The report also shows specific measures that can be adopted by the U.S. military to prevent less effective combat missions while women are on board.
The 23-page report was submitted to the top Marine leader to help him take the best decisions when integrating female soldiers into the U.S. Marine’s ranks. The document asserts that adding too many women in ground combat operation could take its toll on combat effectiveness. The report mentions injuries, failure rates, and ability to perform operations by women as risk factors in combat missions.
“[…], the bottom line is that the physiological differences between males and females will likely always be evident to some extent,”
the report reads.
The paper also states that the most risky positions women could held are in the infantry units, especially when they need to manipulate heavy weapons. Although the document doesn’t make any specific recommendations, it does say that the risks are fewer in non-infantry positions.
Nevertheless, sometimes women have the edge over men when it comes to discipline and decision-making skills on field.
The report was dated August 18, but the Marine Corps never published it. The current version was leaked to a major newspaper by an undisclosed source. Marine Corps declined to comment on the document.
Pentagon sources confirmed that the report echoes the mentality of Marine Corps’ top brass and matches other studies on women’s effectiveness in ground combat.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus however criticized the Corps’ attitude towards women in ground combat arguing that the gap in performance and psychology were not solid arguments to prohibit all women from joining ground combat units
But another Marine Corps’ report showed that male units were faster and more lethal than units that also accepted women. The corps declined to provide more details on how the research was done, but critics suspect that the findings are biased.
Mabus believes that women who scored high on performance tests could replace low-performing males in all-male units and raise the overall effectiveness of the unit in ground combat situations.
Pentagon’s Capt. Philip Kulczewski disclosed that the U.S. Marine strictly follows the guidelines of the Secretary of Defense in its plans to integrate women in ground combat positions.
The Marine Corps is expected to present Congress members the results of its research on combat effectiveness of female soldiers amid a wide debate on whether limitations in recruiting women for ground combat should be lifted or not by January, 2016.
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