Some advice on women in combat from a female veteran

posted at 5:01 pm on January 27, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Yesterday’s column on women in combat elicited a number of passionate responses from both sides. Some of them came from proponents of the move, frequently citing alternate motives on my part. These ranged from “trying to keep women pregnant in the kitchen” and “Republicans want to lock women in the 1950s” to whichever variant of the GOP’s “war on women” you’d care to name. Many others lent a more sympathetic ear. One in particular, though, caught my attention. It was from one of America’s female veterans who served in Iraq, delivered with a first hand, been there, done that background. The Marine in question – who for purposes of publication will go by the pseudonym of “Sentry” – had previously submitted this history and opinion as a comment at National Review, but her story was compelling enough that I checked into her background, contacted her and decided to republish it here in its entirety. I offer the following as a third party testimony to stand your scrutiny on its own merits.

I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my PFTs. I naturally have a lot more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard. I would love to have been in the infantry. And I still think it will be an unmitigated disaster to incorporate women into combat roles. I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.

We’re not just talking about watering down the standards to include the politically correct number of women into the unit. This isn’t an issue of “if a woman can meet the male standard, she should be able to go into combat.” The number of women that can meet the male standard will be miniscule–I’d have a decent shot according to my PFTs, but dragging a 190-pound man in full gear for 100 yards would DESTROY me–and that miniscule number that can physically make the grade AND has the desire to go into combat will be facing an impossible situation that will ruin the combat effectiveness of the unit. First, the close quarters of combat units make for a complete lack of privacy and EVERYTHING is exposed, to include intimate details of bodily functions. Second, until we succeed in completely reprogramming every man in the military to treat women just like men, those men are going to protect a woman at the expense of the mission. Third, women have physical limitations that no amount of training or conditioning can overcome. Fourth, until the media in this country is ready to treat a captured/raped/tortured/mutilated female soldier just like a man, women will be targeted by the enemy without fail and without mercy.

I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and often while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a humvee wearing full body armor. And she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her combat unit twenty inches away. Volunteers to do that job? Do the men really want to see it? Should they be forced to?

Everyone wants to point to the IDF as a model for gender integration in the military. No, the IDF does not put women on the front lines. They ran into the same wall the US is about to smack into: very few women can meet the standards required to serve there. The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?

Regarding physical limitations, not only will a tiny fraction of women be able to meet the male standard, the simple fact is that women tend to be shorter than men. I ran into situations when I was deployed where I simply could not reach something. I wasn’t tall enough. I had to ask a man to get it for me. I can’t train myself to be taller. Yes, there are small men…but not so nearly so many as small women. More, a military PFT doesn’t measure the ability to jump. Men, with more muscular legs and bones that carry more muscle mass than any woman can condition herself to carry, can jump higher and farther than women. That’s why we have a men’s standing jump and long jump event in the Olympics separate from women. When you’re going over a wall in Baghdad that’s ten feet high, you have to be able to be able to reach the top of it in full gear and haul yourself over. That’s not strength per se, that’s just height and the muscular explosive power to jump and reach the top. Having to get a boost from one of the men so you can get up and over could get that man killed.

Without pharmaceutical help, women just do not carry the muscle mass men do. That muscle mass is also a shock absorber. Whether it’s the concussion of a grenade going off, an IED, or just a punch in the face, a woman is more likely to go down because she can’t absorb the concussion as well as a man can. And I don’t care how the PC forces try to slice it, in hand-to-hand combat the average man is going to destroy the average woman because the average woman is smaller, period. Muscle equals force in any kind of strike you care to perform. That’s why we don’t let female boxers face male boxers.

Lastly, this country and our military are NOT prepared to see what the enemy will do to female POWs. The Taliban, AQ, insurgents, jihadis, whatever you want to call them, they don’t abide by the Geneva Conventions and treat women worse than livestock. Google Thomas Tucker and Kristian Menchaca if you want to see what they do to our men (and don’t google it unless you have a strong stomach) and then imagine a woman in their hands. How is our 24/7 news cycle going to cover a captured, raped, mutilated woman? After the first one, how are the men in the military going to treat their female comrades? ONE Thomasina Tucker is going to mean the men in the military will move heaven and earth to protect women, never mind what it does to the mission. I present you with Exhibit A: Jessica Lynch. Male lives will be lost trying to protect their female comrades. And the people of the US are NOT, based on the Jessica Lynch episode, prepared to treat a female POW the same way they do a man.

I say again, I would have loved to be in the infantry. I think I could have done it physically, I could’ve met almost all the male standards (jumping aside), and I think I’m mentally tough enough to handle whatever came. But I would never do that to the men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if someone died because of me.

- Sentry

I will close by noting that the picture on the front page of the site associated with this letter is not of the author. Also, the text has not been edited from the original in any way other than to remove some page breaks which make publication messy.


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Interesting read, thanks Jazz.

can_con on January 27, 2013 at 5:09 PM

Yeah, right. Like liberals won’t rethink their insipid idiocy and effervescent lunacy.

Liam on January 27, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Common sense. Howling at the moon.

Same thing, these days.

OldEnglish on January 27, 2013 at 5:13 PM

not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard

, I could’ve met almost all the male standards (jumping aside)

Interesting read and I respect her for having the guts.

