Should Women Be Serving In Combat? (PODCAST)

The Freedom Report podcast today takes on the issue of female marine officer candidates who can’t pass the physical requirements to serve in combat roles. Although 3 enlisted female marines have reportedly passed the less rigorous infantry training course, no women have been able to make it through the stricter infantry officer course.

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In a piece for the Washington Post, Second Lt. Sage Santangelo argues that the reason that female officers are not passing the test is because they are not being trained to the same standards as men. She believes that women are more than capable of doing the pullups required if the initial training programs were made to suit their biological difference in upper body strength. Santangelo claims to be able to do 16 pullups.

Female warriors have a long and fierce history in combat throughout history. One woman by the name of Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester won the Silver Star by leading a counterattack that killed 27 insurgents, three of them with her own rifle. And in the Israeli military in 2007, one woman saved the life of a fellow soldier by crafting a tourniquet out of her bra.

So should women be serving in combat? And should we be holding men and women to different standards?

All that and more on the Freedom Report podcast!

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Austin Petersen

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  • Mario Lawrence
    April 2, 2014, 10:40 am

    16 pullups isn’t great, but it is better than most people. Most people can barely do 3.
    If anyone denies a woman’s tactical abilities on a battlefield, that person is displaying ignorance.

    However, Second Lt. Santangelo’s idea of raising the training intensity for women, seems to be female pride talking. The intensity of the training is already too tough for most women. So how exactly, is making it more difficult supposed to benefit them, or allow more of them to serve?

    Some feel integration of the sexes in training would help this. It probably would, but integration of the units would only make for more problems. As highly as we may think of the members of our armed forces, they are still only human. Undesirable things would happen. Distractions, mostly of a sexual and/or sexist nature. We can’t have people going into battle with grudges, bravado, odd romances, or feeling they have to prove something to their critics. Their minds need to be clear, and they need to be focused on the battle at hand. Not worried about whether or not they are pregnant. Not doubting their unit’s cohesion.

    There are sound reasons why women can be considered unsuitable for front-line combat: a woman going through her period on the front-lines will be more vulnerable to serious and debilitating infections, and she can lose up to 50% of her physical strength for an extended period time (days).
    And that’s just ONE reason.
    That’s not even getting into the kinds of traumas that a woman can suffer on a battlefield. More men suffer from PTSD than women, but what if that female combatant is captured by the enemy? A man is already likely to be tortured gruesomely, and is prepared for it. A woman is even more likely to be raped by her captors than a man. Is she ready for that burden? Not every enemy is honorable.

    Women that are willing to endure these hardships are troopers, and we all should respect them for that.
    But their emotions, and our emotions on their willingness, just is NOT going to change nature, and should not be the factor in deciding whether or not they can serve.

    If they want to serve, let them meet the standards that have been set for them. It’s lenient AND intensive enough. If they want to have greater combat responsibility however, no compromises can be made, they must meet the standard. The military’s purpose is to win battle and end war, not be politically correct.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks
    April 2, 2014, 5:10 pm

    How about we do away with combat by ending the institution of war?

  • Lod
    April 2, 2014, 6:13 pm

    Any country that puts its women on the front line of combat is a loser, and is on the way down.

    If the men can’t cut the mustard, what in the world can women bring to the table?

  • Guerrero_viejo
    April 2, 2014, 7:19 pm

    More social engineering in the military. The sexes are not biologically equal. All the rest of this is just politically correct BS.
    Supply,Admin,Artillery and even Air Support maybe if they qualify but front line combat? Even the Israelis aren’t that stupid.

  • gus17
    April 2, 2014, 8:09 pm

    I don’t doubt that some women are capable of meeting the physical strength standards required of infantry combat soldiers. That is not the issue. The question is:can the average female recruit be trained to the standard? In a mass military such as ours, normally the Marine Corps and Army simply do not have the time to screen through a mass of recruits and select only those women who MAY meet the standard – and then after a long period of rigorous training. And even then – perhaps they may not be able to meet the standard. What happens then? Suppose only a very small fraction can pass the standard? There just isn’t time in Boot Camp for such an intense selection process. Recruits – male and female – have far too many adjustments, far too much to learn in too short a period of time. And lets not forget that during war time, the period of recruit training is inevitably shortened. Is this change really necessary? Why take on a task that may only end in failure? Doesn’t our military have enough challenges – and costs – without this rather puerile exercise in political correctness?