I taught a history class last week to our local chapter of the Young Marines, and it was a blast. I spoke largely about the battle of Wake Island, America’s first victory in World War II. It came about 4 days into the war, on December 11th. It is an impressive story, and I recommend it to you.
But that is not the point of this post. What I want to talk about is a smile.
You see, there was one girl in the group, sitting in the front row. As I crutched out, I stopped and told her something.
“Hey. You know the Commandant just approved a new policy? Women are going to start going to Infantry Officers Course; real Oh-Three combat officers.”
The smile on that girl’s face was incandescent. She may have been 4′ 10″ and all of 80 pounds, but the look of unrefined pleasure, of joy in acceptance, gave me a lift that has lasted to today.
I have always been a proponent of battlefield equality; I would only hope that the Corps would make the physical qualifications for infantry service uniform and rigorous. Essentially, if you can carry the pack (mentally and physically) go get ’em.
Here is a quote from the Marine Corps Times article by James K Sanborn:
Additionally, new functional fitness tests are being developed to help Marine Corps leaders determine how women and men perform in, and cope with, various combat tasks. The goal is to establish “gender-neutral” physical fitness standards.
Bravo Zulu to General Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, for leading the way.