The comments above about standards should scare the living shite out of everyone who cares about this issue.

CW on January 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

No photo?

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

“Does It Really Have To Be That High?” – Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

M2RB: Pat Benatar

Resist We Much on January 27, 2013 at 5:15 PM

I don’t think the left cares about the mission or the additional lives that may be lost. They hate the military.

Personally, I have no doubt there are some women out there who are physically strong and tough as nails … but they are the exception and not the rule.

darwin on January 27, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Really–liberals ruin everything they touch.

Liam on January 27, 2013 at 5:16 PM

No photo?

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Didn’t load well on the first go for some reason. Give it a try now.

Jazz Shaw on January 27, 2013 at 5:16 PM

They don’t care if more men die as long as their ideological point is made. They don’t care if more women die either. They don’t care what damage it does to the military, the country, or pretty much what it does. Ideology trumps everything with them.

sharrukin on January 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Yay! Just love those girls/women in BDU’s!

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Didn’t load well on the first go for some reason. Give it a try now.

Jazz Shaw on January 27, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Perfect! ; )

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 5:18 PM

This has nothing to do with women’s rights or diversity in the armed forces. This has everything to do with conscription. As long as the armed forces are comprised almost entirely of conservatives and patriots -i.e., volunteers- it’ll not be sufficiently reliable as the requisite enforcement mechanism to insure complete implementation of the progressive agenda.

BKeyser on January 27, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Consistent with this female marine’s testimony .

“Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder” – Michael Savage.

Chessplayer on January 27, 2013 at 5:20 PM

… lunatic liberals…

KOOLAID2 on January 27, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Meeting standards on the drill/training field is a hell of a lot different than being in combat and she knows the difference. A woman who has been there and knows what she is talking about as opposed to the NOW types that are clueless[as well as the DACOWITS babes], As for Gen Dempsey, his comment about changing the standards if the girls cannot make them. I thought standards were developed and evolved from the requirements of the intended job, so where has the job of combat changed. He is also the Gen that did not want to lose “diversity” by labeling Maj Hasan an Islamic terrorist. The guy is a complete idiot and has the blood of the troops that he is suppose to be representing and taking care of. He is a Jugears sock puppet, just like Panetta. They are attempting and succeeding at destroying the best military on the earth.

retiredeagle on January 27, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Chessplayer on January 27, 2013 at 5:20 PM

No link

darwin on January 27, 2013 at 5:24 PM

Let’s play military!

While the more ruthless, non-p.c. enemy will win.

profitsbeard on January 27, 2013 at 5:27 PM

They are attempting and succeeding at destroying the best military on the earth.

retiredeagle on January 27, 2013 at 5:23 PM

I don’t think they want to destroy it. I think they want to change who’s in it. The left wants an obedient military force that will fire their own countrymen.

darwin on January 27, 2013 at 5:28 PM

As with gun control, if facts mattered this wouldn’t even be an issue.

But it is never about fact with the Left.

catmman on January 27, 2013 at 5:31 PM

There was a Canadian experiment in this decades ago.
Out of ~25,000 enlisted females subject to possible infantry duty, after intensive physical training; one pass, one that passed most but not all of the specs, and one that was close enough that they might place into the least demanding position in order to make up a 3 man machine gun team (I never heard if it was a heavy or medium).

The decision was that for that poor a ratio, they would not rip up the unit integrity to mandate female inclusion.

The Marines aren’t as anal about it, but the Army uses the ability to run a marathon as *the* determining training factor of if a person is in good physical condition. (I seem to recall an Army grunt trying to make the Olympics in weight lifting, and his C.O. was so angry about his marathon inability that he was placed on a 800 calorie diet for a month to a month and a half each year before allowing the base doctor to place him in a float tank to determine body fat)(running is unfortunately the most time efficient conditioning leaving more time for other training in tech and PC requirements)

Now take a female marathon runner, load up with an infantryman’s load (starting at #85 to over #135 last I read) and see how few keep up, or even want to put forth the strength training needed to keep up.

None of the comments I have read mention how many females come up pregnant and unfit for duty between announcement of a combat duty tour and actual deployment. Ripping that additional hole in morale, unit cohesion and staffing levels.

jhnone on January 27, 2013 at 5:31 PM

But I watched Battlestar Galactica and GI Jane and they said differently!

Daemonocracy on January 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM

If liberals don’t care about the negative impact of their policies on other areas of the United States population, why would they give a rat’s ass if this policy will have a negative influence on the military and missions?

Remember that liberals never see the long-term results of their ideas.

I’m 26, f, and think being in the infantry would be awesome. But like the author of this piece, I know that the stakes are higher than my own ability to be a badass (which is very great). We’re not fighting gentlemanly wars against civilized people anymore. We’re fighting against savages. But liberals don’t think that’s true, so they don’t understand what could possibly go wrong.

Women-on-the-front-lines thinking is what’s wrong with Feminism, and it’s just a symptom of the radical egalitarianism of the left.

gatsbysgirlontheside on January 27, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Link, Jazz? I did the google search with a quoted selection of text

We’re not just talking about watering down the standards

, and only your article came up — in other words, exactly one article.

unclesmrgol on January 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

What I commented in your last article — I still stand by it.

