The Marine Corps opened up Infantry training to "WMs" or Women Marines. As I understand it the training is open but the job field is still closed. The training is to help improve the level of training and readiness of female Marines who necessarily augment line Infantry units in executing the "Security, Stability and Support, and Civil Support" portions of Full Spectrum Ops.
Wait you, say, Full Spectrum Ops is all about kicking in doors! Not so. A military operation is broken up into four areas, "Offense/Defense, Security, Stability, and Civil Support" that is very familiar to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Notice that we do not need women to conduct Direct Action.
Let me say that again, WE DO NOT NEED WOMEN TO CONDUCT DIRECT ACTION. So why is there a push to get women into the Infantry? What exact problem is this going to solve?
We need women for all the "other stuff" such as community engagement, medical relief, female interrogation, all the stuff that comes after direct action. SOCOM has been very successful with their "Female Engagement Team" (FET) program. The difference between a FET and a random female who goes through Infantry training is one of focus. Infantry training focuses on Direct Action, and as I stated before, we don't need females to conduct that mission. We need women trained in Civil Affairs and community engagement, not Ranger qualified door kickers.
Right now my Brigade is one of the 9 brigades shuffling women out of the Special Troops Battalion and Brigade Support Battalion and into Infantry and Cavalry formations. So far this is just letting women serve in their MOS in a maneuver battalion, not providing Infantry positions to females.
Thus sayeth GEN Odierno:
"This revision will result in the opening of six military occupational specialties and 80 units, more than 13,000 positions, to women -- opening up new opportunities to our female soldiers, which make up about 16 percent of our force and allows us to leverage the tremendous talent resident in our ranks."So there isn't a need for women in the Infantry from an operational standpoint. What we've always needed is female Soldiers with Civil Affairs or FET training. So why is there this big push after more than a decade at war to get women into the Infantry? Lets see what a Pentagon Talking head had to say about this:
Odierno said the Army is now "collecting information" and "setting a course forward" on how to move women into additional military occupational specialties (MOS) in the infantry and armor branches.
"There's been no decisions made. What we want to do is bring information up to the (Army) Secretary and I, so we'll take a look at it and decide the way forward on how we want to progress in potentially opening up these positions."
"We believe that it's very important to explore ways to offer more opportunities to women in the military," Pentagon spokesman George Little said in February.So once again this all boils down to "the senior leaders of the military are too white and too male!" And instead of looking at why that it they are blaming service in the combat arms branches.
To be clear, this drive is not based on an actual or perceived operational requirement. This is all about someone's idea of "fairness" and how the world "should be" and not how it is. Now, the real question is, "has anyone asked the mid career female population if they want a crack at Ranger school?" Because as idealistic as the hippy chick majoring in gender studies is when she requires "true equality" she isn't the population that is going to bear the brunt of Infantry training. Has anyone sat down and asked our female Officer and NCO population if they want a shot at joining the Infantry? I don't care what someone outside the military thinks about this, it isn't their ass on the line.
To me "it's not fair!" isn't much of a problem.