John Allen

When 'she' is the commander in chief

When 'she' is the commander in chief

As retired U.S. Army Gen. John Allen took the stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last month, he spoke these historic words: "With her as our commander in chief, America will continue to lead this volatile world." The "her" General Allen was referring to was, of course, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

His speech marks the first time that the case for a woman commander in chief was forcefully argued to the American public from the stage of a national convention. While General Allen's argument was made easier by Ms. Clinton's experience as secretary of state and her perceived hawkishness, it was nevertheless unprecedented.

Militaries have...