Women Do Not Belong in the Infantry

Women do not belong in the infantry.

It’s a simple statement and one that, until recently, nearly every civilized culture seemed to accept as a truism. For reasons as multitudinous as they are apparent and profound, in time of war men have shouldered arms and marched to the clash of legions or the sound of the guns. Women as a rule have not. Even in those scattered and wretched societies whose women prowled the battlefields to torture the wounded and desecrate the dead, no woman was thrown into offensive action against the massed ranks of the enemy. Show me an exception and I’ll show you savages.

Yet now, in the bosom of modern democracy and in the heart of its most disciplined warrior elite, the prohibition against employing women in the infantry appears about to change. The Marine Corps announced recently that it plans to send women to the brutal, 11-week Infantry Officer Course in Quantico, Virginia. Simultaneously, the Corps plans to enroll women into the enlisted infantry schools at Camp Lejeune and Camp Pendleton.

Frankly, I am astonished.

Marines step off for a combat patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

If the enrollment of women into previously all-male infantry schools is designed as an experiment, with the results to be examined and the suitability of women for combat arms assignments then debated, determined, and declared, I could save the Marine Corps significant expense and ferocious opposition by predicting the inevitable result. They will find that women are different from men and those differences severely prejudice the value of women to the infantry.

Wait. Women and men are different? Can’t we just gender-norm the infantry standards, modify the equipment, and make the barracks coed? Don’t women deserve the same opportunity that men have to fight and die for their country?

The answer is no. Let me explain.


Since the obvious has apparently escaped social reformers and military planners, I will restate it: there are fundamental physical differences between men and women. I could quote facts and figures about the difference in average body weight of men and women, the distribution of muscle mass, and the capacity for heavy lifting and muscular endurance. But since facts and figures haven’t deterred those who argue for women in the infantry, I’ll just use a real world example.

Marine Second Lieutenants at The Basic School – just across the street from the Infantry Officer Course – conduct at least a half-dozen conditioning hikes during their six months of basic officer training. The hikes range from 3 miles to 12 or more, and are conducted with full packs, body armor, personal weapons, and the machine guns and mortars organic to an infantry battalion. Since “Every Marine is a Rifleman”, all lieutenants  – male and female – learn the basics of infantry leadership. The hike pace is 3 miles every 50 minutes, followed by a ten minute break. Forever. Or so it seems.

Infantry Marines in Afghanistan prepare to move. The shouldered M240 machine gun weighs 30 pounds.

Most service members will admit that conditioning hikes are grueling exercises in physical and mental endurance. I personally despised them, especially when it was my turn to shoulder a 25 pound machine gun or a 45 pound, .50-caliber receiver. Each hike took all of my effort and physical fitness to complete. Unsurprisingly, during my time at The Basic School no female lieutenant completed a hike of greater than 6 miles with the rest of the 180 or so male lieutenants. Not one. And that’s with the male lieutenants carrying all of the radios and heavy weapons.

A hike only gets you to the fight.

Am I disparaging my fellow lieutenants simply because they were women? Of course not. Many of them were smart, fit, and exceptionally disciplined and dedicated. Hell, they chose to lead Marines. I’m certain that the majority of them went on to serve bravely in the stinking streets of Iraq and the austere mountain valleys of Afghanistan. But not with the infantry.

The fact is that an infantryman’s job is a mix between professional athlete, police officer, mechanic, and construction worker. It is a physical job. Infantrymen are affectionately and accurately known as “grunts” because of the sound made when shifting a 120-pound pack closer against one’s agonized shoulders. It isn’t good enough to survive the physical requirements of a 12 mile mountain ruck march if at the end of it an infantryman cannot fling down his pack and sprint in short bursts of speed across an undulating farm field while delivering effective and disciplined fire against a concealed enemy who is desperately trying to kill him.

Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester was awarded the Silver Star for actions against the enemy near Salman Pak, Iraq in 2005. She was the first female soldier since World War II so awarded.

It would be the rare woman that could meet such an exacting physical standard. Yet, undoubtedly some could. A 73 year old Japanese woman summited Mount Everest this past weekend. There must be a few 20 year old, female athletes that could excel in the infantry. So why not keep the standard the same and allow women who pass it to enlist in the infantry? This brings me to my next obvious point.


There are sexual differences between men and women. I’m surprised that this point needs elaboration, but unfortunately it has been downplayed in official circles and formal reports, leading to an underestimation of the negative effects it can have on mixed-gender military units and an overly sanguine view of young military members’ self-control. Good order and discipline are just words to the armchair feminist or social reformer, but to military leaders they are the ether in which healthy, disciplined units function and accomplish the Nation’s difficult business.

With mixed gender units inevitably comes sexual tension and relational drama. Such hormone-induced activity is often no more than an unfortunate distraction in non-combat units. But in the strict world of, say, nuclear weapon security, where I commanded platoons of infantry Marines alongside female Masters-at-Arms, the distractions resulted in potentially serious security breaches. In the rigidly controlled environment of a Stateside submarine base I was still so disgusted with the sexual antics between security professionals that I christened the barracks and berthing areas “Bangor Junior High”. Were the Marines and female Sailors good service members? They were some of the best in the world. Did that stop them from acting on impulse during long hours of boring duty and close proximity to members of the opposite sex? Not always.

When the US Navy assigned female sailors to the formerly all male aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower and sent them overseas, the leaders and planners did not anticipate that 15 sailors would have to be reassigned due to pregnancies. Forever after, the Eisenhower would be known throughout the Navy as “The Love Boat”. Less humorous were the scuffles and stabbings that resulted from jealous lovers quarreling in the close environs of a warship underway.

If the largest warship in the world is too small of an environment to diffuse the hormonal impulses of its clean, comfortable sailors quartered in separate male and female berthing

Marines clear a village in Helmand Province after receiving enemy fire.

areas, imagine the result of infantry men and women sharing a squalid fighting hole or passing the time during a midnight watch in a machine gun tower in Afghanistan. Good order and discipline is essential to the effective performance of an infantry unit during the dirty, dangerous deployments to the cesspools of the world. I cannot foresee a reason strong enough to justify the damage to unit esprit, discipline, and morale if women are integrated into male infantry units.

Of course, such good order and discipline issues become moot if infantry women are formed into separate, all-female units. I imagine this is the direction intended by the Marine Corps. Admittedly, all-female search teams gained notoriety in Iraq as the “Lionesses”, where they bravely contributed to mission accomplishment of combat units outside the ”wire”. Nevertheless, the Lionesses were escorted by regular infantrymen, shielding them from the overt responsibility to engage and destroy the enemy. This brings me to my last point.


Americans do not want their women hunting and killing the enemy, nor are their young men psychologically equipped to accept with stoicism the violent, gruesome deaths of female comrades in arms. This is not a pervasive, sexist sentiment birthed in our Puritan past and nurtured into maturity by Victorian prohibitions. It is an honorable mantle of respect and protection bestowed upon the gentler, softer sex by a culture grounded in Judeo-Christian ethics and fundamentally aware of the distinct roles that naturally fall to men and women.

Whether religious or irreligious, Americans cannot but admit a natural separation of responsibility between men and women. An infant without a mother cannot be equally succored by a father, in spite of a love that runs just as deep. A man can never be a mother, just as a woman can never be a father. This, despite a century’s worth of neutering and gender-norming, is as much a fact today as it was 2,000 years ago.

It’s Not Fair

I can hear the plaintive cry of the social reformers: But that’s not fair! That is correct. Combat is not fair. During one assault in Iraq, we shot at a lone enemy gunman with a tank.

With. A. Tank. Here’s the photo.

An M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank engages a lone enemy gunman in Karabilah, Iraq during the first day of Operation SPEAR. June 17, 2005

I imagine he thought that was pretty unequal, too. Then we dropped a bomb on him. That’s why we win.

There are fundamental differences between men and women that make them better suited for different roles. These differences do not make women less courageous, less honorable, or less patriotic than men. The Silver Stars, Bronze Stars, and Purple Hearts awarded to women in Iraq and Afghanistan emphatically declare otherwise. But there are differences nonetheless.  

Women do not belong in the infantry. But they do belong in the military. We cannot simultaneously honor their service and dishonor the vast majority of men and women who serve in combat support roles by inferring that non-infantry service is less valued than that of the infantry.

About Nate

A 2003 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and former Marine infantry officer, Nate is the Chief Operating Officer of Hire Heroes USA, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans get jobs. He holds a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Nate lives with his wife and dog in Alpharetta, Georgia.
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254 Responses to Women Do Not Belong in the Infantry

  1. Anthony Wall says:

    My name is Anthony Wall, I served under you in Iraq near Al-quaim. after leaving the Marines, and doing jobs here and there I decided to go to college to better my self. During my second semester in school I came across the same debate. where my side was very simple men see men die on the battle field but it would be overboard if I, as an infantry marine saw a woman die. The professor and the other students tried to down play me service and my PTSD kicked in which lead me out of school cause i was so disgusted by all the X-box hero’s and the sarcastically witty professor.

    I hope this comes to you as a breath of fresh air. And letting you know, this the best piece of (trash) i read – the grunt in me talking -.

    With all my respect
    Anthony Wall (lcpl)
    3/2 I.co

    • mike says:

      i agree 100%, they are going to attempt to put women into infantry school, i honestly dont think it will go much further then that there will be female marines popping up prego, sexual assualt charges and women getting pooped on before they even acctually get there feet in the door. women are awsome, im just glad im not there to see women weakin the standards of the infantry, and extremly glad im not there so there crap gets spread loaded and weakining the rest of her fireteam and or platoon becUse she is to weak to carry her own crap

  2. Steve Smith says:

    Seems like pretty sound fundamentals to me. Yet another FB share. Would love to hear any opposing arguments from anyone qualified to speak via combat infantry experience. In the echoing absence of such qualified input, I shall subscribe to your view wholeheartedly.

    • Chris Courtis says:

      I don’t think anyone who has infantry experience has an opposing argument mate.

      • BBrown says:

        Roger that.

      • Darkwater says:

        Members of the Caracal are drawn from kibutzim, or communal farms set up with early socialist influence, whose children are raised together communally. That attenuates the gender friction, but doesn’t eliminate it.

        The only ‘action’ seen by the unit was to assist the Israelis in pulling out of Gaza. It has seen no combat action, but I would be interested to see the results, particularly after the Israelis have experience with women in combat, in 1948, and promptly rejected it. They make a big deal about women training for combat, but they don’t assign them to where it is likely.

      • Eric Duckworth says:

        Oh I have an argument – see below.

      • Chris F says:

        I certainly don’t know anyone who would, and women don’t need to get all pissed abought it since most of the worlds men can’t handle it, and many fellow grunts come back in a fragile mental state ( myself included ) But my god if I ever seen a women die I would have lost my mind.

    • YouAreDumb says:

      Pretty sure the Commandant of the Marine Corps, who presumably weighed in on this decision, has plenty of combat infantry experience. But you probably know better.

      • Nate says:

        The Commandant, General Amos, is an outstanding Marine Officer with the best interests of the Nation and the Corps forefront in his decision making. He is also a Marine aviator by trade with no direct infantry or combat experience. He has many outstanding advisors who DO have combat infantry experience. Nevertheless, the decision is more political than practical.

      • BlueCord says:

        Your name should be Imajackwagon for that comment. You clearly have no Infantry experience let alone I doubt military experience.That position is an administrative political position and he probably agreed to it so they could shut people up about it. What better place than the marine corps infantry school to shoot down some fairytale dream? The problem here is that some politician cooked up this idea so they could look good but instead they blue falconed the entire infantry. As my Drill Sergeant said, there is no way to end your infantry career faster than a military woman. End of story.

      • cody says:

        Caracal is a mixed infantry company which only serves in the peaceful Jordanian border.
        This unit is rather controversial as it is claimed that it was created as a public stunt in order to appease feminist lobbies and for PR. And in fact this unit fits more into the description of a “fluent security” (in IDF terms) then an infantry unit.

      • cody says:

        I agree with nate and blue cord. “YouAreDumb”……your ignorant, and if you dont have combat experience or have never been in the infantry then I advise you to stop running your mouth about something you will never understand.

      • MudGrunt0369 says:

        You are incorrect. Gen Amos was a fighter pilot and has never served as an Infantry Officer. He has commanded squadrons, not battalions.

    • Ram says:

      Darkwater, everything you said was just plain wrong.

      Members of Caracal include people from all demographics, not just the kibbutzim and similar communities. In fact, they even include Arab-Israelis. So scratch that nonsense.

      Furthermore, while they have not been in a pitched battle, they also regularly patrol the Israeli-Egyptian border (not the Jordanian border as Cody claims a few posts down). They are tasked with preventing terrorist infiltration and smuggling via said border. They have been part of numerous (successful) operations furthering these objectives. To dismiss them as a publicity stunt is to insult an entire battalion of dedicated soldiers.

      • Darkwater says:

        I don’t doubt that they are dedicated, but the tradition, if not the recent members, come from the rather unique social allegience to the kibbutz. If they have ‘successfully patrolled’, then good, but I haven’t seen the nature of these successful operations, & the fact remains that the Israelis had a terrible experience when they had to use women in combat.

    • D says:

      No grunt will. My wife was support and she agrees. There are too many males incapable of doing an infantryman’s role serving as it much less complicating an already difficult job with sex integration. Israel tried this and stopped their female combat roles for a multitude of reasons. No grunt would prefer females on the line and that is in no way demeaning our wives, daughters mothers sisters but rather because of them.

      • INFANTRYCPT says:

        I have extensive experience in both combat and peacekeeping operations and can say that without the combined efforts of both men and women, I would have had many less soldiers returning home when the time came. It was a direct result of tireless efforts by many fine service members from all branches of our military as well as other countries militaries.

        However, women do not belong in the infantry, period. Women are not typically able to complete the tasks required of a soldier on the front line. This is not due to a lack of effort, pride, desire, intelligence or mental toughness. It is a result of basic physiology and genetics, sociological and cultural norms and cultural ability to deal with female members of our military service’s death in combat.

        If female members of our country have a desire to fight and die for the beliefs they hold I will be the first to let them to the front of the line heading into harms way. I will also be the first to call it wrong and blame women for the extra deaths caused by their rush to demand equality in combat roles in our military because they were not able to handle or complete their responsibilities during wartime.

        The bottom line is that women will cause more casualties than a man would normally in the same role and our country seems to unable to handle very many casualties during most wartime operations that have anything less than a perfectly clear objective/s.

        Therein lies the rub in the new age of warfare, so unless there are changes made to our flawed system of allowing leaders with zero military experience give orders to our well taught and very experienced military leaders. The same thing happened in Nazi Germany, the inexperienced overzealous Adolf Hitler gave orders to the intelligent and well experienced German military leadership. It is easy to see what happened.

  3. Daniel Durbin says:

    Brother, I think your article was well written, and well argued. I agree on all points. As an infantry officer, I have seen what is required of the men we send in to combat. Of the hundreds of females I have interacted with and worked with during my career, I have yet to meet one that I would want in my platoon or company. This is no disrepect to females in the Marines or any other service. Indeed, many female officers do their jobs better than I do mine! But the bottom line is this: it’s not just that they should not be in the infantry, they CANNOT be in the infantry. Just as I CANNOT be in the NFL. Should I sue the NFL because they are excluding me? I’m in great shape! I could be taught to run the same plays I see on Sunday, right? Silliness. Honestly, the arguement for Daniel Durbin in the NFL makes a great deal more sense than women in the infantry.

    Now, there are some combat arms MOS’s that might be possible for women to compete in. I won’t list them or debate that point, but I think that we could see women in certain combat-arms MOS’s within a few short years.

    • Jason Wilbur says:

      While going to college I too had the same argument in certain classes. It’s almost impossible to get non military personnel to truly understand what the mean o combat effectiveness is. Everyone at school believe women are just as capable and should be in the infantry. I left college and join the police department where I witnessed women were granted less stringent physical fitness exams. Later while on patrol I was engaged in a physical altercation with in individual and my back up was a female. She stood by as I wrestled with a subject twice my size. Later she reprimanded me for my actions even though she stood by and did nothing. These people making these changes to the infantry have little or no idea how it works. Looks like we ll be watching the end of American exceptionlism and watch mediocrity take over.

      • Corey A. says:

        I can tell a story just like this…..

      • Eric Duckworth says:

        KB – a moot point. The Warrior Ethos says we leave no Soldiers behind and units will expend the same amount of energy to rescue a male or female soldier – because they are one of us. To do the math – a male soldier more likely to jump in front of a bullet to save a female soldier, or a male soldier letting the bullet hit a fellow male soldier still results in 1 dead Soldier – so it doesn;t matter.

    • Rebecca says:

      I am a woman in the United States Army and I do not think that this could have been better said. Thank you

      • KB says:

        Agreed!!! Said well done….. There is already enough drama when males n females intertwin I couldn’t imagine it in the infantry.

        Said by my SGT…. When put in war men are more likely to jump infront of a bullet for a female by human nature…. What would it come to if women were with the infantry

      • GoldenDragon says:

        I have alot of respect for you for coming out and saying this. I am an infantryman with 2-14 INF, and frankly, most of us (other than the occasional ignorant tool), have no problem with women in the Army. However, because of the points outlined above, we don’t want a co-ed unit. I strongly believe that the lobbyists for women in the infantry are down-playing the very valid role that soldiers like you perform on the day-to-day.

      • INFANTRYCPT says:

        Does that mean you will be in the next class at RTB?

  4. CSL says:

    you just made point by point the exact same argument I had with half a dozen people when the Corps folded in this issue a few weeks ago.
    The plaintive refrain was always as you said: “its not fair”; “they have as much right to die for their country as you do”.
    As I pointed out, by their standards and logic they could hand a 13 year old an m16 and point him at the enemy. As long as he can pass SOI, why not, right?
    In the ancient Celtic and Germanic tribes of northern Europe, the women would stand behind the battle lines, daggers and hunting spears and rough weapons in hand, watching
    for the outcome of the battle. If a man from their tribe fled the field they executed him for
    cowardice, with neither apeal nor mercy.
    When. the Roman general Marius crushed the Germanic Teutones and Cimbrii in 102 BC, the majority of the slaughter was

  5. As a female, a moderate liberal, and athletic supporter of feminist rights – I agree. I agree 100%. We can’t interfere with the mental focus, physical demands and psychological repercussions that come with women serving in the infantry. I think women in the military are given many, many excellent opportunities to serve, be “in the action” and for the most part, keep the rest civilized. As a mother of two sons – I wouldn’t want my boys to be in such a situation where its the platoon or a woman soldier. Especially knowing my sons and their respect for women. It is unfair.

  6. cpl.dexter shadow 3/7k says:

    Honestly i feel women have a big role in the military but not in the infantry. On my first tour to afghan the FETS we had with us wouldnt leave the wire cause 1. They didnt want to get shot at and 2. Could barely walk to the medcaps in gear without falling out. But back when Israel and Egypt were at war the Egyptian men would go around the female infantry units to surrender to the male Israeli infantry units because of the atrocities that the women would do to them. Now my second tour to afghan we had a female capt for CAGG that could patrol with us and jump in and out of canals with us…one time she never patroled with us again after one. Do i think women belong in the infantry right now? No. Sometime in the future? Yea like thirty to fourty years from now. And if they decide to start putting females in infantry battalions the maturity(although low now) in most if not all will go back to the 17-19 highschool [Edit] drama that involves a guy liking a girl but she likes someone else and back stabbing and unit cohesion will degrade. This is a issue that needs to be looked at more and the integration needs to be gradual not just “hey marines im your plt commander 2NDLT(female officer) im new to the infantry but hey listen to me.” Yes marines would respect her rank but her opinion will not be worth anything. Recommendations. Start with women in admin areas in infantry battalions very subtle jobs. If you throw a female enlisted right into a platoon of infantry male marines she better be able fo carry a THOR,119, and the M249SAW.

