Semper Fail

marines_blog_main_horizontalReality and social engineering recently collided, and reality lost. Beginning in 2014, female U.S. Marines were supposed to meet a minimum standard of three pull-ups for their annual physical fitness test. Unfortunately, when that standard was tested at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in South Carolina last year, only 45 percent of the women could meet it. As a result, that part of their fitness requirement has been delayed until 2015. The change, quietly announced during a November report on its TV show, “The Corps Report,” raises serious questions about the push to put women soldiers in front-line combat roles beginning in 2016.

The need for upper body strength in military situations is non-negotiable. Scaling walls, climbing ropes, carrying heavy weapons, as well as being able to rescue one’s fellow soldiers, are all realistic scenarios with regard to combat operations. But apparently such realities were not the the primary consideration for delaying the requirement. Marine spokeswoman Capt. Maureen Krebs noted that while officials felt there was no medical risk involved with making the new standard a requirement, the risk of losing recruits, and hurting efforts to retain women already serving the Marines was “unacceptably high.” Thus it would appear that quotas are more important than competence.

Postponing the standard also appears to contradict a 1993 federal law by which the Secretary of Defense “shall ensure that qualification of members of the Armed Forces for, and continuance of members of the Armed Forces in, that occupational career field is evaluated on the basis of common, relevant performance standards, without differential standards of evaluation on the basis of gender; may not use any gender quota, goal, or ceiling except as specifically authorized by law; and may not change an occupational performance standard for the purpose of increasing or decreasing the number of women in that occupational career field.”

In the world where words matter, the law seems clear. Yet, using breathtakingly strained reasoning, a May 2013 report from the Congressional Research Service titled “Women in Combat: Issues for Congress” apparently provides wiggle room for the diversity-mongers:

“A plain reading of the term suggests that men and women would be required to meet the same physical standards in order to be similarly assigned. However, in the past, the Services have used this and similar terms to suggest that men and women must exert the same amount of energy in a particular task, regardless of the work that is actually accomplished by either.”

Thus the report notes, Air Force Fitness Test scoring currently awards a higher score to a females under 30 years of age running 1.5 miles in a maximum time of 16:22 (minutes:seconds), than it does to male under 30 years of age running the same distance in a maximum time of 13:36. The same two individuals would also receive an identical test score for doing 18 and 33 push-ups, respectively.

The report further notes that lifting the ban on women serving in combat has engendered an argument. Women’s rights groups contend that uniform standards are exclusionary, in that they prevent women from reaching positions of leadership, and that expanding women’s role in the military is a civil rights issue. Critics see it as damaging to military preparedness.

One suspects the civil rights argument wouldn’t hold up particularly well among the members of a unit coming under heavy fire in a combat zone, where each solder expects a certain level of preparedness from their fellow soldiers in order to survive. One further suspects those soldiers would draw little comfort from the knowledge that the “same amount of energy” is being exerted in a particular, possibly life saving task, if that exertion failed to accomplish it.

Unfortunately for our men and women in harm’s way, leftist ideology demonstrates a pernicious lack of concern for the preservation of a soldier’s well-being. Thus, the reality that women have 40 percent less upper body mass than men, and an upper body only 50-60 percent as strong as a man’s–which translated into 55 percent failure rate for women, versus a one percent failure rate for men during pull-ups tests at the Marines’ boot camp–is no great cause for concern.

Nor is the concept of “gender norming,” which embraces the aforementioned different standards for different sexes. This Orwellian construct is employed to achieve a predetermined outcome, as in a requisite number of “combat ready” women, completely irrespective of their combat readiness, physically speaking. As in so many other facets of life where diversity trumps standards, equality of opportunity must give way to equality of results–even if it endangers lives.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR) and a former member of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces cuts, through the progressive fog regarding these issues. First the pull-ups. “A program with a failure rate that high, compared to a 99 percent success rate for men, clearly indicates that incremental plans to order women into the combat arms are not viable,” she said in an email to the Washington Free Beacon. Next, the so-designated civil rights issue. “There is no reason to force women into the combat arms,” she explains, noting that “for decades, female personnel have been promoted at rates equal to or faster than men.”

And finally, gender norming. “The presidential commission on which I served in 1992 thought about this long and hard,” she revealed. “We approved of gender-normed scores in basic, pre-commissioning, and entry-level training, but the recommendation was contingent on women’s exemption from direct ground combat….There is no gender-norming on the infantry battlefield.”

