Sorry Miss USA, But Direct Combat is Not a Beauty Pageant Stage

We can all be proud and happy that a member of our military became Miss USA 2016. But that doesn't mean we have to agree with her. 

By Jude Eden Published on June 7, 2016

Deshauna Barber is a first lieutenant in the Army Reserves and is getting a flurry of attention for her comment during the Miss USA pageant about women in combat roles. Her statements demonstrated little forethought on the issue, but, hey, why let the reality of direct ground combat against the likes of ISIS ruin a good “I am woman, hear me roar” moment? And hey, getting on the women-in-combat feminist bandwagon may have clinched her the Miss USA crown.

When asked about her thoughts on women in combat roles, the IT analyst from North Washington D.C. said, “As a commander of my unit, I am powerful. I am dedicated and it is important that we recognize that gender does not limit us in the United States Army.” And “I think it was an amazing job by our government to allow women to integrate to every branch of the military … We are just as tough as men.”

I confess that I don’t know what being an IT analyst in the weekend-warrior Army Reserves is like. I do know about IT in the Marines, and both being a Marine and supporting communications for deployed Marines is much harder, but it still ain’t direct ground combat. I’ve no doubt that Lt. Barber is powerful and dedicated, and a valuable — not to mention beautiful — addition to our Armed Forces. But she hasn’t trained and competed with male infantry. Her job in the Army reserves does not include orders to serve with men in the combat arms, and she knows nothing about it.

We have ample empirical data on the question of women in combat roles from recent testing, not to mention hundreds of years of experience learning what helps and what hinders victory in battle.

Barber will never bear the consequences of what she so mindlessly advocates. She’d be the one they shoot first as an easy target. And so beautiful, in her bikini and dangly earrings, or her be-makeuped soft-focus selfie in uniform. Not distracting at all. ISIS is not just laughing at us. They’re licking their chops at our self-imposed weakness. But we have our Charlie’s Angel delivering the Obama party line. She’s won the beauty pageant; just wait ‘til she starts her acting career.

Firebrand Gunnery Sergeant (Ret) Jessie Jane Duff, who served two decades in the Marines and advocates strongly that we should not diminish our combat readiness, had some choice tweets for the young LT:

In a recent interview Duff added this:

This was an ideal opportunity for her to stand up and stand for the enlisted women who will die in mass quantity in combat … She’s missing the entire data … Yes, we’re as mentally tough as men, but all data demonstrates that the women are performing at the bottom 25th percentile with men in infantry units. We’re setting them up for failure. Her speech, what she said was perfect if she had just closed with, “We should not lift a blanket policy without evaluating this closer because this isn’t about equality … this is about combat readiness and the mission is first.” That would have gotten just as much applause and people would have celebrated her for defending the women that have to go out there and perform with these men … Hand to hand combat? There is no equality in it. The men will decimate women in hand-to-hand combat.

This week we commemorate the 72nd anniversary of D-Day. Our reflections on young men storming the beaches of Normandy should remind us of the importance of defining precisely what is involved in “direct ground combat.” It’s great that Barber feels powerful, but the truth is that physically she’s a twig, and ISIS, or Iran or North Korea would make mince-meat out of her in five seconds.

She may be as tough as other keyboard commando Army Reservists, but she has no credibility on killing our enemies at point-blank range. She is no authority in comparison to three years and over 50 documents’ worth of scientific testing data submitted by the Marine Corps to the Pentagon, which showed that integrated units underperform on 69% of tasks and women get injured more than twice as much as men. Dedication has little relevance against these realities, which would severely degrade the lethality and survivability of our most elite fighting units.

In our upside-down “now,” where the Left is trying to hammer at us that one’s biological sex is meaningless, Nature simply will not comply, especially in the most violent activity known to mankind. As we’re fighting the most barbaric enemy we’ve ever faced, we need the manliest, most powerful, aggressive, testosterone-laden American alpha males that our taxpayer dollars can buy in order to destroy our enemies and come home quickly and in one piece. Miss USA is a beautiful stick who’d have no chance killing ISIS fighters in hand-to-hand combat.

