“Girls” in combat

| February 17, 2013 | 45 Comments

The discussion about females in combat continues. In the Ventura County Star they talk to girls barely out of puberty to get sense of what women think about the idea. Girls like 14-year-old Sarah Trujillo who was influenced by her father’s war stories;

“I was so excited. I was jumping up and down,” said Sarah, who at 14 still has at least four years before she can sign up.

But the Oxnard High School freshman who compares her dad’s dog tags to “a beacon of amazingness” said she knows she wants a military career.

“This is really what I want to do,” Sarah said, before falling back into drills in her Junior ROTC class. “I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.”

Yes, a long time. Like since she was ten, perhaps. They go on to interview other “girls” most of whom are enamored with the idea, but don’t plan on taking the path to combat themselves. They cite reasons that girls “want” and are “willing” to fill the combat jobs. Unfortunately, those probably aren’t the best reasons. James Robert Webb, son of Senator Webb, and an infantryman writes on his blog, Puckingninja says that “wanting” and “willing” aren’t reason enough for “girls” to join the infantry;

Plain and simple, if you admit women into the Infantry, you must ask them to be men. This is completely unfair, as women are not physically just smaller men – they are completely different. Now, this is not the same as equality in society – that is a completely separate issue.

In society writ large there are examples of these physical differences. One of these is the Olympics, where there are separate events for both men and women. As Ms. Duff pointed out during our discussion, women have 50% less upper body strength, and 25% less lung capacity. Because of this reality, the physical standards for women in the military are significantly and justifiably lower. The Infantry itself is a lot like your university’s football team. They’re a bunch of mouth breathing, knuckle dragging, testosterone charged, physical machines (to be clear I say this out of love). These men didn’t join the Infantry because the uniforms were cool or they wanted money for college. They joined to push themselves to the limits of human endurance, and well, because over the past 10 years were promised a chance to take a shot at another human being… legally.

Do you really want your daughter hanging out with men who have that mentality?

Yeah, this decision from the perfumed princes who doing their best to please their president is being acted upon for all of the wrong reasons. I want someone to ask them if they truly think this will make the military better in terms of warfighting capabilities. Because I want to get a good belly laugh from their answer.

Category: Military issues

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  1. A Proud Infidel says:

    If they succeed with this PC infection, I wonder how often other Light Infantrymen will have to “hump” the gear of the female troops that “fall out” on a long road march? How much will they lower the standards so females can pass, say, Ranger School? Political Correctness is like a cancer, it’s social and spiritual suicide!

  2. 68W58 says:

    The Olympic sporting events are an interesting metric, the women’s world record in the high jump, just for example, is less than the boys high jump record for my high school alma mater. There are a couple of message board debates here and there online about how a good high school boys (state championship caliber) basketball team would do against the WNBA champions or women’s gold medal team. The boys would destroy them-they would dominate the inside and run the women off the court, the difference in athletic performance is that big.

  3. DaveO says:

    The whole issue goes away once the POTUS opens the service chief and CJCS billets to non-combat arms officers.

    That said, given the number of reported rapes by female service-members who served in close proximity to male combat arms soldiers – why are the Democrats so pro-rape?

  4. PhillyandBCEagles says:

    “I want someone to ask them if they truly think this will make the military better in terms of warfighting capabilities.”

    The inevitable blow to our warfighting capabilities is a necessary evil in the name of gender equality to some who are pushing this, and a positive good to others.

  5. Ex-PH2 says:

    Didn’t we have this discussion back in January?

    Yes, we did.

    I believe it was a Thursday.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I see everyone bitching about if the women can hack it or not. The biggest issue with women in the infantry will be sex. Sex will completely compromise cohesion and good order of soldiers. There’s no time or place for some pussy to be walking around when there is a mission to be completed. Also to everyone freaking out, it’s not like every woman in the United States is going to be running to be an infantryman. The women that would sign the line would probably be the ones we want. Furthermore the weak little boys I see making it through basic is disgusting.

  7. Ex-PH2 says:

    Yes, in fact, the previous discussions were January 24 and January 28.

  8. ComancheDoc says:

    lol a buddy of mine is a DS for osut down at Benning; sadly even males don’t have to pass an apft to graduate but once at their units, it’s game on.

