Yesterday, Reddit user Demonspawn linked my article on the women washing out of the USMC combat training, sending the site an extra 1,500 visitors for the day (about 35-40% more than usual), and it sparked some debate on Reddit as to whether the military would actually lower standards for women. Many people, including some veterans, insisted that standards would not be changed to accommodate women.
Unfortunately, they are wrong. People can be naive about these things, because they have preconceived notions about “the way things are.” Often it’s those who have real, past experience with the institution in question who most stubbornly reject the possibility of change. For example, I’d probably be a lot more surprised to see a high rise go up in my residential Seattle neighborhood than someone from, say, Boston, because it would challenge my sense of normalcy more than his.
But change is certainly coming, even to the US Marine Corps, and integration of women into combat roles is one of those changes that will happen. How can I state this with any certainty? Well, there’s a document that a Congressional commission came up with last year, and it mandates these changes. President Obama has expressed his support for the changes, and has given them the go-ahead.
The commission is called the “Military Diversity Leadership Committee,” and it put out a report titled “From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st-Century Military”
The report explicitly calls for full implementation of affirmative action in the US Military, in all branches, and including combat MOS. Read it for yourself if you have any doubts — it’s quite explicit:
Second, DoD and the Services must remove institutional barriers in order to open traditionally closed doors, especially those relating to assignments—both the initial career field assignment and subsequent assignments to key positions. An important step in this direction is that DoD and the Services eliminate combat exclusion policies for women, including removing barriers and inconsistencies, to create a level playing field for all servicemembers who meet the qualifications…
Sure, they’ll say “everyone must meet the standards,” but we’ve all heard that before. The USMC has already rejiggered the physical test to enable women to achieve a higher score with inferior physical performance. At the same time the USMC said it was raising women’s standards at the bottom to integrate them into combat MOS, it also quietly lowered them at the top for the same purpose.
Here’s how the new scheme works:
Women now have to complete three pullups to pass the physical, whereas before they only had to perform the flexed arm hang. However, before they weren’t allowed into direct combat. So now, in order to qualify with a perfect score, men have to complete 20 pullups, and women must complete 8. To pass, both must perform 3.
Here’s how it will lower standards: If a man completes 8 and a woman also completes 8 pullups, and both get middling scores on the other tests, the woman ends up with a significantly higher overall score, and is thereby considered better physically suited to combat. This is a handicap, and it will result in people being assigned to combat specialties who couldn’t have made the cut under the old rules, in some cases over people better qualified than they are. In other words, affirmative action. This is just the beginning, of course. Standards will be lowered in other areas as well, and I expect we’ll have less competent people flying helicopters, firing mortars, driving tanks and all that fun stuff.
It was really a combination of damage control and sleight of hand. The Marine Corps doesn’t want terrible soldiers who will screw things up badly (i.e. average women), but they know they have to give a little to please the Democrats, and they don’t want it to be widely reported that they are lowering standards.
It is not uncommon for militaries to be degraded by political mandate. The Communists gutted the Red Army leadership in political purges prior to Nazi Germany’s 1941 invasion, with pretty unfortunate results for the Russians. Stalin was quite fortunate to make it out of that one intact.
It may be that there’s a minor political purge going on now in the US military. The number of generals dismissed this year for sexual escapades, which are all but guaranteed in a sexually integrated military, suggests that to be the case, but it’s merely speculation at this point — there’s no hard proof that I know of.
However, what we can say for certain is that the US military is now facing a complete affirmative action makeover. This won’t result in invasion (we have nukes these days), so one might wonder whether the consequences will be all that bad. If we have a lousier military that can’t effectively fight wars abroad, couldn’t that stop foreign adventurism and end up being a good thing?
The problem is expense. If the Democrats have their way, the US military is simply going to end up like public schools: huge, expensive, and ineffective, with an untouchable budget. And given that our Constitution doesn’t seem to get much respect any longer, in the future it will probably be used against Americans in one way or another. Probably ineffectively, kind of like the Mexican military with the drug bandits in their ongoing civil war.