Congressman Tells SecNavy He Needs To Resign Over Marine Corps Combat Study Controversy

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, wants Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to resign for his controversial comments dismissing the recent Marine Corps study which showed that men outperform women on combat tasks.

Mabus’ long-intended plan to open up all combat positions in the Marine Corps infantry, the Navy SEALs, and the rest of the Department of the Navy hit a major obstacle when an excerpt of the study indicated that women suffer injuries at twice the rate of men, have a difficult time carrying and moving around heavy packs and are not nearly as accurate with firearms, Navy Times reports.

Last Friday, Mabus waved the study off by saying that male Marine officials went into the experiment with a biased mindset, which unduly influenced the results and caused women to underperform. He stuck hard and fast to what he said even before the study came out, namely that he does not intend to seek an exemption by Oct. 1 to keep any combat roles male-only.

He repeated similar criticisms of the study in a speech he delivered in Ohio. Marines didn’t react well, and neither did Hunter, who sent a letter to Defense Secretary Ash Carter requesting for Mabus to resign.

“Recent statements by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus — openly criticizing the Marine Corps and its study on the impact of gender integration — have created a deep sense of concern for the ability of the Navy Secretary to be objective and to continue leading the Marine Corps,” Hunter wrote to Carter.

“He has openly disrespected the Marine Corps as an institution, and he insulted the competency of Marines by disregarding their professional judgment, their combat experience and their quality of leadership,” Hunter added. “Such a significant loss of respect is detrimental to the ability of the Navy Secretary to effectively lead the men and women of the Marine Corps and ensure the service maintains the highest level of combat effectiveness.”

Carter’s stance has been consistent throughout his tenure: so long as women can meet required physical standards, they should be allowed into male-only combat jobs. Head of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain also recently bashed Mabus for his public handling of the study and said that if Mabus had a problem with methodology, he should have addressed that months ago. (RELATED: McCain To Mabus: Why Bother Having A Study On Combat Gender Integration If You’re Going To Ignore The Results?)

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