Of course he does. He is leaving in February, so the damage will be in his wake. And the Democrats will gain big points from the far-left “DACOWITS uber alles” crowd.
“We are moving in the direction of women as infantry soldiers,” one senior defense official said.
No comment from the hordes of female volunteers who have successfully met the standard at the USMC Infantry Officers’ Course.
A few other things need to happen immediately. Beginning tomorrow morning. (Pardon if this is Marine Corps-centric, as the Corps is my service and its standards are the ones I shall address.)
As of 0001 on 24 January 2013:
All Marines must do a minimum of 3 pullups, 50 sit-ups in two minutes, and run 3 miles in under 28 minutes, and score a minimum of 135 on the formerly-male Physical Fitness Test. That means that pull-ups are five points apiece for everybody, and the run time score is one point for every ten seconds over 18 minutes. (Hint, you have to do considerably more than the minimum on at least two areas to pass, with the minimum score for each being listed above.)
Any Marines unable to pass the PFT will be placed on remedial physical fitness IAW MCO 6100.3, regardless of rank or gender. PFT failures will be annotated in directed comments on those Marines’ fitness reports. Promotion and assignment eligibility will be contingent on meeting the standard.
On the Combat Fitness Test, all Marines must conform to the formerly male standards, including the Movement to Contact, which will require a time of 4:13 or under for Marines aged 26 and below, the lift of the 30-pound ammo can for a minimum of 33 reps, with 91 being maximum, and Maneuver Under Fire time of 3:58 and under. All other formerly male age-specific scoring will apply. CFT failures will be annotated in directed comments on those Marines’ fitness reports. Promotion and assignment eligibility will be contingent on meeting the standard.
All Marines will adhere to the formerly-male body fat percentage requirements. Marines ages 18-26 will ALL have a maximum body fat percentage of 18%. Any Marine, regardless of gender, who exceeds that percentage (and it is graduated to a maximum of 21% for Marines over age 46) will be given the 60 day notification period, and then the 60 day caution period, IAW MCO 6100.3. Failure to adhere to body fat standards will be annotated in directed comments on those Marines’ fitness reports. Promotion and assignment eligibility will be contingent on meeting the standard.
All Marines, regardless of assignment, will be required to complete the annual MCCRE 25-mile, 8 hour conditioning march with 55 pounds of required march-order, plus organic Marine-portable unit equipment.
I doubt any of that will happen, of course. Because that kind of equality, rather than the “equality” loaded with special considerations that so many push for, would thin the ranks of female Marines dramatically. Instead, Panetta’s policy, like so many these days from the People’s Defense Commissariat, is about political grandstanding and not combat effectiveness or warfighting proficiency. I am sure the glowing appraisals of how all this works out are already being written, talking points for “impromptu” interviews and Commanders’ assessments scripted carefully.
Of course, any problems or failures that may possibly be encountered will be blamestormed in the direction of sexual harassment, hidebound chauvinism, discrimination, lack of “fairness”, or lack of “vision” on the part of those who might not nod enthusiastically enough. Certainly the problems won’t be attributed to the notion that mixed-gender combat arms units is as horrendously unwise now as it was fifty years ago, and will be fifty years hence. Not a chance of that.
“In fact, it’s important to remember that in recent wars that lacked any true front lines, thousands of women already spent their days in combat situations serving side-by-side with their fellow male servicemembers,” said Murray, who heads the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
Which is, of course, precisely the same as being in the Infantry or Artillery or Armor, where the MISSION of the unit is to “locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and maneuver, or repel his (or her, apparently) assault by fire and close combat.”
Whatever, I am sure it will work out fine. Just like in the movies. Where chicks kick ass all the time.
The move came at the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the sources said.
Why doesn’t that make me feel better? “Three bags full”.
Note: I have been very clear in my opinions that female Marines should be trained for combat. The Marine Corps has done so for a very long time, and done so successfully. I have served next to female Marines in combat. But combat incidental to other missions is NOT the same as that of units in combat arms. Despite the strident assertions of those whose interests are in furthering a special interest group instead of preparing for war.