The following is guest commentary from Michael R. Howard, captain, SEAL, USN, (retired).

The recent graduation of the first two female Army Rangers politely opens another door for women into the Navy’s Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, a decision the Navy must make by January 1, 2016. Sadly, we know it is a done deal, and we will soon have our first “G.I. Jane.” For the sake of “opportunity,” a finely tuned national military asset that is not broken will be “fixed.” In his infinite wisdom, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus ordered SEAL training standards reviewed for gender neutrality, which is politically correct for “lowering standards.” Incredibly, 14 years of unprecedented combat success in Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., is not sufficient evidence that SEAL training standards are quite adequate, not to mention the preceding four decades of combat success!

The SEALs are our military’s professional athletes, who kill our nation’s enemies. Why is every sport, high school to professional, gender separate? The answer is obvious. We all know why. How can we separate men and women at every athletic level, yet think it is appropriate and necessary to combine them on a professional athletic killing team?

Why not first level the playing fields, literally? Save Title IX money and make all athletic competitions gender neutral. No more separate men’s and women’s teams, but co-ed. Let the best athletes prevail, for the sake of opportunity. Let us see if this works before we throw in the killing. It is idiotic. We all know women would suffer the inevitable consequence of limited participation at every level, simply because few would make the teams. For years, I coached high school boys’ soccer and frequently observed the girls’ games and practices. I have never seen a female player with the speed, quickness, strength, and aggressiveness to compete with boys—a distinction that grows greater at higher levels.