Marine general predicts lower standards for women in combat

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FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2012 file photo, female soldiers training on a firing range while wearing new body armor in Fort Campbell, Ky. Members of the U.S. special operations forces say that allowing women to serve in Navy SEAL, Army Delta or other commando units could hurt their effectiveness, lower the standards and drive men away from the jobs. The troops told a Rand Corp. survey that they believe women don't have the physical strength or mental toughness to do the grueling jobs. And their message to political leaders is that when they are fighting in the shadows or bleeding on the battlefield, women have no place on their teams. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
Female soldiers training on a firing range while wearing new body armor in Fort Campbell, Ky. The troops told a Rand Corp. survey that they believe women don’t have the physical strength or mental toughness to do the grueling jobs. (Associated Press)

A top Marine general says he believes the military will eventually be pressured to lower standards for women if any significant number of them could advance in combat jobs like the Marine infantry.

Gen. John Kelly, head of U.S. Southern Command, tells reporters that there will be “great pressure” to reduce standards because he says that’s the only way more than a few women will succeed.

Defense Department officials have vowed that standards for combat jobs will not be lowered to admit women.

The Marine Corps sought to keep certain infantry and combat jobs closed to women citing studies showing combined-gender units are not as effective as male-only units. The Marines were overruled by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who opened all combat jobs to women.

 

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