon appointees, who will force the services to accept degraded standards,” said Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and author of the book “Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat.”

In January 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, appeared in the Pentagon press room to make a historic announcement. They had lifted the rule that prevented women from serving in direct ground combat, such as infantry, special operations, artillery and armor.

The cancellation began a far-reaching process by each military branch to evaluate female candidates and the standards they must meet. The giant study is scheduled to end in January, when Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will decide which, if not all, occupations will be opened. If a service — the Marine Corps, for example — decides infantry should remain closed, it must prove why its standards cannot be lowered.

Gen. Dempsey laid down the law this way: “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”

If women can’t meet a selection or training standard, it couldn’t be because the training and selection associated with the job is supposed to weed out those incapable in the field, it must be that the training and selection is too difficult and doesn’t need to be that high.

A few weeks back, I was reading about some ODA SF guys talking about how the selection and training was the easy part of their jobs.

SOI is not the same as being a career infantryman and MCT and schools are not the same as being armor or artillerymen.

There are jobs that require strength and endurance that women, due to biology, do not have.  It’s not a measure of character of the individuals involved, it’s not a judgement on their worth as Americans, it’s just a matter of biology and whether or not they can do a job.

If they can’t, but some politician in DC tells them they can, they still can’t.  The mass of a roadwheel, 155 shell, or mortar baseplate do not change due to an edict from DC.  It only means that the men in the job who can hack it will have that much more load to bear because if they leave the poor girl to carry her own pack, she’ll collapse and then they’ll be heartless reactionary misogynists who only hate women in the army because politics or something.

mountain infantry

As usual, nothing good will come of this.

Cpl. Clifford Wooldridge

Posted: December 31, 2013 by ShortTimer in Afghanistan, Badass, Heroes, Marine Corps

His Navy Cross citation (breaks and highlights added):

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Corporal Clifford M. Wooldridge, United States Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism while serving as Vehicle Commander, Combined Anti-Armor Platoon White, Weapons Company, Third Battalion, Seventh Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, FIRST Marine Division (Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) Afghanistan, on 18 June 2010 in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

When their mounted patrol came under intense enemy fire, Corporal Wooldridge and his squad dismounted and maneuvered on the suspected enemy location. Spotting a group of fifteen enemy fighters preparing an ambush, Corporal Wooldridge led one of his fire teams across open ground to flank the enemy, killing or wounding at least eight and forcing the rest to scatter. As he held security alone to cover his fire team’s withdrawal, he heard voices from behind an adjacent wall. Boldly rushing around the corner, he came face-to-face with two enemy fighters at close range, killing both of them with his M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

As he crouched back behind the wall to reload, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun appear from around the wall. Without hesitation, he dropped his empty weapon and seized the machine gun barrel. He overwhelmed the enemy fighter in hand-to-hand combat, killing him with several blows to the head with the enemy’s own machine gun.

His audacious and fearless actions thwarted the enemy attack on his platoon. By his bold and decisive leadership, undaunted courage under fire, and total dedication to duty, Corporal Wooldridge reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.



One mind, any weapon… even the enemy’s… as a club.

An older piece, but one worth bringing up.  Marine Captain Katie Petronio explains:

As a combat-experienced Marine officer, and a female, I am here to tell you that we are not all created equal, and attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security.

It’s something I’ve been saying for a long, long, long, long, long, long, long time.  It’s something combat veterans and male Marines and army combat arms people have been saying for a long time.

captain katie petronio

She lists her experience in combat zones, and it’s pretty extensive.  She was attached to combat units for a long time.  She earned that middle ribbon in the top row.

This combat experience, in particular, compelled me to raise concern over the direction and overall reasoning behind opening the 03XX field.

03 being infantry in the Marine Corps.  There’s also no reason women should be in the 08 field (artillery) or the 18 field (armor).

