Letters to the Editor for the September 10, 2012 weekly print issue: The policy decision to allow women to serve in infantry combat should only be made after diligent consideration of the long-term effects – on women, the military, and the country.
The July 2 cover story, "Up in arms," includes some convincing points for why women should be allowed in US military combat positions. Before forming an opinion on this issue, I implore readers to study Capt. Katie Petronio's June 2012 article in the Marine Corps Gazette.
Ms. Petronio served valiantly during combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, attached to Marine infantry units as a Female Engagement Team operator, and graduated at the top of her Marine Officer Training class. After five years in the corps, she had this to say: "As a combat-experienced Marine officer, and a female, 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...."
Petronio describes myriad injuries she endured in three short years with the infantry, including some that doctors believe to be the cause of her infertility. She goes on to say: "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."