Since women began advancing into its upper ranks, the U.S. military has become both a more humane workplace and a more lethal fighting force. What role has female leadership played?
When Dymetra Bass was a drill sergeant, she had no trouble proving her mettle to the fresh Army recruits she pushed through basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. “Every private would tell me, the meanest drill sergeants were the women drill sergeants,” she says with a touch of pride. “We had to be so tough because people come from all walks of life. Some people, women have never told them what to do before.”
Bass enlisted in 1989, right after high school, where she had been a cheerleader, and she arrived with an essential...