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tv   Women in Military Combat  CSPAN  April 19, 2016 4:05am-6:06am EDT

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a group of 26 states led by texas contend that the president overstepped his authority. but the administration wants the injunction lifted. we'll air today's oral argument friday night starting at 8:00 eastern on our companion network, c-span. and as president obama prepares to deliver his final speech at the annual white house correspondents dinner, c-span takes a look back at some of his previous dinner routines. the program also includes remarks by senior white house correspondent steve to machlt of mcclatchy news. here's a preview. >> no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the donald. and that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. like did we fake the moon landing. [ laughter ] what really happened in roswell? and where are biggie and tupac?
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[ applause ] all kidding aside, obviously we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. [ laughter ] for example, no, seriously, just recently in an episode of "celebrity apprentice" at the steakhouse the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from omaha steaks and there was a lot of blame to go around. but you, mr. trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership and so ultimately you didn't blame lil jon or meatloaf, you fired gary busey. [ laughter ] and these are the kind of decision that's would keep me up at night.
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[ laughter ] >> and that a brief look at some of president obama's past remarks at the white house correspondents' dinner. you can watch this year's edition, president obama's last, on saturday april 30th at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. our live coverage of the presidential race continues tuesday night for the new york state primary. join us at 9:00 eastern for election results, candidate speeches, and viewer reaction. taking you on the road to the white house on c-span, c-span radio, and a discussion now on women in military combat. the defense department recently lifted all restrictions on women serving in combat roles, including positions in the infantry, reconnaissance, and special operations units. a panel of current and former military officers debated the effects of the policy change as they discussed issues such as military standards, recruitment and training, unit cohesion, physiological differences
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between men and women, and the lessons learned from other countries that have sent women into combat. the event was hosted by y the n york city bar association from just last month. this is just under two hours. thanks, everybody. thanks for coming. great night. i come from washington where think tank and panel discussions are a way of life. but some of them are not so good. i hope that we have a great one tonight. i think you're all aware that we're here to talk about an issue that is extremely important to the military and i would argue as a reporter who covers the pentagon and covers the military important to the nation, the integration of women in all combat roles -- in all roles in the military, including in combat roles. what happened for those of you
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who may or may not be familiar with kind of the contours of this issue is that the current defense secretary, ash carter, announced in december after i think it was three years of study that all jobs would be open to women across the military. it was an interesting announcement, i found, sitting there because mr. carter, who's been secretary since, i guess, last year, very interested in this issue made the announcement with little fanfare and kind of just standing alone at a podium in what we call the pentagon briefing room. it -- the optics of the announcement struck me and occurred to me that it kind of contributed to this idea that there is -- has been some debate about this issue. and what we're here to talk
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about tonight is a lot about that debate. we have four panelists and we've kind of set this up a little bit as, you know, kind of for and against integration of women. now, the timing of this panel is interesting really because the decision has been made so kind of move out on this decision and there will be integration of women so it's not necessarily for or against but we're at a point now where the pentagon is trying to figure out how to implement this decision. and so it's -- i think this is a good, timely topic that's very timely for right now. so let me just quickly introduce the folks we have up here and then what i want to do is ask a few questions but basically ask each of the panelists to kind of stake out where they sit and
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explain kind of where their position is. i'm not trying to make this kind a point/counterpoint you're ignorant, you're stupid, just to kind of have like a substantive interesting conversation but also fast moving. i want to get to hopefully you guys have great questions. i have some questions but i hope that you guys have even better ones and we'll get to those questions very soon after. let's just start real quick -- let me just explain -- and i carefully on the train rewrote these short little bios and then i realized that was too long and i don't want to, like, slow things down and read a bunch of bios. take it from me that these guys are all interesting people with varied backgrounds, different opinions. they have strong opinions on these issues and i hope we'll get them out here. so in no particular order dan o'shea is here to my left. he's a combat veteran with more
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than 25 years' service in the military. i'm not going to read through this but he's a former navy s.e.a.l. who i think had a lot of service and then returned after 9/11. he's served in both afghanistan and iraq. i have here he's recognized as a subject matter expert otherwise known as an sme in military speak, or sme. in asymmetric warfare. and he's knowledgeable about counterinsurgency, terrorism, kidnapping and hostage rescue. dan managed the interagency coordination of more than 300 kidnapping incidents and played a direct role in every major international kidnapping incident in iraq from 2004 to 2006. he's got a lot of stories. kate germano here is an active duty lieutenant colonel in the marine corps. by the way, we're very heavy on
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the navy but particularly the marine corps tonight. we have three marines, and dan is a former navy guy. kate is still in service, at least for a little bit longer. most recently as the commander of 4th recruit battalion in paris island which if you're not familiar is the only place where women are trained to be marines. and that was her last big command. she served also in a bunch of different roles over the years but most notably as a recruiter in various forms. so i think we can really yield some great answers about the thinking about how this integration thing happens not only from a standpoint of training women at paris island but also recruiting them because i think this is a factor. to her right is elliot ackerman,
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a former marine and infantry and specialty operations officer who's one of those cool guys who's become now a novelist. he is author of the critically acclaimed novel "green on blue" and then soon -- when does that come out? >> in january. >> in january "dark at the crossing." he is here with us, but he's based in istanbul. he's covered the syrian civil war since the last few years, 2013. his work, both fiction and essays, appear in a number of publications including "the new yorker," "the atlantic," the "new republic" and "new york times" magazine. he got out of uniform in two thousand -- >> nine. >> nine. and had served a number of tours of duty in the middle east and southwest asia. he served as an adviser for the afghan commandos, which as you know is one of the strongest effective fighting forces in afghanistan. and he also served in iraq where he led a rifle platoon in november 2004 in the battle of
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fallujah, where he earned a silver star and a number of other combat awards. he's frequently interviewed and appears on tv, as a lot of these guys all have. including he's been in my own paper, "wall street journal." jude to the left, jude eden say former enlisted marine sergeant who joined the corps after 9/11. in 2003 she served as a data communications specialist. she deployed for eight months between 2005 and 2006 to support camp fallujah's computer communications in iraq's western anbar province. and that was during the height of a lot of the tensions and the -- i mean, it was just a really dangerous time during that period. she also served as a photographer for her battalion. she is now a frequent contributor as a freelance writer to various publications, the "new york times," breitbart,, the daily signal,
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western journalism and laura ing ingraham's life set. what we have here is a bit of a group here. these two are generally have concerns about the policy that has been decided upon. these two are generally in favor of the integration of women in combat. now the title of this event tonight is a little bit racy but the idea is to kind of bring out some ideas about what the nation and military needs to think about as we integrate women in these combat roles. i think one of the -- there's a lot of different issues. i think to think about. but how it's done, how it's done
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to be successful, how it's done to improve combat effectiveness, to -- or if it's done in a way that's going to limit combat effectiveness i think all these various questions are ones that people have, whether they're on one side of the issue or another. so i'm going to stop talking. i want to ask everybody to kind of give a quick maybe four or five-minute intro to where they sit, how they think about this issue, who they are and then we've got a couple questions and then we'll jump to the audience. so you want to just start, elliot? >> sure. i will not even jab for four or five minutes. i just view this as -- and even before the decision was made i wrote a little bit about it, is that it seemed very likely that this decision would be made, and all of my observations and conversations with folks that i knew who were somewhat close to the decision, to include serving officers who worked at the infantry offenser corps, which if you don't know that's the marine corps -- it's infantry
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officers and was used sort of as a test bed for women going through that training. if they could pass. the attitude and the conversation was very much framed as we need to launch these multiyear studies to determine whether or not a woman's body is even capable of the incredible rigors of combat. and to me that just really seemed like a smokescreen because that was not the issue. the issue was a cultural issue. you know, i -- when i served in the infantry i certainly had marines who were incredibly fit, but i also had marines in combat who were not incredibly fit. one of my collateral duties as a second lieutenant, which was one you could imagine any second lieutenant would like, was i was my company's body composition officer. so that meant that monthly 10% of the marines who were outside of the height and weight standards have to come to me and basically they would take their shirts off and i would wrap a tape measure around them and tell them they needed to lose weight. and those marines were outside of the standards.
