The United States has been forced to redefine and rethink policies that have been in place for years. Indeed, unconventional warfare has forced the U.S. to adapt to new ways of waging war. There has been a long standing ban on women in combat and US military commanders are now rethinking those policies.
The current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have forced women into combat roles. Female soldiers are currently battling an enemy who does not discriminate by sex but has the sole goal of killing American troops. Because of their actions in combat, women have been rewarded with medals for valor and bravery.
One constant reality is in the theatre of war, commanders want the most qualified and capable people in their units. There is no reason combat units in war should be denied the most qualified soldiers because of an outdated and sexist policy against female soldiers.
Despite serious concerns from male superiors, military organization and regulation did not crumble when women began serving along with men. The positive performances from female soldiers in the 1990-1991 Gulf war paved the way for such groundbreaking events as:
- Women serving in combat aircraft;
- Women serving on naval warships; and
- The Navy lifting the ban against females serving on submarines.
To date, more than 120 women, out of the 220,000 that have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, have been killed in combat. If women are good enough to die among men they are good enough to serve among them. It is important the military’s new policies focus on the requirements for specific jobs because the current policies operate under the assumption it is not possible for a woman to meet the standards.
Learn more about women serving in combat roles and the military’s response to the demands of the current wars.