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Marine Corps Report Advises Against Putting Women in Elite Forces

Image: Marine Corps Report Advises Against Putting Women in Elite Forces
Sgt. Danielle Pothoof watches Cpl. Kristina Beko do her pull ups during morning PT at Camp Lejeune Marine Base in Jacksonville, N.C. on Dec. 6, 2012. (AP photo, The Daily News, Chuck Beckley).  

By    |   Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 04:25 PM

A U.S. Marine Corps report has concluded that women cannot physically perform well in Special Forces operations, though they have stronger disciplinary records and stronger problem-solving skills.

"The data in this report indicates that even striking what appears to be a balance for setting standards will likely introduce some level of risk across all of these factors," said Marine Corps Brigadier Gen. George Smith in the document, which was obtained Wednesday by Fox News.

"The recommendation to open or to request such an exception to policy for any MOS [Military Occupational Specialty] or unit will depend on the Marine Corps' tolerance for the level of risk that such a change would impose."

The 37-page report was prepared in anticipation of full gender integration of the U.S. Armed Forces by Jan. 1.

The study will most likely accelerate the debate between supporters of adding women to all ranks of the military and those who raise concerns about them serving in the elite combat units, Fox News reports.

In 2013, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered the Armed Services and U.S. Special Operations Command to integrate female service members into the all military occupational specialties and units.

The report highlighted the achievements of many outstanding female Marines, but concluded that overall elite female troops were unable to meet the same physical standards as males.

Smith's study noted, for instance, that more than 400 women have received Combat Action Ribbons for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"There is no more compelling evidence that our female Marines have served very capably and courageously in combat and have distinguished themselves in non-linear, extremely complex operating environments," he concluded.

But none of the honors resulted from a female Marine having to "locate, close with and destroy the enemy" in deliberate offensive combat operations, Smith said.

These actions, instead, were in response to such assaults as "IED strikes, enemy attacks on convoys or bases or attacks on female Marines serving in the Lioness Program or on Female Engagement Teams," the report said.

Female service members do have better overall disciplinary records than men, the study noted.

"In a decision-making study that we ran in which all male and integrated groups attempted to solve challenging field problems [that involved] varying levels of both physical and cognitive difficulty … the female integrated teams (with one female and three or four males) performed as well or better than the all-male teams," Smith concluded.

Still, "there were numerous indications of lower performance levels from combat-arms females or female-integrated groups," according to the report.

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A U.S. Marine Corps report has concluded that women cannot physically perform well in Special Forces operations, though they have stronger disciplinary records and stronger problem-solving skills.
marine corps, report, against, women, elite forces
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2015-25-07
Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 04:25 PM
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