On Thursday, the United States Army opened what is considered “combat arms” occupation specialties to females. Females were not, at least in any substantial way, demanding this of the Army. Mission requirements were. Prior to Thursday, needed females were attached to combat occupation specialties so that the male soldiers in these specialties could complete their missions. The male soldiers were unable to complete their mission without the presence of these female soldiers. However, because females were “not allowed” to serve in combat specialties under prior regulations, they did not receive the same acknowledgement, recognition, or promotional benefits as their male counterparts. A good analogy would be as if the drafted soldiers sent to Vietnam were told when they returned home that they didn’t serve because war is illegal. This practice of attaching females to combat specialties due to mission requirements without giving the same benefits was one of the most overtly exploitative and oppressive for female soldiers in recent years. Some people, seeing this, took the matter to the Supreme Court. Though still in deliberation for determining the constitutionality of this practice, the powers that be have preemptively opened combat arms occupation specialties to females. There are many options for redress of this matter, and they have chosen this one. We, as a military, have until 2016 to determine the viability of this option.
Let’s be clear.
For all those who are demanding that females be held to the same physical standards as males, understand this: combat arms occupation specialties need females and therefore will most likely determine appropriate standards that will allow them to fulfill this need. The fact that combat arms needs us means this will be on our terms, and they will probably accommodate our specific, physical needs. Because, I say again, females were not in any substantial way demanding entry into combat arms specialties. If males have a big belly-ache over it, I say this – you have legs, arms and the right to assembly. Go pick up a picket sign and march Washington. Otherwise, shut up and stop harassing me in the work place!
If I didn’t have so many male soldiers in every unit I’ve been in for the past 11 years unable to even meet the FEMALE physical standards, I would be way more sympathetic to this argument. In addition, as a rugby player, I’ve met women who can pretty much eat most men alive. And I’ve met infantry males that I myself could pretty much eat alive. And I’m only 5’2″, 120 lbs. So, let’s be clear.
Mission first, soldiers always.