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Backed Up By Law and Fact

“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any other State on account of sex.” These words, taken directly from the nineteenth constitutional amendment, apply almost directly to the women in combat policy debate, and describe how a lawsuit should completely vote in the favor of women’s ability to serve in combat. However, some have protested in fear of a decline in military effectiveness. Having women relations that are served or are currently served in our nation’s military, this topic is important to me, Women should, without a doubt, be allowed in combat, regardless of gender differences, especially if women meet the physical standards. There is no one operational definition for combat because for each of the military Services, engaging the enemy takes a different form. While there are overlaps, the overall Navy mission and subsequent definition of combat differs significantly from that of the Air Force and the Army. Certainly similarities exist between the Navy and the Coast Guard (maritime Services), the Marines and Army (ground Services), and aviators (regardless of Service), but the point that must be made is that combat is more than “boots on the ground.” Women are eligible for combat duty and are combatants in the Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard and in Navy, Marine and Army aviation specialties. Since the early 1990s, women have officially been combatants so engaging in combat per se is not the restriction that limits military women’s roles. Key Issue I: What is Direct Ground Combat?

If women are “in combat” and have been for over a decade, what is the issue? The topic that receives the most attention concerning women and their combat participation involves “direct ground combat” (DGC). Since 1994, DoD has defined Direct ground combat as: “…engaging the enemy on the ground with individual or crew served weapons, while being exposed to hostile fire and to a high...
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