The man tapped to be the next superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., thinks men may not be quite ready to serve with women in combat.
Women in the Army "ought to have every opportunity that they're competent to deal with," Lt. Gen. Howard D. Graves said in an interview at his Pentagon office Monday.For example, women may be tank or truck mechanics as long as they're strong enough to carry the toolbox, said Graves, 51.
"But it's not just a question of the capabilities of women; it's the whole issue of the sociology of combat crews," Graves said.
In some cases, he said, aggressive combat crews have become defensive and protective when women were added to the mix.
"But, honestly, it has a lot to do with the behavior of the men," he said. "It may be a question of whether we're sociologically ready for it or not. Maybe we'll need to train our men differently."
West Point has been co-ed since July 1976; male and female cadets receive the same basic officer training.