The critical contributions in Iraq and Afghanistan made by female soldiers and Marines participating in and supporting combat missions have most credibly removed the question mark from "Should women be permitted into the combat arms." The question no longer exists. The Armed Forces ideally treats, judges and rewards its war fighters in accordance with their demonstrated capabilities and performance - not by their ethnicity, race, color, creed, and most recently, sexual orientation. There is no place in today's military for retention of its final, inequitable holdout: gender discrimination. Providing that the Armed Forces do not lower their combat arms qualification standards for female applicants only, thus maintaining a level playing field, for those women who desire to compete . . .have at it, Ladies!
For a great read on the debate, please go to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brenda-s-/women-in-combat_b_2551276.html?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=Politics. Here are some excerpts:
"women are already in combat. They have been fighting,winning, getting wounded, losing limbs and dying on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan (and earlier) for as long as we have fought those wars. . . "
"If we continue to pretend that women aren't in combat, and close some roles to them, we deny them the promotions that go to the men they fought next to, because "the guy is a combat vet." We make it much harder for them to access care for combat-related health issues, including PTSD, that women sometimes find themselves "ineligible" for. We perpetuate the myth that women aren't really warriors -- and in the military culture that means you are worth less."