Monday, May 28, 2012
Editorial: Women's place, post 9/11
From the RoundTable blog
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As of Friday, 139 U.S. servicewomen had died in Afghanistan and Iraq. Though women have been caught up in combat for the past decade in wars without front lines, military policy is just starting to catch up to reality on the ground.
Memorial Day 2012 is the first that will see women assigned to once all-male Army combat units. Nine brigades started pilot programs this month assigning female officers and non-coms to noncombat jobs in personnel, intelligence and logistics, among other support roles they've been filling without formal assignment.
The Marines, though, are taking point on the policy shift. Last month, the Marine Corps Times reported that, as part of the corps' research "to determine what additional jobs could be opened to women, an undetermined number of volunteers will attend the Infantry Officers Course in Quantico," where Marine officers are groomed "to serve in direct combat roles and lead troops into battle."
As is its wont, the corps is making a gutsy move, putting so controversial a possibility to the test.