Reactions mixed on women in combat arms
A military advisory panel on diversity in the armed forces signaled this week that it may recommend that female troops should be able to serve in combat units without any restrictions, calling the current prohibition an out-of-date idea that unnecessarily discriminates against women.The following quote from the story does a pretty good job of capturing my position (with one caveat).
The recommendation, if eventually approved by military officials, would open front-line posts to military women for the first time. Women are now restricted to serving in combat support roles.
“... but as long as you can do the job required — female, gay, white, whatever — as long as it doesn’t hamper the mission, I’m all for it”Caveat: Like many other things in this world, its easy in concept, but the devil's in the details.
On a somewhat related topic, we have the following
The US Army announced the winner of the 2010 "Best Warrior Competition".
In the enlisted group the winner is SGT Sherri Gallagher.I didn't post this to single out SGT Gallagher. I have nothing but respect for her decision to serve her country, and her accomplishments in getting named to the Army Marksmanship Unit. The purpose of this post is to question how well we can expect an organization to integrate gays and women into combat units without impacting their effectiveness, when that same organization names as its "Best Warrior" someone who has never seen combat.
She is assigned to the Army marksmanship unit and is a enlisted to be an 88M or what you civilians call a "truck driver". In her extensive time in the Army she has been deployed exactly zero times.
You read that right. In an army at war in two theaters, the Army Best Warrior cannot in any sense of the word be termed a "warrior". It's not as if there weren't plenty of people to chose from who did have combat experience. Or even a job in a unit that might go to combat someday. Or even a job that had a military purpose.
The Army Marksmanship Unit is a shooting team. They do not deploy to combat. They deploy to Olympics trials and international shooting competitions.
Confused? I know I am...