  9. Green Thumb says:

    Tell their liberal mommies that they (their littlle girls) will have to sign up for selective service.

    End of story.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I wrote the above post. All of my fellow infantrymen have valid concerns. However the bottom line exists that women the infantry will be a distraction and create unnecessary sexual issues/infractions.

  11. PFDRbrendan says:

    While I was in Ranger school I lost 20 some odd pounds between Darby and Merrill, going from 170 to 145ish. The suck fest that continued in Rudder forced some others in my class to fall out completely. I am not saying that no woman will ever be able to complete Ranger school like I was able to, however I find it will be a very rare occurrence for them to physically make it past Mountains.

  12. Green Thumb says:

    @11.

    I agree.

    I lost 35lbs and went several days between baths.

    Class 6-00.

  13. gunner3_4 says:

    Yes, let us interview 14 year old girls about being an infantryman, you will get the same response as a 14 year old boy about being an infantryman…”I’m excited!”. But, when it comes down to it even that boy when he reaches 18 will rethink the situation…”Infantry? Uh…nevermind, postal clerk will do.”

  14. ANCCPT says:

    I think the laws of unintended consequences will end up applying here. Physical differences aside, changed (read: decreased) physical standards for everyone aside, how will civilian America react when we start taking casualties to our women in the line units?
    What if say, an infantry company gets cut off and chopped up (killed/captured/missing), how will America react to seeing these ‘sweet innocent girls’ pictures on CNN? Their pictures on the twenty four hour news networks, day after day, with the talking heads asking ‘How could ‘THE MILITARY’ let this happen? Even worse, how would other soldiers react? Say you are in a support unit, and you can hear their screams over the radio as they are overrun? How will you feel watching AQ’s videos of what they do to them after they are captured?
    American service women without a doubt CAN kick ass, but who are we as a culture of warriors if we send our women to do close in ground combat as primary combatants? Political correctness has it’s place. It’s not here, and not this.

  15. NHSparky says:

    @14–Two words: Jessica Lynch.

    And the money quote from Mr. Webb:

    Now, this is not the same as equality in society – that is a completely separate issue.

    Steel on target. However, because less than 5 percent of those under the age of 60 have EVER served (and probably less than 2 percent of women in the same age bracket) they base their idea of “equality” on the civilian model.

    This, as we know, is a deadly assumption.

  16. As Ms. Duff pointed out during our discussion, women have 50% less upper body strength, and 25% less lung capacity. Because of this reality, the physical standards for women in the military are significantly and justifiably lower.

    This seems to answer the question I had regarding this topic previously. It sounds like females have always had lower standards than males to enter the military. They lowered the standards to allow females into the military in the first place and now they continue to do so.

    So it seems the time to complain about this would have been when they first lowered standards to allow females to enter the military. Now, it’s too late. You accept the first intance of lower standards and the precedent is set.

    The problem I see is we have two militaries: one male military and one female military, each with different standards. Females are getting special treatment for entering the military and special treatment for advancement. And this was seemingly set in motion decades ago when females were allowed to enter the military with lower standards of qualification than men.

    How does this not encourage resentment among the male military towards the female military? Wouldn’t this cause problems for males who have to serve under females, with the males knowing that the females did not have to meet the same standards as them to even get into the military, and probably did not have to meet the same standards for promotion?

    This just seems like a huge clusterfuck.

  17. In order to enlist, does the military have standards set by sex or does it have standards set by desired MOS?

    I’ve been researching this issue lately and there are comments defending lower standards for females into the military by stating that females will not be going into combat roles, so it’s unfair to hold them to the higher physical standards… that females could be used in an intelligence or linguist MOS, and it would be wrong to deny them entry into the military to be in that MOS, when intelligence is the key there, not physical strength.

    So if that is the reasonsing, then why isn’t there a set standard based on MOS, not based on sex? If a male wants to enlist to go to an MOS which does not require physical strength, then that male should be allowed to meet a lower standard than a male who wants to enlist to go to an MOS which requires physical strength. In other words, a male should have the same opportunities as females currently do.

    An intelligent male with low physical strength who wants to serve his country in a non-physical MOS should have the same standards as a female.

