Home Career and Education Pressure on Marines Corps to lower combat standards for Women

Pressure on Marines Corps to lower combat standards for Women

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Christina Fuentes Marine Corps
Pfc. Christina Fuentes Montenegro and other Marines from Delta Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-East, receive final instructions prior to assaulting an objective during the Infantry Integrated Field Training Exercise aboard Camp Geiger, N.C., Nov 15, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

If women cannot meet a standard, senior commanders better have a good reason why it should not be lowered. This is the announcement the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin E. Dempsey made to the Obama administration’s plan to open direct land combat jobs to women, later known as the “Dempsey rule.” It is now time for the rule to have its first case.

According to the Washington Times, the Marine Corps recently completed research to find out if female officers could finish its Infantry Officer Course. Of the 29 women who attempted the course, none graduated and only four completed the first day’s combat endurance test.

The success rate, or rather lack thereof, is seen as a wakeup call to those in the Pentagon who desire to have a large number of women in the infantry. They are now reviewing the standards and trying to determine which ones are no longer relevant in today’s battlefield. 

“The pressure is on the services from the White House’s politically correct crowd vis-a-vis Obama’s Pentagon appointees, who will force the services to accept degraded standards,” said Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and author of the book “Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat.”

In January 2013, Leon E. Panetta, the Defense Secretary at the time, and Dempsey announced the rule that prohibited women from serving in direct ground combat, such as infantry, special operations, artillery and armor.

After the cancellation was announced, each branch began to evaluate female candidates and the standards they must reach. The study’s end in January will coincide with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s decision as to whether occupations will be opened. If a branch decides to remain closed, it has to prove why its standards cannot be lowered.

Dempsey best described it when he said, “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? Does it really have to be that high?”

The Marine Corps may be met with some opposition that they keep their standards, despite women passing enlisted infantry school, even though it is a less-demanding course.

This article was written by a staff writer and originally published at Popular Military.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. The high standards that are in place are designed to keep Marines alive and to ensure success on the battlefield. Women are not built like me irregardless of what is being pushed upon the Marine Corps by those that are ignorant in the ways of war.
    Women are serving admirably throughout the Corps, their happy being Marines. Most that I have spoken to don’t want to be a grunt. They themselves understand that being in that MOS will tear their body to pieces and as they age mobility will be lost due to arthritis and other medical maladies that eventually come from being in the infantry.
    Young Americans join the Marine Corps because the standards are high, they want the challenges of being part of an elite fighting force. Marines are made to kill and break things, and for over two hundred years have become quite successful at doing whatever mission they were tasked to do. So why screw up success?

  2. Just curious- why would an article use phrases like “Dempsey best described it…” which is an opinion but not identify the author by name? I followed the link to the site Popular Military where they also identify the author as “Staff Writer”. Any reputable news site would identify the author.

    While I don’t disagree with the sentiment of the article- I’m not particularly a fan of a site, reposting a story that appeared on another site- neither of which identify the author.

    This is how misinformation gets out there.

  3. I like the Idea of a female commander on the ground. Let them lead a platoon of Female combat ready troops into battle. If they come back, then we have a good idea. If they do not leave the standards as is.

  4. Don’t give in! You’re the last hope we have!! If women want to be treated equally then they must meet the standards. Period.

  5. Marines FIRST INTO BATTLE shoulder to shoulder in the filed and they are expected to perform physically in battle with EQUAL abilities no less! if women can meet same physical requirements of Men on the BATTLEFIELD HOORAH welcome to fight! If not maybe logistics or other fields of endeavor in the Marine is best for you. DO NOT LOWER REQUIREMENTS! Freak’n Obama LIBTARD APPOINTEES trying to make POLICY!

  6. The standards are high for a reason. Being an infantry Marine is tough. Being an officer leading Marines is tougher. There are few if any women physically capable of doing what it takes to be an officer leading a company of Marines into combat. If we lower the bar, the female would be embarrassed and unit would lose respect for her in a combat situation. Marines rely on each other. They can’t rely on someone who they cannot believe in. Marines die. That’s a fact. But Marines don’t want to die for political correctness.

