Tag Archives: Marine Corps

Recipe for Disaster: Assigning Unqualified Women to Combat Leadership

As published at Stream.org March 21, 2016.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter grabbed headlines last week when he announced that President Obama would soon nominate the first woman to head a major U.S. military Northern combatant command. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

According to the Marine Corps Times, female officers and staff non-commissioned officers (NCOs) will soon be assigned to infantry units in order to “begin building the cadre of women leaders,” to support female enlisted Marines. Males in both ranking and subordinate positions are supposed to accept female leadership that has not completed the Infantry Officer Course (IOC) because they will be serving in support roles:

These female Marines or sailors will help male infantrymen adjust to the changes in their units before female grunts join their battalions, said Col. Anne Weinberg, deputy director of manpower integration.

“We really didn’t look at them as helping the junior female Marines,” she said. “We really looked at helping the unit writ large — as a resource to the commander, as a sounding board …”

The first ingredient in this recipe for disaster is the female Marines’ lack of qualification. That no women have been able to pass the grueling IOC may be ignored by the Pentagon and Marine Corps leadership, but it certainly won’t be by subordinates in the infantry units themselves, nor should it. Where the women did not earn their place like the rest of the grunts, there will be no trust, respect or faith in their leadership. And since these women will not have worked their way up in the field, they will have no idea how these units should be run.

That they are supposed to be in “supporting roles” is meaningless since they will be in charge of the lower enlisted ranks. Placing unqualified female leaders, especially officers, in combat units goes against the very essence of Marine infantry officers whose motto is Ductus Exemplo, leadership by example.

The IOC standards are very high because infantry officers must not only be educated, brave and highly athletic. They also must be better at everything than the members of their units because Marine officers lead their men into battle from the front. The pressure is already on to lower IOC standards so that women can pass them  and thereby the military can meet the “diversity metrics” (quotas) by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and others.

This is what “gender-norming” has always meant: standards that are equal but lower for all, and  tests and events where women’s performance is consistently inferior to men’s are diluted or removed. Thus the disparities between the sexes are masked — until, of course, they resurface in a real battle situation where the need to sprint quickly in heavy gear and carry heavy weapons, overcome an attacker in close quarters combat, or haul a wounded comrade out of battle is no longer a matter of passing some watered down test designed to make Washington politicians happy but a life-and-death matter of uncompromising physics.

The other glaring element that will destroy unit cohesion and lead to mission failure is the splitting of the chain of command:

“The female officers and staff NCOs’ secondary mission will be to serve as a resource for any female infantrymen who join the battalions, Weinberg said. “If they feel like there’s something they can’t talk to their male leader about, just to have that same gender face.”

This will tear out the heart of the combat units, which is their small-team leadership: the fire team leaders, squad leaders and platoon commanders. Under this plan Marines can go cry to the female when they don’t like whatever their male leadership is doing, just like children playing one parent off the other. Such division can only result in hate and discontent in the ranks, obliterating the good order and discipline so essential to their success.

The recipe wouldn’t be complete without the requisite politically correct indoctrination when it comes to assigning individual jobs within the units for which Marines will be trained using “vignettes.”

“Some of the scenarios are: You’re in the field; you only have this certain amount of space for billeting and you’ve got three women and six guys; how are you going to billet?” Weinberg explained.

Putting the “right” number of women in positions regardless of qualification – just like their leadership – will be the order of the day for any Marine whose own promotions and positions will be at risk if they object or balk in any way.

This is a set-up for destruction of the combat units from the inside out. As with the combat integration policy as a whole, there is nothing in place to assess the real fallout. When it fails, those promoting it have already set in place to blame leadership and training. But there’s no leadership or training in the world that can make success out of an unworkable plan that depends on denying the realities of human nature, human biology and combat. The next president, if willing, may be able to turn this around, but there will be a lot of damage in the meantime to both the fabric of the combat arms and the men and women serving therein.

What’s Wrong With Coed Boot Camp?

Published at Laura Ingraham’s Lifezette.com January 13, 2016

CaptureOn January 1st Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus ordered the Marines to provide plans by January 15th for boot camp to go coed.  ABC.com reports that “Mabus also warned Marine Corps leaders not to use any concerns about integrating women into combat jobs as ways to delay the process.”  The problems with integrating boot camp are the same as those of integrating the combat arms, so the Marines are not allowed to talk about it.  Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter used this tactic when, ahead of his Dec. 3 decision, he put a gag rule on discussing women in combat and the Marines’ 9 month integration study which showed that compared to males in combat tasks, female Marines were slower, couldn’t lift as much weight, were less accurate shooters and retained more than twice the injuries.  Now the Marines must comply not only with integration of the combat arms but, suddenly, integration of boot camp, post-haste.  Any problems with either will be blamed on leadership and training.  That leadership will be purged and purged again until everyone is singing the right tune.  If you were interested in what Soviet-style dictatorship looks like, this is it.

