There is renewed discussion about opening up jobs for women to serve on the front lines in combat. I am a disabled female veteran who served five years in the US Army. Based on my experiences, I absolutely don’t think women should be allowed in some combat job fields our military has to offer.
Our country, with liberals at the helm, is getting soft. The school lunch program was introduced by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 as a measure of national security. He was informed of a study that revealed many young men were rejected from the WWII draft because of medical conditions related to childhood malnutrition. We’ve now shifted to the polar opposite end of the spectrum. Experts say if we had to resort to a draft many potential recruits would be rejected due to medical conditions related to childhood obesity. How does this relate to women on the battlefield? I’ll get to that in a minute…
I joined the military when I was 21 years old. I was always involved in sports growing up, and considered myself to be athletic, but to my surprise, I was somewhat of a “Physical Training (PT) stud” in the Army. I was one of only two women fast enough to run with the “A” group (the fastest distance runners) during morning training, a good number of male recruits didn’t even run in the “A” group. I also knocked out more push-ups than any other women in my unit. As far as my other training, I qualified expert in grenades and sharp shooter for my rifle marksmanship. I was a regular G.I. Jane. Almost. During our 12 mile ruck march, I was the very last person to finish. It was grueling for me. In basic training, recruits only fill the ruck with a few items: two uniforms, socks, shirts, shelter half, chemical protection gear, sleeping pad –it doesn’t weigh more than 35 pounds. But I was also carrying my weapon, my LBE, water, chemical protection mask, ammunition magazines—all which added an additional 30 pounds at least. At barely five feet tall and weighing 94 pounds—I was carrying 69% of my body weight. I fell behind, but I wouldn’t stop marching. Several male recruits offered to carry some of my gear for me, but I refused to let them—they shouldn’t have to pull my weight.
Today, the number of overweight, lazy people is detracting from the combat readiness of our troops. The military has even relaxed its standards in order to meet recruiting quotas. It used to be that male recruits younger than 27 had to have a body-fat percentage below 26%---that is still twice the fat one would expect in a healthy young man in peak physical condition. Now, the military has adjusted the standard to 30%. This is the body mass index boundary between being overweight and obese! If I could barely carry my standard issue gear, does anyone think I could carry a wounded obese solider with all his gear off a battlefield?
Of course there are women in the military who are much bigger than I was, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are more physical fit. Obviously the military is relaxing women’s weight standards as well. We need to stop relaxing the standards and adjusting expectations to accommodate social engineering and political posturing. Sure, there women who are bigger and stronger and could carry a male off the battlefield. But our enemies aren’t going to give women a head start on the battlefield because they are allowed more time to run two miles on the PT test or perform fewer push-ups than men.