Well now, this *is* a surprise

All-male ground combat teams outperformed their mixed-gender counterparts in nearly every capacity during a recent infantry integration test, Marine Corps officials revealed Thursday.

Data collected during a monthslong experiment showed Marine teams with female members performed at lower overall levels, completed tasks more slowly and fired weapons with less accuracy than their all-male counterparts. In addition, female Marines sustained significantly higher injury rates and demonstrated lower levels of physical performance capacity overall, officials said.

And this is just astonishing:

Supporters of equal opportunity in the military questioned the study’s findings.
“I have questions about the way these experiments were administered,” said Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democrat senator for New York.

Really?

37 thoughts on “Well now, this *is* a surprise”

  1. The only one that is a surprise there, and not much of one, is the firing the weapons less accurately. Which could be down to more realistic rather than pure range tests.

    Of course, treating women this way doesn’t help.

  2. “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 Duncan Hunter, a California Republican congressman and former Marine”

    Guess what Shit-for-Brains; they don’t care! Only just worked that out?

  3. The combat courses tend to have same requirement for mixed teams as all male teams. Just part of the team is unable to carry as much, run as fast etc..

  4. “Germano also “reinforced gender bias and stereotypes” in the minds of her Marines by telling them on several occasions that male Marines would not take orders from them and would see them as inferior if they could not meet men’s physical standards, the investigation found.” Not so much a problem in support services, but a stone-cold certainty in the teeth arms.
    Telling truth is no longer a Marine corps value, apparently.

  5. The original division of labour: protection vs childbearing evolved sexual dimorphism, stronger faster blokes who like working with other strong fast blokes. Mind you, a female operating a drone, is probably as lethal if not more so if she is protecting her children.

  6. @ SE
    I agree with you. Sacking someone because they ask Marines to meet fitness standards and thereby reduce failure rates by 60% verges on the crminal (because it vastly increases the risk of other marines’ death in action due to the incompetence of non-Germano trained female marines e.g. not arriving at the scene of action within 5 minutes of it starting). I know people who can *walk* 3 miles in less than 23 minutes, so it’s hardly unreasonable for Col Germano to want would-be marines to be able to run it in that time.

  7. Julia,

    Yes – that was mostly my point. It’s not just “greater fatigue”, though. It is greater lactic acid in the muscles – which significantly increases the little spasms in your arms which make accurate distance shooting that little bit more challenging.

    Rested, on average (in my experience as a combat marksmanship instructor and provided that the female soldier is strong enough to handle the weapon – rarely a problem with the SA-80), female recruits are better shots than male ones, when you are considering passing marksmanship test levels of “better”. I am happy that the relative performance curves have a different distribution when you get up to the Olympic / World championship levels.

    I would note, though, that the Yanks _may_ have a different experience pool they are drawing on (the only US female soldiers I have worked with recently were the CO and OC respectively of their units and it was all office time.) Few British recruits, of either sex, have much shooting experience – even those who have been in the cadets don’t get as much weapon handling time as they used to. America, especially flyover, may see significant different exposure to rifles between the sexes. Although there is the usual sergeants’ trope of wanting somebody who has never learned bad drills.

  8. Ironman is right. They don’t care.

    Decadence will be America’s downfall. Politicians in Washington are so comfortable, they think they don’t need a strong Marine Corp, and can use it for social experiments.

  9. Srsly?
    Can’t do 3 pull-ups?
    Can’t run 3 miles in <23mins?
    That would rule you out of the volunteers at more or less any level. But for the USMC?

    You leave RM training at Lympstone with around the same level of fitness as an Olympic athlete. You would be binned if you couldn't this before the training started…

  10. Pedant
    I’m sure you’re right about Royal Marine fitness, but how in that case did the 4 Marines in the HMS Cornwall cock-up not avoid capture?

