Womens Ability to Be in Combat
Womens Ability to Be in Combat
The forces fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are all volunteer soldiers and it is a mix of men and women. However, according to the Department of Defense and the Pentagon, вЂњa policy from 1994 prohibits female troops in all four service branches from serving in units below brigade level whose primary mission is direct ground combat.вЂќ Yet, this policy is incredibly difficult to enforce according to many men and women serving. The frontline is Iraq and the Afghanistan war is nothing permanent like it was in World War II. The type of warfare is completely different from trench warfare and hand to hand combat. Guerilla warfare tactics are being employed by the enemy which endangers United States soldiers whether they are male or female. Women are playing more vital roles and proving their heroism in the war, therefore it is necessary for the government to amend the current restrictions placed on women.
It is a known fact that women are in combative positions in the war over in Iraq and Afghanistan but the government refuses to recognize it for reasons which are proving now to be false. There are many examples of women serving in units who have been attacked and even died. Some examples are Army Specialist Jennifer Guay, Captain Andrea So, and Private Jessica Lynch. As often as all male infantry units are attacked, other targets are military supply convoys, checkpoints and camps where female troops are present. As a result as more femalesвЂ™ lives have a proportionally larger number of femalesвЂ™ lives than in past United States conflicts. As of June 2, 2007 when an official report was completed by the Congressional Research Service a total of 71 female deaths and 490 wounded. Additionally the Army itself found a loophole to violate the Pentagon and Congressional policy in order to fill spots necessary in combat units. Also if a female is temporarily assigned it does not violate the policy because it does not place females in вЂњwhat the Pentagon considers a вЂ?direct combat zoneвЂ™.вЂќ
Women have been involved in fighting for America beginning with the Revolutionary War and Civil War. Women disguised themselves as men and fought side by side for their freedom. In 1942 a separate military unit for women was created, Women Army Corps (WAC), but women did not gain professional military status until 1948 when President Truman signed the Womens Armed Services Integration Act which limited women to make up only 2% of the military. Also a 1948 law prohibited women from being aboard naval combat vessels. Only in 1991 were women allowed to fly combat aircraft. In 1994 the Defense Department repealed the вЂњвЂ?risk ruleвЂ™ that gauges the specialties to which women can be assigned.вЂќ This policy emphasized that no job will be closed off to women simply because of their sex, yet the policy did not open direct combat positions to women.
Then there is Jennifer Guay an Army Specialist who is the first woman to serve as an infantry combat medic. This is obviously a contradiction that she should not be placed as a combat medic but there is a shortage of male medics and she is qualified for the position. She spent вЂњten hours a day on missions with the 82nd Airborne Division dodging rockets and grenades in the streets of Mosul.вЂќ Women are playing historically larger roles compared with past wars and now make up 15% of the active duty force. Females deal with logistics in the military police, military intelligence and civil affairs. Serving in these positions puts females at the same risk as males in infantry and armor units, as they are on the frontline risking their lives to save others.
The frontline is Iraq is constantly changing. With modern warfare tactics the boundaries between combat zone and non-combat zones are blurred. With new weapons being used such as improvised explosive devices (IED), whether they are inside cars or attached to a suicide bomber, all United States troops are in possible danger at all times. Even the supposed вЂ?Green ZoneвЂ™ (safe zone) has been attacked multiple times since it has been established. The boundaries themselves are even difficult to determine because they change with time .
When Army Captain Andrea So was driving a convoy to deliver a shipment to an American base north of Tikrit her and her crewsвЂ™ lives were in danger. Captain So and her crew were unloading supplies for ninety minutes at the base. Upon packing up to leave another convoy entered the base and drove over an anti-tank mine. Therefore between the arrival time of Captain SoвЂ™s crew and the next convoy anti-tank mines were placed and this is supposed to be an area under the new Iraq government and United States military control. So if United States bases are not safe enough from attack on women, where exactly can they be? Major Mary