Combat Is No Place For Women

Combat Is No Place For Women
by JBS President John F. McManus

Capt. Kristen Griest, Class of 2011, West Point. (By U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Steve Cortez/ Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

Recently, news reports flooded the nation about two women soldiers who had passed all requirements and were now Rangers, the Army’s elite group of warriors. All Americans were supposed to cheer their accomplishment. But one of the two, both of whom graduated from West Point, stated in an interview that she certainly couldn’t lift the amount of weight her male counterparts could.

No one in the large gathering of media representatives pressed this new Ranger even though she should have been asked whether she can manage to carry one end of a stretcher bearing a wounded comrade on the way to a medical station. Then, she should have been asked if her natural female cycle that brings to most women such consequences as depression, mood swings, suicidal thoughts, self-abuse, and more that men don’t experience. Did she know that when acceptance of women at the nation’s service academies began, physical standards were lowered? Had she read former infantry officer Brian Mitchell’s 1989 book “Weak Link: The Feminization of the American Military” where he noted that when women recruits couldn’t complete a required run in boots while carrying a rifle, the new standard allowed both women and men to perform the task in sneakers? Many more questions that should have been asked can be cited but none were offered.

1st. Lt. Shaye Haver, Class of 2012, West Point. (By U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ron Burgundy/ Released [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons).

Having served three years as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps gives this writer an excellent perch from which to answer the question, “Should women be placed in combat roles in the military?” And the answer is “No!” Serving in our nation’s armed forces should never be looked upon as a right possessed by everyone. Instead, it’s a privilege, and it should be awarded only to those who qualify – mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Retired Army Brigadier General Andrew Gatsis expressed outrage when the matter of women being given equal status with men became an issue in the 1980s. He stated:

No woman should have the right to go into combat simply because she desires to do so. It’s a matter of jeopardizing the lives of soldiers who depend on all members of the team to do their full share, and of the right of every American citizen to have the strongest national defense possible to protect his and her freedom.

A highly decorated Vietnam veteran, Gatsis had already witnessed situations where female soldiers even in non-combat situations couldn’t lift heavy equipment, drive a truck through rough terrain, erect bulky tents, dig latrines, or construct ammunition bunkers. He insisted that the violence always present during combat “calls for force, and force requires physical strength” that women don’t possess. Current presidential candidate James Webb, a Vietnam veteran, spoke out about this issue in his 1989 article entitled “Women Can’t Fight,” published in Washingtonian magazine.

There are many more reasons why females should not be assigned combat duty. Plenty of opportunities to serve in uniform exist in a variety of non-combat assignments. The current policy that leads to opening every position in the military should be reversed. A likely enemy would send only men while our men in battle would invariably be forced to carry not only their assigned load but also a portion of whatever is expected of a woman. Unit morale, the fundamentally important motivator of all troops in battle, would surely suffer. We conclude: Women can serve in the military but placing them in combat is not only foolish, it endangers all participants.

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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.

One Comment on “Combat Is No Place For Women”

  1. Douglas A. Logan says:

    A very timely article about women serving in the military. Anybody with normal intelligence would have to agree with you John.Only those who are trying to destroy our country and undermine our military would disagree.


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