Has the recent decision to allow women in combat roles and special operations created an unintentional animosity toward women in the military, not just toward those seeking those roles? The majority of women never asked to be in, nor do we want to be in, combat roles such as infantry or special operations. Yet now, because of the decision to push women into these roles, it almost feels as if we have to validate and defend ourselves for being in the military all over again.

Women in the military, just like men, want the best, most capable force possible, and lowering standards for combat arms and elite units will ultimately degrade them. “Should women be in combat roles and special operations?” is not really a simple yes or no type of question. Only a very small percentage of women will be able to physically and mentally meet the requirements of special operations. Women in infantry or other combat arms MOS will change the dynamics just as it did when women first entered the military. NCOs and company-grade officers will have to maintain physical standards and job performance, while senior NCOs and officers will have to push back against Washington and their drive for quotas and forced percentage-strength growth. If the focus is only on diversity and not upholding strict standards, our military strength and might will suffer.