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22 women to join Army’s infantry, armor branches as officers

22 women to join Army’s infantry, armor branches as officers

Acting Army Secretary: It’s “pretty historic”

Here at LI, we’ve been covering the move to place women in combat positions within the military.  Despite studies that have concluded that this is a bad idea, the military is moving forward.  To that end, the Army has approved  22 female officers for combat training.

USA Today reports:

The Army announced Friday the first 22 women to be commissioned as infantry and armor officers under new rules that open all ground combat jobs to females this year.

The move is a major step toward integrating women into so-called ground combat jobs, placing them in leadership roles in occupations that were never open to them.

In a move called “pretty historic” by acting Army Secretary Patrick Murphy, the women will eventually serve as infantry or armor officers.

The Stars and Stripes reports:

Seven of the women will commission through West Point when they graduate May 17. Another 14 will come through ROTC programs at several universities across the nation. One will commission through Officer Candidate School, according to Army officials. Nine of the women will join the infantry and 13 will serve as armor officers, according to an Army statement.

Despite the stated goal of treating women in combat the same as male combat forces, the Stars and Stripes seems to imply that these positions will be focused on “mentoring”—or as USA Today puts it, serving as “role models” for—other women who eventually join the enlisted ranks as combat troops.

The Army has established a “leaders-first” approach to integrating women into the infantry and armor branches, according to the gender-integration plan submitted last month to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Army leadership believes having several female officers in place to serve as mentors to enlisted female soldiers will help smooth the transition process.

The number of women applying for enlisted combat roles is three, and it will take over a year before any of them, should they meet the standards, join an infantry or armor unit.

The Stars and Stripes continues:

The Army does not expect to see large numbers of women interested in serving in the infantry or armor. Since it officially opened the fields to women on April 1, only three female recruits have enlisted with the intention to serve in infantry or armor military occupational specialities, said Kelli Bland, spokeswoman for Army Recruiting Command. Two women enlisted with the intentions of serving in the infantry and one intends to serve on a tank crew.

It will take longer than one year before enlisted women reach an infantry or armor unit. Female recruits intending to serve in armor jobs must attend initial entrance training in May 2017 and female infantry recruits will ship off to basic training in June 2017. They will attend one-station basic and advanced individual training at Fort Benning, Ga. alongside male recruits.

Acting Army Secretary Murphy has been praised by Nancy Pelosi for “opening the discussion” for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).  Watch him do so as he introduces the bill to repeal DADT in 2010:

[Featured image via Stars and Stripes]


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I will wait to see how this plays out. Personally I don’t have an issue with woman in these roles if they can do the job.

    As a group, of course they CAN’T do the job. How many women play in the NFL? In major league baseball? In the NHL? In the NBA? In men’s soccer? How many compete directly with men in ANY professional sporting event, where money’s on the line?


    There might be a role for women, as a group, in “combat” units, but certainly not in COMBAT units, which are by NATURE inherently physically demanding in the extreme. MUCH more so than professional sports, where no women are to be found where men compete.

    No woman of a particular mass and level of training is likely to physically outperform in a musculature demanding task a man of the same mass and training.

    This is NOT a criticism of women, it is merely a recognition that millions of years of evolution have worked to optimize women for a job that MEN CAN’T DO AT ALL: bear children. This comes at a cost, and that cost is (e.g.) upper body strength, which is essential to winning in combat.

    I’d also note that every time proponents of women in combat roles speak on the issue they ALWAYS claim “standards will be not be lowered for women,” yet strangely standards are ALWAYS lowered for women.

    If women could meet the same standards as the males, no special programs for them would be necessary. The very presence of those programs proves the lie.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Precisely. The standards are always lowered when women try to work their way into jobs that, quite frankly and as studies repeatedly show, men do better than women. A lot of men can’t even meet the standards for men, particularly in special ops. The standards aren’t lowered for Weakling Al who can’t do physical training for upwards of 20 hours per day for a week straight, but when women are involved, the standards shoot downward . . . and not just for women. To be “fair,” they lower them across the board, and this results in a less able military.

      It’s ridiculous, inherently contradictory, and offensively condescending to lower all standards in the name of “equality.” If a few rare women can meet the actual physical, emotional, and psychological demands of actual combat and infantry without dragging down their entire unit, more power to them.

      tom swift in reply to Andrew Branca. | April 16, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      and that cost is (e.g.) upper body strength, which is essential to winning in combat


      Air forces of a number of countries have conducted extensive tests of the forces recruits can exert on various controls (pushing, twisting, squeezing, pulling, etc) at various arm positions and extensions. This data is intended mainly for aircraft designers who have to put useful things—like the ejection lever—somewhere in very cramped and crowded cockpits.

      The takeaway figure is that on average the upper-body strength of the men is twice that of the women. Not an easy disparity to ignore, even when merely riding around in airplanes; when lugging ammo cans cross-country we can expect the disparity to be even more important.

