Army 4-Star Lauds “Marines’ Aversion to BS” On Women in Infantry

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Female Marine recruits stand in formation following hand-to-hand combat training during boot camp February 27 at Parris Island, South Carolina.

Superb, objective, fair-minded article by Greg Newbold.

In particular – women have been successfully serving in combat for 12 years…152 KIA…over 1000 WIA. Women in uniform have been a courageous, effective, integral part of our fighting forces. Women have demonstrated they are disciplined and brave under fire. Women in the armed forces are trusted to lead.

Women in uniform now serving in every space on the air-land-sea battlefield. Serving at four-star rank. Dominating the talent spectrum in many specialties.

The argument for women at rifle battalion team level is unsound. Makes as much sense as mandating women on all-male professional contact sports teams.

Life in a rifle company is still incredibly brutal, filthy, requires enormous physical energy and upper body strength, and calls for a spirit of personal violence. There is zero personal privacy. Bodily functions take place in close proximity.

Troops are constantly injured from carrying heavy loads and crashing down hills in the dark. They dig like moles to stay alive.

Infantry units live like wild animals during periods of extended combat. Mostly it is a business of self-selected young men.  Most of these combat soldiers end up in these units because they actually want to fight.

When infantry units suffer heavy casualties— we routinely dragoon rear area personnel and throw them into the ground-dismounted battle.

Under the new policy—one supposes that we will not solicit the input of women in uniform…we will stick them also on a helicopter at midnight— and dump them into a rifle company to change places with the dozens of mangled and dead infantry soldiers going out on the same aircraft.

Thank God for the Marines’ aversion to bullshit when it comes to fighting.


Fighting men live for whiskey, women and the time and places to enjoy both whiskey and women.  Put women into rifle platoons and you will soon have fighting men fighting each other over the women in the platoon, because whether the Pentagon likes it or not, a truth about war and warriors for thousands of years is:  The warrior who loves to fight, loves to f***.  Putting women in rifle platoons will lead, very quickly, to Chaos Inc., and also create a lot of divorces.  Put a 19 year old raw-boned, wild at heart young American rifleman in a foxhole, even in training, with a 19 year old sweet, foxy wild at heart young American lady.  In the rain, with only their sleeping bags to keep them warm.  Make sure, of course, the platoon commander issues condoms before granting liberty.

TrevorSouth 1 Like

Well said, General McCaffery. It's too bad the people making the decisions on women in combat have an aversion to the reality of ground combat.  I personally do not believe they made a correct decision.  And, the uniformed General Officers that gave their consent for this decision won't be the ones to pay the price. Only time and spilled blood will reveal the truth they can't see or refuse to see.

Kinnison 2 Like

@TrevorSouth I am a retired "Mustang" lieutenant colonel, Armor.  I have been on record as supporting women in combat since the mid-70's, because men have no monopoly on love of country or willingness to sacrifice for what they believe in.  There are many combat jobs that women can excel in.  The major combat arms---Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, Combat Engineers---are not among them.  Women simply do not have the requisite upper body strength and overall muscular-skeletal system to do the required tasks in those MOS.  Ground combat is not the GM assembly line.  The militant feminists who are pushing for the inclusion of women in frontline combat units are not the people who will be put into those units, they are simply pushing a political agenda.  There are very few women currently on active duty in the military services who want to be in ground combat units.  Studies have asked that question;  the answer was "no".  Rule of thumb is unless a change will enhance our combat efficiency, don't do it.  No one is saying that the inclusion of women in such units will improve our ability to win wars, just that it is "fair" because it will qualify women---presumably officers---for faster promotion.  That is careerism, not professionalism and it demeans the outstanding women we currently have in the military who are truly part of the team and value service above self.


@Kinnison @TrevorSouthYour reference to "militant feminists" only demonstrates that you more interested in doing what is easy, not what is right.

The right thing to do is try and make this policy work. Maybe it will, and maybe it won't. But history has shown us that many people we thought would be poor at something turn out to be quite good.

There's nothing wrong with acknowledging the difficulties with this policy, but when General McCaffrey says things like life in a rifle company is dirty and requires a spirit of personal violence, he simple shows how out of touch he is with many women in this country. And as far as bodily functions go, well, the general just needs to get over it.


@mtngoatjoe @Kinnison @TrevorSouth The right thing in war is to kill the enemy.  In order to close with, assault and kill the enemy at close quarters, for instance, at war, you have to be totally focused and totally committed to both saving the lives of your fellow infantrymen and kill the enemy by any means necessary: bare hands, rocks, clubs, steel rods, fighting knives, machetes, sidearms, assault rifles, grenades, grenade launchers and any and all other means.  Speaking from personal experience, it is challenging to keep a squad of fighting men, much less a platoon, focused and ready to throw down and kill the enemy, at a moment's notice, at war.  It is not impossible, as we got the job done, but it is challenging.  Now, throw at least one woman per fighting squad into a rifle platoon.  What you will have is Chaos, Inc.--pregancies, divorces and the worst thing for any rifle platoon: Dramatic decrease in fighting spirit.  Unit integrity, which does not figure into policy analysis but does figure immensely into a fighting unit's effectiveness in combat, will go out the window.  So, if you have carried 100 pounds plus of fighting load in mountains, jungle and desert, carried a rifle as part of that load and killed people in hills where no English is spoken, then you know just how difficult and challenging it is to keep fighting men motivated to kill the enemy.  No one gives a s*** about making policy work at war.  The only thing that counts is keeping faith with the man on your left and the man on your right, sticking a knife in the enemy's throat or a bayonet in their gut, and knowing how and when to call in your mortars danger close to your own position, in order to kill the enemy that you haven't killed yet.  War, especially the close quarter combat that infantrymen fight, along with every other form of combat known to the infantry, is bloody, brutal and UNFORGIVING. There is a reason that there are no women allowed to volunteer for US Navy SEAL Team 6 and it has nothing to do with policy (the same can be said of the British SAS and British SBS):  Men can fight harder, longer and tougher than women.  There are plenty of places in the US military for women but the infantry is not one of them.  

bnjones1975 1 Like

@mtngoatjoe @Kinnison @TrevorSouth The right thing to do is whatever will best allow the military to fight and win the nation's wars.  I have heard no argument, and certainly had no personal experience, that has persuaded me in the least that combat arms would be more able to fight and win on the battlefield if they opened their ranks to allow women.  I applaud and agree with Kinnison's comment that the claim that women should be allowed to serve in combat arms units so that they can get the combat experience that they need for promotion is demeaning to the women who serve courageously and selflessly in many jobs in the Armed Forces.  This should not be about women getting what they want, it should be about doing what will best allow combat arms units to fight and win.  It should be about doing what is right, not what is easy, for military leaders who appear to be bowing under pressure from a liberal, populist administration. 


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