Who is driving this agenda? I am not personally hearing female Marines, enlisted or officer, pounding on the doors of Congress claiming that their inability to serve in the infantry violates their right to equality. Shockingly, this isn’t even a congressional agenda. This issue is being pushed by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS). Their mission is to advise the Department of Defense (DoD) on recommendations, as well as matters of policy, pertaining to the well-being of women in the Armed Services from recruiting to employment. Members are selected based on their prior military experience or experience with women’s workforce issues. I certainly applaud and appreciate DACOWITS’ mission; however, as it pertains to the issue of women in the infantry, it’s very surprising to see that none of the committee members are on active duty or have any recent combat or relevant operational experience relating to the issue they are attempting to change. I say this because, at the end of the day, it’s the active duty servicemember who will ultimately deal with the results of their initiatives, not those on the outside looking in.

Thank you, ma’am.

Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?

As a young lieutenant, I fit the mold of a female who would have had a shot at completing IOC, and I am sure there was a time in my life where I would have volunteered to be an infantryman.  …

She lists her bonafides and background, and she would have been the kind of candidate that do-gooder political correctness social engineers would’ve loved.

She sadly ran into the unfeeling, uncaring thing that is reality.

I can say from firsthand experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, and not just emotion, that we haven’t even begun to analyze and comprehend the gender-specific medical issues and overall physical toll continuous combat operations will have on females.

I was a motivated, resilient second lieutenant when I deployed to Iraq for 10 months, traveling across the Marine area of operations (AO) and participating in numerous combat operations. Yet, due to the excessive amount of time I spent in full combat load, I was diagnosed with a severe case of restless leg syndrome. My spine had compressed on nerves in my lower back causing neuropathy which compounded the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. While this injury has certainly not been enjoyable, Iraq was a pleasant experience compared to the experiences I endured during my deployment to Afghanistan. At the beginning of my tour in Helmand Province, I was physically capable of conducting combat operations for weeks at a time, remaining in my gear for days if necessary and averaging 16-hour days of engineering operations in the heart of Sangin, one of the most kinetic and challenging AOs in the country.

Again, this is all from a woman who’s been there and done that, explaining how physically the task is simply incompatible.

By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported.

Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement. I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.

If you don’t have the time to read her whole column, she has plenty more reasons to explain her points if you’re still unconvinced.

Which once again leads me, as a ground combat-experienced female Marine Corps officer, to ask, what are we trying to accomplish by attempting to fully integrate women into the infantry?

For those who dictate policy, changing the current restrictions associated with women in the infantry may not seem significant to the way the Marine Corps operates. I vehemently disagree; this potential change will rock the foundation of our Corps for the worse and will weaken what has been since 1775 the world’s most lethal fighting force. In the end, for DACOWITS and any other individual or organization looking to increase opportunities for female Marines, I applaud your efforts and say thank you. However, for the long-term health of our female Marines, the Marine Corps, and U.S. national security, steer clear of the Marine infantry community when calling for more opportunities for females. Let’s embrace our differences to further hone in on the Corps’ success instead of dismantling who we are to achieve a political agenda. Regardless of the outcome, we will be “Semper Fidelis” and remain focused on our mission to protect and defend the United States of America.

Unlike Captain Petronio, I don’t applaud any organization that seeks to put substandard candidates into roles they aren’t fit for.  She’s polite enough to give them credit for “meaning well”.  But as I’ve said every time, it’s not a measure of character or of value of the individual’s desire to serve or their individual bravery.

It’s simply that if you aren’t biologically set up for success in a grueling environment and it’s a necessity that you succeed, then you shouldn’t be put in that position just so some ideologue politically-correct social engineers can congratulate themselves at cocktail parties and say how wonderful they are for giving you the “opportunity” to have your bones ground down in the mud because you never should have been there.

But there are still hard-leftist groups who advocate for “equality” where there is none and actively want women in combat.   Noteworthy that their counterpoint speaker to Petronio is a man.

And their board of directors is awash in leftists, none of whom will ever have to answer for the failures they wish to create.

From the Gannett-owned MarineCorpsTimes:

QUANTICO, VA. — Fifteen female Marines began enlisted infantry training this week as part of the Marine Corps’ ongoing research into which additional jobs it should open to female personnel, officials said.

