Women in a new Marine Corps unit created to assess how female service members perform in combat were injured twice as often as men, less accurate with infantry weapons and not as good at removing wounded troops from the battlefield, according to the results of a long-awaited study produced by the service....Naturally the results were immediately dismissed by the Secretary of the Navy. Some of the Marines involved in the study were so incensed by his refusal to take the results on board that they took the unusual -- and certain to be punished -- step of complaining openly to the press about the appointed civilian leadership.
Infantry squads comprising men only also had better accuracy than squads with women in them, with “a notable difference between genders for every individual weapons system” used by infantry rifleman units. They include the M4 carbine, the M27 infantry automatic rifle (IAR) and the M203, a single-shot grenade launcher mounted to rifles, the study found.
The research also found that male Marines who have not received infantry training were still more accurate using firearms than women who have. And in removing wounded troops from the battlefield, there “were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups,” with the exception being when a single person—”most often a male Marine” — carried someone away, the study found.
The full study is more than a thousand pages long, Marine officials said....
Researchers hooked men and women alike up to a variety of monitors, and found that the top 25th percentile of women overlapped with the bottom 25th percentile of men when it came to anaerobic power, a measure of strength, Marine officials said....
The gender-integrated unit’s assessment also found that 40.5 percent of women participating suffered some form of musculoskeletal injury, while 18.8 percent of men did. Twenty-one women lost time in the unit due to injuries, 19 of whom suffered injuries to their lower extremities. Of those, 16 women were injured while while carrying heavy loads in an organized movement, like a march, the study found.
Marines involved in a controversial experiment evaluating a gender-integrated infantry unit say they feel betrayed by Navy Secretary Ray Mabus after he criticized the results of a nine-month study that found women are injured more frequently and shoot less accurately in simulated combat conditions.The thing is, this study lines up perfectly with the results from the United Kingdom's tri-service longitudinal study of women in the military. They also found that, across the services and over time, women were less physically capable, less lethal because the strain on their bodies interfered with weapons accuracy, more likely to be injured, less capable of helping other soldiers who became wounded, and reduced the unit's ability to maneuver under fire.
“Our secretary of the Navy completely rolled the Marine Corps and the entire staff that was involved in putting this [experiment] in place under the bus,” said Sgt. Danielle Beck, a female anti-armor gunner with the task force....
To Beck, a 30 year-old who was one of the strongest women in the company, Mabus’s remarks were insulting.
“Everyone that was involved did the job and completed the mission to the best of their abilities,” said Beck, adding that Mabus’s remarks about the type of women in the experiment were a “slap in the face.”
“The caliber of the women in Weapons Company are few and far between in the Marine Corps,” she added. “They are probably some of the most professional women that anybody will ever have chance to work with, and the heart and drive and determination that they had is incomparable to most women in the Marine Corps.”
The Marines haven't found anything new. The real question is whether we can accept the truth, or whether we just cannot. If we can't, in the end, Americans will die in some cornfield or ricefield or desert ditch because of it. Wars may be lost, the course of history may turn away from our vision of human liberty, but that's hard to get your head around. Just think of the kids you're leaving to die, Secretary Mabus. Think about the Marines you are personally condemning to death.