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Pentagon Pushes "Diversity" for Women in Land Combat

February 22, 2012
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On February 9, the Department of Defense conducted a briefing to announce incremental plans to force military women into direct ground combat units such as Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations Forces.  According to the transcript of that briefing, Pentagon officials pledged five times that the now-officially acknowledged changes in policies affecting women were "just the beginning, not the end."   

The plan cuts Congress−and the American people−out of the policy-making process.  Members of Congress nevertheless will be fully responsible for all consequences that will ensue from the recently-announced policy changes and even more incremental steps to impose the complications of gender integration in "tip of the spear" direct ground combat units such as the infantry. 

An astonishing training program that forces men to act like pregnant women demonstrates just how far the military is willing to go in feminizing the American military:

1.  What the Department of Defense Announced

An article on Military.com included a link to the  Defense Department document released on February 9, titled "Report to Congress on the Review of Laws, Policies and Regulations Restricting the Service of Female Members in the Armed Forces."  On page 15, the document says that the Defense Department will:

1. Eliminate the co-location exclusion from the 1994 policy;

2. As an exception to policy, allow Military Department Secretaries to assign women in open occupational specialties to select units and positions at the battalion level (for Army, Navy, and Marine Corps) whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground;

3. Based on the exception to policy, assess the suitability and relevance of the direct ground combat unit assignment prohibition to inform future policy decisions; and

4. Pursue the development of gender-neutral physical standards for occupational specialties closed due to physical requirements.

2.  What Was the Rationale?

The report includes no evidence of benefits to the military from the elimination of the collocation rule, except for the lame admission−coming seven years late−that female personnel have been in positions not authorized for a long time.  The Center for Military Readiness reported this story starting in 2005:

As its primary justification, the Defense Department cites a report prepared by the congressionally-authorized Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC), titled “From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century.”  The MLDC Report was produced by civilian and military diversity "experts" who came primarily from the “equal opportunity” community, and who assign highest priority to “diversity” goals.  The interests of Army and Marine infantry and Special Operations Forces are not represented adequately, even though major recommentdations center on "tip of the spear" DGC troops that currently are all-male.

Most of the commission staff members appear to be "equal opportunity" contractors, primarily from the RAND Corporation, who have little or no military experience.  The report should not be taken seriously by anyone who does not agree that the military is just another equal opportunity employer subject to “diversity” mandates. The Obama Administration's Department of Defense, however, does take the report seriously, and is determined to take its recommendations to extremes.

3.  Why Is this Necessary?

The Defense Department has confirmed what we already knew: For decades women have been promoted at rates equal to or faster than men.  In fact, during the February 9 briefing, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness Vee Penrod admitted, “…if you look at promotions in fields where women currently serve or are partially open, that there was no disadvantage in the promotion rate of women.” 

The Executive Summary of the February 9 report states,

“As required by statute, the Department assessed the impact of gender-restricted policies on the equitable opportunity for women to compete and excel in the Armed Forces. A formal study was conducted to evaluate partially open occupational specialties. The Department reviewed all available information from the Military Services and did not find indication of females having less than equitable opportunities to compete and excel under current assignment policy.”

Since the committee failed to find any evidence of unfair discrimination against women in promotion matters, what is the rationale for eliminating women's exemptions from direct ground combat, which the majority of enlisted women support?  One answer, which comes up all the time, is to create a career path for the first female Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

But that is not a good enough reason to drastically alter the culture of the military, pretending that unequal, gender-normed standards measuring “effort” are the same as equal standards measuring results under wartime conditions.  It would make more sense for Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey, USA, to resign and ask President Barack Obama to appoint a female officer to take his seat, instead of extending DSIW (double standards involving women) to infantry and Special Operations Forces battalions.

After all, Gen. Dempsey should not mind surrendering his title to a woman for the sake of “diversity,” which his predecessor Adm. Mike Mullen, USN, has called a “strategic objective.”  This promotion would avoid the process of forcing enlisted women into those units officially or unofficially in a “pilot program” with results that everyone knows are pre-determined.

4.  "Gender-Neutral" Standards: Will Marine Basic Training Go Co-Ed?

On page 5, the Defense Department Report released on February 9 says this:

“The evaluation of gender-restricted occupational specialties and positions that require the performance of physically demanding duties will follow the establishment of gender-neutral job related physical standards. The Department intends to capitalize on significant research by academic organizations in support of government sector occupations such as police and firefighters. The Department will notify Congress of all proposed future changes in accordance with P.L 103-160, § 543, 10 U.S.C., § 652, and § 6035.”