As a nation, we already compared separate-sex and coed boot camps and found the Marine Corps’ methods far superior.  In the 1999 Congressional Commission on Military Training and Gender-Related Issues, the commission’s chairman, Anita Blair said, “gender-integrated training entails special problems that simply do not arise in gender-separate training. These problems revolve around the difficulties of providing appropriate privacy for both sexes, accommodating fundamental physiological differences, and controlling sexual conduct.”

Sexual Dynamics & a Myriad of (Expensive) Consequences

imageThe Army knows intimately what can go wrong combining young end-of-teen-aged kids together in the formative period of boot camp.  Remember Aberdeen?  Multiple Army drill sergeants were abusing their authority and having sex with or raping females under their charge.  Even when relationships are consensual the damage can be just as great.  The expenses are high in time, money and effort to shuffle personnel due to relationships, fraternizing, pregnancy, misconduct and the litigation thereof, let alone the destructive impacts to the personnel themselves and their units.  That we’ve come to tolerate this mess in the fleet and other branches’ boot camps hardly justifies doing more of it by forcing the Marines to follow suit.

If there’s one thing that’s primal and unchanging, it’s that men and women are distracted by each other.  The second you throw them together they’re checking how they look and competing for each other’s attention.  The fallout can run the spectrum from marriage and/or babies to serving in the brig for rape.  It’s as predictable as the sun rising in the east, and all the ripples created detract from the objective: training to become the nation’s enemy-killers.  Advocates for total integration insist “we’re professionals,” as if professionals don’t hook up and mess up their lives and jobs.  Regardless, new recruits are hardly professionals, and boot camp is not an office job.  Harassment?  That’s boot camp: you can’t train young kids to attack and defend without some touching.  A drill instructor’s simple correction or instruction can be construed as harassment when done by the opposite sex.

 (Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink)

(Photo by Cpl. Caitlin Brink c/o popularmilitary.com)

Having separate boot camps allowed the Marines to postpone or at least greatly minimize the opportunity for all these problems until after recruits had finished their training and earned the title.  (The repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has worked to sexualize areas that were once neutral, worsening these negative impacts.  Same-sex sexual assaults are on the rise since its repeal.)

Quotas & Lowered Standards

Double standards for women have been in place since their full integration into the military in 1948 because every time they tested against men’s standards, they didn’t perform as well as the men and retained more injuries.  Also, men and women don’t like being treated the same.  What’s neutral between men can be considered harassment to a woman and vice versa, and what’s tough for women tends not to be challenging enough for men.

When West Point was integrated and 61% of female plebes failed the men’s physical fitness test (PFT) compared to less than 5% of men, separate lower standards were created for women.  It was the same in the Air Force’s Cadet Wing when they couldn’t perform the pull-ups or complete most of the men’s other standard tests.  In every branch’s PFT, women have more time to run and don’t have to do as much or the same requirements as men.  In 2013 the Marine Corps tried to get female recruits to achieve the men’s minimum three pull-ups and gave active duty females the option to do pull-ups instead of the arm-hang.  They dropped the requirement when, in over a year of boot camp cycles training for the goal, less than half of female recruits (compared to 98% of males) could make the standard and only 15% of active duty females elected to do them at all.

Marine General John Kelly is right in saying “There will be great pressure” to lower the standards to accommodate women and fulfill the Obama administration’s destructive policy.  While claiming there will be no quotas, Mabus has already demanded an increase to 25% female representation in the ranks.  The only way to satisfy that requirement is to lower those standards.  They will call them gender-normed “new” standards, and “equal” will be equally lower for all.

Recruiters now have an impossible task to perform.  Women are already five times harder and more expensive to recruit because very few women want to join the military and fewer are qualified.  While having to pull in much greater numbers to reach that 25%, the young women who can make combat standards is a yet smaller pool even in the age of Crossfit.  Now that women’s combat exemption is to be fully repealed, the potential for involuntary assignment to combat jobs and competing with men in those jobs are all deterrents for young women thinking of enlisting.


