Having women in combat requires elimination of double standard

Justin Marinelli
Senior Writer

Recently, the decision was made to allow women into full-fledged combat roles within the military. I am definitely in the camp of allowing anyone willing to serve to enter combat, but the way we’re going about it is wrong in my opinion. In our haste to reach “equality” we are bastardizing the very notion of a truly equal fighting force.

The history of women in combat seems to go as far back as combat itself. A quick read through the history books will fill your mind with tales of Joan of Arc, female soviet snipers of WWII such as Lyudmila Pavlichenko (300+ confirmed kills) and my personal favorite, Boudicca. Despite the bemoans of those who claim that women are unsuited for combat, there is enough evidence in the historical record that women can be just as efficient fighters as men.

This leads to the problem we have now. The physical standards for men and women in the army are different. Women who wish to join the Navy can get away with doing 11 percent fewer sit-ups, 53 percent fewer push-ups, and having 27 percent slower run times than men. There have been uproars in the Air Force in which female pilots were able to pass aptitude tests with scores that would have disqualified male pilots on the spot. This is unacceptable. While it is a noble goal to want to make our armed forces open to everyone, it is a short-sighted and ill-advised move to have double standards.

This is a disservice to every American in uniform, especially the women. By lowering standards, you allow for unqualified people, people who have no business being in combat, to enter our military ranks and reduce the efficiency of our fighting forces. Even in the age of airplanes and drones, war is still a highly physical affair. The average marine walks for miles and miles while weighed down with 100 pounds of gear. You need to be strong, have great endurance and be psychologically capable of holding yourself together if you’re fulfilling a combat role in which your job is to kill or be killed.

There are certain types of missions in which you need female soldiers. In Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s not uncommon for women and men to have separate parts of the households, and if you’re going to be walking into the female part of the household, it better not be with male soldiers unless your aim is to make everyone upset and have the civilian population feel hostile towards you. To be sending in unprepared and unqualified soldiers to such an environment where there is a risk of hostile action is not only blatantly idiotic, but downright disrespectful to the people you’re sending in.

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