- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I agree with nearly everything in “What warriors know” (Comment & Analysis, April 18). However, meeting initial physical standards, reduced or not, is not a sufficient standard for allowing women to enter a combat field. A major point of the article in Marine Corps Gazette written by Capt. Katie Petronio, to whom the piece referred, was that Capt. Petronio did meet the standards and by all accounts was in great physical shape for a female Marine. The problem was that the extended exposure to the physical demands of being in a combat environment slowly beat down her body such that she has experienced numerous short- and long-term problems. Men’s bodies are built differently and are stronger, yet even many of them have difficulties with the extended combat environment.

This is analogous to taking a Volks- wagen Bug and running it hard across rough terrain. No surprise when the car breaks down; it wasn’t designed for that environment.

As a retired Marine officer, I can attest to the outstanding quality and competence of the female Marines I have worked with. Our female Marines and soldiers deserve better than to be placed in situations that will certainly cause long-term damage to them. You asked the right question, Washington Times: Who is driving this agenda?

CURTIS MARSH

Annandale