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  • Leaked Internal Memo Raises New Doubts About Capabilities Of Female Marines

    The summary of the recent Marine Corps study didn’t cast a favorable light on women in combat, and a new 33-page internal memo serves to bolster that conclusion.

    The memo, signed by Brig Gen. George Smith on Aug. 18, provides far more context and detail than was originally given in the four-page summary of the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, which was released on Sept. 10, CS Monitor reports.

    According to Smith, the “timeless, brutal, physical and absolutely unforgiving nature of close combat” means that the service risks losing talented female Marines due to injuries sustained from infantry operations.

    Further, inability to meet infantry standards in the first place may create a lot of frustration among female Marines, which may in turn make it more difficult for senior officials to move these Marines up the ranks due to higher attrition rates.

    Still, the memo lists potentials ways to integrate females into the infantry, including a much stricter initial physical assessment to screen out duds, as well as an “unwavering adherence” to standards. The actual study, however, relied on males who were just average among Marine Corps peers, whereas the women ranked all the way from average to far above average.

    “It is unknown how much a stricter (higher) physical screen would have improved the physical performance of female volunteers,” Smith stated.

    The most rigorous of performance standards will also help mitigate gender bias, since the women who pass the test will have earned the respect of male Marines.

    But the most critical component is leadership, Smith told Gen. Joseph Dunford in the memo. Without it, “this integration effort will very likely be fraught with friction and unduly protracted.”

    Risks can be tempered, but no matter what, “the physiological differences between males and females will likely always be evident to some extent,” the memo stated, noting that all-male units performed better on 66 percent of combat tasks, slightly less than the figure released in the main study summary in early September.

    Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has criticized the main study which recently came out, saying that officials started the experiment with the wrong mindset, and so biased the results. Marines didn’t take too kindly to Mabus’ comments. And neither did GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter, who wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter in a bid to force Mabus’ resignation.

    “He has openly disrespected the Marine Corps as an institution, and he insulted the competency of Marines by disregarding their professional judgment, their combat experience and their quality of leadership,” Hunter said. (RELATED: Congressman Tells SecNavy He Needs To Resign Over Marine Corps Combat Study Controversy)

    All services will brief Congress next Wednesday regarding the removal of all combat restrictions on women. The Marine Corps will be present and also intends to speak to Congress in a closed-door session.

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

     

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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