The Marines have been the last hold-outs on integrating training just as they have been for the combat arms because the Marines are in the business of killing.  Gen. Kelly had it right when he said the question is whether or not this policy makes us more lethal: “If the answer to that is no, clearly don’t do it…”

Recruits graduating coed boot camp will be a lower-caliber breed of Marine, Guinea pigs required to follow orders and “prove” integration a success.   Injuries and misconduct will increase even as standards are “gender-normed” lower, but as long as everyone delivers their lines correctly: “Women in combat is a great idea! Women are the same as men in the infantry!” that’s all that matters. That we’re supposed to be training them to fight and win against the likes of ISIS with the fewest casualties possible is irrelevant.  Ain’t modernity grand?  Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.

Ray Mabus Just Can’t Stop Insulting The Marines

Photo c/o Wikipedia

Photo c/o Wikipedia

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus just can’t stop insulting the Marines.  He’s declared he will ignore the results of their 9-month infantry testing to assess Marine women in combat units,  saying: the testing was biased, the women weren’t good enough, there were no standards for combat jobs before, we can’t judge based on averages, the testing wasn’t realistic.[1]  He intends to  open combat units to women regardless of the negative impacts shown and even had the gall to say in his most recent Washington Post op-ed: “Women should be among the few and the proud,” referring to the Marine Corps’ motto, as if women and anyone not in the infantry aren’t already real Marines.  Reality-based infantry testing disproves the claims that women can do anything infantry men can do, so the SecNav insults the testers, the tested and the results.  I describe the historical use of this oft-repeated tactic in a previous article for Military Review.  Mabus could not be a more perfect feminist shill for this gender-political agenda if he had a manual.  The SecNav and the Marines are coming from different angles.  The Marines test and operate based on their priority: combat effectiveness and readiness, and Ray Mabus on his: diversity.


Photo c/o The Marine Corps Times

The testing results showed that all-male teams outperformed coed teams on nearly 70% of tasks.  The females tended to be slower, shot less accurately, suffered more than twice the injuries and struggled with tasks like lifting a 200lb dummy off the field.  One instance described, for example, “When negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top.”

Mabus said that prior to this testing, “There weren’t any standards.”  Actually, he went back and forth on this, first saying there were no standards, then that men were passed who couldn’t make the standards, but when pressed that that should mean we need to raise standards, back-peddled again to say, “No, they need to be set, which they have been now, not necessarily higher.”  He’d have us believe that shooting accurately, scaling walls and long marches with heavy gear, pulling a comrade off the battlefield and other infantry tasks are new measurements of what the infantry has to do, that these standards don’t need to be harder if some men are passed without making them, but other standards should be set so that women can make them… I’m getting dizzy just trying to follow.  These Marines were tested based on current demands made of the combat units and typical tasks they have to perform.  All they did was say, “This is what’s required of us now, see if you can do it.”

Since the female participants couldn’t, Mabus insulted them, saying, “…in terms of the women that volunteered, probably should’ve been a higher bar to cross to get into the experiment.”  To further disqualify the data he said, “…they talk about averages, and the average woman is slower, the average woman can’t carry as much, the average woman isn’t quite as quick on some jobs or some tasks. The other way to look at it is, we’re not looking for average.”  But the female participants certainly weren’t average females, and they were not just average female Marines.  They were top performers who had at least if not better than a third-class men’s PFT (physical fitness test), and with few exceptions had passed the Marines’ enlisted infantry – an accomplishment touted as proving women are equal to infantry men and ready for combat.  The Marine Corps Times reported that the female participants “tended to be athletic, with high scores on the PFT and combat fitness tests.”  Watch this video about one of them and tell me if she looks average to you.

It’s not that these women weren’t good enough, it’s that they couldn’t prove a lie.  We can be very proud of these women for their ability and accomplishments.  They are inspirational.  They are the sorts of women we want and want more of in our military and on deployments.  They are already utilized where they’re needed most, moving up the ranks, and recognized for their achievements.  But military women, even top performers, aren’t interchangeable with infantry men.  Averaging more than twice the injuries means they’ll have to be replaced much more frequently than men as this policy is implemented and women have to maintain combat standards over months of continuous training and deployments.   CaptureCplJenniferRocha1It’s not enough to make the lowest men’s standard, or even to pass the enlisted infantry or the Ranger’s leadership course.  Mabus said, “Averages have no relevance to the abilities and performance of individual Marines,” but the opposite is true.  They’re absolutely relevant when you have to not only prove one or two can do it, but guarantee a predictable, continuing stream of qualified females who can make and maintain those standards in order to fill the quotas mandated by General Dempsey.[2]  Right now we have to break hundreds of women just to get one or two who can make it through finite training evolutions.  We can assume that these negative results will be multiplied many times in the heat of actual battle.  What does it matter if one or two can make the lowest of the men’s standards if they have more than twice the rate of injury, many more high risks besides, and a limit on how much muscle mass they can gain to improve their strength?  It’s simply a bad investment.

