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February 16th 2016 print

Tony Thomas

Attack of the Gender Warriors

The sisterhood is grimly determined to see women in every unit of the armed forces, objections on grounds of physical capability, logistics, group psychology and lowered standards being dismissed as mere phallocratic prattle. Let us hope that peace prevails while commonsense does not

“For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”
–Rudyard Kipling

gender warriorsWestern feminists are getting a good scorecard on feminizing the Western military, starting with the all-powerful US forces. The Sisterhood’s pack, apart from the likes of our own Lt-General (Retd) David Morrison and politicians, include the human rights bureaucracies, the Left, and “diversity” advocates. The plan, branded as “equality”, is to have women promoted to one-star rank (roughly Colonel/Brigadier-General) and beyond. Those so elevated can then drive the feminizing from atop the system.

There is a problem, though. Currently, women without prior combat experience struggle to secure the loftiest promotions, so  the campaign is on to lower combat fitness standards. “Equality” to the Left – and the current crop of top brass — means “discrimination” if women don’t represent suitably proportionate numbers in elite units. To conservatives, “equality” means equal opportunity to pass a necessary military test. If women don’t get through, too bad.

So, do women do well at war? From 2001 to 2013, 154 US servicewomen were killed on duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, many by IEDs which, admittedly, do not discriminate. Nineteen mothers  returned to their toddlers and children, but  in body bags.[1] All studies suggest that women’s casualty rates become disproportionate the closer women get to combat – and close to half US women troops reported hostile action in those two war zones. But to the Sisterhood, these are trivial issues compared with the need for equality, “fairness” and “civilizing” the rude military. If the push leaves the West less able to deal with, say, ISIS and/or Iran, North Korea, Islamic “caliphates” and thousands of lone-wolfers, well, that’s just tough for the West. Feminists, so seemingly reluctant to denounce Islamic misogyny while Western men persist in looking at their watches or wearing blue ties, have maintained a prolonged and remarkable silence. Perhaps their hope is that they and their sisters will be the last consigned to sexual slavery and life in a burka’d sack.

Last December, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced lifting of all gender-based restrictions on combat and infantry roles, most in infantry and armor units[2] and including the elite Rangers and SEALS.[3] The Marines had wanted the toughest jobs, such as machine-gunner and field reconnaissance, to stay male-only. They lost partly because the US, conveniently for politicians, has faced no serious opposition in the field since Vietnam. There has been no extreme combat to test the fragility of mixed-sex combat units. [4]

Carter’s professed rationale – prompted by females’ lawsuits and pressure from the Obama White House — was to increase the pool of potential recruits for 220,000 new unrestricted roles. Low ability of women to pass existing physical tests (developed from generations of combat experience) may shrink the pool to just a birdbath, hence the push to drop standards.

Prior groundwork has included such comical stuff as rolling out courses for US non-commissioned officers and combat veterans, starting on Japanese Marine bases. The instructors donned fake 12kg bellies and boobs and, thus clad, went through the PT regime in order to feel greater empathy with pregnant soldiers. These courses were mandated whether or not a team actually had any pregnant soldiers. To watch the gym session, click on the video below [5].

The Services’ Stars And Stripes newspaper reported that at Camp Zama, Japan, 14 non-commissioned officers took turns wearing the 12kg “pregnancy simulators” over three days’ training. There were nine authentic baby-bellies among the troops.[6] The newspaper said Army-enlisted leaders “all over the world” were being ordered to take the Pregnancy Postpartum Physical Training Exercise Leaders Course, or PPPT. One maverick  blogged, “They ought to make female paratroopers wear a fake penis and scrotum when they put on a parachute harness.” Sgt. Michael Braden, a veteran helicopter  chief (78th Aviation Battalion), with no pregnant soldiers to teach, had misgivings but “strapped on the empathy belly and spent Tuesday morning learning low-impact aerobics moves like the ‘grapevine’ and the ‘V-step’.”

