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Women in Combat, Is Equality Finally Here?

With budget cuts, which also means troop cuts, many are asking 'why are we suddenly putting women in combat as a priority', when they've already been there?

 

Women's roles first came up in this past year's election. Both candidates bragged on how they had furthered women's careers, and ultimately women's rights issues as part of their platform for votes.

Once again, women are being thrust forward, this time by the military. While there might be some women who are aching to be on the 'front lines' next to their male counterparts in an integral part of a mission, others don't quite feel the same.

Read one female Marine's perspective.

Is the Pentagon’s decision to end its ban on women in combat a triumph for equality? Is this the measure of true equality?

Afterall, our female soldiers truly have been part of multiple combat tours in either or both of the two longest wars in U.S. history over the past 11 years. I feel while more jobs might be open to women, why not give women credit for what they have done, and for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice?

Just in the past two years, three local soldiers were killed in action while performing their jobs in combat.

First Lt. Ashley White

In Oct. 2011, a Raeford resident, First Lt. Ashley White was a member of the Cultural Support Team soldiers, an  elite team of female soldiers who worked alongside Special Operations forces was killed in action.

White was killed alongside two men from the 75th Ranger Regiment, when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

A Cultural Support Team is an all-volunteer force formed in late 2010 that is trained at Fort Bragg. These female soldiers serve on the teams assisting Army Special Operations combat forces by engaging the women in areas where such contact is considered to be culturally inappropriate for male soldiers.

Spc. Krystal M. Fitts

In July 2012 Spc. Krystal M. Fitts, 26, died in Kandahar, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered from indirect fire.

Fitts was a member of the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Her company commander, Capt. Sam Perlik, applauded Fitts for taking on duties above-and-beyond those required.

Sgt. Donna Johnson

In Oct. 2012 Sgt. Donna Johnson, of Raeford, died Oct.1, in Khost, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when an insurgent detonated a suicide vest while she and two other soldiers were on dismounted patrol. The soldiers were assigned to the 514th Military Police Company, 60th Troop Command, Winterville, N.C.

jim armstrong February 11, 2013 at 04:42 AM
It will be curious as to how many females will 1. volunteer for direct combat MOSs 2. fulfill the requirements to sucessfully train for those MOSs 3. sucessfully train and be assigned to combat roles, ALL AT THE SAME LEVEL ESTABLISHED FOR ALL RECRUITS REGARDLESS OF SEX. What happens, as an extreme, if no females volunteer for those openings? I am not opposed to any of this as long as the conditions and requirements remain equal, after all isn't all the hoopla about EQUAL OPPORTUNITY? Not some sort of 2 standards of requirements and/oe training, one for males and one for females. Equality has to be true equality, or it's all a publicity stunt.
Kelly Twedell February 11, 2013 at 11:56 AM
I agree, Jim. I believe that is what some women desire, to be equal. Capable and safety is the concern. Capable - specifically thinking in the aviation field, yes. Do I think most women feel they can carry the M2 machine gun at 84 pounds, for an Infantry platoon in an exercise, let alone combat - maybe a select few, but would they really want that job? I feel only certain MOSs will be open to females and that it will be well thought out.
Harnett Hawkdriver February 11, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Why would a country want its women to fight for them in the first place. Only Cowardly politically correct self-serving liberals would send their daughters to be killed, raped, and mamed in the name of equality. Would the president readily send Malia Ann and Natasha (known as Sasha) to the mountains of Afghanistan as grunts for several deployments???
Kelly Twedell February 11, 2013 at 03:18 PM
No, I don't see Malia Ann nor Sasha being encouraged into a life of service.
justiceday February 14, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Why doesn't anyone talk about the epic problem of rape and sexual assault for women in the military? I am less concerned about combat and more concerned by assaults by the same troops that these women will be out with in the field. There's a great site theusmarinesrapedcom

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