“…[T]here are ways to mitigate this so you can have the same combat effectiveness, the same lethality,” Mabus tells us.  But how do you offset failure in 70% of required tasks? On a combat mission, if someone gets injured or killed, his brothers have to get him off the field and assume his duties.  Brute strength, especially upper body strength, is at a premium, and men are basically limitless in the muscle mass they can gain.  While the results showed women were a benefit to decision-making, can they really relegate women to the couple of cerebral tasks at which they tend to excel?  It won’t work, and hardly makes up for the many other negative impacts.  The results also showed that – surprise!  Women were distracting to the men.  As a Marine infantryman with three tours put it to me, “The only purpose of the infantry unit is to win battles and all other things are at best of secondary importance.  What ever policies maximize unit combat effectiveness, no matter how politically inconvenient, are the policies that should be in place.  When push comes to shove, that 5-10-30% extra combat efficiency may mean the difference between our nation facing a future threat or being defeated by it.”

Capture3Mabus tells us a diverse force is a stronger one.  “When we talk about diversity, we mean the full spectrum of demographics, but even more important, we mean diversity of thinking.”  Assuming all men think the same is its own misconception.  Regardless, putting women in these units guarantees diversity in the spectrum of ability, from able to unable.  Diversity in the spectrum of more to fewer injuries, and greater to less risk.  This is going to get more of both sexes killed.

Policy of this magnitude should not be made based on the performance of one or two individuals, especially when it affects not just all military women who volunteered for service, but all of America’s young able women who haven’t.  The combat exclusion is what makes drafting women unconstitutional, because the draft is specifically for preparing combat troops.  Those who scoff that enactment of the draft is unlikely should look to all the other unprecedented things the Obama administration has done.  That is why in the past this issue has been the subject of presidential commissions, hearings and congressional oversight.  Our representatives should be held accountable for subjecting our daughters to conscription.  All Leon Panetta had to do was sign a memo.  Whenever Americans have been faced with this question before, they’ve voted No.  Will we let some Obama-appointed bureaucrats determine this for all women?

The Marines have always been the hold-outs on opening combat and combat-related jobs to women, and for good reason.  It’s not because they’re sexist, it’s because they know what killing the enemy face to face on the ground requires.  Many support the idea of women in combat because they are supportive of women in general.  Until they watch their own daughters register for service, they won’t put much thought into what ground combat requires and what the additional costs and risks to women are that make this not just an unsound investment, but one that puts women, men, and our national defense, at greater peril.

General Robert H. Barrow, 27th Commandant of the Marine Corps testimony before the SASC on Women in Combat. June 1991.


[1] http://www.npr.org/2015/09/11/439381272/navy-secretary-ray-mabus-takes-issue-with-marine-combat-study and http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/09/16/mabus-no-exceptions-to-keep-women-out-of-marines-seals.html

[2] “[The combat units] must make sure that there are a sufficient number of females entering the career field and already assigned to the related commands and leadership positions.” http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=5183

MeJude Eden served in the Marine Corps from 2004-2008 as an 0651, Data Communications, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune.  She deployed with 8th Communications Bn to support Camp Fallujah’s computer communications for 8 months in 2005-6, and was also assigned checkpoint duty working with the Marine Infantry frisking women for explosives outside the wire.

Happy Birthday Marines

Patrick Nichols_by Jude Eden 05

Combat: Testosterone Required (More Than Ever)

Are double standards and endemic discouragement of women to train hard to blame for the fact that women continue to wash out of the Marine Corps’ Officer Infantry Course? That is the charge of female Marine Lt. Sage Santangello in an article for the Washington Times. She says:

“I believe that I could pass, and that other women could pass, if the standards for men and women were equal from the beginning of their time with the Marines, if endurance and strength training started earlier than the current practice for people interested in going into the infantry, and if women were allowed a second try, as men are.”

