Let Them Engage in Ground Combat Already

There are times when I realize that a topic may be complex, difficult to grapple with, and even more difficult to solve, but one of those shouldn’t be women in ground combat operations.

Just read this article about two women that passed the Sapper Leader Training course, one of the toughest and most grueling combat training courses available. 1st Lt. Audrey Moton and 2nd Lt. Carley Turnnidge both passed after 28 extraordinary days of physical stress, little food, and very little sleep. Basically, it’s a course that demonstrates your ability to perform complex engineering tasks during combat, and it is incredibly tough. Just take a look at the pamphlet alone for a bare idea of what these two just did. It’s the only training course of it’s kind that accepts women, and since 1999 there have been 60 female graduates.

Now, why the hell aren’t these women being allowed on the front lines? Do we not need people to detect land mines, build bridges under fire, or blow up buildings in a way that won’t kill the rest of their unit? Are we overloaded with badass engineers? This should be such a no-brainer. What could possibly be preventing smart, capable, and dedicated women from the front lines?

“It sets me apart from my peers,” Turnnidge said, “and over time more women will be able to prove themselves.”

Why should they have to prove themselves like this? I mean, the vast majority of ground troops on the front lines have passed basic training, not Crazy Engineering Death Machine training. I mean, sappers can basically build a device to snuff out your life with a handful of sand and a mirror. Why should women have to learn to shoot at people while digging ditches when their male counterparts are allowed to “prove themselves” by capably being able to do both really well individually?

1st Lt. Moton and 2nd Lt. Turnnidge are inspirations, and they should be allowed to serve on the front lines where they not only want to be, but where they can use their incredible skills to help keep more people alive. This should be the easiest decision the Pentagon makes.

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