Letter: Columnist Parker right on women in combat
By Phil Drietz, Delhi In regard to allowing women into combat roles in the military, I agree with the Dec 7 column "The few, the foolish" by Kathleen Parker. I would like to augment her position by citing the late Col. John W. Ripley, probably th...
By Phil Drietz, Delhi
In regard to allowing women into combat roles in the military, I agree with the Dec 7 column “The few, the foolish” by Kathleen Parker. I would like to augment her position by citing the late Col. John W. Ripley, probably the Marine Corps’ most famous Vietnam war hero.
As captain of 3/3 Lima company in Vietnam in 1966-1967, he led his Marines from the front. During his tour he lost his company three times over, killed and wounded in fire fights, including 13 lieutenants killed. All his corpsmen - three senior corpsmen, plus an additional 15 corpsmen - were either killed or wounded. His company, in one fire fight, went from over 200 men to 15 left standing in a single day. You can read more about this amazing Marine in “An American Knight” by Norman Fulkerson.
In Washington, D.C,, he testified in 1992 before the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces. He made it very clear (in appendix one of “An American Knight”) why women should not be put in ground combat units. He said that the tiny minority of women who want this job are doing so for promotion to higher rank, which is self-serving and self-aggrandizing and the worst possible reason for going into combat. He points out that combat Marines will tell you that any leader - junior or senior - who focuses on himself, as opposed to the good of the unit, is completely worthless as a leader and will never be followed willingly. They distrust any leader who puts his own well-being and ambitions ahead of the good of the unit. In short - it seems to me, anyway - there is no purpose for women to be assigned to ground combat units.
“If you think women have a ‘right’ to grovel in this filth, to live in it just because someone above them, senior or junior to them wants to be promoted, then, my God, what has happened to the American character and the classical idea, western idea, of womanhood?” – Col. J. Ripley.