Friday, January 8, 2016

Women SEALs

You’ve all seen by now that SecNav Mabus has instructed Naval Special Warfare (SEALs) to integrate women into the SEAL teams.  He has not qualified his remarks with “if they can meet the standards”.  He has simply told the Navy to make it happen.  Of course, out of the other side of his mouth, he claims that standards will not be modified.  Well, I’m sorry but there is only one way any woman can become a SEAL and that’s by lowering the standards.  We’ve all seen film of SEAL training.  Only a few of the toughest, strongest men can meet the standards.  There is no possible way that any woman can do it.  The Rangers were told to pencil whip a woman into the unit and now the SEALs are being told to do the same.

You’ll also recall that SecNav ignored the Marines documented performance shortcomings of women in training.

This is simply a political agenda placed ahead of national security, combat performance, and common sense.  Worse, this actually does a disservice to women by mandating their inclusion in a job they aren’t qualified for.  This is affirmative action at its worst.  Every woman in every job will be looked at with suspicion and the belief that they didn’t get their job fairly.

If CNO Richardson had an ounce of integrity he would resign in protest as would his replacement and his and his …  If the CNO isn’t safeguarding the integrity of the Navy and the trust of the sailors and American people then who is?  It’s certainly not SecNav Mabus.  Mabus is an embarrassment to the nation and an affront to true women’s rights.


  1. Women SEAL is a possibility , assuming they are allowed to take PED during training and the rest of their time in service..


    1. Maybe with powered exoskeletons...

  2. You can't blame the Secretary of the Navy or Army, or even the Secretary of Defense for this. They are just following orders from the White House.

    1. You're correct, however, to return to the post, SecDef and SecNav should have resigned rather than endorse a flawed policy.

    2. It might be why they were appointed in the first place.

      The DOD has been at the forefront at integrating women and minorities into the services. But, allowing women into the combat arms and special operations is wrong and will lead to lower standards and a weaker military overall.

      I'm not at all against women serving in the military, but the combat arms should be exempted.

    3. You are right, the Service Secretaries and Sec Def are politicians and currently leftists who are onboard with the President's vision to "fundamentally transform the United States". The United States Military is one of the last major institutions in this country which has remained traditionally patriotic, non-partisan and results focused The media, the education establishment and to a large degree our religious institutions are partisan, non-traditional and suspicious or out right hostile toward patriotic beliefs. Ignoring physical reality in the case of allowing women into infantry, special warfare and other physically intensive combat roles is one more step towards transforming our military into a progressive (in the negative sense) political institution.

  3. You’ll also recall that SecNav ignored the Marines documented performance shortcomings of women in training.

    The Marine study was rigged to get the conclusion the Marines wanted. Mabus rightly saw through *that* little ploy.

    This is simply a political agenda placed ahead of national security, combat performance, and common sense

    No, it's a recognition that women are citizens of this country too, and have the same rights *and* responsibilities as men.

    He has not qualified his remarks with “if they can meet the standards”. He has simply told the Navy to make it happen.

    And now you're spouting BS. What Mabus actually said:

    "Our notion is set standards, make sure those standards have something to do with the job, and then if you meet it, you meet it."

    So, no.

    1. Do you have any evidence that the Marine study was rigged? I've read the study summary and it seemed quite well designed and quite logical and reasonable.

      Read the Navy Times article on the subject. It's quite clear that SecNav was telling the Navy to make it happen, not allow it on the remote possibility that it happened. He's already laying the groundwork for altering the standards with language about "operationally relevant, occupation-specific, gender-neutral" standards. We have seen that that is code for dumbing down the standards.

      I'm sure your future comments will be clean, respectful, and polite, by the way. Personal attacks will not be allowed.

  4. Remember the discussions that followed the 1948 order racially integrating the services. For a brief flavor of attitudes, watch the movie "Men of Honor".

    Many of the current arguments sound suspiciously like those. I am not saying the situations are the same but the rabid arguments are similar.

    There are problems with standards in that they are exclusionary. If I have a 5 foot Marine infantryman, he is going to have more trouble getting over obstacles designed for the average 5 8 - 6 foot infantryman. However we have lots of stories of how determined people overcame their size.

    We did away with height restrictions for men in the 1970s. As far as I know restrictions only apply for pilots (ejection seat reasons) and submariners (cost of increasing the boat size).

