History of Women in Combat

The Obama Pentagon’s recent decision on putting female soldiers in harm’s way in combat zones is the latest example of the Left’s determination to use our military for something other than national defense. The sole Constitutional purpose of the military is to stand ready to defeat America’s enemies on the battlefield, but when leftists like President Obama get into the White House they quite often impose a less practical, more political agenda.

The military, under the present administration, is being used to demonstrate to the rest of the country that women and men should fill identical roles in society. This determination is based more on a commitment to Political Correctness than on anything else. All the evidence shows that men and women are inherently different in many significant ways, most of which make men better potential combat soldiers than women.

Physical strength is the first qualification that has to be ignored or explained away in order to portray women and men as equally fit for combat roles.

In testimony to a Presidential commission in 1992, Lieutenant Colonel William Gregor described the difficulties involved in getting female West Point cadets to meet the physical standards male cadets had to meet. The top 20 percent of women at the academy achieved scores on the Army Physical Fitness Test equivalent to the bottom 20 percent of male cadets. Only seven percent of women could meet a score of 60 on the push-up test, while 78 percent of men exceeded it. Only one woman out of 100 could meet a physical standard achieved by 60 out of 100 men.

 “I have just traded off 60 soldiers for the prospect of getting one,” said Gregor,  “The cost considerations are prohibitive.”

Studies in other nations have yielded similar findings.

Considerations of cost and efficiency, of course, mean nothing to committed liberals determined to re-engineer society via their control of government institutions. The Army Training and Doctrine Command even admitted as much in a 2002 report to the Secretary of the Army. In examining the results of Gender Integrated Basic Training, the Command boasted that such mixed training is “effective” in terms of social benefits, while conceding that it is an inherently “inefficient”format for basic instruction of recruits.

Men don’t get pregnant, and that by itself makes men a more reliable war-fighting force than women.

In 1991, for example, as the military was preparing for the first Gulf War, fully ten percent (thirty-six of three hundred and sixty) of the USS Acadia’s female personnel had to be excused from their duties when they suddenly turned up pregnant. Things like this don’t trouble Politically Correct liberals, but they are a great concern to those of us who want US forces to stand ready to fight for our country at all times.

Another inherent difference between men and women is that men, for better or worse, are more comfortable with violence. The largely male audience of violent sports like boxing and cage fighting is one indication of male attitudes toward violence. Another, albeit sad, indicator is the disparity between murder rates for men and women. FBI figures on murder show that males are guilty of this crime ten times as often as females.

The fundamental purpose of an army is to kill people and break things to achieve victory over the enemy. In the case of a democratic and free nation like the United States, the armed services are kept in a state of readiness  for such duty, in the hope that the mere threat will deter aggressors and make the actual violence unnecessary; but the essential purpose of the military is to be a powerful and effective force of violence. Feminizing the military for doctrinaire reasons undermines this purpose.

 The history of women in combat shows that females are less effective than males at war-fighting. Even Joseph Stalin, who had no regard at all for the lives of his soldiers and no compunction about using the Soviet people for his own purposes, could only use female soldiers in limited roles. The Soviet army famously made use of a few women as snipers in and around major Soviet cities like Stalingrad, but was unable to use them in conventional combat roles because of the physical rigors involved.

 In 1948, when the tiny nation of Israel was fighting for survival against the combined forces of five Arab nations, the Israeli Defense Force tried to make up for Israel’s small population by using women in combat. The results were so bad that the decision was reversed right away. 

Despite the efforts of the left wing to force men and women into identical roles in society, human nature continues to be what it is. Fighting to defend the homeland is a job for men, even if that fact makes the Politically Correct uncomfortable.  A rational interest in the protection of our nation from foreign enemies should outweigh liberal political theories when it comes to the proper composition of our fighting forces.

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