Petticoats on Soldiers
Enlarged November 16, 2017 (first published February 2, 1997)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
On September 26, 1811, William Henry Harrison, General, United States Army, told Tecumseh, head of the Indian nations: "I will put petticoats on my soldiers sooner than give up a country I have bought fairly from its true owners!"

We aren't going to comment on the authenticity of the land treaties in dispute at that hour. What caught my interest in this was Harrison's philosophy of soldiering.

General Harrison would be shocked to conceive of an America in which females would compose 14% of the military forces, including 35,000 female officers, and that women would be stationed on fighting ships and submarines, in combat aircraft and front line fighting units. (It was announced in January 2013 that the U.S. military is rescinding its policy restricting women from serving in combat-focused positions such as infantry units.)

Already in the 1990s, about eight percent of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia were women, including as many as 10,000 young mothers separated from their children. That is unnatural and biblically wrong, as mothers are to be “keepers at home” (Titus 2:5).

Morally, the result has been catastrophic. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies have skyrocketed, and no wonder.

“An officer wonders if society is ready for the coarsening and ‘defeminizing' effect a co-ed military has, where thousands of men and women bunk and dress in open spaces of warehouse barracks ‘without a wisp of privacy.' A female soldier said they never quite get used to changing their clothes in front of men in co-ed tents (
Calvary Contender, Feb. 1, 1994).

In the modern gender-neutral military a massive amount of time and money is spent on things such as investigating reports of sexual harassment that could be spent on the real business of defending the nation.

Was General Harrison deluded by the “old-fashioned” thinking of his era, or did American men of bygone days know something and feel something that today's men do not?

No doubt, the latter is the case. American men of past generations would not have conceived of sending the women off to war. That was a man's task. Frequent was the occasion in which the women fought alongside their men, but that was on a local level when individual farms and communities were attacked. Men, not women, are physically and emotionally equipped to be warriors. Men are not women, and women are not men. The vast differences are designed by God for the different roles that each gender plays in this present world.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis warns:

“Front-line combat, if you’re hauling a 60-80 pound pack in the mountains of Afghanistan, in severe cold or severe heat is incredibly grueling. It’s the most physically demanding job known to man. Our own tests in the military have evidenced that women have only half of the upper body strength of men, which explains why they can’t carry heavy burdens all that well. They also have a quarter less stamina or endurance. Women typically aren’t as fast, so that’s why we don’t see women running in marathons against men. That doesn’t mean women can’t run or they aren’t reasonably fast, but they aren’t at the capability as the average man.  We’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of people, trying to get the best physically and mentally qualified. Women, in many cases, are very physically capable within their own category, but they can’t do these tough jobs” (“There’s a lot of sex in the ranks,”
WorldNetDaily, Jan. 30, 2013).

The differences between men and women have been obvious to mankind throughout history, but rabid unisex campaigners today are doing their best to belittle them. Speaking at the Armed Forces Full Honor Review Farewell Ceremony on January 3, 2017, President Barack Obama said, “Joe Biden and I know that women are at least as strong as men” (“Obama to Armed Forces,”
Breitbart, Jan. 4, 2017).

This nonsense is refuted by the fact that men and women can rarely compete head-to-head in athletics at the elite level.

“As a group, women do not run, jump or swim as fast as men. Women are also more prone to certain types of athletic injuries than men. ... The mean difference has been about 10 percent between men and women for all events. The mean gap is 10.7 percent for running, 8.9 percent for swimming and 17.5 percent for jumping” (“How Do Men and Women Differ Athletically?

Women are smaller in stature than men. “The average 18-year-old man is 70.2 inches tall and weighs 144.8 pounds, whereas the average woman of the same age is 64.4 inches tall and weighs 126.6 pounds” (“Physiological Differences Between the Sexes,”, U.S. Army physical training regulations).

Women have significantly less crushing strength in their hands than men. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee found that on average, adult males between the ages of 20 and 24 generate 121 pounds of “crushing” grip strength in their right hands, and women in that same age group had 70.4 pounds of grip strength in their right hands (
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation).

