When Two More Marine Women Dropped From Marine Corps Infantry Course, Some Want to Change Standards
BY JENNIFER VAN LAAR (2 DAYS AGO) | MILITARY
Women Attend Marine Boot Camp At Parris Island, South Carolina
Getty – Scott Olson
The Marine Corps is attempting to meet orders to integrate women into combat roles by January 2016, or provide a research-based reason why they can’t. However, not a single woman has been able to meet the physical standards required to pass the Infantry Officer Course.
The Washington Free Beacon reports that although a small number of women have passed the enlisted Infantry Training Battalion, the two female officers attempting the latest Infantry Officer Course have been dropped.
With the two most recent drops, there have been 29 attempts by female officers to pass the course since women have been allowed to volunteer, with none making it to graduation.
Though the two females were dropped on the first day, many males were dropped as well.
Only four female officers have made it beyond the initial day of training, a grueling evaluation known as the Combat Endurance Test, or CET. Male officers also regularly fail to pass the CET, and the overall course has a substantial attrition rate for males.
Fifteen male officers also did not meet the standards. Of the 118 officers who began the course, 101 proceeded to the second day.
Calls for different standards for female versus male officers are getting louder, but mostly from outside the Corps.
Lower standards, though, could harm the readiness of the Corps. A female officer writes in the Marine Corps Gazette:
Although in today’s world many gory, violent war tactics are considered immoral, archaic, and banned by international law or the Geneva Conventions, adversaries still must give themselves the greatest advantage possible in order to ensure success. For the Marine Corps, this means ensuring that the infantry grunt (03XX) units are the strongest, most powerful, best trained, and most prepared physically and mentally to fight
This isn’t a game of tiddlywinks; it’s war. Lowering physical standards might have a PR benefit, but the unit is only as strong as its weakest link and standards must be upheld accordingly, the op-ed continues:
Although perhaps advantageous to individuals and the national movement for complete gender equality, incorporating women into infantry units is not in the best interest of the Marine Corps or U.S. national security.
The military is not a place for social experiments. It is a part of the government charged with providing for national defense, using proven standards, and should continue to do .