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and they continued to serve and they continued to serve in combat. and many of them did fine. but i think sometimes to the outsider there's this view as if all marines are these sort of -- marines or soldiers or whoever are these sort of monolithic demigods who go through training and come out as supermen. that's not the case. they're regular people. so this argument that this was a physical issue and that we, the corps as an organization needed to spend its energy doing studies that considereded the hipbone densities of women and that if we saw that there was maybe a 10% higher rate of shin splints in women that would disqualify them from all combat. frankly, to me it just seemed kind of disingenuous and that issue was cultural and that in the preparation for the possibility of this decision that the leadership of the organization would be doing the organization a greater service by saying okay, we need to look at how we would reengineer what is at least specific to the
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infantry a hypermasculine culture and one that frankly works, it promotes ideas of brotherhood and camaraderie through a very masculine sentiment, and that inspires men to do incredibly brave things to save one another on the battlefield, but that was not the conversation and in the leadup to this i felt like that was concerning because it might set up the corps as an organization to fail. and i think that's what all of us regardless of our positions don't want to see happen to any of our services so now we here in a moment where that decision has been made and to me it seems the appropriate conversation is to say okay, how can we implement this the most effectively so that the organization is stronger? and in order for the organization to implement this effectively and to be strong and to change culturally as it needs to change, those conversations are going to need to be had and they're going to need to be had under the leadership of the marine corps in my case. and so i think we're sort of at a moment of truth where at the
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most senior levels of leadership, at the four-star level there needs to be some very, very clear guidance given. and disappointingly, thus far what i've seen is there's just sort of -- there has -- at least the perception is sort of a quiet campaign that we're not happy with this and we're going to proceed begrudgingly. and having spent a lot of time down in infantry platoons with 19 and 20-year-old privates and lance corporals they hear that message and so i would just call myself sort of a concerned alumni of the organization that would like to see in the next 15 or 20 years that it's implemented, do it in a stellar manner that upholds the organization's highest values and not as a -- and with no incidents that serve as a black mark. and there have been incidents like that in the past if you go back to the corps's history, you know, the '50s, the '70s and times like that. but i'm looking forward to the conversation. >> just for the sake of diversity here, why don't we go
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now to jude since she's kind of on the other side. and i don't want to make too much of this point/counterpoint thing but we have different views here. so go ahead. >> sure. in addition to gordon's intro, part of why i have some credibility not just as an enlisted marine or the only enlisted person on this panel is i was also secondary duty that i had at camp fallujah was that i was pulled for entry checkpoint duty to frisk women for explosives, so that was convoying in and out of camp fallujah on a daily basis with the marine corps infantry and, you know, being on the street in the outskirts of five different checkpoints coming into fallujah. and i'm really glad that the new york bar association is putting this on because they're doing something here that the administration and congress have failed to do, which is to hold
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an open debate and discussion on this subject and the reason the administration has suppressed debate on this is because the case for integrating women has been so weak and any time we would what elliot calls a smokescreen is empirical evidence that women suffer not just average civilian women but military women, active duty women average 2 to 10 times the injuries that men do in the military. that's a liability, not an asset when you have that kind of additional risk, and these are very fit women. the argument for women in combat depends on ignoring that, depends on the provably false claim that women are interchangeable with military men and infantry men which, again, depends on ignoring decades' worth of research.
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sports medicine, military medicine, military experience. the marine corps's nine-month integration study is only the latest in a series of studies that have been done over time and all finding the same conclusion because we're talking about anatomy and no matter how culture changes or societal norms change, you can't change human anatomy and these are differences that cannot be ignored. it ignores the problems that coed combat units already face with rates of pregnancy, sexual assault, unit cohesion. these are things that cannot be ignored and are being ignored and ashton carter, secretary of the navy ray mavis just said "well, i have a difference of opinion on that" and they ignored the $36 million study on this. and the other big thing that the advocacy for women in combat
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depends on is a swallowing whole the big lie which is that this is an equal opportunity for women. with these kinds of rates of injury for women before they're even on men's standards or infantry standards, that's unequal for women. that's -- that doesn't do women any favors. nobody is doubting that women serve honorably, we can serve in 98% of the jobs and be successful, but there's a difference between deploying to the combat units which many, especially general public is very detached from. the difference between deploying to a combat zone, working in a combat zone, doing a dangerous job such as what i did and being on these direct ground combat missions that are kill missions going door to door, cave to cave, often killing at point blank range hand to hand.