A female Marine who dreads combat to the point where she undermines her ability to fight should just leave the service rather than screwing the pooch for those who do.

unclesmrgol on January 27, 2013 at 5:43 PM

God Bless Sentry and all of our fighting men and women.

She speaks the truth. America should listen.

Zorro on January 27, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Putting stars on the shoulders of men does nothing to the brain.

mixplix on January 27, 2013 at 5:47 PM

Men always have to make up the difference for the women in the units, even at home. Women always have an advantage in promotions because they are rewarded more for doing less.

Making women live up to the same standards as men would mean far fewer in the military which suits me just fine.

But they will never have to live up the same standards, will they? They will just stand proud and tall upon the backs of the disgruntled men who have to carry their dead weight. They beam and cheer about how wonderful the military is like it is some sort of club for girls, or something.

Fine. Let the liberals kill their babies, disenfranchise and dis-empower their poor, and send their women into the meat grinder. The fewer of them, the better.

StubbleSpark on January 27, 2013 at 5:48 PM

almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms.

This is an excellent point, and now I’m changing my mind on this subject.

John the Libertarian on January 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

The ones advocating this are not the ones that intend to go. it is simply the lefts way of destroying military effectiveness like everything from environmental restrictions to having to kowtow to Muslim cult standards.

pat on January 27, 2013 at 5:51 PM

A Marine with the highest of integrity who puts the mission before personal gain. No surprise there. Semper Fi Sentry.

weathermen on January 27, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Running a marathon as a training factor? Sorry, no way. Marines use a 3 mile standard, 18 minutes gets you a max score. Army I believe run 2 miles. Women don’t belong in an Infantry unit period. They can be attached for short periods but not for an enlistment. Tank units and artillery are very physically demanding, ever pick up a 120mm tank round? A 155mm howitzer round? They are not light. There are just not enough women that could even do the job, this is all P.C. B.S. I don’t think the service chiefs came up with this either.

major dad on January 27, 2013 at 5:55 PM

…lets face it!…in the event of a war…the liberal lunatics want any of our combat captured mothers…sisters…and daughters to be gang raped…that’s what they ‘get’ for joining the armed services!

KOOLAID2 on January 27, 2013 at 5:58 PM

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/jul/30/army-may-train-women-for-rigor-of-front-lines/?page=all

The study concluded that only 0.1 percent of female applicants and 1 percent of trained female soldiers “would reach the required standards to meet the demands of these roles.”

In tests of aerobic capacity, the records show, only 74 of 8,385 ROTC women attained the level of the lowest 16 percent of men.

sharrukin on January 27, 2013 at 6:01 PM

John the Libertarian on January 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

; )

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Marine Captain Katie Petronio served in Iraq and Afghanistan and says the same thing:

“Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal”

“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….

…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. I was a star ice hockey player at Bowdoin College, a small elite college in Maine, with a major in government and law. At 5 feet 3 inches I was squatting 200 pounds and benching 145 pounds when I graduated in 2007. I completed Officer Candidates School (OCS) ranked 4 of 52 candidates, graduated 48 of 261 from TBS, and finished second at MOS school. I also repeatedly scored far above average in all female-based physical fitness tests (for example, earning a 292 out of 300 on the Marine physical fitness test). Five years later, I am physically not the woman I once was and my views have greatly changed on the possibility of women having successful long careers while serving in the infantry. 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….

…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.”

Django on January 27, 2013 at 6:10 PM

http://retrophoebia.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/military-pregnancies-where-do-we-stand/

Impact of Pregnancy on U.S. Army Readiness, which states that, among other things, the Army doesn’t keep good records of unit readiness at the level of granularity required to make good policy decisions about pregnancies, that addressing the problem is stifled by political expediency, and that units approaching or in deployments have pregnancy rates of up to or over 30%, and sometimes up to 20% in garrison.

http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/acsc/99-016.pdf

sharrukin on January 27, 2013 at 6:10 PM

We are a society that is separated from reality. The practical facts of any given situation mean absolutely nothing. All that matters is slavish devotion to the religion of political correctness.

Actual practical reality just does not matter. Fat-assed Mary Jane Citizen – who has never served in the military and has absolutely no clue at all what she’s talking about – will organize and protest with her friends against the alleged male oppressors who want to keep women out of front line infantry units. And the politicians will give in because truth and reality don’t matter. What matters is political pressure, no matter how illogical or bereft of merit. And good men and women will die because of it.

But hey, as long as the insulated, self-absorbed, selfish, and utterly braindead get to continue living in their dream world that’s what’s really important.

Django on January 27, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

M2RB: Pat Benatar

Resist We Much on January 27, 2013 at 5:15 PM

I hate that man with a passion. I now understand why my uncle would turn red in the face and spit everytime he heard Westmoreland’s name.

warren on January 27, 2013 at 6:22 PM

; )

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM

The other good point she made was that these women instantly become the most highly-valued target, and that the enemy (bless their civilized little hearts) would do the most vile things to them and videotape it.

John the Libertarian on January 27, 2013 at 6:23 PM

How many women are even going to end up in frontline combat as a result of this? A few dozen? Who cares? This is a total non-issue. A distraction.

