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posted by martyb on Friday December 04 2015, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the anything-you-can-do... dept.

Multiple sources report that on Thursday, December 3rd, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the US military will open all combat jobs to women. From The Wall Street Journal:

"This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before," Mr. Carter said.

He spelled out the implications of his decision: "They'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They'll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men."

[...] The practical effect of the announcement is to open up the 10% of positions that still remain closed to women--nearly 220,000 jobs--in infantry, reconnaissance and special operations units.

[Much more after the break.]

ABC News brings us some words from combat veteran and US congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (link again):

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., one of the first Army women to fly combat missions in the 2003-2011 Iraq war, welcomed the decision.

"I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight -- of course women can serve in combat," said Duckworth, whose helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. "This decision is long overdue."

The Kurdish militia is another option for women who want to fight. Fox News earlier this year wrote about one such woman, Gill Rosenberg:

A Canadian-born Israeli woman who joined a Kurdish militia to fight against the Islamic State group said that after a stint in prison, she felt compelled to do something positive with her life and battle against the "genocide" unfolding in Syria and Iraq.

Gill Rosenberg, 31, was among the first female volunteers to fight in the Syrian civil war.

Vice brings us a story about another woman determined to fight ISIS, model Hanna Bohman:

As thousands of Syrian refugees flee the country, escaping Bashar al-Assad's barrel bombs and the barbarism of ISIS, one woman from Canada has headed to the war zone for a second time.

Hanna Bohman, aka Tiger Sun, joined the women's militia army of the People's Defence Unit, known as the YPJ in the Kurdish region of Syria (Rojava) following a near-fatal motorbike accident last year.

Also see NPR's coverage: Pentagon Says Women Can Now Serve In Front-Line Ground Combat Positions.


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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Friday December 04 2015, @08:50PM

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 04 2015, @08:50PM (#271944) Journal

    The United States could always look to other countries' militaries where women have already been put into combat roles. Israel is one, so are France and Germany. There others, but of those three perhaps Israel is the best example because they're constantly fighting with everyone.

    But even with those countries, women are not given the same size combat packs to carry, or expected to slam the same size shells into the breach of howitzers.

    Those armies take a rational approach, where women are assigned to do the jobs commensurate with their size. They might drive the tank, command the tank, service the tank, fuel the tank, fire the gun, but there is usually a pretty beefy (male) gunner's mate moving the shells from the locker to the breach.

    Go to Google Images and search for images of Israeli ground troops. You won't see many women in those shots of actual combat missions, but there are a few. They seem to train separately [jpost.com].

    There is almost no job in aviation that women can't handle. Yes, she flew it, and brought it home, mostly in one piece [tumblr.com].

    More-so shipboard in the Navy. Even on a Carrier, probably 90% of the jobs can be handled by women. Probably everything but the Red Shirt Jobs [navy.mil] because bombs and missiles weighing up to 500 pounds (or more) are manually lifted to the pylons.

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