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Currently about 14% of active duty military is e and there has been a long debate about letting women to serve in combat MOS’s (Military Occupational Specialty); however, in 2014 it was decided that combat MOS’s would be opened up to women. While there are obviously some women who could meet the same physical and physiological standards as men in combat, women should not be integrated into combat units, because there is neither a need nor benefit to integrating them and they negatively impact the squadron. Women in combat tend to not be as physically fit, perform worse at lethality drills, and get hurt far more than men.
The marine corps conducted an experiment in which they tested all male infantry squads and gender integrated squads at numerous drills. Most of the women marines lacked the same physical skills as men. During the experiment “researchers hooked men and women marines alike up to a variety of monitors, and found that the top 25th percentile of women overlapped with the bottom 25th percentile of men when it came to anaerobic power, a measure of strength”. This exemplifies that even women in the upper range of strength seriously lack behind the average strength level of men. Even though there are some women that could reach similar strength levels as some men, there is simply no reason to integrate combat teams, because there are far more men that have high strength levels than women. A similar situation occurred “during casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups, except in the case where teams conducted a casualty evacuation as a one-Marinefireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who ‘evacuated’ the casualty)”. This explains a huge problem with integrating squadrons. At times of war, seconds are minutes and minutes are hours, so it could be extremely dangerous for women marines to require much more time to evacuate injured people or casualties.
During the experiment, gender integrated squads also performed at a much lower level when it came to lethality drills, such as combat maneuvers and shooting. “Male provisional infantry (those with no formal 03xx school training) had higher hit percentages than the 0311 (school trained) females: M4: 44% vs 28%, M27: 38% vs 25%,M16A4w/M203: 26% vs 15%” (CSIS). Women marines that had received infantry training were still far worse at shooting and accuracy than male marines that had not received infantry training. This is extremely important, because one of the main skills of the infantry is marksmanship. Additionally, “when negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top”. This is extremely important, because male marines should not have to worry about providing continual additional assistance to female marines during a time of battle. Having to worry about their female counterparts will negatively affect their mission productivity.
It has also been proven that females are much more injury prone in combat than men. “During the GCEITF assessment, musculoskeletal injury rates were 40.5% for females, compared to 18.8% for males”. It is very risky to have females in combat units, because of their increased probability of getting injured. This again shows that most females are not up to the physical standards that men are. Also, “27% of female injuries were attributed to the task of movement under load, compared to 13% for their male counterparts, carrying a similar load” (CSIS). Once again this proves that women should not be in combat units in the military. They need to be able to carry the same weight as their male counterparts, yet many of them are getting injured at a rate much higher than men.
While others may say that it is important that the military have equal opportunities for all genders, if they are able to pass the same fitness regulations. “Physical standards are gender-neutral. For example, all recruits must run two kilometers (1.25 miles) while wearing combat gear — including body armor, helmet and rifle — in under 10 minutes and 15 seconds if they want to join elite reconnaissance teams”. Even if women are able to meet the same physical requirements, they are still more prone to injuries and have less combat effectiveness than men. “All-male squads, teams and crews demonstrated higher performance levels on 69%of tasks evaluated (93 of 134) as compared to gender-integrated squads, teams and crews” (CSIS). This shows that overall, the gender integrated groups were far less effective in combat simulations.
Currently, there is no need or significant benefit in integrating women into combat units, other than to please people’s desire for gender equality. Even though there are some women who could perform just as well as some men, on average women get hurt more, can’t keep up physically, take more time to complete tasks, and perform astronomically worse in marksmanship.
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