A recent report recommended that women be permitted to be fully assigned to ground combat units and in combat MOSs. A report by ArmyTimes discussed some pros and cons. Here's my thoughts on the issue.
For generations women have wholeheartedly served in the Army, many following the mantra, "It's my war too," in many roles from supply to admin to to pilots to signal to ADA. But, even during the most recent conflict, most Americans think that women do less and sacrifice less and are kept safer, because they aren't the door-kickers and bomb-droppers. So first, I wish the average American was more grateful for the countless women who have served and sacrificed so much to serve.
By opening combat units and MOSs to women, I think all servicewomen will earn more respect for their contributions. Also, the opportunity to have fully acknowledged combat experience, to get the training and opportunities and more prestigious assignments, will definitely help the women who choose to pursue that path because it will earn them more respect from their peers than if they were stuck in non-combat units.
This, however, brings up the question, can women do it? Women in general cannot do what an average 11B does, but then, neither can the average American male.All AIT and BOLC courses would need to be more stringent in their evaluations of every Soldier going through and not be scared to fail someone and send them to a more appropriate MOS. Just because a female puts down Infantry and by luck of the draw gets assigned that, if she can't complete the requirements of Infantry BOLC, then she needs to be rebranched. Just the same, if she can't pass the technical classes of Signal BOLC, she also needs to be rebranched. So maybe the Army needs to rethink their assignment process for officers and offer more evaluations to help guide new recruits pick an MOS, and then determine the highest standards for that branch and enforce them.
More opportunities, such as Ranger School, however, should be available to women. In any branch, a Ranger tab brings instant respect, and any woman who can complete the course deserves the same respect.
In conclusion, I would wholeheartedly support full integration of women into every aspect of the Army. It will draw better women, and build a better Army. Just as they did when women first showed up in uniform, society will adjust.