  11. Mmmm… But it was a *test* wasn’t it? And the one thing we know about women is they don’t take playing boys’ games particularly seriously. As was shown with the SAS tests, blokes will kill themselves trying to live up to imposed standards.
    But what are they like in combat?
    Having seen women fight, I’m in favour of standing well clear & giving them plenty of room. They combine the two attributes. Total & unrestrained viciousness tempered by caution. You wouldn’t get women drawing up a Geneva Convention & rules of war. As far as they’re concerned, innocent civilians, other women & other women’s children are a target rich environment. They don’t take prisoners & torture’s second nature.
    God help the military enthusiasts like SMfS should you get in the way of combative women. Brush you aside like mere tissue paper.
    Women can’t run 3 miles in 23 minutes? Why should they? When they can call a cab & get the enemy to pay for it? And if a footrace is inevitable… A sale or something. They’re nothing but a blur.
    As for hefting heavy equipment… Doesn’t everyone know that the carrying capacity of a small wizened great-grandmother in a black dress & headscarf is effectively infinite? Never been to Greece?

  12. I’m sure you’re right about Royal Marine fitness, but how in that case did the 4 Marines in the HMS Cornwall cock-up not avoid capture?

    Because not even Usain Bolt can run over 5km of water when being faced with boatloads of nutters with machine guns and no authority to start a war?

  13. I have no problems with this study being examined, and examined thoroughly.

    This is simply a debate about whether Liddell-Hart’s conception of the athlete-soldier (which the Marine Corps embraced more than any other branch of the U.S. military) is as relevant as it once was.

    In WWII the Russians found through experience that women excelled in certain combat positions (pilot, sniper) and were used as such whenever possible.

    The next step, after the study is reviewed, is for the Marine Corps to find out what sort of combat positions women can excel at.

  14. The first challenge, Dennis, is getting them allowed to do so by the people who insist that “equality” means ‘no different to’ rather than ‘of equal value as’.

  15. SE –

    Actually, I think it’s the other way around. This study strikes me as the Marine Corps’ rearguard action against using women in any type of combat position… especially officer. The Old Boy’s Club never gives up without a fight.

  16. Bloke in North Dorset

    Dennis,

    Thinks may have moved on since I served, but I think US military doctrine is the same as UK’s and that is that all soldiers could potentially find themselves on the battlefield and are therefore soldiers first and tradesmen second. This meant being able to pass all the basic soldier skills such as fitness, shooting, first aid etc at least once a year.

    SE is more up to date and I’m sure will let us know if I’m wrong.

    I agree with you though, if it is still the case it probably needs reviewing because there are so many different roles and the battlefield is completely different from the cold war one when that doctrine was applied and I’m not sure most soldiers do risk getting caught up and used as spare infantry.

  17. BiND: the Marines, uniquely in the US military, require that every soldier is a rifleman (or woman). That’s why a bunch of their airplane mechanics were able to stop the Camp Bastion break-in.

    SE, I’m not snarking, but if Royal Marines are instructed not to fight, what’s the point of all that olympic training?

  18. “Christ, I can do three pull-ups and run three miles in 23 minutes and I’m a) 46 and b) fat as fuck.”

    My general experience is that people who are as fat as fuck cannot manage one pull up. You would be a very rare exception to this.

  19. Well, slight exaggeration. I do free weights and I’m actually just a bit tubby (36″ waist rather than the 34″ I should be). But I’m not trying out for the USMC.

  20. I’m not snarking, but if Royal Marines are instructed not to fight, what’s the point of all that olympic training?

    You may not be snarking but you seem to be missing the point that we weren’t actually at war with Iran at the time?

    At what level of seniority do you think British troops (of whatever sort) should be allowed to start wars without permission from the government?

  21. By athletes’ standards, BiCR, you are indeed fat as fuck.

    When I was still rowing, mixed 4+ events began to be offered (two of each, one on each side). The ladies were always keen on the idea – so much more power than they were used to; the gentlemen, on the other hand, only did it if they hoped to get one of the ladies’ knickers off – it’s like towing a rather large bucket behind the boat.

  22. I’d suggest the Marxists in the white house would consider a drop in the combat proficiency of the US military as a positive good and if women are shown to cause that, they’ll be crammed into every inappropriate role possible.

    Some army buddies of mine years ago were telling me about a mixed gender unit they’d served in, what they saw first hand was a disgrace. The women couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do any of the heavy lifting which meant the men in the unit did more than their share while the girls busied themselves with trivial tasks to make them seem involved. And as with young men everywhere, they competed for female attention in ways that were unhealthy in a small unit.

    This will be a disaster, obviously.

  23. ‘I have questions about the way these experiments were administered,” said Kirsten Gillibrand, the Democrat senator for New York’.

