Posted by: James Atticus Bowden | January 28, 2013

10 Reasons to Not Let Women Into the Infantry

Molly Pitcher wasn't a Grunt.  Girls should not serve as 11B - InfantryMEN.

Molly Pitcher wasn’t a Grunt. Girls should not serve as 11B – InfantryMEN.

The issue isn’t women in combat. Women have always been near or in combat. Women in our U.S. Army have been pushed closer and closer to the front lines of the Infantry in combat by politicians of both parties since the 1970s. In campaigns where there are no front lines women ride in vehicles that get blown up — but that isn’t the Infantry. Women pilot helicopters, get shot down and lose their legs — but that isn’t the Infantry. Women shoot back when they are ambushed — but that isn’t the Infantry. The issue is forcing the Infantry to become girl compatible.

Since the 1970s, everywhere women entered in the military the adjustment was to make the military organization, school, or course girl-compatible. Women served well where assigned. The quality of female military service doesn’t change the reality that adjustments were made for women. The compromises didn’t cost The Army too much — enough to lose a war.

Adjusting the Infantry for girls may mean America loses a war. At the least it will cost the unnecessary additional loss of life, because the Infantry won’t be as good as it could be. The girlish Infantry won’t be all it can be.

Here are 10 reasons to not create girlish Infantry.

  1. No improvement to combat effectiveness. Name one way a woman improves the combat effectiveness of a rifle squad. Cite one measure of effectiveness or performance that a woman makes better. Name one. Then, prove it.
  2. Equity is for lawyers, victory is for the Infantry. Promoting more women generals doesn’t make America win wars. Promotions for women isn’t protection for America.
  3. Women in the Infantry are like women in the NFL, NBA or NHL. If women could play professional sports as well as men, they would. The Infantry is more demanding, like professional sports are, than any other branch. The only way women can compete with men in professional sports is if the standards are compromised. Change the rules. Except the rules of Land Warfare don’t submit to political whimsy. Ground combat is an equal opportunity killer. Separate male and female physical and appearance standards reaffirm that separate, but equal, is never equal.
  4. More Women will be injured. Basic sports medicine applies. More women will be injured in training and combat. Women’s bodies are different from men. Women aren’t men. More injuries cost the military many ways and society in lifetime disabilities.
  5. More Women will be raped. Sooner or later women will face aggressive demands for sex from their battle buddies. Women will be raped by the enemy — and the Infantry faces capture more than any other soldiers.
  6. Women will be degraded. There is no privacy in the Infantry. Creating privacy burdens and distracts leaders from training good Infantry. And, often it will be impossible. Decency demands differences between sexes. No differences means no decency and real degradation of womanhood.
  7. Women will be drafted into the Infantry. Some day in the future there will be a war of national survival, or a really big war. Young people will be drafted. For legal equity women will be drafted into the Infantry. Your daughters, granddaughters, nieces and neighbors will go serve. The children of the elites won’t be in the Infantry. Yours will suffer and die so the Elite Class can feel so superior — for the sake of equality, diversity, and political correctness.
  8. Women aren’t men. Male-bonding matters. Liberals and rabid feminists hate that. Women don’t bond with men the way men bond with men. Neither do men who act like women as open homosexuals. It’s science. It’s culture. It’s history. It’s truth. The Infantry is based on squads of men working as a team. All male teams fight better.
  9. Women don’t win wars. A Nation that relies on its women to fight for it — deserves to die. Women in the Infantry don’t make the best infantry. They’ll be the best politically-correct Infantry and play that part until the dogs of war are unleashed.
  10. Homosexuals will be jealous. Real women will compete with the homosexuals for sex with the men in the Infantry. It gets more complicated when the lesbian women compete with real men for sex with the women in the Infantry. Infantrymen and Infantrygirls are a volatile mix every day, let alone in combat. Ask a Combat Infantryman what combat does to arouse a man’s senses.

Making the Infantry girl-compatible is another national folly. Except this one will get Americans killed. America may lose battles — even a war – for the cause of creating girlish Infantry.

James Atticus Bowden served in 5 U.S. Army Divisions as an Airborne, Ranger Infantry Officer.

Private Benjamin should NOT be drafted into the Infantry.  Girl-compatible Infantry is girlish Infantry

Private Benjamin should NOT be drafted into the Infantry. Girl-compatible Infantry is girlish Infantry



  1. Well said Jim. My biggest concern is the effect on infantyMEN. They will be feminized and the units will too.

  2. Absolutely right on Jim! This decision by Panetta and Obama is wrong-headed and a disaster in the making. God help us all.