Part II: Neutering the Military’s ‘Warrior Culture’

US combat jobs began opening broadly to women in 2013. The standards-dropping for females is discussed overtly in high circles. General (retd) Martin Dempsey, ex-chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and earlier Commanding General, Training Command: “Importantly, though, if we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the Secretary, why is it that high?” It’s not hard for underlings to crack a superior’s verbal code and grasp its meaning.

In Canada, the Human Rights Tribunal opened all Air Force jobs to women as of 1987. Military experts began studies on best employment of women in Army/Navy combat without compromising unit performance. But the Human Rights Tribunal immediately mandated full integration of women without limit into combat roles.

Training standards had to be lowered to bring in women. Barely 100 women in the first year showed interest in infantry and a 100% training failure rate prevailed through to 1990. As of 1995, only three women had finished armored corps training, only one was employed (tank gunner) and she was asking for a transfer because she had no other women to talk to. In both Canada and Holland there are quotas or ‘pink seats’ for promotions of female officers who lack combat experience – quotas resented by capable women. In Britain, more of the same, brass hats falling in love with their Royal Navy poster girl, Lt-Commander Mandy McBain, who had been nominated as a top-100 gay/lesbian influencer in the 2010 Pink List and became “widely publicised by the Royal Navy as a role model for all personnel.”[7]

The Sisterhood is indifferent to studies showing that women’s health can’t stand combat qualifying (let alone combat itself). Marines Captain Kate Petronio, a combat engineer in Iraq and Afghanistan and, earlier, a star college athlete, has written that armed forces in the US and elsewhere have not come close to understanding the special and long-term toll on female bodies. Few or no women could endure the military milieu for long enough to reach late-career flag rank.

During her ten-month Iraq deployment, Petronio began breaking down after maximum-effort, 16-hour days. For example, a march with combat kit of more than 60k, as seen below, could easily compress a woman’s weaker spine.

By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability.

It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions.

At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 [patrol bases] later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment.

Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported.

Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement.

I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females. 

There’s a famous account by a Marine squad leader Ryan Smith of cramming with 24 other ‘jarheads’ in an assault vehicle for 2003′s dash down the highway to Baghdad. The squad saw no combat, just that blitzkrieg trip.  Read the extract and then imagine the Sisterhood having succeeded in getting   the desired small (perhaps three?) band of female combat Marines into the squad. To repeat, the trip involved no fighting.

“We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.

The column would not stop for even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.

Many Marines developed dysentery from the complete lack of sanitary conditions. When an uncontrollable urge hit a Marine, he would be forced to stand, as best he could, hold a (Meals) bag up to his rear, and defecate inches from his seated comrade’s face.

During the invasion, we wore chemical protective suits because of the fear of chemical attack. They are equivalent to a ski jumpsuit and hold in the heat. We also had to wear black rubber boots over our desert boots…

Due to the heat and sweat, layers of our skin would peel off our feet. However we rarely had time to remove our suits or perform even the most basic hygiene. We quickly developed sores on our bodies.

When we did reach Baghdad, we were in shambles. We had not showered in well over a month and our protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be buried immediately. My unit stood there in a walled-in compound, naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure hoses…”

In Israel, women troops are far more restricted against engaging in combat than under the new US and Australian guidelines. When shooting starts, IDF policy generally is to get its females out of harm’s way. Retired Maj. Gen. Yiftach Ron-Tal was top commander of   IDF land forces in 2006. He at first supported deploying women in direct land-combat situations, but reversed that view in 2011.

Stress fractures suffered by soldiers is dozens of percentage points higher among women than among men. As a result, the female soldiers are not required to carry as much weight.

I cannot even imagine a female soldier serving inside a tank or in elite infantry units, mostly because of operational considerations. The army must not allow this thing to interfere with its operational ability…Expanding female service will be a grave mistake that will damage the prowess of the army.

