Freedom is a very expensive gift paid for with the blood of those from earlier generations. A short distance away at Arlington cemetery, he said, are so many “soldiers of freedom” who sacrificed their lives.
“There is no cheap way to change, and more importantly, there is no cheap way to buy freedom,” Milley said. “The only thing more expensive than fighting and winning a war is fighting and losing a war — and fighting and winning a war is what the United States Army is all about.”
“Right now I would call myself right on the line,” he said in the interview while flying to Fort Benning to attend an Army Ranger School graduation that included the first women ever to pass the rigorous Ranger training course. After the ceremony he briefly met privately with the two trailblazers, Capt. Kristen Griest, 26, and 1st Lieutenant Shaye Haver, 25.
Milley said that in coming weeks he will weigh a wide range of information, including Army assessments of the experience of Israel and other countries with women in combat, as well as studies by the Marine Corps, data collected during Army experiments and judgments reached by his own experience in war.
“Whatever decision is made is going to have some pretty far-reaching impact,” he said. “So it’s a big deal, and I want to make sure I’m thinking it through.”