Women in Combat
Women in combat is an issue that I believe should be given a little more thought and attention. I personally feel that women should be allowed to be in ground combat operations if they desire to do so. I do not feel that it is fair to exclude someone from performing a job within the military simply due to their gender. I do feel that women who want to go to combat should be able to perform the same physical tasks as the men currently in those positions. This issue hits close to home for me since my husband served four years active duty in the Army and I myself was in ROTC during my first two years of college. During those two years I was on a very strict physical fitness program and was able to perform with the same standards as the men. I do not feel that if I had continued to pursue my career as a woman in the Army that I should have been excluded from certain jobs just because of my gender. In Lucinda Joy Peach’s essay, Women at War-The Ethics of Women in Combat [Part 1 of 7] she states that as far back as the Revolutionary War there have been women who have served in the military and in combat positions. During World War II, women served as nurses on the battlefield. Most women were discharged from service after WWII ended, however in 1948 Congress passed the Integration of Women in the Armed Forces Act which created permanent places for women in the military for the first time. This did limit the percentage of women that were allowed to enlist and excluded women from combat positions (Peach 1). In Martha McSally’s, Women in Combat: Is the Current Policy Obsolete? she cites the Department of Defense policy on excluding women from combat which defines “direct combat” as “engaging an enemy on the ground with individual or crew served weapons, while being exposed to hostile fire and to a high probability of direct physical contact with hostile force's personnel. Direct ground combat takes place well forward on the battlefield while locating and closing with the enemy to defeat them by fire, maneuver, and shock effect” (McSally 1014). This policy was last revised in 1994, since then many things have changed in how our country conducts battle. The battle lines are no longer existent. The battlefield is now more of a battle zone. I do not feel that we should still be following guidelines that were last revised fourteen years ago. According to Lucinda Joy Peach in part two of her essay Women at War-The Ethics of Women in Combat, there are primarily three ethical perspectives on women in combat to include the ethic of accountability, care and justice. The ethic of accountability and care both support the combat exclusion, but for different reasons. Accountability stating that women are ‘not good enough’ and care because they are ‘too good.’ Allowing women to serve in combat roles on the basis of equal qualifications is the belief behind the ethic of justice (Peach 1). Lucinda Joy Peach in Women at War-The Ethics of Women in Combat [Part 2 of 7] states that the arguments behind the ethic of accountability are that women would create a lower level of effectiveness in combat as well as undermine the male bonding process. It is also believed that women are not physically able to perform the same as men and that their ability to become pregnant makes them less desirable to be in combat (Peach 1). It is believed that women would interfere with combat effectiveness by slowing mobilization in times of deployment. They would also interfere with the “male bonding” process that is suggested in Lucinda Joy Peach’s essay Women at War-The Ethics of Women in Combat [Part 2 of 7] to be vital to combat effectiveness. Women would also lower effectiveness by serving as a sexual distraction from the mission to the men. This would cause more fraternization (Peach 2). I don’t personally believe that mobilization or the male bonding process would be compromised. I believe that there is another aspect to...
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