They need to wake up in the morning and pray for a mission to go kill enemies

Monday, October 1st, 2018

Secretary Mattis recently gave a speech at the Virginia Military Institute and was then asked about women in combat:

Yeah. It’s a very, very tough issue because it goes from some people’s perspective of what kind of society do we want, you know?

In the event of trouble, you’re sleeping at night in your family home and you’re the dad, mom, whatever. And you hear glass break downstairs, who grabs a baseball bat and gets between the kids’ door and whoever broke in, and who reaches for the phone to call 9-1-1?

In other words, it goes to the most almost primitive needs of a society to look out for its most vulnerable.

This is an issue right now that we have Army, Navy, Marine all looking at as we speak, and that is the close quarters fight being what it is. You know, is it a strength or a weakness to have women in that circumstance?

Right now, what my job is is to make certain that as the chief of staff of the Army or commandant of the Marine Corps or chief of Naval Operations, bring problems to me — chief of staff of the Air Force — and I help them solve them.

Today, because so few women have signed up along these lines, we don’t even have data at this time that I can answer your question, OK?

You make a very valid question, I might add, because I was never under any illusions at what level of respect my marines would have for me if I couldn’t run with the fastest of them and — and look like it didn’t bother me. If I couldn’t do as many pull-ups as the strongest of them.

It would just — it was the unfairness of the infantry. How did the infantry get its name? Infant soldier. Young soldier. Very young soldier. They’re cocky, they’re rambunctious, they’re necessarily macho and it’s the most primitive — I would say even evil environment. You can’t even explain it.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., a Civil War veteran, as you know, who became one of our most noted articulate Supreme Court associate justices, talking to veterans themselves decades after the war, he looked at them.

And here’s the most articulate justice you could come up with. And he says, “We have shared the incommunicable experience of war.” And he meant close combat.

This is an area we’re going to have to resolve as a nation. And the military has got to have officers who look at this with a great deal of objectivity and at the same time remember our natural inclination to have this open to all.

But we cannot do something that militarily doesn’t make sense, and I’ve got this being looked at right now by the chief of staff of the Army, commandant of the Marine Corps and all.

This is a policy that I inherited, and so far the cadre is so small we have no data on it. We’re hoping to get data soon. There are a few stalwart young ladies who are charging into this, but they are too few. Right now it’s not even dozens; it’s that few. So when we get a little more data I’ll give you a much more objective answer. Clearly the jury is out on it but what we’re trying to do is give it every opportunity to succeed if it can.

The other nations that have had this for 20 years still have too few women in the infantry ranks to even draw a conclusion. So I can’t give you a good answer right now. I’m open to it and I’ll be working with the Chief of Staff of the Army and the others to sort it out.

Michael Yon is a bit more direct, calling it the dumbest thing ever:

I served in the Army during peacetime, and then later spent more combat time with infantry troops than just about any war correspondent you ever have heard of. That top 1% of 1%, I was there. Just like Joe Galloway and very few others.

Been in more firefights bombings and just general mayhem than even I can remember. Looking back on my own photos and videos, made by my own hands, I have been in so many fights that even I do not remember until seeing my own work.

Yes. That much. It is a miracle to be alive.

There often were women in combat on the ground with infantry Soldiers. Not just in trucks or in the skies, but really on the ground. They were medics, intelligence, civil affairs, female engagement teams and sorts. They got into a lot of firefights. So many. And so many bombings.

How many photos from Iraq and Afghanistan have you seen of women in ground combat firing their weapons or carrying dead or wounded Soldiers IN COMBAT. (Not off the helicopter back on base, but in combat when bullets were flying.) I never saw women really fighting other than excellent pilots who are just as good as the men.


Our women in Iraq and Afghanistan saw loads of combat up close. But they are not fit for infantry work. Not even close. They are no more fit for infantry work than for playing as linemen in the NFL.

This is amazingly stupid. And not due to fraternization. That is trivial when bullets or are flying, people are dying, and brute strength is paramount.

Another thing that even the most physically courageous and fit women typically lack is sheer homicidal will to impose death upon enemies even if they must stab them in the throat or strangle them to death.

