The Pentagon will soon decide whether to allow women in all combat roles, including elite special ops teams.
If the Pentagon decides to eradicate long-standing rules excluding women from over 300,000 combat jobs, including those in Army and Marine infantry units, it would effectively turn the armed forces into a gender-neutral military.
“We needed to give the services [each military branch] time to review and validate those standards looking at it through their unique lens and depending on where they come out we’ll see what they say,” the Pentagon’s Juliet Beyler told the Military Times.
But it’s as if the gender-neutral military is already a foregone conclusion; Defense Secretary Ash Carter placed the burden of proof on each branch to show why they shouldn’t allow women in various combat roles.
For example, any waiver request to exclude women from certain roles must be “based on a rigorous analysis of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to do the job,” according to Beyler.
This begs the question: will 18-year-old women also be required to register for Selective Service?
The Army in particular already opened the elite Ranger School to 19 female candidates, but none of them completed training despite favorable treatment.
“I honestly know that some (not all) of the females who are going through right now were treated favorably in order to be better prepared for Ranger School, and ‘favorably’ is a very conservative way of putting it,” one soldier stated. “For example: multiple opportunities to pass the Ranger Training Assessment Course; training in-between RTAC cycles to get better prepared to complete RTAC; training by a ranger instructor (not from Ranger Training Basic or RTAC) to get better prepared for Ranger School; physical training plans focused on Ranger Assessment Phase week events and weapons training.”
“All of this took place on the the government’s dime at Ft. Banning and they did not have duty obligations back at their units; I’m sure all Ranger students would love to be put on active duty orders (if guard or reserve) or separated from their daily duties to strictly prepare for Ranger school.”
Not surprisingly, this program was heavily criticized.
“One hardly knows what the Army was thinking,” Red State’s Streiff wrote. “If physical standards aren’t radically changed for women, and Bruce Jenner isn’t in the class, human physiology in terms of muscle mass, weight, bone structure, and upper body strength indicate that few, if any, birth-women (I guess we have to start using this now to be clear) can pass the program.”
“Personally, I was betting the Army would fold like a cheap suit.”