    A very complicated topic, with an all volunteer service, can you exclude anyone? Should you exclude anyone that wants to serve their country? Should we instead focus on they can serve and we will find work for them where they meet the standards? How do you make sure the standards, AND the application of the standards (remember the test in men of honor), are reasonable?

    I am fine as long as the standards are met and fairly applied. THAT is what we should be focused on now.

    1. You're partly right about what we should be focused on but you also miss the main point. The SEALs (and other, similar elite units) are intended to be the very best of the very best, sent to do the toughest of the toughest jobs. That requires people who can not just meet some bare minimum standard but rather blast through the bare minimum into the top 1% range. Physiologically, no woman (except the old East German genetically enhanced Olympic athletes!) can even remotely meet that kind of standard. Unfortunately, what will happen is that the standards will be dumbed down using various rationales and women will be pencil whipped through the tests. We saw this with the recent Ranger incident.

  5. I’d hope to see a more enlightened post on this topic as your blog looks quite informative. As for the topic of women in combat and special operations units…Women have been integrated into the armed services for quite some time now. But they have always been treated as not capable. Their brothers-in-arms have told them they can’t do it. Society has told them they can’t do it. The law and politicians have said they can’t do it. All they have heard is it’s not possible. What it the message had been different? Would we have a generation of physically and mentally capable females that could perform in combat and special forces? What about those women whom have already proven themselves in combat? Did they do less than the man next to them? Were they super human women or were they just doing what the job required? This is the same way we taught blacks and other races we felt were inferior. It’s high time the government made this decision and it’s laudable the SecNav followed suit. I expect you’ll be eating your words a generation from now after many women have successfully integrated into and led combat forces and special operations. Do not fear change or evolution.

    1. Before I rip you, let me say thanks for the compliment, backhanded though it was. I hope you enjoy the blog and get something out of it. Welcome!

      Now, I could use your exact words and say that I'd hoped for a more enlightened comment. Instead, you seem to be simply parroting the social engineering line that women are completely equal. Well, they're not.

      Women as a group are woefully inferior to men in strength, stamina, and other combat characteristics. But, what about those few individual women who are physically gifted and superior? Can't they be SEALS? No. Not without lowering standards. The strongest woman is only in the bottom (third?) of average men. For most jobs, even average infantry jobs, that might be good enough. The SEALs, however, require the strongest of the strong, the toughest of the tough, the ... well, you get it. A superior woman who, miraculously can rise to the bottom third of men is still woefully inadequate - as are most men when it comes to the SEALs!!

      I'm guessing you've never actually worked with women in a physical capacity? If you had, you'd be so painfully aware of their physical limitations that would not have written the comment you did. I've worked with the very best, most physically gifted women in our society, trained to a peak and they were still laughably inadequate compared to very average men.

      This is not about equality. This is about ensuring that we send only the very, very best to tackle the impossible missions.

      Go read some of the medical studies that have been done on women as regards extreme physical tasks. You'll see the physiological basis for the difference in strength - muscle attachment points, hip/knee joint angles, hormone levels (muscle mass), etc. Science, not opinion. I hope your next comment will be more enlightened.

      I also hope you continue to enjoy the blog and contribute to the conversation! Don't view the comments as arguments (though they all too often descend to that) but as learning opportunities.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Please begin your next campaign for gender equality by eliminating the bias of the Selective Service...

  6. Getting the requisite performance is only a matter of time. Post-WW-2 emerging affluence and thus much better diet led to 8-10-inch taller off-springs in one generation in parts of Europe, now also observable in parts of Asia.

    Now that the formal invitation to join combat-troops is on the books, women will emerge that match the requirements. In fact some will likely set new higher standards in certain specialized respects related to physiology.

    And Selective Service should have applied to women since well before the first bras were burnt. Why men-in-charge-on-this did not allow this reflects odd staffing priorities and undemocratic definitions of citizenship.

    Whether in due time you end up only with the rare SEAL-Amazon, below those top-level physical challenges you'll see a healthy growth in their presence, and should always be able to draw from a massive pool of potential man-power via non-discriminatory (against men) Selective Service policies.

