Tag Archives: female Marines

The Problem(s) of Women in Combat

It’s not all about qualification. I’m speaking as a female Marine Iraq war vet who did serve in the combat zone doing entry checkpoint duty in Fallujah, and we worked with the grunts daily for that time. All the branches still have different standards for females and males. Why? Because most women wouldn’t even qualify to be in the military if they didn’t. Men and women are different, but those pushing women into combat don’t want to admit that truth. They huff and puff about how women can do whatever men can do, but it just ain’t so. We’re built differently, and it doesn’t matter that one particular woman could best one particular man. The best woman is still no match for the best man, and most of the men she’d be fireman-carrying off the battlefield will be at least 100lbs heavier than she with their gear on.

Women are often great shooters but can’t run in 50-80lbs of gear as long, hard or fast as men.  Military training is hard enough on men’s bodies, it’s harder on women’s.  And until women stop menstruating there will always be an uphill battle for staying level and strong at all times.  No one wants to talk about the fact that in the days before a woman’s cycle she loses half her strength, to say nothing of the emotional ups and downs that affect judgment. And how would you like fighting through PMS symptoms while clearing a town or going through a firefight?  Then there are the logistics of making all the accommodations for women in the field, from stopping the convoy to pee or because her cycle started to stripping down to get hosed off after having to go into combat with full MOP gear when there’s a biological threat.

This is to say nothing of unit cohesion which is imperative and paramount, especially in the combat fields. When preparing for battle, the last thing on your mind should be sex, but you put men and women in close quarters together and human nature is what it is (this is also why the repeal of DADT is so damaging). It doesn’t matter what the rules are. The Navy proved that when they started allowing women on ship. What happened? They were having sex and getting pregnant, ruining unit cohesion not to mention derailing the operations because they’d have to change course to get them off ship.

When I deployed we’d hardly been in country a few weeks before one of our females had to be sent home because she’d gotten pregnant (nice waste of training not to mention tax-payer money for training). That’s your military readiness? Our enemies are laughing – Thanks for giving us another vulnerability, USA!

Then there are relationships.  Whether it’s a consensual relationship, unwanted advances or sexual assault, they all destroy unit cohesion.  No one is talking about the physical and emotional stuff that goes along with men and women together.  A good relationship can foment jealousy and the perception of favoritism.  A relationship goes sour and suddenly one loses faith in the very person that may need to drag one off the field of battle.  A sexual assault happens and a woman not only loses faith in her fellows, but may fear them.  A vindictive man paints a woman as easy and she loses the respect of her peers.  A vindictive woman wants to destroy a man’s career with a false accusation (yes, folks, this happens too), and it’s poison to the unit.  All this happens before the fighting even begins.

Yet another little-discussed issue is that some female military are leaving their kids behind to advance their careers by deploying. I know of one divorced Marine left her two sons, one of them autistic, with the grandparents to care for while she deployed.  She was wounded on base, not on the front lines, and is a purple heart recipient. What if she’d been killed, leaving behind her special needs child? Glory was more important than motherhood. Another case in my own unit was a married female who became angry when they wouldn’t let both her and her husband deploy at the same time. Career advancement was the greater concern.

I understand the will to fight. I joined the Marines in the hopes of deploying because I believe that fighting jihadists is right and I care about the women and children in Islamic countries where they are denied their rights, subjugated, mutilated, and murdered with impunity, where children are molested and raped with impunity, not to mention defending our own freedom against these hate-filled terrorists who want to destroy freedom-loving countries like America. Joining the Marines was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and I’m glad I got to deploy.  It not only allowed me to witness the war, but to witness the problems with women in combat.

Women have many wonderful strengths and there is certainly a lot of work for women to do in the military.  But all the problems that come with men and women working together are compounded in the war zone, destroying the cohesion necessary to fight bloody, hellish war.  We are at war, and if we want to win, we have to separate the wheat from the chaff and the top priority should be military readiness and WINNING wars, not political correctness and artificially imposed “equality” on the military.

This is part 1 in a series.

