Training Standards & Health
May 15, 2014

During the marathon session to mark up sections of the annual National Defense Authorization Act for 2015, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) casually approved a problematic amendment to the massive bill that should have gotten closer scrutiny.  Sponsored by California Democrat Loretta Sanchez, the amendment named "SIR" for "She is Ready," is no less bad because it could have been worse. 

Sanchez' initial proposal would have mandated that women who have gotten through infantry training as part of current research programs should be allowed to join the infantry, regardless of the physical, operational, and legal consequences for themselves and everyone else.  Senior committee members correctly opposed that irresponsible idea, but they still agreed to other ...

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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 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

November 13, 2012

For many months, the Center for Military Readiness has been analyzing the Marine Corps's plan to research the possibility of assigning women to infantry battalions. General James Amos, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, announced the multi-phased research project with a Memo to All Marines on April 23, 2012.   Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution has written an article about that project, still in progress, and its implications for the future of the Marine Corps:

With admirable clarity, O'Hanlon describes the physical demands of the Marines' Infantry Officer Course (IOC) at Quantico, VA:  . . . Read More

This Day Last Year

Stealth Attack on Draft-Age Women

During the House Armed Services Committee's markup on the National Defense Authorization bill for 2014, committee members would not even consider legislation to preserve young women's exemption from Selective Service registration and a possible future draft.  CMR has prepared this Policy Analysis to explain why this was a dereliction of duty in Congress, the Pentagon, and in the White House:

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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.