The New York Times reports that two more women will attempt to navigate the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officers’ Course this Spring, says the Corps’ Commandant, General James Amos.
In March, two Naval Academy graduates will become the second set of women to enter the course. Over the coming years, General Amos is counting on dozens more female volunteers to provide him with enough information to decide whether women can make it in the infantry. The outcome, he says, is far from certain.
“I think there is absolutely no reason to think our females can’t be tankers, or be amtrackers, or be artillery Marines,” he said, referring to tracked amphibious assault vehicles. “The infantry is different.”
General Amos said that if too few women were able, or willing, to join the infantry, he or his successor might ask the secretary of defense to keep the infantry closed to women. The deadline for that request is January 2016.
“You could reach the point where you say, ‘It’s not worth it,’ ” General Amos said. “The numbers are so infinitesimally small, it’s not worth it.”
I wish them well. I take offense at the Times’ intimation that we infantrymen consider our branch a “boys’ club”, because to me, this has never been about keeping women out of the infantry. I really don’t care either way, like with the gay issue. But at some point we have to ask ourselves why we’re pushing this so hard. The United States military is better, operationally, than it’s ever been so are we doing this to make the military a more effective fighting force or are we just bending to the political wishes of the civilian masters who don’t understand the consequences of their actions?
I’d like to believe General Amos, that if putting women in the infantry doesn’t make sense, they won’t allow it. However, it’s been my experience that common sense has nothing to do with political decisions made by the generals. I’m sure General Amos means what he says, but as we’ve seen over the last few weeks, what happens in the military has little to do with what the generals say.
Even if very few women pass I.O.C., enlisted women should still be allowed to join male-led infantry units, said Greg Jacob, a former Marine officer who is the policy director for the Service Women’s Action Network, an advocacy group.
“Leadership is leadership,” Mr. Jacob said. “You don’t need a female leader to lead female Marines.”
Says the guy who won’t have to lead female infantrymen, just like all of the other peckerwoods who are advocating so hard for this purposeless change. It’s the “do something, anything” crowd that wants to plow ahead irrespective of the eventual outcome, regardless of the number of body bags that get filled in the next war. it won’t be them or their kids who will have to deal with that eventuality.