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July 10th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Female Marines about to enter '86 days of hell'

For the first time ever, female Marines will be allowed to train in the Marine Corp's Infantry Officer Training Course, a program that's been called '86 days of hell.' Brooke speaks with Greg Jacob of the Service Women's Action Network, who is confident that our female Marines will rise to the occasion.

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Filed under: Brooke Baldwin • CNN Newsroom
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. joelwilliamscnn

    Hey Katy – The video appears to be working on our end. Below is a direct link to the video. Sorry for the tech troubles!

    July 11, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  2. Mister Jones

    Great. ... Soft Marine officers. That's all we need ...

    July 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  3. michael

    Mr. Jones,

    The 50's called. They want their sexism back? Do you want me to hold or should you take the call? Sir, if you would so kindly please to show yourself to the door that marked the 21st Century. Views have changed and to call a marine soft? Boy, my kick your puppy dog butt to submission. If anything you're the softies.

    Take care,

    July 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  4. mark

    they will not be that big when they finish

    July 13, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  5. Devildog

    My beloved Marine Corps has been transformed to the Army. Sad day in America, mourn with me brothers.

    July 13, 2012 at 7:40 am |
  6. USN

    Aww, poor devildog... now the jarheads have to join the real world like every other branch.

    July 13, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  7. former Jar Head

    @ USN- As a former Marine, I always enjoyed being a department of the Navy....the MENS DEPARTMENT. Now get back to swabbin' and paintin' squid.

    July 13, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  8. tom sawyer

    There is nothing that says that a woman can not be as effective in a combat role as a man. The program will weed out the weaker members leaving those capable in the running. as long as there are not two sets of standards, then the evaluation is fair. If they have lowered the standards to accommodate the women then the whole test is just a PR stunt. And for folks who think I am being unfair, I personally think the bar needs to be set at a reasonable level, If you you can't reach the bar, then you don't qualify. Asking for special accomodations, yet trying to prove you can compete is like saying I can a 25 k marathon, but I want to be carried part of the way. The Marines have prided themselves as accepting only the best. If a woman can stand toe to toe with the male grunts in a line and kill the enemy just as effectively then more power to her and let her take a frontline role if that is where she wants to be.

    July 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  9. bluesdoc70

    What a joke.

    July 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
  10. USN_RM1

    Former Jar Head...You are a Former Marine? As a sailor who served on an AMPHIB with Marines, I assure you that there is no such thing as a FORMER Marine and I have never met a Marine who would introduce himself as a Former Marine...Per the COmmadant of the Marine Corps:

    "A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago – there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine."
    General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps

    July 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
  11. 26e

    Ive been in combat with a few female interpreter teams in Marja Afghan, and every time we would take contact we would have to rush to get them up and take more time that we could be closing in maneuvering and destroying the enemy. from my experience it was more of a hassle then anything to make sure they were ok. I can say however i only worked with 8 so i cannot say that every female is the same.

    July 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
  12. gogoody

    That is right, Mr. Jones, everyone deserves a shot at the brass ring.., equality! Perhaps they should form their own brigade and allow them to take and hold positions. They did so with minorities going back to the civil war. If there was ever any doubt, like in WWII, the Japanese Americans and the Blacks were allowed to form and fight within their own units, Army and Air force, albiet under White Officers, with minority NCO\'s. They all went beyond the call of duty to prove to themselves and everyone else that they were deserving of trust, respect and honor. I think the services should approach this the same way. Don\'t integrate women into the front lines until they can demonstrate their ability as a cohesive force to fulfill orders successfully, without having to have their butts saved over and over again. If they can accomplish this then try integration, or just allow them to maintain their own special female characteristics, amongst themselves and allow individual commanders to decide where to place them in fields of combat.
    It all comes down to following orders, getting there, attack, hold and accept a frag. move on, attack, hold, accept a frag. and keep doing it until your relieved.
    Hopefully, the women troops can carry their wounded, 100lb packs, mortars, two shells each, heavy machine guns, ammo, food and water, not only covering 20-30 flat miles, but also straight up a hill or mountainside. Hopefully, when they get where they are going, they will have the energy and strength to dig holes , chop back brush and trees to clear fields of fire, string wire, plant mines, build bunkers out of sand bags, chop and carry logs, lift and fit for walls and roofs, then toss 50lb sand bags on top. Stay awake, move on during the night, slog another 20-30 miles, climb and fight for another position, take casualties, carry dead and wounded, run out of rations, and clean water and Finally and hopefully they\'ll have a tactical commander who can prevent >60-70% casualties. Hopefully, they\'ll be able to \'save\' themselves, if cut off and surrounded without air support. If they can do something like this, reasonably well, then they deserve at least their own unit, if not integration. Besides all that, they still have to deal with sexual harassment and rape from their own troops. Good luck ladies!!!!!

    July 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  13. Frmr Mrne

    USN RM1 – You have to differentiate (yes, Marines can use big words) between a motivational comment by the commandant and the actual terms in use. We say Former Marine as opposed to Ex-Marine. There are no Ex-Marines but there are Former Marines. Regardless of what the officers say. It seems a little silly for some of us in our 50s who served 30 years ago to go around saying we're Marines. So we are Former Marines. Now make me a sandwich.

    July 14, 2012 at 12:18 am |
  14. Shawn R

    Here's the deal, and it should have been the deal in the Army as well. Everyone gets to try to get in, everyone gets to fight on the front lines BUT the standards remain the exact same....for EVERYONE. I know some women who would destroy most of you in strength and endurance challenges, and as long as they meet the SINGLE standard to get in, hooah ladies, see you on the frontlines.

    July 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  15. Corey

    The Chinese are sitting back laughing. Were no longer the world's superpower, were a laughingstock of sex equality over domination. God forbid we ever fight the chinese. We get weaker and they keep getting stronger. Women will never be as strong as men, and unfortunately we don't see that as a nation. The standard keeps getting lower and lower so the weak can be "equal" with the strong. Were just a nation of pleasing everyone instead of winning and remaining strong. Pathetic.

    July 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  16. CavScout

    If the standards are the *exact* same, maybe we can talk about it. Although the standard will drop – all it will take is one female getting upset about not making the cut and reporting 'sexist discrimination' and then we'll start hearing the "unofficial orders" to make sure more females graduate these schools.
    And I still would like to know how people think we can have a mixed gender unit living in the field on deployment and not have problems – ie facilities, hygiene, harassment, pregnancy, massive EO complaints.