        Arminius in reply to tom swift. | April 16, 2016 at 8:11 pm

        Tom, Tom! Admit it! We all know the only reason those men are in those cockpits are because of white male cisgender privilege.

        “Criticism of DEOMI last October involved a lesson on Power and Privilege, chapter EOAC-3000 of the Equal Opportunity Advisor Course student guide. The chapter emphasizes how “power and privilege can sometimes create exclusive work environments at the expense of others” and introduces students to the concept of white privilege. Two themes of that chapter deserve scrutiny. The first is that white males gain privileges and success through “unearned advantage.” The second is the assumption that ‘racism is everywhere.’ …”

        This is the second article I’ve read on LI today. The first was about “Jackie” forced to testify under oath in the UVA administrator’s defamation suit against Rolling Stone. So all I can say is, I’m certainly glad that one federal department is opening combat positions to a segment of the population that. according to the same federal government via the department responsible for college Title IX inquisitions, consists of people too fragile to ever be considered responsible adults.

        According to the federal government, via the Dept. of Education’s “Dear Comrade” letter, women are simply not responsible for their own actions after even a single drink (and I’m note sure they’re even responsible for anything they do, especially but not confined to the realm of sex, when they’re entirely sober). Meanwhile men are assumed to be full fledged adults who can and must be held responsible for ever single action no matter how much they drink.

        This is why if a man blacks out from drinking and a girl performs oral sex on him, he is guilty of assault.

        “An Amherst College student blacked out, accompanied a fellow student back to her dorm room after drinking in February 2012. While he was blacked out, she performed oral sex on him.

        Nearly two years later, she would accuse him of sexual assault. And under Amherst’s guilty-until-proven-innocent (and even then, as we’ll see, still guilty) hearing standards, the accused student was expelled…”

        Of course he was kicked out; he was the only adult in the room.

        And really, isn’t this just what we need more of in combat? “Leaders” who are not legally competent? Because now we’ve got the perfect excuse for any and all war crimes. “Hey, c’mon, she’s just a girl. She panicked and called in artillery on a day care center because she was told by her counselors that ‘regret equals rape’ and little Billy once held her hand without getting affirmative consent when they were both four. She saw the same thing on that playground. Really it’s the kids’ fault and in any of them survive you need to hold Title IX kangaroo courts and convict those little monsters of brutalizing and traumatizing our weak, frail company commander or we’ll see you in the Hague on charges of war crimes, bud.”

        Yeah, this is going to work out really well. It shouldn’t be too hard to develop a fleet of all-terrain, armored safe spaces to follow the troops into battle so our new female infantry leaders can shelter from such microaggressions as “you look nice today,” “America is a melting pot,” and “the job really needs to go to the best qualified candidate.”

        I think it was a mistake to open up armor to wymyn, though. Not for the reason the Israeli IDF, having experimented with the idea, closed armor to wymyn a year or so back; because changing damaged tracks in field conditions is physically demanding work and wymyn just couldn’t do it.

        I’d keep armor closed to wymyn because armored vehicles are cramped and there just won’t be room for their emotional support therapy animals.

        Arminius in reply to tom swift. | April 16, 2016 at 8:24 pm

        By the way Tom, warplanes are sexist. They discriminate against women by having controls that require too much strength to operate.

        Rather than proving that men are better adapted to fly fighters, all that proves is we need are quotas to combat the institutional sexism that riddles the field of aeronautical engineering.

        I learned this early in my Navy career when Tailhook somehow proved that wymyn belonged on warships. It turned out our damage control equipment is sexist, and discriminated against wymym to the point that well over ninety percent of female recruits couldn’t haul a pump or generator up or down a ladder.

        Clearly proof positive that all men are sexists, probably rapists, intent on oppressing wymyn through the tyranny of heterosexuality.

        If men weren’t sexists, the patriarchy would have developed dewatering pumps with the capacity to drain a flooded space quickly enough to counteract a dangerous list no larger than the pen bomb Michelle Fields used to assault Donald Trump.

        Mannie in reply to tom swift. | April 18, 2016 at 8:22 am

        Actually, in the world of fighter jocks, it appears that women slightly outperform the men. But in most other roles, the body strength advantage of the average male prevails. The USS Stark was nearly lost because female crew members were unable tp perform some of the damage control tasks, resulting in the male crew burning out.

        This may be more of a problem in the Infantry. If they can’t carry their load, men will have to do it for them. They will be considered second class soldiers, and will be treated like shit. There will be a price to be paid. It will be paid in blood, women’s blood.

      The human condition is a spectrum of physicality. Averages tell us some information at the expense of specificity. Useful but not the whole picture. If the women can complete the training without special privilege then they should be allowed. Having been in the military there is a bias toward women in particular positions. Work to eliminate the bias, not the standards.