Armin Tamzarian on January 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds,

That jumped out for starters.

Some guys are 220 butt naked, and 270+ with plates etc…

I’m sure she’s hot. And I guarantee you she cannot drag a bigger guy more than 50 feet without passing out.

She knows it and said it. And as for the previous comment, I would bet $10k that the chiefs of each service signed off on this decision without being compelled.

CorporatePiggy on January 27, 2013 at 6:26 PM

This is an excellent point, and now I’m changing my mind on this subject.

John the Libertarian on January 27, 2013 at 5:50 PM

If that’s really new to you, let me toss a short exchange from over at the colonies just to hash it a little more:

I’m concerned about the deep psychological drive that men have to protect women. Do they really believe the men can flip that switch off? The fact that there is a very primal difference in the way men care about their brothers-in-arms versus their sisters-in-arms could very well prove to be fatal . . .

And assuming the impulse exists and can be switched off, would we want that? I know progressives would in a blink, thinking of such a thing as vestigial and a hindrance to all things pantsuit. I think of it in friendlier terms; if mankind is a beast in a lot of ways, people are beautiful in a lot of ways too, and trying to flip that switch off would be trying to fix something that’s not broken.

…or perhaps, trying to flip that switch off would be breaking something that took a long time to fix…

http://libertyunyielding.com/2013/01/25/an-argument-against-women-in-combat-arms/

It’s a really good on-topic post & exchange, retired Marine.

Much less valuable, my rant (posting cause I don’t rant much, other than here; I never get to spam me :)

Does it really have to be that high?

Anyway, the counter argument, to skip ahead, is that if men are stuck in cave-man mode, that’s their problem. My opinion on that is that being protective of women isn’t backward. How did we get in a habit of mind that says it is? That attitude seems backward to me.

I guess. IMO. Etc.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 6:28 PM

the simple fact is that women tend to be shorter than men.

the average woman is smaller, period.

When Pooky shipped out last year, the only female to go with them was an admin troop. She was smaller than everyone in Pooky’s unit, but didn’t balk at helping load up the stakebed truck. She was the last one to toss gear in there, and tried to lift up one of the stakes that go around the bed of the truck. The tallest staff sergeant in Pooky’s shop calmly reached around her, took the stakes from her hands, and slammed them into place. She looked pretty used to the guys doing the heavy lifting for her and reaching things she couldn’t. I just don’t see that dynamic changing in a combat zone.

pookysgirl on January 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM

How many women are even going to end up in frontline combat as a result of this? A few dozen? Who cares? This is a total non-issue. A distraction.

Armin Tamzarian on January 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

No, that’s wrong. Women aren’t going to be asked to meet the same standards and mostly wash out. A separate pipeline is being constructed with different standards to make it possible for enough women to get through.

Here’s Dempsey at the press conference:

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?

Two sets of books.

And this, same conference:

The other part of the equation, of course, is in order to account for their safety and their success in those kinds of units, we got to have enough of them so that they have mentors and leaders above them — you know, you wouldn’t want to take one woman who can meet a standard and put her in a particular unit. You know, not — the issue there wouldn’t be privacy. It would be, you know, where’s her ability to have upward mobility and compete for command if she’s one of one? So we have to — we do have to work both the standards and the — kind of the critical mass, if you will, to make this work. But that’s what — that’s our commitment.

“critical mass”

http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=5183

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Thanks Mitt.
Thanks Mav.

vityas on January 27, 2013 at 6:36 PM

This has nothing to do with women’s rights or diversity in the armed forces. This has everything to do with conscription. As long as the armed forces are comprised almost entirely of conservatives and patriots -i.e., volunteers- it’ll not be sufficiently reliable as the requisite enforcement mechanism to insure complete implementation of the progressive agenda.

BKeyser on January 27, 2013 at 5:18 PM

I agree. This is why I oppose the draft

The left wants a military that fails. When the military has the equivalent of a Sandy Hook, liberals hope the public loses appetite for ‘militarism’. The same game played on professional football (didn’t Obama move fast?), will be played on the military. Homosexualizing the military can only help, if it discourages conservative men from joining.

People must be taught it was barbaric to put anyone in harm’s way, and a move will be made to transfer military power to global entities.

Meanwhile the arguments about women in combat, are the same as ‘we don’t need ‘AR-15′s to hunt deer’. Everyone knows females can’t beat males in physical matches. Every state in the US rightly has preferential treatment for females over males in domestic violence, because of the disparity.

Men’s shirts are cut with longer sleeves because men have longer arms in proportion. This is how female cops lose their guns to prisoners. Female hips are wider and the hip socket rotated to support the extra load of pregnancy. The elbows are rotated to hold infants, which make females bad at throwing overhand. This is old truth, which is being ignored to set up the end of the nation state

A truth the feminists will not admit: females are valuable in time of war, to replace the dead with new children. Do not waste them in combat

entagor on January 27, 2013 at 6:39 PM

I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires.

Oorah! This woman has her priorities straight! And, sadly, this is the sort of thing the left will never understand.