    July 14, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  17. Gray

    So? They're training to be Marines. If they can't handle boot camp. how will they ever handle combat?

    July 15, 2012 at 3:54 am |
  18. belinda

    I do not approve, we need to work on backing off, from War , rather than going forward . When you consider that these Women , are from usually low income situations, it ratchets up the unfairness of the situation , tho where Republicans are concerned as long as it's your kid and not mine mentality, is all that matters , they could care less whether your child lives or dies , as long as they are defending their rich kid's right not to go to war and to instead go to College and live long and undeserved prosperous lives .

    July 15, 2012 at 4:01 am |
  19. Kelevra

    Being an active duty infantry Marine, let me start off by saying I have absolutely no qualms with women being assigned combat roles in the USMC. If they can maintain the standard, then by all means, let them serve. That being said, the logistical burden of accommodating women in some of the less built up areas of Afghanistan simply isn't a realistic goal. You'd be insane to think that the time wouldn't come where women serve next to men in the infantry. I can tell you firsthand that the vast majority of infantry marines now, (both enlisted and officer) do not want to serve with females, with their arguments as to why varying in legitimacy. End of the day, women in the infantry are going to have much more hardship in the long term, serving with their male counterparts.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:48 am |
  20. Kelevra

    Oh, and I eagerly embrace the term ex-Marine.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  21. steve

    when it comes to war, women are just as dangerous as men. like men they can kill you in a micro second, make no mistake about it. the human specie is very deadly regaurdless of gender

    July 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  22. Mike

    As a retired Navy Corpsman that spent half of my career with the Marines, I have a problem with this. Obama is using the military as a social experiment. First, Obama has the military use our tax dollars to have a military gay pride parade. Now he is wanting to put women over men in combat roles. At least the female captain was honest enough to say that she only did half of what the males did and was totally devastated. Some things are better left alone. This is one!

    July 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  23. Crypto

    I agree. If they can handle the SAME training, let them in. Why not? Some are eager for the challenge. I do understand the logistical problem, though of needing different facilities at barracks, etc. Marines are used to be an all-male outfit so their conduct in private (such as small unit patrols) is like that of construction workers. If women are going to tag along, they shouldn't be appalled (or enthralled) if a man suddenly pulls it out and starts urinating on a bush. Behavior like that is pretty common sans females and I wouldn't expect it to change.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  24. Crypto

    Aside from near-public urination, they'd probably better learn to embrace some dirty, dirty jokes / stories!

    July 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
  25. Fred

    Boy! You Americans and your gung-ho armed forces. Put your best up against special forces from Israel, Germany, France, even Canada, and your boys would come home with their tails between their legs. If you disagree, just consider the semi-secret training that went on in Somolia this past February. American special forces were spanked!

    July 15, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  26. USMC5053

    Anyone who believes that the sexual drive of males won't be a serious problem in combat situations is a fool. Save the superior crap about 'ex' and 'former'. It's just silly word play. I 'was' a Marine. I am no longer a Marine. I'm a civilian, an ex-marine, a former marine, a used-to-be marine, and so are millions of others. They're pulling urinals off the carriers now. Supposed to make them more 'gender' compatible. What a world we live in.

    July 16, 2012 at 4:40 am |
  27. Kilamanjaro1911

    This happens every time a Democrat Liberal is in the White House. They want to play around with the military, just because they think the military should reflect their version of liberalism. The liberals don't understand that the ONE AND ONLY purpose for government is to protect and secure the country that elected them to office.

    July 16, 2012 at 9:37 am |
  28. mtarte

    Hmmmm. Let's see. Women in ground combat. Okay. Why then are women not competing against men in the upcoming Olympics in weightlifting, track and field, swimming, marathon and the like? Why do women professional golfers play a shorter course as a matter of routine? Why are there no women linebackers in the NFL? Regardless of "21st century" thinking, women and men are different, men are built for speed and power, women, with rare exceptions are. This is just a bow to the political correctness that has permeated our society and now has infect the military.

    July 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
  29. mtarte

    should be "women, with rare exception are NOT."

    July 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  30. Concerned

    What happens when we downsize? Would we let go perfectly capable men go? Would their be lawsuits for letting to many women go? How would they handle that?

    July 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
  31. wadesworld242

    For those saying, "Fine, if the standards are the same." That's just it. The standards are never the same, because as we're told, that would be unfair to the women.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
  32. Charlotte

    Oh, and @Crypto – if you think women can't handle ribald humor you clearly don't actually know any women. They'll have YOU cringing and blushing and running for cover....or you could just act like a grown up and refrain from little boy potty and boobie jokes in the interest of conduct becoming.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  33. Charlotte

    @Corey, you shouldn't worry about the Chinese. Most Western women are larger and stronger than most Asian men. And just consider this – by including women in the marines, you will have immediately nearly doubled the median IQ of the whole outfit. And fighting these days is more likely to be about intelligence than it is about brawn, especially against the Chinese. Thus, this is actually the best possible move, especially if the forces in general are expecting their next primary arena to be Asia. So rejoice! The marines are about to have some serious and badly needed brain power added to their organization.

    July 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  34. john

    Great news! Now, how come my neighbor's daughter doesn't have to register with the selective service but my son does? What about "equal protection" and all that?

    July 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  35. Maggs

    to Belinda, it's idiots like you who give all Democrats a bad name. In case you didn't know, most of the military are republicans, it's the other side that run from the their duty to county, (research the draft dodgers who ran off to Canada in the mid 1960 to see what I'm talking about). I am a republican and two of my sons are serving in the military. My middle son just finished basic where he, and his fellow male soldiers, had to carry the female soldiers kevlars (8 pounds) and shovels (6 pounds) on their marches. Why? Because the girls could not carry the extra weight, and rather than have their squad fail, the men carried the womens' supplies. In war times, men cannot stop what they are doing to carry your weight for you. If you can't do EXACTLY WHAT THE MEN CAN DO, THEN DON'T VOLUNTEER. Cerntainly you should not expect them to change the guidelines so your ego won't be bruised. Regardless of how YOU feel about the military or war, remember this, the United States of America has the only volunteer military in the world, you volunteer to serve. Don't sign up and then worry about breaking your fingernails.

