This story is a reminder that there still are a number of issues that haven’t been properly addressed about allowing women into combat roles.
|U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Arnold H. Cabral, from Modesto, Calif.,|
and assigned to Georgian Liaison Team-9 conducts a dismounted
patrol with Georgian Army soldiers assigned to the 33rd Light
Infantry Battalion during operation Northern Lion II in
Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 3, 2013. Northern Lion II
was a Georgian led operation conducted to deter insurgents,
establish a presence, and gather human intelligence in the
area. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alejandro Pena/Released)
(Photo Courtesy of Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System)
For instance, in the Army, when a soldier is sent to a training school (voluntarily or involuntarily) he is expected to pass it. If he does not, it has negative consequences for his career.
I wanted to know if the Marines operated similarly so I contacted retired Marine John Bernard (whose work I have posted at this website).
“It depends on what route they followed to get to OCS,” he told me. “If they come through the MECEP [Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program] program (enlisted to officer upon graduation from college) they would simply revert back and finish their contracts.”
“If they come through the NROTC [Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps] program and were paid, they would have to finish their contract as enlisted,” Bernard added.
“Anyone applying for OCS having paid their way through college, I would think, would simply be released from OCS and washed out,” he said although he admitted he wasn’t certain about that.
So will the women who failed at the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course suffer consequences for their failure? If not yet (simply because they are participating in a testing phase) will women suffer consequences to their career once the testing phase ends?
One of the things that the Department of Defense and activists have constantly said is that allowing women into combat positions is all about fairness and equality. If this is the case—if everyone is to be treated fairly with women in combat—then two things should now occur.
First, the total number of women in the armed forces should drop because most women will not be able to meet the same standards or perform at the same physical level as men. And if we only want to keep our best troops, then women should be discharged in large numbers.
Second, the number of women in prime leadership positions should actually drop—not rise—because of their inability to meet or perform at the same physical standards that men must in order to advance their careers.
So will that occur?
John Bernard provides insight on another issue that hasn’t been properly addressed on allowing women into combat roles and so-called equality. What he says next is not only true for the Marines but for the Army as well.
The other, apparently not-so-obvious problem is the whole idea of “equality”. What people are not catching is that this says women should be afforded “the opportunity” to serve in combat roles.
Does this mean women should have a right typically denied men? That women should be able to “ask” for these roles and not be turned down yet not be compelled to serve in them as their male counterparts are?
Because that is the case for the average man. As long as there are openings and a candidate scores well enough on the ASVAB [Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery], he can get what he wants. BUT, if numbers in the combat arms fields are down, it is not unusual for recruits to be “compelled” to serve in a combat arms field because the need comes first.
Will women also be compelled or is this simply a feel good measure designed to show how open minded and sensitive we are to the “needs and wants” of people of all races, creeds and sex?
This will create dissension in the ranks not because of the presence of women but because of the suggestion of preferential treatment.
Unfortunately, what should be the dominant point is being ignored in its entirety—except by those who simply refuse to acknowledge physiology.
And I won’t even mention chivalry…These and other questions on if women will be treated equally to men, or continue to be treated preferentially over men, remain unaddressed.