Pat Robertson Says Marine Training Was Easy for Him 'But I'm Not a Lady'
Televangelist and host of the long running program "The 700 Club" Pat Robertson recently stated that his military training was not that demanding in part because he was male.
Robertson made his remarks Tuesday after news came that all four women in the U.S. Marines Corps' officers training course in Quantico, Va., failed to complete the program.
"I was trained at Quantico. I didn't think it was all that demanding, but I'm not a lady. The SEAL team training is ungodly difficult," said Robertson.
"They go on punishing hikes with huge packs on their back. The Marine Corps doesn't come close to the SEAL training and all the women washed out of that course."
Wendy Griffith, co-anchor for "The 700 Club" segment, concurred with Robertson on his assessment about women in combat.
"I like to work out. I like to challenge myself. I think there are just some women that want to see what they can do to the limit," said Griffith. "It's not a good idea. Men and women … there's going to be all kinds of issues. Sexual attraction. All kinds of issues that you don't want to have to deal with."
In January, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that the ban on women serving in active duty combat roles would be lifted.
In a U.S. News and World Report online debate, diverse opinions were given over the merit of having women in combat roles.
Katie Miller, special assistant at the Center for American Progress, argued that the decision by Panetta was a good one, especially since women have already been serving in "combat-intensive" roles.
"More than 150 female service members have been killed in action. Over 11 percent of combat veterans in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom have been women. Two female service members have received the Bronze Star, the nation's third highest award for valor in combat," wrote Miller.
"The question isn't whether women should be allowed in combat but how the military should adapt to 21st century warfare which demands the presence – and sacrifice – of women on the battlefield."
Kingsley Browne, professor at Wayne State University Law School, argued the opposite. Browne argued that women in combat roles would be problematic due to issues surrounding cohesion and "physical differences."
"The physical differences between men and women are obvious, as few women have the strength, speed, or aerobic capacity of even the average man. The British military determined that only 1 in 100 trained female soldiers had the physical capacity to function in infantry and armor units," wrote Browne.
"The rough camaraderie that men engage in to build cohesion will lead to sexual harassment charges by women, so women will be excluded from these important activities."
Robertson's remarks come not long after he received the first-ever "Winston Churchill" Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.