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Jordan Candler / April 9, 2015

Experiment Doesn’t Bode Well for Advocates of Women in Combat

A female infantry experiment implemented by the Obama administration has come to a close without the results many wanted to see. The Marine Corps Times reports, “The two-and-a-half year period in which the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course became gender-integrated for research will end without a single female graduate. The final iteration of IOC to accept female Marines on a volunteer basis began April 2 with two female participants. One was a volunteer and one was a member of the newly integrated ground intelligence track. Both were dropped that same day during the grueling initial Combat Endurance Test.” All told, 27 women volunteered alongside two other mandatory participants — well short of the Corps goal of 100 — and all failed to pass the entirety of the course. As for the program’s future, the Pentagon will have the final say. According to the Times, “[D]ata will be taken alongside other research points, including the much higher success rate for enlisted female Marines in passing the Infantry Training Battalion course at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. As of February, 358 women had attempted the course, with 122 graduates, for a pass rate of 34 percent. … All this information will be compiled this summer and used to inform Commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford’s recommendation to the secretary of Defense on whether or not to open remaining ground combat units to female troops.” Let’s hope that, rather than playing the sexist card, the Pentagon concedes to common sense — namely, that men and women are created equal, but that doesn’t mean they’re interchangeable. More…

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