05 January 2012

Good Questions from the Fairer Sex

An anonymous female junior officer penned a column for Rick's blog, The Best Defense, and asks some pointed questions...

Because being a maneuver officer is a de facto requirement of strategic leadership, graduating three months of Ranger school increases one's chances of becoming a strategic leader far more than does five years of doctoral education.

A diversity of backgrounds in senior leadership would combat group-think and increase options for new leaders. It's too bad there's not a group of officers who've had the time to devote to strategic studies because they've been barred from maneuver branches.

But wait -- there is! Female officers tend to have spent disproportionate time on strategic issues, because they are excluded from most tactical jobs. In a post littered with generalizations, here's the biggest: female officers tend to be more interested in enhancing their strategic skills, because they know that their chances of making brigade command are slim, division command microscopic, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff laughable. So why not do a stint as a speechwriter, get a PhD, or spend time in unconventional but challenging jobs?

What sayeth y'all? Should females be considered for senior leadership posts? The broader question really is, should non-maneuver/combat officers be consider for senior leadership posts? And if would such a process hamstring male officers in, say, the Ordnance corps, who have to compete against male maneuver guys as well as female support folks?

By: Brant

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