The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M infielder Rylen Wiggins (2) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Texas at the Austin Super Regional at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Aggies’ season ends with heartbreaking loss to Longhorns
Luke White, Sports Editor • May 27, 2024

Sharper play in the sixth innings of Texas A&M softball’s NCAA Super Regional series with No. 1 Texas may have been the difference between...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Women Warriors

 
 

Since Judith Crews was nine years old, she has asked her parents why women werent allowed to serve in combat roles in the military.
Now a member of the Corps of Cadets Squadron 6, Crews, sophomore international studies major, was pleased to hear that Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta had lifted of the 19-year-old Pentagon rule that restricted women from serving in the artillery, armory, infantry and other such combat roles a ban she saw as an offense to womens potential.
I think its insulting to the capabilities of women, by setting the physical training standards lower, Crews said. People just assume that [women] will not perform as well. I think that women who are interested in being in Special Forces should be able to prove themselves.
Though the Pentagon did order the services to open combat jobs to women, the process of achieving gender neutrality will be a long process. In his first interview since the lifting of the ban, the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos said the opening of certain combat jobs to women might depend on the number of women that qualify for physical and other standards.
While women make up 15 percent of the forces, according to Panetta, the 200 women in the Corps make up almost 10 percent of A&Ms Corps of Cadets.
Considering that 35 percent of the 200 women in the Corps will continue in ROTC to receive a position in one of the military branches, according to the Corps of Cadets website, it is worth discussing the affect that this decision about womens roles in combat could have on the Corps.
Col. Sam Hawes, assistant commandant for the Corps of Cadets, said that he does not foresee the Pentagons ruling on women in combat changing the dynamics of the Corps.
We are having huge success recruiting overall for the Corps, and our numbers of young women joining the corps are continuing to go up, Hawes said. The topic [of women in combat] has not come up in the recruiting process, it hasnt been an issue.
With this in mind, females in the Corps of Cadets voiced their opinions about what the recent lifting of the ban means for them as individuals, and for the military as a whole.
They havent talked to us about [the ban being lifted], said Mariah Stanley, sophomore international studies and anthropology double major in outfit S2, referring to the Corps administration. But they dont train the females very differently from the males here. In a way, they are already preparing us to be able to do a job like that if the opportunity presents itself.
The opposing reactions in the news to Panettas decision speak to the subjects relation to the issue of gender equality.
Many circulating opinions against women fighting alongside men in combat appeal to its potentially negative consequences on unit cohesion due to natural differences between males and females.
Some argue that the innate male tendency to protect women could create distracting tensions in a setting involving life and death decisions. While Stanley recognizes the grounds for this argument, she noted that precautions could be taken in regard to training to avoid such negative consequences.
I think some of [these concerns] are valid because its in males natures to protect females, Stanley said. It has the potential to be a problem, but if they spend time training together, which they will, I think it will help smooth that over.
Crews dismissed the argument that males natural tendencies could create tension, disapproving of its relevance to the issue at hand.
I know that some people argue that men dont like to see women get shot; its emotionally distressing for them, Crews said. But I honestly dont think that women should be punished because the men cant control how they feel.
In response to similar projections that natural sexual tension between males and females could potentially decrease combat effectiveness, Stanley applied her experience in an outfit of males and females, saying she finds them as romantically attractive as brothers would be.
Within our outfit in the entire Corps you can love your buddies, but you cant love your buddies, Stanley said. Thats literally how we put it. Its incest to date someone in your outfit.
Stanley noted that her male outfit members gave her the nickname mom, a testament to the platonic relationship she and the males in her outfit maintain. She also continued to point out that natural male and female tensions would be no more common in combat settings than they are in any other workplace, stressing the militarys emphasis on professionalism.
Another matter of contention is physical abilities. Some have questioned females abilities to score as high on physical and strength training as those who are currently in combat roles have scored.
Sophomore allied health major Azalea Toney considered the little emphasis that has been put on gender during her time in the Corps of Cadets, and she was encouraged by the impact that Panettas decision could potentially have on the widespread perception of womens capabilities.
I think that this not only opens opportunities for things in the future, Toney said. This sends a better and more clear message as far as pushing the limits and expectations.
While Toney said the recent ruling hasnt necessarily changed her future career goals, she hopes to contract into the Air Force and to one day go to sniper school.
This [change of women in combat] has given me the opportunity to really figure out what direction I want to go into because these are areas have not been explored by women, Toney said. I am so excited about this movement.
Stanley had been considering a future in the Marine Corps for quite some time, but the ruling that spots may now be allotted for women has caused her to look more seriously into the option.
Crews said she doesnt foresee a career in the military, as other classes caught her interest, and she has more of a passion for traveling and going abroad. In the end, Crews suspects that the buzz about the Pentagons ruling will soon resolve in peace.
I think its going to be a controversial issue for a while, Crews said. But the military has undergone a lot of changes [in the past], and I think that people are going to get over it. I think in the long run it will do great things for the military.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *