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.
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!