US studies in the 1990s showed that women failed most, or close to all, combat tests. In body strength, youthful female combat recruits averaged at the grade of average 50-year-old men. Women had  20% less aerobic power, 40% less muscle strength, and nearly 50% less lifting strength. They route marched 26% slower. Injuries knocked them out at twice the male rate. Their bones broke more easily. Their non-deployable rate was three times higher. Even given lower entry standards for combat readiness, most women still flunked –  in one case, 63% of the female group, compared with 1% of men. More recent studies by the Marine Corps found that male-only infantry units shoot more accurately, carry greater burdens and move more quickly through some tactical maneuvers.

Modern equipment can be operated with fingertip pressures, but there is never a guarantee that a woman operator won’t be called upon to unexpected heavy tasks. If the loader of an M1 tank is injured, for example, a woman stand-in’s capacity, as judged in the light of the Marine standards cited above, to lift and swing 20kg shells into the breach at a rate of four shells a minute must be considered dubious, the ability to change 40kg road wheels even moreso.

Further, an infantryman — perhaps that should be infantryperson — is expected to close with the enemy while carrying weapon and more than 40kg of gear. Women have evolved without such power and endurance. In a unit, the women’s weakness is inappropriate to the training intensity and forces a reshuffling of heavy labor roles, lowering morale and team performance, the Marines study concluded. Nor can women necessarily be kept in the rear. A notorious example was when Iraqis in 2003 ambushed wayward trucks and captured supply clerk Private Jessica Lynch.[8] Army traditionalists focus on the need for group cohesion and morale. A wag might wonder if the ASF’s decision to underwrite the cost of sex-change surgeries for serving members might be a neat trick to gain the advantages of the male physique while officially lifting the number of “women”, at least as recognised by military policy.[9]

Retired US Army Lt-Col Robert Maginnis wrote a book excoriating top brass for their “cowardice of silence” in kowtowing to politicians and political correctness, rather than protesting by resignation at lowering of performance standards. Such ‘craven behaviour’ was particularly life-threatening to the same young women the generals were agreeing to place in harm’s way, Maginnis said.

As it happens, I have a friend who is a Marine in Utah and agreed to give his views.

“Opening all combat roles to women would be a logistics and expense nightmare. Women will bond with us OK on combat duty, maybe differently and with more effort perhaps.   It can work great.

But  why add them in anyway?. We’re not short of male combat trainees. I don’t like change. The machine’s not broke, why try to fix it?

Marines take care of their own; people say that excessive risk would be taken to rescue a wounded woman Marine. We would take excessive risks for any comrade, white, black, male, female.

A woman in combat should be strong enough to endure the same hardships and loads. I’ve worked with some who could carry a 180kg comrade and kit off the field. But even the regular Marine Corps includes weaker, less bright guys who become the unit’s weak links — they simply can’t carry their kit up the mountain . Weak-linkers multiply with women who haven’t passed the physicals; we have to take up the slack. 

I’ve had few dealings with women Marines, mainly in admin and nursing, and they’re all great professionals. But suppose at an Okinawa base there’s a few who are pretty and available. I’ve sat one night in a bar and  saw four  jealousy fights over one girl – maybe she had been switching her favors. She can take her  pick of 500 guys.

Practical issues swarm in.

“In the field we all get filthy together and it’s not such an issue. Back at base,  they need their own rooms, showers and toilets with doors, two structures down through all the units.”  

To conform to the Obama mindset, top generals have developed a deranged focus on non-war-fighting issues.[10] Apart from elevating climate change (which stopped nearly 19 years ago) to a primary security threat to the US,   generals have fast-tracked  Muslims up the ranks. That turned out badly in 2009, when Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood in Texas, shot 13 comrades and wounded 31 others. Now awaiting execution, he had been pre-posted to Afghanistan. Earlier he was an email pal of a notorious jihadist and had even delivered an in-house presentation that included the admonition that, “Muslim Soldiers should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly.” The Department of Defense chose not to charge him with terrorism – although it was the worst terrorist attack in the US since 9/11. The official description of the massacre was “workplace violence”.[11]

Army Chief of Staff George Casey then announced that he was fearful of a backlash against US Muslim soldiers. He said, “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

That is, potential loss of “diversity” disturbed him more than his own troops being massacred by a traitorous Islamic renegade. In a sane world, Casey would have been met with horrified laughter. As it is, having dismissed out of hand all questions of Muslim loyalty, the military’s social engineers and their agents in the Pentagon took up the feminist cause of reducing readiness, performance and unit capability.

