Skills not Gender are What Matter in the Military

“We are just looking at the future and saying that someday there are going to be knowledge, skills, and attributes without respect to gender, physical attributes, personal attributes,”

Reprinted with permission from Kevin Hanrahan

Posted on 24th January, by Kevin Hanrahan in Soldier.

When I wrote my first post, Women Shouldn’t be In Combat, supporting women in combat I was quite nonchalant about it. I wanted to poke fun at what I believe is an antiquated way of thinking. To me women in combat aren’t a big deal. On the ground, in combat we are pretty much past that point already.   

I’m an Army officer and have worked with and witnessed women successfully serving in every capacity allowed on today’s battlefield.  

But the post received a ton of attention so I wrote another addressing the reasons why folks were against women in combat. That post, Reason Women Shouldn’t be in Combat Units received even more attention than the first and I continued to receive arguments against my position.  

So wrote a third post titled, Here are More Reasons Why Women Have no Place in Combat Units. That post had 4k hits in the first day- my record so far! 

Finally I wrote the last piece in this series, Women in Combat Units = the Evolution of our Military to explain my feeling and thoughts on the background. This is the genesis of my belief that it shouldn’t matter what hardware you have under the hood. If you can meet the standards (One standard) then you should be allowed to do the job. 

So lately I’ve been noticeably silent about the topic (at least to me). It began when I started my new job. My new office is spearheading many initiatives that may lead to the opening of military occupational specialist which currently exclude women. Bottom line is that I am too close now. Before when I was just speaking my mind and giving my opinion based on my 20 years of service and three tours to Iraq/ Afghanistan there was no issue.  

Now I know too much about what is actually going on in the Army.  So you won’t hear a peep from me.  I won’t comment or say a word about the subject. 

Trust me when I say I want to. I just received a really cool offer from US News and World Report to write a piece on the topic.  

I won’t do it though.  

Flattered yes but foolish no. My loyalty is to my Army. 

But I still stand by everything I wrote  last year in the series of four posts. 

So what is the purpose of this post? 

Maybe you missed the news?  

CNN is reporting that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will make the announcement today and notify Congress of the planned change in policy. Military to open combat jobs to women

This post is just a reminder that there are many, many people in the military that feel the same way as I. There are also many, many that don’t. Also to let you all know I am delighted by the news.

I will leave you with a very profound quote from my boss’ boss. 

“We are just looking at the future and saying that someday there are going to be knowledge, skills, and attributes without respect to gender, physical attributes, personal attributes,” General Robert W. Cone, commander United States Army Training and Doctrine Command. 

I say kudos to you, Sir!  



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