Part 1: The Problem(s) of Women in Combat

Read Part 2: Careerists V. Mother Nature

Read Part 3: Women in Combat Units Vs. the Military’s Sexual Assault Problem

Read Part 4: Let the Men Be Heroes, Because They Are

aristotle_000


A Marine Story – the movie

It’s too bad that the first movie ever made about a female Marine has to be about a lesbian for the anti-Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell and LGBT crowd – now comically called “GLBTQIA” gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, questioning, intersexed and asexual.  I think I’ll start a group called AWEWTBAPOSBIA:  the Anyone Who Ever Wanted To Be A Part Of Something But Isn’t Already club.  (To my gay friends, just teasing!)  Or how about: MWASOFMABPATBGIM: Military Who Are Sick of the Military Always Being Portrayed as the Bad Guy in Movies.  But I digress.

Those curious computers at Netflix somehow thought that this film was related to my search of WWII documentaries.  Those crazy kids in love!  Not quite, but seeing the title A Marine Story with a smart-looking gal on the cover, and being myself a female Marine Iraq war vet, I added it to my queue.  I didn’t realize until after when I found the website that it was about “the absurdity of the military ban on gays through the personal story of one courageous woman.”[1].

So I watched the story unfold without preconceived notions, and there was a lot I really liked about it.  Dreya Weber is great to watch with her incredible physique which she gets from being an aerialist and gymnast.  I mean, I wanted to be her and she reminded me of how I felt during boot camp, active duty and deployment.  Ooorah!  Her acting’s not bad either, her Drill Instructor mode brought me right back to Oscar Company, Parris Island.  As a former Tae Kwon Do buff and kung-fu movie-geek I have to say there was nothing phony about the bar fight in the film.  And of course, I loved the themes of breaking through yours barriers – within and without.

Then there’s the whole point of the movie, which is that Dreya Weber’s character is a closeted lesbian who married for cover to a male gay Marine, was abused, set up and tossed out of the Marine Corps for being gay.

I may have to take exception to what I said before about watching this movie without preconceived notions.  When I see a film that’s about the military, I can’t help but wonder:  How will this one ridicule, discredit or demoralize the military?  That seems to be one characteristic, with a few exceptions usually involving WWII, that Hollywood movies about the military seem to share.

You have your Platoon and Full Metal Jackets.  Or for one more recent like The Brothers – where they scripted that the officer beats his lance corporal to death when a gun is put to his head by their terrorist captors.  I guess they didn’t think portraying in detail what it might be like to be a hostage to the Taliban was enough.  More PTSD!  And it doesn’t matter that no Marines or anyone else kidnapped by terrorists has done this kind of thing.  It could happen!  We need to portray how bad war is!  We have to portray the darkest darkness of the human soul!  For the chaps and dames making these movies with their penetrating anti-war themes, there was no World War II, no Holocaust, and there’s no need to fight those nasty folks strapping bombs to themselves and hijacking airplanes to fly into buildings.

A Marine Story is more like the Rambo category where the main character is military or former military, so he’s a highly skilled stud, but the military that made him a highly skilled stud is bad.  Dreya’s character Sam is told in one-on-one meetings in a superior’s office with no council, that she has to prove that she’s straight to avoid a charge of conduct unbecoming of an officer.  To do this, according to the script’s setup, she would have to say that she’d had a hetero affair or let the superior officer have sex with her.

Here’s where I realize I may have to take another exception with regard to preconceived notions because of my own experience.  When I was an active duty Marine (2004-2008) there were so many things in place to prevent exactly this type of situation.  When a woman is doing any thing from a doctor’s exam to being charged, there is always a third person involved.  In being examined it’s a nurse of the same sex.  In the case of sexual harassment and assault, there are people whose sole purpose is to support women who have been abused or assaulted, with great care to executing justice while protecting confidentiality.  The military doesn’t want to be a place where women are hurt any more than any other business, and has been made to be just as politically correct as the rest of society.

A Marine Story also paints an ideal of female Marines.  The women who fit this ideal are indeed the Drill Instructors, and they are rare.  Drill Instructors inspire my complete awe.  As much as we didn’t sleep during boot-camp, they slept less.  As hard as we worked, they worked harder, ran longer, ran harder, pushed more.  To me they are like gladiators, and they are very few.

This movie is not a true story of a courageous woman.  Just A story.


[1] Official movie site: http://www.amarinestorymovie.com


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,201 other followers