The SEAL’s opening of their ranks amounts, in essence, to a politically advantageous gesture of good faith, unlikely to ever effect the SEAL community in practice—or if it does, only with great infrequency. The Marines, on the other hand, run a light infantry organization. It is elite, but it is entirely different in character from the special operations community.Here.
Based on the Corps experiments over the last few years—some women were able to graduate from the enlisted School of Infantry at a significantly lower rate than men, but no women have been able to graduate from Infantry Officers Course—the consequence of opening the Marine infantry to women would be that a small number of 18- and 19-year-old enlisted women would make it into each infantry battalion, where they would be vastly outnumbered by male infantrymen of the same age. There would be effectively no female infantry officers. Because rates of injury in combat training are typically much higher for women than for men, attrition would result in proportionately fewer female non-commissioned officers in the infantry.
If you don’t think that mixing in handfuls of young women into infantry battalions, with effectively no female officers and, in the long run, very few female non-commissioned officers, poses serious problems—well, fine. Feel free to move on so that the adults can continue the conversation. Now there is, of course, an obvious solution to the lack of a critical mass of females who meet the standards: lower those standards, especially for officers. But this will have all sorts of negative effects that the Marine Corps would like to avoid, like getting Marines killed on the battlefield. The formation of all female units, as in Israel, is an interesting possibility—but where are the officers going to come from, if you don’t lower the current standards?
These are legitimate concerns. No one, to my knowledge, has provided a solution for them. They apply to the Army as well, though, to be frank, the Army’s physical standards for the infantry are lower than in the Marines, and so the problem doesn’t manifest in exactly the same way.
The political pressure that is going to be brought to bear on the Marine Corps’ leadership will be—likely, already is—intense. The DOD will not be happy if the Marines make an honest case for themselves and ask for an exemption. But Marine officers are taught to do the right thing, even under intense pressure, and even when everybody else disapproves.
What now, General?
Indeed. What now General? You get paid big bucks, has the President of the United States calling you by your first name, get to attend the best dinners in DC, have seen combat but now you face a make or break decision.
Do you yield to political correctness or do you do what you know is best for the Marine Corps?
Here's a panel from one of my favorite comic books to help you out....
Burn that shit into your brain housing group General, Sir! Man the fuck up and tell the Haynie (of USNI Blog fame) and her acolytes to pound sand.