Basic biological truths are complicating the Pentagon’s desire to socially engineer combat units to include women.
An experimental study conducted by the Marine Corps concludes the biggest, fastest, strongest and most effective ground combat units include no women. Findings from the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, or GCEITF, study may be used by the Marine Corps to ask for an exception from opening all jobs to women by January. A request must be made with the Pentagon by October.
The Christian Science Monitor received a summary of results on Thursday, which showed female-integrated units as being less lethal.
The female Marines were also more prone to injury when placed in physically demanding situations. Tests also showed men who had not attended infantry school hit targets with their M4 rifles 44 percent of the time compared to 28 percent for women.
Roughly 75 females and 200 males took part in the study between March and May, the Monitor reported.
“If you were to turn down a request for a waiver like that, I guess the political machine in the White House would be saying we don’t care about the effectiveness of the ground combat units,” said California Rep. Duncan Hunter, USA Today reported Thursday. The Republican is a Marine Corps veteran and a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Critics of the study say it was crafted with bias built in to confirm a hypothesis about male units, the Monitor reported.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the study would not change his mind about opening all career fields to women, USA Today reported.
Findings from the GCEITF study were released just one month after the Army awarded Ranger tabs for the first time to women.
1st Lt. Kristen Griest and Capt. Shaye Haver were two of 96 soldiers who completed one of the Army’s most challenging schools.
“We can handle things physically and mentally on the same level as men. We can deal with the same stresses and training that the men can,” Lt. Griest, a military police officer, told reporters at the Fort Benning, Georgia, Time reported Aug. 20.
“The ability to look around at my peers and see that they were sucking just as bad I was kept me going,” added Capt. Haver, an AH-64 Apache helicopter pilot, Time reported.