The women will attend the Infantry Training Battalion course at Camp Geiger, N.C., on an experimental basis, focusing on the 0311 infantry rifleman program of instruction after the first few weeks of training, said Leon Pappa, a retired lieutenant colonel with Training and Education Command who oversees the research. They will not receive the 0311 military occupational specialty if they graduate, but Marine officials will note it in their record for tracking purposes.

“We’re not changing the standards on how we track performance,” Pappa told reporters in a meeting here Wednesday. “We’re doing it the same way we do it for the males.”

I’ve already explained how women in combat MOSes is a bad idea, in Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, and Six.  One of the biggest consistent arguments, not just from me, but from plenty of other combat vets, is that not only is there no real benefit to adding women in combat-specific roles for a variety of physical and social reasons, but also that when they invariably fail, some social engineer will change it so that women will succeed.  2+2 will be made to equal 5.

Combat is a heartless monster, and while training can be gender-normed to uselessness by political correctness, combat will not accede to social planners’ designs.

mountain infantry

Someone will have to carry a substandard troop’s weight.  There are already substandard men who sneak by.  That there will be a whole category of substandard women, protected by politics, will help no one, and will harm the mission, the men who have to carry the extra weight, and the women who should never have been put there to begin with.  It will also hurt the superhuman amazon who might have been able to pass an unchanged standard and do the job with a waiver – she won’t be challenged to meet a grueling standard, she’ll be able to pass the weaker one.

Retiree-who-doesn’t-have-to-fight-with-them Pappa says that there’s no change in standards on how they track performance.  That doesn’t mean the requirements are necessarily the same, just the tracking is the same.  Because buried in the bottom of the story is this, about women who failed the Infantry Officer Course:

The research is similar to work that began here last year at the Infantry Officer Course. Female volunteers have been allowed to try the grueling course, but none has passed. The next version of IOC begins next week, and the Corps expects four female volunteers to participate, Pappa said.  (ST: Emphasis mine.)

Note those few words there – “the next version of IOC“.  Not “the next session”, not “the next class”, not “the next group of candidates”.  The “next version of Infantry Officer Course”.

If you were going to buy a new car and had to order it from the factory to specific specs just how you wanted it, and you asked “when will it be here?” and they said “the next group of cars comes off the line next month”, you’d probably be thinking your car was on the way pretty soon, built to exacty what you wanted.  If you asked “when will it be here?” and they said “the next version of cars comes off the line next month”, you’d be wondering what changed.  What happened to the car you ordered, that you wanted built to your specifications?  You’re not getting “the next order of cars” or “the next allotment” or “the next run”, you’re getting “the next version“.

The behind-the-scenes is most likely what has played out every time.  Retiree Pappa is tasked with making sure women pass the course.  Instructors at the IOC are told “the women will pass the course”.  Their jobs, their careers, their futures are on the line.  Politics will order a lowered standard, and failures will be passed.

Everyone in the military has seen it in one form or another already (what immediately comes to mind is one male academic failure who failed his MOS school final, but was passed anyway because he was well-liked… he went on to show himself to be a coward in Iraq).

No one in the military will benefit, everyone will be hurt.  The only benefit is in the cocktail party leftist political correctness social engineer circles, politicians and elite snots who will pride themselves on creating a more equal military, patting themselves on the back with false comparisons to righting historical wrongs that their own progressive party inflicted on others.  They’ll say how wonderful and progressive they are, and good men and women will die for their desire to see “progress” where such a thing is a physical impossibility.

From Washington Free Beacon:

The only two women to participate in the Marine Corps Infantry Officer Course (IOC) failed ongoing tests to determine which infantry positions should be available to women …

The two women both volunteered to participate in the IOC. Two other women had previously volunteered in September but also failed.

Looks like the standards still exist to some degree.  12 men and 2 women out of the most recent class washed out.

Just like I said the first time, it’s still a social experiment that doesn’t belong.  It’s a task very, few men can do.  The desire to have women in combat has already resulted in lawsuits against reality, and it will result in further dropped standards and both women and men who aren’t up to the task being sent into situations that set them up for failure.