Women in the Infantry
(monderno.com) By: Arys Daniela A long debated and controversial subject, women in the infantry is a topic that has recently made headlines. After Defense Secretary Leon Panetta gave the go ahead to do away with direct combat exclusion for women in the military, many came out to voice their opinions on whether or not it was a good idea. Opinions vary, and the same question is brought up. Are women up to the task? Here is a female Marine’s perspective on female grunts. My opinion is that women should be able to make the decision to join an infantry unit, with one requirement: she must be one tough gal. Females, like males, come in all shapes, sizes and attitudes. I know some women that would never make it in an infantry unit, but then I know some men that wouldn’t be able to either. If women want to be placed in infantry units, they should be held to the same physical standards as men, and go through the same training. With letting females join the infantry, the draft and selective service are brought up as well. As of Jan 24th, this has been posted on the Selective Service website:
Even though the Secretary of Defense has decided to allow women in combat jobs, the law has not been changed to include this. Consequently, only men are currently required to register by law with Selective Service during ages 18 thru 25. Women still do not register.
How will this new policy affect the Selective Service in the future? If women are allowed into infantry positions, everything else should change as well. Equality for all, right?
As a female Marine, I know the training that goes into the makings of a grunt through the stories told to us, and some training we got as a taste of what they went through. I consider myself pretty tough for my stature at 5’4 and 110 lbs. Back when I was active duty, I could carry a 145-150 lb man and run with him a short distance (yes, this was tested, in boots and utes). Yet, I don’t think I could carry his weight plus all of our gear put together and both of our weapons. However, I do not wish to join the infantry, even if I had the opportunity back then. I know my barracks roommate, let’s call her Hillary, would be a prime candidate to be in an infantry unit. Hilary was, and still is the toughest, most fit, fierce and motivated Marine I know, and she could definitely fit the bill. So in no way, shape or form am I saying that women can’t do the job, just not all women. I won’t go into other subjects brought up such as hygiene issues and the “boy meets girl on battlefield and they fall in love” bull****. One, I’m not a doctor, and two, the second subject is so cliche it’s not even funny. Most female service members I know see their male comrades as brothers, and nothing else.
The Marine Corps, which is known by many monikers, such as the “Men’s Department of the Navy” or the “World’s Largest Fraternity”, has begun to embrace females in infantry positions. Females currently make up only 6% of the total Marine Corps force. Back in September, the Marine Corps asked for volunteers to be part of research on how women would endure combat situations and training. Only two stepped forward. The Marine Corps sent these two volunteer officers (both Second Lieutenants) to Quantico, VA and put them through the Infantry Officers Course to see what the outcome would be. Both of them failed, one in the first week, and the other almost into the 3rd. It must be noted that they weren’t the only ones. 25% of every class, all male, drop out voluntarily or fail IOC. After this first class, the Marine Corps asked for more volunteers, and no one as of yet has stepped forward.
So who are these women who are pushing for female grunts? They ask for equality, yet no one steps forward to “prove” themselves. Seems like the tables flip when they involve those same females signing up to be infantry. Call me a female hater, or whatever you want, but I am not against females joining the infantry. However, if there is no interest, why change it? Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke, that’s all I’m saying.