Deshauna Barber makes a great poster, and now we all know what she looks like underneath her uniform. It’s Combat Barbie Miss USA. But direct ground combat is not a beauty pageant stage. Barber is the media’s latest darling for being a satisfactorily diverse and pretty package delivering the government-approved party line. Meanwhile technology has not alleviated the need for brute strength and speed that women simply don’t provide, and they bring with them serious additional risks that men simply don’t.

Meanwhile, the Senate is voting on whether to subject America’s young daughters to mandatory registration for the draft as combat replacements. The girl next door will not have stunt doubles to fill in for the bloody parts, and for her it won’t be about “a few women who want to.”

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  • Dean Bruckner

    The demonic Left wants dead women, in equal numbers and gruesomeness to dead men, on every battlefield engaged by U.S. forces. If death and dismemberment statistics for women vary from that of men by the slightest asterisk, the social justice squads hungry for death–noticeably absenting themselves from the actual military, of course–will descend on the weaklings who make U.S. military policy and punish everyone in sight. Sick, sick, sick.

  • Michelle Schwartz

    I just retired after 20 years in the military, I’m not sure about women in combat and I hate beauty pageants. However….I guess I would be more impressed with the article if it contained more facts about women in combat and less catty commentary on Lt Barber’s appearance or that she is “only a reservist.” If you have to make your argument by denigrating another, you don’t have much of an argument.

    • Frank

      Michelle, she was relaying her personal experiences and in this day and age is not just in the Army she also is a college graduate. I applaud any woman that goes after her goals in life, and if competing in a pageant is one of her dreams congratulations are in order.

      • Wayne Cook

        Frank, I think Michelle agrees with you for the most part…I understand her not being sure about the women.,..but her points about Jude’s approach were right on…mysogyny is still wrong whether it comes from a woman or a man.

        I agree with you about the contestant. This argument goes back and forth…and it seems we conservatives would be a lot more supportive of women in general…The feminazis wouldn’t have a leg to stand on if we did.

    • Wayne Cook

      Touche, Michelle. You make more sense than either Jude or Jesse. And thank YOU for yourservice! You get it!

  • NO..no no no

    Oh look, Ms. Eden has posted yet again another full of half ‘facts’ and bias nonsense of an article. She bashes the LT again and again for not ‘knowing’combat but she herself was just a gate guard for one deployment which hardly makes
    her an expert. While she enjoys citing the Marine Corps study she fails to note that it has been criticized for numerous
    inaccuracy by those who have seen the thing in its entirety. The use of outdated terms (both by Eden and the Marine Corps study) like “hand-to-hand combat” shows a clear lack of understanding of asymmetric warfare and the skills needed by modern war fighters. Eden again demonstrates her severe lack of knowledge about modern combat when she states that we should send “testosterone-laden American alpha males that our taxpayer dollars can buy in order to destroy our enemies and come home quickly and in one piece” How did that attrition style of tactics work in Vietnam? Iraq? Afghanistan? Our numerous dead proves that short sighted, uninformed, idiotic tactic doesn’t work and hasn’t for some time. (For more fun facts look up what happened when unchecked individuals used the excuse that they were just too testosterone filled, and raped and/or murdered innocent civilians. We made more enemies and lost more lives when they retaliated.) Warfighters today need more to be intelligent, cunning and quick thinking than “testosterone-laden”, the days of fixing bayonets and taking the hill or storming a beach are over. (for the better I might add.)

    ISIS is reported time and time again to fear
    and avoid female fighters, yet she wants to paint our female soldiers as
    nothing but victims awaiting their inevitable rape and death.

    Sorry Ms. Eden but combat isn’t your expertise, stay behind the desk.

    • A=A

      So you’re saying in combat you want a squad of women covering your 6? Justify all you want but she is correct 100%. PC has damaged the military because people like you don’t have the intelligence to see it for what it is, and to be honest enough to state the obvious, Men are built for combat, women are not.

      And you hatred of this country is obvious, don’t forget that the actions you cited were run by a leftist government, Korea, Vietnam, and part of Afghanistan. The part Bush ran we kicked their tails and squashed them, until leftist trash took over and snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory. The soldier is not the problem, leftist PC types like you are.

      Sorry Ms. nonono, but combat isn’t your expertise, stay behind the desk.

