Jeff Black, NBC News
Both volunteers in a study to see if women could become Marine ground combat leaders have dropped out of the rigorous Infantry Officer Course, with the second failing because of a medical reason late last week, Marine Corps Times reported.
A second lieutenant was unable to complete the required training and left the program on Friday because of unreported medical reasons, the newspaper reported on its website. It was unknown if she became ill or injured or had other medical issues.
Inquiries from NBC News into her condition were not immediately returned by the Marine Corps.
The other female volunteer, who was also a second lieutenant, was unable to complete the introductory endurance test and dropped out – along with nearly 30 men – on Sept. 28. The program, run at the Marine base at Quantico, Va., is considered the toughest course in the Marine Corps.
Read the rest of it HERE
This is what I have to say about it:
Strapping on an F-15 and zooming around, or pulling guard duty on perimeter with 40 lbs of cool-looking scare gear, is not the same thing as serving in the Infantry.
The entire concept of putting women into the Combat Arms is the epitome of folly. This concept has been gaining traction steadily since the late 80's, based on the notion of fairness - i.e. in order for women officers to gain access to the highest levels of command.
The purpose of the military has nothing to do with ill-concieved concepts of fairness and / or political correctness. The modern day battlefield is the most lethal, unforgiving environment in the history of humankind. It is not that women are physically disadvantaged against men; women bring a host of unnecessary challenges with them; not least of all a sanitary issue, but also emotional baggage, etcetera.
And that leads to the second thing:
There is something almost sacred about the bond that exists within the Infantry squad. Grunts eat together, sleep together, shit shower and shave together, in the most extreme conditions imaginable. When you work together on a team like this for any length of time, there comes a point where you can identify your compadres - in the dark even - from their individual walk. A collective consciousness emerges, where the squad moves and operates as a single, many-bodied entity. To insert a woman into this mix would be an absolutely disruptive measure on so many levels.
Instead of exploring ways to allow the weaker sex a participatory role in combat, we should constantly strive to up the physical and mental standards of the Infantry and other combat arms MOS's.
Apparently, I am not the only one who thinks this way:
Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal!
As a company grade 1302 combat engineer officer with 5 years of active service and two combat deployments, one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan, I was able to participate in and lead numerous combat operations. In Iraq as the II MEF Director, Lioness Program, I served as a subject matter expert for II MEF, assisting regimental and battalion commanders on ways to integrate female Marines into combat operations. I primarily focused on expanding the mission of the Lioness Program from searching females to engaging local nationals and information gathering, broadening the ways females were being used in a wide variety of combat operations from census patrols to raids. In Afghanistan I deployed as a 1302 and led a combat engineer platoon in direct support of Regimental Combat Team 8, specifically operating out of the Upper Sangin Valley. My platoon operated for months at a time, constructing patrol bases (PBs) in support of 3d Battalion, 5th Marines; 1st Battalion, 5th Marines; 2d Reconnaissance Battalion; and 3d Battalion, 4th Marines. This combat experience, in particular, compelled me to raise concern over the direction and overall reasoning behind opening the 03XX field. 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.
* * *Having said all this, I say there is a place for women in Special Operations - in fact, they are already there. This is a different set of challenges - albeit related - and a different environment. In SpecOps, women represent the potential of the Female Warrior; in fact, they serve as an incredibly deadly secret weapon. Women have also served as snipers in the Israeli and Russian military, but evidence suggests that this was more due to sheer logistics - the need for bodies on the battlefield - than an any percieved inherent feminine advantage when it comes to marksmanship.