Panetta Allowing Women on Front Lines of Combat – Watch the Bar Be Lowered

Encourage women to fly fighter jets. We excel in the skies. Let women direct drones. It’s important stuff, but it is ridiculous to believe a majority of women in any arm of the Military have the physical strength of the men they serve with. Female officers were allowed to volunteer for the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer course. Two applied and neither made it, one due to the endurance test (26 males also did not finish) and the second had unnamed medical problems.

Colonel Martha McSally

Colonel Martha McSally

In addition to allowing women to volunteer for IOC, the Marines will allow enlisted women to volunteer to train with the infantry training battalion for research purposes. The Corps will give men and women volunteers a strength test to see how they respond to heavy machine gun lift, casualty evacuation and “march under load” assessments, according to a service-wide message released in April. Source:

Obviously, there will be a few women capable of lifting the machine gun, capable of successfully evacuating their injured 250-lb team member, and few will carry their load on a prescribed march, but there won’t be many, and especially there will not be many for sustained periods of time. Is that the case with the first and only female Green Beret? I don’t know, but many believe they do know.

Navy SEAL, Admiral Eric T. Olson, July 28, 2011:

He added that being a SEAL is not just about physical strength. “I don’t think the idea is to select G.I. Jane and put her through SEAL training, but there are a number of things that a man and a woman can do together that two guys can’t,” said Olson. “I don’t think it’s as important that they can do a lot of push-ups. I think it’s much more important what they’re made of and whether or not they have the courage and the intellectual agility to do that.”

While women serve in the U.S. special forces community as information specialists and civil affairs specialists, there are currently no female SEALs, Green Berets, Rangers or Marine special operators as a result of the 1994 combat exclusion policy that precludes women from being assigned to ground combat units.

The remainder of the Admiral Olson story is that he needs more women to go into Afghan villages to work with the women. That’s generally done wearing a headscarf.

I did some research to see how many high-level female officers in any of the military services have faced real combat (although I recognize that medical teams serve in very dangerous situations). I found one, maybe there’s more. That one is Captain Linda Bray. Her unit was not intended to be in an assault position, but ended up in one, and her actions were exemplary.

Female military have been prisoners of war and were incredibly brave in the presence of extreme cruelty. Major Rhonda Cornum is one. Shoshanna Johnson is one. Jessica Lynch is one, maybe. If this undated story is correct (and I’m not saying it is) four of her rescuers are dead. I’m sure there are numerous more. Anytime male or female soldiers are in a war zone assigned to a front line support unit, their lives are in in danger.

Colonel Martha McSally was the first woman to fly in combat and to command a fighter squadron. There are some things women cannot get past in today’s war zones and the DOD was reluctant to tear down those barriers:

While stationed in Saudi Arabia, she led the charge to remove restrictions on U.S. military women abroad, including Department of Defense policies that forced American women to wear Muslim garb and be escorted by males while in the Middle East.

McSally described the discrimination she felt overseas to TheDC.

“I’d have to sit in the back and at all times, I must be escorted by a male who, if asked, is supposed to say I’m his wife,” McSally said.

“I can fly a single-seat aircraft in hostile territory, but in Saudi Arabia I can’t drive a vehicle,” she added.

In 2001, she faced a court martial for refusing to wear an abaya, a traditional Muslim garb that female service members were sometimes required to wear while serving in Saudi Arabia. In 2002, “60 Minutes” covered the case, and McSally briefly became something of a celebrity.

McSally won her lawsuit, and in 2002 the Defense Department announced it would no longer require women in the military to wear the abaya. Source: Daily Caller

I believe women have an important part to play in the defense of our country, but on the ground, on the front lines isn’t the place, in my opinion. The plan is not yet finalized. Panetta “is giving Military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.”

Watch the bar be lowered.

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  • Israeli women have been in combat postitions for years but they are of a different mindset of US women. These women have been born into a society where defending ones self is not an option. They have no qualm about killing, not because they are hard hearted but because the understand that in their society it is kill or be killed. US women have not been raised in this climate and are not really suited to combat on a large scale as Israeli women are. US women have been taught no to kill and changing that mind set is difficult. I am not saying that some women cannot adapt to a combat situation but most will not survive when
    “hell breaks loose”.
    Women, US women do not belong in the arena as trained combat troops.

    • Dallas, I regretfully agree with you, but then perhaps it isn’t regretful. It’s just obvious, for whatever the reasons, that physically, the majority of women are no match for men. How many men will be pulled away from defending themselves to help a woman tote her load, or step-in when she can’t handle the machinery?

  • The left have been trying to convince Americans that women can do everything a man can do.

    Let us give these women a chance. No special treatments. No special conditions. If they can keep up with the big boys ok. If they get special treatments and conditions they will be a liability in the field.

