Lt. Col. Kate Germano on the Marines and Women – The New York Times

For decades the Marine Corps has tolerated, even encouraged, lower performance from the young women who enlist in its ranks, an insidious gender bias that begins with the way women are treated immediately after they sign up and continues through their training at boot camp. The results are predictable – female Marines risk being less confident and less fully accepted than their male counterparts, because the Corps has failed them from the outset.

That is the position of Lt. Col. Kate Germano, an active-duty Marine officer who commanded both a Marine recruiting station in San Diego and a segregated all-female training battalion at Parris Island, the Corps’ boot camp in South Carolina. Colonel Germano presented this argument in a draft article, “When Did It Become an Insult to Train Like a Girl?” that she wrote early this year and in which she argued for tougher standards and higher expectations, or, in her words, a movement toward “radical change.”

via Lt. Col. Kate Germano on the Marines and Women – The New York Times.

It’s worth your time to click over and read Lt. Col. Germano’s piece.

Whether recruit training should continue to be segregated for men and women is a question I’m open minded about. But insisting on female recruits meeting the same standards of performance is simply common sense.

More and more, it looks like the Marine Corps shot itself in the foot in relieving her.

13 thoughts on “Lt. Col. Kate Germano on the Marines and Women – The New York Times”

  1. female Marines risk being less confident and less fully accepted than their male counterparts, because the Corps has failed them from the outset.

    Oh gawd, we gotta eff up the Corps in the name of female “confidence” and “acceptance”…

    The Corps did not fail them. It is not a failure of the Corps that female Marines lack a Y chromosome, lack upper body strength, and (in short) are not male Marines.

    1. You miss her point. It is her contention that when properly trained women can meet the same standards as the men. The fact that women do not meet those standards is merely a reflection of the fact that they are not held to those standards.

    2. That point is FALSE. No amount of “proper training” can turn a woman into a man.

    3. No one, least of all LTC Germano, is saying that, Tarl.

      She’s making the argument that settling for a 75% pass rate on rifle marksmanship gets you a 75% pass rate. And there’s simply no valid reason why women cannot achieve the same level of success as men in rifle marksmanship.

      That’s true for most of the activities in recruit training. For instance, is there a disparity in pass rates for land navigation? The various skills tests?

      Her point about it being accepted behavior, even expected behavior, for women to drop out of the final road march is a good example. Once they quit making it acceptable and expected, it quit happening.

      If most men are scoring at, say, 80% on their PT test, why shouldn’t most women score at 80% on their PT test? The events have already been gender normed, so any discrepancy would naturally point to a failure of leadership to focus training and uphold standards.

    4. Standards are one thing, expectations another. But, the idea that men and women are fungible is risible. If the standard for women is the same as men (such as the standard ruck for Ranger school being 45 lbs, lowered to 35 Lbs ) women, in general will not meet it. No amount of training will raise women to being generally able to pass the same physical standards as men. Lowering them, such as was done with Ranger School accomplishes nothing.

      The skill standards should be the same. No reason why a woman should not be able to handle land navigation with as much skill as a man. I’ve taught the subject a time or two and have seen this. I’m sure it can be done with rifle marksmanship as well.

  2. No sir, it is not the Corp who let them down, it is those pols who have infiltrated who demand anything but merit be the basis for promotion. Only they call it inclusion. From personal observation I’d say one out of one hundred women would qualify but that wrecks the quota therefore is unsatisfactory for the inclusion agenda.

    Since quota is more important to those idiots at the top, the standard must be lowered. Then they complain about it. What is to prevent female enlistees from exceeding that lower standard and reaching for top performance?

  3. It’s one thing to ride your hobby horse. It’s quite another to use anything vaguely horse-shaped as a hobby horse.

  4. So the Leutnant Oberst got fired for raising female recruits more so to the standards somewhere between female standards and male standards. “They” are not going away so I agree this is a self inflicted foot shot.

  5. Some serious missing of the point here.

    The LtCol is arguing that women should be able to meet passing standards, that have already been established, at the same rate as males. Why accept that less females will qualify with their weapons? If you’ve already modified the previous test standards, why accept that less females will achieve their passing grade? I am against women in combat arms, or the modifying of standards to enable that, but I am wholly in agreement with this officer for saying that female Marines should achieve passing standards (whatever they are, or if “gender-normed”) at a rate commensurate with male Marines and that it should all be out in the open. If you expect 90% of your males to pass, you probably should expect 90% of the females to pass as well and not accept mediocrity because they are females.

    1. I don’t think too many *disagree* with what you say – but what is offensive is how ignorant LtCol Germano must be to not understand why the current situation is what it is. Her entire career was enabled by the same vapid logic that she now rails against – the military was told to get woman into higher ranks and in higher numbers or else.

      If would be dandy if WMs didn’t get pregnant, weren’t overwhelming overweight, and could get a 1st class PFT on even the women’s PFT test – but holding WMs to even those limited standards would see a large flushing of current WMs from the Corps, which is politically impossible. That’s not even getting into technical ability, leadership quality, and martial skills…

    2. Esli:

      Please contact me at 503/636-0397 There is an issue which I would like to talk to you about in a non-public forum.


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