Battleland

Women in Command II

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Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Larry Schneck

Army Capt. Kristen Berdahl, Air Force Lt. Col. Kaylin Haywood Zapata and Army 1st Sgt. Ed Hammond (L-R) prepare to inspect a women's prison in Iraq last April

Spinning off of our earlier post citing Harvard academics who argue that women might make better military leaders than men, comes this from a female Army officer, who served with a combat unit in Afghanistan, writing anonymously over at Best Defense:

This decade of military strategy was not our finest. Many prayed for a deus ex machina to save Iraq, and then Afghanistan, and the same general was required for both. Either this is a sign that the Army can produce one really effective general per generation, or this is a warning that the army’s bench of qualified generals is dangerously short…

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.

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