Female Marines Train For Combat

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A recent change in the rules means young women soon will be eligible to go into harm’s way with the U.S. military’s most elite fighting force.

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144 comments
yvonne12
yvonne12

Im all for women being equal and have watched the training marines go through to earn their right to be a marine, so if they pass the training and selections great.

However it is a natural reaction for a man to protect a woman so does this put the man covering her in worse danger? mind you at the good old time of the month women would be more dangerous to any enemy  so she would probably have her male colleague covered 

BillPearlman
BillPearlman

Everyone knows that that physical standards are going to be lower to get an "acceptable" percentage of females. The joint chiefs all but said so. 

the7thcircuit
the7thcircuit

I'm all for equal rights, but even the female serving members of  my own family (ex-master sergeant) think this is a bad idea for a number of reasons....


Not to mention virtually any forces in the Middle East are only going to fight harder/never surrender now that Women are @ the front lines like this due to their well-known anti-Women attitude...just saying....

JaredRoughneckBristol
JaredRoughneckBristol

That female marine on the right...her Kevlar is on backwards. Oh and just because women are allowed in combat doesn't mean I have to "share" a foxhole with just her. I'm going to get a male that is able to carry me

ClemenceIzm
ClemenceIzm

We, women, can't have equality in so much other fields, and safe ones. But to send women in the harms of the death, violence, insecurity, theirs no problem at all to consider us equals. That makes me sick

Vowel_Movement
Vowel_Movement like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

I am a Marine,  a Vietnam Combat Veteran of '67 '68 Tet, Khe Sahn, etc.  I love truly love women of the opposite sexual persuasion but women in combat as a front line infantry Man ? is anathema to everything I've come to know in my experience in war especially with in the rigors and absolute horror of combat.  It's bad enough when a man craps his pants under the stress and strain of constant fear and anxiety.   That I could deal with.  A woman losing her bowls and shirting herself is another.  Not to mention, War as I knew it didn't revolve around a 28 day cycle of mood swings and physical incapacitation. with intermittent Midol breaks.   G.I.Jane was a Hollywood movie.  Bullets don't make clean entry and exit holes.  Decks and the ground  can run red when awash with blood and viscera from disemboweled bodies. Then there is the retchid [purplish green fog] sickly sweet smell of combat.  Not nice and not even describable.  It's something stays with you for life, that never leaves your olfactory senses.  Unless you've experienced it, you have no idea and cannot even surmise what the reality of war is.  No movie, no training, no book on the subject can prepare you for a full on smack in the face when your buddies guts splatter all over your face and his brains are dripping in gobs from in your mouth.  Yeah, average girl in combat.  A liability  for sure.  Most men at some time wonder WTF they've done and gotten themselves into when the Putrid Milorganite makes imminent physical contact with the electro-mechanical, occelating, rotating ventilating device.  Women should provide logisitcal support for their combat Marines in the field. With that comes training as a Marine anyway.  Just stay out of my fox hole and trench line for the sake of humanity and motherhood.


The inane retort of a pencil necked geek, "Well.., You are a misogynist! We should allow women in combat rolls, Pooh pooh,  the Canadians do it? "


My reply would be:  "The Canadians speak French and eat poutine too.  It sux."

rfdgskj
rfdgskj

@Vowel_Movement I'm sorry you can't deal with women pooping. And that you don't know much about menstruation. And that you think that women are weak minded and should be relegated to administrative tasks or child-rearing. Unfortunately your thoughts don't affect reality except when someone in a position of power shares them.

MarineCorpsMom
MarineCorpsMom like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

My daughter is a Marine.  She is glad that the standards are being raised for women to serve and she has always worked to meet the same PT standards of the men anyway.  That being said, she has no desire to go into combat and doubts that many women would be able to maintain the requirements to do so.  Having higher standards would allow the Marines to train only the strongest, most fit candidates.  I also think that psych tests should be included at the MEPS pre-screening because many of the women dropped were found to have mental issues several weeks in.