    • D'veed Natan says:

      “But back when Israel and Egypt were at war the Egyptian men would go around the female infantry units” There were no and are no female infantry units in the Israeli Army.

  7. Kevin says:

    I was a Marine enlisted person in Iraq. Nothing I saw in service and none of your arguments convinced me that women somehow could not service in the military.

    The first thing I heard in Boot Camp and echoed throughout my basic training was that even though I began scrawny and out of shape, the Marine Corps would and could build me up. I fail to recognize how any of your arguments indicate otherwise. I’ve seen and served with plenty of men who were small in stature and generally very thin. Yet they took the effort to build up their physique in order to meet the challenges of an infantrymen. Why would it be any different for women?

    Of course, you make these arguments about good order and discipline but I can’t help think of a number of issues. 1) its horribly nonux – every other aspect of service has fraternization between the sexes as well as issues with superiors allowing their subordinates to get away with things, 2) why do we excuse the men and women and instead hold them responsible to their philandering? Do you really want a Marine to hold rank if he can’t keep his libido in his pants? 3) You make some sweeping claims about physicality yet supply no empirical data except that women have never fought in the infantry. The general rule was that women were never businesspersons, politicians, industrial laborers, etc. until it happened, why is this different?

    You gave the pepsi challenge for women in history who participated prominently in battle:
    1) The Amazons – now thought to have been largely based on reality
    2) Soviet women during WW2 – mostly snipers but, c’mon you are a Marine, we both know how challenging being a sniper is.

    And these people were warriors at a time where training, nutrition and equipment was far worse than today – I’m sure women could bulk up. But, then again, you will simply dismiss them all as “savage,” but this raises an obvious point – women can do it, you just rather keep them soft and “civilized” instead of letting women chose what they want to be.

    I do not think we should just let all the women in and enforce a quota of like 50/50 participation. Hardly, I agree that people, whether man or woman, must EARN the recognition of the Infantry and, more importantly, be able to be combat effective. But we don’t win wars because we have bigger guns and use tank shells to blow up a dude, we win wars because we make ourselves something more than what was predetermined by working hard and enduring. Likely more women than not will falter, but that doesn’t mean they should be resigned to the home or kitchen. Equality and fairness is not about handouts but maintaining the American Dream – giving an opportunity.

    • Rich Donofrio says:

      That’s fine, if you want equality then women should have the SAME standard as men in physical fitness. With that said, have you ever gone 72 days with no shower, I have….. Can you say that a girl could go the same amount of time with out washing her self, NO. Yeast infection, Uti, and menstrual bleeding are something that would take them out of the fight. I am over 200 pounds with 11 percent body fat and I struggled at 10,000 feet with a hundred pound ruck and an body armor. Women snipers in ww2, we are not facing a world war were our home land was on the brink of being over ran. That is a piss poor example. I respect women, I will protect them with every last breath. Which brings me to my biggest point men wil favor women casualties regardless of type of injury. Men will leave a man to DIE with a more severe injury to aid a fallen women, we areraised and programmed to protect women. Give me an example of why it will help kill the enemy and I will prove you wrong out of EXPERIENCE.

      • John Smith says:

        I agree with you Rich, Kevin you cannot use the Amazons who were “thought to be real” as an example. Aside from that, no one is saying women should not be in the military. Far from it actually. We are just noting that they have different physical abilities. That’s why they do not compete in sports against each other. And the fact that you say a woman can bulk up is just untrue. Genetically speaking you may have the random outlier that has the build of a man (normally due to a higher testosterone level than most women), but women as a standard do not have the physical ability to getting up to a males standard of physical fitness. If this weren’t the case why are there physical requirements different across ALL branches of the military and in the civilian world too. Lets use our heads and realize the simple fact that we are different, not better just different.

      • Kevin says:

        Your argument that its a piss poor example literally makes no sense rich. Your argument amounts to ‘hygienic issues makes it extremely difficult for a woman to be in combat.” The reason I gave the example of the WW2 snipers is because they singlehandedly disprove your claim. You and I both know that snipers have to endure not only grueling physical challenges but also weeks of not having to bathe or even wet wipe themselves. What do you think SOVIET snipers, poorly outfitted, in the shit cold and mountainous terrain of Russia do? You think they got to go back to home base and shower? The fact that female snipers had to endure worse conditions because their homeland was being ravaged seems to be a warrant against you and this article. And it proves, given the chance, that women can excel in being combat effective troops. The fact that those women had some of the best recorded kills for snipers in history should be illuminating and make it the opposite of a piss poor example.

        I was always thought to “never leave a Marine behind” regardless of sex so I do not understand what the relevance of your “they will leave women wounded to screw with men” has with anything. I was told, time and time again, that this tactic is ALREADY in use because of the ethos that the US military instills into their infantry personnel, especially within the Marines. As the original article highlights, this ethos is what makes Marines amazing and “civilized.”

        Again, what are your facts? How many more people would die because of a tactic that occurs only a handful of times and that already affects our ranks because of the intense brotherhood we have?

      • Kevin says:

        Also John:

        There is certainly a difference. The question is whether that difference is biologically too large to incorporate half of the U.S. population into the demands of the infantry. I think the difference is just so small that it only matters in hyper athletic events like Olympic 100m sprints or even body building events. Not to mention that we have men from across the board populating the Marine Infantry as we speak: why the double standard? Why is it okay for a dude who is 5’5” weighing 120 pounds okay to be in the Infantry, but not a woman with a similar physical profile? Because she runs 10 seconds slower?

        I don’t understand why I can’t use the Amazons as an example? I purposefully doubled checked that there was archaelogical evidence that indicated women populated military ranks. I’m not trying to use the mythological notion of amazons but rather the troops they were based off of. The Sauromatians left behind considerable evidence that indicates up to 25% of the warrior population was female. Burial sites unearthed in the last 30 years are indicated that the Amazons and the Sauromatians and others that postdated the Amazons were not only real cultures but had real female combat troops.

      • cpl.dexter shadow 3/7k says:

        Rich is right As i stated we had a female capt. Who was with CAG Go on patrol with us my last tour to sanghin. The pace was normal but jumping in and out of canals that would get up to chest deep(which was chin level on her) and carrying a pack you could live out of for two days she couldnt do it. I was point man i wasnt being hard on her i was treating her equal cause us as humans take the easy route. Being point man thouh i made sure we always got wet no matter how cold it was or how iced the canals were. Im proud to state i never found any IED’S and all the guys in my squad made it back with what god gave them. The female capt only went on one patrol with us and she slowed us down we had to help her in and out of every crossing and i had to stop the patrol for thirty min so she could take her breath. Can some women cut it maybe 2% out of the marine core but we dont and probably will never see women in the infantry because 1. In my company under a 280 pft is failing and you will keep doing it until you get that score. 2. My battalion loves hiking and we carry our whole issue for 12-22 miles with hardly breaks. 3. Being station in the stumps ive hardly ever gotten drove to a range even to wilson it was always a unit hike. 4. Lastly as stated the hygiene is a whole different issue i can go three months just using water bottles to wash my head and baby wipes for everything else, women need showers atleast every two weeks and to do laundry because their lady parts will get infected or worse. Showering once a month is something male infantry men can do women cant. ” what about bathing in those canals?” Someone is thinking. Yes i bathed in them when it was warm but females body parts are more likely to get a parasite, or worse in that water given the fact afghans defecate and urinate and their waffle fields drain their fertilizer off in to them. Point is it cant be done in this type of war.

      • todd says:

        Rich you are absolutely correct. The only way to fix that, if the bosses force our military to have females in the infantry, is to 100% segregate these new units by sex. To have co-ed infantry units will only cause more of the same problems that the US Military already has with co-ed non-combat arms units. The issues with sexual relationships among male and female Soldiers in the combat zone (and CONUS/OCNUS in garrison) are well documented and have been going on as long as women have served in the military.

    • This article says nothing about resigning women to the home or kitchen, and NO women can not bulk up the same as men. Women who are bodybuilders bulk up by working out hours and hours each day and using steroids, because the majority of women have the testosterone level of a 10 year old boy.

      • Kevin says:

        To quote: “It is an honorable mantle of respect and protection bestowed upon the gentler, softer sex by a culture grounded in Judeo-Christian ethics and fundamentally aware of the distinct roles that naturally fall to men and women.”

        What else does the gentler and softer sex get to do besides gentle and softer labor? Also, what do these distinct roles that the Judeo-Christian ethos has taught through the Old and New Testament look like?

        Oh… and men don’t have to spend hours and hours each day to bulk up… and try not asserting the use of steroids without actual evidence because, last I checked, men didn’t naturally get that large either.

    • sam says:

      “I was a Marine enlisted person in Iraq?” thats not how marines talk… you’re a phony and your whole argument was horrible.

    • majrod says:

      “LTC Gregor, USA, testified before the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces (Nov 15, ’92) regarding a survey he conducted at an Army ROTC Advanced Summer Camp on 623 women and 3540 men. … “(a) Using the standard Army Physical Fitness Test, he found that the upper quintile of women at West point achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom quintile of men. “(c) Only 21 women out of the initial 623 (3.4%) achieved a score equal to the male mean score of 260. Also presented to the commission Of 103 Canadian women who volunteered to joint infantry units, only one graduated the initial training course. The Canadian experience corroborates the testimony of LTC Gregor, who said the odds of selecting a woman matching the physical size and strength of the average male are more than 130-to-1.


      I can also quote you additional studies that make the same point or you can read Kingsley Browne’s excellent book “Co-Ed Combat” where he definitively shows plenty of studies that prove “you guessed it” women are not as strong as men. So much so that randomly selected women will95-99% of the time be weaker than randomly selected men.

      Now that I’ve answered your request for facts and studies I have one for you. Are you an 0311?

    • mike says:

      great point, i did my time in my beloved corps, multiple deployments, during this time i never actually served with women just ran past them in the formations we saw or so called formations with 99.9% of them looking like gear bombs, but they had the hair nice with a light coat of powder on the face othere then that they looked nasty. it wasnt until i made the biggest mistake ever and join the national guard and went on a deployment did i truly see a valid argument to why women shouldnt be in the infantry. i served with medics and non combat related MOS’s everyone of them had to have there gear carried for them. i noticed that men would drop whatever it was they were doing to get brownie points for later in the deployment, its just the nature of the beast, u CANNOT throw women in with Marines, they will only be there for one reason in a jr Marines eyes… and thats a peace of something when nobody is around… even the best Marine will dip his wick if he thinks nobody will find out. its a natural thing. specially a lonely one away from his wife, girl friend or so on. same for the female, her hormons will go nuts around all those men…

      • ArmyMedic says:

        Maybe Navy corpsman are weak but DO NOT lump all make medics into one category as weak. I served WITH an armor unit in the freezing temperatures of South Korea and the 100% humidity WITH a light infantry company in Panama as a Medic. I humped the standard load the grunts carried PLUS 80 pounds of med supplies and even ended up toting the M-60 up a mountain because the grunt couldn’t handle it.

        Women in direct combat roles is a great debate with valid points on both sides. However,human nature being what it is, until we eliminate our basic primal urges and see female soldiers as colleagues and not Friday’s date, we may never get to deploy women in combat roles.

        Similar social and scientific debate was also raised when African-Americans wanted to be deployed to combat roles in WW II and Korea. Opponents cited their alleged lower intellectual capacity to make split second decisions in combat. Eventually this was proven to be untrue. However, with women the argument isn’t as cut and dried as the author and posters have pointed out. It’s a very tough call.

      • ProudAirForceWoman says:

        “even the best Marine will dip his wick if he thinks nobody will find out. its a natural thing. specially a lonely one away from his wife, girl friend or so on. same for the female, her hormons will go nuts around all those men”…
        Lol, get over yourselves, you aren’t that special.

        “I also agree with the problem of sexual tension. I would like to think I have extreme control but if there was a guy that was attractive and that I was in close quarters with for long periods of time I think it would be next to impossible to resist the temptation of being intimate with them; sex is awesome and I can only go so long without it.”

        You both need to learn how to control yourselves and keep your mind on the enemy or dont bother joining something that you can’t handle!

    • Terra says:

      Kevin, thank you. You give me hope.

    • Diana says:

      I am not in the armed forces nor have I ever experienced the training it requires. I once considered it but when I found out that I could not be on the front lines fighting I didn’t see the point in joining. However, the points that have been made within the article and the replies are legitimate. Hygiene would be a huge issues. As someone who does menstruate not being able to shower or change my tampon during that time would be torture and very unsanitary with risk of infection. I am in exceptional shape, I can keep up with a lot of guys but I know that no matter how hard I try there are some things I will not be strong enough for. Men have more white muscle fibers which is where strength comes from, women have more red muscle fibers, it is a physical impossibility.

      I also agree with the problem of sexual tension. I would like to think I have extreme control but if there was a guy that was attractive and that I was in close quarters with for long periods of time I think it would be next to impossible to resist the temptation of being intimate with them; sex is awesome and I can only go so long without it. There is also the problem of the incredible drama that would come with relationship issues. Women create drama wherever they go, it is fact and nothing can change that, it’s just how we are wired.

      I think the biggest reason why women want to be in the infantry is because we don’t like being left behind. It is so hard to hang back and not be able to protect the ones we love. That is why I want to be on the front lines – I hate staying behind and not being able to be out there fighting for my country. However, I have discovered that I can do my part. I am in the police academy where I can do everything that the male officers do. It is very different from the military and being at war but I am on the streets and will be able to protect my fellow citizens from the “wolves” of society that prey upon the “sheep”.

      In short, I agree that women should not be in the infantry. We are not men, we can’t do things that men can do but it doesn’t mean that we are not equal. We can do our part in other ways. I find the fact that men instinctively want to protect women a VERY good thing and I wouldn’t want a man to go against that nature. Women can find another way to protect our country and the ones we love.

    • mikal vik says:

      1) The Amazons – now thought to have been largely based on reality
      So, you are using this as a fact when you state thought we don’t know if it was based on reality.
      2) Soviet women during WW2 – mostly snipers but, c’mon you are a Marine, we both know how challenging being a sniper is.
      First, don’t use wikipedia to try and prove something true. I was an Army sniper in Iraq and when you learn the history of Sniping, you learn about the Soviet propaganda machine making up heros like Vasily Zaytsev. The stories of woman by the Soviets were also inflated.
      During training with international snipers, we did shoot with women. Some of them were good shots. Not a single one of them held up to the basic standards when it came to the physical portion.

    • S L X says:

      Except there’s nothing in any museum in Moscow that states anything about women in WWII. To much “Enemy at the Gates” for you?

    • D'veed Natan says:

      WW2 was another world. I haven’t heard about Soviet women since WW2. You cannot compare today’s infantryman with what was. Body armor alone is something they never wore. They weren’t all rucked up like we are. Read, “With the old breed, at Peleliu and Okinawa” and “Band of Brothers” to see the differences. I’m a Vietnam era veteran and we weren’t as loaded up as today’s infantry. Women don’t have the upper body strength a male has. The standards have been drastically lowered to allow women to train with men. Army studies have shown, physically, the top 10% of women rank with the bottom 5% of men .

      • able34bravo says:

        You are quite correct. As the author of this article says,

        “Even in those scattered and wretched societies whose women prowled the battlefields to torture the wounded and desecrate the dead, no woman was thrown into offensive action against the massed ranks of the enemy. Show me an exception and I’ll show you savages.”

        I’m pretty sure there was plenty of savagery on the Eastern Front.

    • PantherPete says:

      Not sure if you served in a Line unit or not but the bottom line is this, Big’n. Women cannot carry as much or as far as men. Wish they could, but they can’t. I am 6’3” and 220 lbs. Back when I was in the 82nd I was 200lbs of solid muscle. I never met a female soldier of any service in any job that could carry my big, bleeding ass out of contact and to a medic. Their 140 lbs? I got that without putting down my weapon. I guess the rest of her platoon should be a little weaker so she can be in the Infantry. Standardize the physical requirements for both sexes in all services and keep them at a level at which the Infantry needs to be to complete the mission and this will be a non-issue real quick.

    • cody says:

      The argument is not about women in the military you idiot, its about wether or not they should serve in the infantry. I can tell by your comments that you were a pog and you did not see real combat nor understand what being combat effective means. POG

      • Mathew Plank says:


        Its take 10 people to keep your in-field. And as usual, your being an ungrateful ass to the people who keep fuel, ammo, food, etc coming to your ass. For the first few years in Iraqi, driving supply trucks was far more deadily than going on patrol. And the original writer was degrating women on every level, mostly about basic and other physical attributes. His opinion went beyond women being in just infantry. So you sound like a punk who talks all tough and who never saw combat. Because people who see combat don’t brag about iut, they don’t insult anyone else who helped their ass, and they understand the true cost of war.

        The US was beaten by an army that used 11% women combat soldiers, the Viet Cong.

        This whole thing will go round and round, but all these arguements, including physical strength were used by the US Military on blacks for a 80 years following the civil war, despite units showing superior efforts in battles in the civil war and as buffalo soliders.

        I can understand all the arguements but forth. and except for the braggers, the arguements have valid points. But as a society we have come a long way in the century and women want to show they can work for, defend and die for their country. All of which they have done since the day they hit our shore.

    • shawn says:

      It’s different because CEO’s, politicians and the like, if they screw up they get fired, don’t get reelected, in the infantry you get dead, and usually someone near you gets dead. I’m a martial arts instructor and his physical claims are accurate. Such as men have a stronger upper body, while women have stronger kicks. I can deduce from your arguments that you didn’t serve in a line unit while you were overseas, but I weight 200 lbs. without gear, could a female soldier pull me into a truck if I were hit, I have brought female soldiers to tears for getting on them for wearing an IPOD on patrol, what’s going to happen under some real stress. Does every woman fit this mold, of course not, just as a lot of men couldn’t hold up under the rigors of the infantry. Combat isn’t fair, nor is life, and if you try and make if fair by not looking at what is, and trying to make it into what you want it to be, will inevitably slap someone in the face. Usually, the family of the infantry soldier who gets a folded flag.

    • ldchamp says:

      Point of clarification:

      The Amazons and Sauromatians were horseriding warriors, thus more properly cavalry and not infantry. Even if we were to consider them mounted infantry, the analogy with a modern foot soldier really seems strained.

      If you’re in favor of sending horses into war again, and reinstating archery, then the ancient examples may hold more water.

