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EQUAL BUT INFERIOR: Fundamentally Transforming America’s Military

When the Obama administration finally strong arms the Marine Corps in to lowering its standards so that average women can pass the Infantry Officer Course (IOC), do you think America’s enemies will volunteer to fight with one hand tied behind their backs to level the battlefield, too?

Mentally stable Americans should wonder if liberals dream up such suicidal schemes on their own, or is this some subversive plot concocted by communist moles and Islamic-terrorist spies lurking within our government? A normal person would think that only our enemies would seek to emasculate our military as this administration is doing, but Obama and his accomplices appear to believe that demoralizing the military is the new definition of patriotism.

The Washington Times reported on April 19 that the Marine Corps is facing increased pressure (i.e. coercion) from the White House to lower combat standards for women. All 29 female lieutenants who have attempted Marine IOC have washed out. Consequently, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, will now demand that the Marine Corps provide a good reason for not lowering the bar.

Can you imagine being the enlisted Marines ordered to follow any officer — who feels entitled to lower standards and special attention — into a combat zone? Granted, this is the example that Obama sets as a quasi commander in chief, but the Marine Corps holds real leaders to a higher and more honorable standard.

Nevertheless, when one Marine, Second Lieutenant Sage Santangelo, failed to complete IOC, she wrote an article for the Washington Post. Santangelo asserts that Marine standards should not be lowered, but then she blames the Marine Corps for women failing IOC:

Women aren’t encouraged to establish the same mental toughness as men, rather they’re told that they can’t compete. Men, meanwhile, are encouraged to perceive women as weak. I noticed women were rarely chosen by their peers for some of the harder tasks in basic training.

Male lieutenants have been failing IOC since its inception. About 25% of male lieutenants fail to complete IOC, and half of them are eliminated during the initial Combat Endurance Test (CET). If the male officers are blaming their personal inadequacy or failure on anyone but themselves, those complaints are well guarded secrets. They certainly are not liberal propaganda for the Washington Post.

Regular Marines who fail IOC do not assert that the Marine Corps needs to do more to prepare them for the course. Once upon a time, lieutenants took the initiative to prepare on their own to accomplish their professional goals, or they simply moved on to serve another role in the Marine Corps.

In fact, my wife is a former Marine officer, too. Not so long ago, she could max the male Marine’s physical fitness test (PFT). This means she could run three miles in less than 18 minutes, do 80 sit-ups in two minutes, and most impressively perform 20 pull-ups. The average male Marine never accomplishes this feat. In addition, she qualified as an expert rifleman. My wife’s mental and physical toughness along with her no-nonsense professionalism earned her tremendous respect as a Marine.

Despite her abilities, however, she recognizes that she may not have been physically equipped to meet some of the brute-strength and overall durability needed to pass IOC. She finds it repulsive that any Marine would suggest the government needs to design special training for women Marines to prepare them to pass IOC. Male Marines have never required special attention, and pretending to be equal after proving to be inferior is not Marine Corps leadership. It’s deadly deception and narcissism.

If Marine officers cannot meet a standard, they need to possess the judgment, integrity, dependability, and selflessness to recognize their personal limitations. Marine leadership is not a synonym for personal ambition. Marine leadership means accomplishing a mission and taking care of the Marines who are expected to trust and to follow you.

Based on the pressure the Marine Corps is now facing to lower its standards, General Dempsey appears to have received orders to ignore the famous words of another former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army General John W. Vessey Jr. During America’s 1983 assault on Grenada, General Vessey exclaimed:

We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?

Forcing the Marine Corps to lower its standards so that an average woman can impersonate a Marine infantry officer will likely answer Vessey’s question.

So long as we all feel like we are equal, who cares if reality reveals that we’re not? America’s enemies certainly don’t mind. As a matter of fact, they seem to be the ones orchestrating this narcissistic plot.

Lee Culpepper

Lee Culpepper is a former United States Marine Corps officer and a recovering high school English teacher. Culpepper has taught and mentored youths from nearly every walk of life across America. During his final endeavor in public education, Culpepper invested in the lives of teens in a small southern town with the dubious honor of being one of America’s poorest and most dangerous cities. During this experience, Culpepper planted a flag for the American message concerning work ethic, sacrifice, personal accountability, and perseverance among exploited youths indoctrinated in government dependency. Lee Culpepper’s continued commitment to the lives of these young people has left them questioning the liberal canards concerning government benevolence. Lee Culpepper grew up in McLean, Virginia, with a temporary move just outside Akron, Ohio. After returning to McLean, Culpepper rejoices today that he escaped Northern Virginia’s liberal bastion unaffected by progressive propaganda that now contaminates so many of his high school and childhood friends. Follow Lee Culpepper on Twitter @drcoolpepper or email him at