Women in Foxholes
Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, June 24, 2016 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler
Three years ago, a decree came down from the administration that gave the military until January 2016 to integrate women into all combat jobs, but that decree also authorized branches of the military to ask for specific exemptions. Acting on that decree, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced on December 3rd that the Pentagon would open all combat jobs to women.
That was not good news to General Joseph Dunford, Jr., who is a former Marine Corps commandant and current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He skipped the Defense Secretary’s announcement ceremony, but said, “I have had the opportunity to provide my advice on the issue of full integration of women into the armed forces. In the wake of the secretary’s decision, my responsibility is to ensure his decision is properly implemented.” In other words, he will do his job.
Since the decree had an opt-out provision, the Marine Corps learned through studying its units that all-male units had much lower injury rates and higher overall performance than co-ed units. So, the Marines asked permission to exempt females from infantry and armor positions. However, Defense Secretary Carter did not honor the opt-out provision, overruled the Marines, and mandated that the military operate under a common set of standards. Continue reading