Infantry is brutal. Evil. The worst job in the world. Effective infantry troops are killers. Total killers. They need killer instinct that is nurtured. They need to wake up in the morning and pray for a mission to go kill enemies.


  1. Kirk says:

    Hopefully, some sanity will come to this issue, but I doubt it.

    The US military reforms only reluctantly, and generally only after it becomes brutally apparent that what it’s doing is no longer working. In the last few generations, lying to ourselves about things has become all too endemic in the forces.

    Hopefully, Mattis will be able to inject a bit of reality into the situation, but he’s got some powerful forces aligned against him.

  2. Jim says:

    Kirk – I keep hoping we have reached peak lunacy only to be constantly disappointed.

  3. Barnabas says:

    Sanity will not prevail so there will need to be work arounds. Robots, for instance.

  4. Kirk says:

    Jim–Peak lunacy isn’t quite here yet, but you can see it coming. Although, I do have to admit that every previous time I thought we’d reached it, they doubled-down on the insanity. Who the hell knows where it all ends?

    Personally, I have no problem with women in combat as an intellectual ideal. Where I have problems is where you start to bring in the reality of implementation by the US military, which has proven to be signally unable to produce or stick to any common-sense standards in areas pertinent to this issue.

    Hell, they can’t even adjust to the idea that girls get pregnant, or deal with the implications of that fact in any realistic manner. I could come up with a bunch of ways to deal with the issue, and compensate for it, but a.) the establishment is unable to admit the need for doing anything, due to ideology, and b.) the civilians who help run the cluster-f**k that is our armed services are entirely in denial about the very real issues at stake. Not to mention, they’re mostly beholden to the cunni on the DACOWITS committee, who are more concerned about the career opportunities for female officers than they are about military effectiveness, readiness, or the lives of junior enlisted personnel, male and female.

    You could, in an ideal world, make “women in combat” work, for some definition of the word “work”, but the problem is, that ideal world doesn’t exist in the US military–And, likely never will. They won’t let it happen, or take the necessary actions to make it work. So, for that reason, I’m dead set against the entire concept of “women in the military”, period–Not just in combat. As a cold-blooded assessment would inform you, the whole thing just doesn’t work on any level, because we refuse to deal with realities like “boys and girls are going to f**k, which implies babies, which further implies that the girls are never going to fulfill their enlistment contracts in a full and fair manner…”.

    Hell, they refuse to even address the issue in any way, shape, or form, let alone discuss it with potential enlistees. And, to be quite honest, they should–With both sexes. The guys need to know they’re going into jobs that are going to be exponentially harder, in some cases, because the girls they’re supposed to be able to count on during training and deployments may or may not actually be there, because “babies”. Not to mention telling them that they’re going to be serving beside people who are physically incapable of doing their share of the physical labor in their jobs, and that the males are likely to be worked to ‘effing death trying to compensate. During my time in uniform, I know of at least two different cases where a male soldier incurred career-ending injuries due to overwork or a set of female soldiers who literally were unable to hold up their end of the task at hand. That’s just two that I personally observed, so extrapolate from there…

    The whole thing is iniquitous to both males and females, and it’s mostly because of how we administer the whole thing. You could compensate, but we don’t.

    Ah, well… The insanity will run its course, and then we’ll see. I just hope the armored exoskeletons come in before the next major peer-level conflict.

  5. Charles says:

    Late comment here.

    It’s not merely that women are physically inferior to men by almost every metric — that in terms of upper body strength and run times the upper 10% of women overlap the bottom 10% of men, women only achieve near parity in abdominal strength (sit ups, on the Army PT Test).

    It’s not simply that women do not have the same degree of psychological toughness, the “killer instinct” that men have, or the same degree of emotional toughness and detachment necessary to kill with systematic ruthlessness.

    It’s not just that women have a deployed rate of attrition 5 times that of men. As noted here they can get pregnant, which results in automatic return to CONUS. They also fat out at a much higher rate, and get injured at an exponentially higher rate.

    What guys in the combat arms do not yet understand — I’ve heard more than one poo poo this — is that fraternization will destroy your unit cohesion, potentially destroy your career, your life.

