Friday, January 25, 2013

Should women be allowed in combat?

AL TAQADDUM, IRAQ (16 June 2005) — LCpl's Rebecca and Michael Nance, 20 and 21-year olds respectively, reunited here recently. So far from home, yet so close together. Rebecca, a mechanic attached to Combat Logistics Regiment 25, and Michael, with Marine Wing Support Group 27 in Al Asad, Iraq, are siblings from Moline, Illinois. Michael is serving his second deployment, while his sister is in the middle of her first. Michael joined the Marine Corps in 2002 and Rebecca joined the Marine Corps reserve in 2003.

I initially just reported on this with no comment.  Many people I agree with generally, including Stacy McCainRoxeanne DeLucaBob Belvedere, and Allen West say no.  They make good points, although I do not completely agree with them on this issue.
Update:  This is the most persuasive argument against women in combat...

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CALIFORNIA (19 May 2005) — Cpl. Steinunn Truesdale, a native of Reykjavík, Iceland, displays her Purple Heart Medal she received for injuries sustained in an anti-tank mine blast during a vehicle convoy operation in Al Anbar province, Iraq 2004.
Marco Rubio notes women are already in combat.  While I think Panetta is making this decision for political than practical reasons, I have also noted that the old phrase "Every Marine is a rifleman" recognizes that anyone in service can end up on the front lines (and have to be prepared for that).  We have many women in service, so we need to recognize they can and do end up in combat anyway.

Rick Peters notes women are already in harms way. 
Jazz Shaw Has A different Take Than Peters
Countries that allow women in combat roles.  

I would caution watching this closely.  Women can now volunteer for combat.  Will the military do this in a PC manner than puts both women and men involved in harms way?  I sure hope not, but those fears are legitimate.  While there are a few individual exceptions, Women and men are not physically equal.  A fair and objective physical fitness test could be employed to ensure a woman serving does not endanger her male comrades do to strength issues.   Obviously women on the front lines and in combat raises the risk of rape and capture, but that risk remains regardless and is never fully eliminated.


  1. Something else that none of those PC creatures in DeeCee care about--- How is a 115LB woman going to carry HER pack, a wounded MALE buddy weighing about 220 and his pack to the medivac zone five miles away?

    1. I would deal with this with strict physical fitness requirements for combat troops. And I would not "adjust" the test for males and females. Set the standard and let that be the standard.

  2. In wars like Iraq and Afghanistan there is no front line. In Afghanistan he frontline starts at the end of your rifle's muzzle. There is a constant risk even inside camp.

    In the Danish army men and women have served on equal terms for years. I commanded an infantry platoon in Afghanistan in ´09 and a recon platoon in Iraq in ´07. In both platoons women served. The key is to make sure everybody meet the same standards.
    The challenge: when the idea occurs to allow women lower standards for women in order to meet a quota. Such initiatives increases the risk of the entire unit.

    My experience: Women in combat is not a problem as long as their leaders make sure that all the soldiers meet the same standards.


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