Combat units are a complete misnomer anymore. The Naval Construction Force isn’t listed as a combat unit, yet many of my fellow Seabees saw direct fire and battle during these last two campaigns.
Women were part of these units, vital parts. They were just as vital as any other member of the team. Now did some of them get pregnant? Yes. But we congratulated them on the new life growing inside of them and they didn’t deploy with us. We made sure they were taken care of medically.
This is the same as the male members who wound up with a broken leg from a car accident or were called back due to family emergencies (although we didn’t congratulate them for these). We wished them the best, gave them heartfelt hand shakes and hugs and knew they would not deploy with us either. We knew they would be taken care of back home.
Name one thing a man can do that a woman can’t. And other than giving birth, what can a woman do that a man can’t? I served with women in “noncombat units” for 18 of my 20 years in military service. They are just as capable as men in every regard. As for physical standards? I would no more ask a 125-pound female to lift an iron girder than I would a 125-pound male.
If you can’t figure out where each person in your unit is experienced and will best fit the team, then the leader needs replacing, not the people of a different gender.
And as for those who make comments about how men shouldn’t be about rocking the baby to sleep, when I was stationed in Japan, my wife worked nights on base. That means I spent many a night rocking my infant daughter to sleep while my wife was out chopping the proverbial wood.
So please, don’t define gender roles based on an antiquated and misogynistic viewpoint that either of the genders are inferior to one or another.