It’s not as if women are completely incapable of meeting the same standards as men. Though the only two women who volunteered for the 13-week infantry officers training course at Quantico, VA in 2012 washed out, three female Marines graduated from the enlisted infantry training school in North Carolina the following year, while enduring the same standards as their male counterparts. Those standards included marching 19 kilometers while carrying a 36 kilogram pack. Moreover, an additional 13 women have passed advanced combat training, meeting the three pull-up requirement in the process.

Pull-ups have been used to test the upper body strength of Marines for more than four decades. That’s because in addition to what a Marine may be called on to do, combat Marines carry a 90 pound pack, with gunners carrying an additional 50 to 60 pounds. One is left to wonder what “accommodation” should be made for women to lighten the load. Carrying less ammo? Less food? Less medical supplies? Perhaps the gender-norming specialists and/or the diversity engineers could enlighten us.

For now female Marines will only be required to perform the “flexed arm hang,” as in holding one’s chin above a bar for 15 seconds, in accordance with a November 2013 Facebook announcement by the Corps. It explained that they are extending the transition to pull-ups “to allow for the further gathering of data to ensure all female Marines are provided with the best opportunity to succeed. All Marines are strongly encouraged to continue training under the assumption that pull-ups will remain a standard of measure for physical fitness.”

They were already under that assumption heading into this year. They might be better served assuming that when reality doesn’t align itself with leftist social engineering schemes, reality gets postponed. Or perhaps even eliminated, if the engineers can muster the political firepower to do so in the interim.

Retired Army officer and military historian Ralph Peters isn’t buying it. “If you can’t pull yourself up, have the decency to pull yourself out,” he declared. “The military, despite all the post-modern technology, is still essentially physical.”

And dangerous. It is that danger that should be mitigated as much as possible for those willing to serve their nation. Anything less is political chicanery–and despicable.

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  • davarino

    How about if the women form their own groups, platoons, squads, etc. and leave the men alone. Would the women be lining up for that? I doubt it.
    I dont remember women demanding to be on the front lines during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam,….etc. Why now? Hmmmm

    • veeper

      Current “wars” are not your dad’s wars…..

      • Gunny2862

        While this is certainly true. The labor saving machines have not made it forward to the world of the Infantryman. The reasons for the required fitness and strength are still valid. Gender norming these specific positions invites a death sentence for participants if you choose to force the experiment.

        As to Women only Platoons or Companies, that pre-supposes that the issues are social and not physical. If it were simply the Social Issues, I would propose that we work those thru(for Society, I have my own opinion on moral issues here, but that’s a a whole ‘nother post). But IMHO, a woman only infantry unit would have to be cherry picked to meet the same standards in training and couldn’t sustain the same standards over a typical Combat deployment due to wear and tear on the female frame.

        • Drakken

          Those all female units would be slaughtered period, it is a purely biological issue and that’s that. Since the social engineers think that combat is a gender neutral endeavor, hey why don’t we put females in all the professional sports venues since females are completely equal to men right?, I’ll grab a cocktail and watch as reality and Darwin have its due.

          • Gunny2862

            I dont think we have any disagreement on the bigger issue.

          • Drakken

            Amen Brother
            Semper Fi

        • fiddler

          I recall a successful female in the Marines lament that her rigorous duty to a toll on her body to the point that it rendered her sterile. What a price for a woman to pay for diversity. Perhaps Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and others ought to witness for themselves what their sisters have to go through. Perhaps they would concede that while women shine in other areas, physical strength (needed here especially), is just not one of them.

          • Gunny2862

            If you are referencing the female who actually did make 1 combat tour and did a great job, for a female. HER post tour report identifies that while she “thinks she did meet her objectives” during that tour, she would have been unable to go back with the same dwell as her male counterparts due to the requirement to rebuild her body mass and strength. The sterility was a loss of menses due to losing too much body fat between the demands of the battlefield and the continual training she had to do on the field to avoid losing even more muscle mass than she did. Great person, good story. I wish I had the link.

          • Gunny2862

            What is in this post that could possibly bring a down vote? It happened, I gave HER conclusions. Have the character to post WHY you disagree.

          • JoJoJams

            lol – I think someone is just messing with you now, on the down vote, Gunny. Has to be. Ignore it and it will stop. :-)

          • Toa

            Feinstein, Boxer and company couldn’t care less about what their pawns..uuh, I mean sisters have to go through. They think that they themselves will always be beyond reaping the consequences of this colossal stupidity.


        But women in combat is as bad an idea today as it would have been back then.

        • veeper

          I was responding to a comment about women not demanding to be on the front lines of other wars….

          previous wars were of a much more miserable and deplorable circumstance than current wars.

          no war is a desirable situation but current wars are not nearly as demanding and undesirable as past wars….