AnitaEptacularLove-Face
AnitaEptacularLove-Face like.author.displayName 1 Like

What you're all failing to recognize, is that these women are fighting to defend YOUR country, it's not like they're enlisting any less men than before, they're just adding women to combat. So quit ragging on how women aren't qualified or capable, because regardless of physical stamina, they're out there serving and protecting YOUR freedom. Show some respect.

yvonne12
yvonne12

@AnitaEptacularLove-Face Sorry but of course they will enlist less men. i dont mean to be rude to you but if theres 100 vacancies then their 100 vacancies its not a case of 100 vacancies plus 50 women vacancies more women less men

Having said that women have the right to fight for their country as long as they truly understand equality and not presume selective equality

My husband was in a tank Rgt and there was chat about allowing women in the Rgt, it wouldn't work and we all know it wouldn't work for obvious reasons, days at a time in a small space and a woman with PMT nah ah wouldn't work. Marines yeh maybe purely because of the training and if they pass that then hell yeh get her in there, however it is man natural intuition to protect women so does that put man in worse danger

Citsonga
Citsonga like.author.displayName 1 Like

Oh my bias. It hurts, it's blinding.

1. The Marines while awesome are not "the U.S. military’s most elite fighting force." That honor goes to operators under commands with names like Joint Special Operations Command.

2. For all the haters on here, Nobody has talked about lowering the standards for women to get into combat arms. they talked about a fixed score PT test everyone would have to pass in order to get into combat arms, after they passed their regular PT test. This is actually a higher standard than for men to get into combat arms right now.

3. For the love of all that is military, someone get that Marine a helmet that fits her head!

smarshall81
smarshall81 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Citsonga 1. The Marine Corps is America's rapid deployment force. Out of the regular fighting forces, yes, it is the most elite. It has a different mission than JSOC, which is the elite of the elite. 2. I don't think many are saying the standards will be dropped. I and many others are saying A. many women won't be able to hack it, and get broken in the process (so now we have to pay to fix them as well), and B. Those that can hack the physical test are still going to have a harder time than their male counterparts because their bodies don't maintain muscle strength as easily. Naturally higher testosterone in males, higher bone density, narrower hips, etc etc etc means male bodies put up with the strain of infantry life a lot better than females. A physical test still doesn't measure what an extended deployment does to the body. It doesn't end with the physical requirements though. After what I've seen go on in the mixed units I was in, there's nothing you can tell me that will convince me putting females in the middle of a bunch of 18 year old males at the peak of their hormones isn't going to cause issues. Rape is one problem, but obviously no one condones it. Fraternization is against the UCMJ, you say? Sure it is; it's still not going to stop some people, whom the command now has to waste valuable time dealing with, and the effectiveness of the fighting unit is degraded. Females have different hygiene needs than males. A male who goes without a shower for two months is not likely to get a life threatening infection.

I can't think of any battle we lost because we didn't have females in our infantry. Unfortunately, our leadership seems to think that fairness trumps fighting effectiveness.

Citsonga
Citsonga like.author.displayName 1 Like

@smarshall81 @Citsonga 

Okay first things first, if your definition of "elite" is rapid deployment capable then you are talking about MARSOC and the MEUs. Furthermore the 101st and 82nd are both rapid deployment capable as well, not to mention the Rangers. The Marines and the Army are almost direct analogies. the only real difference is sometimes the Army has better equipment and the Marines main job is fleet security and running MEUs. What you're really missing though is there is very little difference in the attitude and level of training between an 0300 series Marine and an 11 series Soldier.

If you're worried about paying the medical bills then you are obviously already off track on trying to get the best people to the front line. Those that can hack it are NOT going to automatically have a harder time. The peak ideal Male is stronger than the peak ideal Female. Under that where most of us mortals reside, things get mixed up. what the testosterone and stuff means is that there will naturally be more men in the Infantry. Not that those men will always have an easier time. This is also why there are more 18-21 yr olds than 30+ yr old men in the Infantry, guess when testosterone starts to naturally decline? Yet somehow, 30+ yr old platoon sergeants are still keeping up with and even out running some of their privates who have every natural advantage in the contest according to you.

Your right there is no physical test that can record what will happen on deployment, but we already lose a number of men each deployment to career ending problems they got just from carrying their gear. There will be women who get injured the same way. Once again, if you are worried about that then just call your congressional representative and tell him to bring all the troops home, because you know, they might get injured in a combat zone.

Oh women in the middle of 18 yr old men, and lions and bears too! I was 18 when we went through the ground war. We had female MPs attached to us. All I'm going to say here is that anyone who thinks they'll be having carnal thoughts in a foxhole, hasn't been shot at in one. Somehow, some way, we managed to control our libidos and do the mission. Maybe the Army has more discipline than the Marines?

