Yesterday afternoon, two Democratic politicians introduced the Ruth Moore Act, a bill to support former service members who survived sexual assault in the military. Veterans Affairs has long rejected disability claims of military sexual trauma (MST) for troops who were raped by colleagues and now need assistance. According to the Service Women’s Action Network, only one in three claims of PTSD from MST were approved by the VA between 2008 to 2010, presumably because the threshold was too high for these survivors to been seen as eligible. Keep reading »
Jon Stewart’s latest crusade: picking apart the right-leaning backlash stemming from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s decision to allow women to serve in combat roles. A former U.S. Marine penned a piece in the Wall Street Journal [second item] fretting that in combat soldiers often have to urinate and defecate in front of each other — often in close proximity to a fellow soldier’s face. Stewart points out: In a war zone, are you really worried about “dying from embarrassment?” Keep reading »
Bottom line: I was a female soldier in the combat zone. So why do I feel so uncomfortable about formalizing women’s placement in combat roles? I did a lot of soul-searching about why this bothered me so much. Ultimately, though, I’ve discovered there’s nothing I should be uncomfortable about.
When I first read that Defense Secretary Panetta had lifted the ban on women in combat roles, I felt queasy. While I left the military for the private sector in late 2011, I spent the first decade of my adult life in the Army, half of it on active duty as a Military Police officer. I have led and served alongside extraordinarily tough and competent leaders, male and female, while deployed in Iraq and in training all over the world. This was personal.
Yet, even as a woman who had been to combat, I couldn’t endorse lifting the ban. The more I examined my prejudices, though, I realize that they were just that — prejudices. Keep reading »
Earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted a ban that prohibited women from openly serving in combat roles in the military. This would entail overturning a 1994 rule that bans women from certain ground combat roles, thus opening up more jobs to servicewomen. Women have already been attached to ground units performing these jobs — they just haven’t been properly credited for it.
Yesterday, Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Join Chiefs Of Staff, officially overturned the 1994 rule. “Everyone is entitled to a chance,” Panetta said. According to The New York Times, the Army is now creating gender-neutral standards for all their positions but will not be lowering the physical standards required just so that women can be admitted.
All week there have been reactions to lifting the ban, both for and against. I’ve rounded up some of the responses: Keep reading »
Tucker Carlson, editor of the Daily Caller, has pried upon a contradiction in the Obama administration’s stance on women. Obama wants to stop women from being assaulted, but it is allowing women to serve in combat, where they might be attacked. Does Obama want women to get assaulted or not? Huh? Huh?
This is a Lindsay Bluth–level retort. (“You know, we’re not the only ones destroying trees. What about beavers? You call yourself an environmentalist, why don’t you go club a few beavers?”) Serving on combat is a choice citizens make, accepting risk in order to serve their country. Read more…
The Secretary of Defense has lifted a ban that prohibited women from openly serving in combat roles in the military, NPR is reporting. Secretary Leon Panetta made the decision on the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who suggested overturning a 1994 rule that bans women from being assigned into certain ground combat roles. However, women have at times served in those roles anyway, and furthermore, being excluded from those positions have held women back from rising in the ranks through the military. Servicewomen have repeatedly sued the Pentagon to fight the exclusionary policy. Last year, the Pentagon changed policies which opened up 14,000 additional positions to women; the military has until January 2016 to pursue a justification for continuing to exclude women from ground combat.
I know we have many ex-military members who read The Frisky. Let us know what you think in the comments! [NPR] [Photo: Getty]