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But there were things women or mixed sex units could do that men alone could not, he said, even in combat.

“It’s not just how many push-ups you can do,” he concluded.

Adm. Olson, who is currently the longest-serving Navy Seal, with 38 years of service, also compared his job to that of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

“There’s a lot of warlord management,” he said, of the need to coral senior officers from the different military services. “They all have their tribes and sub-tribes.”