Female Soldiers Challenge Gender Restrictions In Combat

Illustration for article titled Female Soldiers Challenge Gender Restrictions In Combat

Women aren't supposed to serve in military units whose primary focus is ground combat, but that doesn't mean they don't fight. And the prohibitions against combat may actually be bad for female soldiers.


Dept. of Defense spokeswoman Eileen Lainez tells ABC,

The nature of today's conflicts is evolving; there are no front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. While women are not assigned to units below brigade level whose primary mission is direct combat on the ground, this doesn't mean they are not assigned to positions in combat zones that could place them in danger.

Some women argue that rules about combat just prevent women from getting the training they need when, realistically, they will face combat scenarios. It may also keep them from getting promoted. Says retired Air Force Gen. Lester L. Lyles, "Women serving in combat environments are being shot at, killed and maimed. But they're not getting the credit for being in combat arms." Lyles wants to change the policy to reflect what's really happening on the ground. Some might say this would put more women in harm's way — but many are already taking the same risks as men every day. And perhaps it's time for the military to officially acknowledge that.

Women Fighting And Dying In War, Despite Combat Exclusion Policy [ABC]


Jane, you ignorant slut.

Well... no. The rules about combat are not what's preventing women from getting the training they need. What's happening is that all combat support units and combat service support units are not getting the training they need. Both men and women are assigned to these units, and both sexes in these units suffer from this lack of adequate training. It just happens that no women are included in the units that do manage to get adequate training.

This specific part is not a gender issue. It's an issue that the Army is failing all of its combat support and combat service support soliders. A male truck driver and a female truck driver assigned to the same battalion will receive the same amount of combat training. For both, it will be less training than a male infantry soldier would receive. When both are then assigned to positions in Afghanistan and Iraq where truck drivers occasionally find themselves in combat, although it is likely a smaller chance of seeing combat than an infantry solider, both the male and female soldier will find themselves underprepared. Both the male and female truck driver will get less credit for their combat. Both the male and female truck drivers will face the same challenges in receiving proper medical care for psychological combat wounds.