Can she do a dozen pull-ups in all this gear? Photo c/o misguidedchildren.com

Can she do a dozen pull-ups in all this gear? Photo c/o misguidedchildren.com

I absolutely agree that the military should have one standard from the beginning, and it should be the men’s higher standards.  The tiers could remain – higher standards for combat military occupational specialties (MOSs) and support units, appropriately lower for the rest – but within each, women making the higher men’s standard.  It would be optimal for military efficiency and readiness (not to mention the most effective use of our tax dollars), but most women wouldn’t make it into the military in the first place. And although their caliber would be higher for having to pass and maintain higher standards, the ones who did make it would suffer far higher rates of injury (currently 4-10 times those of men, even on lowered standards) and attrition than we already do. We’d see women promoting more slowly, having shorter and fewer military careers, and the percentage serving would drop from 20% to 5% or less. The quality of women serving would be higher, the quantity would be lower, but the military would be stronger and more battle-ready.

While that would be the best thing for a country at war as we are with child-raping, honor-killing, suicide-bombing, amputation-happy savages, the problem is that feminists won’t tolerate it. Mainly through the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), quotas for women have been imposed on the military for sixty years. And every time jobs have been opened to them, the standards have been lowered to accommodate their lesser physical capabilities and to reduce their high rates of injury. (Say, if those military men are such thugs, such brutes, such women-hating monsters, how come they’ve accommodated women this way since 1948? Weird.) So the 2-person (one daren’t call it 2-man) stretcher-carry is now a 4-person stretcher-carry, women don’t have to do the pull-ups men do, throw a grenade as far, run as fast, scale the wall without steps, and on and on. Between lower standards for women and political correctness that sees making men out of boys as abuse, the standards are de facto lower for all.

Breaking ground. Fallujah, Iraq 2005. © Jude Eden

Breaking ground. Fallujah, Iraq 2005.   © Jude Eden

Any testing to evaluate women’s strength, how they respond to types of physical training, or qualifying tests to determine job suitability have been defunded, abandoned, or, when the results show that women don’t qualify for the heavy-lifting jobs that feminists want them to occupy, discredited. One example is the Military Enlistment Physical Strength Capacity Test (MEPSCAT). It was initially developed to address a problem brought to light by the military itself: Although they were filling their quotas, 85% of women filling the slots couldn’t do what the jobs required. As Stephanie Gutmann writes in The Kinder, Gentler Military, research scientists

“…categorized all Army jobs as light, heavy, or very heavy, and then devised standard physical requirements – expressed as low, medium, high – with which to separate applicants for a particular MOS. They then conducted preliminary tests to see if soldiers in the field, already out there in assigned jobs, were matched with an appropriate MOS. ‘The results,’ as the Army Times put it, ‘did not bode well for women.’ While most men exceeded the high and medium standards for aerobic capacity,’ the paper reported, ‘no woman met the high standard and very few the medium. In other words, by the proposed test’s standards, all of the men were qualified for their jobs in heavy-lifting specialties but fewer than 15 percent of the women.’”[1]

Military readiness? Hardly. The reaction from a member of DACOWITS? “The Army is a male-oriented institution and officials are resistant to changes that will allow women to be fully utilized.” Testing showed the obvious, women couldn’t do the heavy lifting in jobs where they were placed via quotas, so the data had to be buried. The MEPSCAT was never implemented as a way to match recruits to appropriate jobs, even though that makes all the sense in the world to anyone but feminists and their lackeys at the Pentagon.

Lt. Santangello has a similarly feminist angle on why she was powerless to supplement her own training to prepare for the OIC: “Women aren’t encouraged to establish the same mental toughness as men — rather, they’re told that they can’t compete. Men, meanwhile, are encouraged to perceive women as weak.” It’s the male-dominated culture, stupid.

Why does a strong young college hockey player with the guts to join the Marines and the ability to become an officer suddenly wilt at negativity from anyone? Is that the attitude that got her through Officer Candidate’s School? Why would such a tough cookie listen to anyone who told her she couldn’t compete? Why wouldn’t she use it, as so many athletes do, to fuel her ambition to prove them wrong? Herein lies the usual riddle of feminist dogma: Women are as strong as men, but women are victims of men. It’s garbage. Advocates for women in combat are desperate to explain away the natural ability differences between the sexes.

