Picking a guy up at the gym? Totally the same thing as dragging someone out of combat!

Picking a guy up at the gym? Totally the same thing as dragging someone out of combat!

Feminists just cannot stand when us evil, sexist, misogynist jerks mention the biological fact that women are weaker than men in the whole “should women be in combat” debate. The newest rebuttal? It’s, like, totally so easy to drag someone out of combat. Check out this girl wearing skimpy workout gear doing it!


See? See?! THIS PROVES IT!! There are NO biological differences between men and women! Women can totally carry a fallen soldier out of combat!!

American troops are trained use the fireman’s carry, which is a way of sort of slinging a dude over your shoulder, as seen in the GIF at right. It’s shockingly easy. It’s so easy that in instructional YouTubes, the carried sometimes laugh with surprise. Earlier this month, on vacation, I ran in circles while fireman-carrying my (admittedly indie-rock thin) 6’2″ male friend on a Miami beach, because it was funny. There are tons of YouTubes of women carrying men this way.

Oh, whoops… there are a few small problems with this. This is pretty much meaningless for several reasons.

First, notice what the people in the pictures are wearing? Pretty much nothing. Unfortunately, that’s not quite how it works when you’re in combat. Add in anywhere from 50 – 100lbs of gear on each person in the photos, and then you’ll be a little more accurate. And then it’s not so easy anymore, is it?

Second, in these examples, the people are both standing up. That’s probably not going to happen when you’re in a combat situation where your buddy needs to be carried out. If they need to be carried, it’s probably because they’ve been injured. They won’t be able to stand there helpfully while you lift them over your shoulders. The thing is, doing a fireman’s carry from a standing position is not that difficult, as pictured. Doing it with someone who is laying on the ground is much harder. And a person who is limp and/or lifeless is much heavier and more difficult to carry.

Third, you’re not just standing there grinning like a doofus after you picked them up, going “Woohoo! I picked someone up! YEAH, BABY!”. You have to walk, if not run. In many situations, you’re not only running with someone on your shoulders, you’re also having to dodge incoming fire.

I think we’ve established that carrying someone out of combat is not quite as easy as picking a half-naked person up in a nice, comfortable, air-conditioned gym while wearing a bikini.

Are there women who could do it? Of course there are. The issue is not whether or not these women exist. They do. The issue is that the vast majority of women can’t do it, and with General Dempsey implying that standards will be lowered for women, this is an understandable concern.

But let’s ignore facts, shall we? Political correctness is way more important at the end of the day.

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  • Carol says:

    That doesn’t look like a real photo. The dude look so out of proportion with her. Not that I care.

  • rb325th says:

    As a US Army Veteran of 12 years in the Infantry, 4 in the Airborne, 6 Mech and the last 2 as Light, I can categorically state that recreational weight lifting and being able to pick up some dude wearing nothing at all is not even close to the physical demands one would face in the Infantry. Even if it was just in training status….
    There just is no comparison and those saying they are capable of being in the infantry because they did that…. they just don’t know squat. Do it with 100 pounds of gear, with no sleep for 3 days, little food in your stomach, having just done a forced march of 10-15K and assaulted an objective.
    There are woman in Combat right now, there are woman who have engaged the enemy in a firefight, there are woman who have shown great valor, but they cannot meet the standards as a US Army Infantryman does right now, and those standards should not be changed. No woman, no non infantryman does the same thing an infantryman does either, that is just as equally bogus a statement.

  • I’d like to see that…female try to evacuate an unconscious casualty from a tank turret floor through the loader’s hatch, down to the ground, and into an evac vehicle. Even with the evac straps of the new uniforms it’s not easy for two or three men to do it. In the olden days before the uniforms had evac straps it was damn’ hard, and if there was any blood on the turret floor it was damn’ near impossible.

    I guess with a Bradley or a 113 you could just drop the ramp and drag the casualty out. The blood would act as a lubricant…



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