U.S. Marines’ tests undermine women-in-combat agenda

By Bob Unruh


Faced with a January 2016 deadline for introducing women to combat units, the U.S. Marines have discovered that for every man who fails a simulated artillery lift-and-carry test, 28 women fail.

And for a test simulating moving over a seven-foot high wall, less than 1.2 percent of the men could not get over, compared to 21.32 percent of women.

The results were found in Marine Corps documentation by the Center for Military Readiness, which issued a report called “U.S. Marine Corps Research Findings: Where is the Case for Co-Ed Ground Combat?”

According to CMR, a non-profit think tank, the Obama administration expects the Marine Corps to find a way to assign women to ground combat units without lowering standards.

“In the independent view of CMR, quantitative research done so far indicates that these expectations cannot be met,” the group said

“Androgenic characteristics in men, which are not going to change, account for greater muscle power and aerobic (endurance) capabilities that are essential for survival and mission accomplishment in direct ground combat,” the report said.

According to the CMR study’s executive summary, the Marines obtained information from 409 men and 379 women who volunteered to perform five “proxy” tests to simulate combat demands.

“These capabilities are essential for survival and mission success in direct ground combat,” the study found.

In a pull-up test, women averaged 3.59 while men averaged 15.69 – more than four times as many.

A “clean and press” event involved single lifts of 70, 80, 95 and 115 pounds plus six repetitions of a 65 pound lift.

Eighty percent of the men passed the 115 pound test but only 8.7 percent of the women.

In the 120 mm tank loading simulation, participants were asked to lift a simulated round weighing 55 pounds five times in 35 seconds or less. Men failed at a less than 1 percent rate while women failed at a rate of 18.68 percent.

The Marines said nearly one in five women “could not complete the tank loading drill in the allotted time.”

“It would be very likely that failure rates would increase in a more confined space [such as a tank].”

The artillery lift and carry had volunteers pick up a 95 pound artillery round and carry it 50 meters in under two minutes. Again, less than 1 percent of the men failed but 28.2 percent of women.

The obstacle involved a seven-foot wall with a 20-inch box, simulating a fellow soldier’s helping hand. Less than 1.2 percent of the men failed and 21.3 percent of the women.

CMR’s report said while the tests don’t replicate combat, “they do constitute empirical data based on reality, not theories about gender equality.”

The organization said it was Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos who launched the research projects on ground combat physical requirements, just after then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta launched a calendar calling for a repeal of all women’s exemptions from direct ground combat units by January 2016.

“Recent proxy tests of physical strength have produced empirical data and inconvenient facts that discredit theories about gender ‘diversity’ in combat,” said CMR President Elaine Donnelly.

“None of the Marine Corps research findings produced so far support the theory that women can or should be considered interchangeable with men in land combat fighting teams. On the contrary, recent tests confirm how unfair and unrealistic it would be to impose man-sized combat loads on military women’s backs,” she said.

“Nor is there any evidence that women want to be treated like men in the combat arms units. Orders to serve in that unforgiving environment would disadvantage women and impose on them disproportionate risks of physical injuries. This issue is not about careers − military women are promoted at rates equal to or faster than men, and respect for them has never been higher.”

And she said: “Civilian leaders in the Pentagon and Congress have the responsibility to be honest about what policies are best for women, men, and combat arms units in all branches of the service. The Interim CMR Special Report does not fault the Marine Corps or personnel who volunteered to participate in research tests, but it does question the judgment and agenda of administration officials who want to order (not ‘allow’) women into the combat arms by January 2016.”

A WND request for comment from the Department of Defense was unanswered.

Donnelly explained to WND that getting the information was not easy, but it was needed.

She said the results confirm previous findings indicating the mandate for women in combat won’t work.

The report said a 2013 survey of Army women found 92.5 percent of 30,000 would decline a combat arms assignment if offered, but they won’t really have a choice, since testimony to Congress that same year revealed the military will assign women to such units.

“That’s why we call them orders,” the military commented.

“None of the USMC research results produced so far support activists’ theories that women can be physical equals and interchangeable with men in the combat arms,” the study found. “Reliance on unrealistic ‘best case’ scenarios would impose heavy burdens on women and put all troops at greater risk. Congress should exercise diligent oversight, challenging all assumptions and theories, political mandates, media bias, public misperceptions and misguided group-think in academia and the administration.

“Respect for military women, which is greater than ever, demands nothing less.

“This is an interim report and more information is expected in coming months. At this time, however, nothing in the research done so far indicates that there is or can be a workable plan to train and deploy women in units that engage in deliberate offensive against the enemy,” the CMR report said.

“Contrary to popular beliefs, eligibility for the combat arms would harm women, not help them,” the organization said, “Defense Department data have shown for decades that military women are promoted at rates equal to or faster than men.”



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