    • Johnny says:

      I agree with Cpl Dexter, Rich, John, the Author. As A Marine Grunt of 8 years and 4 combat deployments(3-Iraq, 1-Afghan) I really could not bear to have women in my squad. Reasons why i feel this way: During my time in the infantry i have worked with about 20-25 women in a combat environment. Keep in mind that the women chosen for these female Marine teams are top mental and physical shape, cream of the crop motivators from their units. In Iraq we had female Marines acting as search teams, Lionesses. Afghanistan, the Female Engagement Teams (FET) searched women and talked with women to try to gain information. How effective where these female Marines? They did fine, when they decided they would come out and do their jobs. In Iraq, As long as there was a vehicle to bring them to where we were, they would come out. They didnt foot patrol with us, by their own choice. A typical Iraq foot patrol was 4-8 hours thru whatever city we were in, covering upwards of 10-20 plus miles, doing this 2 times a day and then doing night raids for a couple of hours, and and biweekly we would do 72-96 hour patrols where we would move all day and find somewhere in the city to sleep at night. All the while getting into engagements with Al Qeada snipers, machinegunners, RPG gunners, and calling in resupplies for ammo, MEDEVACs, etc. How many Lioness Marines participated in those patrols? Not a single one. Did we need them? At times when sleeping in some random Iraqi’s house and his wife is freaking out, it would have been nice to have them come out with to calm the women and children, but they didnt come out a night. The times they did come during the day when we called for them, sometimes they didnt come because of headaches or PMS issues, they came out in vehicles and searched women and then immediately left again. This caused many problems because in order to leave base in vehicles there had to be at least 4 to ensure there was enough firepower on the convoy. So Lioness needs to go out, they have to wake the platoon on their rest cycle recovering from all night patrols. The Al Qeada specifically targeted women on these convoys. We almost had an entire Lioness team killed, 5 of them and a couple other Infantry Marines, because they didnt want to get the required number of vehicles to go out to transition from the base to the Entry Control Point. They got attacked, machinegun fire and grenades, a couple Lioness Marines wounded. Fortunately, the driver was able to get out of there and back to base before they were all killed. How far from the base were they? About 500 meters, because the insurgency watched and waited for the Females to leave the wire because they know the death of a woman creates a greater psychological effect and better propaganda for them. Afghanistan, with the FET Marines, i experienced many of the sames issues except the males and females lived in alot closer proximity, and living conditions much worse. I never had a female(s) on patrol where i didnt have to cut the route short because the FET was falling out and was needing to return to base, seriously everytime they came out. They would forget to bring water on patrol, therefor my Marines would have to provide them water when they only had packed enough for themselves, doesnt quite work out when its 110 degrees plus out and your moving for at least 4 hours. Typical Afghan patrol, 12 hours (4 hrs-short, 18 hrs- long). On every single 72-120 hours operation we did we had to call MEDEVACs for the FET because they hadnt hydrated and were passing out becuase they forgot water or they had PMS issues and needed EVAC’d for sanitary concerns and then the rest of the FET would leave with them because they didnt want to be the only females on patrol. This was a big issue considering it had to be ground MEDEVACs thru IED country and we were 20 miles away from base. Not a single time did any of the FET Marines last longer than 4-6 hours on an operation. Now with the sex thing, it is a huge issue. Out of the 10 total FET Marines we worked with, 2 ended up pregnant (one of which was the FET Leuitenant) and another was removed for accepting cash for sexual favors. A failure of discipline by the male and female, but after months of abstinence what else would you expect. Anyone who thinks that male and females Marines wouldnt be having sex, on deployment when your all alone living with each other, is absolutely crazy. It does and will continue to happen. Those before said situations, there was only a handful of females present. Now think about 1/3 of a Marine platoon being female, thats about 15 females. What kind of craziness is gonna happen, and especially when people start swapping sexual partners and getting jealous, all the while supposed to be dealing with combat and handling firearms and explosives all the time. Sounds like a bad idea to me. Im not saying some women arent capable of being infantry, there are the anomalies, im just saying most arent. If its not broken, why fix it? Dont dillute the Infantry, if they wanna be Grunts they have to be held to the same standards, physical and mental. The Infantry Marines that appear to be incapable of handling the mental stressors of combat get left in the rear and dont go out because they are a liability. The small guys who cant carry their own weight get left in the wire. Same standard, the females come to the infantry and they cant hack it, they get left in the base, thats it.

      • ProudAirForceWoman says:

        ‘Anyone who thinks that male and females Marines wouldnt be having sex, on deployment when your all alone living with each other, is absolutely crazy. It does and will continue to happen.”

        Sounds like a personal problem, get yourself in check.

    • Nanette Norris says:

      I agree. Most women won’t we able to do it; the few who can may be ‘bulked up’ and not look like your standard ‘home and kitchen’ woman, but if they can do the job, let them. As for the sexual peccadillos, men generate as much in-fighting and in-loving as women, and no woman today will get pregnant unless she doesn’t want to be there…like shooting yourself in the foot or whatever a man does to get out. Women belong where women can go. Whoever can do the job should, and we’d thank you to train yourself to be less misogynistic, but if you insist on being anti-woman, at least don’t stand in the way when a woman has earned her stripes. There will always be stories of women who under-perform, are sirens, and so forth, and surely this is the hardest physical task there is, but if they can meet the challenge, they should be accepted at par. How many men can’t make it, either?

      • INFANTRYCPT says:

        I will say that many men are not able to do it either, that is why they call us the “elite” infantry unit of the world. You already knew that but it is an important point.

    • INFANTRYCPT says:

      It is different because women have a completely different physiology, different center of balance, different…..etc etc etc. By your argument women should then also be able (with training as hinted at by your arguments) to match or exceed the same weight in power lifting competitions or most other competitions. Please endeavor to enlighten me about this?

  8. CSL says:

    In the world of the ancient Celtic and Germanic tribes, the women of the tribe would stand behind the line of battle and execute, without compunction, any man who fled the field. When the Roman general Marius crushed the Teutones and Cimbrii in 102, the enraged women massacred their own men and then killed themselves and their children rather than face the Roman soldiery. Marius watched as the Germanic tribesmen (and women) tore themselves to pieces. The histories tell us that 100,000 people died that day.
    So my question for us as Americans is : are we the Teutones, bringing our women and baggage trains to the field and being torn to pieces when fortune wavers? Or are we the Romans, stoic and impassive, watching as the world tears itself apart around us?

    • Kevin says:

      Those historians are literally full of it – Roman historians frequenting embellished their histories in order to make the Roman cause and ideal look better for future eyes. Descriptions of battle were particularly embellished because that was how Roman built its prestige. For reference: http://home.lu.lv/~harijs/Macibu%20materiali%20,teksti/Gramatas%20Seno%20Laiku%20Vesture%20(%20Elektroniski%20)/Antika%20Kultura/Antika%20Kultura/Grant,%20M.%20Greek%20and%20Roman%20Historians%20Information%20and%20Misinformation.1995.pdf

      Also, what do you think the Americans did during the Civil War? During the Revolution? Do you think women just sat on their butts at home? No way! They were in those baggage trains being nurses and supplying ammunition and water to the troops… and more. I’m gonna link you a k-12 resource site because this (I thought) was common knowledge: http://score.rims.k12.ca.us/score_lessons/women_american_revolution/barry.html

      • Jonathan says:

        im not going to argue with you Kevin im just going to ask you what unit and what MOS you were in IRAQ that’s all and don’t try to [BS] me im in 1/4 and i pretty much know every unit so just tell the truth

      • CSL says:

        I have a degree in history. I am attending grad school to get my masters in medieval/ late antiquity history. So I know exactly what the proclivities of the Greek and Roman historians were. When many differnt sources over many different centuries describe diverse tribes with the same practice….you listen.
        And last time I checked our nurses
        in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars didnt stab the wounded to death on their stretchers. However having those same baggage and hospital corps attached to a field army slowd
        it down immeasurably and makes it

        vulnerable while an army such as the Romann one, that had a system of logistics and hospitals in place that allows the army to be lightweight, fast, and brutally efficient. (Marius vs Teutones, Sherman in his march, etc). We need the latter not the former. I suggest you use your k-12 refresher for yourself. Or I can provide you with one of my papers on the subject.

    • Slag says:

      Another point being, as others have mentioned, is that the amount of gear being carried by your ancient warriors vs. todays combat forces is astounding as much as 100lbs! The ancients pretty much just had their weapons & armour.

  9. angie vaughan says:

    When I attended college in the late 70’s, I will never forget having my girlfriends throw dinner rolls at me for saying women should be drafted alongside men. My argument stated, ” men and women are both citizens of the United States, therefore men and women should both be eligible for the draft, to serve our country.” I was humorously shushed with wheat rolls. I didn’t say young women should be on the front line, but we should all serve in some capacity; I still believe that.
    You have articulated my point so far beyond my writing ability. Thank you. Thank you for having the courage to take a stand and to respectfully present your thoughts. When you write as clearly and as compassionately as you do, people listen.

  10. John Smith says:

    I am a marine who just finished my bachelors degree trying to get back into the Marine Corps as an officer. I love and respect the abilities of women in the military and I think they play a vital role doing such. I agree thoroughly with this article. Before I scraped and crawled for my title “grunt,” not just in SOI but thereafter in the tours and training that I did, I was slotted to be a field wireman. I went to MCT where I served alongside women and at that point in my young career, I believed that women were in every way equal to men and believed they had every right to be there with me. Then the humps came and the females couldn’t even hump their own gear let alone weapons, ammunition and extra payloads. It was astounding that even when a female sgt. would try to square men away they sort of half assed the commands given. It literally took a male marine to give support every time the line needed to be laid down. The grunt world is a different world, the mentality is not suitable, the physical work is not able and the other male marines do not welcome this change. If congress thinks they are earning points with voters by doing this, I would write this off as another failed effort by a political system that continues to ignore the facts as well as a congregation of politicians who seem to elude the grasp of logic. I don’t think I can say enough about this subject but I will be in the Corps for the next 15 plus years and I will not allow a politician to weaken our combat effectiveness. If they cannot enforce the standard then it is up to the Infantry officers to do that. We have cycled male marines out of the corps for the reason of not upholding standards and any good officer will not succumb to the heavy weight of political pressure when lives are at stake. God Bless and Semper Fidelis

  11. Otis says:

    Im not going to lie, I have not yet have yet the opportunity to be in combat but i will say this, women should be allowed to be in the infantry. They should however be in different battalions so that men and women are based separately, I think that the same should be for infantry school.

    • John Smith says:

      Sir, you are surely entitled to your opinion but it does beg the question, are you in the infantry? Being in combat does not give you anymore right to an opinion than the next guy but if you aren’t familiar with infantry training and tactics then you can’t really back your opinion. Do you know that women actually have different E-courses and O-courses set up just for them!? They have to lower the physical standards of the military so that women can make it through. If you support women in the military than you might as well support women in the draft and while we are at it, when a man hits a woman, why take the woman’s side. Even as a Marine Corps Martial Arts Instructor I had to separate the women from the men because they would just get destroyed all day! You do not want to see an all female Bn. It would be a straight massacre in the event of a real war. I think it’s time that we take a step back and realize that as men and women we have different talents and an intelligent human being would exploit those talents not ignore them for the sake of being “fair.” Life isn’t fair, it’s just the way it is, we deal with the cards we are dealt we don’t complain hoping that fate will grant us amnesty!

    • mike says:

      just what the world needs. a bunch of women hitting the cycle and running the bc over all at once…. have u lost your damn mind? who r u to even comment… ive had to carry another mans gear because he was wore down from a q on a 48 hour op where we carried 2 mre’s and two bottles of water and a whoopie “poncho liner” call it a whoopie cause thats what u normaly say when ur allowed an hour of sleep. dont comment on something u dont know about. [Extended Edit]

    • Mike says:

      Otis, I’ve got 22 years in the Army Infantry; I’ve served in mechanized units, Stryker, Light Infantry, Airborne, and Mountain units. I was a Drill Sergeant at the Army Infantry School. I’ve served as a team leader, a squad leader, a section leader, a platoon sergeant, and a first sergeant. I’ve been on 4 deployments. Women can and do make many valuable contributions to the Army, but women in the Infantry is such an extraordinarily bad idea it is only championed by people such as yourself with no real experience in the matter.

    • INFANTRYCPT says:

      Hold your opinion until you have a good baseline for comparison. The life in the rear with the gear is completely different than life with lead flying by and explosives under foot.

  12. newdist says:

    Let’s make sure I have this right:

    Attacking untrained peasant infantry with tanks, gunships, and planes = brave and heroic
    Attacking the greatest military in history with a buried explosive = cowardly and terroristic

    • John Smith says:

      I’m not sure you understood the article but this was not the point made by anyone! Don’t use this platform to push some liberal concept, stay on task and talk about the issue being discussed.

    • Hank says:

      Sure enough, you do NOT have this right.

      Attacking infantry with tanks, gunships, and planes = War.
      Attacking unsuspecting civilian targets, and engaging military targets when in the midst of civilian surroundings without identifying oneself as a military combatant = terrorism.

      Now, you have the idea.

    • SilverfoxJTAC says:

      Newdist, good point.
      I’ve received combatives training for years through the military. If I’m ever attacked on the streets or in combat again and I can assess that my adversaries level of training is deficient to mine, I’ll make sure to retard my physical response to the level he was trained to in the name of fairness.

      Terrorism is a tactic, as are IED’s. These have nothing to do with the topic at hand. If you would like to discuss radical islam, or training terrorists, I will happily oblige you since I earned a BA with a concentration in terrorism. This is not the forum for that though.

      To the topic at hand. I’m in the USAF, I serve as an E-6 in a special operations career field AFSC (MOS for everyone else) and I’ve been doing it for 12 years. I’m currently serving as an instructor for our AFSC. Just as the USMC and USA are experiencing, In October we will see our first two female officers arrive. Thank God I’ll be back to the operational side before this happens. All this debate of equality is null and void when the facts are viewed without rose colored glasses. In 5 months, because of female integration in our officer corps, male and (now) female officers will no longer be required to pass our specific physical standards. All that will be required of them will be the minimum passing score on an USAF PT test. This means a 21 year old female must only complete 17 pushups in one minute to be considered “fit.” Sure, she can complete more if she so chooses and/or is capable but if she can’t do more than 17, she still passes. I don’t know what the male minimum standard and frankly I don’t care because I’ve never been concerned with the minimum, just the maximum. This reduction in standard is now causing leadership at the Pentagon level to start wondering if our officers shouldn’t experience an entirely different pipeline altogether. The problem with this is that now, our officers, both male and female are going to actually be held to a lower standard than than the enlisted men (no enlisted females as of yet). This is all because they changed the title of the Officer job from Battled Field Airman to Combat Support. This somehow magically coincided with the future integration of the first females into our career field. Holding officers to a lower standard than the enlisted and creating a course that does not allow them to endure the same things the enlisted men endure will create a rift between the two tiers that is unacceptable. This was never a discussion until female integration was a discussion. Forcing an “equal” standard still doesn’t make it equal.

  13. Canadian says:

    As a Canadian Infantry NCO, I completely agree with this article. The Canadian Army is fully integrated, and it doesn’t work. I don’t care who you are- based on MY EXPERIENCE- the overwhelming majority of women have no business in combat trades. Yes, SOME can do the job well- but MOST fail. There are also sexual relationships that cause tension and are inappropriate, as well as the straight up physical strain that they can’t handle. Ever hear a male platoon commander cry on the radio under fire? I have heard a female do it- and later she got a medal for “outstanding leadership”. Not in training, not on a course, in Afghanistan in contact with the enemy. The double standard will just build and build, and everything will fall apart- generally when you need things to work the most. It’s a bad idea. Men and women are different. Yes there are men who can’t handle being in the Infantry, but not MOST men, just some. MOST women have no business there, not matter how much they want to be. This is based on experience, not supposition.

    • John Smith says:

      I recently did some training with the Canadian Army and I do have to say I completely agree with you. Most of the Canadian Soldiers were approaching me, telling me that I was lucky that we didn’t have females integrated into the corps

  14. GV says:

    I agree with this article 100 percent from top to bottom. I am a Army infantry officer with two 12 month tours to Afghanistan, done it, seen it all. My first tour as the battalion Recon Platoon Leader we would conduct long range dismounted recon missions across high desert mountainous terrain that would have my hardened male infantry soldiers falling out. I cannot even begin to imagine what we would do if we had women in our ranks falling out like flies (just like we watch them do day after day in garrison). Do we call in a MEDEVAC bird to pick them up? Put them on a litter and pull them out, while the entire mission goes to shit? GEN Odierno who himself is not a Ranger or Infantry is forcing this experiement down our throats in the name of equality for the Army. I can tell you the only equality to be found on long range patrol with us in A-stan during 2008-09 was that everyone carried their load and got from A to B. I cannot begin to express that people have no perception what combat truely does to a person until they themselves experience it first hand. I am not talking about a mortar hitting 1000 meters across the FOB, or an IED exploding ten vehicles away and everyone running to put their CAB paperwork in. No, I am talking about 100 meter two way rifle range exchanges with enemy trying to kill you. I am talking about entering and clearing multiple buildings filled with enemy forces doing their best to retain. Moving over obstacles under fire, extracting casulties, reinforcing footholds, rendering buddy aid, and sprinting between alleys while bullets snap past. Another question we should ask, are we ready to watch our wives, daughters, mothers, get captured by muslim extremists and be raped and tortured on camera…..because if so, lets just put them right into the fight.

  15. BamBam says:

    If women are being allowed into combat units, then why are they not required to sign up for selective service once they turn 18????? If they want equallity then lets give it to them 1000% same PT scale, baby wipes to clean yourself for 30+ days straight in the field with (NO resupply including tampons or pads), in 5 years they(the 90% that cant hack it) will be screaming that equality is unfair!

    • That’s part of the reason, or another reason I thought that women would never serve in infantry, because we have certain issues of sanitation that men don’t have, and although with age comes improvisation, there’s only so far one can go.

    • Eric Duckworth says:

      Selective Service is a congressional issue. Congress has already lifted the Ban to women in combat. It is now up to DOD. If you want to see women in selective service, just push Congress.

  16. I was shocked when I read your second paragraph. Having served in the Marine Corps myself, I completely identify with your “focus” argument, because although I served in a Logistics battalion, the sexual tensions and lovers quarrels often times made even our jobs difficult, and we were not under the stress or the volatile situations that our men in combat are. I agree wholeheartedly with your entire article, women make a very valuable contribution to our military, they do not belong in infantry.

  17. sniperdad says:

    Geez, didn’t ANY of you guys see GI Jane with Demi Moore??

    • Carol Smith says:

      I hope it was ok that you gave me a big laugh, sniperdad! Reading through all of the thoughtful and very serious comments, it was good to have a little break :-). Thanks.

  18. Female Sgt says:

    I AM a woman. I was also a Marine for 9 years, until I decided to support my husband (Scout Sniper) and raise my kids. With that said, I cannot express with words what I have been witnessed to during my husband’s constant gruesome training and deployments. I have seen that man come home beat down, both physically and mentally. I am the one that ‘attempts’ to organize my garage with the several sets of gear he’s, no, WE, have purchased through the years. I have never in my life, or better yet, in my time in the Marine Corps met men like him and his friends. The strength mixed with abandon these men carry themselves with, is unheard of in our ‘POGs’ jobs. And there is NOT a woman in this planet (maybe there are a few rare cases) that can do their job.
    I have dared women who have argued your point (as well as mine) to come over to my house and simply put on the gear and run with them up and down the hills of San Mateo, CA and keep up with them. And that’s not including the reality you have to live with after coming back from a combat deployment, attending memorial services, and trying to find comforting words to the wives and children left behind…
    Thank You for putting it so eloquently.
    A female Sgt.

    • ProudAirForceWoman says:

      “Showering once a month is something male infantry men can do women cant. ” what about bathing in those canals?” Someone is thinking. Yes i bathed in them when it was warm but females body parts are more likely to get a parasite, or worse in that water given the fact afghans defecate and urinate and their waffle fields drain their fertilizer off in to them. Point is it cant be done in this type of war”.
      Ever lived in a third world country?

    • ProudAirForceWoman says:

      Sounds like the ghetto, oh and its OUR kids!

  19. majrod says:

    Very well written essay (as a combat infantryman/former Academy Tac I can wholeheartedly agree and can provide other examples) the problem I fear is you don’t understand the agenda of those activists pursuing the idea. Facts, the mission and the good of the unit/service or country are all minor in comparison to the goal whatever the impact. What’s is almost as bad is that many of the servicewomen that want to pursue the opportunity don’t want to be Infantry to be Infantry but to be more competitive for rank which is not what “service” is about. Finally, the worst aspect of this is I have very little confidence that flag rank officers will do the right thing. We’ll see if the standards are gender normed or standards remain where they are and the chips fall where they may.

  20. Amanda Marshall says:

    You said this perfectly. Thank you for bringing logic into this argument and presenting it so well! My husband was with you in al qiam in kilo company — he was a squad leader in first platoon — Sgt. Marshall. We just found your blog and are thrilled to read it. Thank you!

