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Top Marine Blasts SecNav On Infantry Women: He Does Not Want To See America Win In Combat

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Jonah Bennett Contributor

A Marine hero blasted Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ for claiming that Marines studying women in ground combat with the wrong mindset essentially caused women to drastically underperform in the gender integration experiment.

Sergeant Maj. Justin LeHew, senior enlisted adviser with Marine Corps Training and Education Command, the command in charge of the study, wrote a public post on Facebook saying that the Secretary’s comments were not only unfair to the women in the experiment, but run counter to national security interests.

“The men (me included) were the most progressive and open minded that you could get … No one went in to this with the mentality that we did not want this to succeed,” insisted LeHew, who is a recipient of the nation’s second highest award for valor, the Navy Cross, for saving Marines under enemy fire in Iraq. The experiment found that women were less accurate shooters, twice as likely to sustain injury and 15 percent less physically apt than men, which is why they underperformed on key tasks.

LeHew’s post illustrates a loss of faith in Navy leadership.

“Listen up folks. Your senior leadership of this country does not want to see America overwhelmingly succeed on the battlefield, it wants to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to [pursue] whatever they want regardless of the outcome on national security,” LeHew said.

Last Friday, Mabus said in an interview with NPR that many of the men involved in the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force came with the mindset that women were not up to par and that the experiment as such wasn’t a good idea. He also argued that the service should have required a higher bar for women volunteers to enter. (RELATED: Navy Sec: Think That Women Are Less Capable Than Men? The Recent Marine Corps Study Is Biased)

Mabus has previously said that the Navy does not wish to seek an integration exemption by Oct. 1. The partial release of the study doesn’t appear to have changed his mind at all, as integrating more women is important to achieve innovation, he says.

But male Marines aren’t the only ones complaining about Mabus’ remarks. Sgt. Danielle Beck, a female Marine who participated in the study, told The Washington Post that his comments were a “slap in the face.”

“Our secretary of the Navy completely rolled the Marine Corps and the entire staff that was involved in putting this [experiment] in place under the bus,” she said according to The Washington Post.

Mabus has offered no response to his critics and still remains intent on opening all combat positions to women.

The full 978-page report is set to be released later this month.

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