Clint Eastwood's hardened cop Dirty Harry pointed out a universal truth when he expressed grave doubts about promoting less than qualified female police officers because of political correctness. The Pentagon's recent decision is along these lines because some women in the military as well as activist groups have been pressuring it to get on board with the politically correct notion of promoting women even though they lack a common requirement: combat experience. Now two things seem to be happening; one is a broadening of the definition of combat experience and allowing women to serve below the battalion level so they will be closer to "the front."
Women have been combat pilots since the Clinton administration, but for now common sense among the service chiefs continues to keep women from serving in combat units such as infantry, armor and Special Forces. There may be a change coming to artillery branch, but more research is needed. Millions of women have served with distinction in a number of critical roles, including roles that brought them directly into harm's way, but this is not really a reason to up end what remains of our most effective units. I understand that women feel they have been short-changed sometimes with promotions, but like every other person in the military, they have to understand that the good of the service comes before personal considerations.