  3. How can you not be adult enough to discuss real issues with allowing women in the Infantry, like rape, with the maturity and seriousness required to deal with it head on? If you are a man, if any Infantry man is a real man, you will put on your big boy pants and meet the challenges this presents with effective action instead of crying about it…like “girls.”

    There are challenges that come up with any huge change among the ranks of our forces, but effective soldiers will rise to occasion and ADAPT. Our forces will be as strong as ever. Maybe it will inspire some of the ignorant misogynists to find somewhere else to spread their poison than within the Infantry.

    • Diana, Thank you for your amusing comments.

    • hey Diana, hope you get drafted into the infantry someday and see how much crap you talk than. sorry but ground warfare IS NO place for your feminist bravado.. There is enough to worry about when engaging the enemy than worrying about what you say to not offend some whiny female like yourself.

  4. Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    When I served, I served in the Air Force, and I served with women. So I never had the pleasure of participating in infantry operations. Nonetheless, I could see problems with women serving in the military. I never have had a problem accepting the competence of women to serve in the military. What concerns me is the competence of men and women to serve together in the military. To pretend the differences between the sexes do not matter requires us to ignore the plain facts of our own character weaknesses. For example, imagine if your spouse was required to serve at a remote location for a year. Would you like your husband, for example, to work in another country on the other side of the world in a unit that includes healthy, lonely, and attractive young women? That in fact happens today, and it adds to the stress felt by military families.

    • My husband has, in fact, served 27 months total in Iraq alongside women who rode in their Stryker every day during combat operations. Sure, these women were not 11B, but that was about the only difference. And yes, adult people have sex with each other. How about Vietnam vets sleeping with prostitutes? How about men in Korea right now, still an unaccompanied assignment in the Army despite being peacetime for several decades, sleeping without other service members and locals?
      Of course no one wants their spouse to cheat. To suggest that men are so powerless over their own libidos is insulting. There are differences between the sexes and they DO matter. It’s nonconstructive posts like this that get in the way of taking action to make this move beneficial. If men are too afraid of the change to do anything but complain, then they are the ones weakening the force.

      • Diana,

        When you began by questioning his maturity, I can see why JAB brushed you off. What you are doing is trying to stifle debate by attacking our manhood. I suppose you didn’t even see the irony in that.

        Since what you are doing is typical of advocates for “diversity,” I doubt you see yourself as a troll. So I will respond.

        What JAB and I did is list real problems. Apparently, even though you don’t agree with the challenges we listed, you think there are “challenges that come up with any huge change among the ranks of our forces.” Yet you said we have nothing constructive to say. No, we are just unwilling to adapt. But what exactly is this adaptation for? Where is the improvement in combat capability?

        Consider what adaptation involves. We don’t adapt by making changes that compound existing problems. We start with an honest assessment of our strengths and weaknesses.

        In addition to examining the nature of the problem (the threat posed by people who want us dead), adaptation involves self examination, working to optimize our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. It is not insulting to say that both men and women are attracted to the opposite sex. It is foolish not to observe that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In fact, you provided examples.

        What our leaders are doing is what you are doing, deluding themselves. Putting women in combat positions does not strengthen our military; it maximizes our exposure to a human weakness, the difficulty we have in controlling our sexual urges.

        Traditionally, when people engage in warfare, women serve by protecting the home, and men hunt down the enemy. It is the nature of women to protect the home and in the nature of men to hunt. When we try to perform each other’s roles, we adapt poorly.

    • I am truly not trying to troll. A friend of mine posted a link to this post on Facebook and I preferred to discuss it with the source of the post. My “attack on his manhood” was directly related to his approach to this blog post, not ironic at all. I used a tone reflective of his general disrespect for women throughout the entire post.
      You can say that you are unwilling to adapt, but this change is imminent and those who are still active duty must adapt to it. Complaining about something that is now a fact of daily life just isn’t constructive at all.
      You say, “It is foolish not to observe that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. In fact, you provided examples.” My point is that the men who screw around are not the majority. Saying that all or most men will cheat because they are near a vagina is factually and logically false.

      My entire point in posting here, despite clearly being a blog on the opposite side of political spectrum from myself, was to point out that if this change that is *already in motion* is so wrong, be constructive and proactive about the problems at hand. I don’t disagree that things like rape and infidelity may increase, so there needs to be serious discussion about dealing with those situations *when* they arise.

