The fear of the services is that if women and men are held to equal standards in combat training that either the standards will have to be lowered or. conversely, the standards kept the same and about 80 percent of women won’t be able to hack it. Fortunately, though, there is a way of making all combat an equal-opportunity option that still preserves combat readiness.

The combat incentive plan: supply and demand

The plan? The military increases its pay for the jobs it finds the toughest to fill and lowers its pay for the jobs it is easiest to fill. For example, if few recruits want assignments like infantry combat, the pay and benefits are raised until they obtain all the qualified recruits they need; if everyone wants to be a pilot and plenty of recruits are qualified, the pay for pilots is lowered. The result is that women pursuing real equality – sharing the least – desired assignments – would get higher pay. Neither sex is discriminated against, no standards are lowered for any specialty. The psychological result is respect for women because they are earning it, rather than resentment toward women getting equal pay for the safest and most glamorous of the combat jobs (pilot).