Women In Combat

Over at the Washington Post interesting article debunking 5 myths regarding women in combat.  Not sure I buy the author’s argument.  With the repeal of DADT I think the military has had enough social engineering for the time–the military needs to time to breath, adjust, before we are forced into another social experiment.


  1. kathja says:

    I have a question I would like to have answers to

    I'm in a part of the Norwegian military, called for lots

    that is, we belong to home protection, what is the highest age

    for further education and then I'm fully healthy and active one hundred percent

    and would receive education and to combatants, or in medical

    here is the nemligen stop at the age of 57

    I speak Norwegian-Swedish-Danish-German-English

    and as stated no problems with either lifting or running or climbing, and is very alert and aware of things around me,

    I must be a U.S. citizen and seek to widen

    best regards

    kathja Holgersen



    • Hamilton says:

      Kathja, are you asking what the requirements are for joining the US military?

      Age limits for entry into the Services are as follows: Army 35, Air Force 27, Navy 34, Marines 28. You must also be either a US Citizen or a permanent legal resident of the US.

      For specific information on your case it is best to talk with a recruiter: http://www.goarmy.com/

    • Bob says:

      Don't take this at all as an insult Katha – I respect anyone who wants to fight for the United States, but, you need to work on that English before joining any branch of our military. Definitely work on it – you want to get your English very polished before joining. All you need is a green card to join.

  2. Bob says:

    I don't understand why some women (almost always officers for some reason) in the military clamor for women to be allowed into combat MOS's, because it actually hurts the cause of women in the military. The vast majority of women who join do not want to be in combat MOS's. As more women have been put in harms way in Iraq and Afghanistan, women have noticed, and female enlistment rates have really dropped. The military was once 20% female, now it's dipping under 15%. The Marines is starting to dip under 7% female. After losing a whole quarter of our female population, we've replaced them with more men. This is a setback to the cause of women in the miltiary. If we allow women into combat units, we'll have to standardize the PFT tests. I know for one that the Marine Corps ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT EVER lower its PFT standards. When we have women taking the male PFT tests, expect much less to pass. 20 Pull-ups to get a 100 on the pull-up section for men – few women can do that which is why the Marines allow women to do a flex-arm-hang instead.

    Furthermore, I believe the call on the part of some to allow women in combat because it enhances their career options and promotion potentials is severely misguided. If you're putting unit cohesion and military prowess beneath career desires, is that not highly selfish? You should want to go into a combat MOS purely because you want to defend your country and are willing to sacrifice – and you have a willingness, almost a desire even, to close with the enemy and slay him. I feel the career options argument is essentially dishonorable. The British did a study of this last year, and conclusively found, contrary to the findings of the Pentagon committee lead by a female AF officer and staffed by RAND Corp employees, that putting women into combat units could not be proven not to present a risk, and it could not be proven to have any benefit. The British study this intensely – I believe the UK really wanted to put women into combat units, but they simply could not soundly justify it.

    I don't buy any of the arguments in the Major's op-ed, especially the one concerning wounded women. It's a fact that a man's mind is naturally programmed to protect females. The Israeli's learned this over 60 years ago which is why the have not put women into combat units since (despite popular belief to the contrary).

  3. Cathy says:

    The major does make a very valid point about the reasons behind the awarding of the past 9 of the 10 MOH. In fact, that is the reason why SGT Guinta, the most recent & only living recipient received his. ALL soldiers rush into harm's way to save the lives of fellow soldiers when they are wounded – or their bodies when they have been killed. "Never leave anyone behind." is a warrior's Rule of Law & a code of ethics they live by & are willing to die for. It matters not to them what kind of underware their fellow warrior wears. And if they think it does then they do not belong in battle.

  4. Shwan says:

    I only need two points to tell you why it's a terrible idea:

    A) Sanitary Issues: on a 30 day field exercise, I'll let you guess which gender usually gets the free trip back to the rear for a shower. out on some COP in the middle of nowhere Afghanistan, such a luxury isn't available, even if it was, a 12 man outpost is now at almost 90% combat effectiveness (which aside from casualties would be a big no-no) unless someone is flown in to replace that female while she takes a week off because of feminine hygiene issues. It would come down to mandating women in the infantry to take either birth control or some other supplement that would greatly reduce menstrual cycle activity, and I suspect the type of women who want to be in the infantry are the same type who don't want others to have a say about their body in this regard.