      • NO..no no no

        Do you have any more buzz words you want to throw out to make yourself seem educated on the subject or is ‘cover your 6’ all you’ve got? In conflict I would want the best qualified,
        not only physically but mentally and morally, I don’t care what is going on between their legs. Raw physically strength is no longer the end all be all when fighting this nations wars, the tides are tipping and they have been for some time. There is no more front line, or trench to storm, we need a diverse,
        adaptable and intelligent force to combat the new NGO threat we face today. The recruitment of females and integration of them in to every caliber of combat unit proves that. The hastily formed CST is
        the best known but just one of many programs integrating females in to combat units before the media brought it to the public’s attention.

        Toe a party line all you want the facts are still the same, the use of attrition doesn’t work. Left
        or right up or down bush or whoever the use of attrition doesn’t work and fills body bags with Americans. Blindly follow your party all you want. You clearly do not understand the Middle East and what is and has happened over there. They were never beat, that fact is clearly demonstrated by the events taking place now over there.

        No one said the soldier was the problem, the culture and idea of all we need is big strong testosterone filled men kicking butt and taking names in a ‘hearts and minds’ war is the problem.

        I see by your other comments that calling people a ‘leftist’ and claiming they hate America is your go to. Get that all out now and come back with something that isn’t based on your delicate feelings.

        Sorry Mr. A=A, but you may be mentally out gunned here, stay under your bridge troll.

        • A=A

          Ask any combat vet if that’s what they see in the Middle East, you’ll find out brute strength is what wins fights. I’m sure you don’t know that, being a coward who wants women to fight for him, but in the real world the one who has the biggest stick wins. If you quit reading MSNBC and Kos you may actually learn something and may want to quit vomiting up the leftist talking points that are making you look a fool. And the attrition you speak of is only a valid point when your kind run the show and hold back those great soldiers who are trained to kill people and break things, “hearts and minds” is the leftists way of sacrificing soldiers in the name of PC crap. Was it “hearts and minds ” that beat the leftist Nazis? How about Pol Pot? Or the Japanese? Or the Cold War? Has that crap policy even won anything? War is death, we kill and destroy them until they submit, period. Women absolutely have a place in the military in support roles like the great patriotic work the WAVES and WAC’s did before the PC squad eliminated them, sacrificing their lives on the altar of PC.

          And I don’t call names I state facts, which I noticed you couldn’t counter or disprove. Please feel free to factually dispute anything I’ve said and add your sources. MSNBC, NYT, Huffpo, don’t count.

          • NO..no no no

            Ok you don’t know what attrition is, here you go.

            Attrition: the action or process of gradually reducing the strength or effectiveness of someone or something through sustained attack or pressure. It is what they used during the battle for Hill 937, and we all know how well that went.

            Like I’ve said before we no longer are fighting the Nazis, or some other conventional force. Soldiers no longer have a uniform to look for and shoot at there is no great leader or dictator to take out and end the violence. Drone strikes take out their leaders constantly but they fight on. If you need me to cite sources for that you aren’t paying attention. Asymmetric warfare, NGOs’ and the fact that the enemy is hiding in plain sight among the civilian population is why we need to fight a different war.
            This is why the go in and kill everything didn’t work in the Middle East, or Vietnam. And your go in and kill everything was not used during the Cold War. If anything the Cold War is an example of not needing brute strength.

            State facts? Your first comment had nothing in it needing disproving, just more feelings. Your memory fails you, you’ve called me two names so far, a coward and a leftist. You claim I don’t have the knowledge on the subject but you haven’t proven to me you have any more expertise than I. What makes you think you are somehow more informed?

            Here is a fun read for you google this it’ll be a PDF. Not from one of your hated media outlets.

            Women in Battle

            Gender Perspectives and Fighting

          • A=A

            Well, since I’m really tired of correcting you and your talking points, as well as not wanting to waste time on this any longer I’ll say you have no argument, no point of fact, and really have not even provided a cogent thought other than regurgitating the same incorrect garbage over and over. I did enjoy a laugh over the Attrition definition, I knew what I was saying and since I’m arguing with someone who believes the Cold War was won without fighting I just say that it’s too bad your obviously decent mind has been polluted by so many nonfactual thoughts by people who you must have had respect for. My professors tried it with me too in college and grad school, it didn’t work on me because I can think for myself. Just one more thing, what do you think Nam was? Answer; A cold war battle against the USSR just like Korea was basically against the leftist communist NK’s and Chinese. Not all wars are fought directly, but they are always fought with guns, bombs, and soldiers. Did we have flowers and hippies at Checkpoint Charlie? NO, we has guns, men, and tanks.