    July 16, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  36. glenda

    I'm sorry, but I can't see being in mud up to my butt, and that's when mother nature comes a calling. Does a woman get time off for cramps, and passing all that blood every month? I really doubt it. The men can have it.

    July 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
  37. Kevin

    Wow. Some of the comments that I've seen from some of the "men" on this topic are really crazy. Come into the 21st century, fellas. If the woman can perform the duties of the job according to the standards set by the Marine Corps, then why would you want to prevent her from serving ? What, only men are allowed to get the glory ? I say go for it ladies, to hell with what everyone else says.

    July 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
  38. Old Marine

    While I wish it were true, I doubt most WM's could hack it in a line Company. Maybe a select few could hump their own gear for 10 miles but making a 20/25 miles with their own gear and organic weapons/comm/ammo and then preparing or deployingfor combat is far beyond my expectations. Women were introduced to the military to free men for combat while the women handled the non-combative duties. That need hasn't changed nor has the female gender retrograded to the Stone Age. If this experiment continues, the Navy is going to have to recruit and train thousands of Corpsmen topick up up our "sisters" when they fall out and fail their mission.

    July 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  39. Ex Soldier

    To those who are telling people to come into the 21st century, I can pretty much guarantee you've never served a day in your life. I'm a liberal Democrat who has served over a decade, no way do I support this. They are endangering the lives of the others in their units for this pathetic display of political correctness. I once saw a female in air assault school that could actually perform the required amount of pull ups, a measly 10, yet she still failed at everything else. I'm sure there is the occasional female that can perform decent, but overall, all units will be degraded as they lower the standards so they can appease a few. I served under a female officer in Somalia in 93 as a part of task force raven and she was the sorriest excuse for a soldier I had ever seen. If we had actually had a organized force against us, there would have been so many more bodies piled up. It was just that bad. Personally, if you've never served, you have no rights to open your mouth about this subject. Go back to watching G.I. Jane, because you have no idea of the real world.

    July 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  40. jake

    Modern warfare isn't just about brawn anymore. The military isn't just looking for 18 year old kids out of high school. Many of those in special forces guys have college degrees. More women are going to college than men. Males are more commonly afflicted with conditions like ADHD and autism that make them unable to enlist. If we ever see a war the likes of WWII again, we better hope women can fill some of the high-tech specialties that the armed forces will need because many of the brawny boys aren't going to be up to snuff.

    July 17, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  41. Ryan Sullivan

    Just last month there was a report about the rape problem in the Air Force. There will be problems. Second. all Police, Fire, and army, navy, airforce training have lower standards for women. I wonder if the marines will too. Third, men and women are different, no matter what social scientist say. THey are just not as strong or big. This is a bad idea.

    July 17, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  42. MrsMilitary

    Well, well, well. As I read through the comments posted here I am giggling. First, I bleed Republican red deep in my veins, second, my entire family, ALL OF THEM, are in the military, and third, bring it on. I will accept the same standards as a man any day. I did basic and held myself to the standards of the men, obviously greatly surpassing what they expect from us women, even though the military didn't. I do PT every morning, leaving my 'brothers' in the dust. I have had to slow down my company run for the sad sacks of men who were nothing but meat bags waisting my time with their sad little excuses about cramps and shin splints and puking on the side of the running trail. @ Glenda, really, cramps and periods? Please, have you never been camping, rock climbing or any lengthy outdoor sport? You make due, you suck it up, you get over it. Exercise is actually a release for that, so quit complaining on the couch sucking down your Pamprins and hop on a treadmill. For Christs' sake, women survive the pain of childbirth, and yes, I did mine with no drugs, you can survive this. I say again, bring it on. I will hold myself to your 'standards' and put you to shame. There are many other women like me out there. Any of you want to talk about your 'jokes' and your 'manly behavior'? Fine, whip out your johnson and piss in the bushes, but don't get grossed out when I pull out my bloody tampon in the field and bury in in a crap hole next to you. You want to talk about the rise in harrasment and rape, ok. Let's. Did you know that the percentage of military reported rape has gone up, not just because of women, but because MEN are now reporting rape from their brothers? The military and DOJ has made a big push as deployment times are longer to make sure that the MEN feel comfortable in reporting these issues, because you little pansies don't want to get in trouble. Then you want to say perfectly good male soldiers will lose their jobs to women – um, what? First off, there are PLENTY of bad soldiers, and it's not because of their sex. It's because they're LAZY!! They're busy getting hotel rooms and smoking their spice and hallucinating and frying their brains to the point of stupidity. They want an 'easy' paycheck and God forbid they get deployed. They might actually have to DO something. Now let's discuss the draft issue, you want to draft women, go ahead. It isn't done because that hasn't been changed yet. Let's do that then. Change is good right? So just to sum it all up, no, not all women are capable of doing what men can do physically, but there are some, and if they can pull your butt out of the trenches, help you carry your weight, and cover your butt under fire, LET THEM. The longer you stay alive, the longer you can defend your country, who cares what the genetalia are of the person saving you. SUCK IT UP BOYS.

    July 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  43. Wraith11B

    So, what happens when the first female Infantry officer is captured and beheaded on Al-Jazeera? Now corpsmen and all that will have to know double about wounded and otherwise hurt females up there in the hills of A-stan. Not to mention all the extra kit that women have to have to function as a normal member of the team...

    July 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  44. transcendentape

    So much wrong with this story I don't know where to begin. They don't even get the name of the course correct in the description. This isn't about equality, nor has it ever been, the standards have never been the same for men and women in the Marine Corps. Most of the comments in favor of this change are made in a state of willful ignorance. The world is not a fair place. In an infantry unit, physical ability is still important. This is an absolute disaster, something I expected of the Army, (c.f. Ranger) but I am saddened to see that my Corps has come to this.

    July 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  45. Allen

    Actually as a former Marine I am against this. Just because they can fight doesn't mean they should. Children can fight, the infirm can fight, but as a people we do not put them in harms way. Yes, I am a s e x i s t I will pick up a gun and knife before I hand them to my wife or kids. At one time the Corps was about chivalry and honor. It has pretty much lost that today

    July 17, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  46. Julia

    I'm a woman, and I can pee in a urinal.
    On a serious note: I think that men and woman should have different task forces so that women in the military aren't getting raped. Ideals are one thing, and reality is another. Moreover, I realize that men and women have different capabilities. I'm pretty athletic, and I work with my body, but I'm 100% sure that I could not keep up with men in war.

