Many are hailing the Navy’s push to add women to elite commando teams as a hallmark of progress, but the legendary founder of SEAL Team 6 warns that co-ed SEAL teams could confuse the combat decisions of leaders and opposes the high-level push to integrate the SEAL teams.
Cmdr. Richard Marcinko, a Vietnam veteran who retired in 1989, argues that SEAL teammates may be distracted from their mission by protective instincts for a female comrade..
If a SEAL is wounded in combat, leaders sometimes have to choose to leave them with weapons and ammo and to complete the mission before returning to collect them, risking the SEAL’s potential capture.
But if it’s a woman, her treatment by her captors may weigh on the team leader.
“The leader of this mission would have to weigh, should I drag her along with me and potentially slow things down, or do I leave her and hope for the best?” Marcinko said in a phone interview Wednesday.