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Op-Ed: Equality…. For Whom?

February 23, 2016

All opinion articles are the opinion of the author and not necessarily of American Military News. If you are interested in submitting an op-ed please email [email protected]


What constitutes “equal?”

Think about it. How is “equality” defined?

Traditional thinking defines “equality” as “the quality or state of having the same rights, social status, etc.” (quote courtesy of Merriam-Webster).

And yet, that definition has been apparently thrown by the wayside when it comes to the prickly issue of Women-In-Combat.


Sure, as of 01Apr2016, all combat roles will ostensibly be open to women. Because, “Equality” and stuff.

One big problem: that’s not equality. It’s still not equal. This elusive “equality” still has not been achieved.

Why do I say this? Two reasons. The first is the Selective Service Act, which requires every American male from 18-25 years old to register for the Selective Service. Registration is required to access a number of things including Federal employment and student loans. Essentially, the Selective Service Act was passed in 1917 in order to register all men for the draft, given that America had just enter World War and the need for able-bodied men of fighting age had fully manifested itself.

Today, only males are required to register for the Selective Service. Granted, the Selective Service Act was passed when only men were in combat roles in the U.S. Military, but now that combat roles are open to women, logic dictates that the Selective Service Act be expanded to include women as well.

Of course, the other option is to abolish the Selective Service Act altogether, given that the likelihood of America needing a full-scale draft ever again is fairly low. Either option would make things more equal, but until one or the other is enacted, things can never be truly equal.

The second reason is the disparity in PT standards. Across the board, females have lower PT standards by a significant margin. Again, this is not “equal.” When compared to the previous point of the Selective Service, the PT standards issue is far greater.

I am prior active-duty airborne infantry. Loaded up with body armor, primary weapon and ammunition, secondary weapon and ammunition, CLS kit, ACH, and whatever else I had with me, my 6’3” frame weighed at least 260 lbs. There is no way on God’s green earth that a 5’3, 110lb woman with 50 lbs. of gear on is going to be able to pull me out of the line of fire if I get shot.

To be sure, there are some women who could fit that bill. If they can pass the male PT standards, then so be it. Welcome.

The military is one of the most discriminatory organizations in America. It must be. One cannot be too short, too tall, too fat, too skinny, too young, too old, too dumb, etc. You cannot join the military if you have a major physical or mental handicap. You are not allowed to join the military if you refuse to take an oath of loyalty (or a similar statement). Until recently, openly gay men and women were not allowed to serve.

The military has very specific requirements, and they need people to fit those requirements. The military does not exist to provide a given person with a career. When it comes do to it, the purpose of the military is to break things and kill people as efficiently as possible. It might be hard to hear, but it is true. Anything that hinders this is a detriment to the military and should be discarded, such as this ludicrous idea that women in combat roles (read: the infantry and such) will make said combat roles more efficient in completing the above purpose.

And before anyone starts drawing false comparisons between Women-in-Combat and the previous exclusion of African-Americans from the U.S. military, let it be known that the two are not similar in any way. Black people can do whatever white people can. However, women (in general) cannot do whatever men (in general) can, and vice versa. When a man (a real man, not Bruce Jenner) manages to give birth to a baby, then maybe we can entertain that men and women are truly the same. Until then, we should recognize that men and women are different, acknowledge these differences, and work within those contexts. To sit here and pretend that two different things are in fact that same is the height of idiocy. We should celebrate our differences.

While I would have some other reservations on Women-In-Combat, there is absolutely no way that I could ever support this policy such as it is. From my interactions with hundreds of infantrymen and ex-infantrymen, I have not talked to a single one who thinks that this was a good idea. Not one.

The Selective Service Act must be amended or abolished, and the PT standards must be made equal. Until then, this will never work.