    • findalis, it’s physically impossible for more than a handful to make the grade. They will make special arrangements for them.

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  • Geo

    Ever since women’s role in the Military have been expanded [the 70’s], there has ALWAYS been allowances for their differences. They are not physically equal to men and the Military has always set up two standards for them. The female roles for years have been blurred for many years now. There was prohibitions for them to be actually assigned in “Line Combat Positions”. As a former First Sergeant, I can testify honestly that the commingling of women into units always has a affect on the units performance. It’s a matter of degree and how it’s handled.

    Having said that, there certainly is a role for women in the Military. They have become a integral part of today’s Military. I had many women who were far superior than many of the men assigned to me, that I wouldn’t have traded for. There is NO acceptable or reasonable reason to integrate them into the Combat Arms Units. There will be consequences.

    Oh, and BTW ladies get ready to start registering for the Draft, just like the men are required to do. That sound you just heard, was the door being kicked wide open.

    Lastly, what is with the outgoing Secretary’s of Defense changing major policies as the door hits them in the @zz? Gates with gays and now Panetta with women.

    • For the record my daughters tried to register for the draft. There is nothing wrong with being drafted. In fact in Israel everyone, male and female are drafted.

      While many people cite Israel as the example of women in combat that is not the point. In 1948 Ben-Gurion issued an order taking women out of combat. He was afraid of what would happen to women POW’s. (Rape, torture, etc…)

      Women can and do volunteer for combat in the IDF. They serve as pilots (helicopter and fighter), artillery units, tanks, but not in direct ground pounders. It is just not going to happen soon. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trained to fight. They are considered Israel’s last line of defense.

      I believe that the military will have 2 standards of training. One for men, one for women. Just as their are 2 standards of training now at the Academies: One for white males. One for minorities and women. Guess which group actually has the advantage?

      • Geo

        Two standards of training in Academies? Are we talking the usual physical standards or are we talking academics? At one point in time I ran a NCO Academy and except for the mandated differences [physical standards]that I was required to follow, they got treated exactly the same. Male v Female or White v Black.

        The Military has long been way further advanced to changes than the U.S. population. It was integrated way ahead of the civilian population. It shouldn’t be treated as a petri dish however. We are witnessing first hand the systematic dismantling of the US Military in order to fulfill the progressive dream. Israel is hardly the model that the US should be following, they are entirely two completely different situations. We don’t face the same threat.

        One only needs to revisit the incident with Jessica Lynch and how much emphasis was devoted to recover her and hype her capture story, most of it totally made up. Other male POW’s weren’t given half of the attention that she was.

        I have no problem with women’s service in CS [Combat Support], CSS [Combat Service Support], they however have NO place in CA [Combat Arms]. The first two brings them well within the danger zone, without directly jeopardizing others around them because they cannot perform. I have no business trying to do what COL McSully does [I can’t], and she has no business trying to perform in the Combat positions that I have.

        • I have heard from men who have attended the academies (West Point, etc…) that minorities and women who are failing certain military classes (Ordinances, tactics, etc…) they will receive special classes in these subjects. Classes that their failing white male counterparts do not receive.

          I know personally of one case of a black cadet at West Point who violated the Honor Code, committed rape upon a female cadet and was involved in drug trafficking. Those who informed on him were told
          to resign from the Point. He graduated. The others have been trying to warn the public that their officer corp is not up to the task at hand. It is too PC, not up to the standards that produced a Patton, Eisenhower, or Marshall.

          Jessica Lynch highlights the trouble of women in combat. Her male counterparts will go to lengths to protect them, much to the detriment of their own safety.

          • Geo

            Ah, I totally agree. Speaking of the Army [which I’m familiar with] they are very BIG on remedial training. To the point of ridiculousness. Traditionally my experience with remedial training was the worse with Land Navigation. For some reason most students had lots of difficulty with it. My Instructors would burn the midnight oil, trying to get students to understand it.

            I think we are pretty much in agreement and the Lynch case is the perfect example of what will happen, only on a much larger degree. Sexual harassment still seems to be a major problem. The Air Force Academy in particular seems to have a real big problem. I’m surprised to hear of the West Point incident and shocked at that outcome. That incident will surely follow that Cadet through his career, and eventually end his career in the Army.

            The Officer Corps certainly does have a problem at the company grades. They had one after Vietnam when they ropered most of the good Officers. There is some major “dissatisfaction” in the “ranks” now, with the Leadership [Military and Civilian] at both the Officer and NCO ranks. Most career people do not believe in what is being done to the Services and are prohibited in saying so.

            The Military has been PC for decades now. Look at what just happened to General Mattis when he told some people what they didn’t want to hear. The situation is going to get much worse before it ever gets better.