As the slogan etched on the blade of every Obama Youth dagger says, Diversity is Our Vibrancy, and Friday was a red-letter day for both of the motivating principles of the modern United States as the Army announced, in a Friday data dump, that they were commissioning 22 women as Infantry and Armor officers. A large percentage of them are West Pointers; a few are ROTC scholarship foundlings.
They have not yet passed any of the requirements, but what’s most important is how everybody feels about it, unless they don’t feel totally awesome about it, in which case they will be punished suitably. Of the 22 greatest 2nd lieutenants ever, 13 will bring their light to the dank of the tank, as operated by the Armor Branch; and nine will be the only officers that ever mattered in the previously unfashionable Infantry Branch.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has now checked one of his highest priority boxes.
Absolute Harrison Bergeron equality-of-results is not upon us yet, unfortunately. True, the women need to pass their courses, but having announced their success already makes that a mere formality. But still, some problems remain.
To start with, the women will have no subordinate women to command, at least, not yet. So far, exactly one woman has volunteered to serve as an enlisted infantry entity, and none has signed up for enlisted armor duty. Of course, neither the cat pack of officers nor the one female infantry entity has passed and been Distinguished Honor Graduates of their respective courses, yet, but today’s announcement makes it clear it’s the merest of formalities.
All right-thinking people know that the only reason women haven’t been infantrymen everywhere, taken over the offensive line of the Seattle Seahawks, and broken all the mens’ Olympic records, is because of false consciousness, and because they don’t have incredibly awesome female officers yet to show them the way.
If enlisted women don’t start signing up in larger numbers, the pinnacle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Combat, that is, self-actualization of the upper class female officers, will require them to be drafted. Self-actualization of upper class female officers is, after all, the reason we have an Army in the first place. But drafting women would require that reactionary sausage-fest, Congress, to change the law.
Therefore, now that he can take pride that the Iraq War has been lost, the Afghanistan War has been lost, but the Battle of Feminist Feels has been won, Secretary of Self-Actualization and a Little Defense Ash Carter is considering the mandatory gender reassignment of gender-overstrength riflemen and tankers into understrength genders, until everything balances out even: 51-49 female.
Because they will still serve in units with men, at least until scientists with Turkey Baster Laboratories in Smith College in Northampton, MA, can parthenogenically produce the superior race of Amazons that Hollywood has made famous, or until Carter can run enough troops through the field orchiectomy clinic, the women officers will be able to concentrate on higher order activities, or browse online for shoes, while the men in their tank crews break track. As far as having an enlisted infantryman carry some privileged West Point Unique And Special Snowflake’s hundred pounds of lightweight gear, careful study (at West Point, naturally) has shown that having a junior enlisted guy carry the officer’s pack has long been the practice in armies like Bolivia’s, which has a won-lost record unmatched in world history.
That adopting aspects of such a forward-looking and dominant military culture as Bolivia’s just happens to make life easier for ringknockers does not guarantee this will happen, but one is reminded of Hognose’s Law of Rucksacks:
If a guy can’t tote a ruck, he won’t.
It’s no less true if the guys are girls.