Mr. George I read your letter in the local News Paper a few days ago while at the DQ in Madison and want to thank you for your kindness on woman in combat. You may not remember me, but I purchased one of your AR’s in 6.8 caliber a few years ago. I saw the firearm in Ft. Walton Beach where I was training but you sold it while I was checking out other Dealers. I had to wait two weeks and meet you in Pensacola in order to purchase the firearm. Since I last saw you, I have served in Iraq, and Afghanistan. I first deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. I am 5’4” and weigh 110 pounds, as you said (with all my gear on) Mr. George I scored nearly perfect on PFT tests. I for whatever reasons have more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups; I can actually meet the male standard. However I still think it would be a disaster to allow women in combat roles. I’m not interested in risking my men’s lives.
Mr. George, This isn’t an issue of “if a woman can meet the male standard, she should be able to go into combat.” The number of women that can meet the male standard will be miniscule; can you imagine me dragging a 190-pound man in full gear for 100 yards? That would DESTROY me including most women I have met in the Marine Corps. That would ruin the combat unit. Lets be honest, the close quarters of combat units make for a complete lack of privacy and EVERYTHING is exposed, including intimate bodily functions. 2nd. Until we succeed in completely reprogramming every unit in the military to treat women just like men, those men will protect a woman at any expense of any mission. 3rd. Women have limitations that no training can ever overcome. 4th. Until our country is ready to treat a captured, raped, tortured, mutilated, female soldier just like a man, the enemy without fail, and without mercy will target women.
I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq and Afghanistan. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and including while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a Humvee wearing full body armor. And, she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her unit twenty inches or less away.
Everyone wants to point to the IDF as a model for gender integration in the military. “The IDF are parts of the Military in Israel” They ran into the same problems the US will. Those integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units. Like most men, on the planet, they try to protect the women, at the expense of the mission. Do we women really WANT to deprogram that instinct from our men?
When you’re going over a wall in Baghdad that’s ten feet high, you have to be able to reach the top in full gear and haul yourself over. That’s not just strength per se, that’s muscular explosive power to jump and reach the top. Having to get a boost from one of the men so you can get over the top could get that man killed.
Lastly, this country and our military are NOT prepared to see what the enemy will do to female POWs. The Taliban, AQ, insurgents, Jihadis, don’t abide by the Geneva Conventions. They treat women worse than livestock. Google Thomas Tucker, and Kristian Menchaca, if you want to see what they do to our men.
Now imagine a woman in their hands. How would our 24/7 news cycle going to cover a captured, raped, mutilated woman? How are the military men going to treat their female comrades? The men in the military will move heaven and earth to protect women, never mind what it does to the mission. I present you with Exhibit A: Jessica Lynch. Male lives will be lost trying to protect their female comrades.
I would have loved to be in the infantry, I think. I could have met most of the male standards. I think I’m mentally tough enough to handle whatever came. But I would never do that to our men. I would never sacrifice the mission for my own desires. And I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if any of my men died because of me.
I do remember this lady well, I had no idea she was a Marine. The first time I met her she came to the Gun Show in civvies with 5 men tagging along after her. The wife and I thought that was cute. She sent me an e-mail a day later wanting to purchase a firearm “just like the one I sold out from under her” that’s when I found out she was a 1st. Lt. Marine, helicopter pilot training, in Ft. Walton Beach, and the five guys tagging behind her were her crew. I was asked not to reveal her name; as this may cause unnecessary problems for her, therefore it will be sent via anonymous.
~ George Pouliotte