WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is offering a dim view of females serving in infantry jobs, telling Virginia Military Institute students that the jury is out on whether women can succeed in combat.
Mattis says there are too few women in the infantry ranks to provide enough data on how it’s going. He says he has asked top Army and Marine leaders for information to determine if having women in the infantry is a strength or weakness.
In 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opened the door to women serving in combat jobs. Two years later, all combat posts were opened to women.
Mattis says a few “stalwart young ladies” are charging into the jobs and the military wants to give this every opportunity to succeed.
VMI is in Lexington, Virginia.