GWB on January 27, 2013 at 6:53 PM

In an interview with The New Republic posted on Sunday Obama said that he and guests “do skeet shooting all the time” at the presidential retreat…
 
Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there. And I have a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations,” said the president.
 
http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2013/01/27/obama-i-go-skeet-shooting-all-the-time-at-camp-david/

rogerb on January 27, 2013 at 6:55 PM

During extreme combat over a long duration of time, it is often not possible to even remove one’s pants to defecate. Iwo Jima veterans have lots of stories about “going” in their pants and shaking it out the leg. I am dead serious.

Now imagine a battle where you are in sustained contact for a week. I am not talking about wars we have fought recently with third-rate third-world despots, I am talking about combat with a capable enemy force. Our forces in places like Guadalcanal and Okinawa and Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Bulge did that not all that long ago.

War isn’t just about shooting a gun. It can be an extremely stressful and often confusing environment that is the ultimate test of the stamina of a human being in more aspects than any athletic competition. It stresses the very soul of a human being and as the author notes, there is NO privacy. Your friends see you crap and they see you bleed. That is one of the reasons why there is such an intimate bond between those who have been in combat together. There will likely be things between you that few other people will ever know.

Putting women into combat is a huge military mistake for no other reason than to fulfill a politically ideological position. It’s stupid.

Having said that, I feel there is nothing wrong with women having infantry TRAINING, even sniper/scout training but I would only draw on those skills in case of a dire emergency when the survival of the nation is at stake on our own soil such as the Russians did in Stalingrad.

A culture that sends its women into offensive combat is doomed and does so only when it is otherwise doomed if it does not as a last ditch defensive measure.

This is stupidity at the highest refinement of stupidity.

crosspatch on January 27, 2013 at 6:59 PM

The typical liberal moonbat response to this female veteran would be that she was conditioned by the patriarchal society to accept arbitrary limits on females to insure male privilege.

Kinda the same agitprop spew they give to minorities about White privilege…or Gays about the oppressive Hetero-Norm…or the secular atheists about the phony killer God responsible for all wars…or the enviro-weenie petaidiots afraid the whole world will end over corporate sponsored cow farts…

Glad this soldier spoke up…But her common sense experience will be argued and shouted down.

Liberal moonbats think experience can be argued.

workingclass artist on January 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM

” I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.”

She nails the real problem right off the bat.
What’s driving this movement is just that – motives that are questionable at best. And we’re making WAR policy on that basis?

We’re ruled by dangerously idiotic people.

Cleombrotus on January 27, 2013 at 7:01 PM

So… there might be unintended consequences of some make-them-feel-good, pie-in-the-sky social experiment of liberals? I am shocked, shocked, I tell you! This must make anyone against it a bigothomophobemysogynisticracist.

ghostwalker1 on January 27, 2013 at 7:02 PM

How many women are even going to end up in frontline combat as a result of this? A few dozen? Who cares? This is a total non-issue. A distraction.

Armin Tamzarian on January 27, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Or a strategy to re-instate the draft.

Africa is a big continent.

workingclass artist on January 27, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Good points all. I’d add, just because a woman meets the same standards as a man, doesn’t guarantee that she’ll perform in combat as a man would. That’s a life and death test you can’t simulate in training.

On women POWs, I was watching a documentary on the natives of New Guinea, very primitive cultures, living like they did thousands of years ago. They fight with rival tribes who live across the ridges and gullies. One thing they mentioned that bothered them was that the other tribe would capture and mutilate their women. In my experience, it seemed like such a bizarre event. But the author above mentioned mutilation too. Yes, it’s a tactic of war. Do we want to open ourselves up to that?

Paul-Cincy on January 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM

We’re ruled by dangerously idiotic people.

Cleombrotus on January 27, 2013 at 7:01 PM

A fair swath of the population isn’t out back building rockets. :/

But it’s like this:

“If you don’t support removing barriers to women . . . you are responsible for crushing this woman’s dream.”

(always a euphemism)

“If you don’t support reigning in the NRA and it’s fanatical protection of these military weapons used by soldiers to kill many people quickly . . . you are responsible for the deaths of these innocent children.”

Same tool, over and over. False guilt.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:08 PM

This must make anyone against it a bigothomophobemysogynisticracist.

ghostwalker1 on January 27, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Heh. Exactly. :)

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:10 PM

This woman has more intelligence than Obama, Panetta and the Joint Chiefs all combined. And with a whole lot of room to spare.

VorDaj on January 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM

My little story. I served in the Marines in the early 80′s, Was a brig guard in Quantico. We worked 24 hour shifts. One day I was sick with the flue, I was on duty throwing up left and right. My section leader asked the C.O. if he could send me home, C.O. said no, that they did not know what was wrong with me and I would have to wait for sick call the next morning,so I finished the shift never going to sick call. A few weeks later we started to get Women Marine prisoners and of course women Marine guards. One day when my section was on duty
one of the female guards had her time of the month start,she was promptly sent home. And every month after that she would be able to leave. I was in my early 20′s but I had my eyes opened. And this was nothing like combat!

creek on January 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM

In the Middle Ages in Europe they also had men like Barack Obama and Leon Panetta and the Joint Chiefs. They made them their court jesters and clowns. Here in America in the 21st century we make them our leaders. I think the 21st century in America will come to be known as the Age of Devolution.

