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Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers -
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It happened. Not sure I thought it would. I also thought it wouldn't bother me. It does. Here is why - If you want to be a US MARINE Infantry Officer, a leader in the best "large" fighting force in the world, but you can't do what makes them the best, you cant do what it takes, then maybe you should try out for something you CAN do.
https://www.military.com/...fantry-officers.html

Don't F@ck Up My Beloved Corps!


Last edited by: Litemike: Feb 13, 18 5:45
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Litemike] [ In reply to ]
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Litemike wrote:
It happened. Not sure I thought it would. I also thought it wouldn't bother me. It does. Here is why - If you want to be a US MARINE Infantry Officer, a leader in the best "large" fighting force in the world, but you can't do what makes them the best, you cant do what it takes, then maybe you should try out for something you CAN do.
https://www.military.com/...fantry-officers.html

Don't F@ck Up My Beloved Corps!


I've said it before and I'll say it again: women do not belong in the infantry (and especially not in the trigger-puller/door kicker side of special operations/special warfare). I spent a lot of my Navy years on the "green side" (serving with the Marine Corps in infantry/Recon and medical units up to battalion size) and I never met a WM who either wanted to be an infantry officer or could do the things it took to make it through the legendarily tough Infantry Officer Course, including that endurance test -- let alone serve in a straight leg infantry or Recon unit. They did fine at OCS/TBS, of course, but that's not the real world of infantry operations as done by the Marine Corps.

What Commandant in his right mind would approve this? What is the Marine Corps playing at here? Because they're sitting on that very extensive study that proves women, as a group, have an extremely difficult time matching up with the male Marines when it comes to infantry performance factors. Those mixed WM/Male Marine test infantry units also performed less well than their counterpart all-male Marine infantry units, apples to apples.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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I should ask my cousin about this in May. I’m going out to his wedding in DC. He just got his full bird Colonel a few months ago, and he’s Mr. hardass so it’d be interesting to hear his take.

-----------------------------------------------------------
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Formerly Draketriathlon
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Litemike] [ In reply to ]
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Bummer. Always a mistake to lower a standard. Not enough folks able to pass your standard? Figure out how to prepare them better and "want it" more.
-Former SGT Gress, USMC.

"If only he had used his genius for niceness, instead of Evil." M. Smart
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Litemike] [ In reply to ]
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Has passing this test always been a requirement? I ask, because this statement makes it sound like it has only been required since 2012:

"While officials said the test has had a historically low attrition rate since it was made a passing requirement in 2012, the change stands to have significant implications for women attempting the course."

Matt
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Litemike] [ In reply to ]
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this article reads like this exercise was only recently made a pass/fail requirement in 2012, which is right about the time the pentagon started to loosen restrictions on women in combat, making me think this was made pass/fail then for the sole purpose of eliminating females from the position, or at least making it harder.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Litemike] [ In reply to ]
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I hear you. I felt the same when they let women pass Ranger School without meeting the patrol standards. It dilutes readiness and combat ability.

I’ve served with many excellent female Soldiers over the years, but none of them would have hacked it in the Infantry, and they freely acknowledged this.

******************************
If I don't, who will? -Me
It's like being bipolar in opinion is a requirement around here. -TripleThreat
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Matt_Stimpson] [ In reply to ]
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It has not. The test itself was added the course in the mid 1990s. It was only made a go/no-go requirement in 2012.

During that era it was rare for a Lt to fail out of IOC, but it happened. I was there at IOC the early 90's just before this test was added. It is important to go back a few steps in the process to understand how that test got put in place to begin with.

(That was also the era when Lt's that attended the Naval Academy stopped going to Officer Candidates School to be screened and evaluated for entrance into the Marine Corps. The USNA folks got bent out of shape when midshipmen were dropped from OCS at a higher rate then the ROTC candidates that attended OCS a the same time in the late 1980's and 1990... but that's a different story. But some of the finest officers I served with were from the USNA and were commissioned as Marines without OCS, and surely would have succeed at OCS.)

When I was there, Marines had a "quality spread" where they assign Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to the 2nd LTs at The Basic School. This was to ensure that all of the best officers didn't end up as Combat Arms MOSs (as was generally their desire) and that good officers (based upon Basic School performance) would be spread out to all MOSs.