Command doesn't waste any more time than it takes to file paperwork. It's the supervisors who have to sit down with them and talk. And again, sex in a combat zone, somehow more prevalent on my non infantry deployment than on my infantry deployment. Even though we were regularly on an Air Force FOB overnight.

Women don't get any more life threatening infections than men do. Like men do, they take care of that stuff with baby wipes and other sundry methods. Just because you are in the field does not mean  people stop cleaning themselves. And I can't think of any battles we lost because women were present either.

I find your dismissal of women based on the lowest common denominator demeaning. We do not let the LCD guys into the Infantry, and we will not let the LCD women in either. It is possible for a male and female to be of the same strength level. In fact if you want to talk about the Olympic level where that disparity exists, women have more endurance, shoot better, and tolerate pain better. All laudable aspects of the modern Infantryman. 

SusanThomas
SusanThomas like.author.displayName 1 Like

Oh lord.....Female Marines only have to do a 30 second arm hang on a bar (NOT ONE PULLUP) to qualify and pass the physical fitness test....WHY WOULD WE ALLOW THIS??

HOW ARE THEY GOING TO HELP PULL A FELLOW MARINE OVER A WALL DURING COMBAT?? OR DRAG A LARGE WOUNDED 250 POUND MARINE OUT OF DANGER???

This political correctness must stop. If the Marines have DIFFERENT STANDARDS FOR FEMALE VERSUS MALE MARINES FOR ADMISSION TO THE CORPS, why would we think they wouldn't drop the combat standards also??


AnnaRiley-Pate
AnnaRiley-Pate

@SusanThomas Actually, the USMC is in the process of standardizing a single test for all marines, and this includes pull-up standards. One female tester was able to do 20 pull-ups in the required time limit. That's more than most males I know. Not everyone who joins any branch of the military wants to be combat arms and kill the enemy down range. Some people are forced to do it anyway, as plenty of women who have deployed have found out. The point is that those with the CAPABILITY are given the opportunity to excel and not be held back by draconic naysayers like yourself.

And, on the topic of capability, how many pull-ups can you do, Susan?

Citsonga
Citsonga like.author.displayName 1 Like

@SusanThomas Because the whole reasoning behind the standards included the combat bar. Instead they're going to make people pass their regular standards and then pass a gender blind combat standard.

zoey27
zoey27 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

As a former Marine during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam (a Woman Marine), I speak from my own experience.  Unless there have been some physiological milestones attained in the size and weight of women on average in the intervening years, I can't imagine anyone I knew during those 4 years who would qualify for such intense duty.  A few would like to "prove" themselves possibly.  I'd like to point out that most people I knew who joined were young women "running away from home" basically, including myself.  I learned many useful skills for living and taking care of myself and never touched a gun.  Most of my experiences were quite positive, but I'd not go near the military of today.  Without ever passing the Equal Rights Amendment, women have been manipulated into serving in much the same capacity as men.  How outrageous.  Now it's recognized combat (already happening before this official announcement) and potentially part of the draft.  Let's see that ERA first.  Fact is, we all know most women are not remotely qualified for this work and would cause all kinds of trouble for the men in the unit.  They would not be able to carry their "weight" and that would not be fair to the men.  There are many men who are also not capable of participating in combat, and I'd imagine they wash out in training.  Just to give a "visual" to those who have no idea what this is all about, I can recall in the early '60's when there were groups of men huddled together on the parade ground at MCRD San Diego and being advised not to go near them as they were the "draft" and were very dangerous to a young lady.  Now you are proposing that our young daughters huddle with them?  Somebody better wake up. 

Citsonga
Citsonga

@zoey27 

Fact is, most men aren't cut out for the Infantry either. It's something like half a percentage point... So I'm more than willing to take the half a percentage point of women that can do the job.

zoey27
zoey27 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Citsonga @zoey27  Yes, I believe I acknowledged that. You truly do not want that small percentage of women who might qualify. The sexual tension, inconvenience for sanitation, and disruption of the unit are very real.  Good luck finding a few good Annie Oakleys.  This political correctness is so over the top.  There are already countless rapes and similar problems that are not being adjudicated, so why is anyone considering adding to the problem? I would advise no young woman to join any branch of the military.  You will be dreadfully disappointed. 

yvonne12
yvonne12

@zoey27 @Citsonga Women get raped in civvi street to doing a day to day job, and lets be honest here when anyone is in combat they aint thinking of the next sexploit 



Citsonga
Citsonga like.author.displayName 1 Like

@zoey27 @Citsonga 

Sanitation in a war zone is a latrine trench. Nobody really cares because everyone has diarrhea and that's pretty disgusting. The sexual tension outside of combat is non existent because the men will have other women around in the US. In combat nobody is thinking about sex. If a guy just can't get his mind off it, then he needs to be fired anyway because he can't keep his mind on the mission. If it wasn't female soldiers for him it would be local females. I have met plenty of women who have had great careers, without getting raped. All you're doing with that is preying on the fears of a society.

