Women in Combat

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Paige Hauser
ENG 152-013
Argumentative Research Paper
3/21/13

Women in Combat
As quoted by a philosopher C. Joybell, “The strength of a woman is not measured by the impact that all her hardships in life have had on her, but the strength of a woman is measured by the extent of her refusal to allow those hardships to dictate her and who she becomes.” Women have served in the military since the Armed Services Integration Act became in effect in 1948 (MacKenzie). The ban on women in combat was lifted on January 24, 2013. Military officials have been noticing more and more women receiving Purple Hearts (for being wounded in combat), and Combat Action Badges (for being in action on the ground, air, and sea). Women are dealing with hostile enemies who have no regards for them. Women may not be in an MOS (Military Occupational Specialty), such as infantry, but they are in positions that include driving tanks and being medics. They are on the front lines of the battlefield no matter how a person views it. Women are be allowed to serve in active combat because they have proven themselves to be combat ready and deserve to have equality among their brothers in arms. To begin, rights for women in the military began taking shape in 2011 when the Military Leadership Diversity Commission recommended that the Department of Defense remove all combat restrictions on women. A level playing field had to be made. Women make up about 14% of the military and can only be in 93% of MO’s that the military offers. However, in 2012 things began to take shape. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Gender Equality in Combat Act, which seeks the termination of the ground combat exclusion policy (MacKenzie). Having this introduced allowed women to be included in that remaining 7%, and provided them with equal rights. Women deserve the same rights as men which entitles them to be able to serve in active combat. Stated by Holly Yeager, a writer for Wilson Quarterly, “New technology, fresh attention to inclusive leadership styles, and societal attitudes all favor for a greater role for women”. Women are already serving in infantry units as medics and engineers which put them in the middle of combat. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has proven to be the most dangerous war for women in the military. Quoted by Yochi J. Dreazen, a writer for National Journal, “Iraq and Afghanistan feature guerilla wars with no fixed front lines, so female troops driving supply trucks on ostensibly noncombat missions have been regularly attacked”. Women are on the front lines whether or not people want to accept it. The danger is at the front door and women need to be prepared for it. Hundreds of female soldiers have received a Combat Action Badge (given for actively engaging with a hostile enemy). The news today does not focus on the war; it tries to distract viewers from the war. Women are sacrificing their lives for this country, and it does not seem to even be acknowledged. “More than 150 women have died in Iraq and Afghanistan; roughly over half of them in combat. 78% of women service member deaths were categorized as hostile” (Dreazen). This should be a wake-up call for the United States of America. Women are also integrated into combat units as “Lioness Teams”. These teams are used to question the Iraqi women and for them to be searched if need be. Men cannot search women because it is deemed wrong and unmoral. After the “Lioness Teams” were created, in 2009 the military created female engagement teams. These teams conducted over 70 short-term search-and-engagement missions in Afghanistan (MacKenzie). It was made well aware of that these teams could not be a part of hunt-and-kill patrols; and could only stay on combat bases for a short amount of time. An interesting fact is that female soldiers were required to leave their combat bases for one night every six weeks before returning. This put females at risk for unnecessary travel in a hostile...
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