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women are at a disadvantage physically against men who want to kill them. another part of my background is many years of martial arts before the marine corps and then during the marine corps and i've trained with a lot of men, always made me better fighting against other women, but men who really want to kill you, when you're -- and this happens often. technology and modernity have not mitigated the need for direct ground combat. and that hand-to-hand fighting. and if you talk to anybody who has a lot of deployment experience, direct close combat experience, or you can read their accounts, a lot of the time they're smashing heads. i mean, when the ammo runs out, when the gun jams. okay? so this is not mitigated by we're so technologically advanced that this doesn't
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happen anymore. okay? so these are a lot of the points that i feel are being ignored by the administration. it's incredibly important that we bring these forward. you know, the empirical data on women's injuries, even fit women. i mean, 2 to 10 times -- twice the injuries, that's just your baseline. okay? it's ten times the stress fractures. six times the acl tears and hip injuries because women's gait tends to be smaller, it is smaller. and so they have to exert more effort when doing these long marches under load. that's empirical data. and the fact that it's being ignored in favor of of just pushing this through and saying it's equal opportunity when, in fact, it's really not i think is a disservice. and in terms of implementing,
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there's no successful way to implement a flawed plan. i'll leave it at that. >> awesome. thanks. kate, i think that will go well with some of the stuff she's talking about. >> because i am still in active duty i need to start with a disclaimer that my views are my own personal views and obviously not those of the marine corps. i want to start by saying one, i fully echo what elliot said about culture and this is specific to the marine corps. we have cultural issues in the marine corps. it's a wonderful institution. i think that whether you're a male or female marine, everyone serves with pride because we are very tied to our lineage. but all this relies that every organization needs to evolve in order to succeed. the marine corps has struggled to evolve, whether it's been about desegregation for african-americans, whether it was "don't ask, don't tell" and now with the integration of women into combat roles. and i want to point out the fact
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that a lot of the data that jude referred to is unfortunately looking to the past. one of the things that the marine corps and the services don't always do well is take cases of success, take units where things are going well and replicate the things that are working within those units to mitigate concerns and mitigate risks. and having two tours on recruiting duty and also having been assigned to the recruit depot at paris island, the only place where we make female marines, i experienced this firsthand. what i saw when i was on recruiting twice was that the women we were recruiting were held to a lower standard when it came to the initial physical fitness requirements. they weren't always required to come to pt the way the male recruits or the male applicants were. they certainly weren't pushed to their full exertion rates the way the male applicants usually were. they weren't relied on to fulfill leadership position with the delayed entry program at the recruit substation level the way the males were. and they were not required to
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make significant gains in their physical fitness level before going to recruit training the way the males were. and so having seen that on recruiting and made changes twice in my two tours on recruiting as a commander and as an operations officer and executive officer, to mitigate those risks and change how we recruited and trained and prepared women to go to boot camp, what i found was that there are success stories that can easily be replicated and can easily mitigate a lot of the concerns that jude has discussed. but we haven't evolved to the >> that do have success stories to tell and instead what we tend to do is we tend to look at the negative statistics and that's exactly what we saw with the marine force combat integration task force. they were all women that volunteered to serve in a capacity that wasn't popular
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because of our culture and they were successful throughout a lot of the training that they participated in but the fact this they were coming out of paris island where we held women to a lower standard for decades as best indicated by range scores the fact that they were expected to do less mainly because of segregated training, the fact that these women were recruited and not held to the same standards for preparation as their male counter parts were, these were the women that graduated and could do the bare minimum to pass the male standards to participate in the study but they were not the women that could have excelled in the study had we had higher standards from the beginning so what i would say is as we're talking about this discussion it's what do we want to do and how do we want to do it in order to make sure that the institutions are successful and that the nation's security is guaranteed? we're not going to do that if we
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keep looking backward and we continue to rely on studies that involved women always held to lower standards from the beginning. so that's where i'd want to leave that. >> thank you so much. pleasure to be here i at some point after 9/11 was deployed. i have been in every environment you can imagine throughout the sector and i served along side women in a variety of roles and personally i know the value and experience they bring to the table across many venues. comment after comment. air support and helicopters and jets. they are on convoy security which is the most dangerous in afghanistan and iraq. so my comments and my
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viewpoints, you know, are from a very different perspective and i listen to the comments coming from kate and elliott about changing a culture and particularly the marine corp. and i have read some of the wrights on the topic and i'm looking at it from we're talking about holding people to standards and the reality is that everyone has come out with standards of all the services and all the branches it was the marine corps alone, the air force, the navy t army, they punted. they didn't want to deal with the topic and the marine corps said you want to hold the women to a standard and every one of them from secretary mavis to colonel herring that followed the lawsuit, they said we want women to be given the chance to fight and die just like young men have been doing since our
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nation's history. that sounds good in theory, right? well the marine corps did a number of things. they started off with well, the bare bone is 10 pull ups and max is 20. anyone marine is worth his assault. if you're not a 300 pft marine corp. officer you're not going to promote past 03. so 3 the minimum. let's get the women up and minimum standard of the men and put it out there and gave the women a year. your minimum is going to be three pull ups and a year later if they were to hold to that standard, more than 50% of every female recruit would have been drummed out. because they couldn't meet the minimum. let's put a marine corp. company
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versus an integrated one. not 50/50 but in the right order that there's going to be 10% women so maybe one woman in a squad with 4 male marines maybe one female versus 5 marines and competed against 134 combat tasks that marines go through and what were the results? beyond the injuries that were overwhelming in every instance effectiveness of moving through the target, hitting the walls, shooting accuracy, evacuating wounded members off the battlefield, guess who performed better by a percentage overwhelming? 68% the all male company out performed and in only one category of 134 combat tasks did the integrated company perform better. i'm sorry folks but these facts are really uncomfortable things. they're very uncomfortable
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things. because i'm telling you as a guy that went through training and arguably it's the hardest military training in the world. now i have trained and worked with my counter parts from all over the world and i mean all over the world and everyone always comes up to me and makes the comment, asking me the questions about buds. you name it. and that's what holds us to the standard is that we went through the same training my forefathers did and it's all about it. the joke is i was in the last hard bud's class but it's the standard and the slippery slope demonstrated by the leadership, who did the study that came out from the marine corps. all the facts that prove that you're not going to effect what was a 30% combat inefficiency in
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an integrated unit. you're on wall street and you have a company and you're going to go, instead of hiring mbas you're not going to go to community college in florida and hire those kids and you're going to accept a 30% business deficiency. do you think that's going to be tolerated in wall street? yet we're going to tolerate that within the new military euns and the facts of what they are and that's the challenge? because every time the studies come out the leadership says that didn't matter. well, they need to change the standard. we need to look at it. the services need to say why is the standard, why is the bar so high. when the standards are going to be changed that's going to be the impact and it will cause
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major disruption to what has been the greatest fighting this country has ever produced and now somehow we need to change it? we are not even talking about a soft implementation in special operations and seal team and whatnot. i'll leave it at that. >> thanks. there's a lot of stuff that i failed to do something that we thought we would do and i want to get a feel for who is here tonight and who has even thought about this issue to begin with and who has a position on it. i would actually like a quick raise of hands and we'll come back to you guys soon but who has thought about this and has a position one way or another on this issue generally? and at the risk of being devicive here, who is very concerned about the policy
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decision? and who is celebrating the decision? and by the way, i want to say, i mentioned it before, marine corp. and navy heavy and that's by accident although it makes sense because for different reasons, the other services concerns or nonconcerns are not as relevant or strong. it was the service that had the -- i don't know what the word is, but anyway, objected to the policy decision and was essentially overruled when the decision was made to sintegrate women into combat roles. it's good that we're marine heavy up here. the bottom line is when the secretary of defense announced the decision, he said this has
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to be done in the name of combat effectiveness. you know, the point was he was making this decision in order to improve the effectiveness of the fighting force and also talk about recruiting and we can talk about that but let's talk about combat effectiveness for a minute. the study that we kind of talked about and the marines, correct me if i'm wrong, anything i say up here -- i'm a reporter, i'm used to getting beat up. if i say something screwed up, please tell me but the marines are at least credited with doing probably the most heaviest analysis on this issue prior to the decision being made. ultimately the bottom line, a lot of other issues but to the issue of marine units based on this study and now kind of just, bounce it around here a little
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bit but are units with women integrated in them as combat effective as ones that aren't? >> i think just to -- i think this is an amazing opportunity to reset standards. i don't think anyone across any of the services is saying we're going to lower standards. you have the two women that made it through ranger school. it was very, very carefully observed that they adhere to every single standard. i don't think we can make that assumption. if that happened i would be the first one standing lock arm with dan saying that's wrong and you cannot change the standard and i think that kate would probably agree. she has been a crusader on lowering the standards and everybody is talking about their credibility and at close quarters it comes to skull bashing. i spent a month going house to house and it came to close quarters in many instances and i will tell you there were
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instances when guys were shooting each other in the face with pistols but i will tell you on the whole the greatest issue that i had wasn't some instance where two people were grappling hand to hand and it was who was the strongest, it was the number one physical issue that i had in these battles was heat causalities. guys going down for heat stroke and it was always marines, the marines -- and i appreciate that you think all marines are 300 pfters. you might be hanging out with different marines but those guys aren't. they're not. they don't have to be. a first class pft, most of you guys are going to be around there and they're fit young men but there's a spectrum so many in many ways this is a great opportunity to reset standards and you either make the standard or you don't and it doesn't matter if you're a man or a
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woman and you deal with cultural issues. i was never particularly hot and bothered about this until and if you'll indulge me i would like to share a brief anecdote. i was at a book party for a state department officer that served in afghanistan. i bumped into an old marine colleague of mine and he was the director of the infantry officer course and it was a place they said this is going to be our k incubator and i said how is it going? and to be the director of the infantry officer course is a big deal. it's prestigious and this is, it is actually, it's a big organization and a small club. there's a few thousand marine infantry officers. he said it's going all right. none of the wm's made it through. i said oh yeah?