  21. m5 says:

    What about Israel? Yes, Israel is different, surrounded by hostile nations tens of times its size in population. Hence conscript service both for men (3 years) and women (2 years, often 3 depending on position), but “Women may be exempted from military service for reasons of religious conscience, marriage, pregnancy or motherhood.” Also, after the 1948 war, where women had served in combat due to lack of manpower, women were barred from combat (except some support roles) in the IDF until 1996-2000 (depending on position).

    In Israel women frequently have served as infantry *instructors*, rather than in combat units, although they nowadays do have a mixed gender light infantry combat battalion. I find that Nate’s objections against women in infantry are moot for women as instructors responsible for the training of grunts, rather than actual combat. And, if the situation really gets desperate, the female instructors, reserve or active, have the training and could be used in combat too. You can, if you have to.

    “Women currently make up 3% of the IDF’s combat soldiers.” I’d hazard a guess, that at the ratio 3 to 97, or perhaps smaller still for ‘real’ grunts, it might be quite possible to enlist/draft equally physically and mentally fit men and women.


    In many European nations there are no longer restrictions for females enlisting into combat infantry units. The example I’m most familiar with is Finland, where females can volunteer for the conscript service that is involuntary for men. In the infantry, females tend to be placed in signaling and such, rather than basic grunt duties. The number of female volunteers is marginal compared to the drafted males.

    However, in Finland females are eligible for any military duty, including special operations elite units. Some very adept females have managed to get accepted through the same harsh physical and mental tests as men into the paratroop ranger school. However, so far no woman has managed to get accepted for combat diver training. (You might guess how the combat divers see this…;-). The good thing here is that the exact same criteria have been used for selecting men and women into the elite units.

    • D'veed Natan says:

      Having been in the Israeli Army (and the US Army) I can say, the female infantry *instructors* didn’t seem to know their subject matter very well, were uninformed beyond a basic level regarding the subject matter and couldn’t hold a candle to the instructors I had had in the US Army. These girls had attended courses lasting a few days or weeks before being assigned their teaching duties!

  22. Hank says:

    I’m an Old Corps Marine (from the Vietnam era, 60’s) and interestingly I just recently had this very same conversation with someone. This discussion is actually not new at all, and really began when I was a young Marine and all this “we all gotta be EQUAL” nonsense began. Well, the truth is we don’t all have to be the same, as you’ve pointed out. The truth is we are not, and never will be. I now have retired from service so it’s all academic to me now; but in the due course of reaching that status I’ve earned a couple of Psych degrees, served my country in several different capacities and on several different continents.

    Having women in the Combat Arms is a mistake. As you’ve pointed out, it is a mistake for several reasons; some of which your readers seem to have missed. Nonetheless, those reasons are real, and true. The argument that prior societies may (and I emphasize ‘may’) have made the same mistake seems unconvincing as a support for the notion we should as well. The argument that if we don’t allow women in the Combat Arms then we won’t look like Europe just really doesn’t carry much authority, to me.

    Women have served and supported our warriors in battle since the inception of this nation, and have done so with honor and distinction, making an often invaluable contribution to the efforts of war. Serving in the military is perfectly legitimate for women so inclined, as is a decision to make a career of their service. The inherent inequality in promotability based on Combat Arms service is an issue that would need to be addressed, but that can certainly be done without abandonment of our most fundamental values.

    It is refreshing to see that the modern generation of Marines continue to retain something of the values and good sense which made our nation the greatest one on earth; our military the most powerful force in the history of the world; and our Corps the pacesetters in military matters. Semper Fi, Marine.

  23. LTC Gray says:

    Greetings all,

    First let me state, because it apparently enhances my argument, that I am a combat arms (FA) officer in the Army. I’ve been a combat advisor in Iraq in 2006-07 and an Infantry BN S3 and XO in Iraq in 2009-10. I’ve also served along side the Infantry and in Infantry formations for most of my career (18+ years). I’ve served with the Marines in both service schools, and in multiple assignments both peacetime and down range in combat and had them assigned to my formations along with AF and Navy personnel.

    This argument is mostly irrelevant. We are all public servants, and our most senior leaders are all civilians. These decisions have already been made, justifying why they shouldn’t be made after the fact, doesn’t help and will only belabor the transition. Much like the repeal of DADT, we are not being asked our opinion. And guess what, the world hasn’t fallen apart, and some of our most senior uniformed leaders were wrong. Will we struggle for the next few years with the transition, either on the surface or below the surface? Yes.

    Next, its a false argument to talk about all of the individual examples about specific women who could or could not meet the “standard”. Partly in point, because there is no talk about the men who don’t meet the standard. Someone has to be last, and somehow, I’m sure, its not always women. I have never seen a perfect organization. There is always someone who doesn’t quite measure up- even in all male organizations.

    Discussing physical fitness standards in a linear sense is also a false argument. I checked, the Marine Corps fitness test is also striated by age. Guess what, a 17 year olds standards are different than a 27 year olds, or a 40 year olds. You are very likely to have people across that spectrum in your formations. Oh, and that’s just for males. So there is no one standard, there are multiple.

    As for pregnancy, love spats, tensions, etc. Sometimes in life, dumb things happen. People make mistakes and make stupid decisions. That isn’t relegated to gender integrated units. I’m sure no male only unit ever had drama with spouses, or found a service member was cheating on their spouse. These types of events are also possible across units i.e. Infantry Bns to Log units. Also, we are touting high discipline and standards, but we’ve heard arguments that female NCO’s and officers don’t receive the same respect from male subordinates. Did the chain of command correct that problem? I certainly hope so. Gender integrated formations don’t cause sexual harassment or sexual assault. Poor discipline and a lack of respect, does.

    The only valid argument is that society isn’t prepared to see its daughters as POWs or hung from the bridges in Falluja, or brought home in flag covered coffins en masse. However, what do you think the ripple effect would be the next time our services to to Congress and request much needed equipment or funding, knowing its not just their sons, but their daughters too who are fighting. Just a thought.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Blake says:


      You effectively dismissed each argument presented with a red herring. DADT, Age-standards, male substandard performers. Your sexual tension argument is less of an argument and more of an agreement, ‘It happens, but it wouldn’t be any different if we completely integrated’.

      “The only valid argument is…” Just saying something is not a valid argument does not make it so, particularly when it is supported by historical and experiential evidence. You do not bring a single argument to the table as to WHY this should be done, other than as a political move. If great things are being done, there had damned well be a great reason for it. The reasons you present are simply “well, this is similarly screwed up, so your argument is irrelevant.” Adding one mistake to another does not cancel the first out.

      You essentially argue that it has been done, now we have to support it, regardless of all evidence before us. I don’t think the Senior Leadership has the intestinal fortitude to stand up against this because they understand that the O-6’s and above have an axe out ready to swing on anyone who raises the obvious questions like the author of this article has.

      [note: I also served in a direct combat role in an all-male combat unit in Iraq 2006.]

      • LTC Gray says:


        I’ll disagree with you on this. The essence of the original argument and those by other responders revolves around various standards, of which, none are relevant including physical fitness standards, sexual tension, and the not so blatant omission that not all males meet the standard. Also, we claim to be a well disciplined force, yet take to the blogs to vehemently oppose some policies. Its very arrogant, especially from an organization that is supposed to be apolitical.

        Physical fitness standards were mentioned. The premise that only men can meet the standard isn’t true since there is no one standard. Each age group has its own standard, as do male and female. IOW, a 40 year old male platoon sergeant doesn’t have the same physical fitness standard as a 17 year old. That’s a fact. Its a red herring to say that women have different standards, therefore shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the infantry. The reality is there should be one standard, but there isn’t one, there are multiple. The arguments presented say its OK for men to have different standards, but its not OK if women don’t have different standards of physical fitness.

        The repeal of DADT is an example where some senior leaders stated this is a readiness issue, and the force will fall apart if it is repealed. It has been repealed, but I have yet to hear of any valid stories where the repeal has had adverse effects. The reality is, we don’t know what’s going to happen when women will be allowed in the infantry.

        Sexual tension and misconduct is about behavior and discipline. The counter-argument is that boys will be boys, justifying bad behavior because someone has a vagina and someone has a penis and we all know anyone with a penis can’t control themselves around vaginas. Each service expects a high level of personal conduct. Sexual harassment or ignoring orders from superiors based on their gender is wrong, regardless of the situation. The infantry have enough discipline to be entrusted with numerous weapons, long term security, and conduct the most dangerous of missions, yet if a woman is present, the men would be too distracted and their discipline breached. Would you carry a females ruck, do they get their turn carrying the M240, what about pulling security? What about little Johnny? If they are being treated differently, you’re wrong.

        The “evidence” presented is old (LTC Gregor, 1992) or anecdotal (I knew a CPT in my last deployment, no name given) and hardly conclusive. However, our oaths do require us to obey the orders of those appointed over us, that does include the SECDEF and the President, not just some O6s and GOs. Just understand that some policies are put in place without our opinion being requested. There’s probably a reason for it. They (senior leaders) may not care or want to hear it. Is it politically motivated, maybe. But, war is an extension of politics.

        However, do understand the consequences of not following this will be severe. And the only person who can force it being overturned would be the President, whom the SECDEF works for. Not anyone on the inside. If you want a history lesson, look up what happens to senior leaders who vocally oppose the President on policies- MacArthur, relieved; Wes Clark, forced resignation and retirement; McCrystal, forced resignation and retirement. We shouldn’t be too big for our britches. We all serve at the pleasure of the President. He is the Commander in Chief. With forced reductions looming, fewer will serve. If you truly believe this way, don’t serve. We are in an all volunteer force. BTW, this isn’t an argument, its just a statement.

    • 155mm says:

      Sir, lets keep this simple…

      As a FA officer with 18+ years of service I can expect that you have served in light and heavy artillery battalions. Now my question is can you expect women to do the same things that we [artillerymen] do?

      As a 119er we moved fast, getting TLABSPAP done and putting rounds downrange in 5min or less. Although it is a light artillery piece there is nothing light about it at all. The standard HE rounds for the 119 are about 45lbs, and they come in wooden crates of two. Can you put together a random assortment of females with the same training as their male counterparts and expect them to 1. Get the gun laid in under 5 min 2. Get comms up with FDC 3. Ferry boxes of rounds back and forth and then expect them to be mission ready for a 10 round fire mission? I wouldn’t think so.

      I shudder to think what they could do in heavy FA battalions. 155 rounds weighing almost 100lb’s each, 39+ for the paladin and 90+ rounds for the CAT. I’ve had to load them by myself before and I would be hard pressed to believe a female could do a half the combat load. I’d be impressed if I can see a female open a breech on full tension, I’ll be flabbergasted if I see one do a 10 round fire mission.

      I could go on about cramped sleeping spaces and the like but I think a lot of other folks here covered that already. My point being they simply cannot DO what we do or tolerate.

    • majrod says:

      LTC Gray – Your physical standards argument is a canard. The difference between same sex age groups is minimal when compared to the differences between the sexes. The difference in pushups between a 17-21 male and a 27-31 male is a whopping six. The difference between men of those age groups and their female counterparts are a “miniscule” 29 and 27 pushups respectively. You want to equate a difference of magnitude of almost FIVE because ther are different standards between men? Ridiculous!

      Your effort to make such a spurious argument makes my previous point that the leadership isn’t going to make a stand but go along to get along (and promoted).

    • 11A says:

      LTC Gray,

      It appears that the crux of your argument is “the higher ups decided it, and because we are subordinate, we have no right to debate it.”

      Beyond the obvious wonder at the logic of “it’s been decided so we shouldn’t discuss it,” it would behoove you to realize that the writer isn’t still serving, and is as free to condemn or praise the in/competent decisions our imperfect leaders make.

  24. USAF E4 says:

    This article was well written and well reasoned. While I am neither in the infantry, nor a direct combat job, I can see the negative effects that placing women in direct combat roles could have on unit cohesion. That said, there is a place for this experiment, there have been numerous historical examples of women performing these roles as effectively as their male counterparts, The Israeli’s seem to do just fine, as did the Soviets. I think we should allow this experiment to proceed, if for no other reason than to prove what we already hold as truth. I believe that with our current circumstances, that women on patrols are needed, in order to work within the confines of Muslim society’s notions of propriety. Personally I believe that this is a tempest in a tea pot, much as the don’t ask don’t tell policy. Women who cannot hack it will self select out, and those who wish to do so only as a crusade for feminism, will fail. In the end, you will end up with few women actually making the grade, and I think that the infantry could benefit from a different perspective. All we can do is try it, and see what happens.

  25. DABONI says:

    I’ve seen, served under, and lead female troops while deployed and have seen great women in combat training and schools. and would deploy with them any time. But I have yet to have seen or met one who can beat me in unarmed combat, carry as much gear as me, or lift as much weight. Women were and have been a distraction in support units. I cannot even imagine in a combat unit, in a small FOB in the middle of no where. Great article

  26. Why are female units not an option?

    • mike says:

      lemme break it down for u in not such a nice way women are great marines soldiers and so forth but they are not mentaly, emotionaly, or fit enough for gorrilla warfare.

    • Isabella Fonte says:

      That would be fine if they were going to be fighting only female enemy units. Can we ask the enemy if they would only send female units to fight our female units?
      I am a woman and I think this business of women in combat is repulsive and disgusting. Don’t we have enough red blooded American men anymore?

  27. M Ehoare says:

    Equal pay, Equal risk. Equal pension age as well please thanks whilst there about it!

  28. Paul Gray says:

    Well it will only go to balance out the life expectancy of women vs men who currently on average live longer, they also get to retire earlier as well (currently!). So there are many balances still to be actioned on in the name of full equality and faireness.

    But as for war it does have one positive aspect sadly and that is in casulties of war – please alow me to outline below:

    100 men die – people take notice
    10 women die – people take notice
    1 child dies – people take notice

    So in many respects some could argue that this is leading down a dangerous path and one day we will just send children into battle as a means of getting support for the actions and finances.

    Now if Angelina Jolie can obtain children cheaply then I’m sure the Armed forces of the world could do the same. We could then solve hunger problems, reduce ASBO’s and street crime as well as helping solve the impending overpopulation aspect that will only lead to nasty virus’s that mess up the innocent.

    If your still reading this then you are a sick bastard who is safly the product of society we have today, but you are also a pragmatic realist who can see this [Edit] for what it realy is and find it funny that equality is only a real issue when it is without merit and I for one welcome mix-sex sport like rugby and wrestling. Yes if sex is not an issue then why does sexist descrimination exist in sport yet when it comes to war it is not. If they want to fight I want mixed sport, I’d actualy probably watch those as well.

    So if you agree women should be fighting on the front line then you also agree there should be mixed sex wrestling, it’s that simple. Oh and they get to retire at the same age :p.

  29. S L X says:

    Israel used to deploy female units into combat roles but retracted it in 1948 after just 3 weeks of (actual combat) testing because of the exact reasons that this article states. Men and women fought by each other’s side honorably to protect their country, but when a female fell, the man’s desires to protect the female overshadowed the need to accomplish the mission and thus put the mission in jeopardy.

  30. Den Kravec says:

    Geez, didn’t ANY of you guys see GI Jane with Demi Moore??

  31. Marine's Wife says:

    Thank you, sir, for saying exactly what my husband has been ranting about all this time (About 13 years now?).

    He’s currently serving with a HMLA in Pendleton and has dealt with females in his shop (At one time, he was the only male IN his shop.); the squabbles between the females, one female being a [Edit] (I apologize for the word; it was the nicest thing I could think of in regards to this female.) and trying to go over her superior’s head (which happened to be the husband) to the CO (That eventually won her a transfer to a gunny that doesn’t put up with crap.), and another female who became non-deployable due to dental problems (A shame, since she was a decent Marine.).

    I’m thankful that he’s not deploying with any of that nonsense; most of his shop is about 80% male and he’s much happier for it (So am I; that’s a lot less drama to deal with when he comes home.).

    Considering all of that happened in a squadron, the husband’s looking forward to a grunt unit with NO females; I don’t blame him one bit.

  32. Brad says:

    I like how Kevin was very quick to get quiet when he was called out about not being in the service.

    False claimers have no room in any military discussion.

  33. SGT Lee says:

    Allow me to open with my credentials. 4 1/2 years in the Army, 2 tours to Iraq, E-5, 11-C (Mortar), and Ranger qualified.

    If a woman can meet the same standards that all of us were held to, then there is no reason that she shouldn’t be allowed fight for something she believes in if she chooses to.

    Fact: The all-male infantry already deals with the drama that is caused by the relations between female (the ones in support units) and male soldiers. And life stills goes on and the mission still gets accomplished.
    Fact: With modern technology (birth control) women have the to ability to not have their periods. With this as fact, there are no hygiene issues that couldn’t be fixed with a baby wipe.
    Fact: Women and men are different physically – but that does not mean that it is impossible for women to meet our standards. How do we know that women can’t meet our standards? We don’t. Because current policies don’t allow them to even try. All this anecdotal (word-of-mouth, story based) evidence of women not being able to cut it are based on stories of women that were not infantry soldiers to begin with.

    All I’m saying, is let them try out. If they want a shot, let them throw that 80 pound ruck on their shoulders and have a chance at it. If they can do it, then so be it. Welcome to the Infantry.


    • Eric Duckworth says:

      Well said SGT Lee

    • majrod says:

      No problem except point to one physical standard that’s the same for men and women across the Army.

      Cricket… Cricket… Cricket…

      That’s the problem. Your logic is sound but we’ve NEVER had the same standard. What makes you think we are going to have one now?

    • txvet says:

      Very well said, and I could not agree more. If someone, male or female wants to at least try, then they should have the opportunity. Not all men make it, and not all women would make it, but the chance should be offered. I am particuarly disgusted with the author’s suggestion that women are the only party responsible for getting pregnant (pretty sure it takes two to tango), or that women are solely responsible for men lacking the ability to keep their peter in their pants, thus leading to a lack of “good order and discipline”. Wish we had more intelligent guys like you out there.

      -Semper Fidelis

    • Blake says:

      Who’s going to be the first officer to drop a packet on a female who is unable to keep up with the physical demands? Do you honestly believe that with the current command climate, there will be any willingness to drop a female who can not keep up with the pack?

      What guarantees are there that the physical fitness standards will not be gender-normed? Not only is morale and effectiveness on the line, but lives are on the line. If a male is a non-performer, he should be dropped quickly.

      There are a lot of questions about this, but no officers or senior NCOs are asking because they know their career will go the way of Milli Vanilli. That raises the even more important question, which I would like to see some active officers answer, what is the purpose of this? Social experiment or enhancement of the military?

    • Chris F says:

      Sir, you have argued this side of the argument better than anyone on this page.