I only served a four-year term in the Marines, but in that time (2004-2008) no one ever told me I couldn’t compete because I was a woman. Nor are men encouraged to perceive women as weak. If anything, their encouraged, at peril of losing their careers, to make themselves believe the lie that women are their physical equals. Today, we all are. Point out the obvious and you’re charged with waging the “war on women.” In my experience, feminism is so prevalent in the military that men trip over themselves trying to ensure they don’t offend. They can’t afford to even think the truth. Women are not as strong and athletic as strong, athletic men. That is why women, even very athletic women, are failing OIC. That is why women aren’t competing with men in professional football, wrestling, or mixed martial arts. It doesn’t mean women are inferior human souls, nor does it mean there is no place for women in the military. It means it makes total logical sense for many MOSs, especially the combat units, to remain closed to women.

Hey Girl, forget your pack?  Photo c/o Marine Corps Times

Hey Girl, forget your pack? Photo c/o Marine Corps Times

Equal training standards would indeed put women in better stead. It’s hard to take pride in the hollow affirmations that we’re doing everything that men are when we know we’re held to a lower standard. It would be better for us as women serving, better for the men with whom we serve, and above all better for a winning military. However, women’s failure to make these kinds of standards is not just for a lack of training. For example, the women going through Marine Corps boot camp throughout 2013 were being trained to achieve the men’s minimum of three pull-ups. They were trained to pass the test, yet 55% of them couldn’t make that minimum. 99% of male recruits can, whether or not they were particularly athletic before shipping off.

When I decided to join the Marines, I already worked out regularly. I had been jogging and hitting the gym since my teens, my sport was martial arts. To prepare for the Marines, I worked out harder and more often. No one had to tell me to, I knew my own weaknesses. If I made it to graduation, I didn’t want to let down the Marines to my left and my right. Once I hit the fleet, despite developing knee problems, I worked out more often than anyone in my platoon to maintain a first-class PFT and perform anything else that was demanded. The guys could eat fast food daily, smoke and drink, then run 6-minute miles. Meanwhile I ate clean and mixed weight training and Semper Fit classes to supplement our regular PT schedule. I envied the guys’ natural ability and found their metabolism particularly infuriating. I may have had more to overcome than some of my female peers, but my experience is not singular. To complete the same physically demanding task, a woman expends much more effort than a man. His units of work effort are worth many of hers, and he will be able to maintain a demanding, arduous level of performance for far longer than she in both the short and long term. Double standards didn’t create this reality, and women training harder won’t change it.

In his book, Coed Combat, Kinsley Brown, a law professor whose graduate work includes physical anthropology, points out that,

When males and females both start out in good physical condition, women gain less than men from further conditioning, so that the gap between the sexes actually increases. A study of male and female cadets at West Point, who all started out in relatively good condition, found that although women’s upper body strength was initially 66 percent of men’s, by the end of their first two years, it had dropped below 61 percent…Sex differences in physical performance are here to stay. As Constance Holden observed in Science magazine, the male advantage in athletics will endure, due to men’s ‘steady supply of a performance-enhancing drug that will never be banned: endogenous testosterone.’ [emphasis in the original][2]

img6503p124 Army Lieutenant Colonel William Gregor, who taught at West Point, also compared the performances of male and female cadets.

“Gregor found that the upper fifth of women achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom fifth of men, but even with equivalent scores, the men and the women were not physical equals: ‘The women who achieved this level of fitness are unusual. They are confident, they are talented, but they are limited in their potential relative to men. The men, in contrast, have the potential to do much better…APFT scores do not measure relative strength or performance [and are therefore] the kindest to the woman, because she works only against her own weight. If we were to add a load, the gap between males and females would widen. If we were to reinstate the 40-yard man-carry that was part of readiness 20 years ago, we would find far fewer women achieving passing scores using the male tables.’ Gregor also testified that a man is more likely to be able to meet minimum standards later in his career, whereas a woman has nowhere to go but down, and rapidly as she ages.”[3]

www.anatomy4sculptors.comFemales can train as hard as we like, and we may increase strength, stamina, and fitness. But our increased fitness still won’t put us on par with that of the men who are training to their utmost, like men in combat units. No matter how widespread feminism becomes, our bones will always be lighter than men’s, more vulnerable to breaks and fractures. Our aerobic capacity will still be 20-40% less, and we’ll still be less able to bear heavy gear at a hard-pounding run. Can we scale the eight-foot wall in full combat load? No steps are provided to give women a boost in the heat of battle like they are in coed military boot camps (and even the MC’s Officer Candidate’s School). Santangello boasts that she got 16 pull-ups on her last physical fitness test. That’s excellent, but PFT’s are done in a t-shirt and shorts. Can we do a dozen pull-ups in full combat gear? That’s just one of many requirements in the OIC combat endurance test. Can we carry another man on our back with both our full combat load and his? These differences in ability are deal-breakers in combat. The standards are not arbitrary. They’re designed to keep the weak out, because accommodating the weak means lives lost and mission failure. This is not just competitive sports, this is war. Infantry officers must not only be educated, brave, and highly athletic. They must be better at everything than all their men because Marine officers lead from the front. Hence their motto: Ductus Exemplo, leadership by example. Which of these women is better than an entire infantry platoon?