VorDaj on January 27, 2013 at 7:14 PM

You know, we just had a War where the men came back missing limbs, brain damaged, shattered disfigured and burned. The liberals criticized our medical science for saving so many.

Why would we want to put women in the role? Isn’t the point of war to prevent women enduring the horror of war?

The Spartans used to feel pride that for 600 years no woman of Sparta beheld the enemy campfires from Spartan land.

Now we see fit to trundle them to the front line? To have them hear the screams of the dying, the horror of combat? Men have evolved to bear this burden, so that women can bear the next generation in safety. What will children feel when Mom comes home brain damaged, shattered from War? Men at least can say, this was my Duty. Watch the opening of Saving Private Ryan and then tell me that you would want your wife or daughter to go through that. Men sacrifice so that women don’t have too.

This is madness
.

Bulletchaser on January 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Dempsey’s comments are remarkable. Assuming he’s not completely barmy, he must believe that women troops are now so vital to the all-volunteer military that mollifying them (and/or the politicians who purport to represent them) is imperative. I.e., there is a tradeoff between combat effectiveness and overall logistical capacity which must be resolved in favor of the latter.

Seth Halpern on January 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Women In Combat: 80% Does NOT Equal 100%.

M2RB: Goo Goo Dolls

Resist We Much on January 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

*reining. It was the spell-checker. That’s my story.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

From my time as a USMA cadet, one of the things ingrained in us was that every leader should be able to do the job that your subordinates do. Another thing that was pounded into my skull was that if you wanted to be a career infantry officer, you needed to go to Ranger School. I think Dempsey’s near treasonous statements are setting the stage for the downfall of the two self-evident thruths listed above.

BohicaTwentyTwo on January 27, 2013 at 7:17 PM

This woman has more intelligence than Obama, Panetta and the Joint Chiefs all combined. And with a whole lot of room to spare.

VorDaj on January 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM

She can use her mind. And how come her points are all so valid, and yet you can bet Obama et al never seriously considered any of them. I mean, where were the hearings? Where were the sober discussions and deliberations on this issue? Why are all the sensible, thoughtful people on the side of no women in combat, and yet they decide to put women in combat?

Paul-Cincy on January 27, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:08 PM

That idiotic look on Panetta’s face as he made the pronouncement made me wish I could reach through the screen and grab him by the throat. Shake a little fear of God into that little creep.

Cleombrotus on January 27, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Why would we want to put women in the role? Isn’t the point of war to prevent women enduring the horror of war?

Bulletchaser on January 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Who knows? This is the funniest HotGas post I’ve seen in a long time:

These clowns have no idea how ridiculous they are:

Valerie Jarrett @vj44
“Step toward harnessing the talents & skills of all our citizens” — President Obama on opening combat units to women: wh.gov/y779 about 20 hours ago

Valerie Jarrett ✔ @vj44
If there’s one thing we should all agree on, it’s protecting women from violence. Congress needs to pass the Violence Against Women Act. 8:42 PM – 23 Jan 13

Akzed on January 25, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Paul-Cincy on January 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM

ghostwalker1 on January 27, 2013 at 7:02 PM

Best polysyllabic word of the thread.

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 7:22 PM

Just think, all these many threads on this topic later. Still not one good reason for this decision.

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 7:23 PM

The author makes very good points about women in the infantry, but not all combat is infantry combat: I flew 150+ missions in Vietnam and I can’t think of a thing I did on any of them that a woman couldn’t have done as well. A lot of combat activity is ‘merely’ dangerous without being especially strenuous.

There doesn’t seem to me to be any good reason to keep women out of combat roles like that, although I’m willing to be convinced otherwise if experience shows problems.

PersonFromPorlock on January 27, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Grunt.

Bmore on January 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM

This is madness.

Bulletchaser on January 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

I can not think of a single country that has ever used women or young boys or old men purposefully in combat where the country doing so did not have a severe shortage of able bodied adult men.

VorDaj on January 27, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Women In Combat: 80% Does NOT Equal 100%.

M2RB: Goo Goo Dolls

Resist We Much on January 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

OT/I followed a link to a peculiar death by suffocation and saw a picture that was horrible and another one beneath it that was not. And then I realized that I knew the name of the model in the not-horrible picture and even a little of her background. She’s Polish, for example. And now I’m ashamed.

Anyhoo:

Jefferson – and the signatories – meant that “the Creator” created all men equally, as human beings. They meant that “the Creator” did not create classes or castes of humans. In other words, King George III was no better than the lowliest of blacksmiths in a rural part of the Colonies. Verily, none of them expressed any belief that I would be the equal to Tiger Woods on the golf course, RGIII on the turf, Cristiano Ronaldo on the field, or Sachin Tendulkar on the pitch. Yet, in the United States, all of us – even foreign nationals on American soil – are equal under the law.

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2013/01/women-in-combat-80-does-not-equal-100.html

*uptwinkles*

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:26 PM

But I watched Battlestar Galactica and GI Jane and they said differently!

Daemonocracy on January 27, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Not to mention that awesome documentary Starship Troopers!!

Nutstuyu on January 27, 2013 at 7:29 PM

Having Jazz Shaw as a regular contributor has lifted the quality of information disseminated at HA substantially. This post is excellent.

