Military Culture & Diversity
April 5, 2014

General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., the 30th Commandant, was a man of character, a mentor, and a good  friend I've known since 1994.  On April 2 he died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, having struggled with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, Merkel cell carcinoma.  His email updates describing the ups and downs of what was happening since his diagnosis last June reflected serenity and even a bit of humor as "Team Mundy" closed ranks. 

Many memories come to mind.  In the millennium year, we were the guests of the 32nd Commandant, General Jim Jones, at the International Naval Review 2000 in New York Harbor.  My photos of the splendid flotilla of tall ships sailing by our observation post aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau, anchored near the carrier USS Kennedy, included the World Trade Center in the background.

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March 18, 2014

Marines "Experimental Task Force" Unlikely to Change Reality 

Under orders from the Department of Defense, the Marines have been conducting research on whether it makes sense to assign women to direct ground combat units.  Partial findings released so far indicate that this is not a good idea.  Enter the "Marine Corps Force Integration Plan," a recently established experiment that some advocates hope will produce something. . .anything. . .that supports the theory that women can "succeed" in the combat arms. 

The Center for Military Readiness has produced a concise but comprehensive CMR Policy Analysis presenting the latest information about ongoing "research" on the misguided push for women in direct ground (infantry) combat.  After two years of trying, results do not appear to fit the template the Pentagon had in mind:  

Defense Department Deliberately Moving to Implement Policies Known to Harm Military Women

In January 2012, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the Obama Administration's intent to push for "gender diversity metrics" in aggressive fighting teams such as Marine and Army infantry, armor, artillery, Special Operations Forces, and Navy SEALs. . . . Read More

January 28, 2014

New Rules Greeted With Cautious Optimism

The Department of Defense recently released an Instruction (Number 1300.17) to implement a defense bill "conscience clause" to protect religious liberty in the military.  The January 22 directive referenced Section 533 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2013, which reaffirmed the constitutional rights of chaplains and people of faith to act in accordance with their beliefs on issues affecting morality and religious beliefs.  

The Center for Military Readiness and many groups affiliated with the Military Culture Coalition supported the legislation, which was passed in 2012:

Congress Takes First Steps to Accommodate Religious Liberty in the Military

If carried out as Congress intended, the law and Instruction will be helpful in pushing back against violations of religious liberty that . . . Read More

January 24, 2014

Pentagon civilians and military leaders keep claiming that when women serve in the combat arms, all standards will be "gender-neutral."  Now comes reality, revealed in a new physical fitness test with "gender-neutral" minimum requirements. 

Owing to well-documented physiological differences, 55 percent of female Marine boot camp trainees, compared to 1 percent of men, were unable to perform a new minimum test: three pull-ups to demonstrate upper body strength.  Plans for women in combat, still moving forward, just hit an iceberg that is bigger than boot camp. . . . Read More

November 14, 2013

President Barack Obama is pushing hard for women in direct ground combat units, to include Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations Forces.  Under Defense Department mandates for "gender diversity," women will be incrementally ordered (not "allowed") into land combat battalions by January 2016. 

Acquiescent military service chiefs keep insisting that training requirements will be "the same," implying standards will be as high as before.  However, as the Center for Military Readiness reports in this CMR Policy Analysis, the fine print "catch" is hidden in plain sight: 

Double-Think About Double Standards
"Gender-Neutral" Training To Include Gender-Normed Scores

Footnotes in a June Marine Corps report to Congress admitted that "gender-neutral" standards will include fitness tests that use "gender-normed" scores.  For example, to pass . . . Read More

See previous articles on this topic here:
More background information and historic documents on this topic may be available in the 'Essential Resources' section of this website, or in a previous edition of CMR E-Notes, archived here.