By Andy Weddington
Friday, 23 February 2018
Drama starts where logic ends. Ram Charan
The past couple weeks our Marine Corps has been in the news.
November past, our commandant, General Robert Neller, quietly did away with conquering the Combat Endurance Test as a requirement for graduating from the Infantry Officers Course.
Headquarters defense (and offense) since, most recently in the Marine Corps Times, for doing away with the requirement was to better align with MOS training standards. And, by the way, the move had nothing to do with getting more women through the tough CET and physically challenging course (never mind only one woman out of 35 attempting has graduated).
With the past week or so came news General Neller is considering modifying the traditional 13 Marines squad and fire team composition. One proposal is two five Marine fire teams and a squad leader. Nothing new.
Too, as reported, he's leaning towards a heavier weapon for the individual infantryman, replacing a specialty weapon with one heavier, and adding a drone capability to the squad/fire team level.
A couple years back the Marine Corps invested in a field testing program for nearly a year to assess the integration of women into ground combat units.
Bottom line: Data validated what any Marine, especially Marines with a ground combat MOS, knows - females are not the strength nor enduring equal of males. Mission performance suffered.
What to do when agenda (assignment of women to ground combat units) is not supported (by data)?
Forward march! - toward the agenda objective.
A couple of first blush elementary questions for our commandant ...
1. Women can't keep up but you're considering increasing weight and amount of gear? [On the linear scale of decision-making this ranges from idiotic (further hampering readiness) to genius (eliminating women).]
2. Has America's probable battlefield opponents - China, North Korea, Russia (alphabetical order) - fielded lighter weaponry and gear and instituted less rigorous training for soldiers assigned ground combat unit duty?
General Robert H. Barrow, USMC (27th Commandant) - experienced against said probable battlefield opponents - offered, 27 years ago, under oath before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the topic of women in combat ...
"They changed the policy to fit the pressure."
Logically, this does not end well.