Women have about 10% more body fat than men. “Men accumulate fat primarily in the back, chest, and abdomen; women gain fat in the buttocks, arms, and thighs. Also, because the center of gravity is lower in women than in men, women must overcome more resistance in activities that require movement of the lower body” (“Physiological Differences Between the Sexes,”

Women’s hearts are about 25% smaller than men’s. “Thus, the man’s heart can pump more blood with each beat. ... Thus, for any given work rate, the faster heart rate means that most women will become fatigued sooner than men” (“Physiological Differences Between the Sexes,”, U.S. Army).

Women have about 30% less lung capacity than men. “This gives men still another advantage in the processing of oxygen and in doing aerobic work such as running” (“Physiological Differences Between the Sexes,”, U.S. Army).

Women have less oxygen-carrying capacity than men. The woman’s blood contains 20% fewer blood cells. “Since red cells supply oxygen to the body, she tires more easily and is more prone to faint. Her constitutional viability is therefore strictly a long-range matter. When the working day in British factories, under wartime conditions, was increased from ten to twelve hours, accidents among women increased 150 percent; the rate of accidents among men did not increase significantly” (Physical Differences,”

Women have about 50% less upper body strength than men and about 30% less lower body strength (“Men vs. Women,” This is because of a smaller ratio of muscle mass to body weight. “This explains why female speed records in running and swimming are consistently 10 percent slower than men's” (“Physiological Differences,” “A woman who is the same size as her male counterpart is generally only 80 percent as strong” (“Physiological Differences Between the Sexes,”, U.S. Army).

Women have less bone mass than men, having shorter and smaller bones. This provides a significant mechanical advantage for the man. “The increased articular surface and larger structure of male bones provide them with a greater leverage and a wider frame on which to support muscle. Similarly, the ligaments of female athletes are generally more lax and fragile than those of their male counterparts. This gives male athletes an advantage in sports that involve throwing, kicking and hitting, and explains the higher incidence of musculoskeletal injuries among female athletes” (

Only a short while ago, the expression, "Your mother wears combat boots" was a statement of derision, yet many mothers wear combat boots in modern America. It is a strange day. I'm glad that it was my father, and not my mother, and my grandfathers and not my grandmothers, who wore the combat boots in my family. I’m glad that it was me and not my wife who wore the combat boots.

The Bible confirms that it's man's job to defend his home and nation. When God pronounced judgment upon Babylon, that ancient warrior nation, He said, "The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their holds: their might hath failed; THEY BECAME AS WOMEN..." (Jeremiah 51:30; see also 50:37).

This is not sexism; it is reality. To refuse to discriminate between things that are obviously different is a form of insanity.

This is not to say that women are not strong. In fact, godly women, particularly, are often stronger than their husbands in moral and spiritual ways, and women sometimes have more fortitude than men.

This is not to say that there aren’t jobs that women can do in the military as efficiently and well as men.

And this is not to say that women have not frequently aided the men in defending home and nation.

We have records of this in Scripture. Jael, wife of Heber, killed Sisera, the general of Canaan's armed forces, when he stopped by her tent as he was fleeing Israel's army (Judges 4:17-22).

The prophetess Deborah led Israel's army into battle on that same occasion, but she made it plain that she knew that this was unnatural. When she was requested by Barak to do this, she said, “I will surely go with thee: NOTWITHSTANDING THE JOURNEY THAT THOU TAKEST SHALL NOT BE FOR THINE HONOUR; FOR THE LORD SHALL SELL SISERA INTO THE HAND OF A WOMAN” (Judges 4:9).

That was a day in which the men of Israel had turned from the Lord and were weak. The book of Judges contains many examples of unnatural things like this, which are not intended to be positive examples for future generations.

As a veteran and a man who loves America, it is very sad to see what has happened to the U.S. military. It has been feminized, lawyerized, environmentalized, psychologized, and homosexualized, but at root this is a judgment upon a wicked nation, particularly because of the apostasy and deep moral and spiritual compromise of the nation’s churches, and the only solution is a spiritual revival.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chron. 7:14).

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