Superb article from Captain Lauren Serrano in the Marine Corps Gazette. She will undoubtedly become the target of feminists in and out of the Armed Forces as some sort of traitor to womanhood, much as Captain Kate Petronio has been. But she is right as rain. As was Captain Petronio.
Captain Serrano explores far more than the mere physical obstacles to women in the Infantry. She tells an age-old immutable truth about young warriors:
Having women in an infantry unit will disrupt the infantry’s identity, motivational tactics, and camaraderie. The average infantryman is in his late teens or early twenties. At that age, men are raging with hormones and are easily distracted by women and sex. Infantry leaders feed on the testosterone and masculinity of young men to increase morale and motivation and encourage the warrior ethos. Few jobs are as physically and emotionally demanding as the infantry, so to keep Marines focused, the infantry operates in a cult-like brotherhood. The infantry is the one place where young men are able to focus solely on being a warrior without the distraction of women or political correctness. They can fart, burp, tell raunchy jokes, walk around naked, swap sex stories, wrestle, and simply be young men together. …this is the exact kind of atmosphere that promotes unit cohesion and the brotherly bond that is invaluable. This bond is an essential element in both garrison and combat environments. Ask any 0311 what encourages him to keep training or fighting in combat when he thinks he can go no further, and he will respond, “My brothers to my right and left.” No matter how masculine a woman is, she is still female and simply does not mesh with the infantry brotherhood.
Well-stated, and spot-on. A great article, well worth the read.
Semper Fidelis, Skipper. You have the moral courage to speak an unpopular truth, for the greatest good of Corps and Country. But for more Officers, men and women, especially senior ones, to have such a backbone.