Posts Tagged ‘Women in Combat’

While you weren’t looking, the Obama administration made sure not to let a crisis go to waste and the SECDEF opened all combat positions in the military to women.

Washington (CNN)All U.S. military combat positions are being opened up to women, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday.

The decision allows women to fill about 220,000 jobs that are now limited to men — including infantry, armor, reconnaissance and some special operations units.

“This means that as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before. They’ll be able to drive tanks, give orders, lead infantry soldiers into combat,” Carter said at a news conference Thursday.

They won’t meet the standards because the current standards are “too high”.  Once the standards are lowered (or men not wanting to be accused of sexism let failures pass) they won’t contribute to the mission because they’ll be – by definition – substandard, and they won’t be able to drive tanks, give orders, or lead infantry soldiers into combat as well as the men currently in those jobs.  Also, the men who come in after the adjusted standards will also be substandard.  The entire military will suffer.

“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said.

Carter’s historic announcement comes after years-long reviews, and after public push-back from the Marine Corps, which had sought exceptions to keep positions such as infantry, machine gunner, fire support and reconnaissance to men. A Marine Corps study suggests all-male squads are more effective in combat and less likely to be injured than integrated groups.

Carter acknowledged the Marines’ resistance, but said he’d decided to set a policy that covers the full department.

“We are a joint force, and I’ve decided to make a decision that applies to the entire force,” Carter said.

He will never be laying in the street bleeding and needing someone to carry him to safety.

“Moving forward,” Dunford said, “my focus is to lead the full integration of women in a manner that maintains our joint warfighting capability, ensures the health and welfare of our people, and optimizes how we leverage talent across the Joint Force.”

Ah, moving forward – the relentless march of progressivism.  It will not maintain warfighting capability, will not ensure health and welfare, and will not “optimize leveraging talent”.

He acknowledged that “some service members, men and women, have a perception that integration would be pursued at a cost of combat effectiveness.”

And they’re correct.  Combat effectiveness is meaningless to a man who will never face combat and whose world consists of what’s best for the party.

However, Carter said: “The military has long prided itself on being a meritocracy.”

It’s only been a partial meritocracy recently, and now it’s not a meritocracy at all.

Standards will drop, combat effectiveness will fall, the hard scientific biological differences of men and women will be ignored in the name of progressively harming the US and all its institutions, and the military and the US will suffer.

blog us light inf

It’s from the Duffelblog, a comedy/parody military news site, so it is a made up story, but it’s also pretty much true.  For those who missed the setup, read here about Sgt Maj LeHew discussing the failures of trying to put women into combat roles.  Basically they found out that water is wet, despite trying their damnedest to find the opposite under political pressure.

QUANTICO, Va. — Sgt. Maj. Justin LeHew was notified this week that he will receive an other than honorable discharge from the Marine Corps, sources report, after LeHew recently ruined his career by releasing negative study results instead of destroying them.

LeHew, the Sergeant Major of Marine Corps Training and Education Command, made the career ending move last month, by publicly releasing the methodology and results of a study that found gender-integrated infantry units performed worse than all male ones.

In his publicly-visible Facebook post, LeHew said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus was “way off base” in his comments on women in the infantry, also adding that he was “unfair to women who participated in the study.” Since his remarks, LeHew has been “unavailable for comment,” reportedly chained in the basement of the Commandant’s home, sources say.

“His mistake was announcing facts,” Lt. Gen. Paul K. Van Riper (Ret.) said. “When faced with facts contrary to what the military and Congress wants, the facts must be changed. It’s standard procedure.”

Van Riper was speaking from experience. In 2002 he was the opposing general in the 2002 Millennium Challenge, where he led an inferior foe to victory against American forces. The exercise was started over with rule changes to ensure Van Riper could not win again.

The Millenium Challenge is worth reading about at their link.  While the quotes attributed to Van Riper are made up for humor purposes in the story… the story of the Millenium Challenge is not.

Not all negative results are supressed. A study found that despite an Army Optimism Program, 52 percent of soldiers had low morale. The Army took quick action to solve this problem by lowering the threshold of what it considered an unhappy soldier. Now only 9 percent of soldiers have low morale.

That would be funnier were it not for being basically what’s been done with (as one example) employment numbers by the Obama administration.  Redefine someone who’s unemployed as “no longer participating in the labor force” and then you don’t count them as unemployed.

Today:

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!

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.

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 Time:

Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and West Point graduate, fears that won’t happen. He spells out what he sees as the dangers of opening combat billets to women in his new book, Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women into Combat. His key concern is that, under political pressure, the military will ease its standards, resulting in a less-capable force. Battleland recently conducted this email chat with him. …

What do you see as the three biggest risks to letting women serve in the combat arms?

There are a multitude of risks—far more than most people realize, especially those without military experience. Among the many risks I discuss in “Deadly Consequences” are these three:

– First, standards will be lowered. As a practical matter, there has to be a certain minimum number of women in combat units for the policy to succeed. That can be accomplished only by “gender norming” the standards for combat service. Lower standards will inevitably degrade combat effectiveness, and the nation will be less secure. There is also good evidence that the policy will harm military recruitment and retention.

– Second, women who serve as ground combatants, whether by choice or under compulsion, will suffer disproportionate physical and psychological harm.

– Third, the already serious problem of sexual assault in the military will get worse. Notwithstanding the Administration’s wishful thinking, this prediction is borne out by the statistics.

His points in general are the same ones hit on here in previous posts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

There is nothing to gain from this.  There is much to lose.

On the battlefield, there is no agency to appeal to for gender bias.  The enemy, the weather, the conditions, the misery do not care that things aren’t fair.

Torsion bars don’t care if you’re too weak to change them.  Track doesn’t care if you’re too weak to break it and rebuild it.

breaking_track mlrs

You can yell at artillery shells all you want that they’re sexist for weighing too much, but they will not care.

155 shells

90 pounds of gear on your back does not care… and the inability to do any combat job gets passed on to someone more competent, who then has to carry two loads instead of one.

US infantry

Your buddy who needs your help does not get lighter just because you’re a girl (or a weak man who only meets a girls’ standard).

Fireman_carry_Army

Men who do these jobs have to be physically strong athletes.  Those who can’t meet the standard are a continuing drag on their unit and/or are mustered out.

The few individual women who could meet the standard (and could probably get waivers and be welcomed into units that might find utility for them) are not who is being looked at here.  This is a push for cocktail party circuit politicians to say “look at the good social justice thing I did for women” that will put girls into positions that break many men, and will break women much faster and much worse.