Your opinion on women in the infantry doesn’t matter

Updated: December 4, 2015


By Nick Palmisciano

The President of the United States has decided that women will serve in every job in the military starting in April.  Some of you are one hundred percent in support of this monumental shift.  Some of you are passionately against it.  I’m personally torn between an honest desire to remove ceilings for people who can do a job effectively and have the same drive I had as a young lieutenant, and a concern about female physicality not being sufficient.  I could tell you otherwise, but those are the two things warring inside me right now.



But none of our opinions fucking matter.  The decision is made.  It will never be unmade.  The new reality of the military is that women will be infantry.  They will be armor.  They will be in special operations.  And this leaves everyone currently serving in these roles with a fundamental choice: lead them to become the best infantrymen they can become or be a bitch about it.

The ladies, they are a-comin’ and you gentlemen get one shot to set the standard and tone of what it means to be part of our community.  You set the physical standard.  You set the discipline standard.  You set the combatives standard.

Yes, the military will try to fuck that up by pretending that the infantry isn’t made up of a bunch of animals.  Yes, there will be majors and sergeants major and a bunch of clowns floating around blathering about what leadership really is and how you shouldn’t do this and that and the other thing that we’ve been doing for hundreds of years.  Yes, it will be challenging and a pain in the ass at first, but you’re forgetting about our biggest ally in this fight to keep the infantry elite: the women joining the infantry.

I know in moments of frustration like this, it is easy to make this an “us against them” situation.  I’ve seen a lot of people calling for women to register for selective service.  I’ve seen a lot of people post things like “let’s see how they like it when…” with an insertion of something shitty that infantrymen have to do.   And yeah, it annoys me too when some of the loudest voices in this fight for female integration have been from women that could not have, on their best day, been an infantryman, yet now that they are out, they’re pretending they would have been some kind of CAG operator “if only that had been available to them.”

But the women coming are not those women.  The women coming are athletes.  They’re trained.  They’re determined.  They don’t want to be “let” into the infantry.  They want to earn their infantry status.  They want to be hard as fuck, just like all of you.

So embrace that.  Teach them to be hard.  Teach them our craft.  Set them up for success.  You want this first crop of women to be successful.  You want them to adopt our standard.  More than that, you need them to.



The first reason for this need is obvious: you have to be confident in their ability in a combat situation.  Selfishly, you should want any woman coming into the unit to be incredibly trained.

The second reason may be less obvious, but it is perhaps just as important long-term: these women will set the standard for all future aspiring female infantry.  If you train them correctly, if you invest in them, if you ensure that our pride in service becomes their pride, they will never allow that standard to drop.  They will be hard on future generations of female infantry and demand that their standard is maintained.  When some pathetic female (or male) that never should have even breathed the word “infantry”, never mind joined it, complains to the chain of command or begins a congressional because she can’t meet the standard and she doesn’t like your mean words, you will need your sisters in arms there.  They will have your back, because they will demand that the infantry standard be met, not some weaker version of it.

There are a lot of reasons women shouldn’t be in the infantry.

There are a lot of reasons women should be in the infantry.

But that’s all moot now.  Women are in the infantry.

Given that fact, the “us against them” arguments are worthless.

So you either get on board with that and devote yourself to making the infantry standard “our” standard, or we all lose.

And I fucking hate to lose.




  1. John

    December 4, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    The US Army will never win another war. The maggot infested hippies have gained control of the Pentagon. We no longer have the will to do what’s necessary for victory. When’s the last time we won a war? Panama? Thank God my ETS date is near. Fuck DC! I’m going to protect my friends and family, not put my life on the line for whatever Muslim tyrant DC is currently supporting in Southwest Asia. The EO classes and sexual assault power points will soon be the only training any US Army soldier receives.

    • The Dave

      December 16, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      Dear John,
      You and I have drifted apart. I’m not sure you were ever committed to this relationship. Your desire to complain about me and question my capabilities show how inadequate you feel. I’m glad your leaving and I with that you had the testicular fortitude to leave sooner.

      PS When you are free and you realize the problem was you not me, I will not welcome you back.

      The Army

    • The Dave

      December 16, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Dear John,

      I find your lack of faith disturbing. I’m sorry that your feelings of inadequacy cause you to lash out and question our capability. I’m glad that you have shown the testicular fortitude to seek life elsewhere.

      PS When you realize the problem was you, we will not welcome you back with open arms.

      The Army

  2. Bob

    December 4, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Bob it up.

  3. Black

    December 5, 2015 at 3:34 am

    All this talk about the Infantry being forced to lower its standards cracks me up. When has the Infantry ever done this? When I first joined the Army back in 2000 they were starting to crack down on hazing. The crack-down worked everywhere but the Infantry.

    I spent just shy of a decade in the Infantry, and in that time we kept all of our completely over-the-rest-of-the-Army standards. Every unit I was in had a standards of 270 on the PT test, 40 min 5-mile run, and near-torturous smoke sessions for anyone that failed to meet them. All this despite any Army-wide mandate to be kinder and gentler.

