Women Should Not Be in the Infantry
Women should not serve in combat roles for many reasons. First, they cannot pass the Male Physical Fitness Test which has been used as the benchmark for physical training in the Infantry. Women are not trained the same as males during basic training. Second, women are not held to the same standards as males on the Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Third, when women are captured as Prisoners of War (P.O.W.), the torture or harm that may happen to them is not the same as males because they can be raped. In addition, women are not as valued as males in some cultures. This puts them at greater risk when taken as prisoners. Fourth, Women are not able to handle combat loads and are not able to handle standard issue gear for a combat Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) such as the 11x and the 30xx MOS (11 Bravo (infantry) 11X (special forces) 03xx ( is Marine Infantry like 3011 being a riflemen). Finally, Women who serve as soldiers, and are mothers could be harmed, and their children need them. Women have never been in Infantry companies before, but women are now going to be let into the infantry if they pass the tests to be in an Infantry unit. Although women have never fought in direct combat in the Infantry, some have suffered injury and death because they work in supportive roles in combat zones. Women should not serve in combat MOS because they cannot handle combat loads, they cannot pass a male Physical Fitness Tests, and they cannot handle standard issue rifles.
Women are not trained the same as males during basic training, so women do not have to do as much Physical Fitness as males, especially since women didn’t shoot weapons until 1986. Before 1986, women never shot weapons during basic training. In every branch all recruits learn basic marksmanship which some women cannot handle the older and heavier weapons like the Colt 45. James Haley author of the book, Women in the Military, published by Thompson and Gale, in 2004 explains, "The best buy the army ever made, the .45 automatic was designed to stop a drug crazed Moro (Asian Muslim) warrior dead in his tracks; It served in all the services since WWI, but lately fell victim to complaints that it was difficult to use effectively because it was unwieldy and heavy - so heavy that female military police were issued .38 caliber revolvers instead" (17). Women had classes on how to be pretty and how to apply makeup. Larry Smith editor of the book, The Few and the Proud, published by W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. in 2006 explains, women received pointers on how to be pretty, and have attractive appearance (221). When Doris was trained they were not trained in the warrior spirit as all male recruits are in the Marine Corp. She was trained for jobs that had no need for rifles. In The Few and The Proud, editor Larry Smith references Doris Kleberger as she argues, training women as good Marines but not in any way for combat (227).Women who still are in the Marines who completed basic training in 1980s never shot weapons. Smith references Jeanne Botwright as she explains they didn’t learn how to shoot when Jeanne was in the Marine Corp, they learned how to apply make up in their classes (237). This is important because women are not trained like their male counterparts. If women want to be in the Infantry they need to go through the same Basic Training as males.
Women are not held to the same standards as males on the PFT (Physical Fitness Test). A woman could do less than her male counterpart and get a higher score on the PFT. This means in some cases, a male could score the same as a woman, but the male could fail the PFT, while the woman passes. Paul Hair author of the web article “Why Women Shouldn’t Serve in Combat” published by The Daily Caller in 2011, explains if a 21 year male did 43 push up, 55 sit ups and could run 2 miles in 15:18 he would get a score of 192 out of 300.This is almost a failing score. However, if a 21 year old woman did the same thing,she would get a score of 263, which is considred a high score. Women will not get lower standards if they want to be in the Spec Ops or in the infantry. Briggs, Miklaszewski, Kube authors of web article “Women in Combat: Could Special Ops be Next?” published by NBC news in 2012, explains, “The strenuous physical standard required for entry into Special Forces jobs and combat infantry assignments will not be lowered for anyone." Women who want to be in Spec Ops will have to go through the same hard training as the males to become Navy SEALs and Green Berets. This is important because if women want to be in the Infantry which is the hardest job in the Military, they will have to get perfect scores, just like males
If women were to be Prisoners of War (P.O.W.), the torture or harm that may happen to them is not the same as males. If women are going into a combat zone they should have their weapons ready at all times so they can defend themselves from the enemy. Rick Bragg, author of the book, The Jessica Lynch story, published by Vintage Books, in 2003 explains, when the First Sargent gave the order to lock and load, Jessica pulled the slide of her M16. She tugged it back to chamber a round, and it was jammed. Jessica was a supply specialist and didn’t think her weapon would be needed in her job. Smith explains, "But she never believed that an M16 would ever be a tool she would need in her everyday Army life" (45). Jessica Lynch was captured by Iraqi Troops in 2003. As a prisoner, they proceeded to break many of her bones, and they raped her. Smith gives details about Jessica’s capture and describes how she was almost beaten to death. He describes the torture of her beatings and sexual assaults (96). An American officer was sexually assaulted by her captors in the 1991 in Gulf War. Elaine, Sciolino Author of the web article “Female POW is Abused, Kindling Debate,” published by New York Times, in 1992, Gives details “An Iraqi guard kissed her repeatedly, pulled a blanket over their heads so that they would not be seen." Three women who were captured within twelve years of one another were sexually assaulted by Iraqi troops. Sciolino informs about Specialist Melissa Coleman, another prisoner of war in 1991. She experienced the same things that the Major experienced. This is very important because if a woman is captured she could be raped or seriously hurt. Women who serve in the infantry would be harmed more than males. The enemy doesn’t care if the women in a high ranking officer or a private they will harm her if she is captured. The risk of sexual assault for female troops is too great a risk.
