There is a reason why in the Olympics there is women’s competition and men’s competition, why there is a professional men’s basketball leagues and a professional women’s basketball leagues, and why basic military recruit training for men is different from basic military recruit training for women. In weight, stamina, and strength there are major differences between men and women; in the overwhelming number of cases women cannot keep up with men in those areas—-however there may be some unique exceptions.
The action taken by the Secretary of Defense yesterday, bypassing Congress in the decision making process, with the concurrence of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who sat there wide eyed without saying a word, imposed another of Obama’s radical “diversity” agendas upon the US Armed Forces. The radical decision flies in the face of the many studies completed by the US Marine Corps, US Army, and Congress over the last 10 years, those studies resulted in Congress setting rules that prevented women from being drafted and from being assigned to front line infantry ground combat units.
Recently two female enlisted US Marines were allowed to train with male Marines, in order to qualify for assignment to infantry ground combat units; they failed miserably and their video interviews are truly revealing. One of the trainees said they couldn’t keep up with their male counterparts during the sustained and long period of training required to qualify, that their legs gave out from under them, that their stamina was not up to their male counterparts, and that they could no longer carry their heavy back packs; they asked to be relieved (they weren’t under the added pressure of being under an enemy firing weapons in an attempt to kill them).
At a minimum, the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee should review the data gathered from that most recent physical endurance test, conduct immediate oversight hearings, and make public the results of the extensive research completed on the study of “Women in Land Combat” gathered by the US Marine Corp last year, in which those two female Marines were involved. The data does not support Panetta’s move to put women into front line ground combat units, and before the radical decision becomes de facto law, Congress and the American people need to know why women in front line ground combat units will not work and how it will degrade the Combat Effectiveness of combat units. Panetta’s announcement is not a “gift” to female military enlisted personnel who have expressed very little interest in being ordered into front line ground combat infantry units.
For four years, the Social Experiments on Diversity has been forced upon a captive US military force whose senior flag leaders have not objected to Obama’s civilian appointees at DOD orders that degrades Combat Effectiveness; each new initiative further damages the unit cohesiveness and moral of the US Armed Forces.
Article I, Section 8, of the US Constitution gives the power to the Congress “To make rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and Naval Forces.” There is a legal requirement to notify Congress of changes regarding women in the military in advance of the issuance of the order Panetta signed, including the requirement that the Congress be provided with a report on the impact it would have upon the Selective Service System, but the Republican leadership of Congress has not asked for the report—Congress must act in this case! Panetta was wrong in circumventing Congress, but it’s up to the members of Congress to assert their Constitutional right and duty to provide oversight.
Every study completed on “Women In Combat” has come to the conclusion that women in combat are less likely to survive front line ground combat operations than men. It is extremely dangerous to imbed women in tip of the spear military units like SEAL Teams, the Green Berets, Rangers, Special Forces, Airborne units, the Delta Force, etc. because they will experience difficulty in required stamina and strength that will slow down the units they are assigned to; they will not be able to shoulder the same sized back packs over extended periods of time in combat operation; they don’t have the same strength to meet and overcome an enemy combatant on the ground, face to face; and the unavoidable normal male/female sexual attraction within the units damages unit cohesion/unity (note: a unit’s Combat Effectiveness is degraded when female members become pregnant—this has become a very serious problem for US Navy ships scheduled to depart on 6 month deployments, because so many female crew members become pregnant that the ships can’t be fully manned).
There is absolutely no evidence that putting female military personnel in front line ground infantry units will strengthen the US Armed Forces—that is the trumped up story being promulgated by the Obama Administration which is another outright lie.
It is one thing for a woman to be able to qualify, using the same rigorous qualification criteria as men, in order to be assigned to a front line ground combat infantry unit. After they have successfully completed the same rigorous qualification requirements as men, have been imbedded in front line ground combat infantry units, it will be another thing to be engaged in “sustained” combat operations for many months on end without a break, many times operating in mud without sanitary hygiene facilities during the monthly menstrual cycles. The combat environment is very different from what the majority of Americans understand it to be.
Ask yourself if you would want your daughter or granddaughter to be drafted and then be required to serve in front line ground combat infantry units, during sustained combat operations where men in an enemy force are trying to kill them.
Captain Joseph R. John, a combat veteran, is a 1962 graduate of the United States Naval Academy who retired from the US Navy after a long and distinguished career. He currently is the President of the Combat Veterans Training Group and is the founder of the Combat Vets for Congress PAC.