Chairman of the Joint Chiefs: Maybe the standard is too high....
When a reporter mentioned that the Pentagon’s stance appeared to keep open the possibility that some occupational specialties would be off limits to females, Gen. Dempsey responded: “[I]f we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn’t make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?”
As I explained in an earlier posting, the position of The American Legion is pretty clear on the standards issue:
RESOLVED, That the mental and physical qualifications of all military personnel, regardless of gender or age, should be held to a single duty position specific standard depending on Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and not be amended without Congressional authority; and, be it ...finally
RESOLVED, That The American Legion believes that without such Congressional hearings and oversight there exists the distinct possibility that changes will be made to lessen the current standards or set a double standard, one for men and one for women, for the sake of accommodating personnel for "social experiments," therefore, reducing our nation’s military effectiveness.
The comments of Dempsey appear to really have it quite backwards. Shouldn't the standards say exactly the same, and if they are unneccessary than the presiding authority should explain why a lowering of that standard is for the good of the military?
Bear in mind that this story about Dempsey appears on the same day that the Beacon is discussing cuts to the Marine Corps:
The United States Marine Corps is set to shed more than 20,000 active duty positions in the coming years and have already commenced a process meant to force some senior officers into an early retirement.
The Marines are on course to cut around 4,000 positions a year through 2017, decreasing the total number of Marines to 182,100 from its peak last year of 202,100, according to a major scale-down order that was quietly issued last year.
So we are lowering the number of troops, and we are lowering the standards within the services? (Or might anyway.) How does that make sense if the goal is to field the best fighting force we can?