A response to Cynthia Tuthill's letter to the editor:

Ms. Tuthill, first let me thank you for your letter. I really enjoy controversy. But I regret I must decline your request to retract my column of September 4. If anything, I should double down on its primary conclusion: that women should be excluded from all military combat activities. My comments are neither "ignorant" nor "unfair". They are based upon established fact.

As I see you have earned a PhD, I expect you to read my words carefully, which I don't believe you've done. Let me correct some of your misunderstandings.

Far from being a "polemic against women in the armed services", I praised military women: "Women have always been essential to the American armed forces,...". It may be true, as you say, that "males and females of all species are on a continuum of size and strength..." but this seems irrelevant to the issue of enlisting the strongest sailors which happen to be male. As every truthful study of real-life data on gender differences concludes, women do not belong in combat organizations, for many reasons other than strength.

Professor Kingsley Browne, in his scholarly study on women in combat (Co-Ed Combat; Penguin, 2007) states, "First, something like the "risk rule" should be reinstated, excluding women not only from combat positions but also from positions presenting a substantial risk of combat or capture." He continues, "Women should also be barred from warships. Problems of pregnancy and sexual relations and the impact on cohesion that they can have pose a substantial threat to military effectiveness. In war and peace, but especially in war, all hands must be prepared to pitch in and perform the highly physical task of damage control. Women's lack of upper-body strength puts the entire ship's crew at risk."

Browne's book, CO-ED Combat, is highly praised by experts in the field: "An absolutely first-rate, even-handed, and scientifically sound book that takes a clear-headed look at the evolution of sex differences and how they play out in the modern workplace." (David Buss, professor of psychology, University of Texas at Austin, ..."). In my opinion, Browne's book is the best, most comprehensive study of women in combat available today." His warning against this integration has been ignored due to extraordinary political pressure and weak, promotion-conscious officers. A very instructive statement by Browne in CO-ED Combat explains why this destructive idea of women in combat always seems to advance despite data from numerous studies warning against it : "There is little that will terminate a military career faster than expressing doubts about sexual integration." This is sad proof of controlling political correctness.

A note from the dust cover: "The notion that women can be trained to behave like men in combat is grievously mistaken. Nor can men be socialized to accept them [in combat]."

Browne's book includes 12 pages of notes. It is a scholarly work which includes (Part V) involving "Threats to Cohesion and Effectiveness Arising from Mixing the Sexes." This is a fascinating read by a well informed, unbiased, author. His conclusions are supported by much serious research.

You claim that my description of aspiring female combat members is "biologically incorrect to claim that women have "weak wrists" or are not "physically fit." But those few who apply, for example, to Ranger School, are admittedly very fit, though many tests show them to be unfit for the endurance training. A hero of mine is Capt. Katie Petronio, retired, who wrote the inspiring recollection of her Marine combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq (Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal, January 29, 2913). I highly recommend this piece.

She was as strong a woman as you might find, but opposes women in combat. "As a company grade 1302 combat engineer officer with 5 years of active service and two combat deployments, one to Iraq and the other to Afghanistan, I was able to participate in and lead numerous combat operations." " main concern is a question of longevity. Can women endure the physical and physiological rigors of sustained combat operations, and are we willing to accept the attrition and medical issues that go along with integration?" The answer? No. "This issue [women in combat] is being pushed [for years] by several groups, one of which is a small committee of civilians appointed by the Secretary of Defense called the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service (DACOWITS)."

Capt. Petronio concludes, reflecting on 5 months in combat which destroyed her health, "I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females." "I am here to tell you that we are not all created equal, and attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security."

"...the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility..."

Capt. Petronio continues, "I am here to tell you that we are not all created equal, and attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security."

These are the words of a multi-sport collegiate champion and a valiant, truthful Marine leader. Read the full story.

The first reason to end the deployment of women into combat specialties is moral - Natural law and thousands of years of tradition demand special protection for women. The second is practical, as numerous tests and studies show, women lack the physical strength for sustained combat. The handful that graduated from Ranger School achieved that goal through a scandalous lowering of standards under politically surreptitious means. The women were given special treatment.

I hate to do a "research column" in the short time I have write. And, I have no time left to include a brand new book on this subject, STAND DOWN, by author James Hasson. Just received it a day ago. Subtitled "How Social Justice Warriors Are Sabotaging America's Military". It corroborates all that Kingsley Browne's book, CO-ED COMBAT, does. It describes how Obama instigated a military readiness crisis throughout our military, especially including the feminization of our armed forces. I will review the book soon.

I regret that I have no more time to devote to my answer, Ms. Tuthill. But I'm happy to engage in further discussion with you on this subject. Thanks again for the letter.

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and the man who leads that gains the victory.

George S. Patton Jr.
Martin Farrell