A week ago, I wrote a blog post about the USMC postponing rules for women doing pull-ups.
The blog post created a fair amount of discussion, as I expected, about women serving in the infantry.
One thought I’ve had about women serving in the infantry is that not many would actually even want to do so. Or, certainly not after they’ve completed MCT. Heck, I’m not sure I would have wanted to be in the infantry had I truly known how bad it would have sucked most of the time…
But it turns out that I might have been mistaken to think more women wouldn’t want to have served. Frankly, it’s arguably a bit of a sexist idea I’ve had, and if we’re honest, it’s one that I’ve seen many other men state, as well.
So, after getting a comment that helped change my view, I asked the female Marine if I could quote her on it so that men who once thought as I did — that only a few women would even want to serve in the infantry — could see a different perspective we’re likely not seeing.
Here, then, are the thoughts of Sgt. Cortney Kangas, who served in the Corps from Dec 99 to Oct 07. Her MOS was admin (0121).
Sgt. Cortney Kangas: I think that there are plenty of women that serve that would still want to be in the infantry. The infantry is what the Marine Corps is all about and nobody ever goes to work in the morning thinking ‘Oh yeah, time to be a killer and slay this unit diary!’ Marines want to blow things up and have people think that they eat babies. If any of us wanted to go have a soft job we would have joined the Army.
It’s not just the fact that we can’t do certain jobs that is unfair or frustrating to a lot of women. It’s the fact that you can go to work everyday looking like you walked out of a recruiting poster, do well at your job, shoot expert and score great on your PFT and some terminal Lance Corporal, Motor T guy on weight control will tell you that you only got promoted because the SgtMaj thinks you are hot. That kind of stuff can get to you and bring you down.
I personally never wanted to be a grunt because they run so much. I hate running and all that running with packs in boots and utes looked miserable. I would have, however, signed up for a job where I could throw some weights around and shoot machine guns all day.
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Soldier On” follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to survive the final, miserable months of World War II. And, “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron.