Since modern combat is more “high-tech,” why can’t women handle it?
A: In close combat environments, which fit the definition above, physical capabilities are as important as ever. Equipment and survival gear carried by today’s combat soldiers, including electronic weapons and ammunition, satellite communication devices, batteries, and water weigh 50-100 pounds—a burden that is just as heavy as loads carried by Roman legionnaires in the days of Julius Caesar.
Modern body armor alone weighs 25 pounds. This weight is proportionately more difficult to carry by female soldiers who are, on average, shorter and smaller than men, with 45-50% less upper body strength and 25-30% less aerobic capacity, which is essential for endurance. Even in current non-combat training, women suffer debilitating bone stress fractures and other injuries at rates double those of men.
To summarize an enormous body of well-documented evidence produced by physiologists in the U.S. and Britain, in close combat women do not have an “equal opportunity” to survive, or to help fellow soldiers survive.