In the continuing quest to social engineer the world's finest military (since fiscal management is too hard) outgoing SECDEF Leon Panetta (with CJCS GEN Dempsey) are expect to announce a major policy change any day:
... (He will lift) the military's ban on women serving in combat, a move that will allow women into hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando units, a senior Pentagon official said Wednesday.https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/23/panetta-women-combat-pentagon/1859221/
Obviously there is significant angst/significant joy from the various factions as the social engineers continue to "break down barriers" in this brave new world.
Here's my take:
(1) If we're going to do this, lets start with all-female infantry units. Lets get the PT/HT/WT discussion off the table and focus on Army FM 7-8 (or whatever they use these days).
(2) I would prefer that a group of qualified women be screened, vetted, assessed, trained and employed by SOF then a general cohort foisted on any number of commanders who, frankly, don't need this hassle right now.
(3) How many men would like to serve in combat arms but never get the chance because of the Needs of the Service. If this policy is absolutely necessary (under any version of "fairness") then logic dictates that every able-bodied man who is qualified to do so should have first refusal on slots to the Combat Arms.
(4) Similarly, there are a lot of men in non-combat arms, content to be there, who would still liked to have a chance to go to Ranger School. Yes, in theory it IS open to all men, but anyone who's ever tried to go to Ranger School from most non-combat branches knows that the theory and practice vary greatly.(Again, if this is about "fairness" then lets be fair!)
(5) I don't recall seeing any significant writing from females with all this "combat experience" on the operations they conducted, their assessment of tactics, techniques, and procedures, or the like. I was sure hoping we'd have a slew of new material from them, based on their collective experience. So how exactly are we improving our combat power?
(6) I remember watching Restrepo and wondering how all the "grab-ass" and the like would work in a mixed unit. I concluded it would probably go bad at some point.
((I originally had something here, but I decided that it would distract from the topic.))
I guess we hope for the best....