Women on Subs? Not in My Corps.

Defense Secretary and Occasional Superhero Robert M. Gates announced the Navy will be opening service on board submarines to women. It is a move decades behind women’s service aboard surface ships and gender neutralizes nearly all Navy specialties (excluding Navy SEALS and a handful of others).

As required by Title 10, Gates forwarded his notification to Congress, informing lawmakers of the Navy’s intent. Congress has 30 days to act, but once the clock runs out the Navy is free to move forward.

On the heels of Gates’ announcement, the Army felt the need to emerge from the Navy’s wake. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr., declared his service will take a hard look at women’s roles in combat and review current Army policies in that area.

Wow, do you think this is the first time they’ve looked at women in warfare? This from the man canned from combat and “promoted” to his current position? Casey is no luminary, but he seems well-meaning. Maybe the Army will reach the same conclusion about combat exclusion that most already have. But will there be proposed changes in ground combat guidelines, and will they pass the notification test?

One service we did not hear from was, you guessed it—The Boys’ Gun Club. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James T. “Not in My Corps” Conway made no announcement like Casey. In fact, we probably won’t hear from him. His precious Corps has wars to fight, he says. But his over protection of his service may be the thing that’s killing it.

Homosexuals? Women? There has been little progress. (We’re not talking social experiments.) The “I’ve got a war to fight” excuse may be wearing thin. Does the Marine Corps offer something the Army doesn’t? Of course it does, namely light, quick-reaction infantry, but few understand what that something is. The Army is narrowing the gap. It is a bad day in Marineland when the commandant seems bitter and out of touch. Jim, friends on the Hill may be harder to keep, even with guys like Son of Murtha in your legislative office.

That aside, we say, “Nice move,” on the part of the Navy, and, “Way to ride the Navy’s wave,” Army (though it did seem a tad desperate). Both should gain some ground on what seems to be an increasingly isolated and oblivious Marine Corps.

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