Exclusive: Marine memo hints at shift on women in combat

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Army Generals Passive Aggressively Knock Marine Brass Over Women In Combat.

Washington — A 33-page Marine Corps memo obtained by the Monitor suggests that, behind the scenes, the Marines are already talking about how they can integrate women into combat units. In contrast to Marine brass who want to keep women out of some combat roles, Army generals last week were quick in expressing just how eager they are to open absolutely all roles to women. According to the four-page summary made public on Sept. 10, the study found that women were worse shooters than men, got injured more often, and would be a detriment to unit cohesiveness.

Navy and Marine Corps” will be presented inside the University of Wyoming Energy Innovation Center’s Encana Auditorium at noon on Monday, Sept. 28. Following a landmark January 2013 decision, all jobs will be opened to women unless the services seek and effectively convince Carter to keep some closed, citing research they completed. Mabus is right to emphasize standards that ensure excellence in the military and whether individuals — no matter their gender — can meet those standards. A new 9-month, $36 million study conducted by the Marine Corps shows that the overwhelming majority of women Marines underperform on tasks such as running while wearing 100 pounds of gear, or carrying a wounded buddy to safety, or firing an M4 rifle to stop the enemy’s grenade.

But by cavalierly dismissing, even impugning, the concerns of Marine officials, he inadvertently helps those who say political correctness is driving the push for full integration of the armed forces. As secretary of the Navy, Mabus is responsible for conducting the affairs of the department, including recruiting, organizing, equipping, training and mobilizing. The study has been panned by critics, including Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, for focusing on what an “average” female Marine can do, rather than examining whether high-performing women can meet physical standards set for the job.

Additionally, he oversees the construction and repair of naval ships, aircraft and facilities, and formulates and implements policies and programs consistent with national security policies. It also points out the potential benefits of integrating women into the combat ranks, warning of the danger of “marginalizing female Marines due to gender bias and misconceptions about female performance.” The memo, signed by Brig. With the deadline for those requests approaching at the end of the month, it appears likely the Army, Navy and Air Force will not seek exceptions that close off jobs, including those in demanding commando units.

In 2011 and 2015, Secretary Mabus spoke at the Energy Efficiency Forum and explained how energy efficiency both keeps troops safe and creates a new energy economy. A summary of the report showed that male-only infantry units shot more accurately and could carry more weight, and that women had higher injury rates than men. Robert Brown, commanding general of the United States Army Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, said, “I go back a long time on the gender integration … I have three daughters.

He was elected Governor of Mississippi in 1988, served as the Chairman and CEO of Foamex, and was Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the Clinton Administration. Noting the “timeless, brutal, physical and absolutely unforgiving nature of close combat,” the memo argues that those facts could adversely affect women in the force. Mabus took issue with the study, saying the fact it “started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking this is not a good idea, and [that] women will not be able to do this” could have affected the results.

Women shooting M4 rifles hit the target 28 percent of the time, compared with 44 percent for men. “When negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top.” OK in training, but not in war. The service “risks losing a number of highly talented female Marines prematurely due largely to the often extreme physical demands” of the infantry, Brigadier General Smith writes. The report concluded that the “disadvantage in upper- and lower-body strength resulted in higher fatigue levels” among women and “stress fractures.” Mabus says averages shouldn’t count, and the very small number of women who think they can make the grade should be given the chance. I would think the younger generation will almost laugh at the older folks: ‘What don’t you get about it?’” Since the Army brass appears free of open dissenters, Secretary John McHugh is set to deliver his recommendations to Defense Secretary Ash Carter next week, which is ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.

These standards will also “be the primary driver in overcoming gender bias through clearly demonstrated performance standards, which is fundamental to a cohesive unit with high morale,” he adds. The Army is generally seen as less resistant to opening the infantry to women following the graduation of two women from the service’s grueling Ranger School last month, but the service also could draw a distinction between the two, keeping the school open to women while requesting that Carter keep some combat jobs closed to women. This means “fully invested and unwavering demonstrations of support by commanders and leaders” who “must set the example for Marines at all levels.” Without full leadership commitment to embracing women in combat roles, “this integration effort will very likely be fraught with friction and unduly protracted.” In addition to leadership, a key will be defining what gender integration success looks like, Smith says, and laying out a plan and policies “designed to ensure success.”

-Okla.), a Ranger School graduate and Army combat veteran, has asked for proof, saying the women did not have to carry as much weight and were given opportunities to keep trying that male colleagues were not. Eleven were cut the first week, the remaining eight flunked the next phase twice, five of them dropped out and two finally graduated after an extra two months of repeat testing.

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