Army 2nd Lieutenant Erin Mauldin is an amazing person. She graduated as the valedictorian from West Point last May.
She ranked first academically and second in academics, military leadership and athletics combined. She was a regimental commander, competed on the Sandhurst (military skills) team, was co-captain of the Academy Crossfit Cub and as a cadet, was the only non-French woman ever to graduate from the French Commando School. Erin also volunteered to provide support to local students near West Point. As a result of her efforts and environmental interests, the Corps of Cadets implemented a new waste management system.
She sounds sharp and in good physical condition—let me expand on just how physically fit she is. I mentioned that she was co-captain of the Academy Crossfit Club. Let me tell you about crossfit. It’s the most comprehensive total-fitness program I’ve ever seen. One regularly does weight work, running stadium steps, and much more. It’s the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. So this young lady was in much better physical condition than I was when I graduated from the Academy and went into the infantry.
And she’s now studying at Oxford University as a Truman Scholar—where she also works out with the university rowing club.
The 22-year-old was the lone American representative in a Cosmopolitan magazine feature entitled: “8 Incredible Women Who Will Inspire You to Break the Rules,” a compilation put together with support from some of the magazine’s 60-plus international editions and backed by the Clinton Foundation’s No Ceilings initiative.
I could go on and on, because she’s done so many things and our nation is clearly blessed to have such a person as Erin committed to serve and protect all of us.
She’s disciplined, she’s bright, she’s a proven leader, and she’s in great physical shape. And now she wants to become an infantry officer. And, as we discussed in the first show of this month, starting in January 2016, per our President’s instructions, all military branches and units will be open to women. Also, as we discussed on that show, allowing women into close-combat units—those who, on the ground, take the fight to the enemy—will be a disaster for our military and our nation.
I’ve been unable to find any record of Erin, while she was a cadet, attempting to join the West Point football team, or the men’s basketball team, or the men’s hockey team, or rugby. Or boxing or wrestling. These sports clearly involve combat—although not lethal combat. If Erin was not interested or able to participate in non-lethal combat as a part of a team combating males, why would she think it appropriate for her to be involved in lethal combat involving such groups?
I really have no doubt that, if she’s allowed into the Infantry, she’ll be successful; this young lady is a winner by any standards and will clearly overcome any challenges she faces. If she’s successful, then the military will have to lower the physical standards—not for Erin or ladies like her—but for the average woman, because we can’t just have one or two percent of a unit be female—we’ll have to get to 15 or 20 percent so the women will not be odd-balls but a natural part of the team. And then, when the team needs more infantry-women, women who joined up to be medics or communicators or mechanics can be ordered into the infantry. Hey, anyone who has ever served knows that the “needs of the service” prevail over everything. It won’t be just volunteer women who end up in the “tip of the spear” units. No, every military female will be eligible to be assigned there.
If Erin is successful, then, the next time we have a military draft—it will clearly include women. Either Congress or the Supreme Court will order it so—because women can now serve everywhere. And where does our nation need most of the soldiers? In the infantry. And, because half of our population is female, half the draftees will be—female. So our military, and our infantry, will be populated by young ladies who are not so physically fit—but the draft is the draft and equal opportunity is the gospel.
Please don’t think that I am suggesting that Lieutenant Maludin is somehow a jerk. She’s not. She’s a first class person. But like most young people, she’s idealistic and not really familiar with the consequences of one’s actions. She and other great, dynamic young women like her, helped by other men and women who have never been in the infantry, are very likely to make our entire military an “equal opportunity” outfit. The consequences will be a very much less effective military and a lot of women serving where they are neither effective nor happy. We need to remember that the first goal here must be combat effectiveness—not equal opportunity.