    Ever been in the field, Kirsten?

    Actually, just checked your Wikipedia page and your career summary shows no record of military service whatsoever, let alone any infantry service.

    So shut up.

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    Dennis the Peasant – “In WWII the Russians found through experience that women excelled in certain combat positions (pilot, sniper) and were used as such whenever possible.”

    No they did not. They found that women soldiers had some minor propaganda use. And that is it apart from their traditional military use as campaign wives. Which the Soviets were very big on.

    Soviet women did not excel as either pilots or snipers. As soon as the need to pretend otherwise disappeared, so did the women soldiers.

  25. Have worked in the field with women. In roles suitable for them.
    Meeting the same physical, mental and emotional requirements as the men.
    For command, logistics, transport and defending they were as good as anyone. Certain other roles were more individualistic, certain individuals being capable while many were not suitable – which is the same for the men.
    Not everyone is able to do every role.

  26. So Much For Subtlety

    When I first pointed out that women were incapable of being soldiers, I got flamed. Now it seems to be the orthodoxy.

    Who knows what science will prove next?

  27. So Much For Subtlety

    Martin Davies – “Meeting the same physical, mental and emotional requirements as the men.”

    So it is like saying wood elves make excellent soldiers. As we have about as much chance of finding a women who can meet the same physical, mental and emotional requirements of soldiering as we do of moving to a success economy powered by unicorn farts.

    “For command, logistics, transport and defending they were as good as anyone.”

    Jessica Lynch was famously taken prisoner. With her were 30 other soldiers. Of these eleven were killed. One of those was a female soldier who received head wounds in the initial attack from which she did not recover. That is, she did not fight. On the other hand, one was a male soldier who surrendered but had fought so hard before doing so, the Iraqis executed him on the spot.

    Five more were wounded. All male. Five more fought their way out. All male. Including their captain for which I hope he was fired.

    Six were taken prisoner including all three women.

    So of the three women, two surrendered without a fight and one more was too badly wounded to do a damn thing.

    Of the 27 men, ten fought and were killed. Five more fought and were wounded. Five more escaped.

    Only four of the men were taken prisoner.

    Women are incapable of being soldiers. Even when they only have to drive trucks (and yes I know the figures do not add up).

  28. @ SMFS
    *Some* women are capable of being soldiers – just relatively few of them, and *very* few American.women.
    There are, famously, pictures of a female head of a gang of navvies – she was 6ft tall and weighed about 20 stone.
    Some women trainees passed their marine tests – the failure rate dropped by about-two-thirds when Col germano was running the unit.
    When I was road-running there was almost always one lass who could beat me (quite often two or three in the same race) and the large majority of the time there was one in my club.
    The question is: are there enough American tough enough to be marines who actually want to be marines for it to be practical (not practicable) to integrate them with the men?

  29. Surreptitious Evil – “At what level of seniority do you think British troops (of whatever sort) should be allowed to start wars without permission from the government?”

    The Marines in question would not have been the ones starting the war. The Iranians would have been. The purpose of the Royal Navy is to defend Britain. If Britain, or any of its warships, is attacked, then the job of the people on those ships would be to defend British territory.

    It is not their fault that they were attacked. If they were not in a place they were supposed to be, that is the fault of their officers. If they were, they should have met force with force. That is their job. You think the American soldiers at Pearl Harbor should have waited for the all clear from Washington?

    And they should have definitely not cried.

  30. john77 – “There are, famously, pictures of a female head of a gang of navvies – she was 6ft tall and weighed about 20 stone.”

    There is a famous picture of Rosie the Riveter. Doesn’t mean that she wasn’t entirely propaganda.

    “Some women trainees passed their marine tests – the failure rate dropped by about-two-thirds when Col germano was running the unit.”

    So the dumbed down fitness test could be passed? Sure. It takes more than physical fitness to be a soldier. Every war since Panama has seen women refuse orders and cry. Without any consequences at all.

    “The question is: are there enough American tough enough to be marines who actually want to be marines for it to be practical (not practicable) to integrate them with the men?”

    No it isn’t. The question is, given that most of the world’s Armed Forces are incapable of fighting their way out of a paper bag for a whole variety of reasons, does America wish to have one of the few militaries that can fight, or does it want the Marines to become a Community Outreach service?

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