women opt out of combat units

Pentagon having trouble finding women for combat units

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More than 9 of 10 want ‘nothing to do with infantry’

FILE - JANUARY 23, 2013: According to reports, Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta has removed the ban on women serving combat roles January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The bans removal was reportedly recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturning a 1994 rule keeping women out of ground combat units. . CAMP DELARAM, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 10:  (SPAIN OUT, FRANCE OUT, AFP OUT)  Sargent Crystal Groves US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II stands in formation during a ceremony for the 235th birthday of the Marines on November 10, 2010 at Camp Delaram in Helmand province, Afghanistan. There are 48 women presently working along the volatile front lines of the war in Afghanistan deployed as the second Female Engagement team participating in a more active role, gaining access where men can't. The women, many who volunteer for the 6.5 month deployment take a 10 week course at Camp Pendleton in California where they are trained for any possible situation, including learning Afghan customs and basic Pashtun language.  (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
FILE – JANUARY 23, 2013: According to reports, Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta has removed the ban on women serving combat roles January 23, 2013 in Washington, D.C. The bans removal was reportedly recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, overturning a 1994 rule keeping women out of ground combat units.

. CAMP DELARAM, AFGHANISTAN – NOVEMBER 10: (SPAIN OUT, FRANCE OUT, AFP OUT) Sargent Crystal Groves US Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II stands in formation during a ceremony for the 235th birthday of the Marines on November 10, 2010 at Camp Delaram in Helmand province, Afghanistan. There are 48 women presently working along the volatile front lines of the war in Afghanistan deployed as the second Female Engagement team participating in a more active role, gaining access where men can’t. The women, many who volunteer for the 6.5 month deployment take a 10 week course at Camp Pendleton in California where they are trained for any possible situation, including learning Afghan customs and basic Pashtun language. (Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

The Pentagon should benefit from the wisdom of the Olympians, according to experts on military policy, and allow men to have certain responsibilities and women others.

After all, the worldwide games every four years have specific competitions like male gymnasts suspending themselves in a “T” between the rings, a stunt demanding “testosterone-powered muscles” that is not expected of women.

The issue is the combat, “tip-of-the-spear” units that the Obama administration now has opened for women, despite the evidence that makes that a questionable decision.

The suggestion comes from the Center for Military Readiness, run by Elaine Donnelly.

She argued against the move when it was proposed, while it was under consideration, and even now, after the Obama administration has adopted it.

And there are problems, she noted.

“Now that their social experiment is under way, Pentagon officials are having trouble finding women who want to participate,” this week’s commentary said.

“The Army’s top enlisted man. Sgt. Maj. Dan Dailey, recently found it necessary to get female non-commissioned officers to ‘step up’ and transfer into combat arms units such as the infantry,” it said, noting the problem could have been seen coming.

“Smart women won’t put their careers and health at disproportionate risk just to prove bogus theories about ‘gender equality,’” the report said.

The CMR report pointed out there’s a clear different between being “in harm’s way,” where women “have served with courage,” and the physically demanding direct ground combat units.

“In an official survey, 92.2 percent of Army women said they wanted nothing to do with the infantry. Last year three women made it through Ranger school after multiple attempts, but more aspirants haven’t shown up since. Another female Marine officer recently became the 30th candidate who failed on the tough Infantry Officer Course, and no more have signed up to try.”

The report continued, “Meanwhile, six of seven female enlisted Marine recruits failed to qualify with sufficient strength, stamina, and running speed for direct ground combat assignments. Their 86 percent failure rate on revised ‘gender-netural’ basic training tests, compare to 3 percent of men who failed, did not meet expectations that hundreds of women soon would qualify for the combat arms.”

It’s unlikely they’ll be given a choice. After all, the military operates on orders, and Navy Secretary Raby Mabus has announced that one-in-four Marine recruits should be women.

The military will focus on physically strong high school girls who are in sports such as wrestling, and they’ll hope for a better result than in 2008. That’s when the Marines launched a similar campaign, and got 1,000 “qualified leads.” But only two of those turned into enlistments, and one already was interested because of her Navy brother, the CMR reported.

And then there are the facts obtained from tests of combat troops, Donnelly’s organization noted.

“In scientifically monitored combat field tests, all-male units outperformed gender-mixed ones 69 percent of the time, and women experienced two- to six-times more injuries,” the report said.

 

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