  34. Eric Duckworth says:

    Kevin – I am 18 years active service, U.S. Army Officer – Armor officer, 2 deployments with Infantry/Cavalry units in Iraq and direct combat experienced and have served with women who would succeed in an infantry unit, and wanted to, IF only allowed. These opinions are my own but I will blatantly tell you you are wrong. I’ll save the long diatribe which others have given so well but I will point out the fallacies in your argument:

    1. ISSUE 1 – Examples of Successful Women in combat and other direct combat roles. You’ve taken to task show where women have successfully performed in combat, but you immediately use a fallacious statement by prejudicing them as savages. That is a straw man argument and making a personal attack before considering the facts from the other side of the case. For your consideration to the other items presented, read: Femme Fatale: A study on the role of women in combat. http://www.google.com/search?q=femme+fatale+women+in+combat&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    2. ISSUE 2 – Common Standards of Performance. You state – “The fact is that an infantryman’s job is a mix between professional athlete, police officer, mechanic, and construction worker.” The fact is that women DO THESE JOBS and HAVE EXCELLED in ALL OF THESE CAREER FIELDs. So you point is moot – if women can do all of these jobs physically, why not infantry? There is no doubt that physiologically there are considerations to CONDITIONING. But what fitness science has taught us (check out Crossfit across the nation) is that men and women can be Physically conditioned with regular and simple cross functional movements to develop the core requirements necessary to achieve physcial standards necessary for the infantry. But there are the following important considerations.
    a. The military cannot be hypocrites on load bearing – as long as the Marines/Army are willing to put a 220 lb Grunt in an infantry squad with a 120 lb grunt and have the expectation they are supposed to carry each other, you cannot make the argument that somehow it will be different with women.
    b. I believe ALL Sides agree that you have to establish a common standard of performance, not one that differs based on gender. Establish that and watch how women rise to the occasion. You will get a better Soldier overall when you do that.
    c. Pregnancy – AH the big one. I do have agreement here that the military needs a better policy on this when it comes to maintaining readiness. But PROHIBITING a CAPABLE FEMALE from being infantry because you THINK she might get pregnant is like PROHIBITING a CAPABLE MALE from the infantry because your think he might intentionally go AWOL or injure himself prior to a deployment – it is fallacious. You can’t predict it, only mitigate it. The pregnancy issue is mitigated in three ways
    1. Accept only women who are committed to not keeping/getting pregnant within a deployment window.
    2. Or limit the billets available to women to mitigate the risk in overall losses
    3. Or accept the risk lumped into all other unforseen personnel losses (emergency leaves, injuries/sickness, AWOL, etc) and having a personnel policy that mans you at a level acceptable to the risk of loss. (this is what is currently done – in practice but not perfectly)

    3. ISSUE 3 – Psychology –
    a. The warrior ethos – The common claim is that men will act differently or more protective, or some how will take more or less risks is fallacious. This is conditioning. If Marines and Army Soldiers internalize their codes of conduct, their core values, and the warrior ethos – I’d argue we want to see more effective infantry. We expect our infantry to “leave no man behind” man or woman – so it is a moot point to think we will take undue risks because a woman is in danger versus a man. True infantryman risk and sacrifice themselves to protect their comrades – we have that expectation of them regardless of gender.
    b. Resiliency – recent studies have shown that men exposed to combat and PTSD are have a higher chance of committing suicide and women have a higher chance of seeking care. Which statistic tells you who is more resilient to the stresses of combat? There is argument that women will have a resiliency effect on our infantry squads, that the communal and caregiving stereotypes would help quell dysfunction and conflict in the ranks that you find with males at times. After all – the firm but fair compassionate squad leader, the beloved “Doc” medic, the technically proficient RTO, encouraging “buddy” system are all stereotypes portrayed in our culture and emulated in the infantry ranks and they all speak more to the “feminine” traits in our grunts.
    c. DISCIPLINE – Sex in the Ranks, you say that “They were some of the best in the world. Did that stop them from acting on impulse during long hours of boring duty and close proximity to members of the opposite sex?” This is not a sex issue, this is a discipline issue. You have the same discipline issue with drugs, alcohol, sleeping on duty, etc. So don’t try and pin it on females.
    Perhaps the stronger we are on reprimanding sex in the ranks, the more Soldiers – male and female – might think twice. Also, since the repeal of DADT, the case is moot. It homosexuals are allowed into the ranks, then you have an assumption that they can be sexually attracted to each other in the foxhole, but can somehow control it. That same assumption can be taken to the male/female foxhole too.

    3. You state that women should be in the military, just not in the infantry – but in truth, most of your case is trying to point out why women should not be in the military. So why don’t you say it?

    You are a former Marine Officer with no risk of having to integrate women in combat. I am a current Army combat arms officer who has to deal with integrating women into my combat units. I welcome it. I say give me the most capable Soldiers and condition them correctly to a standard and I will give you a professional fighting force.

    • Keep Politics Out of the Military says:


      If you want to bring qualifications into this by pointing out the author’s current situation then I would also like to point out that you are NOT an infantryman and therefore much of your argument is speculative about conditions you yourself have limited experience (18 years as a tanker).

      Second, we all agree that some exceptional women could make the cut but the juice isn’t worth the squeeze. Please check out the 15 female Sapper grads in 40+ years of eligibility..

      Third, I have observed 2/1 (your unit), and I was professionally embarrassed to be associated with it; please focus on giving us that professional fighting force with your own organization before you attempt anything with ours. Stay in your own lane.

      • Eric Duckworth says:

        1. I can easily stay in my lane as in my 18 years. I will then constrain my experience then to the 7.5 years of experience I DO have in Infantry experience – Infantry OSUT (2) /Mech Infantry (2)/ Iraqi Infantry Advisor (1.5)/Stryker RSTA (2) that are NOT Speculative. And I also have qualifications leading women in the military too with a TDA command that was 65% female. So I feel I do have a balanced perspective. I will admittedly say I am lacking in light experience (about 8 months total in training), and I have no foundation for Ranger School. But Ranger school is not a qualification to be infantry. My point on the author is he is qualified to speak on his experience as an infantry marine, and I am qualified to speak based on my experience performing infantry missions in combat with infantry units. The second part is that I still have a higher stake in having to integrate women into the infantry than the author. So as a stakeholder, I have a say. Just as those that disagree with me.

        2. I am not afraid to hide in anonymity. Since you have the benefit of knowing me – Please identify the unit you were associated with so we can compare notes about professionalism, and when and what aspects you observed in my unit so I understand the context you use. The successful mission records of 2-1 CAV speak for themselves in 2009-2010 (which I assume is the period you refer to in OIF). I am absolutely proud of the professionalism and courage and achievements of its Soldiers.

        3. As for is the juice worth the squeeze? I agree with you on that one. (and I appreciate your acknowledgement that there are women who could qualify to be in the infantry). The DoD has not been forthcoming with any study showing a true operational requirement for women in the infantry, or how many women want or would join the infantry if given the opportunity. I just want the most exceptional Soldiers in the positions that are best for the capabilities of the Army.

    • majrod says:

      I suspect your experience in Iraq was very unique.

      Away from the vehicles (which wasn’t common in Iraq) women are not humping the same gear. Women are not assigned dismounted crew served weapon duties not did they participate in offensive ops where they had to keep pace with the men. You are being naive. Go back, pick some women and change the 200lb+, 40lb+ track shoes on an M1 tank or reload the 50+ rounds on an M1A2 or find a women loader that can load the 120mm in under 5 sec that every good tank loader can do. I could go on.

      No, you will go along to get along and get promoted.

      • Eric Duckworth says:

        I suspect everyone’s experience in war is eventually unique. Al Anbar in the west does not equal Fallujah which does not equal Baghdad (which differs block by block). which does not equal Basra or Tal Afar or Baqubah, etc and it all differs by year and threat. This of course also differs greatly than Afghanistan.

        Ah – I’d pick women for my M1A2, and I am sure I can find a loader who can make a 5 sec consistent load… if only policy would let me. As for who is being naive… if it has been done before, it can be done again. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandra_Samusenko

        Thanks for your personal attack – when an argument can’t hold water on its own the best thing you can do is try to attack the person with a baseless accusation.

      • Eric Duckworth says:

        Majrod the max rate of fire for a T-34 in WWII was 6-7 rounds per minute (ammunition weight is 13 lbs. The max rate of fire for an M1A2 still remains about 6-7 rounds per minute (ammunition weight is 41 lbs). While ammo weight has increased, so has our ability to physically condition… my point with Alexsandra is if a mixed gender crew can eliminate 3 of the Germany’s best tanks in the middle of the world’s most devastating sustained tank combat… I bet it can still be done… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleksandra_Samusenko

      • Eric Duckworth says:

        Maj Rod – as for your points about the need for the military to have equal fitness standards and that they have NEVER done it. I am on board with you. It is a failure to have two separate standards. I am also in agreement that should such a move occur, there would be a dramatic reduction in the ranks of physically qualified women.

      • able34bravo says:

        Isn’t Fallujah in Anbar?

    • Eric Duckworth says:

      Yes Fallujah is in Anbar – but the terrain and politics and threat in Fallujah and the connecting NW Baghdad Belt differ from the frontier desert and borders of Anbar. For example, Denver and Colorado – there are some significant differences between the mile high city and the rest of the state.

  35. Sally says:

    It may bea few whom qualify, that’s OK. The arguments could be lined up with some of the ones we went throough about homosexual’s. Trouble is women have a harder time hiding themselves. Should be the same try out for both and let them drop out. Hard for many men to see it clearly I think, and they become more concerned or tougher according to their hypothesis. That’s why discussion is important to talk out a lot of predjudism. Hard to deal with women and they can learn, time for all. thank you.

    • majrod says:

      The problem is the standards will NEVER be the same. We’ve had women in the services for over 40 years and the physical standards have NEVER been the same. What makes you think this is going to change?

  36. “Created Equally” does not mean Created the same. I could debate this topic for days, but usually make someone mad and nobody ever changes their mind anyway. Great post!

  37. 1.The fact is that there are women with more physical stamina and strength than any other person who has posted on this page. Call that an exception, but the fact is there are many women all more physically fit than any of us.

    2. There are gay soldiers. Guys were making sexual tension in all men armies for thousands of years. In fact, Spartans required you were sexually active with your brothers in arms to make you fight harder to protect them.
    Also, guys are just as much to blame for getting too involved as the woman is. By this logic, we should just make all soldiers eunuchs.

    3. What America wants to see is a good argument to use? This is the same nonsense used against women voting, mixed race couples, and pornography. This belief is always regressive.

    All in all, your ‘separate but equal’ message falls on the same pitfalls that previous lines of thought always do: You are saying women are equal to men, yet incapable of performing the same actions. You aren’t really saying they are equal. You are saying infantry is something only men can do.

    • mike says:


    • Ben says:


      You seem to be confusing the equality issue to an extent. The author of this article never claimed that men and women are equal in ability or biology; that they are not in general is quite obvious (although there may be exceptions). The author holds that men and women are ontologically equal (value of their being), but they certainly are not equal in their capacity to serve as effective infantry. Inequality in this way is not a derogatory statement or a disadvantage, but merely the reality (women have less muscle mass, stamina, and physical ability – again, there are exceptions). The author is claiming equality and inequality at the same time, but in different respects.

  38. matt says:

    In the early 90’s the US Army was looking at making the Physical Fitness Tests specific to each MOS. They sampled many units, men and women both. What they found was that the top 7 percent of females that were tested could only perform equaly to the bottom 7 percent of males soldiers phyically. THE TOP 7 PERCENT OF WOMEN TESTED WERE EQUAL TO THE BOTTOM 7 PERCENT OF MALES TESTED! They also discoverd that if they were to make PT Tests MOS specific that they would loose between 60-70 percent of females currently enlisted. The Army thought that they would be viewed as sexist and scrapped the idea. That is why we still currently have a double standard in the military today. And just for your information, I am an Army Ranger in Afghanistan. There may be one or two females available that may be able to keep up with our physical demands. But why waste money, training, time and resources just to weed out females in order to find one or two fit for duty in the Infantry? How many more male Soldiers could we have trained at that point that would be in the fight and how much money would be saved when the country is hurting for money? I have worked with females in my line of work for various things and I have found that they still expect to get treated seperatly and despite their intentions they still can not hump a 240B with ammo to where it needs to be. Show me an all female infantry battalion that is just as effective as an all male infantry battalion and I will shut up. They will be carried and babied by members of their platoon and chain of command….and for what? Equality? They should start with the PT Test. If anything, men have been discriminated against by being forced to reach a higher standard than women in the military while they are allowed to skate by with what is a slap in the face to the male soldiers.

  39. POG says:

    TRUCK CO, H&S BN 3rd Mar Div 2005 deployment. A 7-ton filled with women that were getting a ride back to base after their daily duties at a checkpoint(women searching women) was hit by a VBIED. 3 survived and were named “heroes” in some women magazine state side, i think it was “cosmopolitan magazine.” Anyway, when 1/6 grunts got there, they found headphones melted to the girls ears and heads, the armor plates were taken off cause they were heavy, and was later discovered that they were talking instead of providing security to the sides and rear. the male driver, a-driver, and the gunner with his 50 cal that was providing security to the front of the vehicle were all killed. the iraqi vehicle just drove right into the back-side of the 7-ton where those girls were suppose to provide security.

    problems with fatigue is that you become more complacent and less effective, which is a problem for both sexes, but studies proved that women under heavy loads drain out much, much faster than their male colleagues.

    as far as the people back home like “Kevin” in the above posts know, the girls are heroes and doing as much as the male Marines and have the same medals to prove it. Medals, lol, half of the medals given in todays war are [BS] and a disgrace and even our troops know it. One of our snipers, sorry but not going to name the unit, got a purple heart for getting a centimeter of his ear shot off because the CO decided he needed one for political reasons. The LCpl was pissed and i dont remember the exact words but said something about disrespecting our brothers that gave their life and limb and how he will not accept a medal for a few drops of blood . Difference was that those girls accepted those purple hearts with smiles on their faces.

    • todd says:

      POG, I was the awards clerk for a an Army Military Police BN that ran the last US MIL prison in Baghdad, Iraq, 2009-2010, who processed over 2200 awards for over 1800 Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen. While we did our best to avoid it, you are correct, many of the awards given do end up being BS. I have talked to many others, and this seems to have happened to some extent in every war, in every branch of service, in every unit. Although on a smaller scale in the Navy and Marines than in the the Air Force, because the Navy and Marines give out far fewer awards to their personnel overall. As for the Army, they are just “awards-crazy”. Too many given ends up watering down the value of each….

      • todd says:

        If your info is accurate, you make interesting points about the females mentioned above not being vigilant in their security duties by wearing headphones on a tactical convoy and also having removed some of their armor, and that the females were tasked with their vehicle’s rear facing security, but somehow the terrorist vehicle was able to hit the 7-ton from the rear end….. Was this due to the fact as you said,
        the “problems with fatigue is that you become more complacent and less effective, which is a problem for both sexes, but studies proved that women under heavy loads drain out much, much faster than their male colleagues” ? Hmmm…..sounds logical. I believe it, but would like to read the studies to confirm….

  40. JaneDoe3182 says:

    None of these arguments hold any real ground except for one: it is purely our American culture that prevents the joining of gender in infantry units. First of all, gender and sex are two different things. Sex refers to the physical characteristics that make someone a man or a woman. Gender is much more complex; it refers to a set of social and cultural mores that prescribe activities and personal qualities as masculine or feminine. The latter does not necessarily have anything to do with physical capabilities.

    I have been in direct support for various infantry units my entire career. I push 300 on the male standards of physical fitness testing. I might be physically small, but my strength and stamina outstrip most of my male counterparts. On many occassions, I have been the only female allowed to accompany the males on patrols regularly; I was, for a long time, the only female team leader, and very effective at leading those males under me. I had to work harder to gain their respect, but once I had it, professional relations with them were so easy. The whole hygeine thing while in the field for months on end with no shower? Sure, it’s kinda gross, but it can be handled not only well, but even gracefully (sometimes). Many men (and most women) only have hang-ups about the hygeine issue because society has taught them that women should never be seen in that primitive light. Once the men accepted that it’s all part of natural processes, and nothing more, they got over it. On these grounds, I disagree with this post.

    However, all that being said, the cultural environment of the United States does not prepare young men and women to deal with true gender equality. We are still very patriarchal. Men, from the time they are very small, are taught that they are to protect women. They must shield women from the horrors of reality. They are not psychologically prepared to see women being raped, tortured, and killed in gruesome, unimagineable (until you actually witness it) ways; for that matter, women are not prepared to deal with it either. Further, American society has so many hang-ups about sex that every time some sexual incident occurs most people don’t have the maturity to accept it. Therefore, throwing men and women together in an infantry unit would cause entirely too much drama and destroy esprit de corps, consequently destroying morale and unit cohesion, which would render that unit useless in their mission.

    On those two things alone, I agree with this post. I do not think it should never happen, but I do not think that America is mature enough to handle it yet.

    • SilverfoxJTAC says:


      Congratulations on your 300. Fortunately (For this discussion), even though I’m in the USAF, I’ve spent the overwhelming majority of my career on army bases. I’ve seen so many USA PT tests given/participated in them, and no one was ever held to the strict “break 90 degree plane” pushup the entire PT test (minus one school). This goes for the USAF PT test as well. Based on my 12 years of professional experience, with 3.5 of those being an instructor for my course, which has the exact same performance standard for a push-up, statistically, you would not push a 300. Knowing you go sub-13 minutes on your two miles is impressive. It’s very rare that a female can simultaneously maintain the body mass and muscular endurance to not only complete 72 correct push-ups, 88 correct sit-ups and still run that fast. I’m impressed. We have an additional dead hang strict pull-up standard that requires 18 to achieve a “max” score in that
      performance criteria. If you can also accomplish that, I am genuinely impressed. You mentioned you were small. When I hear small, I think short and 100-120 pounds on a slight frame. The men I train, and the men I deploy with carry rucksacks equal to your body weight and these are big strong boys and it’s hard for them at times, especially at altitude. We have also had females on objective with us. When we insert for an 8k(arbitrary number) offset, we constantly have to wait on them, and these women have actually been to an assessment which was vetted and validated and deemed adequate. Landing in hot LZ’s, I’ve seen them refuse to get off the bird or cry. We’ve had to cross-load their gear. While on the objective, some of them have been an asset in performing their duties, but in no other capacity are they a force multiplier for us. They have always been a limiting factor and special consideration must be taken for them that was never an issue prior to them being attached to the team. The other day I was on a USAF aircraft while a female loadmaster was getting a check ride (performance evaluation). She was “small” too. When it was time for her to pull certain items back inside the aircraft while in flight, she was unable to complete this task and had to be assisted by her male evaluator. If she had not had the assistance, that task would have not been completed. She still passed.

      Finally, in the name of debate I’ll pose these questions:

      Do you want to see women in the NFL? Grown men are now coming out and saying that it’s dangerous and are now suing the NFL because of concussions and lack of protection, etc. If the public outcry is so great right now, what about the first time a female wide receiver gets earholed by a 250 pound defensive back and is carted off the field?

      Female NHL players?

      Should females and male swimmers compete in an integrated swimming trial for the Olympics? If the qualifying time was kept to the highest standard, how many females would be standing on the podium in the end? Think of a percent.

      Men’s and women’s boxing. Not what we see on youtube, but professionally trained fighters in the same weight class.

      Mens and women’s Rugby (been playing for 12 years). Should All male teams compete against all female teams? It is the same, right?

      If I was married and my wife hit me with a closed fist or open hand, I can knock her out right? We are equal, correct?

      • Janedoe3182 says:

        To be perfectly frank, I don’t give s*** if there are females in professional sports alongside men. I am getting the impression that you think I’m some sort of feminist, and I assure you, I am not. I am the exception to the rule. The majority of women cannot perform to those standards. However, some of us have proven we can. I might only be 125 lbs. and like 2% body fat, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be held to the same physical standards as men.

      • OneA7 says:

        I’m another AF-er who doesn’t exactly photocopy things for a living. I can appreciate that people have concerns about smaller framed ladies but some of us aren’t built like that. I’m 5’9, 180, and am masochistic enough to enjoy long heavy-loaded ruck marches. I’ve been shot at enough to know that all it does is make me grit my teeth harder. I’m perfectly happy to send people to what ever god they’d prefer and I think some women are truly cut from a cloth that takes to combat and the infantry. I’ll take a .50cal with me anywhere, anyday. No one treats me as any different than one of the guys, and I expect nothing less.

