Small Wars Journal

Pentagon's Women-in-Combat Push Faces Chilly Headwinds

Pentagon's Women-in-Combat Push Faces Chilly Headwinds by Rebecca Kheel, The Hill

The Pentagon faces major challenges ahead in 2016 as it works to make good on a pledge to open all U.S. military combat jobs to women.

The toughest part of the integration, which President Obama and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter have made a priority in their final year in office, will be overcoming deep-seated opposition among many male special forces commandos.
“They feel what makes them special is being all male, and somehow integrating women is going to make them less special and less adept,” said Megan MacKenzie, author of “Beyond the Band of Brothers: the US Military and the Myth that Women Can’t Fight.”

“A lot of that is based on emotion and a lack of experience working with women.”
The four services are already taking steps to allow women to serve in all jobs. Service chiefs must submit their implementation plans to Carter by Jan. 1…

Read on.



Sat, 01/02/2016 - 10:20am

Just an added facetious comment. Try sending a female armor officer to advise a Saudi Armor Battalion or Brigade. Or, maybe we should try a Middle Eastern education tour with a gay Secretary of the Army to bring that region on board with a real inclusive coalition. That would really improve our influence in the region! The social experiments I see are of great concern to me. I see them as meddling with our combat organizations and counterproductive. Our next conflict may not have friendly skies or an enemy in a Toyota.


Fri, 01/01/2016 - 9:08am

So, the toughest part will be overcoming deep-seated opposition among many male special forces commandos. Maybe not. Another SWJ article states these units attract a certain demographic who is solidly heteronormative, traditional male, strongly conservative, and religious believing. That description identifies 70% of the people in this country who profess a Christian religious preference and will influence who shows up at the recruiting station. Hummmm.. solidly heteronormative. This administrative decision ignores our Christian heritage, traditions, values, and practices. That is not smart. Not only does this decision effect those presently serving, but alienates 70% of the population. I had 4 deployments to South Vietnam and served on two Special Forces A-Teams. I say this so as to not be confused with some campus chair-borne Ranger who has only studied. To place women permanently in these units goes against thousands of years of experience in war fighting. We do not lead our amphibious landings or combat assaults with our women.