    As I understand it now, the military simply has male-female standards for enlistment, not MOS-based standards regardless of sex.

    Wouldn’t that make more sense, instead of lowering standards for females for combat roles?

  18. Tequila says:

    At ANCCPT
    I know what you wrote is meant to be a wake up call to the reality of the situation but I am going to ask you to step inside the mind of a liberal/progressive for just a moment. Such images are just what they want. It furthers their arguments found on bumper stickers like Give Peace a Chance and other such visions of sugar plums and unicorns. They hope that such images will lead to the abolition of the military entirely. Let’s not forget Dennis Kuchinich and his constant advocating for a Department of Peace to replace the Defense Department. Liberals want to break the military as a step on their way to dissolving it all together in the mistaken belief that if we don’t have a military then everybody will love us and they will follow our lead and get rid of theirs. That isn’t fiction, they apply the same logic to nuclear weapons, hell weapons in general.

    So put me in the camp that all of these recent changes directed at the military, sequestration, repeal of DADT, women in combat arms, attack on benefits, reducing the warrior image, disavowing the existence of heroes, etc all designed to render the military dysfunctional and therefore not needed.

  19. Tequila Says: I know what you wrote is meant to be a wake up call to the reality of the situation but I am going to ask you to step inside the mind of a liberal/progressive for just a moment. Such images are just what they want. It furthers their arguments found on bumper stickers like Give Peace a Chance and other such visions of sugar plums and unicorns. They hope that such images will lead to the abolition of the military entirely.

    I have always thought the same thing about the liberals’ intentions for their policies for the military. They want nothing more than an excuse to castrate the war-fighting ability of the United States. That’s why the want to show pictures of the returning flag-draped coffins (not to honor them, but to use them as political pawns against military action at all) and that is why they want females in combat roles (to have more and more headlines of females dying in combat to use as political pawns against military action).

    As you said, this is all designed to destroy the military and/or destroy America’s ability to go to war at all. They realize that defunding the military is unpopular, so they have decided to destroy the military from within.

    Democrats have been doing this for years and Americans don’t give a shit, since they keep electing them.

  20. Ex-PH2 says:

    @19 – But will they still have that mindset when the US is attack by an external enemy and their homes are blown to bits?

    Do you think they won’t be howling for protection from those nasty people?

  21. 68W58 says:

    They’ll be howling that (insert arcane policy or historical action Z) is the reason for the attack and that (perpetually aggrieved group X) was perfectly justified in attacking us and that we should pay them billions in reparations/give in to whatever ridiculous demands they make. They are counter-tribalists-the other is always correct or justified and the U.S./the west is always wrong or at fault. Their actions in such a circumstance are as predictable as gravity.

  22. Ex-PH2 Says: @19 – But will they still have that mindset when the US is attack by an external enemy and their homes are blown to bits?

    Do you think they won’t be howling for protection from those nasty people?

    Honestly, not sure. It will probably all depend on the direction of the political winds.

    Recall after 9/11, Obama joined with the local communists and such (ie William Ayers and Jeremiah “gawdDAMN the US of KKK America!” Wright) in Chicago and Illinois to stand against any military action in Afghanistan. And remember the Democrats supporting the AUMF in 2002, then quickly turning on the war effort and lying about their former support, all to undermine the war effort and President Bush. In reality, they never supported the war effort, they only made statements of support and votes of support for political reasons.

    I don’t think modern liberal Democrats use the military for reasons of good. I think they use them for political purposes. Wasn’t Bill Clinton accused of using the military as a distraction when he was in political trouble? Used them as a shield (ie, “cannot dare attack the Commander-in-Chief during a time of war!”) against his domestic troubles.

    In the same sense, it follows that Democrats would use the military to go to war, BUT would do it to get the headlines they want (war is bad). They would make sure all the flag-draped coffins were shown on TV 24/7, make sure the Democrat President got his photo-ops with the grieving families, make sure the news of females dying in combat received 24/7 coverage, etc.

    The military is simply a political tool to liberal Democrats. Liberals in general despise the military and wish it did not exist. They feel that our military is the cause of all the problems in the world… that if we simply did not have our military and did not have our cache of weapons, all would be right with the world and there would be peace. And they believe what John F’in Kerry spewed in 2004 when he said that military members were simply dumbasses who had no other option in life, but to join the military and get stuck deployed in Iraq.

