Female Marine officer Says NO to women in infantry
US Marine Capt Katie Petronio took a courageous stand this month in the Marine Corps Times and said that females should not be in the infantry. The Captain should know, she spend five years in company level operations including a combat tour in Afghanistan and another in Iraq.
The Captain, while leading a platoon of 30 combat engineers in high stress combat operations building patrol Bases (PBs) became physically exhausted. The fact that before her deployment she had been a star ice hockey player in college and could squt over 200-pounds:
“By the fifth month into the deployment, I had muscle atrophy in my thighs that was causing me to constantly trip and my legs to buckle with the slightest grade change. My agility during firefights and mobility on and off vehicles and perimeter walls was seriously hindering my response time and overall capability. It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. “
Which finally led to her opinion that:
“….I have full faith that female Marines can successfully serve in just about every MOS aside from the infantry. Even if a female can meet the short-term physical, mental, and moral leadership requirements of an infantry officer, by the time that she is eligible to serve in a strategic leadership position, at the 20-year mark or beyond, there is a miniscule probability that she’ll be physically capable of serving at all. Again, it becomes a question of longevity.”
Her article is entitled Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal, and is a great read here.