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no one is coming close and he's like, no, no. sort of surprises me no one is making it through. and he said well it's all different than when we went through? like well how is it different? >> i went through in early 2004 the iraq war was flairing up and it had gone from being a course that was like a hazing course to this sense that these young lieutenants are going to war and we have to make sure that it's ready. so it's much more of a technical course. he said first of all we used to hike and everything was graded as a group event so the platoon passed or the platoon failed. so your weak guy you would carried his stuff for him. now everything is individual effort. that's interesting. i actually thought that was probably a good thing. because we had guys that made it through that thing and never should have made it through. so i was like well still none of the women have made it through? he was like none of them made it
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through. you can't tell me a woman is going to be able to get from an 81 millimeter. it's never going to happen. yeah. i guess. it's tough. those are pretty heavy. they weigh about 40 or 50 pounds but i was like but what happens when it happens? what happens when like some woman who was like ranked in the cross fit games who is a lot fitter than the private i was wrapping a tape measure around his belly button. what happens when she shows up and wants to make it and she does. he said it's just never going to happen. i'm a marine but i'm a human being first and that's wrong. to me that is wrong. that is unfair and it's wrong. if the standard gets slipped because not on a wartime footing and that's the incubator it's dishonest and we come to this idea of sbi dprating women marines, i imagine everyone here is a civilian. well, integrated squad.
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what does that hook like? a squad needs a squad leader. it's going to be a sergeant with probably six years in the infantry. so your going to put women into many of these leadership positions unless they're coming in as a private but they're not trained. they don't have experience to do. so of course when you sprinkle women into these squads and they are not trained infantry men they probably won't perform at the same level as a group of trained infantry men. so you look at this and i find it ironic. i'm not some big champion of women's rights. this doesn't feel right to me. it feels dishonest and i feel like at the end of the day if you haven't gone through a very transparent and honest process it's going to come out in the wash and that's always been my concern. i'll leave it at that. i'm sure everyone will have plenty to say to rebutt that. >> you just want to talk about
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and explain to folks, especially that may not be focused on this what combat effectiveness is and one of the stand out issues of the marine corps study was, the women taking a body off the battlefield if need be which is what happens in war sometimes but there were other signs and women would not be as effective in these units. i want to then come back to you and ask a little bit about i think some people think the study was flawed but do you want to talk a little bit about what that means and why that's a big deal? >> first of all, the females were topper forming females.
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they had made the men's minimum pft standards. the physical fitness test. they had come meeted the enlisted infantry training and they weren't fresh recruits. they were lance corporals among them. corp. rals typically is your two years in and they were competing against average men. they weren't competing against the topper formers and yet and still on 134 combat tasks their performance was significantly lower. significantly weaker. they fatigued faster but these are, it's not a smoke screen. this is, you know, women have a lore he lung capacity. we have less bone density. if it was just a matter of more training or different training then professional sports and the olympics would have been integrated long ago. it's not just about training and holding them to different standards. holding women to men's
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standards, they're not men. they have a different physiology. less dense bones. adding the excess training actually diminishes their estrogen which reduces their bone density and that's what causes greater injuries and greater rates of injury. so it's not, you can't just say well if we reevaluate the standards and by the way if women could make men's standards so easily they wouldn't need to be reevaluated. dempsey famously said that. we need to reevaluate these standards and elliott has just echoed that but even if there are some women that can make it and by the way, a cross fitter female competing at her upmost is no competition for a male crossfitter competing at his upmost. working out to his upmost. that's what we're talking about here. >> but isn't it true though that a female crossfitter who is
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really hot, like very fit could potentially compete against maybe not the top male cross fitter but that's the issue because you got these -- >> that's what i was about to say. even if you have a couple of women that can make the standards, a couple of females graduated from rangers. even if you have some women that could do that. first of all they're rare. you don't make sweeping policy that effects the entire military based on a couple of exceptional women. second that says nothing, it does nothing to solve the problems of sexual relationships that are always a problem. >> this is a cultural issue. >> but i'd like to -- >> sex is not a cultural issue. you put men and women together and they're going to have sex. >> it's a leadership issue. >> no it's not. it's a human nature issue and they haven't been able to solve it for decades up until this
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point. >> if the reason that we're keeping them out is because the number will be so small and i agree it's going to be a small number but the topper forming crossfit woman is going to be in better shape than that fatty that i was dealing with and i'd rather have her in my platoon than that guy and there's plenty of those guys to go around. so if the issue is there's too few women then it is a cultural issue. >> then you phase that guy out. you get those wash outs out and we do need better ways to get the wash outs out. one of the things that the marine corps study found was we see areas where we need to tighten up the standards for men as well. there's a lot to be gleaned from this and to say that because some men wash out or some men are unfit that means that women are automatically interchangeable with them is false. >> but they didn't say we don't think we should sbi grate women
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because our culture does not accept women. they said because of all of these physical issues. to me that is intellectually disingenuous. >> i would like to talk about why it's rare for women at this point to be able to meet those standards. let's go back to training. it's rare for women to be able to meet the standards because for decades we have allowed women to under perform at recruit training and we have created an environment, specifically in the marine corps where we have seg gregated training. women are held to lower standards while they're in the program. they're not required to pt to the same standards and not required to push themselves and held to lower standards there and that set the standards for how males perceive them. so their male counterparts automatically think training is going to be easier for them. then they get to paris island
