Given President Obama's latest military brainchild, to wit, that the time has come for women to join the crack Navy Seals teams, I was surprised at the segment on the CBS Sixty Minutes program on 15 March having to do with the initial 86-day training-period required of Marine lieutenants who aspire to be qualified as Infantry Lieutenants. CBS is a virtual propaganda arm of the president, as are both NBC and ABC, and would hardly be expected to air something as obviously adverse to the president's decision-making and/or his actual understanding of anything military other than how to get on and off Air Force One.
David Martin was the main CBS reporter in the segment and was allowed to see just some – actually very little – of what the aspirants have to endure in order to continue. In the group of Marine lieutenants beginning the ordeal were five women, one of whom allowed herself to be interviewed and filmed during part of the first day, which involves a grueling combination of exercises featuring everything from actual bare-knuckled fights among the aspirants themselves to an obstacle course to a grueling 16-mile hike carrying extremely heavy equipment. The first day is designed to make or break as far as effort is concerned, while others may fall out along the way. None of the five women made it past the first day.
By day 70, there were 59 Marines left out of the 85 that began the three months of torture designed to tax to the limit both the physical and the mental capacities of the aspirants, no quarter given to either gender. On this day, the aspirants began cliff-climbing and -descending in the Mojave Desert...temperature 110 degrees. The packs they carried weighed 115 lbs, and there were no paths or directions. It was every man for himself and it was not a one-day affair. The general in charge of the training mentioned that the packs in some situations weight up to 130 lbs.
Martin interviewed the candidate who was at the top of the class at that point, asking his weight. The young man, who stood 6-2, weighed 170 lbs. and had begun the course at a weight of 200 lbs. Losing 30 pounds in 70 days has much to say about what's involved in becoming an infantry officer, and he still had two weeks to go. The general explained that in fighting conditions the enlisted men had to have faith in their leader, thus the rigorous training and weeding out of less worthy men, not on the basis of desire or mentality but on the basis of leadership skills and strength honed by the most demanding training possible.
There is also an infantry course for enlisted personnel, though nowhere near as demanding as that of the officers. One-third of the women who try make it through this course. Martin interviewed one of the women who passed this course but her remarks were surprising. She said, even though she completed the training, that the infantry was not the place for women. Two of her reasons were that the weight that had to be carried was too heavy (women might have been allowed the rope-climb without packs, but I'm not certain) and that women's hips were not built for that strenuous requirement, translated as the idea of unisex being loony-tunes.
The Navy Seal training is even more comprehensive and demanding than that of the infantry officers not least because much of it is in and below water and involves precision parachuting over all kinds of seas or terrain. No mention was made of these things vis-a-vis the Marine Infantry Officer training, done on the land.
Field officers made known unmistakably their unease with the admittance of practicing homosexuals into the military when Obama instigated that foolishness and doubtless are as distressed with yet another effort to weaken the entire military establishment with respect to actual combat. The inevitable result of attempting to combine men and women militarily was proven years ago just in boot camps, namely, the gradual easing of rigorous training eventuating in a soft cadre of fighting men. This arrangement was stopped.
Social engineering usually destroys everything it touches. So far, the Marines are holding out and, hopefully, will continue to actually train men to break things and kill people until the ruinous Obama presidency is history.
And so it goes.