What’s the biggest threat to the Corps? It’s not the Islamic State, according to a local congressman.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, who represents Temecula, declared Navy Secretary Ray “a greater threat to the Corps than ISIS” over the secretary’s support for women serving in all combat positions over the corps’ objections, POLITICO reported.
Particularly, he’s taking exception to memo sent to the Corps this week, instructing it integrate boot camp, which has been separate for men and women, and change job titles so they’re gender neutral.
“These are long lasting,” Hunter told POLITICO. “These changes that they’re making are not thought out, they’re not researched, they’ve not been debated. The American public has no idea what’s going on It’s going to get people killed.”
A spokesman for declined to comment on Hunter’s remarks.
A veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Hunter serves on the House Armed Services Committee. Last September, he called for to resign after the secretary criticized a Corps study that found that integrated units underperformed compared to men-only units, POLITICO reported.
Hunter has expressed concerns before about women in combat roles. In a 2013 interview with The Press-Enterprise, Hunter said the Defense Department’s decision to allow women in combat roles should not be based on the past decade of warfare.
“You have to look back to the last 70 years of combat and trench-line warfare going back to back World War I, to World War II, to North Korea, to Vietnam,” he said at the time. “There’s a different kind of combat than the kind that my generation has been faced with in Iraq and Afghanistan I think it would be naive to say that we might not have to be in one of those types of pitched battles again.”
Hunter, a field artillery officer, said it wasn’t a good idea to have women serve in the infantry.
“I think you can make exceptions I think if you want to look at artillery, at tanks if you want to look at those occupational specialties, sure,” he said. “But I think the infantry is a different breed.”
“The infantry’s job is to go out and close with the enemy through fire and close combat,” he said. “It’s a pretty rough situation. And they live in a very depraved way when you’re in the field.”
As long as the military maintains “gender-neutral standards that are not changed to accommodate anyone, be they male or female, I think that’s an OK way to go,” Hunter added.
Any social changes imposed on the military “that don’t make it more effective in its job of winning wars, I think those things should be looked at and very, very carefully dissected and analyzed for what they will do to the military,” he said in 2013.