Women have every right to serve on the frontline

Women in the military: I see nothing wrong with this.

If only everyone shared such a naively open-minded view of the world. A Dec. 2 Associated Press article on msnbcnews.com stated, “…45 female Marines assigned this summer to 19 all-male combat battalions. The Defense Department in the past year has opened thousands of combat positions to women to slowly integrate them and gauge the impact such a social change would have on the military’s ability to fight wars.”

This is an issue for the Marine Corps for two reasons. The first concern is the Marines have high casualties due to their use as front line troops. Establishing beachheads tends to draw a lot of enemy fire. The other problem is women aren’t allowed to fight in ground units below brigade level for the same reason.

So women can serve in the military; we just don’t want them dying or being promoted for valor in the field. I’m not a military strategist, and the arguments against letting women serve on the front line have been touted for decades. But the Israeli’s don’t seem to have a problem with it, so why does the U.S.?

As I said, I’m not a strategist. I am, however, a sci-fi geek, and can clearly and unequivocally state that there is no harm with mixed-gender units.

For exhibit A, I present none other than the Imperial Guard Valhallan 597th Regiment of the Imperium of Man. We’re talking “Warhammer 40,000” here, so try and keep up as I blow your mind with my rhetoric and supportive evidence. For those of you who still don’t know what I’m talking about, “Warhammer 40,000” is a tabletop miniature game with a rich and full library of supporting fiction.

Under the command of Col. Regina Kasteen and Maj. Ruput Broklaw, and supervised by Imperial Commissar Ciaphas Cain (hero of the imperium), the 597th has fought off many of the various enemies of Man. Be they the barbarous orks, the Ruinous Powers of Chaos or even the Hive Mind of the Tyranids, the 597th has managed again and again to win the day in the name of His Divine Majesty.

In the face of numerous enemies of Man, men and women stand fast in defense of the Imperium, fighting and dying as equals. Granted, mixed gender units have their potential problems. Relationship squabbles, pregnancy and the like are of course a risk. The question then is, do those potential problems outweigh a woman’s right to fight and die for her country?

I had to register for Selective Services to collect financial aid. So did every other male who requested federal loans. Women are exempt from this requirement. Do women not have every right to be called to service as their male counterparts? Is this not their country as well?

Questions about unit cohesion and combat effectiveness are lost when compared to the exemplary record of the Valhallan 597th. For, like American involvement in the Middle East, in the grim dark future there is only war.

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