|Not just another pretty face!|
|No Sir, not on your life!!!|
An article posted on Family Security Matters:
"Be Careful What You Wish For-
You Might Just Get It."
This article written by Peter Farmer: Historian, commentator, scientist and medic.
A story printed in U.S. News/MSN by Jeff Black was entitled: "Women in the infantry? Forget about it, says female Marine Officer." I regret that I've been unable to find the name of the Women Marine Officer that allegedly made that statement.
As a Marine from the Vietnam Era, the story caught my eye almost immediately. Considering the Marine Corps, the statement that was supposedly made is totally uncharacteristic of a Marine Officer, either male or female.
In Peter Farmer's article he points out many reasons why women Marines should not consider infantry as a goal in their Marine Corps career. Number one Mr. Farmer, the Army calls their ground troops infantry, the Marines call their ground troops "grunts". In pointing out that women Marines should stay behind the lines of combat, I feel I must point out that the Vietnam war ended any visible lines. There has been no behind the lines since the end of WWII. In Vietnam, the line was wherever "Charlie" decided to show up. The wars we are fighting in the Middle-East, are similar to Nam, except we have traded swamps and jungles for deserts and stone villages, six inch long jungle river leeches for camel spiders. However, the enemy is similar in many aspects. Like the Viet Cong, the Insurgents, the Taliban and Al Queda choose the time and place for the fire-fight.
Before I start having a flashback, allow me to get back to the subject at hand, that being, Women Marines in combat situations. First, let me say this: Women Marines are not your run of the mill teenage girl that enlisted to accumulate educational grants for higher education. Women who enlist in the Marine Corps are tenacious, and have the hearts of lions, just like the men. Few people understand, that Marine is a Marine, first we are all riflemen, all grunts, and it doesn't matter the gender. I would caution a person to NOT underestimate the ferocity of a unit of Women Marines. The Marines are the best trained fighting force on the face of the earth, and it doesn't matter what gender you're speaking about. Once a male or female earns the title "Marine" they will always be a "Marine".
For those who wish to read Mr. Farmer's article please click on the Family Security Matters link above. In his article you will find a list of all the things he wrote to discourage Women Marines from volunteering for combat. In my opinion, after reading Mr. Farmer's list, it will do nothing but make Women Marines more resolute in their choice of MOS. One thing I learned, was that every Marine, male or female has a job to do, Marines fight as a team, always have, always will. No Marines job is menial, but all are crucial to the success of the mission at hand. Women Marines have been and are an intricate part of the Corps, and are not to be demeaned by coddling, or underestimated in the exercise of their endeavors. The list you compiled is gives scenarios that certainly will make a women think twice about volunteering for a combat mission. Unfortunately however, the list goes equally for all Marines, in combat, male and female. For example sir: I never enjoyed defecating and urinating outdoors, especially the trench I happened to be occupying at the time. I did not enjoy being infested with parasites, or covered with leeches either. Could I handle seeing my best buddy's arms and legs get blown off, no, honestly it wasn't something you handled, it was something you dealt with. I know that Mr. Farmer was a medic, I just don't know how much time he actually spent as a combat medic. In the Marine Corps, we have Corpsmen, and there are many of us that owe our lives to the bravery of these men. I understand that today Corps also has female Corpsmen, I salute you! If Women Marines can handle Corpsmen duties, then I believe our Women Marines can be just as aggressive as male Marines in any given situation. (Just in case President Obama reads this, "corpsman" is pronounced "cor-man".) Your list Mr. Farmer will not discourage Women Marines from combat, but in the end, I believe it will encourage them to execute, to improvise and to adapt and overcome with equal skill as any Marine in the Corps.
Mr. Farmer quotes Captain Katie Petronio as saying "infantry is one of those fields we need to leave alone." She may be right, but then again, in Nam I heard men say they didn't want to be there either. No one enjoys being shot at, mortared, or killing for that matter. It's not a matter of choosing, it's a matter of duty!
I am not in favor of women in combat, regardless of the service branch. I was brought up chivalrously. I was raised as the man, the protector of what we then called the weaker sex. Since I've grown, I've seen women, mothers, wives deal with wounds, that would make the strongest of us men cringe and turn away. Oh, I think the women can handle what is comes their way, and maybe even more so in some cases than men.
It would be good to remember, the "no one hates war more than the warrior"! I admire Women Marines for their courage and the strength they lend to the men. If I was to ever face a combat situation again, God forbid, I would be honored to serve with today's Women Marines.
God Bless All Of Our Military Personnel