Women who serve as soldiers and are mothers could be harmed, and their children need their mothers. Reservists can be called up anytime if there is a lack of troops in a country or a war zone. Women who are mothers, or even single mothers, would have to leave their child behind. Once a reservist is called up, there is no getting out of a deployment. Haley explains, women who are in the reserves can be called up in a moment’s notice, this means children can be left behind at home (52). Haley informs, the Military has an anti-motherhood policy but it is over looked because of militant feminists (52). Women who enlist in the reserves are often called to serve in war zones, and a lot of these women have kids. Many regret leaving their children. It is in the children’s best interest to have their mothers available to them all through their childhood. Haley tells the story of specialist Tamekia Lavalais who left behind her 21 month- old baby to serve in Iraq. The baby’s father was also serving in Iraq. She said she wouldn't have joined the Army if she knew this was going to happen (53). This is important because children need their mothers, and if a women is in the Infantry going to a war zone it could mean she could be killed, leaving her child motherless.
Women are not able to handle combat loads, and are not able to handle standard issue gear for a combat MOS. Women have smaller frames than males, and most infantrymen are very large men who can hump (military word for carry) a 60 pound pack and have 50 pounds of ammo, weapons and flak jackets. The M16 is a large weapon that is about 9 pounds and a 3 feet long. Smith explains, “Lori's hands where too small for her M16” (46). This is important because if women were to be in the Infantry they have to be able to handle standard issue gear which all together could weigh 100 pounds or more.
Women should not serve in combat MOS because they cannot handle combat loads or standard issue rifles and they cannot pass the Male PFT. Women have the right to serve in the military, but instead of being in the Infantry we should let them be in the artillery corps and tank corps. Women should be able to serve in the Military, but not in the infantry. They should be allowed to be in artillery and non-direct combat roles. If women can pass the male infantry course that is an asset to them, but, they still should just go on to a non-direct combat MOS. The country should fear for a female’s safety should they become a POW. If women cannot handle a 60 pound pack and go on a patrol with 100+ pounds of gear, they shouldn’t be in the Infantry. Women should not serve in combat MOS’s because as Briggs explains, Jessica Lynch was beaten almost to death, most of her bones were broken, and she was also sexually assaulted by her captors (96).
Bragg, Rick. I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story. New York: NY Vintage Books, 2003. Print.
Briggs, Bill. Women in combat could Special Ops be next? NBC News, September 16, 2013. 2013, Web.
Haley, James. Women in the Military. New York NY. Green House Press, 2004. Print
Lamothe, Dan. Questions Surround Marine Corps Plan to Open Infantry Training to Enlisted Women. Military Times, Gannett Company. September 14, 2013 2013, Web
Smith, Larry. The Few and The Proud: Marine Corps Drill Instructors in Their Own Words. New York NY. W.W. Norton and Company. 2007, Print.
Sciolino, Elaine. Female POW is Abused, Kindling debate. New York Times, September 14 2013, 1992, Web.
Hair, Paul. Why women shouldn’t serve in combat The Daily Caller. September 15, 2013. 2011, Web