It is frankly absurd and wrong for a great many reasons for women to be in the infantry and for us, as a society, to be trying so hard to make this happen. I’ve explained my thoughts on this issue elsewhere.
That said, it does not surprise me that a certain number of women could meet the minimum standards and make it through the post-boot-camp, SOI course, i.e., 27 min. 3 mile run, 3 dead hang pull ups, etc. The girls who did so should be commended, and the group that did so seems to have the right attitude.
That said, it sounds like they barely made it. One broke her leg. Young men are expected to be “first class” PFTers just out of boot camp, banging out 17 to 20 pull ups, running three miles in 18 or 19 minutes, etc. Making the bare minimum standards is nothing to write home about. It is far less than is expected of officers or someone in the fleet. It is far less than the average man is capable of reaching at that point in his life. More important, of the women who have been put in the pipelines to get this training, 3/4 or more have dropped out or failed out.
Here is a basic principle of efficiency our innumerate press and political class forgets: just because a rare someone in a group can do something, does not mean it is efficient to find that someone, since there are real costs to training and selection. We want to maximize the value of limited training slots, so we limit training to particular people that meet particular standards. The military resorts to averages and parameters related to height, age, weight, eyesight, prior injuries, prior brushes with the law etc. Sure, there are convicted felons who could serve well, but why find out when there’s plenty of non-felons to choose from. The army experimented with allowing men up to 40 to enlist, but has since pulled back. Of course that’s a kind of discrimination against a morally neutral aspect of a total human being. . . . . but so what.
Most of the useful information about life is statistical. And we know, setting aside the impressive achievement of these young ladies, that the vast majority of women are slower, weaker, and generally less aggressive than the average man. This can be seen in any sports competition. Until recently, it was basic common sense. Feminism has tried to drive this knowledge into disrepute, even as feminism itself has become less and less influential. In short, there’s no reason to spend energy to find the very small number of women who can meet the bare minimum standards of the combat arms.
I do think the political correctness at the top is getting really out of control, between this, the DADT repeal, the cover issue, and a whole bunch else. God forbid Gen. Amos uses his substantial credibility on matters of military discipline to fight against this totally unnecessary change that will weaken the combat arms.
The question, “will this help us win wars?” seems a real after thought these days.