Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Women in Combat Has No Factual Support

The naive premise that women can perform in combat to the same standards as men was refuted by retiring Marine General John F. Kelly, the outgoing commander of U.S. Southern Command. In his final briefing General Kelly warned of the coming “pressure to lower standards, because that’s the only way it’ll work in the way that the agenda-driven people want it to work.”

When it turns out that few if any women are actually serving in combat units, General Kelly predicted, “the question will be asked why aren’t they staying, why aren’t they advancing as infantry people? The answer is, if we don’t change the standards, it will be very, very difficult to have any real numbers.”

Even when they “meet the minimum requirements” for military service, women are injured at twice the rate of men, just as female athletes in high school and college sports suffer much higher rates of injury. The higher injury rate for women is one reason why a Marine Corps study found that all-male teams outperform mixed gender units on a wide range of tasks.

Yes, women can pass many tests for strength needed for combat, but there are no tests to find out who will say “Let’s go kill a vicious enemy soldier bent on killing you any way he can.” We have plenty of evidence that men can and will walk into that kind of peril to save their buddies.

Why should we shoot ourselves in the foot by assigning women to combat merely because a few exceptional women “can meet the minimum requirements”? Of course women can fight hard against enemy attackers, but it takes real men, backed up by unit cohesion, to say “Let’s go get him” and initiate a fight against armed enemies. There is no evidence that women are the equals of men in actual combat.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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