      Leaps in logic, catch phrases like “girlish infantry,” referring to women as “girls,” as well as claims that are purely false (“Homosexuals will be jealous”) are not solutions — they are simply complaints that do nothing to address the real problems that will arise during this transition.

      As one of the current leaders in the Infantry put it, “With the change being inevitable now, leaders need to take the action to incorporate the women into the Infantry in a manner that will benefit the Army. If they tackle this with a negative attitude then we will be the cause of a weaker Infantry.”

      • Diana – Funny how “change” works. If it is driven by Socialist Democrats it always seems to be irresistible.

        Cultural values “change,” but people derive their values from their beliefs. Christians, for example, derive their values from the Bible, and Christian stick by their values regardless of “change.” We don’t change for the sake of change.

        What we see depends upon where we stand. JAB showed no disrespect for women. What he disdains is reducing the standards for the sake of “diversity.” There is simply no advantage in putting women in large sectors of the military, particularly infantry units. When done properly, infantry combat training is brutal. Only in Hollywood fantasies do women excel in physical combat.

        When trying to maintain standards of behavior, we begin by reducing the opportunities and the rewards for bad behavior. You want to encourage a military culture that rewards cheating, lying, and infidelity? Then make it so soldiers don’t have to visit prostitutes. Put women in their foxholes, and the decent solders will exit the service in disgust.

  5. Men are not afraid of all change, just change for the worse. There are some changes that are BAD. Like when the Nazis took over the German Army and made BAD changes. In that case the changes didn’t make them less effective militarily (in fact they became better at tactics) but made them worse morally.
    I FEAR a competent but immoral military. But in our case we are becoming more feminized and that makes as less effective while also becoming immoral. Not a good change to get behind, but a change to actively oppose.

    • I’m curious why you think allowing women in the combat arms makes the military immoral?

      • The military is a dictatorship. To make our military serve our nation, we have to put moral people in charge of it, and we have to fill the ranks with decent officers and enlisted men.

        If we want our soldiers to respect our rights and protect them, then we have to treat our soldiers with respect. When there is no need or apparent benefit, forcing men and women to serve in close quarters shows no respect. It is immoral to deliberately put people in a situation where we know they will be tempted to do things they should not do. It is immoral to abuse the people who serve us by using them as the objects of foolish social experiments.

  6. Misogynists want women to serve in the Infantry. People who care about women and respect womanhood do NOT want women in the Infantry.

    Officers who facilitate making the Infantry girl-compatible will create a girlish Infantry. They will dishonor their profession of arms and betray the trust of the American people to provide for the National Defense.

  7. Band of Brothers and Sisters? Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as the original…

  8. “It is immoral to deliberately put people in a situation where we know they will be tempted to do things they should not do.”

    Those who work with millions daily have been put into these types of situations, but don’t steal because of the consequences. You suggest that men are incapable of self-control.

    “It is immoral to abuse the people who serve us by using them as the objects of foolish social experiments.”

    I support equality, equal access, but not at the expense of safety. I understand change comes through time, but I do not believe the costs are worth it.

  9. Like Jim, I attended West Point when it was more like a 4 year federal prison than a college; but it was an ALL MALE prison. We voluntarily entered at the height of the Vietnam War, 6 months after Tet and Walter Cronkite telling America we had lost the war. For 4 years we intensively trained, thought about, imagined, aspired, and were mentored by recent combat veteran role models – people like MAJ Bill Carpenter, MAJ Robert Foley, CPT Buddy Bucha with one goal, one sole idea, to become combat arms officers and lead American Soldiers in combat as platoon leaders and company commanders. Our training was exceedingly tough and realistic. Almost a third of the class that entered with us in 1968 did not succeed and graduate with us in 1972. That crucible of physically and mentally demanding life for 47 months bonded us together for life. Our class is still to this day 41 years later, extremely tight – we trust and we respect each and every one of our classmates – even the ones who realized the Army was not for them after their initial 5 year commitment and sought other careers. As one of my more eloquent classmates put “We sucked for 4years together, equally, and mutually; you can not overstress or overburden us with any obstacle or challenge that is too great. With extraordinary exception, we had no branch choices except the combat arms – Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery, Engineers, Signal,and Air Defense. (SF & Aviation were not branches back then). There was also the option of choosing Military Intelligence and Military Police, if you spent your first 2 years in combat arms. We graduated into a terrible undisciplined chaotic and disrespected Army that had lost its trust with the American people, had lost its spirit, had lost its integrity and somehow failed to live up to the values and expectations of our peers, our parents, and our Nation. I chose Infantry like over 200 of my classmates. I became a Mech Infantry company commander on the East German border as a 2nd Lieutenant. Like all of my classmates, I was an athlete, our West Point PT test was more demanding than the Ranger School standards. We physically led our platoons, sections and companies. Other than the Combat Support Branches, we led all male units. We developed and executed our own leadership style and built disciplined, trained, cohesive, effective, proud, units of male esprit de corps, ready for battle. By 1975 the Women’s Army Corp had been disbanded and we started to see gradual integration of women into non-combat jobs working alongside men. The Women’s Movement of the 1970s, the need for a large standing army during the cold war, and the political demands of feminist who had never served pushed for greater integration of women into all male units. The Army adapted, but kept limits and leadership carefully observed and monitored that process. In 1978 I commanded the first sexually integrated Basic Combat Training Field Artillery Battery.