Mark30339 on January 27, 2013 at 7:31 PM

One day when my section was on duty one of the female guards had her time of the month start,she was promptly sent home. And every month after that she would be able to leave.

creek on January 27, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Why all the hatred? The bosses were just trying to avoid a situation. :)

arnold ziffel on January 27, 2013 at 7:33 PM

I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires.

Oorah! This woman has her priorities straight! And, sadly, this is the sort of thing the left will never understand.

GWB on January 27, 2013 at 6:53 PM

And that is the one thing we NEVER heard with the ghey agenda and DADT. It shouldn’t matter if someone is ghey because that should be the last thing that person is worried about if they truly intend to SERVE.

Nutstuyu on January 27, 2013 at 7:44 PM

For the left this issue is no more about equality than Obamacare is about healthcare. It is about taking the elite in our society and bringing them down to a common man level. They know that women cannot operate at the same level as a man day to day in a combat environment but they do not care. They hate the military and if they could turn it into a peace corps they would. They know if women are in the front lines that the front lines will not be as brutal and that women will change the military to a much gentler place. They know that Obamacare will not improve healthcare but it will lower the standard for everyone so that there will be no differences. They are communists, period!

inspectorudy on January 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

I’ve taken a “bath” in a bomb crater, stripped naked and burned leeches off each other with a cigarette. But that isn’t what won’t make this work or not. If we ever have another one with 58,000 dead in ten years instead of four. We won’t be saying c’mon boys GI Jane deserves a chance. Let’s see what happens. Cause the boys will say f’you we already know what will happen. And if she’s going we ain’t.

bluesdoc70 on January 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM

This is madness.

Bulletchaser on January 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

I think it’s dishonorable. I don’t want to be a nation that shoves rifles into its daughter’s hands and pushes them to the walls. My heart — maybe something deeper, maybe my instinct — tells me that something has gone seriously wrong inside a man (I’m a guy) capable of doing that. Given a choice, I’d die first.

But I can’t make that argument because there’s no rational ground to claim. I’m not sure why I’m so certain it’s wrong. I am, and I trust that part of me enough to take it seriously and not set it aside as trivial simply because I can’t understand it, but I can’t really fight back against anyone that wants to be critical of it.

Deliberately reducing combat effectiveness is a defensible hill, so here’s my flag. :)

But, anyway, agreed. You aren’t the only one feeling that kind of thing.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:48 PM

We’re ruled by dangerously idiotic people.

Cleombrotus on January 27, 2013 at 7:01 PM

.
I agree they’re “dangerous”, but not “idiotic.” The real governing powers are currently a “shadow government”, that uses sympathetic politicians (progressives) as a front.

Every decision or move they make is calculated to weaken the United States in any way possible. Barack Obama and others are more than happy to aid and abet these “shadow rulers”.

listens2glenn on January 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Paul-Cincy on January 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM

The fact that they lie so much is worse.

Hey, maybe they will have women only units for gathering up guns!

Female Federal Anti-Terrorist Police (FFAT-PO)

That will stick it to those bitterly clinging old White Crackers. Every time one female officer gets shot, the Media will show the graduation picture of her in her formal uniform and Pictures of her children and how she was devoted to making the USA a safe place and gathering up the guns and if only those Evil Crackers would not shoot back and kill these fair maidens, we would have peace in our time…

Bulletchaser on January 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

*daughters’, not daughter’s. etc.

*sigh*

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I’m not sure why I’m so certain it’s wrong.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Your psyche KNOWS that there is a proper order to things. If you’ll notice, it’s only the Post-Modern, Post Christian Western cultures that play with these sorts of things.

That’s a clue.

Cleombrotus on January 27, 2013 at 7:55 PM

This is the most sane article I’ve read on this topic. Women are NOT equal to men physically, period. As a former athlete, I can attest to that. As a woman who lived through the nutsy ’70s (and the ’60s were probably worse) I can say that feminists are nuts.

but think about this: Perhaps the lefty feminists want this b/c it will make the military more difficult to manage and succeed.

I really wish we had a Patton General who had some guts. I’m so sick and tired of the “big boys” going squishy b/c of some loud-mouth feminists.

NO,NO, NO.

Standards are standards – meet them or don’t. Period.

MN J on January 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM

*daughters’, not daughter’s. etc.

*sigh*

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

.
That’s an easy mistake to make.

I never would have picked up on it if you hadn’t said something. : )

listens2glenn on January 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM

listens2glenn on January 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

I hear you and cannot disagree. But Panetta is, clearly, an idiot. A useful idiot, no doubt, but an idiot nonetheless.

Biden, Kerry, Franken, Sharpton, Schumer, etc. all idiots. Obama? I’m not sure.

Cleombrotus on January 27, 2013 at 7:59 PM

My heart — maybe something deeper, maybe my instinct — tells me that something has gone seriously wrong inside a man (I’m a guy) capable of doing that. Given a choice, I’d die first.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Amen! It’s like when I read about war in Sub-Saharan Africa and the (Content Warning!!) fistulas caused by gang-raping women and shooting them in the vagina so that there can never be another generation of children. Or the ME where they give children plastic keys (to Heaven) and tell them to run into a minefield to clear a path in it. They use 12 year olds because they have to be heavy enough to trip a mine.

They are not like us.

