There is no doubt that the Army is entering a massive paradigm shift, with severe troop cuts, budget crises, and a strategic shift toward decisive operations. We are all used to doing more with less but this sets historic precedence.
Now more than ever, it is urgent that we recruit and retain the most talented and agile of soldiers. Failure to do so equates to mission failure.
In the repeal of the DADT act, we have moved in the right direction. We put actions to words in stating that we need to pull from the largest pool of talent to recruit and retain the best.
We should not stop there. There is a large pool of current and potential soldiers that we are categorically excluding for career opportunities, based on an irrelevant trait. There are intelligent, motivated, loyal professionals who are being denied the chance to serve in key positions based solely on the fact that they have two X chromosomes.
While there are some initial logistical issues to work through, removing these exclusionary bans will exponentially improve our Army. Recommendation: maintain the single standard that is necessary for mission accomplishment for schools and branches and select the best individuals. No one refutes that the average male is physically stronger than the average female. But there are some weak men and some strong women. This would allow the best soldiers to select for schools such as Ranger school, Special Forces Selection, Combat Dive School and for fields such as Infantry, Armor, and Artillery. Yes, it will require some adjustment but this will eventually resolve. And yes, there will likely be a small percentage of male soldiers who may feel less special or elite by allowing all soldiers to apply for these schools and specialities. But I imagine that those soldiers who want the best for this Army will welcome this.
Im looking forward to the time when all qualified soldiers, regardless of chromosomal makeup, can be considered for all schools and specialties. I have confidence that our leaders will eventually look at all qualified soldiers and pick the very best.
LTC Amy Young
*The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.