(PC: Adam Zyglis)
Dakota Meyer, who earned a Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for bravery, as a Marine in Afghanistan, said he has some concerns about the Pentagon’s decision.
“In my opinion that decision was based on a political push and not a realistic thought-out study,” Meyer said.
He pointed out that women have served effectively in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Pentagon may not have done enough research into what impact integrating women will have on all-male units, such as the infantry.
“Once again politicians aren’t listening to their counterparts in the military,” he said, referring to Carter’s decision to reject the Marine Corps’ request for a waiver.
There are 213,600 male-only jobs in the military in 52 specialties, most of them in infantry units in the Army and Marine Corps. Many fields have been opening to women in the last year, including the Army’s elite Ranger school, its premier light infantry course. Three women have passed the grueling tests and have earned coveted Ranger tab.
During a decade’s worth of conflict, more than about 300,000 women were deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 9,000 female troops have earned Combat Action Badges. More than 800 female service members have been wounded and at least 161 have died from combat- and noncombat-related incidents, according to Defense Department data.