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 environment.
Furthermore, there are a number of stereotypes against women service members. “Duncan Hunter(R-CA), former chair of the House Armed Services Committee, and former Senator Rick Santorum(R-PA) rely on three crucial components: women cannot meet the physical requirements necessary to fight, they simply do not belong in combat, and that their inclusion in fighting units would disrupt those units’ cohesion and battle readiness” (MacKenzie). However, women who are properly trained and prepared can indeed be ready for combat situations.
Women may not be as strong as men, but they can have the same amount of mental toughness. It takes mental strength to be able to pull a trigger, and women are proving themselves each and every day. Women have earned their right to be on the frontlines when they graduated from boot camp. According to Attorney Scott Tips, women will be a sexual distraction on the battlefield, and that nature will inevitably take its course. “Human nature will inevitably take its natural course, no matter how hard the social engineers among us may wish otherwise or even try to suppress it, with temporary success” (Tips).
While some may argue this to be true, it cannot be proven and it is just a generalization of a stereotype, such as men and women being “just friends”. Women proved they can make it through any situation and surpass any challenge that they may have to face. Saying that females will disrupt battle readiness is a terrible and shameful excuse. Men see each other as brothers in arms and will look out for another; it should not be different if it is a woman. Most men see their female soldiers as their sisters and will look out for them just like a brother would.
While one can argue that women can be emotional, the same can be said about men. “Despite critics’ fears, women are not falling apart on the battlefield, nor have they had much impact on military readiness or morale” (Yeager). To continue, the ban being lifted provides many opportunities for women in the service. It allows women to be more easily promoted. When determining promotion, a higher up military official looks at a candidate’s record for things such as disciplinary actions, awards, medals, and combat experience. Combat experience is a major key in order to be promoted.
With women not being allowed into combat situations, it makes it extremely challenging to rise in the rankings and to prove themselves. Along with promotion being easier, the “Brass Ceiling” is destroyed. The “Brass Ceiling” is the limited range of career opportunities for women. Now, women can choose freely to be a part of without any tedious setbacks. Another added benefit includes “Female engagement teams now receive combat pay, also known as “hostile fire” or “imminent danger” pay, which acknowledging the threats women regularly face” (MacKenzie).
Men were getting paid more than women due to the fact that women could not be in combat-therefore depriving them of extra money. Since women are already part of “Lioness Teams”, they can be a part of a different team. Women are now allowed to try to be a part of the Navy S. E. A. L. S, Army Rangers or on Special Forces squadrons. “Women who pass rigorous selection processes are now being deployed to Afghanistan to serve with rangers and Special Forces teams” (Dreazen). They would have to undergo the same requirements as men, yet it is still doable by many means.
The military is now allowing the branches to create new positions especially designed for women. April 2012- Army opens six new combat related occupational specialties to women” (MacKenzie). There are talks of the Marine Corps also following suit with these combat related MOS’s. Moreover, male military leaders are all for women being able to serve on the frontlines alongside their brothers. They believe that when women are properly trained they have the potential to take on the enemy like any man could. “Women are fighting; they are in the struts and on the patrols.
They are running the convoy’s, getting shot at and shooting back” (Fox). There are many higher up military officials that back up the idea of women serving in combat. If women worked their way through boot camp like their fellow brothers, should they not have the same exact rights and abilities? These are the officials who decide whether or not a candidate is to be promoted (again focusing on the combat experience aspect), and they would like to see more women proving themselves each day. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “I expect female troops to move increasingly into other Special Operations detachments. The bar has been raised for women since the ban has been removed, and expectations keep on growing vastly. Many officials have been working with the Department of Defense to remove restrictions on women in the service. “2/9/12- Pentagon Press Secretary George Little announces that the Department of Defense would continue to remove restrictions on women’s roles” (Mackenzie). Seeing these statements wanting women to have the same rights shows how important and controversial the issue is. However, even though women have made incredible leaps in the military, they are still struggling.
