first published on December 8, 2015 by Josh
Sergeant Major Lehew, a 27 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, speaks the honest truth that no one wants to hear about women in combat.
Sergeant Major Justin Lehew is a beast among men. At a time where the entire military is absolutely terrified of speaking their minds, he personified moral courage. This man is a leader of Marines, and when it comes to protecting the combat effectiveness of the United States Marine Corps, he let his words speak without the fear of repercussion.
After spearheading the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, a unit specifically designed to test the mettle of women in ground combat-arms roles, he said this.
Ok, been silent long enough on this. I have been a part of this process from the beginning and I am just going to put it out there. The Secretary of the Navy is way off base on this and to say the things he is saying is flat out counter to the interests of national security and is unfair to the women who participated in this study.
We selected our best women for this test unit, selected our most mature female leaders as well. The men (me included) were the most progressive and open minded that you could get. The commander of this unit was a seasoned and successful infantryman. The XO of this unit was as good as they get, so good the USMC made her the CO of the Officer Candidate School. I just selected the SgtMaj of the unit to head up our senior enlisted academy at Camp Lejeune, NC. No one went in to this with the mentality that we did not want this to succeed. No Marine, regardless of gender would do that.
With our limited manpower we cannot afford to not train everyone to the best of their abilities. This was as stacked as a unit could get with the best Marines to give it a 100 percent success rate as we possibly could. End result? The best women in The GCEITF as a group in regard to infantry operations were equal or below in most all cases to the lowest 5 percent of men as a group in this test study. They are slower on all accounts in almost every technical and tactical aspect and physically weaker in every aspect across the range of military operations.
SECNAV has stated that he has made his mind up even before the release of these results and that the USMC test unit will not change his mind on anything. Listen up folks. Your senior leadership of this country does not want to see America overwhelmingly succeed on the battlefield, it wants to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to pursue whatever they want regardless of the outcome on national security.
The infantry is not Ranger School. That is just a school like any other school and is not a feeder specifically to the infantry. Anyone can go to that school that meets the prereqs, just like airborne school. Kudos to the two women who graduated. They are bad-asses in their own right. In regards to the infantry….there is no trophy for second place. You perform or die. Make no mistake. In this realm, you want your fastest, most fit, most physical and most lethal person you can possibly put on the battlefield to overwhelm the enemy’s ability to counter what you are throwing at them and in every test case, that person has turned out to be a man.
There is nothing gender biased about this, it is what it is. You will never see a female Quarterback in the NFL, there will never be a female center on any NHL team and you will never see a female batting in the number 4 spot for the New York Yankees. It is what it is.
As a country we preach equality. But to place these mandates on the military before this country has even considered making females register, just like males, for the selective service is in all aspects out of touch with reality. Equality and equal opportunity start before you raise your right hand and swear an oath to this country. Yes, we are an all-volunteer force at the moment. Should this country however need to mobilize rapidly again to face the threats of the world like our grandfathers did, it will once again look to the military age males of this country to fill the ranks because last I checked, we did not require women to register for the selective service.
Until that happens, we should not even be wasting our time even thinking about opening up the infantry to women. To my female Marine friends out there, I love you to death, you are the best of the best and you have my continued admiration for what you do and to the Marines of the GCEITF….you are tops in my book for taking up the challenge…regardless what the SECNAV says about you not being the best that we could have put in that unit because you were….on all accounts.
After posting this message to his Facebook page, Sergeant Major Lehew was not afraid of consequences, but he was expecting them. He knew from the moment he hit send on that message, that his career would be in jeopardy. After speaking to him however, I learned that he faced no punishment whatsoever from his actions. “Repercussions – none, not even a stern talk. Likely due to the fact that I said what most all feel or believe but the difference is…I actually said it…” It’s probably hard to punish someone for their actions, when you internally agree with them.
I personally am inclined to agree with this man’s statements. There is a lot of debate currently going on about the recent decision to open all combat roles in the military to women. On one side, we have the feminists screaming for equality (yet I don’t see a massive line at the career planner for MOS changes.) On the other side, we have the men with experience, speaking from a realistic point of view.
It’s not bias, it’s science.