Title

A Few Good Women: American Female Soldiers in Direct Ground Combat

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

The issue of American women in combat is something that has recently come to the forefront of American politics. In January of 2013, Leon Panetta, then Secretary of Defense, issued legislation that legalized and allowed women to actively participate in direct ground combat roles that had been previously been closed to them. However, controversy still remains over the aspect of female soldiers truly becoming integrated into dangerous combat situations. Drawing on Department of Defense records, first-hand accounts from female soldiers, and other reports, this paper examines reasons why women should be allowed to serve among men in dangerous direct ground combat operations. I briefly recount the history of women actively participating in war efforts, beginning from the Civil War up to the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using this historical context, I then argue that female soldiers have been serving in direct combat in the Iraq and Afghan wars due to the changing nature of the battlefield. This sets the basis for my argument that women should be allowed to fight alongside their fellow soldiers on the front lines and be able to apply for jobs that require a high physical and mental state. This presentation and paper brings light to a subject that requires immediate attention and urges America's armed forces to reconsider their position of allowing women to serve in ground combat.

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Apr 12th, 3:00 PM Apr 12th, 4:00 PM

A Few Good Women: American Female Soldiers in Direct Ground Combat

UC Ballroom

The issue of American women in combat is something that has recently come to the forefront of American politics. In January of 2013, Leon Panetta, then Secretary of Defense, issued legislation that legalized and allowed women to actively participate in direct ground combat roles that had been previously been closed to them. However, controversy still remains over the aspect of female soldiers truly becoming integrated into dangerous combat situations. Drawing on Department of Defense records, first-hand accounts from female soldiers, and other reports, this paper examines reasons why women should be allowed to serve among men in dangerous direct ground combat operations. I briefly recount the history of women actively participating in war efforts, beginning from the Civil War up to the current war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Using this historical context, I then argue that female soldiers have been serving in direct combat in the Iraq and Afghan wars due to the changing nature of the battlefield. This sets the basis for my argument that women should be allowed to fight alongside their fellow soldiers on the front lines and be able to apply for jobs that require a high physical and mental state. This presentation and paper brings light to a subject that requires immediate attention and urges America's armed forces to reconsider their position of allowing women to serve in ground combat.