Should Women Serve in Combat Units?

Topics: Military, Soldier, Combat Pages: 6 (2063 words) Published: July 6, 2011
A01454247
Introduction
America is called the land of equal opportunity and within the military; the fight for women having the same job opportunities as men has been a non-stop debate for decades. Some say women should be allowed to fight in combat with the infantry units and Special Forces units in a wartime environment. A number of arguments have been traditionally given against women in combat that range from women lacking the physical capacity needed in combat, psychological issues that may arise within the unit and soldiers, and the matter of a female soldier getting pregnant in the battlefield and how detrimental that can be. As many arguments there are against women in combat, there are many that agree they should be able to fight side by side with men. Such reasons include that women should have the same equal opportunity as the opposite gender, women should not be judged by size and appearance, but by their abilities and training capabilities, and the fact that female soldiers are already fighting in combat, just not with infantry soldiers.

Pros – Women should serve in combat units
Equal opportunity in the military is one of the biggest points the people of America will argue that women are not receiving. The opportunity to take on jobs that enhance men’s careers and give them a head start and boost in the military. Those jobs that are being considered are combat related jobs. According to Fawn Vrazo’s article women “Should she fight” women have more to offer the military other than secretarial positions. Many think that women belong along side men on the battlefield. Vrazo uses the example of Capt. Linda Bray who commanded MP units against the Panama Defense Forces. We have many examples of women fighting in war. One of the most extraordinary is that of Molly Pitcher in the revolutionary war and how she took over the cannon that her husband was using before he died. The military is very important and vital to the progression of female rights.

“Men are stronger and women are weaker” are often the stereotypes in the military regarding physical strength and training between genders, however is not accurate. Bill O’ Reilly from O’Reilly’s Radio Show quoted that “Women don’t belong in combat, because men are stronger.” Although only fifteen percent of females occupy the United States Military, some of those women are stronger physically than males. And for the women who are not stronger or do not have the strength to survive in combat can train for it. When males enlist in the military, majority of them are not physically fit or are barely fit enough to pass the tests. How men get stronger is simple: weight train. Our military, fixated on “men are stronger,” disqualifies for direct-ground combat roles. An

acceptable idea for ground combat roles would be for female recruits to qualify under the same physical standards for combat the men must meet. If our military thinks not enough women would qualify to justify including females, it could give female recruits extra physical training, including weight training – just as schools give lagging students extra tutoring. Those passing a single physical standard should be classified combat capable and trained to fight wherever men do.

In today’s war against terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no defined frontline, every one in those countries have the same risk of injury and death whether you are male or female. Females in dangerous areas cannot serve on missions with “direct combat” units, but they can go into battle with units that are considered “support combat units”. In 1994, the defense department established a ground combat exclusion policy which states: “Service members are eligible to be assigned to all positions for which they are qualified, except that women shall be excluded from assignment to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground. The policy goes on to define...

Cited: Daniel, Lisa. “Panel recommends U.S. rescind policy on women in combat.” S.C. Military News. 2011. Web. 4 Jun 2011.
Broadwell, Paula. “Women at War.” The New York Times. 2009. Web. 4 Jun 2011
Vrazo, Fawn "Should she fight?"  Kight-Ridder Newspapers 21 Jan. 1990. Print.
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