          Current wars are more on the lines of a place of employment than the front lines of a war….

          The stress and fear are still there but the conditions have greatly improved…..

          • Gunny2862

            You clearly have no concept of which you speak. “Current wars are more on the lines of a place of employment than the front lines of a war….” tells us all we need to know. Maybe, for Bob on the FOB, it might be true. But that isn’t the Infantry experience.

          • NAHALKIDES

            I disagree. Although I was not fit for duty in the Army years ago when I tried to join and so have no combat experience, it seems to me the essentials of war to the combat soldier are the same now as they were in Homer’s day: filth, horror, and misery. Even men cannot truly bear them – surely no women can. And then there are the problems of unit cohesion, which is undermined by the jealousies of romantic rivalries and sexual involvement that will necessarily occur among those young enough to serve effectively on the front lines.

  • ADM64

    The upper body strength requirement also applies to damage control and casualty evacuation scenarios on warships, and those standards were dumbed down by the Navy back in 1994, when the first series of restrictions on the assignment of women were lifted. All branches of the service have done likewise. And in the so-called “combat support” roles in the ground combat services, the need to be able to fight fully effectively remains and has been compromised long ago.

    The bottom line is that a generic level of “fitness” no matter how high is irrelevant if unrelated to an actual level of performance. Physically fit children and seniors lack the absolute strength and endurance to perform combat tasks, and so do virtually all women. Again, reality collides with ideology and in our world, ideology wins.

    • einnob

      I totally agree with you.

  • antisharia

    When has the law, or the good of the country, ever mattered to this administration?

  • veeper

    obama has no problem with weakness in the military…..

    it won’t effect him in the basement of the white house…..

  • Gee

    The military’s function is not social engineering. It has exactly one function and one function only – to defend one’s nation.

    If the females can’t do the job – then they must not get the job. Over 250,000 people are being forced out of the US military right now – over 90% of them male and physically capable. The US military does not need ANY females for any positions period.

    • Drakken

      As the US military is cut to the bone, and more females will be put in combat positions due to necessity, we shall see first hand how that works out, if you have daughters, keep them out of the current US military, this is going to blow up in our faces. A tragedy that could have been avoided, but he leftist wishful thinkers have won out over common sense and brutal reality

      • Gunny2862

        I disagree with “out of necessity”, should be “out of circumstance” other than that, good point.

      • autdrew

        I am a military wife, 6 yrs army, 16 yrs USMC. My daughter wants no part of the military. My son wants to follow in his father’s yellow foot prints. He is a freshman in high school. I am trying my best to discourage him. I do not want my son left to die because some affirmative action female was incapable of dragging him off of a battlefield. Considering what we know of islam, the fighting will not end any time soon.

        • y3524m

          “…his father’s yellow foot prints”

          what does that mean?

          • Gunny2862

            Every single Marine who reads this will know. Its okay, it’s not a slam.

          • autdrew

            True gunny, every Marine understands that reference. Semper Fi

          • y3524m

            thank you. i suspected so, was just curious as to its meaning. thanks again.

          • autdrew

            When you go to USMC boot camp and get off the bus, you are ordered to stand with your feet on a set of yellow painted footprints. The are veryclosettogether, what’s the term Gunny? Butt to nut?
            It’s a tradition and lets you know that life as you knew it is over.

          • Gunny2862

            Imho, while the MCRD SD footprints are closer than most civilians understand personal space to provide for. There’s quite a bit of room before one is “nut to butt”.

          • autdrew

            Got it, thanks Gunny, btw, my husband was a Hollywood Marine too. We have no clue how that happened since he was very east of the Mississippi & had no family ties to MCRD SD.
            My son is going on an overnight ROTC trip to MCRD Parris Island next week. They’ve been told they will get to stand on the footprints, sleep in open squad bay, chow hall food (though he actually likes mre’ s) & either the confidence, o course or one I can’t remember the name of.

          • y3524m

            thank you very much for that info. much appreciated as i had a feeling it had a specific meaning just did not know. thank again.

    • Judahlevi

      This is the problem with seeing people by an abstract group they belong to instead of viewing them as individuals. The government is wrong about this attitude and has been for many years.

      People are individuals, not groups. People are not skin colors or genders, they are unique individuals. If an individual has the physical strength to be a combat Marine, then they should be given the opportunity – but not just because they are a woman. Gender should have nothing to do with it.

      As a former Marine, I would be comfortable with a woman who could carry her load of ammo and drag my body out if I was wounded. If she couldn’t do this, she should not be a combat Marine. Period.