JamesMata
JamesMata

now all females should register for the draft before WWIII so we can all be equal

Red12
Red12 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

It seems that many people are still forgetting that while policy has changed, a woman will still have to meet qualifications that suggest she would be able to effectively do the job. The assumptions some people are making insinuating the cowardly actions women are making in combat are also shared by many men in the military, as well. It is all on an individualized basis. Not all men could pass or complete the requirements necessary to be part of a ground unit so does that mean we disallow all men? That is the same argument people are stating regarding women. Just because policy has changed doesn't mean women are going to become the sole force in the military, but simply opens the door for women who quite frankly understand the implications that being in the military brings and still decide it is for them. If Woman A can hump 150 lbs of gear and Woman B can't, this shouldn't impact whether Woman A can do the job... same goes for men.

mjh5702
mjh5702

@Red12 

I think that opening the door to women is a positive thing. I do not believe that women and men should have different standards to qualify for combat. And from what you're saying they will be equal, correct? If they are passing the same test and both men and women have the same physical capacities, then they should be able to fight alongside each other. I think that other things such as sanitation and sexual tensions are petty observances in the grand scheme of things. The distinction you draw about Woman A and Woman B highlights what I believe should be done and what will be done. I do not think that women should be given benefits solely for the stake that she is a woman. If we want equality, we should have equality and not advantages in order to make the statistics look "correct." 

SusanThomas
SusanThomas like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@Red12 The Marine corps already has different LOWER FEMALE STANDARDS for admission....and you don't think they will drop the combat standard also??? Especially to keep the liberal members of Congress off their backs??

Remember Karen Hultgreen, F-14 pilot??? She was SOCIALLY PROMOTED BY THE NAVY B/C SHE IS A WOMAN, when everyone knew she was a TERRIBLE PILOT. Almost killed her RIO, killed herself, and destroyed a multimillion dollar plane....ALL IN THE NAME OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS.

Citsonga
Citsonga

@SusanThomas @Red12 

Yet we have the example of Kim Campbell that shows us women can excel at flying planes. Besides who is to say that Hultgreen's death was avoidable? It's not like the F-14 was made to glide when it's engines go out, and because she was on final approach she would have had mere seconds to make any corrections that would have mattered.


Hold on we also have Leigh Ann Hester, decorated with the Silver Star. That's the one that you have to do something really good in combat to earn, like lead your team in a counter assault, through trench fighting, when Iraqis ambush your convoy. Don't forget to make several trips back to the vehicles for more ammunition under fire either.

Red12
Red12

@SusanThomas @Red12

So are you making the argument that women can't drive? You don't think that there a pilots that are men that have similar errors. Accidents flat out happen and the likelihood of them happening I would say increases with that job description.

I would say that Citongas examples are perfect in regards to saying that there are capable women. Now why would we disallow them for something strictly on gender?

Red12
Red12

It seems that many people are still forgetting that while policy has changed, a woman will still have to meet qualifications that suggest she would be able to effectively do the job. The assumptions some people are making insinuating the cowardly actions women are making are also shared by many men in the military, as well. It is all on an individualized basis. Not all men could pass or complete the requirements necessary to be part of a ground unit so does that mean we disallow all men? That is the same argument people are stating regarding women. Just because policy has changed doesn't mean women are going to become the sole force in the military, but simply opens the door for women who quite frankly understand the implications that being in the military brings and still decide it is for them. If Woman A can hump 150 lbs of gear and Woman B can't, this shouldn't impact whether Woman A can do the job... same goes for men.

Haeckelist
Haeckelist

"About 11 percent of female recruits who arrive at the boot camp fail to complete the training, which can be physically and mentally demanding."??? 

