Photo by Sgt. Tyler L. Main

By January 2016, all jobs traditionally closed to women within the military must be open, including the infantry and Special Forces. There is still the possibility that some will remain closed if research and trials find women unfit for assignment in those jobs based on gender-neutral standards that the services are still developing. The Marine Corps will test a 460-person trial unit, made up of 25% women in order to see if they can hack advanced infantry training alongside male infantrymen, as if they were getting deployed. The Army recently saw its first female artillery soldiers and over 50 women have passed the enlisted Marine Corps infantry course to date, not to mention the thousands of female combat veterans coming home. The fight for the right to fight should be over at this point, but we’re still discussing things like critical mass (what percentage of a unit should be women?) and physical standards. Instead, these seem to be proxy issues for a much more systemic one, that of culture.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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