The LA Times reports that, on his way out his own door, Leon Panetta opened the door for women to serve in combat-related jobs.
The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta’s decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.
A senior military official says the services will develop plans for allowing women to seek the combat positions. Some jobs may open as soon as this year. Assessments for others, such as special operations forces, including Navy SEALS and the Army’s Delta Force, may take longer.
Yeah, well, whatever. If history has taught anything, the services had better keep the standards for combat jobs regardless of sex. As I’ve always said, the bullet isn’t forgiving and doesn’t discriminate. I’ve also said that I’ve known women who could handle the job, but they’re not all suited for it – I’ve known men who weren’t suited for the job. I see lots of women on Facebook celebrating this ill-considered decision, but none of them are currently in the military. If we’re doing this to make the military better, fine, but if we’re doing it just to beat our collective chest and show how just we are, then that’s how a lot of body bags are going to get filled.
I’ve never subscribed to the theory that women in combat will distract from the job being done, but rather I’ve opposed this because the sociologists will force square pegs into the round holes, with a hammer, if needed. But, I’m sure between allowing the gays to serve openly and allowing women into combat jobs, the recruiters must be amazed at the target-rich environments in which they’re operating. Yeah, that’s sarcasm.
Thanks to everyone who filled my inbox with the news while I was typing this.