I don’t know about this one…
The Congress isn’t set up for this one yet…..
Even though woman actually do serve in combat zones* these days and do
Fight and get killed and injuried….
The last barrier is combat troop deployments….
Lance Corporal Kristi Baker, 21, U.S. Marine with the FET (Female Engagement Team) 1st Battalion 8th Marines, Regimental Combat team II patrols with other Marines on November 20, 2010 in Musa Qala, Afghanistan.
(Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)
Those “close combat” troops — roughly 14 percent of the military — are the ones that most jealously guard the all-male cohesion and camaraderie they insist makes them effective in the chaos and stress of long-term exposure to combat.
Never mind that some 200,000 women like Pfleuger have served in wartime Iraq or Afghanistan, that 134 have been killed and 721 wounded in action. With women attacking insurgents with strike fighters and helicopter gunships, machine guns and mortars, riding shotgun on convoys through IED territory and walking combat patrols with the infantry, the Defense Department and the military services have labored mightily to define just what it is that women cannot volunteer to do.
That hasn’t been easy, given that in today’s wars there are no front lines and no safe rear areas, as the saga of Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch aptly demonstrated (a 19-year-old supply clerk, she was captured and hospitalized by Iraqis after her military convoy got lost in 2003 and her truck crashed during an ambush).
The Army has tried to block women from joining units that “engage an enemy . . . while being exposed to direct enemy fire, a high probability of direct physical contact with the enemy’s personnel, and a substantial risk of capture.”
That seems to precisely define the situation of Army Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, an MP, who won the coveted Silver Star for her actions in a firefight in Iraq in 2005. When the convoy she was escorting was caught in an ambush, she leapt out and attacked an enemy trench. Then, with her squad leader, she cleared two trenches, killing three insurgents with her rifle. At the time, she was 23 years old.
Getting the award for heroism “really doesn’t have anything to do with being a female,” she told reporters. “It’s about the duties I performed that day as a soldier.”
* Women now serve in the US military as Combat fighter pilots, Helo pilots, Submariners and in other positions…..
The call by a commission of current and retired military officers to dismantle the last major area of discrimination in the armed services could set in motion another sea change in military culture as the armed forces, generations after racial barriers fell, grapples with the phasing out of the ban on gays serving openly.
This latest move is being recommended by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, established by Congress two years ago. The panel was to send its proposals to Congress and President Barack Obama.
It is time “to create a level playing field for all qualified service members,” the members said Friday…..Share on Facebook