    July 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  47. MarkinFL

    Allen, women are not children and certainly not infirm. They are not all delicate flowers to be protected at all costs. They are adult humans and as such their individual ability is all that should matter. My sister is a serious marksmen and can out-shoot any number of fellow Marines. She never filled a combat role as she left active duty before such options were really available. However, her very reason for becoming a Marine after the Academy was that it seemed her best chance to get as close to it as possible. She too would lay down her life to protect her family or fellow Marine. Personally, if I were in a bad situation with her and we only had one gun, it would be in her hand (and I'm a pretty fair shot myself)

    July 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  48. Soldier

    War is hell. Anyway, other than physical attributes, it's also about what is done. I hope the women don't mind getting naked in front of men because that is how it's done out in the field.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  49. Chicago kid 90

    This is a bad idea

    July 19, 2012 at 2:56 am |
  50. Chicago kid 90

    I can't stand this politically correct world we live in today, women do not belong in combat they are unfit for that role, its called science and evolution folks women are simply unfit for the role by the fact that nature selected them to nurture, they are physically shorter, have more body fat and less muscle, less testosterone, and are more emotional. Men have more muscle, more testosterone (which means more aggression), better spatial awareness, less body fat, a broader shoulders, bigger hands, and are simply physically stronger. Men are designed to be hunter gatherers which also means having to fight off threats such as predators and rival humans, Women are designed to nurture to take care of the children. We can't beat science, why is it that there are zero women in the NFL, NHL, in Rugby Union, or UFC cage fighting simple they would be murdered in a fight against a fully developed male.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  51. Chicago kid 90

    Its fairly easy for a man to overpower a women, No equality in Nature, Lions are stronger than zebras, I would never harm a woman because I know they are physically weaker, hence why society frowns on men who hit and abuse women because we know for a fact that its harder for them to fight back so If I were to say fight the girl and not some ju jit su modern day chick or some marine chick who is also engineered by human society but an average run of the mill women I would easily kill her not that I would just saying men vs women in fight not good for the women, secondly having women in forward units causes problems say she's pregnant and maybe doesn't know then its two lives your endangering, or how about if its a mixed unit that the PC people prolly hope and pray for and she happens to fall in love with someone in her unit well science proves it will happen so then something happens and she may be separated from the unit or behind enemy lines then the guy does something rash which could jeopardize the mission and put everyones lives at risk the answer to this is NO women are not a race nor minority they are the other sex combat is not their realm

    July 19, 2012 at 3:13 am |
  52. Chicago kid 90

    not to mention having mixed units would lead to massive amounts of rape

    July 19, 2012 at 3:16 am |
  53. Chicago kid 90

    Women can't cut SEAL training nor should they ever be allowed or considered for SEALS, DELTA, GREEN BERET, RANGERS, MARSOC or any other tactical unit they are simply not fit for the job and cause too many problems if they are in such units, women can still serve they do perfect in roles more suited to their sex such as nurse, secretary, jag lawyer, technical support etc. but combat roles as those should remain closed to them its for there own safety as well to prevent rape by fellow soldiers, to prevent them from comprising missions due to personal relations, and simply because its not there place to be, they can serve their country in a support role and those roles are just as important as the roles men do we need women to be nurses

    July 19, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  54. Chicago kid 90

    Whats next women are going to be allowed to use urinals i'm sick of this enforced pc nonsense i'm teaching my sons to be men and my daughter to be a woman know your place and except it if you can't then you have a problem

    July 19, 2012 at 3:26 am |
  55. Ocie

    Now, no body seriously trained and held to military standard enough women to set a public example, nobody has seen a strong woman–maybe over civilian grade strong–military woman and thinks that its the mythical breed that don't exist. A lot of comments seem to assume that all men could qualify for the marines, they can't. The one's who can't aren't in there.

    July 19, 2012 at 4:41 am |
  56. scott

    The vast majority of females cannot handle the physical rigors of infantry life. Many men can't either. Screw fairness – lets make our fighting forces the best at what they do, not the fairest. Other than that, females have other valuable roles to fill in our military.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  57. darmonx

    they're gonna be treated like babies just so they can make it through. as always.. the military will have to lower its standards just to help these pioneer females succeed.

    July 19, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  58. Dog Face Soldier

    @ all these former Marines....look guys, when your service is good for more than making really neat commercials and billboards, then you can come and guard the chow for the real warfighters. Becoming the Army? That's funny. You're not even close. At least the WW2 and Vietnam era Marines did something worth talking about. After that is a bunch of wannabe's.

    July 19, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  59. peace.

    What's really upsetting about the discourse relating to this story is the argument that women shouldn't be given the opportunity to serve because they would be raped. The fact that this is even an issue indicates the need to do some soul-searching and eliminate this problem. Instead of citing this as a routine problem facing women, we should be working hard to fix it. It's not normal- it's atrocious. Rape is a wartime crime, no matter if it happens between enemies or amongst the same unit. Women should never be deterred from serving based on the actions of those they serve with. If one of the problems facing women is sexual harassment and rape, let's do something to address that. And, let's not forget that there are more standards at stake than merely physical. What about ethical and moral standards? If we want to emphasize equality and prowess in physical ability, let's also stress equality and prowess in morality.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:18 am |
  60. x us navy mineman

    @ ex jar head;

    Marines are the navy's police. also definition of a squid; a squid is something that swims on the bottom of the ocean and craps all over marine life. LMAO

    July 19, 2012 at 9:29 am |
  61. x us navy mineman

    @ darmonx

    GI.Jane didnt get special treatment,

    July 19, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  62. x us navy mineman

    as i see it they should have every chance a man has to try and do the training if they make it great if they dont great. a lot of men drop out of these programs how many women will actually make it. If they can manage to finish then hats off to them. why is everyone complaining.

    July 19, 2012 at 9:39 am |
  63. USN

    @Dog Face Soldier

    I'd take 1 jarhead over 10 soldiers any day of the week, anywhere, any time. When it comes down to it, despite the friendly rivalry Sailors and Marines keep alive, I know that Marines around the world are truly the most professional military force in the world, hands down, no doubt. They'll be cleaning up your messes long after you are gone.