Only 11% drop out? That is a lower attrition rate than college? I thought the Marine Corps was more demanding. Am I missing something?


SusanThomas
SusanThomas

@Haeckelist Check out the different physical standards for Female versus Male marines?? They already lowered the bar.

Citsonga
Citsonga

 @SusanThomas @Haeckelist 

The bar was never lowered for women, it was put in place at a lower standard because that's all society expected of women. I guess you too have no faith in them.

DayneGriffith
DayneGriffith

fine for them. just don't complain when the missing body-parts/body-bags start to pile. you wanted th P-BOX OPEN, OK DEAL WITH IT ALL.... IT'S NOT A VIDEO OR ALL GLORY...!

JeffKrogue
JeffKrogue like.author.displayName 1 Like

The one on the front right doesn't look to promising.  :)

Beachum
Beachum like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

Women in combat:

From a legal point of view - I understand.  

From a common sense point of view: Most absurd thing I have ever heard of.  If you're a woman and the ONLY reason you want to become a combat Marine or soldier is because you need to prove something- please consider doing something else with your life.

mahadragon
mahadragon

@Beachum I don't think there's any legal reason behind this, they need bodies!

SHADOWSOLDIER
SHADOWSOLDIER like.author.displayName 1 Like

@mahadragon @Beachum No WE do not. We have plenty and are about to down size 60,000 personnel. And since the infantry is a large part of our force guess where the large part of downsizing goes?? Any guesses???

NathanBerg
NathanBerg

why are there nothing but women in the picture?  do they train them to only fight women?  are we going to call time-out when there's a male combatant that's about to rape the hell out of them?  what a bunch of political crap!

mikerogers44
mikerogers44

Outstanding ! I'm not surprised the Marines are leading the way on this. I have asked young women around me how they feel about registering for The Selective Service . They seem to feel the same way I did in 1980 , reality checked. My hat is Off to the young women entering the Breach , hooah ..

anonimiss
anonimiss like.author.displayName 1 Like

@ SHADOWSOLDIER  actually no, the truth is the military advertises all the time for people to sign up and recruiters have a hard time meeting their quotas. There is a NEED for more male soldiers, so, "Why are the rich noticeably absent from serving in the military?"

SHADOWSOLDIER
SHADOWSOLDIER like.author.displayName 1 Like

@anonimiss Actually we meet our recruiting goals 99% of the time. What world do you live in? Where do you serve? What is your experience in the military? Is it just commenting on military related forums? We are already over strength in the military and about to downsize. So where is your numbers, facts, and experience. Please state it or stop putting your non experience two cents in.

anonimiss
anonimiss

The question is, "Why are the rich noticeably absent from serving in the military and should the working class follow their lead?"  Of course some people are not physically able to serve, what about the rest? Also, I knoew exactly what I am talking about , it is true that the male+ female bases do not recieve the same deep combat training as the all male basic trianing units do. This is a problem when you walk into a war. Every basic training unit should recieve the set standard of combat training regardless if it is an all male unit or male+female unit. They are going to war for gods sakes, teach them right how to survive.

SHADOWSOLDIER
SHADOWSOLDIER like.author.displayName 1 Like

@anonimiss Once again ALL basic training units in the military receive the same curriculum.The standards of what is to be trained is the same for EVERY basic training unit. When is the last time you served? Or the last time you taught basic training? Saw the course outline from TRADOC on all basic training? Please, stop babbling about what you think and let us know your experience and knowledge within this military and what TRADOC publishes as the guideline of training for those is Basic Training??

82nd11b
82nd11b

@SHADOWSOLDIER @anonimiss as much as i whole heartedly disagree with 98% of what anonimiss is saying...this i tend to at least partially agree with...my infantry OSUT (basic and AIT rolled into one) was significantly different and much more orientated towards combats than every other basic ive heard of for any other MOS. far harder too.

SHADOWSOLDIER
SHADOWSOLDIER like.author.displayName 1 Like

@82nd11b @SHADOWSOLDIER @anonimiss Correct but the basic training outline that is defined by TRADOC command is met in ALL basic training units. However, you are correct. Some OSUT units ADD TO, but do not take away from, the MANDATORY required training for Basic Training. Although I agree with you on the OSUT part, the TRADOC policy and outlined guidance (DOCTRINE) is met by ALL Basic Training units. Some exceed and go farther since they are OSUT and dealing with DIRECT COMBAT ARMS soldiers.