Gen. John Kelly, USMC, is retiring after more than four decades as an active-duty Marine. His “greatest fear,” he says, is that the vast “equal opportunity” pressure for women in combat roles will lead the Pentagon to water down standards.Yeah. The administration did the politically expedient thing and thought that they would be universally hailed. They're now learning that no one believes what they're selling.
Kelly is finishing up as head of US Southern Command after an exemplary career that included three tours in Iraq. He’s also the highest-ranking US officer to have lost a child in the nation’s post-9/11 wars: His son, 1st Lt. Robert Kelly, USMC, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010.
Why is he worried?
Well, Defense Secretary Ash Carter last month announced that women will soon be eligible for all combat positions. (They had been blocked from about 10 percent of those posts.)
Yes, Carter also warned that equal opportunity wouldn’t bring “equal participation by men and women in all specialties.”
The reasons are obvious: On average, the two sexes simply have different physical virtues. Men will dominate when it comes to upper-body strength, which is generally vital in combat roles. And Carter has vowed not to alter the high standards for those roles.
But Kelly doubts that will last: “Whether it’s 12 months from now, four years from now…the question will be asked whether we’ve [truly] let women into these other roles.” Ideologues who don’t see the results they want will ask, “Why aren’t [women] staying in those roles? Why aren’t they advancing as infantry people?”
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has already offered a taste of what’s ahead. He’s denied the Marine Corps’ request to continue sex-segregated boot camp and Officer Training School. Indeed, on Jan. 1, he gave the Corps just two weeks to come up with an integration plan.
On top of that, he’s ordered the Marines to adopt politically correct titles by changing every “man” label. That implies the Marines are about to lose every “rifleman” — when every Marine is a rifleman.
It’s impossible to think of a worse insult — or a greater sign that the ideologues will win in the not-so-distant future.
The Fire Department of New York has bitter experience with the same drill. The Post runs regular exposés of the efforts to bend (already lowered) FDNY standards with an eye to a “better” gender balance.
Look, we admire the heck out of a woman who keeps trying even after she’s failed a key FDNY physical test six times. But it’s shocking to see her become a firefighter without ever passing.
It’s beyond troubling to think about the potential impact on public safety and firefighter safety.
And it’s impossible not to share Gen. Kelly’s fears for the future of our men and women in uniform.
People can sense it. The US Marine Corps will get its ass kicked on a future battlefield because people that knew better didn't speak up and yielded the floor to Haynie, Ripley and USNI Blog (and the other camp followers that are pushing this meme).
If you talk to a young man that's thinking about joining the military and in particular the Marine Corps, do your best to talk them out of it. You could be saving a life.