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During the debate last weekend, the candidates (starting with Rubio) were asked their stance on women being required to sign up for Selective Service. Rubio answered yes, and people lost their minds. Apparently, listening to the whole statement and following the thought from one complete sentence to the next is too much for some. Here’s the transcript of the exchange:
Raddatz: I want to move on to the military. Senator Rubio, all restrictions on women in combat as long as they qualify. Positions including special operations forces, like Navy Seals. Just this week military leaders of the Army and Marine Corps said that they believed young women, just as young men are required to do, should sign up for Selective Service in case the Draft is reinstated.
Many of you have young daughters. Senator Rubio, should young women be required to sign up for Selective Service in case of a national emergency?
Rubio: First, let me say there are already women today serving in roles that are like combat. That, in fact, whose lives are in very serious danger, and so I have no problem whatsoever with people of either gender serving in combat so long as the minimum requirements necessary to do the job are not compromised. But, I support that, and obviously now that that is the case I do believe that Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a Draft is ever instituted.
What he said was this: a) Women already serve in arduous roles in the military in which their lives are just as much in danger as the men they serve along side; b) Women in combat are not an issue to him provided standards are not lowered to accommodate them; and c) Because the other two statements are true, registering for Selective Service is the next logical step for women concerning our armed services.
As to the first statement, yes, women are already serving in near-combat roles, placing themselves in harm’s way, and do serve and sacrifice themselves in many of the same ways as the young men of our nation. We can argue whether or not this should be the case, but it is the current reality. I work alongside some of these young women, and they serve just as honorably as their male counterparts. In fact, some of them pour extra effort into their service in order to be seen as equal. There are, however, times where they simply are not biologically equal to men. When they have to pull the poles at some of the vehicle gates to allow passage of oversized vehicles some (not all, but certainly a number of them) are not physically strong enough or even tall enough to drag the heavy iron posts out of the holes in the ground. There is also the problem that their sex cannot be hidden. Even wearing full tactical gear I can tell which ones are women from a considerable distance. The enemy could as well.
The second point is really a conundrum for our military. Military service must be towards the end of combat effectiveness, and that requires a heightened level of physical capability. As the Army learned when all eight women who first tried to become Rangers failed, there are few women who will make the grade. The Marines have determined that simply mixing the sexes in combat units has negative effects. We cannot degrade the readiness or effectiveness of our military in the name of inclusivity or “equality.” The standards must remain the same or we will suffer the consequences. This is the point Sen. Rubio was trying to make.
Those who have served already know what I’m about to say. The physical standards for men and women serving in the military have never been the same. Men and women in all branches have separate physical readiness standards. Less is required of women, but this simply acknowledges the physiological differences between the sexes. If we are to have true equality in the ranks then perhaps it’s time to address this glaring disparity. It won’t happen, however, because if the branches required of women the same body fat standards, cardiovascular standards, and strength standards they require of men, the vast majority of women would fail.
The last point Rubio made only makes sense when considering the previous two. Women already serve valid functions in our military. Though combat roles have been opened to those who can meet the combat standards, very few will. But the inability of women to swell the combat ranks should not exempt the female citizenry from meeting the same requirement of conscripted service in times of war that is currently the sole burden of men. There is a lot more to operating a military than sending lead down range, and compelling women to fill the roles for which they qualify would free-up more men who are fit for combat to fight on the front lines rather than providing support to those who are fighting.
I agree with Senator Rubio, and I say that as the father of two beautiful daughters. The Left has clamored for forced equality, and in this I think it makes some sense. He was not asked if women should be conscripted for combat. The question asked was, “Should young women be required to sign up for Selective Service in case of a national emergency?” I give the same qualified “yes” as Marco, and for the same reasons.
Welcome to adulthood, ladies. Please visit the post office to register.