    • dre2798 says:

      I agree with you with the lack of maturity. Our armed forces, nation, and culture are to immature, closed minded, and bigoted to allow many changes.
      I however believe that it should be addressed. The military has been where equality starts. Blacks were allowed to serve, before they were allowed to be served in many restaurants. The military is a place where women receive equal pay as others in their field. I also believe as it becomes more commonplace it’ll become less of an issue. If there is only 2 females on a COP with 200 soldiers. That could be an issue. If there’s 40 that have been training with the company, gone on the field rotations, they’ll be just one of the guys.

      • Blake says:

        Skin color and gender are not the same thing. Do not compare the two unless you want to degrade whatever point you’re attempting to make.

      • SilverfoxJTAC says:


        Thank you for the articulate response. You are clamoring for equality, but only equality for yourself, interesting. It’s not whether you care or not, it’s whether your position is or isn’t defensible. The fact that you have 2% body fat says a few things to me. A) You’re probably very fit and you’re a mesomorph for your gender. B) The fact that you have such low body fat content means your body has nothing to feed on. In an operation lasting more than 24 continuous hours, in which your ability to eat is limited and or a situation occurs where food is not available, your body will start to eat itself. Fat stores are actually essential. For a male, 7 percent body fat is ideal. For a female it’s somewhere around 18 percent. Professional body builders maintain body fat composition comparable to yours only while preparing for and during a competition. Afterwards, their body immediately begins packing on fat. Once your fat stores are depleted, your body will start attacking your muscle content. In anyone’s case, this is a very serious problem. The body does not digest muscle as well it puts a greater strain on the kidney’s, up to the point of rhabdomyolisis, etc. If all you have is muscle, you must constantly feed that muscle. Why do you think men at Ranger School actually fatten up prior to Ranger School?

        Furthermore, a PT test is a baseline estimation of fitness but does not measure true level of fitness. This is why the USMC has gone away from a traditional test and I believe the Army is doing the same thing. The PT test says (for a course such as Ranger School, SEALS, CCT/PJ/TACP), that you have ability to begin the course, but in no way is it saying that by passing the test you will pass the course. It’s an entrance standard not a qualification. Because you can almost score a 300 is by no means an indicator of your physical capability when climbing a mountain with 95 percent of your bodyweight on your back, reacting to an enemy threat. Let’s not forget that winter happens in countries like Afghanistan, North Korea and China, which will then carry with it even greater gear requirements and deplete the nutrients in your body at an even more escalated pace.

      • Janedoe3182 says:

        I am arguing not for equality, per se, but the opportunity to prove that not all females fall into the “average female” category. Further, I definitely agree that the Army PT test is in no way a very accurate assessment of physical fitness. But, many who have posted on this seem to feel that because most females cannot push the male standards that it justifies their argument. I was simply recounting my own scores to illustrate that is not always the case. And about this whole body fat issue: you are correct. It is almost appalling the sheer volume of food I consume. I always have plenty of POGie bait with me (which, on a side note, is convenient for all of us). Right now I’m about 2%, but I usually put on weight before extensive training missions or deployments. I might not be infantry, but I am a rare female in an infantry battalion with a needed MOS.

      • todd says:

        Maybe they should only receive equal pay if they pass equal tests, in all types of units, combat arms, combat support, and support.
        Maybe discipline issues on combat missions such as drinking or use of drugs, not following orders given by a superior b/c they are of a different sex/gender, contracting an STD, and/or getting pregnant (both father and mother equally guilty and equally punished), should get zero tolerance and receive bad conduct or dishonorable discharges. Maybe if treating such indiscipline so harshly reduces our personnel numbers too much, then we need to institute mandatory service. Not a draft, but mandatory service for all like Germany, Turkey, or Israel. I’m not gonna say women in the infantry could work or not, or whether it is a bad idea, or whether or not the US Govt should have approved giving it a try. It is too late for that, as this test is already pending, and I’m not smart enough and have not researched enough myself to make those calls. I am saying that our current all volunteer MIL force, both male and female, are generally not politician’s kids (or the kids of ultra-rich families who have a major influence on politics in US). BTW, thank you to the TINY number of politicians kids who do serve with us. If all US citizens had to do mandatory military (or civil) service, politicians kids would be represented in the MIL in a large of a per capita percentage as their constituents kids. If that had been the case, and each and every Governor, Senator, Congressperson, and President and Vice-President that had a child, had a daughter or son that was in the MIL, our politicians definitely would have been more careful with weighing the decision to try females in the combat arms jobs and units….

  41. Bryant Ward says:

    Okay allow it. But, they should also give men an equal chance when it comes to custody children. Just because she carries a child for 9 months doesn’t give her auto custody. Who was there for those 9 months? Who has a higher education? Who can do it without help from the governmet or child support? Agree on this and I believe others will agree on that.

  42. Joe says:

    Kevin, it’s been awhile since you posted about Amazons.

  43. Mike says:

    Ok, here it goes, my first post and prolly last post “sober” on this subject. This is a special weekend a weekend where i’m suppost to be remembering my fallen comrads that gave all… NON wich are women… Why are non of them women? BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELONG ON THE FRONT LINES… (To the 18 year FA Officer who welcomes woman into his ranks) Your FA shoot things from fare away, I welcome them to your unit as well, last time I checked FA WASN’T INFANTRY! Let me ask you something Sir, when was the last time you kicked in a door and had to react instantly (shoot the kid the woman or the man, if i shoot the man how will the other two react, will the woman hit the ground or charge me, do i shoot the man that is holding the child standing behind the woman, well the guy has a weapon and is using the other two as a shield thinking that the Most Highly trained AMERICAN FIGHTING FORCE WILL NOT SHOOT ME, well Sir, the answer to that question is, bust the door shoot the man, because UNITED STATES MARINE’S don’t miss in close quarters… We train day in and day out for this, or here u go, sitting on an OP nobody is to cross the bridge infront of you, your reaction to a small child holding a Pinaple grenade walking across what is now property of the United States of America, your reaction or thoughts on this matter? Here’s my reaction, it’s simple, all I would feel is recoil, what or how would a woman’s reaction be to this who is a mother?

    Now, things are not fair in this world, I want to play in the NFL, i’m just not talented in that way i’m only 178 lbs, and can’t catch a football to save my life.. Do I cry and sue the NFL? no…. I eccept that the NFL isn’t for me… Wait a second, I could play Pro Golf, nope not talented enough for that, should I sue the PGA? The point to this is, i’ll take a squad of INFANTRY MEN over a platoon of woman anyday, because with that squad I know i’ll have a Saw, and a 240 with full combat loads and a machine gunner who can do what he wants with the 240 including carry his own ammo if he looses his ammo guy…

    This whole ordeal will fail ragardless, why? Because Uncle Same is going to spend Millions possibly Billions trying to find even a platoon of women that think they can keep up and when they hit the fleet are gona get treated like crap. It’s just the way things are… An at that point, it would cause more headache because it would be more paper work then they barganed for… they would eventually be getting rid of all SR. leadership within the companies because they are still stuck on old school then new guys would have to step up without the knowledge of the Staff NCO’s and NCO’s that they just transfered or what have you. then the highly well trained Infantry we have today would go to [Edit]. This will be the domino effect of the Military… While we’re on this topic, I think i’m gona run for Prez… Women in the Infantry, Drunk in office, whats the difference… Wait I don’t think I can be the Prez, I don’t think i’m qualified… I’ll eccept that unlike some CANNOT eccept equal rights… All of you that think women in the Infantry is a good idea, kiss my [Edit] walk in our boots for a four year term and back track the time to 2003-2007 during the [Guerilla] Warfare when it was bad, and then talk to me about your thoughts, until then sit back shut up and leave good enough alone…

  44. Elizabeth says:

    Very well written and, in my opinion, right on point. The sad part is, the more our culture gets away from its Judeo-Christian roots, the more foolish and evil things we accept into our culture. This would just be one among many of the foolish things we have done.

    • Janedoe3182 says:

      Why does it have to be about your belief system? Not everyone holds the same things to be “true” as you do. It is more about people being afraid of change.

  45. Marie says:

    This is a load of complete bull, and is a horribly written article filled with logical fallacies such as anecdotal evidence, appeals to emotion, and outright non-facts.

    • mike says:

      lemme guess you can do everything an infantryman can right? ur one of them equal rites persons right.

    • SilverfoxJTAC says:

      Then please feel free to provide all the facts and data that supports the successful integration of women into combat MOS/AFSC’s. And no, not an isolated incident or event, but a study which shows successful long term integration. Don’t come to the table with complaints and no solutions. Wait, I forgot “load of complete bull” is measurable data/empirical evidence.

    • dillon says:

      Oh bug off ya ****ing pog. Your entire post was emotion based. How much experience do you have in the infantry?

  46. chris says:

    Good write-up, I personally serving in the infantry on my second tour and there are some guys that can’t cut it in afghanistan mostly the larger non-infantry mos’ that we take out on patrol. But I would like to witness a woman in the infantry, because she’ll be trying her best to stand out and out perform everyone within the ranks (so I hope). Then we can do away with all the sorry ass obesity and weak leadership that services allow to keep in.

  47. roger klein says:

    I served 13 years as a 31E (radiorepairman) in combat support. I wasn’t impressed by very many of the female soldiers. On company runs, out of 50 females in the company, you would be lucky to have 5 females complete a three mile run. Female mechanics couldn’t bust tires off of jeeps let alone duece and a halfs. Once a month our company would do a 10 mile road march with full kit, I recall maybe 2 females who completed those humps. I participated in the Nimegen march in Holland during 1982. Nimegan is a 100 mile course over 4 days with a minmum 35 pound alice pack, lbe, and weapon, no steel pot,kevlar vest, no ammo. Yet when training started for this event, there were 20 female soldiers who volunteered . After the first 2 weeks, the only female that was still there doing the daily 25 -30 mile humps was a female 2nd lt who didn’t actually march but road a bicycle and carried a pistol and no ruck. I’m talking about a support unit now, if the females couldn’t hack it in a support unit, what makes you think they could perform in a combat arms unit?

  48. Andre says:

    It’s funny how some of the same arguments were used to try to keep blacks out of combat MOS’s until WW2. Many are used against gays. It’s just fear of change. I can understand how 1 or 2 females in a unit can be disruptive. However when it get to 20 or 30 percent, they’ll be just like everyone else. We need to get rid of the Good ole boy mentality in combat arms. Actually practice the professionalism that we preach. A professional soldier should be able to work with anyone. As long as someone volunteers for the training and has the ability to complete it, there should be nothing holding them back. For this to work and to better our armed forces we need to enforce the professionalism standards, and ensure that the training will actually prepare one for combat. We are failing in that. With a combat unit there should be no exceptions. You pass your in, fail there are many other jobs. That should be for everyone.
    Being a medic in an infantry company, I was able to see the mentality constantly. Talks about POGs being useless. (Uh except for you DOC). The use against them attitude within the units separating the combat arms and non is counterproductive. It goes past pride in the MOS to a near bigotry separating combat arms and support. They had a rotation to our gunners and driver some rest and they got to take missions off. Mechanics, cooks, Intel, and signal guys were all tapped. Where I went out on every mission with my platoon and covered down on other platoons when there medics were on R&R. I’ve seen many Female medics complete the road marches as easily as the 11Bs. Carrying the same combat load plus their aid bags. If a female medic can do that. Why can’t she leave her aidbag cut down on the weight and just be a rifleman? My full combat load with medical equipment was about about the same as a SAW gunner with a standard load. During my training I trained a long side many females. There wasn’t wide spread pregnancy or excessive drama. It really was about the same amount of drama in this infantry unit. There were plenty of females that were better soldiers than the many of the grunts I deployed with. One of the best is now a guard medic. 84 push ups, 108 situps and 12 min 2 mile. At 24. She passed on every scale, male or female. She was 2 or 3 overall in the company. There were several other females that passed on every scale. Handled all the ruck marches. Most became medics. Guess what. Medics constantly go out the wire on missions. The missions support goes out on aren’t as cut and dry as kicking in a door. Surveying towns. Training Afghan army and police. KLE’s. Wait what where most of the causalities last year in Afghanistan result from? Afghan army and police turning their weapons on Nato forces. Suicide bombers in KLE’s. IED’s. Not too many from kicking in doors. These last two wars had no frontline. So there is no point in trying to keep women off it. Many FOBs get mortared. Rocket attacks on COPs ect.

    • majrod says:

      “However when it get to 20 or 30 percent, they’ll be just like everyone else.” Assuming (very dangerous) you’re right, women have served in great numbers since the 40’s and we’ve just reached 15% of the force and as we both know best case is 1 of a 100 women can meet the standards of the Infantry so it’s going to be a L O N G time before we see 20-30% female infantry units. About the same time we’ll have Starship Trooper power suits.

      BTW, women medics carrying the same load as the guys on road marches? Not talking vehicle road marches here. As for ruck marches, where, when, how far, the load and what unit? Sounds like you are talking basic training which is not the combat standard. Just not believable.

    • Eric Duckworth says:

      Here – here Andre. Good post.

    • able34bravo says:

      My platoon medic called everybody else POGs too. So did all of the other medics I’ve ever known that were assigned to line companies. So it would seem that you are the exception to the rule.

      I spent six years in aviation and four on the line, I did a deployment to Iraq with each, and I never met a woman who could do everything the men did. They were physically weak, and lacked the mental toughness that was needed. They never carried heavy weapons. They never carried ammo. They never carried their own rucks. They couldn’t set up their own tent. They couldn’t dig their own latrines. They couldn’t carry their own tools. They couldn’t unload the conexes. They couldn’t drive the vehicles because the gear shifts and steering wheels took too much effort to move. During my aviation deployment, 1/3 of the women got sent home because they were pregnant (and the fathers of the children got sent home too, leaving us even shorter handed).

      I oppose women in the infantry, not because I’m a bigot, or because I’m sexist. I oppose women in the infantry because based on my own experiences, it’s a bad idea.

    • todd says:

      Andre, I like all the points you made.
      It is interesting, however, that you wrote, “With a combat unit there should be no exceptions. You pass your in, fail there are many other jobs. That should be for everyone.”
      By that did you mean to suggest that both males and females should have to pass the same requirements? I have served in a support role in Iraq. I realize the mission would have been impossible without my support, but I know for sure my brothers and sisters in combat-support and my brothers in infantry/combat arms, sacrificed FAR more than I did as a support Soldier. Is is fair that females, because of different PT standards get more points for 50 pushups and a 15:00 minute run than males, and so get more promotion points? Is that equal pay for equal work? To keep things equal, women should absolutely be tested for acceptance into EVERY spot where men serve in the military, but unlike the current practice, this should be done using one standard, without prejudice. Female citizens get equal protection from the constitution, so they should give equal sacrifice to safeguard that constitution. Similarly, gay, straight, strong, weak, short, fat, skinny, young, old, faithful, atheist, highly intelligent and not so smart citizens, whether male or female, should all be tested in order sacrifice equally to protect our country in combat. The different standards for different ages should also be
      removed. Remove also different intelligence standards for different jobs and any difference of any sort in qualification and training standards between support, combat-support and combat-arms/infantry jobs and units. In 2010 we had over 308 million US citizens with over 1,315,000 in the MIL. That’s just over four tenths of a % in the US MIL. Less than half of 1% giving all the rest their freedoms!! We need to increase the intelligence standards for every MIL job to those of the most stringent MIL jobs, and the physical standards to those of the most elite combat units and test ALL members of every AGE and SEX equally for every single job class and type of unit from support to combat-arms. This should be done for initial acceptance and for all training. Only then would it truly be as you said above, which was a brilliant idea, so I’ll repeat it: “With a combat unit there should be no exceptions. You pass your in, fail there are many other jobs. That should be for everyone.”
      By being that strict in order to get the best force while being fair to all who serve, of course, we’ll end up weeding out too many applicants. Then we’ll have trouble finding enough MIL members. To cope with that, the USA needs to institute mandatory service. Not a draft, but mandatory service for all, like many countries such as Germany, Israel, Turkey, etc. That would cause the utra-rich citizens and politicians to be equally represented in the MIL, which would, in turn, solve this issue quickly. How many Rockerfellers, Fortune-500 Company owners, state governors, or US senators do you think would have their daughters going to war fighting in an infantry unit? Zero. To prove that answer, ask yourself how many of the elite group above even have sons that serve not in infantry/combat-arms units, but that even serve in the US MIL anywhere, even in support jobs?

  49. Josh. 24th meu- says:

    I was in the Marine corp, combat engineer , i have carried more womens [Edit] than my own througout my stint in the humps, the runs and the pysical test marines are put through on a daily basis and if you were in a unit with wm’s than you no what i’m talking about . every woman that i was ever around could never cut it with the rest of us, women always had to carry each other in firemans carriers through the woods, and any other team fittness exercise we did ,and they still would have to be waited on. and every unit i was with would always just pick up the slack for the WM,s. While i was in Iraq i remember going on patroles and check points and the heat and the stress and busting down doors, and not once do i remember being around any wm’s during that period because they were in the rear. do you know why because if i would have been shot or hurt a wm would not be able to pick me up and carry me to safety, people dont know what the marine corp is all about, most of the grunts i know are not the smartest people in the world anyway, but thier is one thing grunts are good at and that is being a grunt, they are killers that train day in and day out to do one thing and that is to win wars period. so why are we trying to soften the one thing that will never get tired, will never retreat and will never ever quit fighting, the one thing that makes the corp special than any other force on this earth. Love and respect women in and out of the military, was around some hard nosed ones in the corp, and some were just or more deticated to things than i was but never around one that could of put me over her shoulder and got me out of danger. and i was’nt even a ground pounder, i was an engineer… next thing you know their let women try and be recon. G.I. jane was a movie. and im sure all the grunts out thier are gonna love the comment above about smarts.. haha respect you all

  50. sir,
    i agree completly. I read through your post and some of your replies, but didnt see a health issue amoungst your bullets. We all know how “clean” we stay in country in remote OPs. Females do not have the luxury and in fact non regular showers can be the cause for serious health risks. As well as remote OPs and check-points having seperate birthing, bathrooms, and other accomidations needed for women is not just unreasonable but a logistical nightmare taking away precious time and effort from the real issue….. the well being, support, and security of the current troops, and the mission at hand! The fact that they are even considering this makes me seriously question the cognitive ability of the military leaders at this time.

    thanks for your time
    Justin Martinez former 3/2 3rd plt

    • Janedoe3182 says:

      There have been several occasions already in which females have been relegated to remote OPs without “proper” hygiene. The way war is in these modern times means that front lines are blurred, and that support personnel often find themselves in the midst of battles and odd missions. Women in the infantry would not be different in that regard.

      • GV says:

        Who, When, Where?
        My most recent deployment to Afghanistan we started with 3 females attached to our light infantry company. They were to be used to search or treat female Afghans should the need arise. By the end of 4 months downrange we got rid of all of them and swapped them all out for males in the same MOS. Why you may ask these women didn’t work out? Well one was a medic and she wanted nothing more than to be closer to her boyfriend at the big battalion FOB, she made up a rather interesting story about how crude the living conditions were, she also went as far as complaining to her chain of command about how senior NCOs made suggestive remarks towards her. An investigation (while we are trying to fight the enemy) was launched and no evidence to support her complaint was found. However we went ahead and transfered her to the big FOB b/c of the amount of disruption she caused. The other two were food service folks, and they now saw what the medic went through, and it appeared that she got exactly what she wanted including better living conditions and what do they do…….the exact same thing! From that point forward anytime battalion was interested in sending a female our way we told them to stop right there. We were burned three times by females using their sex as a way to get easy duty. I know other guys here have seen it time and time again.

        While the above is but my experience with this, I have to say there are women who can make it in the Infantry. However there are not very many, and I must say is it worth the hassle to find those few?