    I think the last Democrat which respected the military was Zell Miller.

  23. 68W58 Says: They’ll be howling that (insert arcane policy or historical action Z) is the reason for the attack and that (perpetually aggrieved group X) was perfectly justified in attacking us and that we should pay them billions in reparations/give in to whatever ridiculous demands they make.

    Bingo. In fact, that was exactly their “reasoning” when undermining the war effort in Iraq. Remember all their claims that the Iraqi “insurgents” were noble and justified and the USA was in the wrong.

    And of course the Pon Raul nutjobs and their whining about American imperialism.

    Liberals everywhere were spouting the Middle Eastern Islamic terrorist line that the problems with the Middle East were solely to blame on USA policy and military actions.

    Remember, liberals side with the terrorist state of “Palestine” over Israel and believe all of their BS propaganda.

  24. Jerome says:

    To be totally honest, it is PC run amok. There is no such thing as equality in the military and after 22 years in the Army I will take that statement to my grave. We are there to fight and win the nations wars, period. The APFT has different standards for a reason, that being a woman’s upper body strength is not nearly that of a mans, the same with the body fat standards. But let’s say you have some women that meet the same standard as men. Let’s go further and say one of the women in your squad is separated and captured. What fate awaits this women, especially in Afghanistan where women are considered as property or worse. To be blunt, she is going to raped, sodomized to the point where she is finally so brutalized she either dies or goes crazy. Here is what Thomas Sowell says about the subject of Congress putting pressure on the military to be “responsive to the changes in American society”.
    There must be something liberating about ignorance. Back when most members of Congress had served in the military, there was a reluctance of politicians to try to tell military leaders how to run the military services. But, now that few members of Congress have ever served in the military, they are ready to impose all sorts of fashionable notions on the military.

  25. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    Interesting that you should say that the military is not about equality, Jerome. I agree. The military is not about democracy, equality, or any of the other ideals that its existence actually allows to be practiced in the civilian world. And that’s the way it must be. Can you imagine if votes were taken or troops consulted regarding military matters? Or how about if unit composition was determined by diversity of gender, sexual preference, religion or non-religion, ethnicity, national origin, or race. Perhaps that day is coming. If so, it is the end of the US military in many ways.

  26. Fen says:

    True. The military discriminate. It discriminates against age, weight, height, eyesight, medical condition, etc.

  27. LL says:

    I wonder if the reporter asked any of these “girls” if they’d be willing to look at a human over a rifle and shoot the head off that human. Let’s be blunt here, infantry is a killing machine. Saying shit like this, ““I know some women who would be good in that role — really, really good,” she said. “They would enjoy it, and they want to go in.”” is silly if you couch it in REAL terms of what the job will entail.

  28. Ex-PH2 says:

    I don’t understand this dissonance.

    You all praise and clap your hands over a girl or a woman who repels and possibly kills a home invader, a thief or a rapist, using a handgun, yet you can’t get it into your heads that there is no difference between that and a female in the infantry shooting at someone who is trying to kill her.

    If you think that women are not just as capable of killing/shooting to kill someone, using a gun to do so, then you are not paying attention to what actually does happen in the real world.

    Women kill abusive partners/spouses on a regular basis. Women go to jail for murder on a regular basis. What part of that are you not getting? Should I get some statements from inmates of a women’s prison? Should I track down statistics on women who have commited violent crimes? There is no difference between aggression in a field of combat and aggression in civilian life.

    I’m serious about this. You don’t make any sense. If you think women are just things to be kept in cupboards on display until you need some eye candy on your left arm, and that we are not just as aggressive as you are, then you know nothing about women.

  29. Ex-PH2 says:

    And furthermore, this business of opening up combat fields to women was in the works 40 years ago. When I re-enlisted in May of 1972, I asked my recruiter, the same guy who signed me up in 1967, about that possibility, because I was still interested in being part of a combat camera group, a field previously closed to women.

    He said it was on the board but would not be immediately put into place. That was in 1972, before some of you were born and certainly before many of you even signed up for the military.

