Women in Combat – Elaine Donnelly on NRO Today
For those of you following the women in combat issue, you’ll want to be sure to see Elaine Donnelly’s piece on women in combat on NRO today:
The blueprint appears to be a “Women in the Army Point Paper” prepared by the office of Army Secretary Francis Harvey on January 24, which includes a subtle but significant change in the wording of Defense Department regulations.
Current directives exempt female soldiers from direct ground-combat units such as the infantry and armor, and from smaller support companies that “collocate” (operate 100 percent of the time) with land-combat troops. The new, unauthorized wording narrows the “collocation rule” to apply only when a combat unit is actually “conducting an assigned direct ground combat mission”.
General Schoomaker recited Defense Department regulations, but claimed (without justification) that the Army has separate rules that exempt female soldiers from collocation with land-combat battalions “at the time that those units are undergoing those operations”. By adding the words “conducting” or “undergoing” (a direct ground-combat mission) to the collocation rule, the Army has created a new regulation that has not been authorized by the Secretary of Defense, or reported to Congress in advance, as required by law.