      P.S. There were two dyke fireman on base that were bigger faster and stronger than most men on the base. Those days were before even don’t ask don’t tell, so today those women would have no issues.

        “If the women can complete the training without special privilege then they should be allowed.”

        If THAT were the program, standards for women wold be identical to those for men.

        The standards are indisputably NOT the same.

        So much for THAT theory.

        What next? Unicorn cavalry?

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Andrew I am on your side, because the way these things are carried out are insulting to the women who can or want to do them. If no women can compete on the same standards as men then fine, but I know that there are women out there that can compete and might be interested if given an opportunity. Shutting them out of the process because some people think that it can’t be done is sad and unfortunate.

          We need good people in the military, people that can take a challenge and rise above it. The current military leaders seem to reflect the leadership that we have now, political, weak victim based. I cheered the women that made it through Ranger school, until I learned that they were given special advantages. SMH what do you say to that.

          Remember in economics it is equality of opportunity not equality of outcome that brings out the best people.

          Building a qualification system for the 0.5% of women who MAYBE COULD perform combat tasks at the same level as men is grossly inefficient. I imagine there are some 12-year-olds who could do it, too, maybe even some 60-year-olds. Who cares? We don’t NEED these outliers, so we ought not to be bending over backwards to build and run a system to GET them. There is NO Constitutional RIGHT to be in the military.

          These are MY tax dollars at work. I don’t want them wasted on three-standard-deviations-from the-norm flights of fantasy. If a woman is TRULY that capable physically, let her go make tens of millions of dollars in the NFL.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Andrew, I am not sure what is clouding your judgement here. If the standards are the same for all, then what must be added to the programs other than to allow women to compete, even if it is only .05% of women. Nothing.

          Also I can tell that you have not been in the military, I don’t say this as an insult but to point out that efficiency in the military is not only not necessary but antithetical to the military’s mission. Look at the recidivism in the various advanced training schools this is not efficiency, this is effectiveness and lots of my tax payer dollars are lost on this inefficiency. I applaud that.

          A lot of a military life is summed up in the phrase hurry up and wait. You train and train, for the moment that you must jump into action. It is like owning a gun most of your money is dumped into things that you may never use. Along those lines there was a time not long ago when it was assumed that women shouldn’t own guns either. There is a reason that women are the fasting growing segment of gun ownership.

          People are needed for their skills, their understanding, their creativity, their valor. I don’t think it should matter what hangs between their legs for them to bring their own uniqueness to the game as long as that game doesn’t change it’s rules to accommodate them.

Our military is not a place for social experimentation.

Of course, neither is the fire department or the police department.

There are, of course, LOTS of jobs women are well-qualified to handle in all those organizations, and they certainly should.

You’re all missing the point.

The whole idea is to ruin our military in every way possible. That’s why we have the F-35, which is extremely expensive but won’t do the job; why it costs more for a “study” about replacing the Army’s pistol than it would to actually replace the pistol; why the Navy is building armorless ships that can’t take a single stike, etc.

Or did you think that our country’s “leadership” was actually interested in protecting this country?

You can’t be that naive, can you?

Women do make good police officers (the intelligent ones, anyway)- because of their psychology with people on the street.

The problem here is going to be that any special skills of women will be useless. If women want to get themselves shot up on the battlefield, let them. The second problem is going to be the soldiers who must rely on them.

How about send Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Ellen Degeneris into combat.

inspectorudy | April 17, 2016 at 9:52 am

“The Army does not expect to see large numbers of women interested in serving in the infantry or armor.”

Because of this small number, it will lead to special facilities and equipment that accommodates women. The Navy had to do it and then had to put in condom machines to keep their ships from becoming love boats. What is it about liberals that make them do things that are just plain stupid? Imagine hand to hand combat with a woman and a murderous male. Imagine all of the discipline issues that will arise from this decision. Imagine all of the jobs required in a combat unit that women will have a hard time completing. There is a famous story about the Marine DI who told the male recruit fighting the female recruit with pugil sticks, on a bridge made for training. The two had been going at it for about three minutes when the DI told the male to “Get serious” or he would do double duty. He knocked the woman off of the bridge instantly and told the DI he was just being fair to her. That about sums it up. You can have a big healthy male in every position or you can have mostly big healthy males and a few smaller weaker women trying to do the same job. It makes no sense!

they may branch Infantry or Armor, but the smart money says they will wind up in staff positions, far from the actual reality of being combat arms, and thus be in a position to get lots of awards and early promotions, w/o the hassle of actually being a grunt or C-DAT.

(former 11B & 19D)

The issue is not whether a candidate qualifies, but whether a better qualified candidate is selectively excluded (i.e. pro-choice).

As for women in combat, send in the abortionists. They have a kill rate exceeding 100%. Far greater than any conventional or special military unit, and is certified by leading human and civil rights organizations to terminate, torture, an cannibalize human life indiscriminately.