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Modern Marine Couple: Let Women into Combat Units

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DoD photo / Marine Cpl. Marionne T. Mangrum

Female Marines in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Marines will react to male and female Marines serving alongside one another in combat as they have reacted to openly gay men and women serving in their ranks: no big deal.

That’s the argument a pair of Marines – married to each other — make in the latest issue of Proceedings, the sea services’ independent journal. Dropping the ban on women serving in combat slots “will most likely have a similar effect” as ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” write Major Chris Haynie, an infantry officer and Major Jeanette Haynie, an AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunship pilot.

They maintain:

The implication that no woman can perform ably in combat, regardless of personal strengths and abilities, bleeds into every corner of the Corps today. If women cannot perform in combat, as the policy clearly declares, what else can’t they do? That is the unanswered question that the policy begs asking. It drags into question the capabilities of female Marines serving in every other MOS, placing an asterisk in boldface type after each “USMC.” This can result in highly negative consequences that damage the unit cohesion that we seek to cultivate, especially in combat. We have experienced this firsthand.

The Pentagon’s current combat-exclusion policy designed to keep women out of infantry, armor and other ground-combat units “institutionalizes the concept that all male Marines, based on gender alone, are capable of performing duties in the combat arms, while all female Marines similarly are not.”

(PHOTOSBeen There, Done That: Pentagon Formally Opens Combat to Women)

They argue that, like the gay ban, the notion of women in combat doesn’t generate the same concern among today’s Marines — 62% of the force is 25 or younger — as it does for earlier generations of Marines. Besides, they add, a decade of war has shown that the logic of the policy no longer makes sense.

Check out their case here.

11 comments
atpcliff
atpcliff

Currently, more than 26 countries allow women in direct combat, including Canada, New Zealand, Britain, Australia, Norway and Germany.

In addition, Israel, Turkey, Norway, Russia, Poland, India, China, Afghanistan, Korea and Britain have females in Special Ops. The U.S. just opened up Task Force 160, an aviation special ops force, to women.

Medic5392
Medic5392

@atpcliff Israel uses them in what is a border police unit that does not and has not conducted ground combat operations. The rest of your info is almost so poorly informed it is laughable, but perhaps you consider "Special Ops" folks that are in engineer or intel groups? The TF 160 had to open up, they were made to, not out of need, politics.

likeAustralia
likeAustralia

http://wfdd.org/nprnewsstory.php/First-Female-Marines-Take-Combat-Leadership-Test/storyid162231290/topicid1122     ..one of the most intriguing articles/podcasts I've heard on NPR.. & no, I do not believe that all women are able to fulfill (certain) combat roles. Perhaps if they were able to pass training -- like the Combat Leadership Test ..then yes, those women (who pass) should be considered/allowed. However, this really isn't a case of "women's rights" like what this article or others suggest. This a matter of safety and physical & mental capabilities.. and after listening to the interview/recorded feed from the training -- where one woman was late to reach the rallying point, one woman couldn't handle pull-ups.. and another dropped out ..it is clear that women (as a whole) have yet to prove themselves able. I consider myself a pretty kick-ass women's-lib kind of lady -- though that's not what this is about, nor should it be.

Medic5392
Medic5392

@likeAustralia It is a "feminist" issue here in the US, nothing to do with combat effectiveness or making ourselves better. The chances of a woman making the male standard are about 1%, that is just meeting the qualifications of the average male trained the same. Where it really falls off is due to orthopedic injuries and long term maintenance of the female's physical condition. I have not even added in the social dynamic problems with mixed gender groups and of course the unplanned losses due to pregnancy. Read the linked files, check the citations, research it, etc... Do whatever you think you need to do pick them apart, then make the call. If you read up on this topic and still think this is a good idea despite the decades of evidence of large physical differences & capabilities, female predisposition to orthopedic injuries due to their skeletal frames, pregnancy, social dynamics, real differences in hard wiring and the huge costs that are associated with this then there is nothing more I can do that would sway you. I don't know if you will, but I hope you do. Most people who support this view who actually read up on it (rare) still support it due to emotion or a personal agenda. The officers pushing for this who wrote the article are a classic example of "agenda", she due to career advancement opportunities that would be available to her and he due to be her husband. Both authors and Thompson ignore that females are given huge advantages already, they do not have to meet the same standards and are given hard slots just because they are females. What they are basically asking for is even more 'special treatment'. As a side bar, something people should think about when looking at this-they are both 04/Majors, the chances of you being involved in actual combat above the 03/Cpt level are slim and none. Never underestimate the selfishness of those who look at this topic in terms of career advancement, it is a fair gamble for them to take. The odds of an Officer seeing combat today is pretty low, especially in the other branches. The window where they would be involved in direct combat is about 4-6 years max., perhaps they can push it out to 7 but that is it. Compare that to most NCOs who are in it till the E9 level, even at the E9 level some of those guys are still operational. 

