Right now, two women are enduring the last week of the United States Army Ranger School in the daunting Florida “jungle” phase, as part of a pilot program to help the Pentagon decide how they might open combat specialty positions to women in the future. Throughout their attendance at the course, these two Army officers have impressed their Ranger Instructors and inspired women throughout the ranks of the entire Army.
A similar experiment has been conducted by the United States Marine Corps over the last several years, admitting women to attend the USMC Infantry Officer’s Course, or IOC. One of these women, First Lieutenant Sage Santangelo attempted to pass the course and failed. She wrote an op-ed following her attempt and attributed her lack of success to a double-standard in training requirements between males and females. She simply did not feel that she had been well prepared for success by adhering to lower training standards in the years preceding her attendance at IOC, where she was held to the same standards as the men.
Taking Lt. Santangelo’s premise that she wasn’t successful because of lower expectations for women, I began to think about how fathers raise their own daughters, and more personally, how I am raising my own daughter. What I never wish to happen is for my daughter to miss out on a personal dream because I held her back from being prepared to tackle the world. So if her dream is to one day become a United States Army Ranger, I had better spend my time getting her ready. While not a graduate of Ranger School myself, I have enjoyed great success as an Army officer and have mentored and trained many for military success. So here is my best advice for fathers who want to show their daughters a world where the ceilings are made of glass…and then show them how fast they can shatter them.
In case you missed when President Barack Obama dropped 8BD’s favorite “f-bomb” (fatherhood) about two-thirds of the way through his State of The Union Speech last week Tuesday, here’s the segment:
“[W]e’ll work to strengthen families by…doing more to encourage fatherhood – because what makes you a man isn’t the ability to conceive a child; it’s having the courage to raise one.”
Later last week in Chicago, President Obama was again talking about parenthood (in a variety of forms) and specifically fatherhood as a hedge against many of America’s social ills. The President appears to be “ramping up the rhetoric” in the best kind of way.