  30. Ex-PH2 Says: If you think that women are not just as capable of killing/shooting to kill someone, using a gun to do so, then you are not paying attention to what actually does happen in the real world.

    For my part, I am fine with females going into the infantry (with a caveat, but I’ll leave that out for now). However, if, as you say, “women are just as capable”, then they should have to adhere to the same standards. Period. If they can’t meet the standards, they don’t get in. Period.

    And from the research I’ve done, it seems that the military has lowered its standards for female entry into the military since the beginning. And they’re talking about doing it again.

    If “women are just as capable”, then there should never have been different standards for females in the military. Period.

  31. Ex-PH2 says:

    You will get NO disagreement from me on meeting the standards for combat personnel. I support that completely.

  32. USMCE8Ret says:

    So, the young lady that was interviewed was jumping up and down – all excited as if someone just sent her Justin Beeber concert tickets, when she heard the announcement that combat arms jobs were being opened to women?

    Let’s just wonder if that kind of excitement lasts the next 3 or 4 years when she’s old enough to enlist, and doesn’t wane under the weight of a ruck that almost outweighs her and the rest of the training that goes with it.

  33. Ex-PH2 says:

    I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it until someone absorbs it.

    Carrying heavy weights requires conditioning and acclimation. If you are a skinny, frail male with no muscles, you won’t be able to carry the ruck either.

    Since carrying the full weight (168 lbs.) of armor, weapons, and pack requires a certain amount of physical strength, those women who WANT to go into combat will have to face that.

    There are slight-built men who have conditioned themselves to be able to handle that kind of weight load and distance to carry it. What is there that says women who want to do that cannot condition themselves as well?

  34. ComancheDoc says:

    Take the number of females who end up with stress fractures in their hips/legs/feet from just BCT, it’s ridiculously high in comparison to males; this will be a causative factor later on in life for a number of
    problems all

  35. ComancheDoc says:

    of which the VA will cover as service connected. Combat arms positions will only exacerbate the problem.

    *stupid phone keyboard double post

  36. 11BScottie says:

    The two woman who tried to go through The USMC Officer Infantry school both failed, one on the first day and the other a week or two in. I read that last month. No new female volunteers yet.

    As an Infantryman I’m tired of arguing with folks trying to explain to them the whys on such matters. They will just see for themselves.

    Also, they lower the bar in other MOS’ due to females in due to PT scores and how they train, and make it PC where sexual refferences such as bitch, faggot, I’m going to kill you, rape you and eat your clothes, fuckstart you, such my dick, etc are not used so you don’t “offend someone” I use those words all the time on privates.

    Damn Ex-PH2, just saw your picture. Will you marry me?

  37. OWB says:

    PH: The distinction I think you may be looking for is that there is a serious differance between the physical demands of a brief defensive posture (as in defending oneself and/or others) in your own home and what it takes to get to a location where a very similar brief defensive posture might occur in a firefight and then be sustained for hours or days. Enough adrenelin would likely kick in for any of us to defend ourselves through an attack in our homes. Having the stamina to get to a forward location, then maintain it is the distinguishing issue, at least for me. If you capture a few moments in time where you actually are killing someone, I would agree with you that there is no differance between the two examples you gave. However, the physical demands of getting to those moments in time are radically different.

    Besides the ability of the human body to tolerate carrying heavy packs, there is also the ability of the human body to recover from the adrenelin push one gets in all flight or flight situations. Haven’t seen any data on that one lately (and never any gender specific data), but it is something I have observed for many years. And, yes, there is a price to pay for it later in life.

  38. OWB says:

    errr, that should read “fight or flight/fight or die situations” above.

  39. NHSparky says:

    yet you can’t get it into your heads that there is no difference between that and a female in the infantry shooting at someone who is trying to kill her.

    If that were true there’d be women in the Infantry already, PH2. As anyone in combat arms will tell you, there’s a lot more to being a grunt than being willing to pull a trigger or take incoming fire. Just like there’s more to being X than pushing buttons, or whatever one’s MOS/NEC will entail on the surface, but deep down, there’s so much more that they never talk about in the recruiter’s office or in “A” School.

