Remember last year when there was a lot of talk about integrating women into our combat forces?

Well, according to the Washington Post and the Marine Corps Times, over the last nine months the Marine Corp has been testing a gender-integrated combat force in Twentynine Palms, Calif. and Camp Lejeune, NC. They did this to determine what the Marine Corps might look like with women in combat roles.

Apparently, it did not go so well.

According to a report in the Marine Corps Times, only two of the approximately 24 women who started in the combat exercise actually finished. The other approximately 22 women had to drop out because of the physical and mental stress that comes with combat roles.

The Marine corps Times also reported that both the men and women in the combat exercise experienced a breakdown in unit cohesion.

My main concern is for the safety of the men and women in these combat forces. Are the women strong enough for the physical aspect of combat roles and, from a mental aspect, killing the enemy? Will the men attempt to “take care” of the women and not pay attention to the tasks at hand?

All this is happening because all branches of the military have a Jan. 1, 2016 deadline to open all combat positions to women. This includes everything from basic infantry to Special Forces.

When I speak of the physical aspect in a combat roll, it is directly related to what was reported by The Marine Corps Times, which cited a number of instances where the women “had a difficult time completing physical tasks, like moving 200 pound dummies off the battlefield or from the turret of a “damaged” vehicle.”

If a female combat G.I. who cannot pull a 200 pound dummy from the battlefield could endanger not only her life while attempting to do so but also the solider she is attempting to save.

According to The Washington Post, Lance Cpl. Chris Augello, a reservist, who prior to the experiment was pro-integration, had a change of mind after experiencing the experiment and was quoted as saying, “the female variable in this social experiment has wrought a fundamental change in the way male [non-commissioned officers] think, act and lead...change that is sadly for the worse, not the better.”

What are your thoughts about integrating females into combat forces?

I understand the desire for integrating the combat forces, but at what expense?

Should we have a policy demanding integration no matter what the consequences are?

How about making sure we have strict requirements that both sexes must pass and if the females can pass them, then let them fight?

Let’s discuss this tomorrow (Thursday) on my show, The Live with Renk show, which airs Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts at (269) 441-9595.

Or please feel free to start a discussion and write your thoughts in the comment section.