Republican to Pentagon: Release disputed study on women in combat

Republican to Pentagon: Release disputed study on women in combat
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Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) is calling on the Defense Department to release the full study by the Marine Corps that found women performed worse than men in combat training.  

A summary of the study was released earlier this month, and has become the subject of heated debate between the Marine Corps and its service secretary, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

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The summary said women performed less well than men with combat tasks and that mixed-gender units did not perform as well all-male units. Mabus has called the study biased and said he will recommend opening all combat positions anyway. 

Kline, in a Sept. 18 letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, called for the full release of the study's results, in response to allegations that the Marine Corps has been told not to release them. 

"I am concerned the Department of the Defense is withholding information regarding the findings of this report," wrote Kline, who is a Marine veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee. "Therefore, the Department of Defense should immediately release the full [Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force] report for review by members of Congress and the American people."

The services have until Sept. 30 to submit recommendations and supporting evidence to the Defense secretary on what combat positions or units should remain closed to women. The Pentagon has set a goal of opening every job and unit to women by January 2016. 

Kline asked Carter to review Mabus's statements, echoing concerns by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), a fellow Marine veteran who has called for Mabus's resignation for disparaging the Marine Corps' study.

"Additionally I ask you to review the recent public comments made by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus questioning the honor, courage, and commitment of the men and women that were part of the force integration study," he wrote. 

"As a 25-year Marine Corps Veteran, I am offended by these comments made by a senior leader in the Department of Defense."