Book Review: Women in Combat; Feminism Goes to War

Some time ago, I had been asked to look over the final, pre-publication draft of a book, written by a friend of one of my West Point classmates whose father just happens to be a Medal of Honor recipient. More on that later. I made note of some things and informed the author. Below is my review of the final, published book.


The book, Women in Combat; Feminism Goes to War, is written by Mark C. Atkins, a self-described, “failed Marine” (I checked; He has an Honorable Discharge) does what few folks today have courage to do, call out the current feminization of our military for what it is. This book is a natural extension to the feminist effort described by Bruce Deitrick Price; “K-12: The War on Boys and Men,” now being used to weaken our military.

Mr Atkins gets out of the blocks quickly and right in your face—with his choice of a title: Women in Combat: Feminism goes to War.  With this title alone, he is sure to become a target of the feminist left.

In Part One of his book, Atkins sets the stage, starting with the feminist agenda, differences between men and women, finishing the first part of his book by stating that the concepts of freedom and equality, are “false justification for women in combat.”

In Part Two of the book, He introduces what he clearly considers the crux of the issue, namely human nature and its most important product, the natural-rational-family. In his words:

We humans possess a healthy-nature, and this nature inclines us to produce instinctively and forever the natural-rational-family. Inasmuch as any ideal can be reduced to a formula, I posit as sovereign truth and offer no evidence beyond what common sense observation can provide, that the ideal family, born of our healthy-nature, consists of: A masculine man and a feminine woman united for life, in mutual respect, in a sexually exclusive union, the man leading, the woman following, the woman providing them and their offspring a home, the man protecting and providing for them and their home, both committed to the well-being and development of their children, both emotionally and physically affectionate towards each other and their children.

This family is most likely to produce the well being and survival of children and by extension the people. This family is the greenhouse that is most likely to produce the young man or woman that will withstand the vagaries of life, and make, support, and protect what is good, passing on the strengths of the people to the next generation. It is least likely to produce the young man or woman that is laden with baggage or dysfunctions.

That this ideal is rarely achieved does not justify our chucking it out the window. It is in fact broadly achieved by many, and many more over the course of a lifetime will make progress towards it. Indeed, the strength of any given people is a product of the degree to which its constituent families are able to embrace the ideal of the natural-rational-family. The further removed a people’s families are from this ideal, the weaker the people.


Atkins then goes on to blast feminism for the damage it has done to the American family and offers a dire warning.  He writes…

Feminism has pounded the square peg into the round hole, damaged both, and declared victory. Not satisfied with having wrecked the American family and thus American culture with its bad ideas, Feminism is now wrecking the United States military.

Later, Mr Atkins goes on to describes feminism’s objectives and methodologies—those culminating in a horrible end:

In order to sustain Sexual Liberation as a practical reality, Feminism has encouraged women to do that which is most contrary to their nature, i.e., to destroy their own offspring.

In Chapters 11-20, Mr. Atkins walks us through the physical and psychological differences between men and women while comparing them to the attributes desirable for a Soldier in close combat. He elaborates on just how the attributes of men are far superior to women for close combat, even in today’s technological era.  He further expands this by detailing how having women in close combat formations, can actually be a significant detriment.

I enjoyed this book, likely because Mr. Atkins is saying what I, and the vast majority of Americans, believed not all that long ago. He writes well, and throws in just enough humor to keep the book from being a finger-wagging lecture. The greatest strength of this book is that it is organized well and leads the reader through a logical progression to the author’s conclusion.


Now for the other shoe. Lack of citations for the fundamental assertions in the book detract from its credibility. Yes. “Everybody knows” that, on average, female upper body strength is less than that of males. “Everybody knows” that males are more aggressive than females. “Everybody knows” that strength and aggressiveness are critical attributes in close combat. However, unless it’s an opinion piece, the author needs some citations for these basic assertions. Fortunately, there is easily found and credible research out there to support all of the fundamental assertions upon which Mr. Atkins bases his argument.

What might have helped (Monday morning quarterback here) is to have brought one or two distinguished senior officers with combat experience along as co-authors. I had mentioned this to Atkins earlier, but it was too late to do so. It also would have been unethical to ask a senior military personage to “rubber stamp” an already written manuscript as his own.

To his great credit, Mr. Atkins did the next best thing by sending copies of his book to a number of senior officers with extensive combat experience who agree with his positions and who have given glowing reviews inside the cover. Best of all, the forward to this great book was written by Major General (Retired) Patrick Henry Brady, Medivac Pilot in Vietnam and recipient of the Medal of Honor.


This is a book worth reading for those who wish to get to the root of the problem which, according to Atkins, is a mass rejection of a common sense understanding of basic human nature.  It lays out a logical path that can only end up in one place. As Atkins states…

Just as home is what it is because it is an extension of woman’s nature, combat is what it is because it is an extension of man’s nature. He does not need to alter his nature to enter this arena. She must.

You can find “Women in Combat,” on Amazon

Mike Ford, a retired Infantry Officer, writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

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