    People will die because of “special relationships.” Envy, jealousy, spite, revenge, special treatment due to these unnecessary exclusive relationships will cost us many lives.

    Homosexuals and women will create all sorts of unnecessary emotional drama and trauma.

    Coercive relationships, exclusive “friendships” will form up and down the chain of command.

    Superiors will coerce and reward inferiors for sexual and emotional favors.

    Inferiors will seduce and manipulate their superiors.

    People will be blackmailed emotionally and sexually.

    Many people will be needlessly raped and sexually assaulted.

    Many people will be seriously hurt; lives, marriages and families will be destroyed; many people will unnecessarily die.

    The reason fraternization, sodomy and adultery are all crimes under the UCMJ is that lives are at stake. Your superiors have potentially coercive life and death authority over you. In combat, everyone is armed, and it is far too easy to assassinate (“frag”) someone else over sexual or emotional hijinks. You need to have radical trust in everyone in your unit.

    If you throw sex into the mix, it will destroy such trust, people will die and be imprisoned due to all the needless f***ing around, and the mission will be unnecessarily imperiled.

    The combat effectiveness of our military will suffer for all this foolishness. Until now this has all been rather abstract to most Americans. We do not have the “data” as Mattis says. But we will get it, and soon.

    One can only hope that we receive it gently, and not during a war for national survival against ruthless enemies like the Russians or Chinese..

  6. Graham says:

    I suspect that many of the civilian audience on these issues would be traumatized if I just quoted Viscount Montgomery’s introduction to the postwar British infantry manual. It was something like, “The task of the infantry is to close with the enemy and destroy him.”

  7. Graham says:

    I should concede that was never in my life going to be a job to which I was suited. But I like that goal oriented attitude. It’s clear and hard not to understand.

  8. Kirk says:


    Your concerns are valid, but… Having been the poor bastard trying to make this crap work, on the ground…? A lot of those issues and problems never actually showed up. You would be shocked, shocked, I tell you, at how decidedly unattractive a young lady can be, after you’ve spent a week smelling her unwashed ass in the field, listening to her fart, change her pads and tampons, etc., etc.. All of the attraction and most of the romance goes completely away, and since you come to know your peers maybe better than anyone else in their lives, you don’t get to keep any of the illusions you might have had about them. You might, in other words, go out on a drinking spree with one or more of the girls, but date one…? Nope, nope, and hell no.

    One of my peers who went through that same period with me later commented that the thing he resented most was having all his illusions about the “fairer sex” shattered into dust; he’d had his nose ground into things that he simply didn’t know, even as a husband and father of teenage daughters. Such as, what a woman actually smells like, sans daily hygiene… Especially during estrus. Which was something he said he could never forgive the Army for putting him through…


    I think you would be disappointed to learn just how gleefully women take to killing, and with how little restraint they can act when they do. Review Kipling vis-a-vis the advisability of letting yourself be captured and turnt over to the women, in Afghanistan… Women can have a civilizing impact on things, but we have yet to see what happens in a Western army when one goes off the rails and enables or approves of atrocity. I think that a female Lieutenant Calley could prove to be exponentially worse than Calley and Medina were. Men have conflict restraint and limits built in, biologically and culturally. Women don’t.

  9. Graham says:


    I don’t think I actually offered any views on the capacity of women to take to killing.

    I have some idea that women’s confrontational spectrum covers much of the same ground as men’s, though it probably skews more in the direction of manipulation than opennness. Not necessarily omitting that much at the open conflict end of the spectrum, though.

    Just based on the available record whether of female rulers or criminals, I have every confidence that women could be excellent war criminals, and agreed, possibly more scary in some cases.

  10. Graham says:

    Though I admit I find that hard to reconcile with the apparent role of feminism as a belief system and of the increased presence of female managers in fostering such things as workplace “Wellness Committees”.

    I assume that “Wellness Committee” will be the formal name of the politburo in whatever future progressive tyranny I end up living. Perhaps it will be my failure to live up to wellness commitments that will eventuall cause one of the members to snap and cut me to bits with a letter opener.

    Thus reconciling both the tyrannical caring aspect and the hidden cruelty of it all, so there’s at least hope of philosophical harmony.

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