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and they step on the yellow footprint which is is the first duty of every recruit is to be welcomed by a drill instructor and the females are pushed to the back of the formation and they standard to the back of the formation until the ceremony is complete and then they're whisked off to 4th battalion that is separate from the males in geography and time and space. i'm talking in averages here. i'm not talking about those success stories that i mentioned when i first started speaking. the perception from the beginning is that training for women is easier and oh by the way it has been easier and have decades of data to substantiate that. every marine is a rifle man. there's no reason women shouldn't be able to shoot and i know i was a terrible shot up
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until last year but the bottom line is for decades women achieved an initial qualification rate at the rifle range of between 62 and 78%. every marine is a rifle man except for every female cohort a third of each class was being dropped back in training or being discharged because they couldn't qualify on the range. was that because of physiology? no. was it because mentally they cracked under pressure? absolutely not. it was because there was language expectancy and a perception by the coach's on the range and by the drill instructors that women just couldn't shoot. so last year women shot a 92, just under 92% and do you know how that happened? we didn't get bigger recruits? we didn't give them an extra week to prepare? we didn't give them rifles when they were in the delayed entry
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program we held them to a higher standard. we didn't add anything to the training schedule other than supervision by the drill instructors and changing the expectation that just because they were women they couldn't shoot. and they rose to the occasion and that wasn't the only area where we saw women rise to the occasion in one year. we saw them rise to the occasion in terms of physical fitness. we saw women rise to the occasion in terms of fulfilling leadership responsibilities within their platoons. because the drill instructors expected it and demanded it but i'm telling you up until that point women were expected to do less and that's because we had this system of training that whisks the women away after they have not been held accountable to reaching high standards and then it's a mystery. how do we make the marines? i don't know they're on their own compound doing their own thing and it's easier.
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>> so your comment, if you're going to do a psychological survey and there's an infantry soldier, marine and you looked at their attitudes ward women, they don't respect women from day one and they did a psychological program and wanted to weed out every young marine that has a negative idea about the capability of their female officers, you not only have a smaller output of female marines but mar reens. >> but by your logic we should apply the same test toward african americans and say we shouldn't because most are white and male and from the south and in 1950 and don't like african americans. it's the logic that doesn't work. but you just made that argument. it's the logic that doesn't work. but the logic doesn't work. logic is saying that because the men don't like women, the women shouldn't be allowed in, it
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doesn't work. >> the men have a general bias that none of them pass. but look at the straight empirical data. professional athletes, cross fit. so women performing and start training in their teens or preteens they're going on to being professional athletes. they're still not getting the numbers to get them through the training. ranger school. i was on deployment in the middle east. you're going to range for 1 january. and said you got -- you can't recycle. it's an army course. don't embarrass us. you have a platoon lined up. we'll see you here in 72 days. the women that did go through the marine corps, the ranger
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selection process, they identified 140 women, got it down to 22 that made it through the training and the women that did graduate they were given like a week to prepare and train for the training course and produce, you're going to change policy based on three women graduating in a course. >> right. >> yes, people should have opportunities. >> but you're saying that we need it back because the women aren't showing up ready to be integrated with the marine infantry standards so we have to go back. >> that's exactly what the course study did and they showed much weaker performance and the double the injuries. >> everybody one at a time. great conversation but one at a time. >> the marine corps study showed and kate wants to say this is in the past. yeah the results were released
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this past fall, this is like yesterday. this is not like some age old thing. this, the marine corps study was like can you do it or can you not do it. these are typical combat tasks can you do it or can you not do it and the answer was clear and not only that the women were distracting to the men and vice versa. there's no mitigating for that. it doesn't matter if you can make standards. people are still going to -- here's a study of a battalion in 2010 that was deployed to iraq, they found that women were sent home for noncombat reasons, 3 to 4 times the rate of men and 74% of the time it was due to pregnancy. that's catastrophic. on average, 12% of women in the military are pregnant at any given time. these are -- let's not pile
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on -- regardless of standards there's this whole other set of issues that you're adding on more problems to the combat units that don't exist by themselves. >> i'm going to get you guys here but aren't some -- i have a marine friend that said he had women come into his unit and they were in afghanistan and the unit was not trained and not prepared for these women. what's the name of the marine -- i always forget. female engagement teams coming to -- they help -- >> so they serve similar to the role i think that jude -- >> right. so they came in the unit and there was this guy explaining that there were a lot of problems with sex and with other things. but what he came to realize was that these were discipline and leadership issues not oh my god women are in and suddenly you
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have this. >> right. that's a cop out. this is a human nature issue. men and women all ages, all ranks and part of the problem is we have it where this is really just now being addressed in the past several years that leadership has been just as guilty. it's not just the people in the enli enlisted side but leadership is guilty of doing this and not subject to inappropriate relationships and sexual assault. misconduct. but this is a human nature issue and you're talking about putting women in the units with the most alpha of alpha males because that hyper masculinity is what we need to kill those we're fighting which is isis which is on meth. this is no joke here.