    B) EO/SAPR: The Army will be politically correct until the day it dies, and women in the infantry won't change it. All it will take is a few women trying to get out of bad assignments to mar the whole system. Same COP scenario: the female soldier claims rape. Regardless of the truthfulness of the claim, we now have to take that WHOLE COP off the line to investigate, thus screwing up a lot of gears in motion, in the middle of a conflict. EO complaints are easy to deal with on a big FOB or back on garrison, but out on the front lines it's a little hard. All it would take would be some congressman going "PFC so-in-so's family wrote me a disturbing letter relaying how she is harassed on a daily basis and when she went to get help her Platoon Sergeant told her to suck-it-up and be a man because that's why she joined the infantry". Game Over.

  5. LTCOL P says:

    Did anyone see that Marine on Fox News?

    I'll have my own post on this in the next few days. Good stuff in comments, though.

    • Sgt says:

      Do you have a link to this? As a female service member, I do have to agree with the majority, women in combat MOSs is a big no-go for me. It is usually young females that feel that they need to prove themselves or something along those lines.

      Recently, SgtMaj Kent (SgtMaj of the Marine Corps) was on Camp Pendleton doing his farewell circuit- talking to Marines and spreading his advice. During his visit, he asked our group, which totaled around 1000, who thought women should be allowed to be grunts. There were a couple hands, but certainly under 10. Then he asked all the females to raise their hands. There were about 20 or so out there (the units present usually have fewer females due to their operational tempo… for some reason, females decide to get knocked up – which doesn't work well when there is a deployment schedule- I am not saying they do it on purpose, but I will say that, for that reason, far fewer females are sent to those units). Next the SgtMaj asked the females which ones would like to actually be in a combat MOS- not who thought other women should be allowed- and one single female raised her hand. She was a really young female, probably a PFC.

      You really have to think about the impacts of females who get pregnant on a combat unit. If she is in a combat MOS, where do you send her? What if she wants to have lots of kids- plans on it… then what do you do with her. You can send her to another unit, but she still can't participate in training with everyone else. She becomes useless for a minimum of 15 months for each pregnancy (more than 1/4 of a contract). She cannot perform her job. That means she is a number on a table somewhere in DC- a check in the box- yup, we have x number of grunts- But she is just filling the slot and not actually doing her job. It builds resentment towards all females- they can't pull their weight. Whether she planned to get pregnant or not, she will be viewed as having done it to get out of working! At least today, when a female gets pregnant, she can be sent to a unit that does not deploy and she can still perform her job!

    • Sgt says:

      Please tell me it is the one of the Capt proposing during NY fleet week with the ring box stuffed in the sock… OMG… you would think he would be able to come up with something with a little more finesse!

  6. herodotus says:

    The female major makes a lot of the arguments often heard about allowing women into combat units. However, facts are stubborn things. Women do not have the upper body strength of men. They do not have the endurance or overall strength of men. I served as a USMC reservist for 29 years, and in civilian life coached track & field for 18 years. A fast high school freshman boy can run times that would make the female US Olympic team. Women cannot perform the same as men on the USMC fitness test. It is tough enough to train American men to perform on the level needed to be combat soldiers & Marines.

  7. adnan says:

    Women should be allowed to fight in combat except if they are pregnant.

  8. USMC Steve says:

    Here is a better idea. When women in the military come up pregnant, they get hit with article 15 for self inflicte wound. They have rendered themselves incapable of performing all assigned duties through willful actions, and if taking insufficient precautions, that is negligence. Let the hammer swing THAT way instead.

    Crack troops are inferior to men. It is that simple. They WILL NOT be able to hack it in a line unit. Stop this bullshit social engineering in the military. And if Congress insists on it, refuse to comply.

  9. Hamilton says:

    Here's a simple test.

    Part 1: Take 100 soldiers, 50 men and 50 women. Have them either put up tents, move crates of ammunition or MRE boxes. Stand back and watch. Within 20 minutes the men will be competing, joking and stacking 3 cases of MREs each on their arms. The women will carry one or if super hard core 2.

    Part 2: Same demographics tell the group to kit up for a patrol. Tell them they must carry a mininum of 4 full magazines but may carry as many as they want. Now see how many the average guy loads up with compared to the average gal. It won't even be close.

    Men are going to have to carry more in the future and for every woman that can cut it there will be one who can't. That ratio is much higher than for men who will be re-classified or chaptered out of the military.

