I have been hit with an avalanche of emails asking for my thoughts on this. I am going to make this very short- I think it’s fantastic and about time.
But what about physical requirements that will have to be relaxed for women? Simple, for roles where general fitness is more important than hitting specific metrics that were tailored to the male anatomy, I say the military is smart enough to figure out a policy that does not degrade our country’s ability to wage war effectively. But what about the special forces, such as US Navy SEALs, where even some of the most physically fit men cannot make the grade? I say do not relax the standards one bit. Sure, this will disqualify massive amounts of fit women who want to serve in such a capacity but not all. Those who can make it through BUDS training and Hell Week without any special treatment will prove to all of us just how stupid the ban on women in combat roles has been. On a personal level I have seen women act more bravely and endure more pain and inconvenience without complaint than the vast majority of men I have known throughout my life and I can only imagine what they are capable of when they actually have something to prove. Watch-out Taliban, a platoon of female Marines may be your worst nightmare yet, both physically and philosophically.
In the end America and its long history of discrimination has never been proven valid, we always find out after a social breakthrough has been made just how damaging exclusion oriented policies based on color, creed, and gender have actually been. I believe that any American, of any color, economic class or gender should have opportunity to prove themselves worthy of serving their nation in a combat role. The reality is that the enemy could care less what color your skin is, what you do in your bedroom, or what you have between your legs and neither should we.
Will integration be easy? No. Will there be major obstacles along the way? Yes. None-the-less I look forward to seeing America’s female warriors prove themselves in spades on the battlefields of tomorrow. I have 100% confidence in your abilities and professionalism.