I came across this radio interview with host Jim Hanson of Blackfive and Genevieve Chase who is one of the founders of American Women Veterans. Her organization is advocating for a re-evaluation of policy concerning women in the military so that official regulations reflect the reality of how women are currently serving. Apparently, women are already finding themselves 'outside the wire' in vulnerable situations where they are drawn into combat situations (think Jessica Lynch in 2003?). Commanding officers are then in the unenviable and difficult position of having to explain why women are in places where they technically should not be.
Chase's group is not promoting the entrance of women into combat roles and Chase herself is skeptical about the recently-lifted restriction against women serving on submarines (although her skepticism seems based more on the fact that the women who will be selected to serve aren't experienced enough and less skeptical about the fact that they're female). She claims only to want policy that recognizes how women are performing in and contributing to the military today. But, she gets caught up in the current cultural obsession with individual rights trumping the common good. She uses that familiar "I don't care if you're black, yellow, white or female, if you're qualified physically and you want to be a soldier, you should be able to serve."
The military exists to serve the larger society, not to satisfy the dreams and goals of its individual citizens. It is an institution with a specific mission and responsibility. It should accept those most qualified to carry out the mission of the institution and those who will permit the institution to operate responsibly.
I'm reluctantly yielding to the notion that there are valuable ways women can contribute to the military (see here), but I'm not convinced that it can be done without feminizing the military in ways that will compromise its quality.