A yearlong study conducted by the Marine Corps shows that units comprised of just males outperformed those that featured men and women working together.
The study, originally conducted to figure out how the integration of women into training units would affect combat readiness from all Marines, showcased that all-male units were faster, more lethal and able to evacuate faster, NPR reported.
In the study, 100 female and 300 male volunteers were used to create different battalions to test. The training, which took place in North Carolina and California, involved real-life combat situations and experiences.
The study concluded that all-male units were more accurate when it came to hitting targets, were faster at completing an obstacle course, and were better at avoiding injuries.
The Marine Corps is one of the branches of the military that is under deadlines set by the Pentagon to require branches to open specialty forces, such as infantry and special operations, to women starting next year. The branches have until the end of September to request an exemption from some sections, USA Today reported.
The Marine Corps has yet to say if it will ask for an exemption waiver from the federal government, but some politicians who have served in military are beginning to weigh in on the matter.
“If you were to turn down a request for a waiver like that I guess the political machine in the White House would be saying we don’t care about the effectiveness of the ground combat units,” Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California said, according to USA Today. Hunter is also a former Marine and serves on the U.S. Armed Services Committee.
The Pentagon previously lifted a ban on women serving in combat in January 2013, NPR noted. With the news that two female soldiers completed and graduated from the Army’s Ranger School, more focus will be put on the role of women in the military.
White House officials have said that their intention is to open up the military to all participants.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke about the developments last month.
“The department’s policy is that all ground combat positions will be open to women, unless rigorous analysis of factual data shows that the positions must remain closed,” Carter said.
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