Women In Combat Essay

2160 words - 9 pages

In the United States military combat units at battalion level and below have always been closed to women. However, change has been building up over the past decade on opening those closed positions and the Pentagon has decided to officially allow women on the front lines. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta lifted the Defense Department's ban on women in direct ground combat roles January 24, 2013 and on January 1, 2016 women will be able to apply to all military occupational specialties (Roulo). The lifting of this ban has led to a controversial debate with one side firmly against women in combat with the beliefs that women will hinder men emotionally and that women are physically inept to ...view middle of the document...

The essay then goes on to talk about the burden women will place on their commanding officers. Women will cause combat commanders to be unable to keep their focus on defeating the enemy. Commanders will be subjected to an environment that combines life-threatening danger with underlying sexual tensions (Boykin). Unit cohesion will be tough with the constant need to join and separate the sexes because of quickly developing deadly situations. Boykin sees the need for Congress to get involved to evaluate job categories and physical requirements. He believes that if the policy is not going to be reversed than a committee consisting of members who have served in infantry positions and Special Forces should be formed. Boykin concludes that men and women can serve together productively if there is a structure that reflects the differences between men and women and their attractions (Boykin).
Vernice Armour the author of the essay “Women on front lines? Of course” agrees that women should be allowed in combat positions. Known as Captain Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, she is America’s first African-American female combat pilot. She completed two tours of duty with the Marines in Iraq having flown AH-1W Super Cobra Attack Helicopters. Armour is now a business coach and keynote speaker for corporations and organizations (Armour). The essay begins with an anecdote about an experience she had in Iraq where she saved a Marine Squad that was in danger. Supply reinforcements couldn’t reach the squad and they did not have green smoke to mark their position. With the last missile in her helicopter Armour took out their enemy target. Several months after, she talked to a marine who recounted a mission he had in Iraq where a Cobra shot a missile and saved his squad. It was the same mission she had been in and the marine told Armour she had saved his life. The point of her story was to emphasize the fact that it did not matter if the one who shot the missile was a women, or that she was black and gay (Armour). Her first point is women are capable of handling different military roles and are needed to accomplish front line missions. An example of the need for women in combat positions is the Lioness Program in the Marine Corps. This group is an all-female search team that was developed to approach Muslim and Iraqi women who needed to be searched. It is not culturally possible for men to search females, so this program was formed to accommodate this sensitive part of the Iraqi culture (Female). have been prisoners of war in all positions of the military. Armour then discusses her feelings toward the lowering of standards if women are allowed in combat positions. The standards should not be lowered. If a woman doesn’t pass the standards then they shouldn’t be in the job. She believes unit cohesion shouldn’t be a problem. The arguments that are being used against women in combat are the same ones used to keep blacks and gays out of the military (Armour). Overall,...

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