Defense Department “Diversity” for Women Direct Ground Combat The Center for Military Readiness has released a new CMR Special Report, titled Defense Department “Diversity” for Women in Land CombatThe 42-page document provides independent analysis of the Marine Corps research program that was initiated in April 2012, in order to gather information on the prospects for women in direct ground combat (infantry) battalions. 

The CMR Special Report is summarized in this op-ed, published in the Washington Times:

  • DONNELLY: Measuring risks for women in combat
  • This is an Executive Summary of the CMR Special Report.

In April 2012 Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos announced a multi-phased research effort that includes the following elements:

  • A review of exceptions to current policy and requirements of ground combat element (GCE) units, including infantry and Special Operations Forces battalions
  • Physical tests of male and female volunteers performing certain “common tasks”
  • The opportunity for female officers to attempt training on the Marines’ Infantry Officer Course (IOC) at Quantico, VA
  • An extensive survey of Marines seeking opinions on related issues

The CMR Special Report presents previously unpublished information on factors that may determine the outcome of the research project.  It also analyzes the February 2012 Pentagon news conference, during which Obama Administration officials endorsed recommendations of the 2011 Military Leadership Diversity Commission

The largely-civilian MLDC called for repeal of all military women’s exemptions from direct ground combat, in order to achieve gender-based “diversity metrics” for a few female officers aspiring to three- or four-star rank.  None of this is necessary, since Pentagon reports repeatedly have confirmed that military women are promoted at rates equal to or faster than men. 

Defense Department officials and the media have raised expectations that women will be allowed (actually, ordered) into Marine and Army infantry battalions.  This is supposed to be done regardless of the consequences for the majority of women who serve in enlisted ranks, and concomitant legal consequences of concern to every young woman in America. 

Under Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, power to make these decisions resides not in the Executive branch of government, but in the Congress, which represents the American people.  This incremental Defense Department campaign to impose unsupported feminist theories on “tip of the spear” infantry battalions effectively precludes congressional oversight of major decisions having a direct impact on readiness and the culture of our military, on which our national security depends. 

As the CMR Special Report explains, direct ground combat involves more than the experience of being “in harm’s way,” which all deployed troops share.  It involves deliberate offensive action against the enemy − an environment in which women do not have an equal opportunity to survive, or to help fellow soldiers survive.

Liberal media and feminists are trying to use the military as a laboratory for the testing of a controversial twentieth-century social science theory − that men and women are interchangeable in all roles, and any differences that do exist are primarily, if not exclusively, due to socialization.  Pentagon-based ideologues are likely to use “perception management” (PM) techniques to achieve pre-determined results; i.e., implementation of the MLDC agenda and affirmation of beliefs that should be called Amazon Warrior Myths.

Our women in the military, who have served with courage and commitment before and during the wars since 9/11, deserve better than this. 

The Center for Military Readiness will continue to follow this issue closely, and to advocate high standards and sound priorities in the making of policies affecting our women and men in the military.

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CMR Founder Elaine Donnelly served on the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, and was a member of the Pentagon’s Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).