I hope that one day we can shift our thinking about war. I hope that war will one day cease to affect our nation’s children, our brothers and sisters. I hope that one day we unite through linguistics for basic rights. I know this will probably never occur in my lifetime, at least not globally, but until someone brings a fight to my door, for now I choose peace. Preparedness however is a different issue. We have over 300 million people in our country and up until recently only a little less than half could volunteer to fight in a combat capacity.
Oregon, a state which has been one of the first to adapt a counter culture which bolsters their own rights, has now been the first to enlist a woman into a combat arms MOS. In this regard they are the tip of the spear. This is huge. Essentially, the Oregon National Guard has just contributed to history with regard to a subject that most people disagree upon. Who knows if this will work out, but the implications are huge. The days of women being unable to serve in combat openly are over. Eighteen year old Mackenzie Clark of Damascus, Oregon changed all that. She is the first of her kind. She is the first female combat engineer.
Best wishes to Private Clark.
Combat Engineer, MOS 12B is the only MOS outside of the 11 series that has a mandate to be prepared to fight as infantry should the need arise. That’s a legacy, a holdover, from the days of World War II where large numbers of Engineer regiments were essentially unskilled labor.
Of course, the smart combined arms commander usually has a shortage of engineer assets, and more than enough work for them to do, and so avoids using them as infantry.
Whether enlisting women in MOS 12B is a good idea is, however, an open question. We’ve simply decided to not ask, and instead plunge ahead.