Thursday, September 10, 2015

Women can't get a break… But what would happen if they set the rules?

Marine experiment finds women get injured more frequently, shoot less accurately than men

By Dan Lamothe September 10, WashPost

Women in a new Marine Corps unit created to assess how female service members perform in combat were injured twice as often as men, less accurate with infantry weapons and not as good at removing wounded troops from the battlefield, according to the results of a long-awaited study produced by the service.

The research was carried out by the service in a nine-month long experiment at both Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Twentynine Palms, Calif. About 400 Marines, including 100 women, volunteered to join the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, the unit the Marine Corps created to compare how men and women do in a combat environment.

“This is unprecedented research across the services,” said Marine Col. Anne Weinberg, the deputy director of the Marine Corps Force Innovation Office. “What we tried to get to is what is that individual’s contribution to the collective unit. We all fight as units… We’re more interested in how the Marine Corps fights as units and how that combat effectiveness is either advanced or degraded.”

The study, an executive summary of which was released Thursday, was carried out as all the services prepare to submit recommendations to Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter this fall on whether any jobs should be kept closed to women. In a landmark decision in January 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta rescinded a decades-old ban on women serving in combat jobs like infantry, but gave the services until this fall to research how they wanted to better integrate women and if any jobs should be kept closed.

(More here.)

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