Jay, the drive to order (not allow) women into direct ground-combat infantry battalions is being pushed by the new “diversity,” a concept that departs from the civil-rights tradition of non-discrimination against individuals.
The new concept demands “diversity metrics,” another name for gender-based quotas. In this case, enlisted women and officers like the young woman from West Point are to be treated like men and exposed to combat violence on an equal basis, even though they do not have an equal opportunity to survive, or to help follow soldiers survive. We are talking here not about being “in harm’s way,” but being forced to serve in DGC units that attack the enemy with deliberate offensive action. Yes, violence against women, and the failure to protect women, are signs of the change in culture that the military is being forced to lead. The 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, on which I served, recommended against the assignment of women to infantry battalions for various reasons, including the cultural argument reflected in this article. As fellow commissioner Kate O’Beirne put it best, “Good men protect and defend women.” Gender-integrated close combat is not a step forward for civilization, it is a step back.
— Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, served as a member of the 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.