• FLASHBACK: Former Marine Commandant Says Gender Integrated Infantry Will Destroy The Corps

    The Marine Corps has a long tradition of opposing women in combat roles. In 1991, former Marine commandant Gen. Robert Barrow gave a fiery speech before the Senate in which he said that allowing women in combat has a lot to do with hardline feminists advancing an agenda and little to do with national security.

    All branches of the military are expected to allow women into all combat roles come January 1. But that’s not what the Marine Corps has in mind. Officials plan to submit an exemption request to seal off some combat jobs, setting them up for a big fight with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who has insisted that all roles should open to women. (RELATED: Marine Corps Officials To Defy NavySec With Plan To Keep Combat Roles Male-Only)

    This debate isn’t new. The 27th Marine Corps commandant, Barrow dropped out of college to serve in 1942 and proceeded to fight in World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War. Later, he would draw on this experience to urge Congress  to enshrine a prohibition in law against women in combat.

    “Don’t pass it to the DoD,” Barrow said. “Don’t pass it to the executive branch, because they come and go.”

    According to Barrow, combat is more than just exposure to danger, despite the fact that some have cited proximity to the fight as a reason for including women.

    “Combat is a lot more than that,” Barrow told the Senate Armed Services Committee at the time. “It’s a lot more than being shot at. It’s killing. That’s what it is, and it’s done in an environment that’s as difficult as you can possibly imagine. Extremes of climate, brutality, death, dying. It’s uncivilized, and women can’t do it.”

    “The requirements for strength and endurance render them unable to do it,” Barrow added. “And I may be old-fashioned, but I think the very nature of women disqualifies them from doing it. Women give life, sustain life, nurture life, they don’t take it.”

    But strength is not the only reason to exclude women. Officials have argued that adding women to male-only units would serve to completely erode male bonding, which even in 1991, Barrow too felt necessary to defend.

    “I know in some circles, it’s very popular to ridicule something called male bonding. But it’s real, and one has to have experienced it to understand it … And that would be shattered. That would be destroyed. If you want to make a combat unit ineffective, assign them women to it. It’s a destructive proposition.”

    Barrow ended his speech with a warning. “If you persist and push this down the combat area, it would destroy the Marine Corps. Simple as that — something no enemy has been able to do in over 200 years.”

    Nevertheless, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has said that he intends to open all roles to women by the end of the year, though he will take into consideration any exemption requests submitted by Oct. 1.

    WATCH:

    Follow Jonah Bennett on Twitter

    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 [email protected].

    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 [email protected]

    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 [email protected]

    Powered by WPeMatico


    Surge Wire

    Breaking news and analysis from around the globe courtesy of Daily Surge.

    Trending Now on Daily Surge

    Send this to a friend