    July 19, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  64. Dog Face Soldier

    @ USN...I'm sorry, but Marines are incompetant. I guess if the only grunts you've been around are Marines, then you'll take anything. In the past decade of war, the Marines have been all but useless. The Army is more tactically proficient, technically proficient and while you guys were making commercials, we fought two wars. I'll take 1 AF Tac-P before I take 10 Marines.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  65. Chicago kid 90

    screw fairness we want a strong force women are should be verboten from combat its not their place

    July 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  66. Rebecca L.

    Well the world is officially coming to an end. Women are now allowed in Ranger school and infantry. So now women are going to get men killed because they want an estrogen high. Im all for womens rights, but most of us can not be an infantry soldier. I dont want your vagina geting my husbnd killed in combat because you want to be equal.

    I wish it boiled down to the fact that you have to pass the pre requisites, but we all know that this is a political issue, and the military is going to pass these women because otherwise they are going to say it was sexism. Sigh 😦

    July 19, 2012 at 3:17 pm |
  67. 11BHistorian

    I laugh at the Army/Marine rivalry. Marine POGs might be more trained and proficient than Army POGs (I stress MIGHT), but the Infantry in both branches is the same meat, different gravy. Now all that aside, I think I can offer an interesting perspective, being former Army 11B while also having studied the historical aspect of women in the military in school.

    I'm not to worried about the possibility of rape within the ranks or general fighting ability of women. I did my bachelors thesis on Soviet women in line units during WWII, and found that after a small amount of general harassment in the beginning, women were entirely accepted by their male counterparts. However, the amount of female Infantry in mixed units was low, and they had to go through absolute hell and a boatload of discrimination (people trying to get them to fail) just to make it there. They had to prove themselves, it wasn't handed to them with a different standard set.
    Ultimately, though, this isn't the Soviet Infantry in WWII we're talking about, it's the US military. We're being called on to carry more crap on our back than they did, and if women can't carry the same amount as men, they shouldn't be doing the same job as men.
    It's my belief that probably 5% of women are strong and athletic enough that, if held to the same standard as men, they would make it through Infantry training with flying colors. 5% of women are naturally inclined to be warriors. This isn't acceptable to DC, though, so they skew the standards so it's 50% instead of 5% or whatever. Problem is, combat doesn't pander to weakness. If my "sister" can't be counted on to ruck her own stuff in and out, how can I rely on her to carry me out if I go down?
    Even though I studied the success of Soviet women in combat during WWII, I will be the first to say it can't be replicated here. Whereas in the USSR in 1941, women had to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they could hack it in combat (while some men skated by), they are being handed it here, and that is setting every branch up for failure.

    I think we all can appreciate that in war, bad ideas lead to dead buddies. Well, this is a terrible idea, and as much as I want to wash my hands of it and say "not my problem, I'm out," the consequences of this decision truly worry me.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  68. 11BHistorian

    @ the_human_paraquat
    I agree the representation of my military/ex-military bros in here hasn't been the best, and I generally agree with you and disagree with them on the rape scenario. That said, however, I do have to call you out on one point you tried to make. You said that "any thinking person can deduce that being a good soldier has more to do with endurance than strength, marksmanship than ability to put up with dirty jokes. . ." First of all, that's implying that anyone who disagrees with you can't think. The fact that you had just been complaining about the quality of the argument up until your holiness posted, and then opened your argument with a statement like that is, amuses me.
    To address your point, though, I'd have to say it has everything to do with strength. Of course marksmanship is a factor, but there's a reason we don't recruit paraplegics who are amazing shots. The Infantry has been called on time and again to close with and kill the enemy while carrying everything they need for the job. Let me tell you, "everything they need" is a heavy load. Putting that on the back of a thin framed 5' 4" 110 lb woman is asking for disaster, but if they want to serve alongside us, they have to be able to do it. That's strength, and that has everything to do with our job.

    July 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  69. Rimuladas

    @ fred

    Put your best up against special forces from Israel, Germany, France, even Canada, [insert, who do you think trained these people? We created Isreal, destroyed and rebuild Germany, saved France from being face raped by the nazi's and well, Canada, is just Canada. [insert] and your boys would come home with their tails between their legs. If you disagree, just consider the semi-secret training that went on in Somolia this past February. American special forces were spanked!
    [Insert Thats because our best were out in the world killing bad guys not playing Top Shot in Miles gear[/insert]

    July 19, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
  70. Tun Tavern 1775

    As a prior service Marine I have no problem with women in the infantry, as long as the standards aren't relaxed to suit them. If a FM can hack it, more power to her. What I forsee is the majority of them dropping due to stress fractures in the Tib or Fib due to humping their rucks , Duece Gear and weapons long distances. Their physiology isn't set up for that and for a smaller stature woman it can equal her having to hump (March for civilians) half her bodyweight for miles. I STILL remember the 28 mile hump for the MCCRE and that was 13 years ago for me. I was hurting for 2 days afterwards and I was a 300 PFT'r then!

    July 19, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
  71. weber

    I'm not sexist but there are some things women should not be doing.

    July 20, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  72. WXGuy

    These comments are so funny, so many of them have no clue on what "combat" is about. Or what the Marine Corps is about. Better, yet, probably have never even met and active duty Marine. It is just as simple as physical make up, this is not a black or white think, there is no comparison. This is literally a difference in biological make up. Men and Women are NOT the same...Even though I do agree women should be a part of the fight, women provide a different aspect to the fight, especially when it comes to culture relations, like we are experiencing now. Never the less, good luck to them and I hope they are successful, and can provide a real postive impact.

    July 20, 2012 at 8:10 am |
  73. JC

    Remember when blacks were considered less than equal in the service branches and in life. May we look back at this conversation 10, 20,30 years from now and laugh at its stupidity.

    July 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  74. voradtralundir

    Weber. You just defined sexism very successfully all on your own.

    July 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
  75. Tanker

    I whole heartedly support women's rights.

    That being said, as a former military officer I say with all respect that women are not leadership roles in armor, infantry, or artillery.

    Combat is about leadership by example and there are no women's size rifles, main gun rounds, or artillery shells.