Selection process varied greatly between different years/companies, but it was based upon class rank, needs of the service and individual desires. Some companies did a closed door session where the Staff Platoon Commanders would assign MOSs to the Lts. In my Basic School Company, there were about 30 Infantry Officer slots. These were then split as 10 would go to the top third, 10 to the middle third and 10 to the bottom third. We literally lined up in class order in our respective thirds and hung our names on a board with open slots. Most of high performing Lts at the basic school wanted Combat Arms. Many of the lower performing did not. Needless to say some of the Lts going to IOC out of the bottom third were not as prepared for the course as those in the top or middle thirds. There were some that had no business being grunts. Yet there they were and some did not do well as LTs in the Fleet. This test was created to establish which Lts were not ready for IOC and as push back/quality check by IOC on TBS (they are collocated and under the same Commanding Officer, but the staff at IOC are fiercely independent and protective of their program.)

Going to war in Iraq and Afghanistan changed how many Marines were in the service (several more infantry battalions were stood up, for example) and how many officers were put through the Basic School and IOC. Because of those lessons, this test then morphed into a screen to ensure that only those that were physically and mentally qualified to lead Marines in combat would enter the course to maximize throughput.

This was formalized as a go/no-go test 2012 at the height of the gender integration push.

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“As a result, the combat endurance test reverted back its original intent, prior to 2012, as an assessment tool to measure the retention of knowledge, skills and fitness achieved at the basic officer course”

I could only speculate on why this change was made. But given the decrease in size of the Corps in the last 6 years, the rejection of the results of the integrated gender unit combat tests since then, and the integration of women into enlisted infantry courses someone- Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen Neller- thought that this was the solution.

Suffer Well.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [jmh] [ In reply to ]
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Very informative--thanks

Steve
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Litemike] [ In reply to ]
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Allowing women easier access through a softened up selection process would be wrong and a disservice to all concerned.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Kay Serrar] [ In reply to ]
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Kay Serrar wrote:
Allowing anyone easier access through a softened up selection process would be wrong and a disservice to all concerned.

The standard is the standard. Combat is unwavering in its demands.

Suffer Well.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [jmh] [ In reply to ]
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jmh wrote:
Kay Serrar wrote:
Allowing anyone easier access through a softened up selection process would be wrong and a disservice to all concerned.

The standard is the standard. Combat is unwavering in its demands.

Agreed
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [jmh] [ In reply to ]
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jmh wrote:
Kay Serrar wrote:
Allowing anyone easier access through a softened up selection process would be wrong and a disservice to all concerned.


The standard is the standard. Combat is unwavering in its demands.

Agreed. However, it doesn't appear that pass/fail for this test is really an historical standard. It wasn't pass/fail before 2012, so it's difficult to make the case that "it's always been this way."

If the pass/fail standard was appropriate and necessary to screen properly qualified candidates, and is being relaxed now specifically to allow more women to get through, that's could be a problem. However, people should probably understand that entrance and screening requirements for various aspects of military service are adjusted frequently, for all sort of force shaping reasons. We're an all-volunteer force, and sometimes we have more or fewer candidates, and need to reach higher or lower numbers of people through training. Occasionally, that means we need to accept a slightly lower standard because it's more important to have the raw numbers. Other times it means we raise the standards because we can afford to cut more bodies and still have enough.

Slowguy

(insert pithy phrase here...)
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [slowguy] [ In reply to ]
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slowguy wrote:
jmh wrote:
Kay Serrar wrote:
Allowing anyone easier access through a softened up selection process would be wrong and a disservice to all concerned.


The standard is the standard. Combat is unwavering in its demands.


Agreed. However, it doesn't appear that pass/fail for this test is really an historical standard. It wasn't pass/fail before 2012, so it's difficult to make the case that "it's always been this way."