      • Janedoe3182 says:

        To answer your first query: me and a few of my fellow female soldiers in 2004-2005. It was not intentional, just the situation our unit was in. We made it through those conditions admirably. Subsequently, I’ve been in positions where I could prove I can hack it with the guys. It’s gained me the reputation as “one of the guys,” and more respected than some of the other female NCOs. However, I know (from witnessing similar things as you) that most females can’t hack it. In fact, it may prove to be an entirely too expensive an undertaking than the yielded results are worth. At the same time, cultural shifts have often taken place in the military, and it might be as simple as allowing only those females who have proven psychologically and physically able to begin training and more importantly who express a genuine interest in being an infantryman (not those who begin only with the intentions of trying to prove girls can do it too). Basically, I don’t believe we are ready as a culture to just jump into integration. If an experiment is to be attempted, it might be best if female soldiers who already have military experience, preferably with a combat arms bat, and who meet at least some of the physical requirements and possibly a psychological test are hand-picked for it.

  51. Mathew Plank says:

    WOW! A lot of history and every day facts are forgotten here, while making many valid points. First let me start with the fact that pregnancies may happen, but rapes of civilians, murder by male members of our armed forces happen, in otherwords bad things happen no matter what. Being a military brat and having lived in Alaska, worked in remote locations under hostile weather conditions, and having seen what happens on processor ships. Women is isolated, high tension areas work just as hard as the men do and there are “less” fights and problems when they are around than when its all male. Which takes me to history. Armies used to ahve wives and camp followers. The armies with these were far less likely to rape a conquered town than a all male army. Isreal is not a savage state but a modern kick-ass standing army state with women in combat roles for decades. Your points are valid, solidily presented but the complete. You also seem to lose sight of what a military is for, to fight the enemy. Your worried about marching. Its good to be in shape. The VAST majority of US troop deaths have been in vehicles because they are easier to hit than a solider hidign behind something looking for a target to shoot. Vechiles carry multiple targets and can be hit from a distance. War is changing. And as always we must change with it. We saw the last tank battle in Iraqi in the 90’s. We have totally changed out military vehicles are made and shaped to deal with improvished explosives. So many aspects of war are changing. Soldiers (inculding special forces) are coptered into a fight, then hike and fight. Women will probably never equal men’s physicall strength, but they can protect and kill as well as men.

  52. Jesse says:

    I think the vast majority of females are not cut out for the infantry. However, I don’t think they should be automatically banned for their sex, if they can prove to be just as capable as the men, both physically and mentally. As for the sex/romance drama, since gays are allowed to serve openly in the military now, isn’t that kinda a moot point?

    • Eric Duckworth says:

      Good one Jesse

    • Ben says:

      Jesse, I like your first point that if women are capable, let them serve. However, regarding the homosexual argument, there are far more men in the military who are attracted to women than men attracted to men. The gay population in the military is a small percentage. A quick Google search shows that only 2% of the military is gay, lesbian, or bisexual, which means roughly 98% are attracted to the opposite sex. So letting women serve in a male-dominated infantry where few men are gay would make quite a difference in interpersonal relationships, I would think. Also, wouldn’t an infusion of women in the infantry be a temptation to infidelity for those men who are married? What do you think?

  53. Joe says:

    I am a infantryman and have been one for 16 years. My first 4 years I spent in the Marines at C Co. 1bn 3rd MAR DIV. The last 12 years I have been serving in the Army deployed twice been a Drill Sergeant at Sand Hill and 2 years ago graduated Ranger school at the age of 33 (class 3-10). So I feel qualified to comment on this subject. Do women belong in the infantry? The short answer is no and here’s why. Aside from the obvious difference in gender the military requires that women must shower every 3
    days when in a field environment. This is not a reality in the infantry we go weeks and sometimes months without
    a shower when in the field. Men can carry more weight than women

  54. Joe says:

    I’ll try to get right to the point.
    1. Men on average can carry more weight than women. It’s genetic
    2. Men on average are stronger than women. It’s genetic
    3. The military requires women to take a shower every 3 days when in a field environment. Infantrymen can go weeks and sometimes even months without having an available shower. Some people may not agree but from the military stand point field hygiene is very important. The biological differences men and women require for hygiene just are not the same. Again genetic. These are only 3 examples. But lets say you can argue away the psychology of war and its effect and the aspect of hygiene there still remains the physical difference that men on average are stronger and can carry more weight than women. Try a simple experiment.

    Pick 2 men and 2 women. One who is considered “in shape” and the other one who is average (a score of 180 on the pt test) from both sexs all selections must be within the military height/weight ratio and selections should also be made based on the average height of males/females.

    Dress them in full battle rattle (substitute with weight if gear is not available but authenticity is preferred as it will deliver a more accurate result).

    Now for the test: Your battle buddy has been wounded and is unable to walk. You have provided first aid and stopped the bleeding however the soldier/marine must be evacuated or they will die from their wounds. Your casualty collection point is 100 meters away where your platoon sergeant is collecting your platoons casualties and preparing the MEDEVAC. You must get the wounded soldier to the CCP preferably without further injury and all the gear worn on his person (rucksack and assault pack are not a part of this) to include his weapon.

    You may only use the correct methods to move the casualty. The casualty cannot assit you in anyway and no one may help you either.

    Time the event. Test all possible ways to move a casualty. Everyone will struggle because of the weight.
    Who do you think will have the best average?

    About me. 16 years in the infantry my 1st 4 years in the marines and the last 12 in the army. I was a drill sergeant on sand hill and graduated Ranger school at the age of 33 (class 3-10).

    I do think that women will eventually fill infantry ranks however I don’t think it is a good idea. But I will soldier on and should I receive women in my platoon I will expect them to do everything the men do. No exceptions everyone treated the same.


  55. Aaron Eleven Bravo says:

    There is an argument that never really surfaces. Not the physical endurance, hygiene, male Soldier coming to save a wounded female Soldier or sexual intercourse issues, etc. I believe that as a society the majority would NOT tolerate enormous numbers (1,000’s-10,000’s+) of daughters, sisters or mothers returning home in body bags or horribly disfigured for life. As a notion we could never commit to or stomach a war of attrition. The war would be lost before it began, sadly men are more expendable.

    SSG, USA,
    Drill Sergeant-11B

  56. stu says:

    If any woman, or man, honestly believes all that “honor and brotherhood in war” crap that’s spewed out of movie dialogue and during basic training, and wants to join because of that, while also thinking it’s the greatest challenge and most prestigious MOS , should be allowed to enlist in the infantry. I served with men in the infantry who had ASVAB Waivers (22 was the lowest score I encountered). I watched others fail PT tests and get pushed through regardless. I was selected to go to the board for Honor Grad of basic and some soldier (who had a special forces contract) gave his notes and books, that only he was allowed to have because he was going to selections, to another soldier from another platoon also selected for the board, because he was mad that he was not the “PG” and I was (for 9 weeks). My 17 year old “battle buddy”, thorn in my side, from basic, followed me to my unit, where him and three others were hit by a semi -truck a week before deployment because they did a bunch of drugs and fell asleep while driving. While deployed I watched as my sergeant used our saw gunner’s shoulder as a platform for his rifle as he pushed him forward in a “firefight”. That saw gunner however ended up proving to be the worst soldier in the history of the m249, failing to meet physical fitness standards and even loading his ammo in the SAW the wrong way during that firefight. To top it all off, he kicked off the firefight when he turned a corner of a building and stood face to face with three insurgents. When he pulled the trigger of his weapon, it failed to fire because he forgot to lock the bolt back. Another sergeant during a firefight turned to his soldiers and asked “what do we do?” Some specialist, who worked side by side by a sergeant who refused to go outside the wire to live on our patrol base after being injured in an attack, was kicked out for masturbating at his post. Not to mention he worked at the CP because, on his last deployment, he blew a couple fingers off and shredded half his face to hell when he tried to fix a jammed Bradley with a hammer and the tank round exploded. When we returned to the states my lieutenant disappeared one day. Come to find out, the Ranger tab he wore throughout our tour in Iraq, which he bragged about, was not really earned. He failed to complete ranger school and was sent to lead us, where he lied about getting the tab. I could go on and on, but it’s getting redundant. Women probably could do worse, but most of them would probably suck just as hard as the majority of the men I served with. Let’s also be real, we all know most of us enlisted 50% of the time just pulled guard, provided security, and did crummy details for other MOS’s while deployed. I wouldn’t mind women taking over that aspect of the job. The only reason I’m leaving a comment on here is because the very SAW gunner that nearly got us killed over in Iraq posted this article on Facebook and started bragging about his service (he was in country for about 5 months). If you can relate, you’re being honest. If you don’t, you’re probably in denial and maybe you’re one of these few, proud, individuals I described. If women want to join “the suck”, by all means go ahead. Pretty dumb if you ask me.

  57. Kija Korowicki says:

    I don’t even know where to begin. There are so many ignorant statements that it is impossible to even start. But I will try….
    Physiology—a team is made up of several individuals and it’s the goal of the leader to divide those responsibilties to those most capable. When does sex have anything to do with the equation? I’ve seen just as many males that can’t pull their weight. And quite frankly, as a leader if you are judging individuals based on sex, race, or any other descriptor—you are not a leader.
    Sex–this is by far my favorite part of your anecdotal, opinion on females in the infantry piece. Since when is it good order and discipline when the soldier, airman, sailor or marine can’t even focus on the task at hand? If the unit has good order and discipline then nothing will distract a professional force from completing the mission. Using the logic in your statements, as the enemy I would throw sexual temptation at your unit consistently because it is apparently a weakness.
    Psychology–really? You are using religion and Victorian time period as the reason women can’t fight in wars? No parent wants a child to die in a far away land. And every child deserves both parents but do you really have such little faith in men to be a good parent?
    Women want to be treated as equals; given the same opportunity.
    This sounds to me like pure fear. What are you afraid of? Becoming a professional military force that competes on ability? Not me. I hope that happens…I can’t believe in this day and age we are still having this conversation.

    • Eric Duckworth says:

      Concur with all. However, if a singular standard of performance is finally decided upon, the net result will cut a large swath of females from the ranks, but you will have a leaner, more capable force for it. So be potentially prepared for a net loss in quantity of women in the service to realize pinpoint gains in quality. Not a bad thing.

      • Nate says:

        I have followed with interest the comment chain to my original post. On subjects such as this, which are controversial and complex, I usually wait until after I observe the news media botch the coverage to share my professional opinion and recommendation. Like you, if I was an active duty officer I would make recommendations to my chain of command if solicited, then loyally and professionally implement orders to the best of my ability.

        I remain opposed to women in the infantry, but greatly appreciate your professional and respectful treatment of a countervailing view. This was precisely the dialogue and educational process that I wished to promote by addressing such a divisive and emotionally charged subject.

      • Eric Duckworth says:

        Nate – I – I’ve appreciated the forum. Most places are self licking ice cream cones where prevailing views perpetuate themselves (either for or against). In this blog you’ve seemed t o have been able to bring together open debate/dialogue from both sides, and from (on the whole)people who have sufficient stake and experience to have an informed opinions from multiple perspectives. For me it comes down to meritocracy and readiness – just give me great, disciplined, capable Soldiers. I see gender prohibitions (as well as separate standards) as an artificial obstacle to building a better force.

  58. Dirt says:

    I was intel and a helicopter mech in the marines once apon a time ago.. Since I was a pog it was always co-Ed units.. I’ve seen women get prego just to get out of an Okinawa udp.. Tell me, if I have a male and female squad leader.. And they both end up hooking up.. Which one will I lose due to pregnancy?? So we spend all this time training a squad to get down in afghanistan, only to lose a squad leader due to pregnancy.. Now I’m an airborne infantry sniper for the army.. Airborne school was coed.. We started with 28 females in my class.. Graduated 2.. They couldn’t keep up with the 9 minute mile pace during formation runs.. I’ll be honest.. I could care less as a platoon sergeant in an infantry line company if I get female grunts.. But I will not lower the standards for my soldiers because we have a female.. I refuse to make anyone carry extra weight for a weak link.. If I have a male that falls out, I make him ruck heavier just to make him strong.. I will do the same for a female.. I can already tell you that I’m going to have Ig complaints and eo complaints against me for being hard on them.. But it will be no different than I already am with men.. Infantry leaders don’t lower standards for me.. I dont want that to change.. You want equal opportunities? Do things at equal standards..

    • DJA says:

      that’s a load of bullshit. I am a female who attended airborne school, the majority of drops, PT or non-PT were all male. Females were held to the same standard, and yes there were some drops female as well, but that’s because male or female, they phyisically sucked and didn’t have it in them. Then there were others like me and my stickmate who ran circles around most of the men on the PT test. We did mound duty and caught 200 lb NCO’s at the bottom of the 30ft tower just like everyone else. I’ll agree, equal standards, but don’t go making up things about “all women can’t run a 9 minute mile”.

      • The standards for Airborne school were lowered. When the washout rate is too high, the standards will be lowered, if that is not already part of the OPORD coming from Panetta.

        Airborne school was an absolute joke compared to the Special Forces Qualification Course, Special Operations Preparation and Conditioning, and Infantry Basic Training. Airborne School was not physically taxing, and I would not recommend using that as an example if you intend on convincing anyone that these policy changes will yield positive results.

        The standards will change, morale will suffer. That is all part of the plan.

      • WarriorMedic says:

        The Q course doesn’t lower their standards when the washout rats rise to get the best of the best. Few men make it who are in the best shape of their life. Airborne school isn’t the same as infantry school either I agree

      • WarriorMedic says:

        Same height to weight ratios and body fat % and identical PT standards with REAL pushups which will wash out the weak of both genders

      • Ben says:

        Uhhh.. sorry DJA but you weren’t held to the same standard. Women took the PT test on the women’s scale and men on the men’s scale. When I went through airborne in 2009 the runs were pitifully slow because the women kept falling out. Though we had some spectacularly bad women in that class.

        That being said, there are some crazy incredible women out there. When I was in the career course there was a woman who was running hill repetitions with a 75lb sandbag more than about 50% of her competitors. She went on to go and get her pathfinder badge. I’d love to have women like her in my infantry unit, unfortunately, they make up abot 1.5% of the women i’ve been in contact with. Shrug.

  59. john says:

    This is all well and good and expected. I’d like to know, though, why we can’t just admit that the net effect of war is the death of a bunch of men and the reallocation of resources. Also, why can’t we just save ourselves the bother by getting along with each other and having many more female babies than males by means of contraceptives (which, duh, we already have). I’m convinced that we’d all be a lot happier.

  60. Hello Mike,
    This is a well-written post. I graduated from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA last year, which is right up the road from VMI. I was a cadet in the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, the only all female corps of cadets in the world. Our nULLs (first years, like your rats) and upperclass women on the commissioning track attend Field Training Exercises, control days and ROTC classes with VMI cadets. We receive a lot of bad mouthing and stares from Keydets, and I’m not going to lie, much of it is justified. There are fundamental differences when it comes to physical strength between the genders as a whole, but there were are always a few VWIL cadets who keep up with the males and earn a lot of respect. Granted they are not going into the infantry, but like you said, they belong in the military.
    The highest ranking and most respected VWIL cadet in my graduating class was Jasmin Bailey. She attended a military high school and contracted with the Army during her sophomore year of college. Unfortunately during LDAC training between her junior and senior year, she began going blind. She was dropped from the Army two weeks before her commissioning date and was denied workman’s compensation, as the cause of her illness has yet to be determined almost two years later. Her disease continues to progress and she has little resources at her disposal with which to combat her illness. If any female deserved to serve her country it was Jasmin. She has even said that if her vision loss is diagnosed and restored, she will do everything she can to rejoin and serve. Please read Jasmin’s story: http://myfriendjasmin.wordpress.com/about/

  61. RLTW says:

    SEX SEX SEX SEX SEX: That is what it really come down to. I am in Afghanistan right now and on my way through Manass there was a Marine Corps Aviation unit traveling through as well (obviously along with all other units in theater) any ways three of the female Lt.s were hot. I mean in that hot, athletic, best looking girl on the soccer team way. If you put one of them in my infantry unit forget about it. We would all act like f’ing gorillas in their presence and be willing to bayonet our best friend for a shot at them. Mind you, we are a pretty disciplined unit here. That is my half serious point to this argument (but all of you guys know it’s the truth)
    My serious argument is what if our military ever entered a conflict like Vietnam and standards went down the toilet? What if your daughter was drafted into an infantry unit half filled with individuals who were drafted or a had a serious character waiver? We can not say for certain that will never happen again. Hell, how many power point presentations do we receive on sexual assault right now and we are a pretty good force presently! Bad idea, poorly thought out, and just plain dumb. You show me a hot 18 pvt. and a highly disciplined, hard charging, great career, everything to lose male soldier and I guarantee the gorilla DNA wins that battle every time. To all my brothers (and sisters) out there on the front lines God bless.

  62. Mike Martel says:

    As a former Infantryman and Special Forces Green Beret, I agree with the points of the article. I do know of women who are in better physical shape than a lot of men. However they are the exception to the rule. Even then, women are at major disadvantages when it comes to pure physical power. It is an unfortunate fact that no matter how many physical defense classes a woman takes, if she goes up against a man that outweighs her by fifty pounds, she is in deep trouble.
    The political side of this is that there will not be the same standards across the board for men and women. As Nate points out, the average woman would not be able to make the same standard for men. So the choice is to either have separate standards or lower the standard. Both impact our ability to close with and destroy the enemy.

  63. Bryan says:

    We are lost.

  64. Erin says:

    As a woman I support women in the Military. ESPECIALLY the Marine Corps…Mad respect. However not going to sugar cote anything, This is a “TRIAL” run and therefore all those saying WOMEN CAN DO IT YALL ARE BIASED you have NO concrete proof that this program is effective and successful. I feel that I should point out the genders are different in many ways and it doesnt matter how much you argue in defense for women the truth is WOMEN are more prone to infections….combat ops require the Marines and Soldiers to be at their best both health wise and emotional wise. As well as physical strength. It doesnt matter how you split it the women who would qualify for these positions would lack in some area essential to the position. Whether it is muscle, endurance, speed, psych, or command. I support and respect women but I dont support or try to defend something that clearly is ignorent thinking. A woman is incapable of shutting down emotions and completing the task at hand it doesnt matter what you say at some point any woman can not handle that. At least those who mentally are cleared for that line of duty. It can be argued that if they make it through training they can do the job and be in combat. THAT again is very questionable. I have never ever been in combat but NOTHING that you train for completely prepares you for a war zone and full on combat. This program wont last. If it does last they will modify it to something close to an Infantry position. I believe a portion of the reasoning behind this program was to EXPLORE the option and please the people who keep pressing the issue. When a program ends up with less of a success rate than applicants and the numbers continue to decrease they cut funding and do away with the program. COMMEN SENSE. Women should not be allowed to be in Infantry Combat Jobs and it has nothing to do with discriminating it has everything to do with the safety and success of the Marines and Soldiers and the success in the execution of operations.

  65. l says:


    Please consider the audience who really needs to hear this….those on the fence, or for women in combat arms.

    At some points your article delved into the trite and facetious. While this makes for a good rant-read for those of us who already agree with you, in others it’ll cause a shutdown of the cerebral cortex and the value of your logic is lost.

    “With. A. Tank.”, among other things.

  66. Sean says:

    If females cannot complete a simple ruck march with 70lbs on their backs then indeed they should not be allowed in the infantry. But Marine Basic ruck march is weak. 10 miles? Really? We had to do 12 miles for the Army Expert Field Medical Badge and we had at least three females finish – with a full combat load (including M16, weighted ammo clips, and IBA…) – and by the regs they weren’t allowed to be helped at all (or they wouldn’t earn the coveted EFMB).

  67. Pingback: On Women in Combat Part 4 – Lawsuits Against Reality « The Patriot Perspective

  68. Scott says:

    I’ll make this short and to the point.