    A female infantry officer, no matter how much heart she's got, is not going to carry a 75lb ruck sack a dozen miles over broken terrain.

    Women should be restricted to aviation, surface and submarine warfare, air defence, service and support.

    July 20, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  76. cboy704

    If they can withstand the training and it's just as tough for them as it is for the men, so be it. Let's see if they make the goals easier for the women. If they do, how can they be expected to carry the heavy bags of ammo, etc.?

    If they can withstand the same exact training as men, glad to have them on our side!

    July 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  77. Andrew

    Let's just wait and see if they can endure the training, then we can pass our judgments. More power to them if they can complete the training, then they are just as solid marines as their male counterparts

    July 20, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  78. BohemianMama

    I think that if the training standards are equal, the military should be open for any one who can perform to the standard.

    July 20, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  79. Courtney

    if the training standards are equal why not? I think most people have this image of a 5' 5' 110lb female with a 80lb bag trying carry it around. Clearly that will not work but what about 6' 7" females who are muscular, athletic and might actually want to serve? Shouldn't they get a chance? Dont lower the standards, if they cant make it, no girls ... but if they can well more power to you all.

    July 20, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
  80. Super Dave

    I have a great idea. Send the gals( an all female division) to the front line and they can prove themselves. Anyone who comes back alive can integrate with their male counterparts. Sounds fair.

    July 21, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
  81. USAF PIlot Chick

    If these ladies can meet the standard and pass the course, then they should absolutely be given the opportunity.

    July 22, 2012 at 3:23 am |
  82. Airborne Infantry

    All huggy feely political correctness aside this is a mistake. Women are NOT physically equal to men which is why there has ALWAYS been 2 sets of physical standards. Do I accept women as fighter pilots, tank drivers etc...sure. Are they equal to a male grunt in terms of physicality where boots meet the ground? No. Thats not sexism its BIOLOGY. Are there a minority of women who could make the grade without the standards being dropped? Sure. Do we alter the makeup of an entire fighting force for the sake of a miniscule few? No. This has been tried several ties in the past here in the US and its been a failure every time. The military is composed of two things: Grunts and those that support Grunts. I also notice that most of the yay sayers ARENT grunts so they no F*all about what it takes. This PC BS undermines the effectiveness and unit cohesion of our fighting forces so if you arent a grunt dont tell us what it takes to be one because you dont have a clue.

    July 23, 2012 at 12:06 am |
  83. blackluke8

    What an utter waste of time. Complete PR stunt. Clearly America doesn't want a capable Marine Corps anymore

    July 23, 2012 at 4:42 am |
  84. Sad day

    WAR is not PC. I feel bad for the Marines...Playing politics w/ the soldiers...In my old Army unit we had 6 women... Guess what? All 6 were on light duty my whole 3 years. They are not built for wear and cannot handle the tasks mentally or physically...Deal w/ it. Change the PT standards to meet the minimum men's and that would be a start. Soldiers won't respect someone that can't meet or surpass their personal standards yet alone when it's shoved down their throats...Sad day indeed...

    July 23, 2012 at 8:40 am |
  85. Adam L

    MrsMilitary: You may wish you were a man, as you've got Napoleon Syndrome going on there, but you know in your heart that other women arn't as "tough" as you. I know you got bro's so you feel like you got something to Prove, but apart from that. It's the mouth that the military doesn't need. Men work well with Men, we do a job and it get's done. Mouth is what the squeaky wheel does to get grease. You are just being a squeaky wheel and so are other women. So here come the changes guys.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  86. Topanga053

    @Chicagokid90- It's really funny that while you think that women shouldn't be Marines, you believe that being an attorney is "[better] suited to their sex".

    Apparently you didn't know that women used to be banned from the practice of law because men thought it was incompatible with their "gentle natures." Basically, men thought that practicing law was the province of men, that a woman who voluntarily wanted to practice law was committing "treason" to her sex" because she should not have a career independent of her husband, and that practicing law would force women to hear things–like rape and adultery–that were "unfit for female ears."

    "Nature has tempered woman as little for the judicial conflicts of the court room, as for the physical conflicts of the battle field." In the Matter of the Motion to admit Miss Lavinia Goodwell to the Bar of this Court, 39 Wis. 232, 245 (1875).

    The U.S. Supreme Court even upheld banning women from the practice of law for many of the same reasons (see e.g. Bradwell v. State, 83 U.S. 110, Bradwell, J., concurring).

    Thanks for ironic throwback to the 1870s! 😉

    July 24, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  87. EAP

    Ask yourself, would you be comfortable with ALL military billets being occupied by women? I know, unrealistic, but ask yourself if we'd have an effective infantry battalion if it was comprised of ALL women. Why don't we do that...entire battalion of women. Or are we quietly counting on the complimentary strengths of the males (which will still be in the majority) on their left and right to help them hump the full load, go over a wall wall in body armor, or fireman's-carry a wounded Marine to the medevac bird. Woman CAN excel in combat (logistics, supply, intel, etc). Can they excel in the tip of the spear, kick in the door, hand-to-hand offensive operations (infantry) nix male reliance?

    July 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  88. Carolyn

    I can't believe some of what I am reading. Times have changed greatly since I proudly wore the uniform of a female Marine. God Bless everyone who has the guts to be a Marine. In todays world we all need to be trained for combat, some will make it, some will not, but you can be sure these ladies will give all they can. How dare you smart ass men think it's your Marine Corps!! We are all in this together, get a grip and get with the times. Some of you have very good points. We women don't have the upper body strength that men have, but we need to be trained in combat because we as a nation have been blessed not to have fought a world war on our land, that might not always be true in todays future. I am sure no one is going to be placed in a situation they can't handle. We are a Marine Corps family, myself, my husband, who is retired and our sons. God Bless those who chose to serve. By the way, I know a lot of men who would s@#t in their pants if they thought they would be called to duty and in the 60's and early 70's a few of those men ran to Canada!! I am proud to have worn the uniform of a US Marine. To all Marines and military thank you for your service.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
  89. Michelle

    Keep the standards the same. If women can hack it, then great. If not, they they (like the many MEN who can't hack it) can go home with their proverbial tails between their legs.