Translation: The Army and Marine Corps are to be put at the mercy of academic “Women’s Studies” experts who believe that Army/Marine infantry and Special Operations Forces battalions are no different than domestic police and fire departments.  This is an insult to the intelligence of Congress and other sentient beings. 

The plan is also a tacit admission that none of the studies conducted to compare male and female capabilities in a military context have found any evidence that physiological differences can be overcome by training, leadership, or anything else.

The 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces found at least a dozen reasons why direct ground combat units are different from police and fire departments.  A police- or firewoman does not have to deploy overseas for months at a time, carry 100 pounds on her back for miles, or deliberately attack a heavily-armed opposing force.  Police and fire personnel do not do these things.

The Presidential Commission published the findings of several physiological studies that contradicted Amazon Myths about gender equality, and there have been several more since then.  A new analysis by Dr. William J. Gregor, Professor of Social Sciences at the School of Advanced Military Studies, US Army Command and General Staff College, documents several more:

Why Can't Anything Be Done?

Measuring Physical Readiness of Women for Military Occupations

The Defense Department report called for a six-month delay before the submission of a report to Congress on promised "Gender-neutral" training standards. 

Translation:  The delay seems to have only one logical reason: To prevent any action by Congress that might preserve tough, gender-separate training and other policies that are beneficial to military women, men, and the culture of the military.  Given past efforts to abolish gender-separate basic training in the Marine Corps, no one should be surprised if a move to do this begins with the promised report−delivered while Congress is out of town in August.

Military Realities Discredit Amazon Myths

As Dr. Gregor has explained, there is no way that infantry and Special Operations Forces training can be made co-ed without lowering standards, subjecting women to crippling injuries in training, or simply changing the definition of "qualified." 

For example, one of the key jobs just opened to women is “tank mechanic.”  An infantry officer recently confirmed certain findings of the presidential commission:   

“Some of the wrenches used in this job are the length of a man's arm and they are made of cast iron or steel.  One of the bigger challenges for tank (and self-propelled artillery) mechanics is the process of "breaking track".  This requires a "tanker bar" which is a 5 or 6 foot crow bar designed to be used as a wedge between tracks.  This process is demanding and requires consistent, applied strength under ideal conditions (i.e., in a stateside motor pool, which is the only time I've done it on a Bradley) and it can be hell if done in the mud and rain.  Just as every infantryman has his favorite uphill road march in the freezing rain story, every tanker has a story about breaking track in a foot of mud.

“Those wrenches would be used by one man.  They are so long because it provides leverage.  Nonetheless, there are already female mechanics that service Bradleys and Abrams tanks from the FSC.  They simply don't do the hard stuff.  I doubt the Army will even conduct a rigged test to show equality when they can simply put female mechanics into the slots they have sometimes nominally held.” (emphasis added)

So much for the argument that the military must “expand the pool” of soldiers who “don’t do the hard stuff.”  Such a change, which is even more unnecessary during a time when the size of the Army is shrinking due to severe budget cuts, would destroy the unique culture of the Marine Corps and Army infantry units.  It would also lower respect for women, who often get hit with unjust blame and resentment due to double standards involving women (DSIW).

5.  Selective Service Obligations by Default

This Defense Department Report excerpt pertains to the subject of Selective Service litigation on behalf of men who will continue to demand equal obligations for women:

“The rescission of the co-location assignment restriction and the approval of the requested exception to policy should not impact the constitutionality of the Act nor disturb the legal soundness of the Rostker decision. Women are still restricted from assignment to units below the battalion level whose primary mission is to engage in direct ground combat and will continue to be excluded from assignments in closed military occupational specialties, such as infantry. Thus, men and women are not similarly situated for purposes of the Act.”

Translation:  This short-sighted assurance does not even acknowledge the certainty of future litigation brought by ACLU advocates for those who want women to be drafted on the same basis as men in a future war.  

The disingenuous claim also was contradicted many times at the February 9 Pentagon briefing, which made it crystal clear that the Defense Department intends to give women "career opportunities" in direct ground combat units that currently are all-male. 

It would be foolish for Congress to ignore the neon-lit handwriting on the wall.  Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee should consider what they can do to maintain oversight on this important matter of public policy.

The following articles shed light on many issues that Congress must consider before the Pentagon acts alone to feminist the military: 

 

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