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Military Watchdog Hopes Carter Doesn’t Ignore Damning Data On Women In Combat

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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A military watchdog is paying close attention to how Defense Secretary Ash Carter is handling the decision to allow women in ground combat roles across all services.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, hopes that Carter will take into account the recent Marine Corps study, which showed that all-male units outperformed mixed-gender units on 69 percent of all combat tasks—not to mention the fact that females sustained injuries at double the rate, OneNewsNow reports.

According to a summary memo from the University of Pittsburgh, one of the research organizations involved in the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, “40.5% of female Marines and 18.8% of male Marines reported at least one musculoskeletal injury.” Females reported hip injuries, while the males reported foot/toe injuries.

In terms of firearm accuracy, even the men who had not gone through an infantry course outperformed the women who had.

“To ignore that kind of data, and instead pursue gender diversity metrics and quotas, really makes no sense,” Donnelly told OneNewsNow. “It’s an affront to the troops – both men and women – who would be seriously harmed if the president’s policy agenda for women in combat goes through.”

Donnelly is still hopeful that Carter will seriously consider the data, despite significant pressure from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who has argued that the study was flawed for several reasons. First, Marine Corps leadership came into the study with a biased mindset, thereby inhibiting the performance of female students. Second, the study looks at averages, when in reality, what matters is individual performance. Mabus’ controversial remarks have sparked anger among female study volunteers and Marine Corps leadership. (RELATED: NavySec: Averages Don’t Matter, What Matters Is Individual Female Performance)

The Marine Corps recently introduced a set of new “gender neutral” standards for 29 different jobs, perhaps anticipating that Carter’s ruling will not favor the exemption request submitted by the leadership to keep several combat roles male-only. (RELATED: Marines Quickly Bring In Much Tougher, ‘Gender Neutral’ Standards For 29 Jobs, Many Females Unlikely To Pass)

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