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From Front Lines, Women Offer Evidence on Ability in Combat -

From Front Lines Women Offer Evidence on Ability in Combat NYTimes com


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“I didn’t sit around thinking: ‘I’m a woman, I don’t think I can carry this gun,’ ” she said. “And I can’t speak for the men, but I feel that when the bullets were flying, they didn’t care that I was a woman, as long as I was pulling the trigger.”

She added: “I contributed to the team effort. If I can do that, that’s all that matters.”

The armed services are now developing gender-neutral standards for all of their jobs, and the Pentagon has vowed that those standards will not be lowered to make it easier for women to join combat units.

At present, the Army, for instance, allows women to pass their physical fitness tests with fewer push-ups and a slower two-mile run, than men.

Will women be able to meet a new, single standard? Kristen Rouse, a first lieutenant in the New York Army National Guard who just returned from her third deployment to Afghanistan, said that she was confident they could.

“In my fitness test, I always pass by the standards of a male of my equivalent age,” she said. “And I’m not an athlete. The physical demands are not insurmountable.”

I for one welcome a single standard for all.

I also welcome fewer soldier skirmishes in the future -- and hopefully less war overall. 

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