If the pass/fail standard was appropriate and necessary to screen properly qualified candidates, and is being relaxed now specifically to allow more women to get through, that's could be a problem. However, people should probably understand that entrance and screening requirements for various aspects of military service are adjusted frequently, for all sort of force shaping reasons. We're an all-volunteer force, and sometimes we have more or fewer candidates, and need to reach higher or lower numbers of people through training. Occasionally, that means we need to accept a slightly lower standard because it's more important to have the raw numbers. Other times it means we raise the standards because we can afford to cut more bodies and still have enough.


This is a very good way to look at it and how I looked at it in a past thread. Sometimes people can be pushed and trained to accomplish more than they thought they were originally capable of. I usually overreact, sometimes I feel my time in service was the greatest part of my life and don't want anything to change, whatever that means. I was also not really fully informed, thanks to the poster that filled us all in. Also, I did NOT mean the original post to be an attack against anybody, (I may have went off the deep end by including "women" in the title quoting the article, but I realize it is for all candidates / Marines.)
Last edited by: Litemike: Feb 13, 18 9:45
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [lunchbox] [ In reply to ]
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lunchbox wrote:
I hear you. I felt the same when they let women pass Ranger School without meeting the patrol standards. It dilutes readiness and combat ability.

I’ve served with many excellent female Soldiers over the years, but none of them would have hacked it in the Infantry, and they freely acknowledged this.

The best boss I ever had in the Army was a woman. She was a dinky little fireplug of a thing that wouldn't have had a prayer staying with a strapping lad like me humping a ruck up a hill, but otherwise she was fabulous.

Re. USMC Officer career assignments. I didn't go talk to the Marine recruiter about an upgrade from SGT to 2LT until my last semester of college. He said that I'd need to wait a year. He also told me about how little control Marine Officer Candidates had re. their careers. That made it clear that I could do pretty darn well in Marine OCS, yet end up as a Personnel Officer.

The Army told me that my career would be based on the "needs of the service" so they weren't going to give me a choice either. So I told the Army that the only way I'd xfer from the Marines to the Army was if they guaranteed me Infantry, Airborne and Ranger School, in writing on my contract. They told me "not possible, we don't do that, sorry". I walked out, figuring "what the hell, I wanted to be a Marine officer anyways, so no loss".

A week later the Army called me back and said "ok".

At Army OCS there was career choice chaos. About half of my class was prior service. Most of them were really shit-hot folks, many from Combat Arms, and some with Ranger and SF backgrounds. Almost no one got the career they wanted. The SF guy was turned into a tanker. None of the guys with Ranger Infantry guys got assigned to the Infantry. Jesus christ, if I hadn't thought to require my career to be in my contract, I'd have ended up the LT in charge of the dining facility.

Later, immed after the Army school for LT's, I spent a week in the USMC counterpart. I had an old Marine Corps buddy that was going thru their system just like I was the Army's. It was huge HUGE fun to spend a week in their classrooms, in the field, and in their PT environment, where every waking moment was spent measuring how much moxie the Army guy had. Geeze that was fun.

"If only he had used his genius for niceness, instead of Evil." M. Smart
Last edited by: RangerGress: Feb 13, 18 12:04
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [RangerGress] [ In reply to ]
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My second platoon was a 81mm Mortar platoon. The Marines send their officers and Staff NCOs to the Army's Infantry Mortar Leader's course in Ft Benning, Ga. So me as a 1st Lt, a Staff Sgt and a Gunny from other units were in a class with about 40 other Army Officers and NCOs. It was 6 weeks of fun with the Army. We even had class PT a couple of mornings, that was almost humorous. Good times.

So I get it... sort of, maybe exactly opposite.

I purposely tanked the last element of the last practical app test so as not to suffer the embarrassment of being Honor Grad and being given an Army Achievement medal. I let that motivated West Point guy who was tied with me in the class standing get that one. No way in hell I was going to return to my Battalion with an Army medal for going to a class.

Suffer Well.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [tfleeger] [ In reply to ]
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tfleeger wrote:
this article reads like this exercise was only recently made a pass/fail requirement in 2012, which is right about the time the pentagon started to loosen restrictions on women in combat, making me think this was made pass/fail then for the sole purpose of eliminating females from the position, or at least making it harder.


