Katie Petronio ’07, a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps, has written an article, “Get Over It! We’re Not All Created Equal” for the Marine Corps Gazette that’s garnering the attention of national media and the U.S. Congress.
As a female officer with five years of active duty in the Marine Corps, Petronio (formally Forney) says she’s convinced that “attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security.”
The U.S. Marine Corp. is now allowing women to train as infantry combat officers, which could lead to women fighting on the front lines, according to CNN.
After completing two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Petronio says was physically damaged and irreversibly changed, suffering weight loss, muscle atrophy and infertility. Yet, prior to these experiences, she says it’s likely she would have volunteered to be “an infantryman.”
“I was a star ice hockey player at Bowdoin College … . At 5 feet 3 inches I was squatting 200 pounds and benching 145 pounds when I graduated in 2007. … I also repeatedly scored far above average in all female-based physical fitness tests …,” Petronio writes. “Five years later, I am physically not the woman I once was and my views have greatly changed on the possibility of women having successful long careers while serving in the infantry.”