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Plan to lower standards for women in combat strictly political, says critic

Chad Groening   ( Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A conservative military watchdog says the newly announced plan to allow women in front-line combat units will do nothing but degrade tough training standards.

Under the schedules delivered to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, the Army will develop standards within the next two years to let women train and possibly serve as Rangers. By March 2016, women could begin training as Navy SEALS. U.S. Special Operations Command is working on deciding what commando jobs could be opened to women and when the transition would take place.

The plans require women and men to meet the same physical and mental standards to qualify for the front-line positions. It is still possible that women will be kept out of some jobs if research and testing find that they could not be successful in sufficient numbers.


Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), tells OneNewsNow therein lies the problem.

"General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, said in January that all standards will be questioned if they are 'so high that a women couldn't make it,' using his words," she points out. "The all-male units that we're talking about today should remain all-male - that's the only way to keep those standards high and commensurate with the demands of direct ground combat."

The military services are also working to determine the cost of opening certain jobs to women, particularly aboard a variety of Navy ships, including some submarines and small warships. Costs for accommodating such a change would be "incalculable," says Donnelly.

"You can't take a small submarine and stretch it like a limousine - and you have the health costs and the operational issues [as well]," she explains. "The Department of the Navy has just disregarded and brushed aside all these arguments that are based on reality, and they're just pursuing political objectives."

The CMR leader believes Congress must intervene.

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