Most of my normal days start with checking email, replying to anything particularly pressing, adjusting the order of my sticky notes that list out what I need to do today, and then reading the news, usually the headlines from the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and NY Times. This morning, the WSJ ran an opinion piece by Stephen Kilcullen on why women don't belong in Ranger school. The piece can be found online here.
Basically, Mr. Kilcullen believes that women don't belong at Ranger school because Ranger school's purpose is to teach small unit tactics to Infantry leaders. He feels that the Army is considering open Ranger school with the reasoning that 90% of the top leaders in the Army are Ranger-qualified, and so, women need to go to Ranger school to be competitive to reach those leadership positions. He feels that this degrades the mission of the Rangers, which is selfless service, pushing themselves to the limit in service to the nation.
Well, Mr. Kilcullen, did you consider that women also want to push themselves to the limit in service of the nation? That the women who can successfully complete Ranger school aren't doing so just to prove a point, it's because, just like all the men going through, they want to be the best leader they can, because they know they will be responsible for leading America's sons into combat situations. The Army's combat mission will hardly be hindered by having females capable of the same physical duress as the men currently Ranger qualified.
Mr. Kilcullen's opinion piece implied that women in the Army are more interested in their own promotion prospects than their dedication to service. Considering this is an all-volunteer Army, and that all women who have ever served in the Army have always been volunteers, I find this to be incredibly offensive. I certainly didn't join the Army because I wanted an easy job with good prospects. I joined, and plan to stay, because there is no greater honor than living every day knowing that I am contributing to the defense of my family and friends and neighbors.
In the 1970s, when women started pressing for admission to the service academies, that old boys' club also asserted that the purpose of West Point is to create combat leaders. That kind of leadership training wasn't necessary for female officers. I think that point has been proven wrong many times.
Also, to all the people who keep boo-hooing that the physical standards are going to be weakened to accomodate women, stop your whining and just give the schoolhouse a chance to run some women through. Yes, the current PT standards say that a female between 22 and 26 can get 100 points for doing 46 pushups, while a male of the same age has to 75. That doesn't mean that every female in the Army stops at 46. I hardly consider myself a PT stud, but I can easily do 75 standard pushups in under 2 minutes.
So anyway, that's how my day started. I'm sure my day can only go up from here.