Although women will technically be permitted to serve in the most intense combat positions in the military, they might be kept out of Special Operations due to concerns that the female soldiers might distract the male members of the team. Starting in 2016, women will be regularly assigned to combat roles, but they might not be given positions with the Navy SEALs, the Army Rangers and the Marine infantry.
Female soldiers are pointing to women on Special Operations teams in Afghanistan and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” as examples that they can serve. Still, some former soldiers are saying that assigning female soldiers to Special Operations teams will lead to problems, The Daily Mail reported.
“It can shift the focus of doing the job if everybody’s trying to get laid. I know it sounds incredibly juvenile, but it’s incredibly true,” said former Airborne Ranger and Special Forces sergeant Jack Murphy. According to Murphy, adding women can “make the entire team useless.”
An official ruling about whether or not women will be eligible for Special Operations roles has not been reached by military leadership.
“We haven't made any decisions, whatsoever,” said Major General Bennet Sacolick.
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that putting women into combat roles might help to rectify problems with sexual harassment and assault.
“We’ve had this ongoing issue with sexual harassment, sexual assault,” said General Dempsey. “I believe it’s because we’ve had separate classes of military personnel, at some level. Now, you know, it’s far more complicated than that, but when you have one part of the population that is designated as warriors and another part that’s designated as something else, I think that disparity begins to establish a psychology that in some cases led to that environment. I have to believe, the more we can treat people equally, the more likely they are to treat each other equally.”