1-3-2014 4-54-03 PMRecently Regnery published what I feel is a “must read” regarding the controversial topic of the presence of women in ground combat. It is entitled Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat. It is written by retired Army Lt Col Robert Maginnis, and while some might find it to be controversial, is superbly researched and well written. 1-3-2014 4-54-15 PMThe topic is not new to readers of Athens Now or A Ballad For Baghdad, but Maginnis comes from a different angle: cowardice in leadership. Please allow me the usual disclaimer—the colonel is careful to point out the innumerable and important roles of women in the military, and champions them. He simply has enough spine to say flat out that lowering the physical requirements so that a woman can pretend to be GI Jane is not just stupid, it is a colossal security risk. Bottom line: it diminishes our ability to fight and win. The latest go around came about as a result of the Marines using social media to announce that they are going to delay the enforcement of a 01 Jan 14 mandate that would have required female Marines who were seeking combat certification to do three pull-ups, which is the same as the males. What? The guys only have to do three? Are you beginning to see the problem here? Mind you, the Marines are planning on allowing women into ground combat in 2016, so they are going to have figure this out fairly soon.
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At present, what is being proposed is that women do the hang test, which means hanging from a bar until they drop. That’s a good one, the guys have to do it too, and they should. But, seeing as men on the average have 45-50% more upper body strength, something that is vital in ground based warfighting, there is no way literal cliff hanging can substitute for being the one who pulls you back to the safety of the ledge. As is often the case, the “solution” is to lower the standards for everyone. The recent example is that guys had to be able to lift 40 lbs of a certain type of equipment. Now, everyone lifts 20 lbs. Comforting thought, no? Lowered standards so that the “glass ceiling” of careerism can be shattered. More aggravating is that the screed that got us into this mess is being emitted from those who are calling for “equality in combat,” and who would never consider putting themselves in harm’s way for our country in the first place. I know, I used to be one of them. Feminists try to cite the fact that the Soviets had women in combat as early as WWII, as though the US is somehow woefully behind the times and needs to get with the program. The fact is, they tried it and discontinued it because it failed miserably. While one could go on at great length about the amount of data that have been gathered over the past half century that objectively prove the physical differences between men and women with specific regard to ground combat, (let alone the psychological ones,) what Deadly Consequences does with the precision of a Stinger missile is put the blame where it is due: on the leadership who is more interested in getting one more stripe or star or term in office than making the hard calls that say, “Not on my watch.” By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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