Men and women are made differently. It’s just that simple.
One Marine has spoken out in opposition to the idea of women in combat, pointing out the crucial distinction between women being exposed to battle versus those actually engaging in sustained combat as part of a front-line infantry unit.
Chad Russell, a Marine who served with the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines for three tours in Iraq, including the Battle of Fallujah, recently gave an interview to Boston’s NPR affiliate, WBUR.
Russell brought up the obvious fact that seems to be largely overlooked in the women in combat debate, which is sexual attraction and human nature.
“We have a strong sexual drive and we are noticing them and going out of our way to notice them,” Russell said. “So it does create a distraction. I can’t imagine going through Fallujah and, you know, having a bunch of females in the platoons. I just can’t imagine it.”
While Russell agreed that women certainly have an important place in the military, he also said between being in a convoy that takes enemy fire or is hit by an IED isn’t the same as “sustained, direct action against the enemy, up close and personal.”
“It really boils down to that bottom line of — we have a saying in the Marine Corps: ‘Complacency kills.’”
His words echo those of former Marine Commandant Robert Barrow, who said as much during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1991.
“Combat is a lot more than that. It’s a lot more than being shot at. It’s killing. That’s what it is, and it’s done in an environment that’s as difficult as you can possibly imagine,” Barrow said. “Extremes of climate, brutality, death, dying. It’s uncivilized, and women can’t do it.”