Today, advocates for women in combat, primarily civilian feminists and a handful of feminist officers, are doing everything they can to see that the standards are lowered once more to accommodate women. Hence, reservist Army Colonel Ellen Haring, one of the women suing to open combat units to women, wants the OIC’s combat endurance test thrown out (so tries to discredit it as merely an initiation rite). The females who made it through the Marine Corps’ enlisted School of Infantry were still rated on a double standard for the combat fitness test, a fact dutifully and deliberately omitted by those reporting breathlessly: “Women Pass Infantry Training!” (How will that help them when they’re actually in combat, to have passed on a lower standard?) And in the announcement of the WIC policy last year, General Dempsey said, “[I]f we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?” We all know where this is going, and it will be catastrophic for all: women and men on the front lines, our ability to win wars, and the country and loved one’s we’re protecting.

Finally, Lt. Santangello’s contention that women are unfairly barred from a second chance at OIC is deliberately misleading. The only officers who get a chance to remediate and try the course again are those slated for an infantry unit, as Marine Lt. Emma Stokein explains in a recent piece, The Mission Goes First. Since combat units are still closed to women, they don’t get a second try because this delays the training for their assigned MOS and unfairly pushes behind other Marines waiting their turn. As a Marine and officer, Santangello knew this when she wrote her article, so she had no business calling it discrimination. Letting her try the course again, which the commandant of the Marine Corps did after she published, was applying a double standard. She asks that the rules and standards be ignored and that she get special treatment because she’s a woman. That’s quite a start for an officer claiming to want equal treatment, and wanting to lead men in combat. Does she want men to follow her example? Once she’s head of a platoon, will she expect her men(and women) to follow her example?

[1] Stephanie Gutman, The Kinder, Gentler Military. New York: Scribner, 2000.

[2] Kingsley Brown, Coed Combat: The New Evidence That Women Shouldn’t Fight The Nation’s Wars; New York, New York: Penguin Group, 2007.

[3] Brian Mitchell, Women in the Military: Flirting With Disaster; Washington DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998.

The author before heading out on convoy to checkpoint duty, Fallujah, 2005.

The author before heading out on convoy to checkpoint duty, Fallujah, 2005.

Between Feminism and Gun Control, Women Are Screwed

Mid-20th century Feminism has taught us that women don’t need men, that we can do anything men can do from business to close combat, that taking on the worst behavior of promiscuous men is desirable, and that we can avoid the physical and emotional consequences that result.  Chivalry is long since dead: Feminism declared it the relic of an oppressive patriarchal society rather than what it was: a standard that held women up in order to protect them.  And they have convinced themselves that any differences between the sexes exist because they have been artificially imposed by men.  Meanwhile men have been emasculated and fathers relegated to mere sperm donors.


Michelle Rodriguez in “SWAT.”

Has anyone noticed all the heroines in our films and television shows in recent years?  No longer are chivalrous men protecting vulnerable women.  From Alias to La Femme Nikita to any female-centric film you can name, the women are portrayed as fighting machines (with guns), often rescuing their male counterparts.  You know these films.  Michelle Rodriguez plays the same exact cardboard badass in so many of them.  They take down fighting man after fighting man.  But this is all fiction – take it from a female black belt and Iraq War veteran.  And don’t get me started on that twig LeeLee Sobieski on NYC22 playing a veteran who can take down street thugs.  The reality is that even Rhonda Rousey isn’t put in the ring with male fighters.

If women could do the same things men can, there wouldn’t be separate standards for them in police work, firefighting, and the military, or as is true in some cases, lower standards for both sexes that women can pass.  Most women can’t wield the fire hose, carry a 200-lb man off the battlefield, or take down a male criminal.  The last example was proved just recently when a female cop was overpowered by a criminal who had been taken into custody.  He stole her gun and three cops were shot.

