“My article was a 29-year-old Cold War navy pilot’s misguided contribution to a debate that was live at the time,” Golightly said in a statement included in Boeing’s announcement.

“My argument was embarrassingly wrong and offensive. The article is not a reflection of who I am; but nonetheless I have decided that in the interest of the company I will step down,” Golightly said.

According to an excerpt on the U.S. Naval Institute website, the December 1987 article titled “No Right to Fight” said: “At issue is not whether women can fire M-60s, dogfight MiGs, or drive tanks. Introducing women into combat would destroy the exclusively male intangibles of war fighting and the feminine images of what men fight for – peace, home, family.”

Golightly told staff in an email seen by Reuters on Thursday that the exclusion of women at the time was “government policy and broadly supported in society. It was also wrong.”