  • DaCoachK

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it entailed and spawned will be the end of the nation. We are less competitive because of it–in everything. The entire law itself is about “redistribution,” whatever it is that is waned: results in any facet of life.

  • DaCoachK

    Let’s see. Hmmmm. In Left-Wing-Kook world, “18 pushups equal 33 pushups.” These people show support for homos, which demonstrates their lack of knowledge in biology. They are equally as inept, it appears, at math.

    • Gunny2862

      They are measuring relative work in terms of Body mass to Force exerted. The problem is that in the real world Carrying your own weight plus 180+ lbs of gear, weapons, ammo, food and water is not Body Mass relative and requires greater relative work, not equal relative work. So their own argument of norming is incorrect in the first place, a normed score should relate on the actual work required and a normed score should then require women to relatively outwork men at about 35- 40 percent, not equal them.

      • Gunny2862

        IF you’re going to down vote it, you could at least try to form some logical responses to why you chose to do so.

        • Rick

          There are people in this world that would thumbs down their own mother just because they felt they hadn’t been raised up to be the person they themselves wanted to be. It’s the old blame everyone but who is responsible game, in other words, probably an extreme liberal!

  • UCSPanther

    When it comes to women in the military, the Israelis have the right idea: Teach them how to fight, but don’t deploy them on the front lines unless absolutely necessary.

    No woman has served on the IDF’s frontlines since 1948.


      I believe the old Soviet Union reached the same conclusion – unfortunately, the American Left is unable to learn from its own experience, or anyone else’s.

  • fiddler

    What is it going to take for the “diversity engineers” to get it, dead marines? To them, Marines and Seals are merely government employees, not warriors. If you are a 250 pound man and the only other Marine left when you are wounded is a 150 pound female, what do you think are your chances of being pulled to safety? The stupidity here is mind numbing.

  • Race_Dissident

    Three pull-ups? Ha! I’m no Chris Weidman, but even I could do three pull-ups, the one-armed variant, if I had to. I you’re so weak that you can’t even do three regular pull-ups, your only purpose on a military base should be peeling spuds in the chow hall.

    • veeper

      so close of a proximity to spuds on a regular bases could ensure that the arms could never lift a spud-butt three times….

    • nightspore

      I agree. I was floored by that number; I would have thought it would be at least six or eight.

      Maybe they’re planning to use them the way the Chinese used their initial attack brigades in the Korean War. These were sent in without weapons (just to use up ammunition, I guess). Then in the second wave every third person had a weapon, and in the third all were fully armed.

  • keyster

    What about Demi Moore in GI Jane?
    She seemed to be just as strong as the men.
    Or was that fiction?

    • Gunny2862

      Really? Even in the Movie they portray the fact that she was known to be physically behind the curve in relation to the men.

      • Gunny2862

        And again, down vote with no comments. Was I factually incorrect somwhere? Up votes show support. But if you disagree why can you not support that with the reason why?

        • Drakken

          Don’t worry about it Marine, typical little puzzy libtard who couldn’t fight his/her way out from under mamas skirt.

    • William_Bradford

      This is a first hand observation: about 8 years ago my son was
      deployed to the Persian gulf several times. At the time of one of
      his deployments the U.S. Navy was operating what they called: Tiger
      Cruses – upon the fleet’s return from the Gulf to Pearl Harbor,
      each crew member was permitted to invite one family member to
      participate in the 10 day voyage from Pearl to the fleet’s home
      port of San Diego.

      The particular ship on which my son served was a Marine aircraft
      carrier – the Marine’s “taxi” – the ships that transport
      several thousand Marine fighting forces, and their equipment to
      where ever in the world they are needed. During that cruse there was
      a Marine Corps live fire demonstration. The Marines were to
      demonstrate the firepower and weapons used by the Marines in combat.

      One of the weapons selected for the live fire demo was a .50
      caliber machine gun. The .50 is a devastating weapon. It is a belt
      fed weapon that shoots slugs that are 1/2 inch in diameter, and the
      cartridges are roughly 4 – 5 inches long – it is appropriately
      referred to as a “heavy” machine gun. The person tasked with
      demoing the .50 was a woman – a “Marine” – who was about 5′
      10″ and weighed about 145 – 155. When the time came for her to
      “demo” the .50 the first round in the belt “jammed” in the
      gun. After a 5 minute interval of her trying, and not being able, to clear
      the jam, one of the male Marines stepped forward and cleared the
      jammed gun in under a minute. The woman again took over the demo and to great effect fired numerous bursts from the .50 when the gun
      again jammed. She was permitted about 10 minutes to clear the weapon
      – which she was again unable to do – before another male Marine
      again stepped forward and cleared the jammed weapon, again in under
      a minute.

