Jocelyne Young Sime Dimou
May 5, 2014
Why women belong in combat.
Women in combat are female soldiers assigned to combat positions. History suggests that the combat positions were initially assigned to male individuals. Over time, however, individual women serving in combat were usually disguised as men or in leadership positions as queens e.g. queen Boudicca. She led the Britons against Rome. Also, Joan of arc is a famous example. In the WWII (Second World War), hundreds of thousands of German and British women soldiers served in combat roles but only in anti-aircraft units. It is in these positions that they shot down hundreds of enemy fliers. These positions were accepted because the women were safe of capture. The Soviet Union in large scale used women in the front lines as the medical staff and political officers. Sniper female units were used for female pilots and also combat fighter planes. In the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, a few women were used in combat roles, in the resistance movements. After 1945, all the women combat roles were sustained in all armies and their contributions were forgotten (Campbell 301-323).
While the Australian government plans to open up women combat jobs in 2016, New Zealand offers no restriction on the women roles in their defense force. They can serve in infantry, artillery, armor and a special air service. Norway is the first known country to permit women to serve on its submarines. (This was in 1985) In fact, the first female commander of a Norwegian submarine was Kret Solveig in 1995. In Sweden, women can serve in any if not all positions in the military since 1989. Today, about 5.5 percent of the officers are women. In WWI and WWII (first and the Second World War), women served in many roles; for example, the Army Nurse Corps as well as the Women's Army Corps. They carried out different tasks such as clerical work, photo analysis, mechanical work and sheet metal working. The qualification of enlisting became the same for men as well as women in 1979 in the U.S. However, in 1994, the Department of Defense (DOD) officially banned American women from serving in combat but this ban would only last for nine years. On January 24th, 2003, Leon Panetta (secretary of defense) removed the ban. (Campbell 312) It is clear that women cannot physically compete with men. With rare exceptions, many women are unable to lift heavy material, scale barriers and are unable to pull themselves along a rope that has been suspended above a safety net. If women and men are sought according to sex and tested by making two mile runs, the result will suggest that the average woman took 18 minutes, while the average man took 14 minutes. It is also clear that military men are not challenged enough by the training regimen compared to women. However, there are women who perform better than men in a variety of capabilities. It is clear that women can contribute in unprecedented ways to the mission of the military of defending the nation. Enlisting women can open hundreds of thousands of front line positions and potentially elite commando jobs to women. It is true because, women, (who by the way already make up 15% of the force), have increasingly found themselves in the ‘reality of combat’ during Afghanistan and Iraq. Enlisting women also gives females a chance to honor their countries by fighting for it. Women are important to the operational effectiveness of a country’s armed forces as they bring talent and skills on the board. Some female soldiers are ‘deeply uncomfortable’ with the idea of excluding a whole group of able soldiers just because they are women. However, others say that women might not meet the standards required for combat duties. In fact, ‘two women who made it through marine training in the US did not qualify.’ There does not exist a single country on earth or in the universe that has been named to have male comrades only. Thus, women belong...
Cited: Campbell, Dann. “Women in Combat The World War II Experience in the US, Germany, Great Britain and the Soviet Union.” Journal of Military History. 1.57 (1993): 301-323. Print. March 17. 2014.
Goodell, Maia B. “Physical-strength Rationales for De Jure: Exclusion of Women from Military Combat Positions.” Seattle University Law Review. 34 (2010): 17 Print. March, 17 2014
Holm, Jeanne. Women in Combat: The New Reality. (2003): 67-68. Print. March 17. 2014.
William, Denn. “Women in Combat Can Strengthen Military.” The Washington Post. April 3. 2014. 34-70. Print. March 17. 2014.
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