Yes, some women are stronger than some men, but they are never stronger than strong men, and a woman without a weapon is no match for a man who wants to do her harm, even if she knows how to fight.  I earned that black belt, I became a Marine, I went to the combat zone.  But I also got cancer, and what happens when you can no longer physically fight?  What if you don’t want to fight?  How many women or moms, married or not, have time to train to become proficient fighters to be ready for that one random time the criminal comes at them in the parking lot?  You need to be able to own a weapon for self-defense if you choose.  You need to be able to nullify the threat before it comes down to hand-to-hand combat.

RhondaRouseyNo matter how much the Feminists rail, and no matter how many times Hollywood portrays heroic fighting women, women are the weaker sex.  This doesn’t mean lesser, it just means physically weaker and that’s a fact no amount of affirmative action or double standards can change.  Leave it to hypocritical liberals and feminists to ignore scientific reality in favor of the brave new world they want to force into existence.  You would think that girl-power philosophy would extend to empowering women to protect ourselves with any weapon available, especially after teaching us for so long that we don’t need men.  But no, the hypocrisy is ubiquitous.  Women don’t need men and they don’t need weapons either.  Feminism thus fails women.

Existing and new gun control laws coupled with Feminist ideals just means that we all have to become fighters, whether we want to or not. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle until a strong man decides to take advantage of her and/or her children.  For 50 years now we’ve been taught that government will fill that void, but of course, the police usually come only come after a crime has been committed.  And now the cop might be some chick who made it on a double standard who gets overpowered by the criminal in your home.  Without a strong man to provide for and protect her, she not only must be a bread-winner, she must be a black belt – unless she can arm herself for protection.  Guns are the real equalizer between the sexes.


The Road Back From Thyroid Cancer

Written by request for www.crossfitwilmington.com

I was elated when I made it through Marine Corps boot camp.  I’d worked out hard to get ready because I’m not particularly athletic, though I’ve always been active – jogging, martial arts, yoga, walking, swimming.  At my best I ran an 8.5 minute mile.  But I made it through and did well.  A year into the Marines I started to notice how much harder I had to train to maintain the standards, and not just compared to the men.  I worked out more than anyone in my platoon and ate better by far.  Earlier in life I’d been a vegan for 5 years, so I was used to eating very healthfully.

But no matter how much I trained, how healthy my lifestyle, I seemed to be slowing down.  No matter how much I ran, the runs got harder.  No matter how much I exercised, I couldn’t get stronger.  At 28, I managed the first class standards only because I qualified as old for a Marine!  It was after returning from deployment that I really started to wonder why I was having to work so hard with no results, and why I was so tired all the time.  I didn’t know it then that my Thyroid was off.

Your thyroid is your body’s compass and regulator.  The hormones it releases affect nearly every part of your body – brain, muscles, hair, skin and metabolism.  If it’s underactive and doesn’t produce enough hormones, your body slows down and you have symptoms like fatigue, depression, weight gain, and more.  Without medication you’ll just slow down to nothing.  If it’s overactive and produces too much, you tend to lose weight, become hyperactive, can’t sleep, get the shakes, sweats and anxiety and the like.  Needless to say, if this organ isn’t working correctly your whole body is off no matter how healthy your lifestyle.

It turned out that not only was my thyroid underactive (called Hashimoto’s thyroid disease), but I had two forms of cancer, one in each gland.  The good thing about thyroid cancer is that it’s “the most survivable cancer.”  Yay!  Another good thing is that chemo isn’t required, just surgery and ‘radio iodine ablation’ which is a type of radiation therapy.  Unfortunately it was not possible to remove the cancers without removing both thyroid glands, so there went my body’s compass, damaged as it was.

Bugger that a healthy lifestyle did nothing to curtail my odds, but I was very optimistic.  I’d survived the Marines, deployment, and more, I could surely come back from the most survivable cancer.  I was glad to have the support of my husband and family helping me through it.

Fast forward 4 years, last month I finished my inactive reserve status and have remained cancer free.  YAY!  Getting the cancer out was just one leg up the hill as it turned out.  Finding the balance of the right medication levels has been a real challenge and has taken years.  Creating a new balance after the Marines has had its own challenges, not the least of which is going from training most of the time to – ahhh!  A desk job.  Don’t get me wrong, my job is good and I’m grateful I have it, but sitting at the desk you can keep!

These days my focus is on regaining strength and power, and a friend introduced me to Crossfit.  I’m a light-weight these days, but I figure I win if I complete what they tell me to do, just like boot camp only friendly!  Here’s to what makes you stronger!


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