      Personal observation and experience: you may change the physical specs all you desire, women still can’t clear a jammed .50 cal – women in combat means death, and not to the enemy.

      • turk182

        Wait until they put them in armor units,it’s easier than infantry,on first appearance. they won’t be able to do the tasks in loading/maintaining/repairing the vehicle under combat conditions. the men will get stuck with that,except that if a man is wounded in combat,the other crew are expected to take up the slack,and the gals won’t be able to do it. That’s what’s happened in the Navy,the men have to do their tasks AND the ones the gals can’t do.
        It’s Political Correctness gone insane.

  • Toa

    Will The Hussein rethink this?
    No. Because he wants us to lose.

  • NYC Parent

    Have never had the honor of serving in the military, though I have been in martial arts for over 20 years (Karate and Krav Maga), achieved high Dan level in hard style Karate, and sparred, trained with and trained many men and women in martial arts.
    Over many years, I can say that only a handful of women I’ve ever met are effective fighters, by physical ability and level of toughness.
    This also applies to many, highly trained female athletes, who may have good athletic ability, but (with very, very few exceptions) just suck at real, close quarters fighting as compared with most comparably trained males.
    I think its great to train women in firearms, martial arts, etc as a means of self development, and to make them relatively more effective than formerly.
    But I think its just PC anti-reality to expect anything more than about 1% of women to be as aggressive and effective in a combat situation as the vast majority of able bodied men.

  • fush

    As a woman, if war breaks out then I’m more than happy to go and hide with the children in a cave somewhere while the menfolk go and do what needs to be done. Its one of the few priviledges of our gender! Who really wants to be hungry and tired and cold and shot at? Unless its to impress the ladies, of course, and we’re hard to impress! If all the men are down, and its just me and the little ones – then I’ll pick up a gun.

    I hate to break it to you folks, but as far as reproduction goes – men are disposible, women are not. When the dust clears, it only takes 2-3 men to repopulate, together with as many women as possible.

    • Gunny2862

      While I appreciate the logic and utilitarian thought in your comment, disposable?

      • turk182

        Gunny,the men can even leave behind a sperm sample,and the women can bear children from that,long after the men are dead. yeah,we’re “disposable” when it comes to reproduction.

  • blert

    Your math is all wrong.

    Men have about EIGHT times as much upper body strength in the clutch. This is due to both body mass and hormones — the latter of which you omit.

    Darwinian selection has made women ENTIRELY uncompetitive in martial power.

    You don’t see too many guys giving birth, either.

    The ONLY military to use women at the front: the Red Army. They were restricted to sniping and womanning T-34c tanks. (No power assist: they had to be dykes to drive those beasts — even men wore out totally in ninety-minutes.)

    The take-away: under no delusion can women ever man the front lines. They are even pretty shaky on combatant vessels: they can’t handle battle damage conditions. You end up with a cream-puff, powder-puff navy.

  • timpottorff

    Imagine the quality of play if the NFL had this type of mindset? And this is our MILITARY that is thinking this way.

  • jaazee

    Until the Obama Administration attack on the core values and strengths of our military, it was the finest, cohesive, well trained unit in the Republic. Now, a President with a lifetime of anathama towards the military is bringing POLITIAL CORRECTNESS to our fighting force.
    Liberals frame everything with some phobia or racist comment. War is not a place to make nice to the opposite sex. There are places where performance is not subject to gender, and where women excel in so many instances, pilots, missile control officers. No question women can do jobs with tactical significance, not sharing a trench with a guy as well-trained enemy soldiers charge their position to rip them apart.
    Obama’s ineptness, his uncaring attitude as CIC, together with his PC police on every base, is doing more to damage moral than Tokyo Rose.

    And no one in political leadership rises to tell him to Stand Down!

  • Softly Bob

    Obama wants women in the military so that when his Muslim brothers finally attack the U.S.A with the intention of conquering the nation, there will be nobody to stop them and they’ll have all the female booty that they can rape.
    A disarmed citizenry and armed forces full of women, faggots, transsexuals and PC wimps is exactly what Obama wants. Why do you think he’s so hard on vets? He wants anybody with combat experience to be out of the picture.
    Obama is slowly castrating the United States and America needs to do something about this – sooner rather than later!

  • AbsolutelyRight

    Same standards that got Obama into Harvard

  • AbsolutelyRight

    Obama throws like a girl, so it certainly makes him feel more masculine for Reggie if weak women and fruity sissies dominate the military