Women do not have the same physical standard requirements for as men. Men: Seventy-Five pushups, eighty sit-ups, and run two miles in thirteen minutes; Women: Forty-Six pushups, eighty sit-ups, and run two miles in fifteen minutes and thirty-eight seconds” (Yeager). Many men see this as unfair and do not think that women should have a place among them since they had to do more. Some women often find themselves having problems trying to form relationships with the men; of the mentor variety of relationship. Things have only gotten better since more and more women are being assigned to units, there is no longer just a few to a unit or to a ompany. Sexual harassment is another big issue for women in the service and military officials worry about that frequently. Being on a minimum of nine month deployment, service members can tend to become lonely. However, reports of these instances have dropped tremendously over the years and allows women to be at ease instead of constantly having their guard up. Erin Morgan, 2nd LT in the Army Intelligence Corps, states: “Soldiering is a masculine trait, something that separates the men and the women and the men from the boys; that is something cadets still struggle with. It is incredibly tough to be a woman in a man’s world, and they are adapting quite well. Women are proving themselves more each day, and it is allowing them to soar amongst the rankings, and overcome many obstacles in the service. A number of women leaders in the military’s chain of command, who deal most directly with troops, report having to prove themselves again and again. Men see women leaders as intimidating and try to look down on them. Additionally, there are countries that allow women to serve in combat. One country that is well known for this is Israel.
Women can enlist in the military, to be a part of infantry units, and serve alongside men in the field. There are several other countries that allow women to participate in combat: Canada, Finland, Poland, Norway, Denmark, France, Romania, Germany, Sweden, The Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand. The United States is new to this list, and some of these countries have had this right established in 1995 (Yeager). Seeing that these other countries allow women to be in combat might have influenced Congress to pass the bill. Women have been pushing for this since 1948 and now they finally have equality.
There are still people who think that if women do want equal rights, they should be required to be a part of the draft. This has sparked controversy because most people do not believe women should have to be in the draft, just men. However, if women are going to have the same rights as men, they should be in the draft. A person cannot just pick and choose which aspects of rights they want to have. People may not be able to grasp the fact that women will have to adapt to the qualifications and expectations of men, but it is something that is inevitable.
Women will also have to be able to perform the same fitness standards required for men in the military if they want things to be fair. Men are going to have to accept them as one of their own, which is getting better each day. Women in the military deserve the same rights that men do when it comes to being in active combat. Since January 24, the ban has been removed and women now have more roles and options for active combat. Military officials have been pushing for women to be integrated into these roles since they have proven to be effective in combat, and they are already on the front lines getting shot at, so they deserve a chance.
Women have worked just as hard as the men to be where they are today, and they deserve to have some recognition for their achievements. Women may not be in positions such as infantry itself, but they are still dealing with an engaging enemy, whether they are driving tanks or being medical officers. Having this ban lifted provides women with being able to rise in the rankings, it has dismantled the “Brass Ceiling”, and it provides the equality that women have been striving for since the Armed Services Integration Act of 1948.
With this ban being lifted women now have more opportunities than ever and can be alongside their brothers in arms watching out for one another. Works Cited Attorney Scott Tips, JD. News With the Views. 24 April 2012. 1 March 2013. Dreazen, Yochi J. “Women fighting the nation’s wars. ” National Journal (2011). Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 27 Feb. 2013 MacKenzie, Megan H. “Let women fight: ending the U. S. military’s female combat ban. ” Foreign Affairs 91. 6 (2012): 32+. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
News, FOX. “Women Should Be Allowed In Combat Units, Report Says. ” 2011 Alision Harding, CNN. “Report: Women Should Be Allowed to Serve in Combat. ” 2011. Werrell, Kenneth P. “Should Women be Permitted in Combat? -Yes. ” Air University Review (2009). Yeager, Holly. “The Role of Women in the Armed Forces Should Be Expanded. ” Armed Forces. Ed. Louise Gerdes. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Soldiering Ahead. ” Wilson Quarterly 31 (Summer 2007): 54-62. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
Cite this Women in Combat
Women in Combat. (2016, Oct 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/women-in-combat/