You’ve probably heard that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey signed an order rescinding the ban on women serving in combat units. In today’s WSJ, Ryan Smith, former Marine infantry squad leader, describes the reality that awaits women in combat. Fair warning: His account is gruesome at times, but his argument is probably one that very few have considered.
I served in the 2003 invasion of Iraq as a Marine infantry squad leader. We rode into war crammed in the back of amphibious assault vehicles. They are designed to hold roughly 15 Marines snugly; due to maintenance issues, by the end of the invasion we had as many as 25 men stuffed into the back. Marines were forced to sit, in full gear, on each other’s laps and in contorted positions for hours on end. That was the least of our problems.
The invasion was a blitzkrieg. The goal was to move as fast to Baghdad as possible. The column would not stop for a lance corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, or even a company commander to go to the restroom. Sometimes we spent over 48 hours on the move without exiting the vehicles. We were forced to urinate in empty water bottles inches from our comrades.
Read the whole thing.
HT: Denny Burk