Women In Combat Roles Essay Research Paper

Women In Combat Roles Essay, Research Paper

With the advent of the feminist movement, the role of women in all parts of

society has come under increasing scrutiny. One area of recent controversy is the

role of women in combat roles. The idea of women in the military is not unusual

anymore and they should be able to hold combat positions because although

physical strength matters, the military still needs the intelligence that women can

bring. Also banning women from the combat hurts their military careers. Although

women account for only ten percent of the enlisted personnel, they are still a major

part in the armed forces. Their performance recently has generated support from

Congress and the public for enhancing the role of females in the military.

One of the oldest myths surrounding the question of women in the military

has been that females simply lack, in general, the physical stamina to perform many

of the most demanding military tasks, including combat. But Army researchers have

found that old stereotype to be completely wrong. With a new study that concludes

that, when a woman is correctly trained, she can be as tough as any man. And in

the Persian Gulf War this study was put to the test.

During the War, women were sent to the Middle East to fly helicopters,

service combat jets, refuel tankers, and load laser-guided bombs. Their

performance has led the world to realize that women are extremely useful in

combat. Defense secretary Dick Chaney said “Women have made a major

contribution to this [war] effort. We could not have won without them.” Leaders in

the field agreed. The Gulf War had the largest deployment of women in the armed

forces in history. These women encountered the same risks as the men they served

with. During the war twenty-one females lost their lives. From their experience in

the Persian Gulf, military women have earned the right to be treated as equals with

men and not as protected individuals.

In spite of their record as able combat personnel, there are laws and policies

that restrict women in the United States Military from serving in positions that

require them to engage in direct combat. Women in the Air Force and Navy are

barred from aircraft and vessels that have a chance to be exposed to combat. The

official policies of the Army and Marine Corps exclude women from even going

into combat. These policies prohibit women, on the basis of gender only, from over

twelve percent of the skill positions and thirty-nine percent of the total positions

offered by the Department of Defense. Such policies excluding women from

combat need to be repealed by Congress. The Fourteenth Amendment’s “Equal

Protection Clause” insures every citizen “the equal protection of the laws.”

Therefore the set laws and policies that exclude women from combat not only

violate the Fourteen Amendment, but also deny women their fundamental right to

engage and excel in their chosen occupation. The Supreme Court realizes that the

combat exclusion hinders the abilities of women to gain the experience needed for

promotion within the military. The combat exclusion puts women wishing to obtain

qualification for high-level positions at a disadvantage, because leadership training

is usually acquired in combat-type positions.

Although many females are not eager to go into combat, there are women

who can and want to do the job. In a time where technology takes over battle lines

and brains might be more important than brawn, a reason to exclude women from

combat roles is non-existent. Military preparedness should be the top priority.


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