I’ve argued for this for a very long time. Some of you disagree, but it’s time we stop limiting ourselves by shutting out such a significant segment of our talent pool. And frankly, we must reject this notion that women, no matter how highly qualified must be somehow ‘protected’ from their duty as Americans. Some women are capable of being in combat units, and some are capable of being Commander-in-Chief. I do, however, have a feeling many of you will have something to say about this
Women should finally be allowed to serve fully in combat, a military advisory panel said Friday in a report seeking to dismantle the last major area of discrimination in the armed forces…It is time “to create a level playing field for all qualified service members,” the members said…
The new report says that keeping women out of combat posts prohibits them from serving in roughly 10 percent of Marine Corps and Army occupational specialties and thus is a barrier to advancement.
“The Armed Forces have not yet succeeded in developing leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve,” said the report. “Minorities and women still lag behind white men in terms of number of military leadership positions.”
Women generally make up about 14 percent of the armed services. Of the roughly 2.2 million troops who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 255,000 have been women, said Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez. Supporters of the change say women essentially have been in combat for years, even if they are nominally removed from it.
“It’s something whose time has come,” said Lory Manning of the Women’s Research and Education Institute. She said ending the ban would be “a logical outcome of what women have been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the Army and Marines have been essentially ducking the policy.”
She said, for example, that military officials have employed terms of art to skirt the ban, for example “attaching” women to a combat unit instead of “assigning” them.
The new report says there has been little evidence that integrating women into previously closed units or military occupations has damaged cohesion or had other ill effects. It says a previous independent report suggested that women serving in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan “had a positive impact on mission accomplishment.”
Stars & Stripes: Reactions mixed on women in combat arms
Military.com: Army Mulls Women in Combat Arms Units
Dept of Defense: Congressional Commission Studies Women in Combat