    1. It is not a matter of time. Not even remotely. Your proposition, that women will develop who can meet the standards due to improved diet, misses two key points. First, any improvement that women see will also apply to men. They, too, will get bigger, stronger, faster so that the women will remain exactly where they are which is in the bottom third (probably far lower than that - I'm being generous) of AVERAGE men. This is not SEAL level capability!

      The second missed point is that even if a woman somehow, miraculously, were to barely meet the bare minimum physical standards, the reality is that the men who meet the bare minimum standards don't succeed as SEALS. The men who become SEALs blow through the minimums. This is a key point that is missed by women's combat equality proponents. The mere fact that a women can, with extensive physical training, lift a single artillery shell to meet the minimum standard (I'm making up a standard for sake of discussion) misses the fact that in combat they may have to do that non-stop for hours. The men can. The women can't.

      Last, though not part of your comment, is that fact that I've worked with the very best women in a very demanding physical setting - women who were trained to a peak of performance - and difference between them and a run of the mill average man is enormous. I've seen the reality and worked with it. The gap is huge and cannot be closed.

      Any supporter of women in combat is ignoring science, biology, and data - what we cumulatively refer to as reality.

      If you want to present a credible argument, first go read the scientific studies on women's physiology and anatomy as it relates to physical activities and then go match up against average men in physical activities. After you do that you won't have an argument left other than blind social engineering.

      Sorry to be blunt but this misguided effort is going to get men and women killed for no reason other than social engineering and that's a poor reason to die.

  7. Are you proposing that there will be an ever-upwards move of the standards as women begin to approach the current one ?

    With the steady degradation of the current stock of potential male recruits (obesity/drug-abuse etc.,...) would your overall pool of candidates thus not shrink further ?

    You are not proposing the corrosive and dangerous trend in any civic society towards pushing upwards-moving standards of physical wherewithal to only select for a tiny minority of 'super-human' Spartans to defend this most diverse democracy in human history ?

    It is hard to quantify how may men have been killed because of the forced/social-engineering-driven absence of women across decades and centuries.

    1. Of course standards will continue to increase. In WWII, soldiers carried a (30-50 lb?) pack. Today, the average soldier humps around 100 lbs (we've all seen the photos of women in march without a pack while men carry a double pack!). While not an official standard, it illustrates the inevitable trend. If SEAL trainers suddenly realized that the men were passing the physical challenges while yawning and using one hand to scratch their behinds, you can be sure the standards would be raised if for no other reason than because the field performance expectations would increase. Soldiers would be asked to carry more weapons, more rounds, heavier loads, swim longer distances, climb taller mountains, etc. That leads us to the next point regarding standards ...

      Getting into the SEALs (or any elite unit except, now, the Rangers) is a competition. Merely meeting a standard does not put one in the cut when everyone else is far exceeding the standard. Women's proponents seem to think that merely meeting the lowest standard should make a woman equal to a man who can do 30 times the lowest standard. That's absurd.

      Women can serve admirable in the military but not in elite units that require vastly superior physical prowess. This post is about SEALs, by the way, not women in general combat although my comments apply. The difference is that general combat jobs with much lesser physical demands may be within the capability of some women. I doubt it but maybe.

      I trust you're familiar with the statistics on injury rates for women in combat units? I trust you're familiar with injury statistics on women versus men in basketball? These are actual data, backed up by science - look into the hip/knee/pelvis geometry of women versus men which explains the susceptibility of women to both acute and chronic knee and hip injuries.

      As I said, if you want to attempt to make this argument in a credible fashion you might want to acquaint yourself with the actual biological science inherent in this issue. Anatomy, physiology, endocrinology, etc. To do less is to simply repeat blind, unsubstantiated fantasy.

  8. This development of requiring more and more bulk and weight to do the same jobs suggests a growing conceptual problem on the ground-level. Nobody would deem it professionally sound practice to always overload anything vital to effectiveness and thus survival.

    Either get and pay more people to carry the growing burden at a plausible individual load, or reconsider why in every other sphere of human activity we need less and less weight/bulk to do the same - if not execute to levels a multiple of previous capability.

    Body-armor yes. But as you quoted even 2x 100lbs packs on one guy is an absurd daily dictate except for the exceedingly rare Uber-Mensch; and she will protest against being disadvantaged.