            And please tell me where feeling apply? I haven’t used them I, again, have stated facts you conveniently overlook because you cannot refute them.

            Have a good day and God Bless.

          • Wayne Cook

            Funny, the DI’s say brains..you say brawn. I’ll take a DI over your comment any day…and I’ve known four as close friends.

          • A=A

            So what you’re saying is you’ve never been in combat? Then your opinion is worth the paper it’s printed on. Wonder why they have weight rooms then, if brawn doesn’t count? Why don’t you see 100 lb. infantrymen? Why do you go to Ft. Bragg and find soldiers that are giants? Because if hand to hand combat, which happens no matter what you think, trained brawn wins, that’s why I do not support women in combat. But please, don’t provide a cogent point just match the ramblings of the other guy who makes no sense. But please, listen to the “4 DI’s” you know. Real ones will tell you trained brawn wins every time. And yes, soldiers have brains too that’s why we are the best trained and most powerful military in the history of the world. In spite of the damage the leftists do to them. And honestly do you want a 100 pound female next to you in a foxhole? Be honest.

          • NO..no no no

            So you have been to combat? what unit and when? I’ve been to bragg and no, most are average sized people. The average Ranger male is only 69″ and 174lbs, and those guys are the larger ones. Need proof? look up the units Facebook page (yes they do have em) as see the size of the average infantry man ( smaller than a Ranger).

            Hand to hand combat so rarely happens, its a joke you, and Ms. Eden keep trying to use that as some ace in the hole reasoning against women. Fox holes aren’t in use anymore, get with the times.

          • 1775

            You have friends that were DIs? So that makes you an expert?

      • Wayne Cook

        Absolutely. Now, I’d rather have 6 Kurdish women on my six than 6 American ladies.

        • A=A

          We are talking about Americans, please try to keep up.

        • 1775

          Laughable…..

  • Really?

    Army Reservist with Iraq and Afghanistan deployments here, but weekend warrior will suffice. Ms. Eden. Concerning the military, you don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not going to spend much time on you, but this is the first and likely last time I will be reading your work. I am a true conservative who wishes our side would actually persuade others. You are a mouth who makes it harder to do so.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      It seems you’ve missed the highlights of Ms. Eden’s military experience, so here you go:
      “Jude Eden served in the Marines from 2004-2008 as an 0651, Data Communications, and was stationed at Camp Lejeune with 8th Comm Bn. She deployed for 8 months over 2005-6 to support Camp Fallujah’s communications network and was also assigned entry checkpoint duty working with the Marine Infantry and frisking women for explosives on Fallujah’s outskirts.”

      • Really?

        Yea, I saw her military highlights. Cool. Like I said, I’m not going to spend too much time explaining why she should know better than to demean other branches.

        • Wayne Cook

          I agree, “Really?”. She has a platform and has used it twice now to bash other women for trying out.

      • Wayne Cook

        She has the experience…but not the forensics skills to analyze.

  • Dani Harrison

    I will not pretend to know anything about the issue with women in army combat but I think it does nothing for the article to bash her for being in a pageant and I thought it was sincerely problematic to talk about her beauty and “dangly earrings and be makeuped face” as a dig. You resorted to male tactics of using our right to dress, do, and fashion ourselves in any way we wish and then if we look nice using that to diminish us as intelligent, driven women. So good job promoting the patriarchy.

    • Wayne Cook

      Totally agree, Dani…I think it was a cheap shot by Jude.

  • Frank

    I don’t believe anyone can fault her determination to set the record straight that she feels she can accomplish anything a man can. Remember it was a question live on stage with only 30 seconds to answer. Most people would have froze.

    • Jennifer Hartline

      But it’s ridiculous to think a woman can accomplish *anything* a man can, just as it’s ridiculous to say a man can accomplish *anything* a woman can. That’s the point. We are made differently, male and female, with different strengths and abilities, for different purposes. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not inequality. Women simply are not as physically strong and tough as men. We’re not supposed to be!!

