Over the weekend the Marine Corps Times reported that Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.) has written a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter calling for the release of the full, 900-page version of the Marine Corps’ study on integrating women into combat arms units. Moulton is a Marine veteran of Iraq and a liberal member of the House, not to say an outspoken supporter of the Iran deal. Considering his politics and constituency, his request for the public release of the study and willingness to imply some skepticism over the wisdom of opening Marine infantry jobs to women is remarkable. The Marines are believed to be the only service requesting an exception to the order to integrate all ground combat jobs beginning in 2017.
If it weren’t for the large sample size, you would think that the results of the Military Times survey of troop morale couldn’t possibly have been accurate. Released last December, the numbers were brutal. In response to the statement, “The senior military leadership has my best interests at heart,” only 27% agreed, down from 53% in a previous survey conducted in 2009. As for, “Overall officers in the military are good or excellent,” only 49% agreed, down from 78% in the 2009 survey. Agreement with, “Overall my quality of life is good or excellent,” dropped from 91% agreement in 2009 to 56% in 2014, and President Obama’s personal approval rating was an eye-catching 15%.