SECNAV Mabus rejects your reality and substitutes his own.

As you undoubtedly knew would happened when you read this post yesterday, SECNAV Mabus has begun sweeping the results of the Marine Corps integrated combined arms test under the rug, with the added bonus of accusing the reports authors of bad faith.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus on Friday criticized a Marine Corps study that showed that female Marines in a mixed unit did not perform as well as men in several key areas. 

“They started out with a fairly largely component of the men thinking this is not a good idea, and women will not be able to do this,” he said in an interview with NPR.

“When you start out with that mindset, you’re almost presupposing the outcome,” he said. 

Just down from there we find this:

Mabus argued that other studies, including one by the Center for Naval Analysis, say there are ways to mitigate gaps in performance “so you have the same combat effectiveness, the same lethality, which is crucial.” 

You probably can mitigate the gap in performance. What you cannot do is eliminate it. So you do, in actuality, have a gap. That means you don’t have the same combat effectiveness. You don’t have the same lethality.

“Part of the study said women tend not to be able to carry as heavy a load for as long, but there were women who went through the study who could,” he said.

“And part of the study said we’re afraid because women get injured more frequently that over time, women will break down more, that you’ll begin to lose your combat effectiveness over time.

“That was not shown in the study, that was an extrapolation based on injury rates,” he said. 

No kidding. Here’s something you may not realize. Sports type injuries are incredibly common in the combat arms. Torn ACL, rotator cuff injuries, sprains, strains, torn muscles. And the longer a unit is deployed, the more common these injuries become, as the physical conditioning of troops is effected by poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of regular physical fitness training, and simply the accumulation of wear and tear by operating at an incredibly punishing level of physicality.

Now, even outside the strains of combat, just in training, even in non-combat units, women have a much greater rate of sports type injuries than men. It is entirely reasonable to extrapolate that experience already acknowledged across the force, if not much talked about, and compare that with the increased injury rate seen in the integrated test force, and reach the conclusion that injury rates will be worse.

And here’s the thing about these injuries. They take a troop out of the fight just as surely as if they were wounded. They have to be evacuated. They have to be treated. They have to be given physical therapy and convalescence. And that means the unit, always short on manpower, is down further, for the length of that convalescence, if indeed the injured troop will ever be fit for duty again. Very quickly, a unit might find itself with so many injured that it simply cannot accomplish its missions.

And let us not overlook the fact that many of these injuries will form the basis of claims for service connected disability from the Veterans Administration after the troop has left the service. Knowing that women will suffer higher rates of injury, it stands to reason that it will also impose a higher cost in disability for the entire life of the injured. Why, when the VA is already struggling, would we knowingly increase the burden on the already shaky foundations of veterans healthcare?

I’ve seen countless blatherings about how adding women to combat arms is the only fair thing to do. What I’ve never seen once yet is an explanation showing that integrating the combat arms will increase their performance.

CBS News Atlanta Can’t grasp that uniforms specifically tailored for women might not be Unisex.

A new combat uniform with special consideration to the female body is now available at Fort Gordon, almost a month after the Army announced plans to open all units and military jobs to women by 2016.

The March debut of the Combat Uniform-Alternate is the first in a series of moves the Army hopes to make in the next three years to help female soldiers feel like more professional members, officials said.

With narrower shoulders, a slightly tapered waist and a more spacious seat, the unisex clothing line has been in the works since 2009 and is being issued to all installations – except Fort Benning in Columbus, Ga. – for men and women with a smaller or more slender body.

via Unisex Uniforms Debut As Army Opens Units To Women « CBS Atlanta.

This is why people don’t trust the news. Because the news is provided by really, really stupid people.

The headline in the article says “Unisex Uniforms Debut As Army Opens Units To Women,”  which is exactly the opposite of what is actually happening.

Since the introduction of the BDU uniform in the early 1980s, the BDU and its replacement the ACU, have been unisex.

But complaints of the poor fit of these combat uniforms for women have finally lead to the introduction of sizes specifically intended to better fit women’s bodies.

http://cbsatlanta.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/size0.jpg

Further, despite the reporter’s effort to link the uniform to the issue, the new uniform sizes have absolutely no correlation to the planned (insane) inclusion of women in the combat arms of the service by 2016. They’re two wholly unrelated matters. The push to include women in combat arms comes from DoD (and the toadies of the JCS who are falling in line).  The development of clothing sizes is an internal matter almost wholly driven by a small program office in the Army alone, and though the Army laboratory system.

I don’t really expect the so-called reporters at an affiliate station in a secondary market to grasp the complexities of the organization and procurement systems of the military, but you’d think they could at least grasp the basic theme of whatever press release Ft. Gordon rolled out.  You’d think that. But you’d be wrong.