Pressure on Marines Corps to lower combat standards for Women

Pfc. Christina Fuentes Montenegro and other Marines from Delta Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-East, receive final instructions prior to assaulting an objective during the Infantry Integrated Field Training Exercise aboard Camp Geiger, N.C., Nov 15, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo)

If women cannot meet a standard, senior commanders better have a good reason why it should not be lowered. This is the announcement the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin E. Dempsey made to the Obama administration’s plan to open direct land combat jobs to women, later known as the “Dempsey rule.” It is now time for the rule to have its first case.

According to the Washington Times, the Marine Corps recently completed research to find out if female officers could finish its Infantry Officer Course.  Of the 29 women who attempted the course, none graduated and only four completed the first day’s combat endurance test.

The success rate, or rather lack thereof, is seen as a wakeup call to those in the Pentagon who desire to have a large number of women in the infantry. They are now reviewing the standards and trying to determine which ones are no longer relevant in today’s battlefield.

“The pressure is on the services from the White House’s politically correct crowd vis-a-vis Obama’s Pentagon appointees, who will force the services to accept degraded standards,” said Robert Maginnis, a retired Army officer and author of the book “Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat.”

In January 2013, Leon E. Panetta, the Defense Secretary at the time, and Dempsey announced the rule that prohibited women from serving in direct ground combat, such as infantry, special operations, artillery and armor.

After the cancellation was announced, each branch began to evaluate female candidates and the standards they must reach. The study’s end in January will coincide with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter’s decision as to whether occupations will be opened. If a branch decides to remain closed, it has to prove why its standards cannot be lowered.

Dempsey best described it when he said, “If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”

The Marine Corps may be met with some opposition that they keep their standards, despite women passing enlisted infantry school, even though it is a less-demanding course.


Post navigation