    1. Infantry officers are not qualified to talk about the “grueling” lifestyles they have lived as infantry personnel. Yes, infantry officers have it a lot worse than other officers as far as living conditions, but not nearly as bad as any NCO or lower in the infantry.

    2. Being part of an infantry battalion, training battalion, or anything similar does not make you infantry.

    3. My personal view is that I don’t care who serves in the infantry as long as the standards are not relaxed for them.

  69. Panther Pete!!!!!! I am married to an infantryman here in the BEST DAMN DIVISION!!! I want to shake your hand!!! Well said and well received. I can only post this… Due to my hate regarding this nonsense I cannot post my opinion. All I can say is, the day this happens will be the day my husband goes AWOL. I will see to that. 🙂

  70. Andrew says:

    “An infant without a mother cannot be equally succored by a father, in spite of a love that runs just as deep.”



  71. Pingback: Women in the infantry/Ranger school - Page 3 - Debates - MilitarySOS.com

  72. Joseph says:

    I would love to see a paper written about how women would be better at infantry than the men. That would be something to read. If the military created an all female infantry platoon and trained them to be some of the most elite silent professionals, and gave them deadly missions to complete in the remote areas of the world. If they came back and wrote a book, i would totally buy it. And probably the SI issue they appeared in.

  73. OldCrusty says:

    You want two PT standards? Fine, I agree, but not a male/female standard. There should be a combat PT standard and a non-combat PT standard plain and simple. Bottom line, I don’t give a rats [EDIT] what gender the grunt in my hole is, as long as he/she/it can throw my bullet riddled carcase over his/her/it’s shoulder and run me a 100 yards to safety. If your burly enough to do that, welcome to the brotherhood. Of course that standard cuts both ways. If your pansy [EDIT] can’t haul me out of the suck, then you got no business in my hole. So all you x-box hero wanna-bees that can’t bring the hurt to the red in the real, all you 95lb bean poles and fat, fat, fatties, take it from old crusty, you belong in the rear with the gear. And as for the problem of grunts [EDIT] each other on duty, you just send them on home with the ultimate STD, a little something called the dishonorable discharge. Listen up, this is a serious business, for serious people. There’s just no room on the tip of the spear for players or posers. That’s the standard. You don’t like it, go pound sand.

  74. todd says:

    Having served in combat in an Army Military Police Unit (Co-ed) in Iraq, and having read all arguments above, as well as discussing this many times over the years with fellow Soldiers (and Marines), both male and female, I recognize many pros and cons to female combat infantry service 9far more cons than pros). I do think it may be possible for females to perform infantry combat duty, BUT, I believe absolutely, unequivocally, without any doubts whatsoever, that these units must NOT be Co-ed. In order to be successful, females in the infantry must serve in 100% FEMALE ONLY elements, and likewise, men in the infantry must serve in units with ONLY MALE members.

  75. todd says:

    Old Crusty makes a great suggestion. As a solution to the proven serious problem of sexual relationships between male and female Soldiers in combat, ALL offenders should be processed out of the military with BAD CONDUCT DISCHARGES or DISHONORABLE DISCHARGES. Troops should get a serious letter of reprimand or judicial punishment if caught for a little
    “hooking-up” for sure. However, if any military member, whether they male or female, has combat zone sex, whether the act in question is heterosexual or homosexual, and their actions result in an STD or pregnancy which prevents them from performing their duties and forces their battle-buddies to do extra work to cover their shift, the offenders should be released from active duty with a DISHONORABLE DISCHARGE.

  76. I am 11B Infantry…2 deployments, 05-06 Iraq(Habbaniyah) 11-12 Afghanistan(Combat Outpost Fortitude, Imaam Sahib)
    First, there are some woman that can handle themselves better, and are more squared away, than some current infantrymen. So I am not discriminating against their abilities. Now, Lets state obvious reasons, or should I say the “not so f***ing sugar coated ones”
    1) They have vaginas that will require special bathing privileges. Infantry gets dirty.
    2) There are current rules that require men to “watch their language and subject nature” when speaking around woman. Those rules would have to be abolished, cause all the infantry does is talk sh*t about each other, and everyone. So woman would have to be able to take all of that. And the fact that you are a woman makes it easy to come up with some classic fu**ing jokes, trust me.
    3) Regarding the “good ole boy” system and evaluations, well, we would have the new addition, the “good ole f**k buddy system”..
    4) Time to play ” Who is the daddy” cause chances are, it has to be one of the 7 dudes she was screwing. So, more government spending on DNA test, and guess what troop, you were on the list of suspected possible “motherfu**ers”
    5) Pregnancy, duhhhh
    6) Condoms standard issue
    7) So many would pull the sexual harassment card.
    8) Did I mention all the special privileges afforded to females would have to be abolished, meaning they actually would have to be created equal.
    9) I can go all day… add one if you have it.
    It would just be a big distraction and infantry wives would go nuts and kill many. I would not stand for it, and neither would alot of other troops. I can see it now, demotivational posters….
    INFANTRY: So easy a woman can do it….

    • ProudAirForceWoman says:

      Oh you are so cool, I could never keep up, Yawn
      INFANTRY: So easy a woman can do it…. Lol, how cute you got a little comedy skills.
      Numbrer 4. Is hilarious, who is going to stand in for Maury P? 2nd lieutenant? Nice try.

  77. Robert McIsaac says:

    When women have to pass the exact same physical requirements as men, not a softened down or dummied down physical, then they should be allowed in the military. But in infantry or any combat arms – NO! and the trial or tests done by the military to see if women can serve are meaningless because it’s poisoned by political correctness and Anto-American Anti-Male bias. Awards and medals are given out with the same bias also. That along with the radical homosexualization of the military is chasing qualified people out of the service and turning away new recruits. The liberals want to remove the “warrior mentality” from the military and until the American people realise this imminent danger the country is getting set up for a huge collapse. War isn’t nice or politically correct so get the F¥€k over it.

  78. Cassie says:

    As a Female going into the Marines, I quite agree, women shouldn’t be allowed in infantry. I honestly think that most women, including myself, don’t have the mentality that Males have to be in Infantry, nor the physical strength. I’m not putting myself or other females down, I just agree that Females are a lot different from Males. And there could be issues with having both sexes close together like that because whose to say one won’t give into another sexual advance, as well. Women weren’t made to handle a war situation like what we have had in the past.

  79. jennifer heinemann says:

    As a female veteran, I have to agree that while women do have a place in the military, it is NOT in the infantry. We are not designed to conduct ourselves in the specific manner that is required to execute a full mission, especially not for a full year of deployment. Out of about 20 females, I was the only one that could keep her legs closed and her pretty teeth in her face. We had 3 pregnancies in the company. We have periods. We complain. We ruin the comraderie between male soldiers by changing their focus and “ecology.” I am all for “woman’s rights,” but we must know our place and be proud of it. There is no shame in admitting that the infantry is a craft of men.

    • I’m so sad that that’s what you think. Your place was anywhere you wanted to be. 100 years ago they would’ve said your place was In the kitchen. There is no woman design! All women don’t complain about hardship just you and some of the people you know.

      • Cindy Adams says:

        Jennifer was speaking about things she observed while she was there – the every day realities, rather than some fantasy image you have in your head about the way things should be instead of what they actually are. She lived it up close every day, you did not, so why dismiss it with a snotty comment? Her comment about “we complain” was about women in general, not herself – because let me assure you, I have known this woman for many years, and she is no complainer. She has been through some really tough situations both in the military and in civilian life, and she is damn tough and strong. So how about you make some intelligent comments instead of throwing out insults?

  80. Steve says:

    Thank you for this extremely intelligent, well-articulated piece. As the father of a West Point cadet, I really appreciate your perspective on this issue. My son has already had to contend with those who unthinkingly tow the “party line” that says men and women are the same, and should be treated as such – nonsense! I have the utmost respect for my wife and all women, yet I recognize that we are different; equipped for different purposes and tasks in life. That is something that should be celebrated, not despised!

  81. Scott says:

    Extremely misogynist article utilizing arguments made for centuries to ban women from every facet of life outside the domestic. Physiological differences prevent women from effectively contributing to the infantry? Just like women’s “physiological differences” prevented them from effectively contributing to intellectual society for centuries. This is a condescending and patriarchal argument that is no longer accepted in excluding women from participating in civil society, extending to the military. Obviously the many of women will be physically unequal to their male counterparts, but in a country of 300 million people, half of them women, you truly believe that there are no women fit to serve alongside the ‘grunts’? Millions of American women are exceptionally physically fit as well as built naturally in order to achieve this level of fitness. To exclude them, as a rule, because of their sex is absolutely absurd and excessively sexist.
    Your next argument is so deeply misogynist I barely know where to begin. Sex. You imply that the fault and responsibility is on a woman for any sexual tension, because merely her presence entails the breakdown of male camaraderie and sparks high school-like antics. This is the same argument used in Sharia law for enforcing the burqa. This is the exact argument used in victim blaming in the case of rape because “she asked for it”. A man cannot control himself – so we must oppress our women “to protect them”. Do not bring women into the infantry because they will necessarily distract the men with their sex? The implicit argument here is that men do not posses self control to resist the wiles of their female peers. If infantry men are lacking the basic discipline to control their actions around a women how can he claim to have the self control to do his duty when faced with the terrors of war? Having an extra X chromosome next to you in combat is much more trying, I guess. Cover the women up, keep them out of view, and if they so happen to be seen, blame them for any unprofessional actions taken by the men around them. I guess the same holds true for gay men in the army. I assume from your argument you were equally astonished when DODT was repealed. Those guys are so much drama, right? So deny them the chance to fight for their own country too.
    Psychology; women do not belong in the dual spheres of society, everyone knows they have their own gender role and should not impose on the men’s side of things. Exact argument spanning the 20th century in the effort to gain suffrage, participate in the workforce, and have equal opportunities to do so. Just another extension of the extreme conservative prejudice in confining women to their “proper” domestic sphere. Great insight buddy. It is not widely accepted, regardless of religious affiliation, that women have their proper role. If you had any insight on the state of “social reform” you would recognize that gender is a constructed ideal, cultivated through the centuries by violent oppression of women. To require a woman to adhere to strict gender norms because she has a vagina is so outdated it would be laughable if it wasn’t so disturbing that you sincerely believe that.
    A woman choses to join the army. She knows what it entails. The horrors of combat are just that, unfair and extremely difficult for any human being. Why deny the choice of a woman to do for her country what millions of men are too afraid or unable to do? If she is unfit, that is for the army to weed her out in the process of training. But to deny, right off the bat, the opportunity to prove herself in the same vein of Joan of Arc or the Amazons, is to oppress her in the oldest and most basic form of patriarchy.
    I respect you for expressing your views, but I hope you can one day recognize the inherent misogyny in your mindset and work to enlighten, if anything, the arguments you use in denying a woman’s right to fight for her country.

    • That was one really long ad hominem attack.

      Bottom line: standards will be gender normed and eventually lowered to increase the success rate of women making it through combat arms training pipelines. It happened in Airborne and Air Assault school. Morale will suffer, which is the intent for those who desire this change and actually understand what the results will be.

      You argue that the author and others (like myself) who have served in a combat arms capacity and disagree with these policy changes are intellectually dishonest. You don’t respect us or anyone else who do not agree with your uninformed assessment of the realities of these policies. Serving in the United States military is NOT a right, and many are simply not qualified because the standards are high for a reason. The standards for females (and likely males) WILL lower when the social engineers behind these policies realize that the success rate is statistically irrelevant.

      Lower standards and lower morale IS THE INTENT and you are a pawn for that purpose.

    • Nate says:


      Naturally, my reaction to your arguments is an impulse to respond in detail, pointing out where your reasoning is influenced by emotion rather than reality. Upon reflection, I won’t do that. I respect your passionate views on the subject but firmly disagree with your conclusions. For you, I think, any position that bars women from any role or function in society is inherently misogynistic. Labeling me a “woman hater” probably feels good, but it is wrong. People who love and respect women can have the view that I do, just as women who love and respect men can have the opposite view. I am sorry that you feel my opinion is a denunciation of the value of women in general, rather than a position on a difficult subject that is based on years of firsthand experience. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.

    • I was going to say something about gay men too!

  82. Travis Webb says:

    I love this. A very politically correct and rational point of view and it is 110% accurate. Civilians don’t get it, America has become so hell bent on equality and it will cause our demise and it is upsetting to say what our forefathers fought and died for, slaved and debated is slowly being undone. It breaks my heart and it sorrows the gallows of my soul and pride to see it. They will never understand, and a voice like yours should be echoing through congress not a privileged “educated” descendant of men that claim “they know what’s best”. You are what we need leading this country and about 300 more you and some blue collar working men along with veterans who know from personal experience that when bullets fly, politics go out the window and it becomes survival and keeping your fellow soldiers and marines safe. I served in the Army Infantry, I did not see combat but I saw the result and any good soldier was once a marine.

  83. Take it from a woman in the military-Women do not belong in the Infantry, friends. That’s like some guy b*tching that he can’t use the Ladie’s Room. You wanna be a bad-ass, find somewhere else to prove yourself. There’s plenty of opportunities in the military to do just that….PT, for one! It’s so easy for people to be all liberal and tolerant when they haven’t been there.

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  85. As a black progressive entering the Navy can I just say Man this is bull****. The only problem with women in the military is the bull**** gender norming. If they can’t get up to snuff they can’t get in man or woman. A uniform standard for entry into every branch/service would end this debate. Gender norming is low key sexism anyway. If the women can meet the same standard as men to enter the military they should be able to enlist. If they can meet the same standard as men to enter the infantry then they should be able to enlist. To address the original article directly:
    Your argument is valid. As Marine 2nd Lt. Sage Santangelo says the problem is that there is a different standard for women from the time they enter the military. She’s a Marine who failed the infantry officer course. While she was in shape to become a Marine (gender normed) she was not fit enough to become an Infantry Officer. That’s largely because she wasn’t as prepared as her men counterparts not less fit than them. Upon entering the military the women who couldn’t complete the hikes from the officer’s course that you were in shouldn’t have been able to pass the school. Period. Gender norming screwed them all. And it screws the readiness of our nation.
    Your point is completely invalid. Those Marines and female sailors made bad decisions. Its like deciding to go AWOL. Any soldier (enlisted/officer) worth a damn should be able to overcome their instincts. They do it all the time in running toward conflict instead of away.
    GTFOH No soldier is “ready” to see comrades-in-arms blown up at all. Male or female. Period. There is no natural separation of responsibility. It’s social. The role of anyone is determined by the culture they live in. And in America we have one that says that women aren’t equal to men. Which is the problem that all those so called “armchair feminists” and “social reformers” want to change. Just think, it used to be that black men couldn’t enter the service because they were unequal to white men. The opinion will change on this and people like you will be on the wrong side of history. Think about Suffrage. It came first to all white men, black men, then to women. Just like the being the president.
    Any Marine/Soldier/Seaman/Airman who wouldn’t follow the orders of a woman should be court martialed.

  86. Johnm says:

    Know what? A woman does not need to be in the military to help the men at arms. A wife is motivation… To wish to come home to her and protect her. Oh, and I for one will not join the military under ANY circumstances until all the female soldiers are either dead or have left. It may sound harsh, but there is no use in joining something you have absolutely no will to do. Also, say another world war breaks out. How would they decide who fights and who stays back and takes care of the country? They can’t just send the men, the women would feel “un-equal”. They can’t give the women a choise and make the men go or vice-versa, as that would be “un-equal” as well. And they DEFINATLY can’t send all the young people. And if everyone had a choise, our army would be small. Now THERES a dilemma for you.

  87. One of the best articles I’ve read on the subject! Using some quotes from it for my research paper. As a former Marine SNCO (and a woman), this pretty much lays out how I feel to the “T”. Kudos!

  88. LadyArchitect says:

    As a Lady who works in the male dominated construction industry, I only have one comment. I celebrate the fact that God created me with weaker but not inferior physical attributes. I draw the line hear. I dont have to proove myself by joining the infantry, or even the military. I was not created for that. I gladly choose to leave all combat issues to the guys, it is not my God given duty. Let the men rough it out, but I will support in any other women friendly options, no combat…

    • LadyArchitect says:

      Very very interesting book review on the same topic… Pentagon insider Robert L. Maginnis exposes the cold truth behind this contentious topic, debunking barefaced myths about “gender equality” in combat situations in his new book- “Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat.”http://superstore.wnd.com/books/Deadly-Consequences-How-Cowards-are-Pushing-Women-into-Combat-Hardcover

  89. During my last position in the IDF before retirement I used to be on charge of studying female soldiers integration into combat roles.
    performed some research on that, including aforementioned Caracal unit and field reconnaissance unit, artillery, pilots and others.
    my conclusion – women do not belong in the infantry!
    even between the males not everyone can march with loads and perform all the physical tasks required, so we expell them, right?
    how many women are able to meet the same standarts? very few.
    you can find probably 1-2 gals maximum meeting the requirements, not worth the effort.
    in Israeli Caracal and field reconnaissance units there are different standarts for guys and gals!
    actually, guys often serve as porters for the girls!
    is that what the army wants?
    and that is during the training.
    less height, less weight, less muscle mass and endurance, more prone to heat exaustion (potentially lethal condition),
    on their actual service place the girls are doing well, patrolling the border, repelling terrorist attaks and killing terrorists demonstrating remarkably good marksmanship, but they are using vehicles, mostly jeeps for that and that is not infantry.
    apart from that – don’t think there is any problem with female integration.
    pregnancies are very few, the girls are given contraceptives, good morale and discipline are better achieved with 50/50 boys/girlg ratio, so no fights and no dramas.
    but todays infantrymen’s profession is to carry loads and only then to run to the fight and that is not feasible for most women until powered exoskeletons or another solutions are developed.

  90. Nick says:

    Women have the same right to fight and die for America as men. Women belong in front-line combat.

    We’re a secular nation, so all you judeo-christians can go to your imaginary hell with your roots and gentle-sex fantasies.

    It sure feels good to know that you and your conservative values are losing the hearts and minds of America by every day that goes by, and that in 20 years from now female infantrymen will be a natural part of of the US Army.

    Heck, I don’t need to debate you anymore than the Allies had to worry about defeating the Germans in the beginning of May 1945. Have a good one.

  91. Banana says:

    American women are American, the fact that they are women doesn’t change that. In being American the right to protect this country is a given. I’m ashamed to know that there are still tards who would dream of suggesting otherwise. We all live in a nation that prides itself in its equality, yet half of the people in it are saying that women shouldn’t even get the chance to try; if they anyone wants to, then why stop them. Wake up, we live in 2015, we have established that women are equal to men, so stop acting as if they are subordinate.
    Also, homosexual relationships exist as well. And in case you’ve forgotten it’s legal now.

    • Chris K says:

      I have no problem with women dying in combat, I really don’t get the argument. If a woman want’s to have the same rights as everyone else let her. Just don’t come a crying if you fall on your face or when someone starts shooting bullets, this equal rights thing brings with it no sympathy towards the plight of women. Let women have all the fighting they want and then some.

  92. H. Stern says:

    Trolling the internet. Too many comments to read and to respond too.
    This is an old debate, can women be a fireman/policeman! Yes, of course they can. Gender has nothing to do with serving in the infantry! Have you seen some of the women on Camp Lejuene? They can do more pullups than the weakest of grunts.
    It all comes down to training, and desensitization of being able to pull a trigger. Being able to working under stress.
    Honestly, I believe there should be two veterans days. One for Combat Veterans, and the other for Veterans. How does March 11 sound 03-11.

  93. Megan says:

    I can’t even begin to explain all of the things wrong with this article. Nice try but there is so much flawed logic behind your statements and you need to think through all of this again. hopefully by now your opinion has changed because it is just so damn sad to see this.

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