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we're piling on stuff that's known issues that we haven't been able to solve in the military in general. we tolerate this stuff and it's expensive and destructive and it's bad enough that we tolerate it as a whole, but to put these added burdens and distractions and destructive and expensive problems on the combat units is just idiotic. >> and how would you -- can you try to project and how would you address these issues if you were co of an integrated unit. >> i think to peel back this logic, right and i think for me it's logical. you have tlook at this logically. if you wanted to create the most effective, lethal, deadly fighting force in the world you would probably go to, you know,
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some town in appalachia and find the 30 toughest guys who would all look the exact same and you'd send them overseas to fight and they would be the best definitely. but guess what, our military also represents who we are as a nation. like fundamentally. it does in many aspects. it does in many respects and i think the idea of just saying this is the standard period and if you can make the standard you are allowed in here. so these ideas like listen, the logic that we cannot integrate women into these units because you have senior officers behaving inappropriately, sexually assaulting women. i don't know what to say to that. that's not logical. that doesn't make any sense. by that standard too and saying women get pregnant. >> it's everybody in all ranks. >> women get pregnant so yeah women get pregnant so at elite law firms we should have no
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women because they have to take maternity leave and that hurts the company. >> that would be catastrophic. >> to be pregnant is catastrophic. >> i'd like to jump in. >> you're on a mission and then somebody is pulled out. it's catastrophic enough when somebody is pulled out. >> catastrophic is a little -- >> somebody being pulled out for a noncombat related thing and what about if a woman gets assaulted and then it's $30,000 to then reassign her somewhere else. you have to pull out the guy to do the legal fight. >> so if i could, what we're saying is we have such a low threshold for how human beings treat each other and that's okay. and that's okay and we're going to leave it at that and yet by the same token we're saying the military has a higher standard for conduct and ethics. it makes no sense. the bottom line is that the issue of how men and women
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behave when they're in integrated units has been tested for decades in many different capacities and it's been successful. have there been problems? absolutely. but within the units there were discipline problems that already existed. so let's talk about what the concerns are in the sbi grags process from the male perspective. number one concern, intimate relationships in the unit. that's the number one concern that men have. the number one concern that women have is targeting women as pows? which is trainable. you're saying we shouldn't be training -- you're saying we shouldn't be training men and women to a higher expectation of conduct to make them understand that they're there to fight for their country but not sleep with each other but we will train women on how to protect them from becoming pows. we're going to have a military and say they're held to a higher moral and ethical standard it needs to start with how we maintain good order and
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discipline with this very issue. i can see somebody having a heart attack in the audience. >> okay. who's got the best question? who wants to ask questions? >> you and then elaine and then if you want to ask a question we'd love to hear what you have to say. >> my question is with regards to the arguments about the dangers of women outside of physiological inadequacies, with the research changes to our nation's ideals in regards to gender identity and traditional gender roles and even the family structure how would that be any different that the military is going to have to address the challenges of having integration
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of women into the military itself? what if is the military going to do if there's a gentleman that wants to join into a combat unit with a different gender role or gender identity and how are they going to address that? >> that's a great question. >> it poses the same problems. the lgbt thing is now rendered -- has now taken away the neutrality that once existed with the sexes being separated. with the guys amongst themselves or when you had don't ask don't tell and i guess, i mean, you may be better able to answer this, but, you know, now you have imposed -- you have taken away the neutrality that was
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once there because now and actually same sex assault is now on the rise in the military. so now you have -- people can serve openly and identify as whatever they want -- >> i'm trying to get away from the marine corps topic but to elliott's point the guys he's describing, that's what it is. special forces guys in particular. they're all southern boys and the best guy in your platoon is the point guy sniper. >> that's not true. >> i'm talking about another unit. >> they're actually a pretty good crowd. >> all of that is white noise. all of this other stuff is white noise. when you're in a skill platoon. i was a platoon commander in the 1990s. do you know what we had to worry about? besides getting ready to go to war. whiskey and women. anything after midnight. those are the things. so when you go on deployment and
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i was deployed my entire career, nowhere but the middle east. they don't have alcohol. so when you go overseas and you have a six months you have nothing but focuses on the mission which is killing the enemy. that's what we do. that's our only focus and all of this other stuff is white noise and a distraction and complications and guys go i'm here to focus on the mission set which is keep this country safe. we are the tip of the spear. and the don't ask don't tell and whatever that stuff is, guys are like don't bring your personal stuff to the team room. if you have stuff on the weekends going on we'll take care of you but focus on why you're in the team room. >> i agree and guys are, in my bio, we had women in our unit because it was important to have them. i worked directly with a female operations officer.
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her name is jessica. all the guys called her slay jay. great shot and we were all professional enough that when you go on a deployment and there's a woman sitting next to you, you can keep your pants on. >> there are women within special operations communities and you and i probably can share some war stories together but not here. but a agree with you 100%. you keep things professional there aren't those issues. it is about leadership and there are value, absolute value having a woman in certain environments even in the middle east in particular for certain skill sets and especially other parts of the world but now we're announcing to the world that now we have women going through courses and we're taking away how we operate overseas by exposing this stuff and what we're all arguing here is lower standards. that's what the leadership wants. >> but hang on --
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>> all the studies have come out and said if the women can't make the standards you need to justify why. >> that's absolutely false. >> it's absolutely true. reevaluating the standard. we need to reevaluate the standards and the standards have been lowered over decades and what they do is they take out certain tests where women don't excel so that it masks or the two men letter carry used to be two man and now it's four man because they found when women were integrated into the academies and stuff and they would test the men but they found that two women couldn't carry it up the ship ladder. but two men could but in order to accommodate and get the gender diversiity metrics. what they care about is gender diversity metrics.
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it's quotas. >> it's ironic that we're talking about lowering standards when the standards are already low. so the point being is that everyone sitting here believes that we should have a high standard. it's rare for people on that side of the table to acknowledge that we have held women to a lower standard. >> i totally disagree with your assessment. >> the range does not have separate standards. the target is the same whether you're a woman or a man period. >> boot camp has all the same requirements for women that it does for men. except pft pull ups and some of the academics or stuff like that. everything else is the same. that's required and -- >> and yet women have underperformed. >> let's take professional sports. women have trained tear whole life, college basketball, pick a sport, wnba versus the nba.
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those women are physical freaks of nature just like their male counter parts. they are paid professional athletes because they trained their whole life to be able to do things the average person can't do but at the end of the day if you took the top number one nba -- wnba team that won last year's championship and you pit it against the nba team that was the last place team or maybe a division 3 program, who is going to win that game? we're trying to say we don't hold the same standard in professional sports but we want to hold it to the same standard or make things different because women aren't getting held to a higher standard? >> the point is on the women -- >> women are held to a separate standard because it's a recognition of physiological differences and their injuries are so much greater even on those lowered standards. >> because they're not held to a higher standard for physical performance. i read the same story.
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>> that's ridiculous. >> please. i feel like his voice is going to be loud enough. but we're not arguing here. we're just having a discussion. >> you indicated that so when we recruit female marines, do they come from some island like amazon island or are they from the standard population. >> i think you know the answer. >> you're right i do know the answer. okay. now you indicated that it's just a matter of people being dishonest. if anything i think you're being dishonest. these individuals that are making these efforts to test the marines are not dishonest men. your fellow officers, okay? your fellow officers. i'm a former marine corps officer myself and they're not dishonest and i don't think they're being dishonest. half of this room i think is women and i think the other half is men. i want you all to take a look at who you're sitting next to.
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i want to put all the men on this side and all the women on that side and if i drop the gauntlet and said fight to the death who is walking out of this room? >> what's your real question. i need a question. i need a question. >> you know that as a recruiter and as an officer you know that these standards you said you were not a good shot until last year? what stopped you from being a good shot. >> i was convinced i wasn't a good shot and when i told myself i was going to hold my kruts to a higher standard i said it had to start with me so i forced myself to go for a month before i went to qualify so i could become more confident with my weapon. i shot expert. it can be done. >> 20 years of service and it took you that long at the basic school and you know, we went
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through basics school together we all qualified right then and there and there was nobody telling you that you couldn't shoot. >> clearly you're not familiar with language expectancy -- well, you can role your eyes sir but the point is that if women are told through language well women can't shoot, well -- >> i was never told that through my entire four years. >> you might not have been told that but if you look at the decades of shooting results it's very clear that that was the case and when we changed that dynamic we saw the results. period. >> thank you. >> can i just make one point. just because someone wears the marine corps uniform does not mean they cannot be intellectually dishonest. i'm sorry. i'm saying this study was intellectually dishonest. >> i would like to get -- joe, quick one.