  10. Bob says:

    The military needs to pay attention to the people who make these social engineering decisions. I think all military members need to take a more active role in American politics, I see too many servicemen who are apathetic or simply don't see enough difference between candidates to care. Ask yourselves before you vote: Which potential president, congressman or senator will be the best for the military? Which president will appoint the best Secretary of Defense and whatnot? We can also donate to any person we want. If there's some yahoo congressman or congresswoman with zero common sense and a big time modern "feminist" (I put it in quotes because many modern feminists are not truly representing women or what's best for them, they're just really liberal) agenda or something somewhere, where you can't vote against them? Donate to their opponent. Service members have a huge sway over the public, because servicemen and women are very respected by the vast majority of Americans, so we need to engage in political dialogue with friends and family. However, remember, if you need to convince someone, a "crowbar" works much better than a "sledgehammer." Don't bludgeon or attack people, and remember they have a right to vote for whomever and we should love our countrymen even if they disagree. Hopefully all military folk will represent our interests honorably in the 2012 election – party and rhetoric doesn't matter this time, we need to defend America by defending her military from people who don't care their soldiers, Marines sailors and airmen's safety, or their nation's combat effectiveness, so much as their social engineering agenda.

    • DaveO says:


      I would modify your comment to ask military folks to act as private citizens. There is a balance that Americans do, usually, well. The balance was begun by the officers of the Army accepting George Washington's admonition in his address to the troops at Newburgh. The admonition was to not use our military to seize and maintain power, as the European monarchs did. The 1920s and 1930s gave us the example of an officer corps completely divorced from politics, but wedded to patriotism – the German military's officer corps. The other end of the spectrum is the consistent use of the military to seize power, and the use of the bayonet to legitimize elections, such as in Venezuela.

      A number of military folks believe that to be professional is to be completely neutral and stay out of politics. That's a mistake, IMO, but it's their choice.

      • Bob says:

        I totally agree Dave. That's really what I meant – military folks need to act as private citizens. Our special insight into military matters can guide us in making good decisions. In my opinion, almost always, the best for service men and women is the best for the nation. This is not always true, but much of the time it is. I hate to get political, but, we know for example, that Carter was awful for the military, and Reagan was great. In the end, Reagan was better for the nation, in my opinion, but I hope many see my point. I'm not urging people to vote Republican by any means (heck, I think former Marine and former Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb is a pretty good Senator and he's a Democrat. BTW he also wrote an article back in the day on women in combat called Women Can't Fight. I don't agree with 100% of it, but it's a worthwhile read and highly convincing, even if Webb himself has backed off some of his stances, which I strongly believe was some unfortunate capitulation for political reasons).

        I would never support using the military to seize power, I think the need for the military to do that will never come, we're not Honduras. But, like you, I really think it's a huge mistake for military folks to assume that being professional means to be neutral and stay out of politics. I try to convince people that that is not the way, and I have been successful with it. I like to point out that rights worth securing are rights worth exercising – almost always does the trick. We don't have to tack political bumper stickers on our jeeps and go to political rallies and events in our dress uniforms, but we can at least discuss these matters and represent our own interests, as private citizens, each election – our voices must be heard each election, and I feel we have a duty to ensure we pick leaders who will lead the military honorably and intelligently.

        • Bob says:

          Not saying socioeconomic issues don't count or are secondary, btw – I'm pretty big on those as well.

        • DaveO says:

          On one point: Webb is all about Webb. Virginia was, is, and will continue to be an afterthought. As a Republican, Webb was held to account and that chafed him. As a Democrat, not so much. His allies campaign against Allen illustrated Webb's character in a very negative light.

          Virginia is a fun state to watch when it comes to politics. To control the state you need to control NoVA, Henrico County, and the Norfolk-VA Beach metro. Virginia is an analog for national politics.

          Control the metro, such as Orange County, NYC, Seattle, and Miami-Dade and you control the state and all its electors. Take away control of part of one of those and it's a real contest. Flyover country, whether it be the Shenandoah, California's Central Valley, or Oklahoma don't count for much.

          • AFLogic says:

            Which is an unfortunate truth about flyover country. Those areas are a rather significant portion of the population in total, but are so spread out that their votes don't mean much on the political scale. It's really sad since those regions have the most down-to-earth people, and that's really what we need right now.