  40. Ex-PH2 says:

    @36 – Scottie, I’m 67 and I have arthritis in my back. That photo was taken in 1969. Also, I’ve heard worse than the stuff you posted right here on this board. And yes, I can give it back.

    Here are my responses: Bitch: what’s your point?

    Faggot: are you talkin’ to me?

    I’m going to kill you, rape you, and eat your clothes: ‘Don’t make promises you can’t keep, sweetheart.’ or this one: ‘Still got your brakes on, huh? Don’t skid!’

    Fuckstart (that’s a new one but I’ll try): What’s the matter? Jumper cables missing?

    Foul language just comes with the territory, and I have never asked anyone to tone it down, nor would I expect it.

    @OWB, yes there is a price to pay for carrying heavy loads, as I can personally confirm, but that happens to anyone engaged in that kind of work. The people who moved my furniture for me were all wearing weight belts to avoid blown and herniated discs, but in the Marine Basic Recon course video, I do not see anyone wearing that kind of protective gear. I don’t think that even firefighters wear weight belts, and they should.

    Sparky: so much more that they never talk about in the recruiter’s office or in “A” School. Absolutely: no recruit is ever given even a faint idea of what to expect in the field. No one I knew who came back from Vietnam had any idea what to expect before any of them went there.

    @Comanche Doc: if you’re talking about osteoporosis, it has hit my sister but not me. She is 3 years older than I am and should not be getting the fractures she’s getting, but she went on a rapid-weight-loss diet some time ago, where you lose 60 or more pounds quickly, and THAT will do much more damage than carrying a heavy load.
    And you ought to know that women can carry a load like a growing baby for months because our pelvises are meant to carry it. It isn’t hip or pelvic fractures that will happen. Because the angle of the female knee joint is different from the male knee joint, it’s more likely that you’ll see bad knees and shin splints and weakened patellas (jumper’s knee) from heavy weight loads. I don’t have any of that, but I have the bone of Death, which I got from my mother and from bucking hay bales and carrying bags of horse feed. My sister does not.

  41. 11BScottie says:

    Ex-PH2,

    you come from another generation, and I believe you can dish anything given to you. Point being, is Big Army doesn’t see it that way. They want to make up your mind for you, like big brother. There are folks who have complained at one time, which is why they rules that we have now are in place.

    Like I said before, I’m sure you can handle anything thrown at you. So can many of todays female soldiers. But I still get in trouble and repremanded for saying it. Which is utter bullshit.

    There is also the issue of sex, which is rampant in coed units. When I went on leave in Iraq, I swear there was like 10 females who were going home pregnant on the C130 with me to Kuwait, Marine, Army, even senior enlisted and officer among them. What kind of bullshit is that? Do they not have more discipline to not fuck each other, male and female? I don’t even want to imagine the love triangle bullshit when people have feelings for one another on the Front or on line. That’s not the mission at hand when in direct combat.

    Just my opinion.

  42. Fen says:

    @PH2: “There are slight-built men who have conditioned themselves to be able to handle that kind of weight load and distance to carry it. What is there that says women who want to do that cannot condition themselves as well?”

    Biology says so. Women have 10% less bone density.

    I ran with a female through a 12 hour land nav course at a Marine NCO Leadership course. It was easy for the 03s like me, but hard as hell for the others. I was impressed with her spirit and ability to endure pain. We were one of the few teams to finish in time. But she acquired THREE STRESS FRACTURES that day and was medically discharged. Really hit me hard because she was so inspirational and such a hard charger, but there it is – “wanting to” isn’t enough.

  43. Ex-PH2 says:

    @11bScottie, we’ve already had the discussion on sex January 24 and Jan. 28.

    here: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=33801

    and here: http://thisainthell.us/blog/?p=33848

    Quite enlightening, I assure you. Also very funny.

  44. ComancheDoc says:

    Ex-PH2, there is a litany of medical research that shows females during recruit training are in greater numbers being injured; all due to physiological differences between the two genders. A quick review of any of these documents proves why on basis of physiology alone this is a bad idea:

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=female+injury+basic+training&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C26&as_sdtp=

  45. Das Blaukraut says:

    I had an aunt by marriage who thought, back in WWII, that women should fight wars because they make fiercer warriors when they are angry.

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