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>> okay. with the microphone, please. >> the wars we fight today, you know, they're pretty much the last 15 years so how do you expect that when you only have access to half of the population with with all male units. >> it's a false premise. first of all if we are to represent the society as a whole that we need to accept the disabled, the blind, the old, all of these things. if we're really representing society, okay? discrimination, one of the definitions of discrimination is to decipher and be able to tell between something that has good value and something that has negative value, okay? the marine corps must discriminate based on ability
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and it's a much smaller pool. it's not a 50% pool. >> you never deployed, sir. you never deployed. units deploying overseas. when a seal team is deployed it's not all men. and you'd be amazed at how many women deploy. >> you don't need to dumb down for this audience. because we have quite a few veterans in here and joe is one of them. >> maybe you have been in iraq or afghanistan where i was the last decade on how much of a role being played by women -- i'll give you an example. >> that's a point. there's a role being played by women. >> i landed at a combat outpost which is a small footprint of a company of soldiers i was all over afghanistan for years. i landed on and saw a woman walking across and i said is she stuck there? who is that girl and they said that's suzy. she's one of the officers and my
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first question wasn't who is she having sex with? who is she messing with? my question was is she good at her job and the guys i was talking to -- >> it was who is that girl? >> his question was is she good at her job. >> he's talking about the recruitment pool. >> at her job -- >> if you did could you? no. >> women are already being utilized in those capacities. >> don't need to repeal the combat exemption to utilize women the way they're already being utilized for just that kind of work. >> we're not making any argument that women don't belong in the csts? >> we're already doing that. special operations is already doing that. >> they have access to them. they're already being utilized.
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>> too many voices. >> i'm going to go over here. >> this is fascinating. all around i think the points are being expressed very well. one of the central points that came out is whether or not this is going to result in a higher or lower standard. and i heard that's true and that's false. t is that because of a physical reason or because of a cultural reason so my question is we're not the first society or nation to be confronting this question. admittedly the united states has its own cultural history that may be playing a role here but if we extract the cultural element, the societyelement from it, what does the panel think about other countries, israel, denmark, that have integrated women in combat roles and what can we learn from that. >> israel does not put women in direct ground combat roles. they haven't done it. they tried it in 1948 and it was
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an unmitigated disaster so they never did it again because the injuries were too high to the women. they found the arab enemy became much more ferocious knowing it was fighting an enemy. there's a myth out there that radical islamists loath to fight women because they won't get their 72 virgins. well if i was interested in 72 virgins i'm sure that i would fight more fiercely so that i wouldn't lose to the women and that's exactly what happened but actually not for that reason. it's because they fought much more fiercely knowing that there are women on the opposing side because it's so humiliating to lose to women in battle. any of the other nations, look, canada, lowered their standards. they have a tiny amount of women who have gone with the infantry and they sheltered them. the women complain about that. they keep them on the base. they don't utilize them. any other nations they have like, the women, france, the
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women have like zero next to zero interest in being there. and no other nation, look, we have no military need to repeat women's combat exemption we're already utilizing females. we can utilize the amazon females that we have. we want lots of really strong females in our military. they are serving with honor and distinction. we don't have to repeal or we didn't have to repeal the combat exemption to utilize those females. they're already there. they're already doing it. they're already recognized for their actions. other countries have no co comparability to us. they're huge. women serve in a couple of light batallions and only do guard duty on boarders that are their
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allies and everybody has to enlist but women have many exemptions. they serve less than two years. men have to serve a mandatory 3. they're serving but they're not serving in combat. >> you guys have a sense of -- >> so i just had a really interesting conversation with a general from norway that told me that they don't have this issue. in norway. they don't have a stigma about women serving with men. they don't have issues with women being in particular roles and it all goes back to society. so this is a cultural issue just like elliott said from the beginning and until we look at this in the military as a military culture issue and we seek solutions on how we're going to change the culture and expand the culture to make it more conducive to everyone's success we will continue to have this debate for decades. >> so quick question -- >> i was stationed and in bed with the norwegians and they had
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national caveats that did not allow their forces to go on combat operations and i was there when the bible burning issue topped up. and the sole purpose and mission in afghanistan was to rebuild schools and build churches to help the locals. they couldn't go on combat operations and what do the locals do? jump in a back of a pick up truck and said let's go attack the norwegians. they freaked out and at one point the commander, his j-2 and his j-3 were both on leave at the same time because of their generous leave policy of like three weeks every two months at war. so the guy turned to me because we were on the advising team and he said we need help. can you give us any advice and what the norwegians planned to do was take a statement all of
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these apologetic statements from secretary of state and potus and president of norway and islamist religion of peace and they were going to translate that on the radios to the locals. some of which were statements coming from secretary of state hillary clinton. to get lectured to by a woman is probably not a good idea. so a bunch of vehicles were burned and it turned out all the vehicles that were destroyed were the cars from interpreters and workers on the base. when we asked what was in your car? my computer, my mac book computer. but they all said my koran was burned. so we ended up counter messaging and saying you burn korans protesting the burning of
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korans. so i have been next to this norwegians and they don't have an inkling of our threat overseas. and -- >> hang on. what i want to ask you is this question which is a legitimate question raised by marine leaders in particular is, is there a risk, i'll ask you guys, is there a risk for the hard charging women that are more likely to meet these standards and break them because of their physiological -- >> easy to answer. >> i think that the school it's so unfair of these women that they would volunteer to go into the service and find out that the service breaks down their bodies. like that's this horrible. oh my god. we didn't realize being in the marines is hard on your body.
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your a marine. your a seal. your getting shot at and handing your body to the government as a man. all of us that serve, i'm sure dan has a broken body. i have a little bit of a broken body too. i think that's an odd argument. it's unfair to women because it's hard on their bodies. it's hard on male bodies. you're getting shot at. that's the nature of the beast. i don't know what to do with that argument because it's like saying that it's unfair to a race car driver because they might crash their car. you're signing up to be a race car driver. >> we have been talking about this combat sbi grags study that the marine corps spent a lot of money on and it was a very thorough study but when it was presented to congress and the public there were elements picked out of the study to support the idea that women shouldn't go into combat so when you read the 900 pages of this
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study as i have and jude probably has what you find is that that difference, the delta in breakage between men and women overtime when physical fitness no longer becomes a deficit, the breakage rate declines and is negated so we're back to, what do we need to to to make this a success? and what we need to do is make sure that we're treating men and women to the same requirements and the same standards when it comes to physically preparing to come into the service. >> please, ma'am, there and i'll get to you. >> hi. my question is to everyone and i just wanted to step aside from the studies and look to your own personal views on this is that regardless of where you're coming from, sbi graintegration happening. so what are your thoughts on how we should move forward into actually train something because there's something to the idea that there is a physical training standard to it but also
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what was a morale ethical standard to it. we talk about holding them to these high physical standards but low moral standards where people still say things like sexual misconduct is an occupational hazard and stuff like that i think is trainable. like there's things that i don't believe are just human nature because that's where it's going to happen and this is aside from seeing people as like not in the context of professional sports where you're getting paid a lot more than you would get paid in the military and you're actually fighting for your country but in the context of asymetrical warfare where we have seen gains where isis is actually afraid of couraged women fighters because they're too embarrassed to be killed by them. >> not true. >> ultimately this is not about what anybody thinks up here but it's about how to make this policy which has already been made a success.