      • Wayne Cook

        Interesting…I guess our women aren’t as good as the Israelis, past or present.

        • 1775

          Oh the old false narrative of women in the IDF? Women were recently removed from IDF Armor units and they do not serve in heavy infantry battalions. They serve in the Caracal Battalion (light infantry border patrol units). The IDF wanted a 50/50 mix in those battalions but can only get 70/30 because men avoid serving in those battalions.

      • NO..no no no

        Combat success is no longer purely dependent on raw physical power. The military needs full package soldiers not one trick ponies. Women have already proven themselves in combat, it is not ridiculous.

        • Jennifer Hartline

          I would encourage you to look our men in uniform in the eye and tell them they are one-trick ponies. Go ahead.

          • NO..no no no

            Your super power is missing the point huh? I am saying that if all they are able to bring to the table is strength than yea, they are. If you want to Say that all military males are only strong the issue is with you and not me.

          • Jennifer Hartline

            My super power is the ability to understand and appreciate the God-designed differences between the male and female body. My super power also enables me to recognize that the men serving our country in combat in hostile territory and conditions bring their wits and training and skill to that task, which their physical strength allows them to perform in a way that makes the US Military the best military on the planet. My super power allows me to understand that in no way is that an insult to the intelligence, wits, and other abilities of women; rather, it’s a sober and honest assessment of physical, biological reality and not pandering to political or feminist correctness.

          • NO..no no no

            while that is a fine answer, and not once have I disagreed with the fact that women are on average going to be physically smaller and weaker. However people over estimate the physical strength needed to be successful in modern combat. The diversity needed esp. in the environments soldiers operate in now outweigh the ability to solely lift heavy objects. Women and the unique skill set and perspective they bring to the table are needed on the battlefield. Having them in support roles only proved to be not enough, that is why the army and marines both attempted hasty integration via the CST(army) and Lioness(Marines i think). Women, fully integrated within all units on the battlefield is not some PC feminist or lefties agenda it is needed for mission success.

          • 1775

            Marine Lioness Program? Laughable!!! They were not fully integrated and it is widely known as a joke in the Corps. They were brought along to search Arab females when needed.

        • 1775

          Been in many firefights?

  • Larry Notton

    Of course, being a weekend warrior in the reserves, has to worth at least a free bus ride, but she won on the so called advantage of her skin color, nothing less! These beauty contests, have become a farce, of the highest magnitude!

  • Frank

    The woman who wrote this semi-hit piece is an example of why it is more difficult for women to achieve greatness and be on par with men who are in the service.

    • Wayne Cook

      Totally agree, Frank…Not only did feminazis bail on women, now conservative women bail on their own who try.

      • 1775

        Glad to see all the academics that have never served in a infantry battalion are SME’s on the subject. In my 30 years on active duty in the Corps (84-14) multiple tours in the grunts in every level of infantry unit and yes I have fought in combat. The Gunny, even though having never have served in a “Victor” unit, spent 20 years in the Corps so she knows what the deal is. I can tell you, based on being a SME in the subject, women in combat arms occupations and units is going to fail outright. As for the Army, remember that is the institution that gave America the Pat Tillman narrative.

  • Wayne Cook

    I’ve heard a number of women, all of whom were ex mil, proclaim that it’s too hard on women…but women serve in combat roles in many countries successfully, from Australia (since 1910) to Russia, (their own elite special forces and sniper battalions) since before WW2.

    Personally, I’d want women of our country to be strong…Kurdish women are tougher than their male counterparts…I think it has more to do with motivation than gender.

  • David Holliday

    I find It funny how when we have competition with a diverse group of people certain people break out their magnifying glass or change the rules when a person of color wins. The women that wrote this article has the right to disagree with the choice, but disagree with some sense of Intelligence, the subject Matter to be discussed was Miss America pageant not women In the Military. the writer need to face reality that Beauty only skin deep,but Beauty plus wisdom and life experiences mandates what one may become,I am just saying!!!

    • 1775

      Ever served in a infantry unit? Bring that “Beauty plus wisdom and life experiences mandates what one may become” mentality down to the grunts and see what it will get you.

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