Current Status: Combat is obviously difficult physically and emotionally. Each person involved must meet certain standards to help them contribute as an individual and more importantly, to contribute to the effectiveness of the combat unit. In recent decades there has been increasing societal pressures to lower standards to make everyone appear a winner. This thinking has caused serious degradation to combat unit cohesion and effectiveness. This results in more effort, cost, and lost lives to reach mission objectives—if the objectives are reached at all. A number of factors have degraded the standards for combat qualification, the most egregious of which has been the demand to make combat roles accessible to women.
Correction toward the Ideal: Combat is a harsh arena in which men attempt to kill other men. It is physically and mentally demanding. Standards to qualify for combat duty should be objective and the same for all candidates. These standards should be diligently used to remove unqualified candidates—so they never become the source of weakness in the combat unit, which directly or in the aggregate causes soldier’s deaths and compromised missions. The United States does not have a manpower shortage to fill combat positions; therefore there is no need to lower standards to accommodate unqualified candidates in these positions.
Supporting Information: See the Learn More section to the right for more information on this topic—especially our white paper on Standards for Combat Personnel.