    My approach, with my drill sergeants – all Infantry and Field Artillery combat vets of Vietnam, was to treat the female trainees and male trainees as equals – the official Army policy. That was a complete failure. There are absolutely different physical capabilities and women tend to be more adaptive, and learn fine motor skills faster than men, but cannot lift, carry, run, or climb with men. Many could not meet Army standards, so the Army created “Baseline PT” a euphemism for lowering the physical standards so that women and weaker males could pass, despite not being able to physically accomplish some essential tasks required by their MOS. I had horrendous rates of stress fractures to women’s hips, caused by their bodies not capable of carrying the standard rucksack on their backs and keeping up with their male counterparts on conditioning marches. The women, even after 8 intense weeks of daily PT could not cross a one-rope bridge across a stream, could not climb a 12 foot verticle wall, lift a 75 pound projectile or gun tail into place, or change a tire on a 5 ton truck. But the biggest problem was not the physical differences in male and female bodies. The biggest challenge was women and men living and training beside each in close quarters 24 hours a day for 8 weeks. These were 17 to 24 year old Soldiers at the height of their sexual hormonal periods. Sex was the problem, even with my carefully screened and hand-picked drill sergeants; I had to courts-martial 5 of my best drill sergeants for having sex with the female trainees. The males hated having to make the 2 mile run in combat boots in less than 8 and half mins when the women had 15 mins to do the same test. The males resented having to lift or push women over the obstacles and always lift the heavy equipment while the women acted like girls and flirted with the big strong boys. Petty jealousies were rampant and boyfriend-girlfriend fights were common. So were sexual assaults and adultery. In the integrated squads, anonymous ARI surveys told us repeatedly that they NEVER achieved a cohesive unit of 10-15 Soldiers while in Basic Training. In the all male squads, they were cohesive teams by the 6th week of training. It was common knowledge that there were large numbers of active lesbians in the Army, but unless someone caused a discipline problem in the unit, nobody really cared, as long as they did their duty. There probably were substantial numbers of closet male homosexuals serving honorably as well; it just was not tolerated behavior by the male heterosexual Army leadership. Privacy in the field and in barracks between the sexes is always an issue of morale and concern for the safety and security of female soldiers. Men do not like women having women disposing of human waste or showering right next to them in a coed latrine any more than women do. Living in co-ed barracks designed for an all male army decades before their current occupants caused tremendous leadership challenges for commanders and NCOs. The Marine Corps recognized many of those issues and refused to integrate their basic training units – despite the political pressure from Congress and Senator Schoeder of Colorado.

    Yet my Army continued to put women into MOSs and units for which they were not fully capable of accomplishing all required tasks. Their male NCOs and squadmates had to do those tasks for them. Don’t get me wrong, there were many MOS and branches where women excelled, far superior to the normal males. I worked with and led many outstanding female soldiers and officers in my 31 years of active duty. But those women and those units were not in the combat arms and rarely were they in combat support units, despite Congress and DACOWITS pushing for more women in male roles – using the equal opportunity for promotion justification. In hind sight, we should have just promoted a bunch of female officers to general rank and put them in charge of CSS, personnel management, health care, and strategic logistics – acquisition and we would have been better off in the long run. I saw exceptionally mentally capable women of strong moral ethical character who either chose or were assigned to combat support branches struggle to compete with their male peers, just simply ill-suited for that role in the Army where it remained a male-dominated culture. A very few both coped with that situation and thrived by sheer physical and mental will and determination, or they wisely chose to branch transfer or leave the Army. It was not their fault, the Army by will of Congress put them in that situation for the sake of equality of the sexes, a fine democratic ideal that just flat did not and does not work in the intensity of training for or actual combat. The stupid Army recruiting motto of An Army of One did nothing to help the public, Congress, the civilian leadership of the Department of Defense and Secretary of the Army, understand what military psychologists and historians have told us for centuries – that male bonding under an exemplary competent, capable, leader of character committed to the welfare of his soldiers while accomplishing the mission is why soldiers fight and win on the battlefield – but we do that as teams we call units with specialized functions, weapons, tactics, and equipment – NOT by sending single soldiers to fight as an Army of one.