Don_Bacon
Don_Bacon

Well said below. Women don't belong in combat. Period. Actually, men don't either, the way it's been done. Check the suicide rates.

atpcliff
atpcliff

@Don_Bacon 

Men's suicide rates in the military are about 10x higher than the women's suicide rate in the military.

Medic5392
Medic5392

@atpcliff @Don_Bacon And women are almost two times more likely to suffer from PTSD, are more susceptible to PTSD and are 2.5 times more likely than their male counterparts to be an unplanned loss. You are not a man, I am not a woman, stop acting like the physically men and women are on the same level and are interchangeable.

jalangaya
jalangaya

Ooooh, let them bring their poodles, too.

Medic5392
Medic5392 like.author.displayName 1 Like

The  policy is based on ground combat needing physically strong people the close with and engage the enemy. It is great you can dress in a uniform well or shoot well, you have to get there first and you might have to carry a wee bit of kit with you enroute. I am almost tired of countering the arguments made by the likes of the author of this article. The female Major who thinks being in the air against a foe who may have RPGs as their primary anti-aircraft weapon is the same as ground combat is not being honest with the readers or herself. I love how the author and the Major's both skip over that one of the Majors did not have to meet the same physical standards as the men she serves with and ignores the very real quotas for females in Officer Slots. The lack of integrity in addressing this is appalling. 

Women are not as strong, do not have the cardio capacity, are more prone to orthopedic injuries simply due to the way their skeletal frames are and simply the same. Men and Women are not interchangeable cogs in a machine, I wish this would stop and that the folks would think about the well being of their sons and husbands who will suffer from lowered standards and inadequate team members due to quotas. The race or homosexual comparison argument is not valid, a man is a man be he black, white, yellow, red, brown or gay. 

Some PDF links are below, read some more on the whole women in combat idea and what is really going on. Look at the Washington Times Article and read the UK's information for yourself, then make the call. I would ask that the authors, the TIMES author and those who support this movement at least know what they are talking about. I promise you the Majors do not know what they are talking about. 

Read these articles, then ask yourself these questions:

How do they increase our combat effectiveness? 

How is this cost effective when women are 2x more likely to be an unplanned loss due to injury or pregnancy? 

How is this cost effective given the low rate of passing that the US and the UK have studied and proven over and over again?

How will we now have a test that will make females meet the same standard as the men when we have never done that in out entire history?

Below are links to studies via the UK Ministry of Defense and our own services. The Browne article and Times article are well cited and give links as well. 

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/undelete/Browne.pdf

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/10B34976-75F9-47E0-B376-AED4B09FB3B3/0/women_af_summary.pdf

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/A9925990-82C2-420F-AB04-7003768CEC02/0/womenaf_fullreport.pdf

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/undelete/Browne.pdf

http://www.thelizlibrary.org/undelete/1110-GregorW.pdf

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

likeAustralia
likeAustralia like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Medic5392 there is/was a test: http://wfdd.org/nprnewsstory.php/First-Female-Marines-Take-Combat-Leadership-Test/storyid162231290/topicid1122  ..and it was actually a co-ed test .. as it SHOULD be. I believe none of the women passed.

Medic5392
Medic5392

@likeAustralia @Medic5392    likeAustralia, yes, they had two women go through and the both failed. Almost as soon as they failed out the issue was looked at and they are "re-evaluating" the standards at the course. It is for Marine Infantry, they are most likely going to drop standards, that has been our past practice since the introduction of women into the military. Read those PDFs, they are from the UK and the Gregor and Browne articles are US.