Tony Thomas blogs at No B-S Here, I Hope

 

[1] Robert L. Maginnis, Deadly Consequences, Kindle 3016.

[2] Among the fall-out from the  decision is that US women aged 18-26, along with US men 18-26, should now be registered and subject to possible call-up. Women had been previously exempted because of battlefield restrictions.  Standards must now be similarly enforced against countless flabby, overweight male NCOs.

[3] The Navy integrated its fighter pilot career fields in the 1990s

[4] In the past decade, 300,000 US women were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 9,000 earned Combat Action Badges. About 800 were wounded and 160 died from combat- and noncombat-related incidents.

[5] No, it’s not an internet spoof.

[6] Wiki says Camp Zama is home to the U.S. Army Japan (USARJ)/I Corps (Forward),[2] the U.S. Army Japan Aviation Detachment Japan “Ninjas” , the 441st Military Intelligence Brigade, the Japan Engineer District (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), the 78th Signal Battalion and the Central Readiness Force and 4th Engineer Group of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

[7] Contrary to most people’s impressions, male-on-male sexual assaults in the US forces rose sharply after Obama relaxed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy re gay troops.

[8] The Pentagon then morphed this pretty and honest woman into poster-girl for women recruitment, ignoring the black and Hispanic women who suffered equally in the incident.

[9] Australian taxpayers spent $648,000 in 2012-14 for 13 sex changes and 15 breast enhancement procedures for serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF)

[10] A blogger’s comment: I am a retired US Army Officer and continue to work for the Federal Govt as a DOD civilian and cannot believe the level of testicular atrophy that has occurred among the senior leadership of the US Armed services.

[11]  A day after a radicalized Muslim couple shot down 14 co-workers at a health centre in San Bernardino, Calif.,  on December 2, President Obama said,  “It is possible that this is terrorist-related, but we don’t know; it is also possible this was workplace-related.”

Comments [10]

  1. Jody says:

    I’d never want any daughter of mine in the military, particularly in a combat zone. What happens when they are captured?

    • PT says:

      Feminists are an odd bunch. On the one hand they scream loudly about how “men” cause all these wars, terrible testosterone and all that, and they need to take the “toys from the boys”. But in the next breath they’re demanding full female participation in this “male madness”. But consistency and logic (apparently partriacle mind sets) have no place in feminist thinking (if you can call it “thinking”).

  2. Mayan says:

    Having had sex reassignment surgery (paid for by myself – if you want anything done right, pay for it yourself), I can say that the ADF is getting seriously ripped off.

    As for plastic surgery in the ADF in general, there is a case for maintaining a skill base for such surgery in the event that large numbers of people return from war with all manner of horrible injuries. It’s hard to comment rationally given the ubiquity of click-bait journalism.

    • PT says:

      Mayan, not quite sure what you’re on about. The military exists to defend the nation and defeat its enemies. It isn’t there to facilitate some PC pieties. How about giving “non-lethal” weapons (tasers, tranquilliser guns) to “conscientious objectors?

      The issue here is ideology overriding military necessity. Look at the “easing” of physical rules for the Victorian Police under Nixon, as not enough women could meet them. These things are not without consequences.
      The pregnancy obstical courses are a joke. Surely no one could be stupid enough to think a heavily pregnant woman should be expected to undertake full combat duty!

      The modern left (and I include Turncoat in this) are just divorced from reality.