    I was Army. Enlisted first, then an officer. I held myself to the male standards, not the female ones. I consistently maxed out on the male fitness standards and led from the front. I knew other women who could do it, too. YES, women can take care of their d*** hygiene in the field. Yes, women can pee in the woods. Yes, women can carry their own gear. Yes, women can carry wounded men in battle. I'm 5'1", and I could carry the heaviest guy in my platoon. We checked. I did between 80 and 90 pushups at every PT test, climbed the rope obstacles faster than anyone else in my BCT training company (which was co-ed, and 75% male), and could do 20+ pull-ups easily. It's not that women are weaker – it's that too many of them are LAZIER. Get a female who really wants to excel, and she will. There are plenty of men in the military with beer guts who can't pass the PT test. I know plenty of females who can kick their tails.

    I believe in equal opportunity AND equal standards. We need as many sharp-witted, strong-bodied troops as possible. There's an untapped pool of talent amongst the women of this nation, and many of them are willing to work twice as hard to prove themselves. Leave the "girls" behind... just like the "boys." Men AND women are what we need.

    I guess I'm a bit like MrsMilitary in that regards... except I'm not a Republican. Oh yeah, and to all of you haters who seem to think that only Republicans are putting themselves at risk to serve this nation, GET OVER YOURSELVES.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  90. cmc

    I wonder if their male counterparts could handle all of this AND the likelihood of having a 1 in 3 chance of being raped by their colleagues? I doubt it. People who think it's women and gay men who have no place in the military often overlook the male hetero trogladytes among the ranks.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  91. Kuta

    I can just hear the DI now:

    "OK ladies, your 86 days of Hell begins NOW. HOOAH!"
    First pick up that five pound pack and put it on. Yes, the WHOLE GOL-DARNED PACK.
    You'll be running four laps with only ONE water break. You will then pro-ceed to do five pushups and one pullup before lunch. NOW GET GOING RECRUITS!

    July 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm |
  92. trey

    A Marine is a Marine. If the Marines say these women are Marines, they are Marines. If the Marines have cleared them for the training, then they go for the training.
    The only ones who can grade their performance are their instructors and the Marines serving with them.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  93. Taylor

    Can we please stop using the term "equality" when referring to the physical capabilities of the sexes. Evolution decided long ago we are not physically equal. If the Marines want to integrate women into the front lines, OK. Not what I would do, but stop pretending men and women have the same physical abilities!

    July 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  94. Camelspyder

    I see a lot of military personnel are commenting here. The one's that are for females joining the Infantry would never do it themselves. I don't agree with it at all and here's why; the day that I don't see a female needing any help carrying her equipment is the day I'll say females can join the Infantry. I know men help each other carry equipment all the time; however that is only in unusual situations. Every man should be able to carry his own weight. If he can't carry his own weight, he will have a short career, if he doesn't hurry up and change his MOS (job). And changing his MOS has to be perfectly timed when is career is in danger. The only time you can do it, is during your reenlistment window. An Infantryman who can't carry his own weight can find himself kicked out of the ARMY and back home before he gets a chance to change jobs. As a 20 year and still active Infantryman, I always find myself and other men helping non-combat female Soldiers carry their weight. Yes, I have recognized a few unusual women that can make it in the Infantry, but that few cannot justify that all women are able to carry the burdens that are meant for men to endure.

    July 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  95. AaaaCccc

    It may help those not familiar with ways women are accommodated to describe it for the average reader. The military is not about job fairness. It's about combat. As someone around military friends and family, I have heard plenty. I have female relatives and friends in the military. They made the grade. But had the same issue with women who could not dig their own foxhole or carry their gear in training.

    July 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  96. Men and Women are not equal at everything

    Some things men do are better than some things women do and vice versa. Yes I am a woman; however I have noticeds when women get hurt in battle, men tend to try to protect them. This leaves opportunity for the enemy. I think there are different things women can do in battle to contribute to protecting our country's freedom. Looking at the big picture, I think it can be selfish of women to want to be on the frontline.

    I don't think our country is in a place to have women falling on the front lines. Look at what the military has had to do thus far to rescue women who get detained during our fight in the middle east. The military has had to utilize resources to rescue the females.

    If a woman wants to play marine then the marine's should NOT lower its bar. That branch prides itself on what it was designed to do. If she can pass it, good for her.

    I'm not trying to be weak, but I know my place as a female in the world and one place is not in battle. I have a husband in the military and support him 100%. If it came down to it and the women of our country absolutely had to enter battle to protect it, then so be it, I will be there to protect this country to ensure my children have a country to grow up in.

    July 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  97. Skrewdriver

    ...and the feminization of the United States continues.

    August 1, 2012 at 8:16 am |
  98. Shooter

    It’s unfortunate that most don’t truly understand the nature of our Corps’ sacrifice to this nation or what the end result of this experiment will entail, nor how much this will hamper success wherever the flag carries us to next.

    The training part is challenging but it’s not combat. Many men make it through the schoolhouse only to be shelved once they don’t measure up to standards in the Fleet Marine Force. No doubt that there are many women who can out run, out shoot, and physically beat up many men in an infantry unit and I’m sure there will be some to break the barrier and be able to tough it out for 11 weeks.

    Not sure if anyone has noticed yet but boys are different than girls and that physical difference is what will prevent even the hardiest young lady from being successful in a Marine Corps infantry unit in combat for prolonged periods of time.

    When I first went to Afghanistan in late 2001, as a young Staff Non-Commissioned officer we had water rationing, with limited hygiene capabilities, and you fought with what you wore on your back and slept in the hole you dug that night. More recently, during my last two trips to Afghanistan in 2009 and 2011, conditions were still austere. Infantrymen in line companies live at patrol bases, often without showers or air-conditioning. The men patrol for seven to eight hours a day, spent four to six hours on post, and spend a few hours planning and normal clean up duties necessary when you are living in tight quarters. You slept side by side in a sand lot with dirt pushed up around you with your Afghan male counter-parts.

    Think about what that does to your body and the implications of not being able to clean things on a regular basis. A casualty is a casualty regardless if it is a health related issue or a gunshot wound. In combat, when your forces begin to attrite you quickly begin running low that precious commodity needed to run 24 hour continuous operations in order to accomplish the mission. For guys cleaning your hands prior to eating and brushing your teeth, along with three to four hours of rest is generally enough to keep you healthy.

    Another question is do you really want to see young female Americans getting blown up or shot to death on a regular basis?

