Being in direct combat units means being the ones who take the fight to the enemy. Deploying in itself is not combat, and neither is returning fire when getting shot at on convoy. Real combat, the kind the infantry and Special Forces wage, is bloody, vicious and offensive. When we’re talking about opening the combat units to women, we’re talking direct ground combat units who don’t have the comfort and distance of the fighter-plane cockpit. Marine Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer describes being attacked by an insurgent, fighting and killing him with his bare hands. In Baghdad they were hand-to-hand, men facing each other with knives.
I’ve fought many men over the years as I trained to earn a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and dabbled in Kapoeira and Krav Maga before the Marines, and achieved three of the five levels of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program which incorporates the best of all forms for hand-to-hand combat. This isn’t a lot in terms of learning to fight for your life. Training by fighting men before the Marines helped me to be a better fighter against women of my own weight and rank. But women are at a disadvantage fighting men, especially those that actually want to capture or kill them.
Even the toughest female fighter in the world, UFC Bantamweight champion Rhonda Rousey said as much when the issue came up of fighting Fallon Fox, formerly a man, citing “the bone structure, the muscular structure of a man [after puberty]. There’s no ‘undo’ button for that.” Tamikka Brents, a female who actually did fight Fox, said, “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.” To put females at the front where they are much more likely to have to engage in hand to hand combat with men is barbaric, not empowering to women. When I joined, I wanted to go to the front. Being outside the wire the reality of having to fight in close contact looms large, and the enemy we were facing then seems somewhat docile compared to ISIS today. There was a chance I would face them. In the combat roles, it’s not a chance, it’s probable, and today’s enemy uses meth. Fighting ISIS on meth hand-to-hand. It’s every girl’s dream, right?
“Shouldn’t taking that risk be a woman’s choice?” I hear this question a lot. A woman in this position is not isolated, she is not just taking a risk for herself. She’s putting everyone around her at greater risk, in no small part because her torture can be used against the men in a way it can’t with other men. Their natural instinct to protect her can distract him from the mission resulting in disaster. This is exactly what the Israelis found out in 1948 when they included women on the front lines of combat. The men dropped everything at the women’s screams, and the Israelis declared the experiment a disaster and a failure. Contrary to the myth that radical Islamists are averse to fighting women, the Israelis found that their enemy fought more viciously because the prospect of defeat by women was so abjectly humiliating.
Capture and torture is every deploying woman’s worst nightmare, and all that advocates for women in combat can say is that it’s not fair we want to protect women more than men at the front, that we’re wrong to consider a woman being tortured worse than a man being tortured. It may not be fair that women are more vulnerable than men, but we are. It may not be fair that women are at a disadvantage when it comes to brute strength, but we are. These warrant added protection, and there’s nothing feminism can do to change it. Regardless, the policy will get more of both killed. It’s not that we’re weak, shrinking violets. Rhonda Rousey sure isn’t, and neither am I. But it’s not enlightened, sophisticated or evolved to ignore our differences, differences that can mean the difference between life and death on the battlefield.
Well said. We Americans have been trying to be “a social proving ground” ever since the “days of Camelot”. To put women in line units tasked with physical combat is not only not desirable for women, it’s unfair and a burden on their male counterpart. Being a SOLDIER is a hard and honorable service to country, quit trying to make the job more difficult and dangerous for the soldier while sitting in your “comfy chair” miles from the war zone!
Thank you Jude, for all the work you are doing to educate the public on what is happening to our military (and also for your service).
I would like to make a sports analogy as to why women should not be integrated into all male infantry combat units. I cannot think of one team sport, from the college level (including Division 1, 2, or 3) to the professional level, where adding even one woman would make an all male team a better team. If women could compete, on an equal level with men in sports then, at least some women, would have made it on some of these teams. If a woman could throw a 100 mph fastball she would be playing with the men in Major League Baseball, but this has never happened. Let’s take the best female basketball player in the world. She is not good enough to make an NBA team, much less even a college basketball team; otherwise she would have done so. I think the physical gap between men and women is so great that even a top level high school basketball team could beat a WNBA team. If an all male sports team is better than an all female team then how does adding even one woman to the male team make it a better team? It doesn’t and this applies to a fighting force as well (the physical rigors of combat MUST be tougher and harder than any sport!). Even at the high school level it is extremely rare to hear of a female making a high school football team, and if she does she rarely plays on the varsity team in actual games or she sits on the bench. Recently two women passed through Army Ranger training and kudos to them. But really? Is it really easier for a woman to pass Ranger training than it is for a woman to make a college division 2 or 3 rugby, football, baseball, or basketball team (or even high school teams)? I am excluding the larger division 1 schools, to make a point that even at small schools women cannot compete against men. And then I think about myself. I have worked out at gyms lifting weights for over 40years (I am 62 y/o). I see men and women working out together everyday and the strength gap is enormous.
So I think that the sports analogy is a good one that most non military people can put their arms around. Maybe by using analogies that people can relate to we can stop this insanity of weakening our military.
Ok, just because we get tortured and shot and stabbed doesnt mean we will give up information.
We are able to handle ourselfs and yes it is feminism and if the men there cant handle it they need to toughin up,
their in the military.
if we are still a distraction then maybe there should be another part of the military where woman can fight hand to hand,
cause honestly i dont think its fair. Yes, we were made to have children and yes our bodies werent made to fight
but we can change that we can do things some men cant do and if the military wont realize that or accept it,
They will regret it in the next war.
Idiocy on display. There’s nothing you can do about biological differences between the sexes. Men have testosterone coursing through their bodies. It gives them the added strength, speed, stamina and endurance needed to be successful in DIRECT GROUND COMBAT. We’re not talking about support jobs. Women have served proudly in the military since 1948. The only thing the military – and the country – will regret is allowing diversity metrics to trump combat readiness and troop welfare – including female troops. This weakens us and is no favor to military women.
Thank you so much for speaking with common sense. As a man, if I try to explain this to other women, I get labeled a “sexist.” I’m glad some women still exist out there who can recognize inherent biological differences between the sexes.
Kudos,there’s no weight division when it comes to hand to hand combat.
Appreciate your candor, Ma’am. Thank you for looking out for America and the Corps.