Bulletchaser on January 27, 2013 at 8:02 PM

But I can’t make that argument because there’s no rational ground to claim.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 7:48 PM

It’s called Natural Law, Axe, and your sensitivity to it has not been adequately dulled by modern sensibilities – thank goodness. It’s something the Founders understood, but the left has done their best to destroy. (It’s the primary reason for atheism on the left – to uproot and throw out Natural Law.) Stick to your conscience on this one.

GWB on January 27, 2013 at 8:14 PM

This is the most sane article I’ve read on this topic. Women are NOT equal to men physically, period. As a former athlete, I can attest to that. As a woman who lived through the nutsy ’70s (and the ’60s were probably worse) I can say that feminists are nuts.

MN J on January 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM

.
Someone repeated a quote earlier (I can’t remember the origin) that stated:

“Men and women are equal, but not interchangeable.”

.
The Counter-Culture Revolution started in the late 1960s, but in my opinion the worst of it was in the 1970s.

That’s just my opinion, MN J. Our respective perspectives at the time were from different angles, so I’m NOT saying you’re wrong.

listens2glenn on January 27, 2013 at 8:15 PM

My opinion on that is that being protective of women isn’t backward. How did we get in a habit of mind that says it is? That attitude seems backward to me.

Axe on January 27, 2013 at 6:28 PM

We had that propaganda spread because leftists like to deny that women get pregnant and men don’t and that women are the bottleneck and lifeblood of the continuation of any society, since one man can impregnate 1000 women in a week but one woman can only have one child a year.

In any population studies, it’s the women who are the only really important factor since they are the choke point of reproduction.

Leftists like to imagine that that this whole pregnancy (and even worse, that ONLY women get pregnant) must be denied in order for women to achieve parity with men. Of course, it’s true that women’s roles in reproduction defines much of their biological responsibilities and there’s not a damn thing that can be changed about that, which ticks off leftists to no end.

This all seeps into leftists fantasies about hormonal schedules (and the massive differences in them between men and women) and thought processes and emotions. In any other discussion a leftist will jump to tell you that all life is physical and that hormones control everything … until they come to the point of dealing with the radically different hormonal schedules of men and women, at which point the leftists will pretend that hormones have no effect on anything.

Leftists are on a march to deny everything about Nature. Anything familiar or obvious must be denied by a leftist. Leftists hate Nature as much as they hate Western civilization because leftists are suicidal nihilists who want everyone to have to pay for their demented, tortured minds.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 27, 2013 at 8:19 PM

Lowering the standards to let more people pass is par for the course for liberals.

banzaibob on January 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM

I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq.

An amazingly factual and in your face reason why this should NOT be done to our military, our military men, _AND_ the women.

Thank you for your service, and common sense !

TX-96 on January 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM

This is madness.

Bulletchaser on January 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Isn’t That The Last Line From Bridge On the River Kwai?

Fox News Sunday discussed this today.

They mentioned the 22.8% of women in Iraq “Combat” roles who were sexually assaulted. The lady Colonel from the pentagon or where ever said that this was a result of a sexist culture or etc. and would stop if we sent women into real roles. Or the sex problems just grew from the “psychological stressors” and hell of the situation. Sexuality is a weapon used by, and against, women. Look at what happens in the normal workplace!

Anyway, she made the US culture out to be the problem.

The left has some example from Sri Lanka or somewhere where there was supposedly a lack of rape or sexual violence. Yes and I shot a 250 yard hole in one once.

Has she ever noticed the effect of adrenaline on a testosterone charged male where there weren’t any local Mall cop/local police to stop him? This could describe males on either side of a conflict, capturing women as enemies or fighting alongside them.

I think they should count the wars and the events where combat units came into contact with women from the other side.

I spoke to people first hand as they faced invaders and the rape of women was far from rare anywhere I visited.

Of course, in all these instances the males were subhuman and soldiers act just like the guys we see in nice movies.

IlikedAUH2O on January 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM

Lowering the standards to let more people pass is par for the course for liberals.

banzaibob on January 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Reminds me of a bit in a Robin Williams USO show in Kuwait:

“I was violating my standards faster than I could lower them”.

crosspatch on January 27, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Male standard for pull-ups…Marine Corps: Three lousy pull-ups…not much of a standard.

mcra99 on January 27, 2013 at 8:31 PM

listens2glenn on January 27, 2013 at 7:53 PM

.
I hear you and cannot disagree. But Panetta is, clearly, an idiot. A useful idiot, no doubt, but an idiot nonetheless.

Biden, Kerry, Franken, Sharpton, Schumer, etc. all idiots. Obama? I’m not sure.

Cleombrotus on January 27, 2013 at 7:59 PM

.
The following is only my opinion:

As I see that list, Sharpton is the only total “useful idiot”, in that he doesn’t really know what’s coming. I give him that much credit. Maybe … could add Franken in with Sharpton.

The others know damn well what agenda is being purported, and they all believe they’ll be part of the “Inner Circle Of Power” when it comes to fruition.
I believe they’re all going to find themselves cast aside like used toilet paper, when it’s all said and done.

BUT . . . . . . . . . . . this is just my “semi-educated” opinion.

listens2glenn on January 27, 2013 at 8:33 PM

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