    The Infantry is a cult. If you think the cult is going to magically change its dogma because idiots in DC said so, either you’ve forgotten what being in the cult was like or you weren’t in the Infantry and think that combat arms runs just like support units do.

    Women will be held to the same standard. Even if on paper it’s mandated that they get a lower standard, the cult of the Infantry members, leaders, and mentors will simply say “I don’t care, our Platoon/Company/Unit standard is higher.” I said that shit all the time, my buddies that are still in are still saying it, and it will probably be the first thing the first female Infantrymen hear.

  4. Matthew Amon

    December 5, 2015 at 7:42 am

    Reflections of Matt the Soldier as a father:

    ‘Women in Combat’

    Dear Author….respectfully…. Screw you and I am still going to complain.

    I have no qualms about saying, “Screw you” to anyone who talks of Patriarchy on this subject.

    I as the father of a 14 year old daughter and 18 month old daughter have no desire to see my girls in a combat unit in a combat role.

    In fact as a way of teaching them the practicality and sometime necessity of civil disobedience I will personally set fire to a draft card if it ever came down to that.

    This is probably the one time(well maybe not the one time) where my emotion will outweigh the voice of my logic.

    Screw Ashton Carter and every single serving Jackass at the Pentagon and every other Federal Level of governance who is behind this move.

    Let their daughters be the first to be blown up in a blaze of glory in combat in order to move forward their idiotic ideology over reality.
    I obviously don’t wish this on them, but will we see their daughters in a combat role…? Very doubtful.

    And I don’t give a @#%! about who hears me on this.

    And to my many female counterparts in all Branches of the Armed Forces……no sexism intended. I just recognize a thing called biology, hormones, estrogen and reality,

    And I think if anyone is going to be doing fighting it should be me instead of daddy’s little girls!

    That is all.


    Matt the pissed off soldier and father and liberal/progressive/socialist/commie disliking American.

    • Black

      December 12, 2015 at 2:29 am

      So you don’t want your daughter to be in harms way, and would go as far as to burn a Selective Service Card to prevent it, but would you do the same for a son?

      Why is that we think we, as men, have a duty to protect adult, grown-ass women from CHOOSING to join any MOS in the military, but not one of us has any qualms about letting our sons do the same shit? Do women never truly reach adulthood? Do they exist in some permanent childhood, unable to make choices for themselves?

      I’ve heard the “I don’t want my daughter” argument over and over, and yet I’ve never heard anyone say anything about their sons. We allow men to choose the most dangerous position in the world, and in fact, we call it an act of bravery. And yet the idea of letting women doing the same thing is never considered their CHOICE, but is instead the men-folk’s responsibility to decide.

      When the author mentions “patriarchy,” it’s reactions like this, wherein we men decide what’s best for grown-ass, adult women, that make is a dead-on description of the issue.

  5. Jake

    December 5, 2015 at 9:54 am

    When I started in the Army I was a PoG. I went through all male basic at Knox, then mechanic school at Jackson. While there and into my first months at my unit before deployment my running suffered. While doing my mechanic job there were females who said I can’t do this or that because I’m a female. Come deployment time, generator mechanic was pregnant, the original SAW gunner was a female and that position was passed on to male soldier because she couldn’t carry the weapon. While deployed there was a lot of fraternization. Not all of the females were bad, but it was enough to send me running into the open arms of the infantry. It cured my bad run times, yes I ran on my own time, and worked out on my own time to improve things too, away went the excuse, because I’m a female, and overall through my second deployment, and in training, things improved. I didn’t have to worry about some dude trying to force himself on a female in the company, because there weren’t any, even our smallest guy rocked the SAW, Nick, Rene, or Brian didn’t become pregnant before deployment because that’s physically impossible, we all breathed easier because we didn’t have to worry about sexual harassment or anything that could and can happen when you throw females in the mix. I might sound like a dick, so be it, but this is coming from the perspective of a male who worked with and around females first, then went to the grunt side of the house.

    • Buzz

      December 5, 2015 at 7:52 pm

      If women had the ability to be warriors, they would have proved it along time ago and would not be asking us men for permission, God have mercy on a nation that would chose to put its women into harms way and besides I thought all violence against women was wrong, thats what the liberals are shouting and at the same time want them in combat, if they can’t handle domestic violence what make us think they will be a mans equal in combat.

  6. Scott

    December 5, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    This article is dead on for anyone still on active or reserve duty.

    For those of us who are retired or out, I think we have not only the right but the obligation to speak out.

    As far as the actual topic of women in combat arms…I’m all for it if they can hack it as individuals. But the history of women’s integration in the military doesn’t bode well.

    Compare gender integration to racial integration. Do we have different ASVAB or PRT standards for different races? No. All are treated equally, and the US military dies very well in terms of racial integration.

    We haven’t done the same with gender integration and women are now given special treatment leading to resentment. I don’t see this changing with this latest decision.

    Beyond that, SecDef committed an unforgivable sin of leadership in condoning the USMC infantry trials and then throwing the results out. He never should have allowed the trials if he had an agenda. That is a slap In the face of every Marine associated with the project.

  7. byron

    December 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

    If women can be now be in all combat MOS’s, then I think its time they MUST register for the DRAFT like all other Males.

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