I think the stage is already being set for this. The new APFT, reportedly, will not have separate standards for males and females. With that done, the argument in favor becomes easier; they should be allowed to serve in any capacity where they can meet or exceed the same minimum standard.
A Pentagon commission is recommending that ground combat units be open to female troops, arguing women are already engaged in combat and that keeping them out of operational career fields puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to promotion.
The recommendation by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission has been expected since early January, when a draft version of the report was released. Opening combat arms to women was only one of 20 recommendations made by the commission. The report also presses for a military force that more closely reflects the country’s demographics.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, whose forces would see the most dramatic changes with women moving into combat jobs, did not comment on the recommendations.
Retired Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles, who chaired the commission, said the women they interviewed — all ranks from all branches — were neither gung ho nor shy about the possibility of serving in combat units.
“I didn’t hear, ‘Rah, rah, we want to be in combat,’ ” Lyles said, “but I also didn’t hear, ‘We don’t want to be in combat.’
“What they want is an equal opportunity to serve where their skills allow them to serve,” he said in a DoD release. “Removing the barriers for that, and removing the barriers to them getting credit for that, was our No. 1 focus.”