They're not meeting the same field qualification standards as the male Marine officers, from what several Marine Corps officers I've served with tell me. The infantry life is HARD, especially for Marine Corps 0302 infantry officers.

Edited to add: at this stage in my life, I'm a curmudgeonly old grump when it comes to this stuff, so take anything I say about this in light of that. ;-)
Last edited by: big kahuna: Feb 13, 18 11:26
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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big kahuna wrote:
tfleeger wrote:
this article reads like this exercise was only recently made a pass/fail requirement in 2012, which is right about the time the pentagon started to loosen restrictions on women in combat, making me think this was made pass/fail then for the sole purpose of eliminating females from the position, or at least making it harder.


They're not meeting the same field qualification standards as the male Marine officers, from what several Marine Corps officers I've served with tell me. The infantry life is HARD, especially for Marine Corps 0302 infantry officers.

Edited to add: at this stage in my life, I'm a curmudgeonly old grump when it comes to this stuff, so take anything I say about this in light of that. ;-)
The boys (age 13, 13 & 14) were watching some of the Olympics last night. Folks were freezing their ass off. Was about 15deg F, I think. I told the boys "Yes, I remember that. It was really cold."
The boys "but you got to sleep in a warm bed, right?"
Me. "We spent most of that year in the field. In field exercises we were always fighting against the tankers and they had thermal sites, so we couldn't have anything that created heat. The water in our canteens would freeze solid in an hour. One night it hit 20 below zero. It was really cold."

Constantly exhausted from humping a ruck over ridge after ridge, exhausted from the wear of the elements, and exhausted from maintaining the facade of "this is nothing" for your platoon to draw strength from. Was not easy, but I learned a huge amount, and no one was shooting at me. It's a tough life. The folks that do it for decades are certainly harder than I.

"If only he had used his genius for niceness, instead of Evil." M. Smart
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [Litemike] [ In reply to ]
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25 years as an active duty Marine infantryman, 7 enlisted (0311) and the rest as an officer (0302 - 4 shooting tours in Afghan / Iraq). IOC remains to this day the hardest thing I have ever completed (and I failed the CET my first time, damn invisible land nav box hidden by torrential rain). We also did not have the option to quit like they do now. The problem was not "do I want to do this" but "how do I do this". Its a fundamental change in how you wake up in the morning and approach the problem / challenge. I was against the policy change to make IOC all voluntary.

As to women, I'm a big fan of task / condition / standard. If you can meet the requirement, you can do the job. Women answered the mail for my units in combat (straight leg rifle companies and battalions). I am floored that Neller would make this change (dropping the CET). He is as old school / gruntatistic as they get. I was in 6th Marines while he was the Regimental Cmdr and fought him for the flat bench many a morning in the Area 2 gym. I was never a fan of the CET as it always seemed like a dick measuring contest to me; but then again, the entirety of IOC seemed like a haze-fest to me run by a bunch of immature, pre-company command captains. I think dropping it is on balance a bad idea; but I am not fundamentally against the 0.001% of women who can actually pass IOC being designated as 0302s. If you can demonstrate mastery of all required skills, you should be allowed to do the job.

My 2 cents.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [MOP_Roy] [ In reply to ]
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MOP_Roy wrote:
25 years as an active duty Marine infantryman, 7 enlisted (0311) and the rest as an officer (0302 - 4 shooting tours in Afghan / Iraq). IOC remains to this day the hardest thing I have ever completed (and I failed the CET my first time, damn invisible land nav box hidden by torrential rain). We also did not have the option to quit like they do now. The problem was not "do I want to do this" but "how do I do this". Its a fundamental change in how you wake up in the morning and approach the problem / challenge. I was against the policy change to make IOC all voluntary.

As to women, I'm a big fan of task / condition / standard. If you can meet the requirement, you can do the job. Women answered the mail for my units in combat (straight leg rifle companies and battalions). I am floored that Neller would make this change (dropping the CET). He is as old school / gruntatistic as they get. I was in 6th Marines while he was the Regimental Cmdr and fought him for the flat bench many a morning in the Area 2 gym. I was never a fan of the CET as it always seemed like a dick measuring contest to me; but then again, the entirety of IOC seemed like a haze-fest to me run by a bunch of immature, pre-company command captains. I think dropping it is on balance a bad idea; but I am not fundamentally against the 0.001% of women who can actually pass IOC being designated as 0302s. If you can demonstrate mastery of all required skills, you should be allowed to do the job.