    Do you happen to know what healthy young men and women will do when confined to small spaces for six or seven months? Do you realize the negative implications on morale and esprit de corps that will have. – Again for those that say “that’s your Marine sister you’re talking about.” Look at the facts and conduct a study on how many females are sent home from rear areas per month due to pregnancy/adultery etc. With all the issues associated with being in combat that is the last thing a young lieutenant should have to worry about.

    There are plenty of men vying for these positions. In fact, about a third of the officers that request to be infantry officers in The Basic School are denied the opportunity – even though they are physically fit enough. For those about to comment regarding IQ, currently we have two Harvard graduates in our unit and a Princeton graduate along with several other graduates from Ivy League centers of education. Prior to spouting off regarding the mental agility of the average infantrymen, you should check the requirements and realize that all that ground combat information that is transformed into intelligence comes straight from us.

    This should never be an issue about what people want. It should only be about what the nation requires and it should be asked, “Will this make the Marine Corps a better fighting organization?”

    End result is that this is being pushed on the Marine Corps via politicians dangling budgetary funding and we are accepting it. The outcome could possibly be the destruction of a capability that the Nation has kept in faith since 1775.

    August 1, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  99. robv8r

    I joined the Marine Corps over 20 years ago. Had I stayed in, I'd likely be retired. I'm happy to see that the Marine Corps is showing signs of equal treatment of women. I served in both combat and service units, and served with women Marines (we called them WMs) in nearly all the units I was with. I was under (then) Brigadier General Mutter in Okinawa while serving in 3rd FSSG. She is an amazing woman who fought tooth and nail for everything she ever earned. For that, she certainly earned my respect. While in 29 Palms, I had a dark green female Sergeant Major (I cannot remember her name). I would rather fight a rabid pit bull than go up against her. Long story short, a Marine is a Marine, regardless of their ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. Saying otherwise is, at best, poorly disguised bigotry.

    August 2, 2012 at 2:53 pm |

    @Dog Face Soldier: I'm just going to give you one example of how you have no idea what you're talking about. In 2002 I was a Lance Corporal (E-3) in Djibouti at a CJTF. All branches on deck. I was attached to the Camp Commandant and I was in charge of morning cleanup for the entire base. All resident units had to send me two bodies every morning. The Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy all sent me E-2s or 3s, but both Army units, including 10th Mountain Division and one I don't remember bu had Stryker in the name sent me Staff Sergeants (E-6). So my worthless Marine Corps puts an E-3 in the same boat as your E-6. A Marine Corporal is in charge of more, does it better and does it with less than the Army day in and day out. We left Iraq for the most part in 04, but had to come back in 05 because the Army, (whose sole occupation IS occupation) couldn't hold the ground we took. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your hooah days were in between Vietnam and before Desert Storm. Cool story bro, tell me more about my Marine Corps.

    Now, as far as female infantry goes, I'm all for it.....on the same day that I don't have to run faster, pull harder and carry more than my female counterparts. And for those of you current female folks, go ahead and take a gander around your respective base and look who's dead last in almost every formation run every day. There'll be a fat garbage male back there too, and I want his butt kicked out too. Make the standards the same or GTFO.

    August 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  101. TheGander2

    I served in the early 1980's. WM will get my respect when they "earn it!", not because
    a Col (full bird) told me too, even if she is a LIt. or above. Yes, WM is a Marine,
    to led (Combat) ???

    August 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  102. Amanda

    Any person going into the service has earned respect for the willingness to put their life on the line for our country. And stop the bashing between branches of the military I mean really At the end of the day soldiers from every branch are getting killed and they deserve RESPECT. If a woman can pass the same test as the men then why shouldnt she be allowed the same role?

    August 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  103. AviationUSN

    Let me start off by saying that i've never been out on the frontlines with either Soldiers, Marines, or Navy Sailors who have gone IA. I have all the respect in the world for those that choose to raise their right hand and take the oath. And it baffles me beyond belief that we keep going at each other as if we're all serving for a different country. At the end of the day we're all fighting for the same thing. i'm always humbled when a random person shakes my hand and thanks me for my service, i just smile but inside im thinking,' i havent done as much as all these other Marines and Soldiers have done. i shouldnt be the one you're thanking." i respect the hell out of everyone who goes to the frontlines and risks their life everyday.
    As for women going into this training, i agree with some people here. I'm the first to say that i know i'm not as strong as most of the guys i work with. there are certain things i definitely can't do. i know that i couldn't go out to the places the men go and carry 80 pounds of gear and walk for miles on end. i'm all for women rights but we have to be realistic when it comes to fighting a war and being efficient.

    August 8, 2012 at 10:56 am |
  104. Slurpize

    As long as it is no different than normal training, I don't have a problem with it. If they make things easier, then that would be a lot of BS

    August 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  105. John L.

    @ dog face soldier. I spent 7 years in the Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq my platoon recieved on more than one occasion friendly fire from Army units passing through our AO. Many of the units there were poorly trained and couldn't tell the difference between a friendly unit and an AK toting Iraqi. While we were there we cleared 3 cities that had been previously "cleared" by Army units. So my question is if the Army is so much better than the Marine Corps than why do Marines get called to come do a job that couldn't be done right the first time by the Army? The Army is better funded, equipped, and has more combat units than the Corps but yet when something has to be done right and done quickly it is the Marine Corps that gets the call to arms. The president never threatens an enemy by saying "We will send the Army". "We are sending MARINES" is what he uses to put the odds in his favor.


    October 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm |
  106. John L.

    Now for WM's as infantry officers. When I was in Afghanistan I ran a security team for logistical convoys, engineer projects and VIP escorts. In my security team I had two female marines. Even though we were vehicle mounted they still struggled with simple tasks such as mounting machine guns and .50 cal ammo along with MK19 ammo. If they didn't have an M4 rifle with an adjustable stock the rifle was to large for them to fire and effectively put rounds on target. The physical need in a combat environment is very demanding and I have met very few WM's that can stand toe to toe with thier male counterparts. With all of that being said, I am not a sexist and do believe that women have the same right to serve thier country as males. Many WM's perform critical tasks within the Corps and do an outstanding job but if the physical standards are not the same for both male and female Marines the over all mission can suffer do to lack of ability thus endangering lives.

    To all Marines, Male and Female,


    October 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm |

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