    While I negotiated contracts and solved production and quality problems to accelerate delivery of weapons, munitions, food, and supplies to the ports to support our forces in Operation Desert Shield, 34 of my classmates commanded battalions or brigades in that magnificent victory of Desert Storm under the exceptional leadership of GEN Schwarzkopf and a host of other great male leaders. So I missed my big chance to lead infantrymen into combat by being in a joint acquisition position, instead of leading soldiers.

    So the only real combat I saw in my career was in Somalia 18 months after Desert Storm. We were under fire every day. I was negotiating with Somali warlords and businessmen every day with little or no protection. I was commanding a joint contingency contracting command to support Operation Restore Hope with logistics and engineering support and responsible for negotiating the international treaties with 22 allied nations forces and the 49 humanitarian relief Non-Governmental Organizations, as well as the UN. I had a small joint team of mostly males and two females on my staff or under my command. The first time we were ambushed my female Army sergeant paniced and was hysterical, unable to perform her function of driving her vehicle and 3 of my people out of the kill zone. Fortunately the male major on the passenger side dragged her out of her seat while a male Marine sergeant provided covering fire and the major then rammed his way successfully through the barricades blocking the roadway so that all 8 miraculously escaped the ambush unharmed, despite every window being shot out of the two vehicles and tens of bullet holes in their Chevy Blazers. My other experience with a woman in combat was an Air Force Captain, a contracting officer responsible for procuring supplies in Kenya and getting them loaded on C-130s daily to support the 38,000 troops in Somalia. She refused my orders to come to meet with me monthly in Mogadishu because “she was afraid” and after the fact I found out she flew on board C-130s the last day of each month landed at the secured airfield in Mogadishu, slept comfortably on the plane overnight and flew back the next morning to Kenya, thereby being entitled to tax free combat pay for two months each trip. Not one of my male Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, or Marines failed to accomplish their missions despite some very intense direct fire from enemy combatants literally every day we were in Mogadishu – because we had bonded together as a team.

    So the professional opinions of Jim Bowden, by the way, 24 of my classmates became general officers – the most of one class since before WWII, are supported almost wholly by this old soldier too. We need competent, committed women of good character in our Army, but not in Infantry and probably not in Armor, or cannon Field Artillery or Combat Engineer units, and not in many MOS that require upper body strength. It is the esprit de corps, the unit cohesion, and the discipline that most suffer from integrated male-female units composed of teenagers we call Soldiers. SOF and Infantry Units are the tip of the spear, where the untimate mission is to close with by fire and maneuver to kill the enemy – come hell or high water, regardless of the terrain.

  10. I understand, that you might be a bit concerned but, women want to do this they know they can and even if you disagree with this, even if it is against everything you are and know. I believe women do belong if they will go this far to be one of you. If they will sacrifice the same as men to do this for our country to make the difference that could possibly save a man’s life or even another woman’s life. Then, I believe they should have a say in there own fate. They want to do this, not because any other told them or because they were forced into it, it is because they want to do this. They want to help. And, just because we have different parts doesn’t mean we can’t bond the same way. The one’s who are there and lived through this become to feel as the others are there brothers well, I have men who I have come to believe are my brothers that I am theirs as well even if I happen to be a female. You say it will increase rape but yet, we understand this. We know what we are doing you shouldn’t worry about this. We are willing to sacrifice this because, we know it is right. I, for one, want to help. To be apart of something as this. I know it is gonna be a challenge but, I want to face this. But, isn’t being able to face fears head on and having the courage to do it and have logical thought on the subject a requirement? So, with this I leave you the question…Why can’t you just believe we can do the right thing? To be one with you? I mean, we are all humans, we all want to serve our country, we all want to be our best so, why not let us try? To let us prove that we CAN do this??

    • The right thing is to increase the combat effectiveness of the United States Army. If increases in combat power that outweigh the challenges to leadership, command, administration and logistic can be proven empirically, then female-compatible infantry should be considered. Not implemented, considered to be tested first.

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