U.S. Marine Corps recruits with Platoon 4030, Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, perform rifle manual marching movements during an initial drill evaluation June 25, 2018, on Parris Island, S.C. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Dana Beesley)
It’s been well over a year since the Pentagon announced its historic decision to open up all combat jobs in the military to women, but Congress is still dithering over whether women should register for the draft.
In the spring of 2004, I met a Marine while I was at the gym at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. We decided to grab breakfast together. We were both young captains and we split the tab. Fast forward almost 13 years, that same Marine still eats breakfast with me. It’s only a gesture now, but we still take turns paying.
2016 promises to be a year of demographic revolution in the military on par with the racial desegregation of troops in 1948. But making a change as enormous as introducing women to combat jobs isn’t like flicking a switch. Even after President Harry Truman signed Executive Order 9981, integrating the armed forces on paper, it took decades to deal with issues like equal housing, promotions, and so on.
At a recent Republican debate, Ted Cruz said that it would be “immoral” to draft our daughters. He went on to make it very personal saying, “I’m the father of two little girls, and I love those girls with all of my heart.” When I heard his comments my immediate response was, “Well I have two sons whom I love with all my heart.”