Higher-ups argue about the Marine Study on Women in Combat

Just in case you’ve been following this, here are a few articles I’ve run into on the subject.

Congressman calls for Navy secretary to resign as Marines’ women-in-combat feud escalates

“Congressman Duncan Hunter, left, a California Republican and Marine Corps combat veteran, is calling for Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to resign after Mabus criticized the Marine Corps’ gender integration research. …

“The military is on the cusp of historic change, with a mandate to open all combat roles to women by January. Each of the services has until Oct. 1 to request any exemptions to that policy.

Mabus has made his intentions clear, saying he won’t allow either the Navy or the Marine Corps to keep any specialties closed to women. …

Days later, Mabus went a step further, telling NPR that the Marine Corps’ study was flawed. He reiterated his position again this week during a speaking engagement in Ohio. …

“Mabus also has suggested the study’s results were predetermined.

“It started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking ‘this is not a good idea,’ and ‘women will never be able to do this,’ ” Mabus told NPR in an interview broadcast on Sept. 11. “When you start out with that mindset, you’re almost presupposing the outcome.””

In response, Sergent Major Justin LeHew probably stated:

“Ok, been silent long enough on this. I have been a part of this process from the beginning and I am just going to put it out there. The Secretary of the Navy is way off base on this and to say the things he is saying is is flat out counter to the interests of national security and is unfair to the women who participated in this study.We selected our best women for this test unit, selected our most mature female leaders as well. The men (me included) were the most progressive and open minded that you could get. The commander of this unit was a seasoned and successful infantryman. The XO of this unit was as good as they get, so good the USMC made her the CO of the Officer candidate school.

This was as stacked as a unit could get with the best Marines to give it a 100 percent success rate as we possibly could. End result? The best women in the GCEITF as a group in regard to infantry operations were equal or below in most all cases to the lowest 5 percent of men as a group in this test study.
I just selected the SgtMaj of the unit to head up our senior enlisted academy at Camp Lejeune, NC. No one went in to this with the mentality that we did not want this to succeed. No Marine, regardless of gender would do that. With our limited manpower we cannot afford to not train eveyone to the best of their abilities.

They are slower on all accounts in almost every technical and tactical aspect and physically weaker in every aspect across the range of military operations. SECNAV has stated that he has made his mind up even before the release of these results and that the USMC test unit will not change his mind on anything.

Listen up folks. Your senior leadership of this country does not want to see America overwhelmingly succeed on the battlefield, it wants to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to pursue whatever they want regardless of the outcome on national security. The infantry is not Ranger School. That is just a school like any other school and is not a feeder specifically to the infantry.

Anyone can go to that school that meets the prereqs, just like airborne school. Kudos to the two women who graduated. They are badasses in their own right. In regards to the infantry… There is no trophy for second place. You perform or die.

Make no mistake. In this realm, you want your fastest, most fit, most physical and most lethal person you can possibly put on the battlefield to overwhelm the enemy’s ability to counter what you are throwing at them and in every test case, that person has turned out to be a man.

There is nothing gender biased about this, it is what it is. You will never see a female Quarterback in the NFL, there will never be a female center on any NHL team and you will never see a female batting in the number 4 spot for the New York Yankees. It is what it is. As a country we preach equality.

But to place these mandates on the military before this country has even considered making females register, just like males, for the selective service is in all aspects out of touch with reality. Equality and equal opportunity start before you raise your right hand and swear and oath to this country.

Yes, we are an all volunteer force at the moment. Should this country however need to mobilize rapidly again to face the threats of the world like our grandfathers did, it will once again look to the military age males of this country to fill the ranks because last I checked, we did not require women to register for the selective service.

Until that happens, we should not even be wasting our time even thinking about opening up the infantry to women.

To my female Marine friends out there, I love you to death, you are the best of the best and you have my continued admiration for what you do and to the Marines of the GCEITF….you are tops in my book for taking up the challenge…regardless what the SECNAV says about you not being the best that we could have put in that unit because you were….on all accounts.”


This was posted on FB communities for the Marines and Infantry, rather than an “official” source like a news article, so I can’t claim 100% certainty that someone didn’t just make it up. However, if you want the full United States Marine Corps Assessment of Women in Service Assignments, this looks about as legit as it gets. Since it’s all images, I’m not going to quote, but one of the things it does note is that the vast, vast majority of jobs in the military are already open to women; only a few of the very front-line, combat jobs are under discussion.

These are jobs where raw strength matters a lot, and the average person–male or female–probably isn’t cut out for such work, but females are far less likely than males to qualify.


My own opinion is that, in an ideal world, we would allow everyone into all jobs and just determine whether they are qualified or not via a test. But if many of the women who’ve been through boot camp and training and are genuinely trying still can’t do the job, how many qualified women are we even talking about? I’ve seen people trying to argue that nowadays weightlifting is getting more popular with women, so more women will be strong enough to qualify, but what these folks miss is that the men who qualify are already doing strength training; it’s not like anyone can just naturally lift 200 pounds. Mere strength training is not enough; these women would have to do far more strength training than the male recruits. We are running up, here, against human limits. Yes, there are some women who are both qualified for the job and actually have an interest in it, but how many? And when we find these few women, will the military actually gain strength from them, or will the logistics of integrating them into otherwise all-male units outweigh the benefits? I hate to be crass, but we women menstruate; supply chains would need to take this into account.

Frankly, if the draft returns, the last place I’d like to be is combat (and I guarantee you don’t want me there, either.)


3 thoughts on “Higher-ups argue about the Marine Study on Women in Combat

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  2. […] Allow me to express a bit of doubt: if people think the folks running the study want a particular outcome, they may be reluctant to complain about a fellow squad member. What I really want is a study of squad performance comparing squads with and without trans members, similar to the one highlighted in “The US Marines Tested Mixed-Gender Squads Against all Male ones, and the Results are Pretty Bleak” (which I wrote about here and followed up on here): […]


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