Tag Archives: women in military

Four Women Successfully Progressing Through Marines’ Ground Combat Training

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  • Four women who are part of the first batch of female Marines to train for ground combat have passed the Marine Corps’ infantry training test for the first time. Congrats!  [USA Today]
  • Beijing police criticized women drivers for “inadequate driving skills” and “often” lacking a “sense of direction.” [CNN]
  • Philadelphia’s mayor signed legislation to add one gender-neutral bathroom to all new government buildings built in the city as a way of accommodating trans folks. Love it! [NBC Philadelphia]
  • The cervical cancer vaccines recommended for tween girls and boys do not include the two strains of the HPV virus (which leads to cervical cancer) which most affect Black women, according to a new study. [NBC News] Keep reading »

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Taking Sexual Assault In The Military Seriously, As He Should

Military Ban Lifted
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The military has lifted the ban on women in combat roles. Read More »
Women In Combat
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Rick Santorum frets your ladylike "emotions" are bad for combat. Read More »
After Sexual Assault
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Tips for reclaiming your sex life after being sexually assaulted. Read More »

A new defense secretary has just been confirmed and already he has a big issue to address: sexual assault in the military. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (Full disclosure: I used to work in her office), and Senator Janeane Shaheen (D-NH) recently sent a letter requesting Chuck Hagel immediately review a decision by an Air Force Lieutenant General to dismiss all charges against an officer who had been convicted of sexual assault.

Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson, a fighter pilot, had been charged with aggravated sexual assault on former colleague Kimberly Hanks at Aviano Air Base in Italy. Hanks had been socializing with Wilkerson and his wife at their home and stayed the evening in their guest bedroom; in the middle of the night, she woke up to find Wilkerson on top of her. He was found guilty and sentenced to a year in the brig (AKA military prison). But he never served any time in prison because his superior, Lieutenant General Craig A. Franklin, dismissed the jury’s conviction and reinstated him. Senators Boxer and Shaheen and others are rightfully concerned that a troop charged with sexual assault was let off scot-free. 
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Recap: President Obama’s State Of The Union Address

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Watch Obama's victory speech and Romney's concession speech. Read More »
Vawa Passes!
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The violence against women act passed in the Senate. Read More »
Senators Against VAWA
These guys didn't even want to bring VAWA to a vote. Read More »
President Obama On VAWA

Missed the State Of The Union address last night?  Well, here’s a guide of some major points for those of you who still want to know where we’re at.  The economy continues to dominate President Obama’s agenda, given how the first 20 minutes were a mixture of economic policies from spending cuts to boosting the middle class.  Though we’re no longer arguing about the Bush tax cuts, bailouts, or the debt ceiling, we have new talking points: sequester cuts, deficit reduction, tax codes. Oh my.

Sam Seaborn, fictional speechwriting dreamboat from “The West Wing,” would argue the SOTU speech is not solely about policy, it’s about noble over-reaching that government should aspire to. So what’s on President Obama’s agenda? Where are we heading in the next four years? Keep reading »

Jon Stewart Reminds Everyone That Women Are Not Mice, Can Fight In Military Combat

Military Ban Lifted
women in military
The military has lifted the ban on women in combat roles. Read More »
Controversy
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What the military ban lifted on women in combat means. Read More »
A Soldier's Thoughts
women in combat
Why an ex-soldier was reluctant to endorse lifting the ban. Read More »
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Women's War Daily

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 »

The Soapbox: Why I Was Reluctant To Endorse Lifting The Ban On Women In Combat

Controversy
servicewoman
What the military ban lifted on women in combat means. Read More »
Military Ban Lifted
women in military
The military has lifted the ban on women in combat roles. Read More »
Armor For Women
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Military women finally get specially designed body armor. Read More »
women in combat

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 »

Military Ban Lifted On Women In Combat: Here’s What People Are Saying About It

Military Ban Lifted
women in military
The military has lifted the ban on women in combat roles. Read More »
Unjust, Unfair
Army Staff Sergeant refused widower benefits because she is a lesbian. Read More »
Armor For Women
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Military women finally get specially designed body armor. Read More »
servicewoman

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 »

Military Ban Lifted On Women In Combat Roles

women in military

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]

Women In Military Shouldn’t Disrupt “Band Of Brothers” By Serving In Combat Roles, Retired General Writes

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  • A male retired Army general penned an op-ed for the Washington Post about why women should not openly serve in combat roles, which apparently seems to stem from wanting to “protect” lady-soldiers from rape and not breaking up the “band of brothers.” [Washington Post]
  • Here’s why the Violence Against Women Act is stalled in Congress. [Huffington Post]
  • Check out critic Anita Sarkeesian’s TEDxwomen talk in which she discusses the crazy trolls who bombarded her with death threats after she tried to do a feminist critique of video games. [Kotaku] Keep reading »

British Soldier Gives Birth At Afghan Base Had No Idea She Was Pregnant

Armor For Women
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Military women finally get specially designed body armor. Read More »
"A Disgrace"
breastfeeding Air Force women
Air Force mamas photographed nursing called a disgrace. Read More »
Military Sister
My brother joined the armed forces. Read More »

I’ve had a couple false alarms when my period has been poky and I’ve been freaked for a few days that I might be pregnant. So it boggles my mind that there are women on this Earth that do not know they are pregnant until their baby is basically crowning.

Take, for instance, the British soldier who gave birth at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan after not realizing she was pregnant for seven/eight months. The Fiji-born woman, who is being kept anonymous, was deployed to the Afghan frontlines in March as a gunner in the Royal Artillery and gave birth unexpectedly to a five-weeks premature baby earlier this week. The soldier did not realize she was pregnant until she started having terrible stomach cramps, which turned out to be contraction associated with childbirth. Keep reading »

Military Women Finally Get Specially Designed Body Armor

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  • The first group of women in the military will soon be deployed with body armor that has been designed especially with their female shape in mind. Previously, military women had to wear the one-size-fits-all body armor designed for men’s bodies, which sometimes left awkward open spaces where bullets or shrapnel could fly in. [TIME]
  • Chik-Fil-A is “re-evaluating” giving money to anti-gay groups. [ABC News]
  • President Obama awarded the Burmese pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi her 2008 Congressional Gold Medal, the country’s highest honor. Suu Kyi was issued the award five years ago, but has lived much of her life under government-imposed house arrest. [Guardian UK]   Keep reading »
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