My 2 cents.

Glad to read the perspective of a Mustang Marine Corps 0302 on this issue.

I still am having trouble understanding why the Commandant would sign off on this, given the very clear results of the study on mixed-infantry (WM and male Marine) versus all-male infantry Marine units and their performance in the field, as well as the medical issues that consistently arose among infantry-designated WMs.

It's more than just about being able to pull a trigger, as it turns out.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [MOP_Roy] [ In reply to ]
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You, MOP Roy, my friend, are one salty mofo, and I thank you for that. So, you don't have to answer this in specifics, but are you a Battalion Commander or XO? I remember running into the crustiest, leatheriest, saltiest Marine walking the planet at the time - I was at Camp Schwab on the Rock, my bud was in from 3rd Tracks and we were hanging out on the cat walk at the barracks. There's a grungy old guy (I was 20, so everybody was old) wearing woodlands in the Oki heat, smoking Pal Mals or lucky's at the end of the walk. I forget the exact command, but he was a LTCOL Bn Cmdr - and holy $shit was he intimidating, you know the kind, when your brain just goes blank when they glance your way, and you just pop to attention out of fear. Just hanging over the handrail, looking around. I was enlisted, my view is this, it really takes an extraordinary individual to run these units, at all levels. I just don't want to see it lowered to a level that results in mediocrity, to a level somebody like myself could take a try (not that I am a poor leader or person, but after the fact, I honestly can say I would not have matched those in charge). You, you have a damn tough job, and I know that the fitness tests, qualifications, training, continued development, cutting scores etc (or whatever Officers have). all add up and require the best to advance.
Again, thanks-
Last edited by: Litemike: Feb 14, 18 5:45
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [jmh] [ In reply to ]
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My son is currently at TBS and found out his MOS on friday. He was selected for Infantry. He graduated from USNA May 17, Marine Infantry is all he's wanted since 6th grade. This isn't addressing the main issue, just that a few things at TBS that have changed. He told me that they don't do the boards any more. He turned in his top two MOS choices two weeks ago and his grades, peer evals and what ever else they use were put in to a computer. He said he made sure to tell those in charge that he was "all in" for Infantry because the computer can't measure desire. Desire is taken in to consideration.

The numbers have gone up, too. 54 2nd Lts put in for 51 Infantry officer spots.

He knows some guys who graduated from IOC with the first female graduate. All they say is that she did it and they have the utmost respect for her.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [tab] [ In reply to ]
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tab wrote:
My son is currently at TBS and found out his MOS on friday. He was selected for Infantry. He graduated from USNA May 17, Marine Infantry is all he's wanted since 6th grade. This isn't addressing the main issue, just that a few things at TBS that have changed. He told me that they don't do the boards any more. He turned in his top two MOS choices two weeks ago and his grades, peer evals and what ever else they use were put in to a computer. He said he made sure to tell those in charge that he was "all in" for Infantry because the computer can't measure desire. Desire is taken in to consideration.

The numbers have gone up, too. 54 2nd Lts put in for 51 Infantry officer spots.

He knows some guys who graduated from IOC with the first female graduate. All they say is that she did it and they have the utmost respect for her.

My thanks to your son for helping to defend our great nation. We are made better as a country by men and women like him. And it sounds like the Marine Corps is getting a stud warrior who'll make my beloved Navy and Marine Corps combat team even more deadly. I hope he has a hugely successful Marine Corps career.
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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As a 22-year Marine who went a slightly different route, WO-CWO-LDO, I had a ton of respect for the Lt's who truly took IOC to heart and applied what they learned when they hit the fleet. IOC meant something special, it wasn't just a means to an end.

MOP_Roy and the other 0302's, Semper Fi!

--------------------------
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Altitude Multi Sport
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Re: Marine Corps drops major obstacle for female Infantry Officers - [big kahuna] [ In reply to ]
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Thank you. He's worked really hard.
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