      • Mayan says:

        My comment concerned only the plastic surgeries mentioned in the article. When people are maimed and disfigured in war, are they not worthy of surgery to repair the damage they have suffered? Some of the plastic surgery done in peace time is justified, to fix the consequences of accidents and to maintain a level of capability.

        The article is quite correct in its highlighting of the dangers of lowering standards in life and death situations.

        • PT says:

          I agree with that Mayan, indeed the two world wars gave us plastic surgery. I don’t have an issue with plastic surgery. I do have an issue with those who push this agenda. Some seem to think the “legend of the Amazons” is real. Shows how much they know. The fact the ancient Greeks imagined women would slice off one of their breasts to be archers shows how the whole thing was some grotesque fantasy of a very male dominated society. Then again we have the “marriages” of Nero and Eblegalas cited as historical precedents of “gay marriage” without any sense of the madness or tyranny of these, two of the worst Roman Emperors. No informed person would cite those two nutters a positive support of anything!

  3. PT says:

    I’m firmly on the side of Sargent-major Williams!

    • padraic says:

      I don’t want to “offend” anybody, but some of the spelling in the comments seem to reflect modern education. What a sad situation when the feminizing of the Western male moves from the university to the armed forces. What is happening is so impractical. I was working in Switzerland in 1964 and one of my Swiss colleagues told me how the armed forces system worked there vis a vis the army. You had universal national service with a core of personnel in a small standing army whose main role was to train the new recruits entering each year and to conduct annual exercises. The training was conducted in the area in which they lived so they knew every gully and hill in their immediate surroundings. After the initial training each person was given a rank, a weapon and a uniform. The weapon was stored in a safe place in their town or village and their uniform in their wardrobe. Each year they put on their uniform assembled in the town square and were given their weapons and played war games in their immediate vicinity over a couple of weeks. As the years went by they could improve their rank and they kept up these annual exercises until their 60s when they retired. It was explained to me that if Switzerland was attacked they very quickly assemble the whole country as a fully trained and equipped army whose locally based units knew every inch of terrain on which they would be fighting. The other thing was that they would send in the oldest grandfather-aged soldiers first and move down the age groups until they reached the youngest – thus preserving the capacity to regenerate the population post-war. How practical and sensible is that? You may have noticed that nobody has tried to invade Switzerland. What a contrast to the political correct gender madness we see now in America and other countries. I would not be surprised in the future if workplace safety laws will prohibit the use of dangerous weapons and instead of shooting at the enemy we will have to counsel them on their unacceptable behaviour. God save us.

  4. Bill Martin says:

    For quite some time I considered that the greatest of all idiocies was the failure to appreciate the mortal threat of Islam to western civilisation. After reading this article, even though nothing in it was especially surprising, I now see the stubborn insistence that men and women are readily interchangeable as being in the same stratospheric league.

    How is it possible to fail to see and acknowledge the obvious: woman is the homemaker and nurturer, man is the provider and protector. Certainly, each can take on both roles together when circumstances demand and often carry them out well, sometimes not so well. But the infinitely preferable situation is when each can do and act what their respective natures dictate. Even the male and female bodies at their optimum illustrate the reality of the situation. One graceful and delicate, the other robust and dominant.

    One feels for the male soldiers who are forced into the untenable situations created by the grossly unnatural situation of women in their ranks. How are they to maintain moral under such circumstances? Those in charge who promote the idiocy, such as AOY David Morrison, have a lot to answer for, for the inevitable weakening of our defence forces.

  5. Rob Brighton says:

    Bill:- This has nothing to do with our ability to defend ourselves and everything to do with the “sisters” march to supremacy under the guise of equality.

    Watch it change when they start coming home in body bags. We know they will get slaughtered, when captured raped their comrades will do what they can but it won’t help.

    Most women understand that Scarlett Johansson kicking the crap out of a male evil doer is fantasy and in real life women will be torn to pieces by a male enemy.

    Conditions will arise that require violent correction, that is the history of the world and won’t change anytime soon for mine I suggest those who push so hard for women’s inclusion in battle be the first to be handed a gun….charge!