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Mixed-Gender Teams: Effectiveness Concerns

Veteran News
Veteran News
September 10, 2015
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Mixed Gender teams not as effective in Marine Infantry

[caption id="attachment_1301" align="alignleft" width="150"]

Mixed Gender teams not as effective in Marine Infantry

Photo: Mike Morones/Staff[/caption]The results are in, and not too surprising. Apparently, Men and Women don't perform to the same standards in the Marine Corps Infantry. From Marine Corps Times:All-male ground combat teams outperformed their mixed-gender counterparts in nearly every capacity during a recent infantry integration test, Marine Corps officials revealed Thursday.Data collected during a monthslong experiment showed Marine teams with female members performed at lower overall levels, completed tasks more slowly and fired weapons with less accuracy than their all-male counterparts. In addition, female Marines sustained significantly higher injury rates and demonstrated lower levels of physical performance capacity overall, officials said.The troubling findings come as Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford prepares to make a crucial decision regarding the integration of female troops into closed combat roles. Faced with a Defense Department-wide mandate that will open all jobs to women by Jan. 1, he must decide whether to ask for specific exceptions to the mandate in order to preserve combat readiness. Officials said Dunford had met with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus about the decision but had yet to issue his recommendations.


The Marine Corps' data findings included the following:

  • All-male squads and teams outperformed those that included women on 69 percent of the 134 ground combat tasks evaluated.
  • All-male teams were outperformed by mixed-gender teams on two tasks: accuracy in firing the 50-caliber machine gun in traditional rifleman units and the same skill in provisional units. Researchers did not know why gender-mixed teams did better on these skills, but said the advantage did not persist when the teams continued on to movement-under-load exercises.
  • All-male squads in every infantry job were faster than mixed-gender squads in each tactical movement evaluated. The differences between the teams were most pronounced in crew-served weapons teams. Those teams had to carry weapons and ammunition in addition to their individual combat loads.
  • Male-only rifleman squads were more accurate than gender-integrated counterparts on each individual weapons system, including the M4 carbine, the M27 infantry automatic rifle and the M203 grenade launcher.
  • Male Marines with no formal infantry training outperformed infantry-trained women on each weapons system, at levels ranging from 11 to 16 percentage points.

See the whole story at Marine Corps Times.[mwi-cat-listing cat="94" ppp="4" cols="4" desc="false" type="view" btn_color="black" ]

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