Military.com: The U.S. Marine Corps is sticking with its Vietnam-era, M40 sniper rifle series, despite complaints from scout snipers who say they need the modern, longer-range weapons used by special-ops snipers. Marine scout snipers are considered to be among the best snipers in the world, but many are frustrated at the limitations of the current M40A5 sniper rifle. The A5 is based on the Remington M700 short-action design that's chambered for 7.62x51mm NATO, like the original M40 Marines [read more]
As precursors to my analysis, take note of the following inconsistencies and contradictions. First, Dr. Steve Metz, Professor at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in response to Sharia is coming, left this comment: “Should we worry about the creeping influence of the Boy Scout laws? More people follow that in the United States than sharia.” Note well. Steve is comparing Boy Scout law with Sharia law. This Boy Scout law – compared to this sharia law.
On the other hand, because of political correctness, in the Spring of this year, US Army Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley was condemned by the Joints Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and relieved of teaching duties at Joint Forces Staff College for teaching a course judged to be offensive to Islam. The course he taught, Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism, was an elective course that Lt. Col. Dooley’s superiors judged as presenting Islam in a negative way. His superiors were persuaded to come to this conclusion after receiving an October 2011 letter in which 57 Muslim organizations claimed to be offended by the course. The fact that Lt. Col. Dooley is a highly decorated combat veteran with nearly 20 years of service under his belt apparently held little or no sway with the JCS. As a matter of fact, JCS Chairman General Martin Dempsey “personally attacked” Lt. Col. Dooley on C-Span on May 10, 2012, during a Pentagon News Conference.
Next, take note of the fact that females are now matriculating at infantry officer training at Quantico. This is certainly in line with Andrew Exum’s counsel concerning his own branch of the service: “I see no compelling reason why women should not be allowed to attend Ranger School. As far as I am concerned, if a woman really wants to run around a sawdust pit at two in the morning screaming “Ranger!” while periodically stopping to low-crawl for 50 meters, we have a constitutional — nay God-given — responsibility to allow her to do so.”
But now consider what Former Spook observes concerning women in combat MOS.
Almost 20 years ago, columnist Fred Reed published results of an Army study, comparing fitness levels among male and female soldiers. The data reaffirms that most women simply lack the upper body strength and endurance required by an Army infantryman, a Marine rifleman, or most special forces MOS’s.
The average female Army recruit is 4.8 inches shorter, 31.7 pounds lighter, has 37.4 fewer pounds of muscle, and 5.7 more pounds of fat than the average male recruit. She has only 55 percent of the upper-body strength and 72 percent of the lower-body strength… An Army study of 124 men and 186 women done in 1988 found that women are more than twice as likely to suffer leg injuries and nearly five times as likely to suffer fractures as men.
The Commission heard an abundance of expert testimony about the physical differences between men and women that can be summarized as follows:
Women’s aerobic capacity is significantly lower, meaning they cannot carry as much as far as fast as men, and they are more susceptible to fatigue.
In terms of physical capability, the upper five percent of women are at the level of the male median. The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man.
Finally, take note of the undercurrents in the suicide prevention department of the DoD. We can trust our men with the most lethal weapons known to mankind, but the desire now is to give commanding officers authority over personally owned weapons. As one commenter has noted, the concept of “at risk” is subjective, which is the same reason that such medical assessments cannot ever be allowed to preclude the right to own firearms in the civilian community.
My son routinely hauled 120 pound(+) kit off the line as a fleet Marine, including his time in Fallujah, Iraq, between body armor (including SAPI plates), backpack, weapon, SAW drums plus ammunition, hydration system, and so on and so forth. Recall this picture from the assault into Helmand in the summer of 2009?
This Marine is carrying his kit plus a mortar plate. He is probably crossing the line at greater than 150 pounds.
My son trained as a fleet Marine before the age of political correctness. Strong, male Marines – not reserve Marines, but hard core regular duty infantry Marines – would need to take several shots of whiskey and 1000 mg of Ibuprofen to kill the pain prior to their twenty miles humps with full kit on 100 degree F (+) days at Camp Lejeune. Negligent discharges brought a season in the so-called “room of pain.” Laying back on the humps brought time in the room of pain. Failing to qualify well on the range brought time in the room of pain.
Fun time involved laying down to sleep in the swamp overnight at Camp Lejeune (as ordered) and having to strip naked the next morning so that your buddies could burn the leeches off with cigarettes. Or, how about that extended time at Fort A.P. Hill when the NCOs gradually removed everything the Marines had, from tent, to sleeping bag, to food, to winter clothing. Then, it was time to sleep one winter night on that outing, and there was no way to stay alive unless Marines huddled, hugged, laid down together, shivered and threw leaves over themselves for the night.
You get the picture. But my son left the U.S. Marine Corps because, in his own words, “the Corps is changing.” He couldn’t train his boot Marines the same way he was trained. He wasn’t allowed. He had initially intended to extend so that he could go to Afghanistan with his boot Marines because he felt responsible for them. But he believed that a lot of good men would perish in Afghanistan, and that he couldn’t make a difference in that. So he left, along with all of the other Marines who had experience from Iraq.
If you have some sort of androgynous, genderless vision for the armed forces – if you believe that Navy Corpsmen should be able to treat the field diseases of both men and women and understand what mud and parasites in the various different cracks and crevasses and holes of men and women do, if you believe that men and women are on equal footing pertaining to physical abilities, if you believe that machines like the ridiculous Army future combat systems robotics and the silly machines like the big dog can ever replace mules and the backs of infantry Marines, if you believe that men and women will be able to interact socially as a cohesive fighting unit without the behavior that attends the opposite sexes – I think you’re weird and creepy. Not that we can’t be friends, but just that you’re weird and creepy, at least to me. Machines cannot replace strong men, and even the Russians found out in Afghanistan that women had a higher number of lower extremity injuries than men, causing severe under-manning of forces. Exum believes that we have a constitutional and God-given duty to allow women in Ranger school. I’m a constitutional aficionado with seminary training, and I don’t think Exum can prove either of those assertions.
As for Steve Metz, he isn’t stupid, he has just let his political and religious bigotry cloud his scholarship, leading to the stupid things he said about Sharia law. But it’s okay to have Steve Metz saying those things as long as we don’t let contrary positions be taught. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone, would we?
As for the personal possession of guns by Soldiers and Marines, how about this proposition. We remove the ridiculous rules of engagement under which they operate and give them a coherent strategy, and see how our fighting men respond. If not well, then I would be willing to spend some extra dollars to help assess PTSD. But I’m betting I won’t have to spend a dime of that money.
As for the Army, I kind of expect this sort of thing. But the Marines were supposed to be different. They’re not, and political correctness proves it. It’s a sad thing to watch the diminishing of the U.S. Marine Corps, once the greatest fighting and strike force on earth, to political hackery. I hold the Commandant of the Marine Corps responsible, at least in part. I also hold responsible a public who allows this kind of thing without pulling the plug on the absurdity of the use of our armed forces for every social engineering experiment that appeals to the self-professed intellectual elites. And finally, it’s a shame that I have to mention the Commandant of the Marine Corps and the nations “intellectual elite” in the same breath. How very sad is all of this?