Revisiting the “best opportunity to succeed”

“Having been a guinea pig in the feminization of the American military plan for a very short time decades ago, I’ll share with you how this goes.  The political factions within the Pentagon will begin tinkering with new ways to make it appear that women can do these heavy-lifting, grueling combat tasks by eliminating as many of the tasks from the physical standards as necessary to get women into these positions.  The physical standards for men will lower and all sorts of concessions will be made to soften the ride for women to succeed in these jobs.  They’ll desperately seek a few über herculean gruntettes to become the face of the new Amazon band of sisters for the full court press, to “prove” women are just as strong as men.”

– libertybelle

In January 2015, I wrote the above quote in a blog post, “the best opportunity to succeed (code for lower standards)”, which was my cynical take on a statement from a Marine Corps spokeswoman in a USA Today article, “Marines delay female fitness plan after half fail”:

“Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos wants training officials to “continue to gather data and ensure that female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed,” Capt. Maureen Krebs, a Marine spokeswoman, said Thursday.”

The Marine Corps embarked on a careful evaluation of female performance in combat skills this past year and their report submitted to the Secretary of the Navy rained on the parade of the feminist hoopla over the two female US Army officers who recently completed the US Army Ranger School .  The Marine Corps report is available online and the highlights lead to huge questions about not only throwing open the doors to all combat jobs to women, but in my mind, it raises the question of whether slack was cut to the two female Army officers to get some females through the US Ranger School for political propaganda purposes. President Obama showed up for their graduation, which further suggests a political agenda at play and raises the specter that once again military brass might have compromised the truth to support Obama administration narratives.

Yes, there I said it, I am skeptical about whether some standards were lowered to accommodate women during this highly publicized and politicized US Army Ranger School effort to sell opening all combat jobs to women.  I wonder about upper body strength skills, in particular.  Having observed this sleight of hand in standards many times over the years, the Army brass often plays to the feminists within the Pentagon pushing female integration. No one ever admits to the standards being lowered, because for male leaders in the military to speak up is career suicide. In May, 2015 all 5 of the remaining females in the Army Ranger training had dropped out. They were then given a third chance to retry and graduated in August 2015. The feminists will argue their completion of the course vindicates opening all combat jobs to women.

The press cheered for the two female Army officers, but then along comes this report from the Marine Corps careful study and here are the key highlights:

Combat Effectiveness

Overall: All-male squads, teams and crews demonstrated higher performance levels on 69% of tasks evaluated (93 of 134) as compared to gender-integrated squads, teams and crews. Gender-integrated teams performed better than their all-male counterparts on (2) events.

All-male squads, regardless of infantry MOS, were faster than the gender-integrated squads in each tactical movement. The differences were more pronounced in infantry crew-served weapons specialties that carried the assault load plus the additional weight of crew-served weapons and ammunition.


All-male 0311 (rifleman) infantry squads had better accuracy compared to gender-integrated squads. There was a notable difference between genders for every individual weapons system (i.e. M4, M27, and M203) within the 0311 squads, except for the probability of hit & near miss with the M4.

Male provisional infantry (those with no formal 03xx school training) had higher hit percentages than the 0311 (school trained) females: M4: 44% vs 28%, M27: 38% vs 25%, M16A4w/M203: 26% vs 15%.

All-male infantry crew-served weapons teams engaged targets quicker and registered more hits on target as compared to gender-integrated infantry crew-served weapons teams, with the exception of M2 accuracy.

All-male squads, teams and crews and gender-integrated squads, teams, and crews had a noticeable difference in their performance of the basic combat tasks of negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties. For example, 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. During casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups, except in the case where teams conducted a casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who “evacuated” the casualty).

Health and Welfare of Marines

In addition to performance, evidence of higher injury rates for females when compared to males performing the same tactical tasks was noted. The well documented comparative disadvantage in upper and lower-body strength resulted in higher fatigue levels of most women, which contributed to greater incidents of overuse injuries such as stress fractures. Research from various U.S. and allied military studies reveal that the two primary factors associated with success in the task of movement under load are 1) lean body mass and 2) absolute VO2 Max. Findings from the physiological assessment of GCEITF males and females conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s
Neuromuscular Research Laboratory include:

Body composition: Males averaged 178 lbs, with 20% body fat: females averaged 142 lbs, with 24% body fat

Anaerobic Power: Females possessed 15% less power than males; the female top 25th percentile overlaps with the bottom 25th percentile for males

Anaerobic Capacity: Females possessed 15% less capacity; the female top 10th percentile overlaps with the bottom 50th percentile of males

Aerobic Capacity (VO2Max): Females had 10% lower capacity; the female top 10th percentile overlaps with bottom 50th percentile of males

Within the research at the Infantry Training Battalion, females undergoing that entry-level training were injured at more than six-times the rate of their male counterparts

27% of female injuries were attributed to the task of movement under load, compared to 13% for their male counterparts, carrying a similar load.

During the GCEITF assessment, musculoskeletal injury rates were 40.5% for females, compared to 18.8% for males

Of the 21 time-loss injuries incurred by female Marines, 19 were lower extremity injuries and 16 occurred during a movement under load task

The Army produced the required female poster gruntettes needed for propaganda, as I predicted, but the Marine Corps produced a careful study on combat performance.  Sadly, all soldiers will suffer if we play along with the feminist Amazon mythology.  The truth is females are biologically weaker than males and here’s the blunt truth, to quote this Marine Corps report:

“A military unit at maximum combat effectiveness is a military unit least likely to suffer casualties. Winning in war is often only a matter of inches, and unnecessary distraction or any dilution of the combat effectiveness puts the mission and lives in jeopardy. Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.”

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Filed under Culture Wars, General Interest, Military, Politics

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