Commandos: No women in special ops combat jobs

Published 6:00 am Sunday, December 13, 2015

Political correctness or gender equality apparently has no place among the men in the U.S. military’s most dangerous jobs.

In blunt and, at times, profanity-laced answers to a voluntary survey conducted by the Rand Corp. in the summer of 2014, more than 7,600 of America’s special operations forces spoke with nearly one voice. Allowing women to serve in Navy SEAL, Army Delta or other commando units could hurt their effectiveness and lower the standards, and it may drive men away from the dangerous posts.

An overwhelming majority of those who agreed to respond to the RAND survey said they believe women don’t have the physical strength or mental toughness to do the grueling jobs.

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The Pentagon released the survey this past week when Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced he was opening all combat jobs to women. His decision was based on recommendations by the military service secretaries and the leaders of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Special Operations Command. Only the Marine Corps asked to exempt women from certain infantry and front-line positions, and Carter denied that request.

Some 85 percent of the respondents said they oppose opening the special operations jobs to women, and 70 percent oppose having women in their individual units. More than 80 percent said women aren’t strong enough and can’t handle the demands of the job. And 64 percent said they aren’t mentally tough enough.

“I weigh 225 pounds, and 280 pounds in full kit, as did most of the members of my ODA (a 12-man Army Green Beret unit),” one respondent was quoted as saying by The Associated Press. “I expect every person on my team to be able to drag any member of my team out of a firefight. A 130-pound female could not do it, I don’t care how much time she spends in the gym. Do we expect wounded men to bleed out because a female soldier could not drag him to cover?”

The commandos have at least one politician in their corner in former Marine and current U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) who criticized Carter’s decision to open combat positions.

In a letter he wrote to Carter in September and a speech on the House floor Thursday, Palazzo attacked the decision calling it “unbelievably dangerous.”

We have faith that rigid physical, mental and emotional requirements and procedures developed by leaders will ensure that only those properly suited for combat will wind up on the front lines.