The Union Recorder

Top Stories

November 27, 2012

Troops debate risks, benefits of women in combat

SAN DIEGO —  

A federal lawsuit filed by four service members Tuesday challenges the Pentagon's longstanding policy barring women from serving in direct combat positions. Here are the issues:

WHAT IS THE CURRENT POLICY REGARDING FEMALE TROOPS?

The 1994 combat exclusion policy bars women from being assigned to ground combat units, which are smaller and considered more dangerous since they are often in the thick of battle for longer periods of time than the other units.

WHAT ARE THE ARGUMENTS FOR LETTING WOMEN FIGHT ON THE FRONT LINES?

Supporters of lifting the ban say women are already being wounded or killed in war, and the policy keeps them from being recognized for their battleground experience, which could lead to promotions and higher pay. They also say the policy hurts the U.S. military by limiting the chances of qualified women to move into more senior leadership ranks.

WHAT DO OPPONENTS SAY?

Opponents include some female troops who question whether women are physically capable of handling the rigors of being assigned to ground combat units. The first two women to volunteer for the Marine Corps' grueling 13-week infantry training course at its base in Quantico, Va., were unable to complete it. The Corps will open the course again to female volunteers in January.

WHAT DOES THE MILITARY'S TOP BRASS SAY?

Military leaders say they want to make sure lifting gender-based barriers would not disrupt the cohesion of the smaller combat ground units and military operations. The Marine Corps' top leader, Gen. James Amos, ordered a survey of 53,000 troops to get their views, including whether they believe women in those units would distract male Marines from doing their jobs. The results have not been released yet.

HOW CLOSE DO WOMEN GET TO THE FRONT LINES?

The blurred front lines of modern warfare, with suicide bombs and sniper attacks, have put more and more women in combat situations. More than 144 female troops have been killed and more than 860 have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan since the wars began according to Pentagon statistics. Roughly 20,000 of the 205,000 service members currently serving in Afghanistan are women.

 

Click here to subscribe to The Union-Recorder print edition. http://tinyurl.com/6qdm4oj

Click here to subscribe to The Union-Recorder e-edition. http://unionrecorder.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

 

1
Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'