  7. I am a woman with a son in the marines. I do NOT want standards lowered for man or woman. The course is designed to see if marines can carry out their dutys. If a woman/man cannot handle this training they should not be allowed in. Period. These are usually the first in battle and cannot afford to carry extra loads because someone cant handle their own. This is about these marines lives. There is no place for political correctness. The Pentagon should be ashamed of themselves for even thinking of putting the lives of our marines in danger because of their own men/woman. We should not be our own enemy. I would like further information on how my voice can be heard and this stopped. There are many other places for these marines to go to that would not put there own men/woman in danger. If there is a petition to be sent to those trying to figure out a way to please people who cant make the requirements I would love to know and be a part of it. thanks you

  8. Just another way the Corps is becoming weaker by lowering standards. It’s all too touchy-feel any more. Let’s all get our stress cards out and hand them over to the enemy along with our weapons.

  9. If those standards are no longer applicable, then why should a man have to pass them? If you are going to lower the bar, let’s make it equal all across. I don’t think it’s fair to lower the standards for women in an acceptable manner because a standard is no longer applicable to combat, but keep it for man. That’s discrimination as well.

  10. This is blatant. If you do something that weakens our defense, our MILITARY, and keep doing it, it is INTENTIONAL! If a woman, one of my own sex, can do the SAME then fine! If not, she can dind another job! Lower standards of qualifications, fewer military, leaving our allies hanging, all while terrorism is on the rise… I see a pattern here!!!

  11. Combat standards should not be lowered for the sake of honoring women. Lower standards would lessen combat effectiveness for the Marine Corps. If she can pass the test, then she deserves it.

  12. Why are standards so high? This isn’t a fast food job. Lives are at stake. Yes, standards really do have to be that high. Don’t let them condescend to you. Don’t let them lower the bar because you haven’t reached it yet. Do better. Be stronger. Few have a problem with women joining, most have a problem with lowering standards. It’s easy to say that we don’t need high standards when you’re in an office in Washington wearing a nice suit. The guys on the ground disagree.

  13. i am a woman, proud of my country and would defend her if necessary. The men in my family have served in the navy. However, there are certain things a women cannot do that men can because of our physical makeup just like a man can’t have a baby. To lower military standards would jeopardize the lives of other soldiers. Just think if your son or husband’s life was depended on a woman being able to schlep him out of combat if he was wounded and unconscious but because she physically couldn’t do it he or the high die. Some things shouldn’t be changed and certainly not just to satisfy the politically correct complainers!

  14. I absolutely agree. I am a woman and I am ex military. if you have to lower standards for you to be in military then you should not be there whether or not you are male or female. Everyone keeps focusing on gender when this is not the issue. I know I do not want someone in my platoon that cannot carry their own Weight. this is not a democracy you follow orders and you get the Job done. If you do not have the ability to do this, then you should not be there. Standards are standards and if you can not meet them then you shouldn’t be in the military.

  15. I love the picture that was posted with this article, wait until she sees combat I guarantee the smile on her face will go away, if she survives it.

  16. if they lower females standards they better lower men’s standards to or I’ll come out to Washington requesting “equality for men’s rights”…

  17. The minute our enemies will agree to lower their standard battle plans to accommodate women leading in combat, then I’m going to be one of the first to say the Marines, Army Rangers and Navy Seals should lower their standards to accommodate women. If the enemy won’t do that, than nothing EVER should change.

    This Political Correct campaign underway by the anal orifice Liberals to get more of our men AND WOMEN killed in combat by lowering the standards is the true definition of insanity. Not every man who attempts to join these elite organizations is successful. Do we drop the standards so low that EVERYONE who signs up gets to finish? This is the natural consequence begun years ago in elementary school where no one won, and no one lost. Everyone got a blue ribbon. It’s simply stupidity on the part of Liberals who push this crap…..Deadly stupidity.

    The people making these decisions at the top have never served, and have no business being influential in these kinds of decisions.

  18. I think the better way to go about this would be, can you give me a reason as to why this standard is unreasonably high. That is the only way any standard should ever be lowered for anyone regardless of gender.

  19. I’m all for women in the military; I don’t believe there is anything
    a man can do that a woman can’t do just as well (Sometimes better).
    But one has to ask; would the enemy also lower combat standards on
    the battlefield just because the combatants they are engaging are
    women?
    I seriously doubt it.
    Yes; bring more women into our military, but don’t lower combat
    standards; to do so is to set them up for certain death.

  20. We already have a double standard in the Marine Corps. Look at the PFT for men versus women. And do women have to do the CFT? If so, why because they’re not in designated direct combat units. My point is, the Corps seems to be taking out of both sides of its mouth…

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