I am disheartened by The Washington Times’ coverage of an article I wrote for Armed Forces Journal (“Army colonel: Physical strength not the end-all, be-all of combat service,” Web, Aug. 12). Several assertions that I made in the AFJ article were extracted, somewhat arbitrarily, and are out of context to the overall theme I was trying to convey.
My goal in writing the article was to highlight the accomplishments of a true and unlikely American hero, Audie Murphy, in order to show the arbitrary nature of the importance we place on physical attributes. Murphy was rejected by both the Navy and the Marine Corps when he tried to enlist. Because he didn’t meet their physical qualification standards, he wasn’t even allowed to compete to be in their combat branches. Luckily for the Army and the nation, the Army didn’t hold his slight stature against him.
The point of my article was that we can’t use arbitrary standards such as size, strength or even sex to screen out the future Audie Murphys of this country.
COL. ELLEN HARING