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squud so you can jump in. it is what it is. well the policy has been made. >> and it can be repealed administratively just like it was enforced. >> let's assume that the policy is going to continue in the same way. do you -- if you don't have a view that's fine but if you have a view what would it be? >> i don't think there's a successful way to impliment a flawed policy. what kate is saying about the injuries is false. when women are just as fit as men they get fewer gains from extra training and the injury rates they don't diminish with fitness. women decline at a much faster rate and where the physical demand in these combat units is so much greater, okay, military
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women already very fit and already being held to greater standards than average women, you know, they're already averaging 2 to 10 times men's injuries. that's not a culture issue. that's a physiological issue. that's an issue of differences in anatomy and that's why separate standards exist for men and women. so there's no -- there's really -- i mean, you can make women try to achieve men's standards but in terms of training there's no long-term study on the impact, the added impact and the added injuries of holding them to the much higher standard and a lot of women are going to not even make it through an enlistment level in a 20 year career. there's no equal opportunity. >> so i'd like to focus on the one thing, the lynch pen to making this a success. specifically the marine corps.
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changing the culture has to start at the most basic foundational level which is recruit training. it's where the most individuals in the marine corps come in for their training because there's fewer officers than enlisted marines. so the bottom line is that right now women are treated as the other. men are treated as warriors. training is completely separate. women are segregated to 4th batalion and held to other standards. the only way to change that perception is by not making them the other. if they're able to compete without recruit training and 13 weeks and able to be standing on that pt field every day for pt and doing the same pt and the men are able to see the women pushing themselves to the point of failure the men will start to believe that women are no longer the other and i'm using physical fitness because it's the most physical demonstration of what
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makes a marine a marine. >> did you make the argument when you were in charge of training that the women recruit should be held to the same pt standards and scores? do you want them to compete in the infantry then you're helding that the women should be held to the 300 pft benchmark. >> clearly you haven't read anything about my relief. i told my recruits unless they were willing to push themselves to become strong enough to compete with their male counter parts they were always going to be the other. so you have proven my point. >> i will try to answer the question. and i am going to risk giving my friend dan a brain aneurysm when i do it and i mean that with love. by think a way to do it which might be smart is that you don't s integrate the infantry first.
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the first play you integrate is soft and my thinking behind that is -- special operations forces, because there's fewer women that can meet these standards. the standard has to be the standard for this to be successful. the second it goes down there's going to be plenty of argument with merit that this is a flawed, flawed plan. the standard is the standard there's going to be not a lot of women. there will be a few that can do it. like three that passed few rangers school and you take them and put them into sof units and allow them to start to succeed in that community. the culture in that community is different than in the infantry. infantry is very 1920, macho, masculine put your head through the wall. sof is out of the box thinking and puts a premium on maturity of the operators there and you'll have a much easier time culturally integrating women. in the infantry when i served as an infantry officer i didn't see
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a woman for the three years i was in there. our administrative roles were filled only by men. your administration officer had to be a man even though those were roles filled by women. my thought being then if you i show women successfully working in those units and if you can point to them, if there's one thing that is tougher than he is is someone operating in sof and it will hot wire the argument that women aren't tough enough. >> a marine just admitted that -- >> i can say that. >> respond to that. >> s let's take the rangers full anlage. i went through the training back in the day. from the middle east 90 degrees to 14 degrees in minnesota. but the fact of the reality is a
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ranger qualified officer doesn't make you a ranger. doesn't make you a ranger. >> no junior officer who takes 124 days to finish a 60 day course recycles phase one three times which didn't happen when i was in, you got two chances, they're never going to be given a shot to go to ranger battalion. they put 22 in the course and had two graduates. how many women graduated ranger school? >> send them in. if no one passes you never sbi grate but set the standard and let them show up. >> you do have an issue of the numbers of people that are willing to volunteer for any of this. >> the numbers are decreasing. >> i also just wanted to mention an answer to the young lady's question that there's already lots and lots of marines and military already go through lots and lots of sexual harassment training and briefings.
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>> let me get elaine because she is suffering thinking i'm not going to call on her. >> i just want to comment first on some of the things already said. >> but then get to a question please. no speeches. >> you started out kind of downgrading the marine study because it had to do with women's bone structure and then you got into the discussion and you said that the women were not as prepared going into the ground combat task forces and that really isn't true. because the hypothesis of that study was very simple. that women with gender neutral standards going in which they did, they had extra training going in. they went to the formal learning centers going in and they went up against average men.
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the hypothesis was that the gender mixed units would perform equally as well as the men. all the evidence went to the contrary. so what is your reaction you two are proving dan's point because when the empirical evidence comes in and you don't like it you immediately question the study. >> so what is your question because i'm going to disagree with you because we interpret the study different. the average man could do 12 to 15 pull ups. the women that graduated and went from the infantry training course directly to this experiment were averaging 3 to 5. so right there there's a difference. >> so just ask a question and we'll get responses. >> i stand on what i said, all right. now you two are proving the point that dan made. you don't like -- the bone structure study the marines had to do it that way they had no choice. >> why did they have no choice. >> but the only flaw with these two exercises was they didn't come out with the conclusion
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that you wanted. so my question to you is, i know because i studied in research that there's not a single study that proves what you are trying to imply that with a little bit of preparation women can do just as well as men. there are none. >> oh my goodness. that's not true. >> no speeches. no speeches. make a very quick one. >> then when we started talking about all the other complications kbrooyou proved t also. you have to look at the big picture so what good is it, how does it benefit the marine corps or the military to introduce physical issues and the sexual issues all of these cultural issues that are problematic? >> that's a good question. that's a good question. what are we really trying to achieve here and how will the military be better say in ten year ifs this goes through with women? >> can i make a point and then
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i'll be brief and -- >> i just think we have fundamentally different values at a baseline level. i believe just because -- i don't think that like suddenly you're going to have like 50/50 half the infantry and battalion is going to be women. there's huge physical differences but just because some women can't meet these standards doesn't mean none should be able to try and i'm sure you're very accomplished but there are fewer women serving as ceos? does that mean we shouldn't be able to do it. it reflects our values as a society. that's the answer.
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