    I know that folks are exploring options from mecha-mules to plain carrying less. I expect that reason shall prevail once the daily (?) T-drenching has gotten a touch stale.

    Physiology matters indeed. No point in ruining young men with over-loads if you are concerned about women's long-term structural integrity. There are plenty middle-age vets already with replacement-parts in their 'chassis', not to mention daily pain-killer consumption to just get out of bed and perhaps pick up that toddler...

    While 'structural integrity' matters, there clearly is way more to being an elite-soldier than bench-press numbers and bulging neck-diameter. The apparent preference in most of these discussions to get all excited about numbers, diameters, (length perhaps ?) strongly indicates a narrow-band range of interests deemed essential on the topic. And that might indeed lead to degrading any soldier's physics with mad overloads to brag about. But the male spinal-column to carry all this is not an evolutionary exception to that of a woman's. Furthermore, however stylishly-butch, self-destructive reflexes do not make for any adequate psychology in any front-line duty - heck any duty...

    As to "fantasy", while degrading soldiers to pack-animals may be some folks' personal vision, the hard unarguable reality in this and every other maturing democracy is that its armed forces need to reflect its composition without any institutionalized up-front de facto bigotry to arbitrarily pre-select and exclude without due cause.

    In this case here, the USN SEALs, now that the door is open, we'll see whether and who comes through the door and n what numbers bringing the FULL range of necessary and desirable attributes to the first Boot-Camp day.

    Nature will take its way one way or the other under indeed a Democracy's 'open-access' principle. There is no plausible way to speculate how many women will emerge as training- and then combat-hardened Amazons.

    Unless of course, obsessing over and then perpetually fooling around with the 'numbers' is considered the thing...

    As I stated earlier, doing Defense in a democracy requires certain larger optics than some 'Mule-Coefficient' - especially when there is way more to high-end front-line work than some weird 'I pick things up and put them down' visions of the elite combatant.

    We can and shall do better. And that is the optimistic 'vision' guiding policy and ethics here.

    No need to be scared of the Amazon - unless you mess with her...

    1. You can attempt to rationalize combat as some sort of finesse exercise but the reality is that combat is physical - brutally, violently so. Even within the scope of your rationalization, the women fair poorly. The Marine study demonstrated that women performed poorly compared to men at "finesse" tasks like shooting.

      You have an overwhelming amount of data to examine as well as real life examples on a daily basis and yet you refuse. I can lead you to water but I can't make you drink.

      Social engineering will die on the battlefield - as will so many men and women put into positions they shouldn't be in by people out of touch with reality.

      I have nothing further to say on the subject.

      Best wishes.

    2. We are in agreement then: Only time will tell whether any women will make it into the SEALs in any numbers big enough to have any impact on any battlefield.

      No need therefore to put any flag at half-staff quite yet on mere speculation about some claims of projected tragic outcomes.

      And, of course, the absence of women off any battlefield/diplomacy/presidency/JCS-leadership (wait...!) until only recently has surely been the largest and already tragic-enough exercise in "Social Engineering",

      As has been racism, tribalism (Irish need not apply) etc., which have kept the armed forces' integrity and thus overall effectiveness at some arbitrarily-reduced level of indeed compromised competency.

      So, this SEAL-episode is a late-stage element of this gradual comprehensive upgrading of the armed forces to include EVERYONE in the service of defending this biggest and most successful democratic experiment yet. The more can join, the greater the likelihood of indeed attracting the best.

      No wonder iron-age warriors are frenetic with this diversity of folks and personal stories facing them down.

      However, rumors of pink feather-boas having been used to shackle IS-folks may be over-rated... Worse than them getting a smooth shave I reckon.

  9. One more note: " These are actual data, backed up by science - look into the hip/knee/pelvis geometry of women versus men which explains the susceptibility of women to both acute and chronic knee and hip injuries.

    Just looking around and observing the reality of quite a few narrow-hipped mothers (even !) all this 'geometry' talk ends up looking like poor science to boot. Once the angles between joints is darn the same as men's, none of the much quoted 'structural differences' mean much when these women begin to hump stuff.

    Furthermore, it is about time for folks to fear-monger less and get with developing gear and load- carrying-geometries that take advantage of rounder-shaped women's unique load-support geometry.

    While common amongst men, how many 'standard-shape' women need suspenders to keep their pants in place...


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