Friday, March 6, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Pentagon OKs women in combat

By
From page A10 | February 03, 2013 |

The issue: The opportunity to train under tough conditions to place oneself in danger to defend one’s country should be open to all who can qualify

As one of his last acts as secretary of defense, Leon Panetta lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles. Considering that the hue and cry over that prospect — along with the false specter of unisex bathrooms — helped kill the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, the initial public reaction was surprisingly muted.

PERHAPS THAT IS because the change has been a long time coming, due to evolving social attitudes and the nature of modern warfare.

If there is an instant cause for the new acceptability of women in combat, it is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There were no front lines and no traditional safe havens because fighting with guerrilla insurgents could break out anywhere and once a unit moved outside the wire on patrol there were no noncombat free riders.

Once the shooting began, the Pentagon ban on women serving in combat units below the brigade level — about 3,500 troops — began to erode.

The insurgents made no distinction between regular riflemen and intelligence officers, medics, military police and the female soldiers along to interrogate Iraqi and Afghan women. The Pentagon distinction between combat and noncombat became more and more blurred and broke down quite quickly under the exigencies of this new kind of warfare.

If there is a poster woman for this change it surely is Tammy Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot and now a member of Congress, who lost both legs flying combat missions in Iraq in 2004. More than 280,000 women have served in combat zones since 9/11, and 152 have died in the course of that service.

THE IMMEDIATE effect of the order is to open up 230,000 positions from which women are now excluded, most of them in the combat arms where service has been considered a prerequisite for promotion to the senior ranks.

The Pentagon is studying whether women should be excluded from elite and demanding units like the SEALs, Delta Force and other special ops units. Anecdotally, the feeling among top-flight frontline units is that the women will be accepted if they can do the training without special accommodations.

Even so, we’re talking about a relatively small fraction of the services; about 14 percent of the military is female. But the opportunity to train under dirty, onerous and exhausting conditions to place oneself in danger to defend one’s country should be open to all who can qualify.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Life after lawn: Fifty greens for shade

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1

     
    Bay Area developers join Mace proposal

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Trial ordered in Davis child death case

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

     
    ‘Topping out': Sign a building beam at the Shrem Museum

    By Jeffrey Day | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Got sun? Indoor herbs can thrive on windowsills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

    How can we know that the products we buy for our homes are safe?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Quick home improvements that raise your resale value

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Spring-clean your kitchen in five easy steps

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    PSAs highlight area nonprofits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    Peripheral neuropathy support offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Workshop eyes creating peace through creative play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Museum brick sales to end this month

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

    Cabrillo Club plans membership dinner

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6

     
    Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    UCD improving farming, food production with fewer pesticides

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: B6 | Gallery

    St. John’s shows off cuisine at brunch

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Seniors serious about fitness

    By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Pig out at Pig Day Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Porkers on display at Hattie Weber Museum

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    .

    Forum

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

     
    Some convicts don’t deserve parole hearings

    By Tom Elias | From Page: B4

    Here’s how to make college cheaper

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    Obama’s world is a dangerous place

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Dirty laundry on the company line

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B9

     
    .

    Sports

    Blue Devil volleyballers cruise in home opener

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    DHS girls track and field team reloads for 2015

    By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women fall at UCR

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggie men clinch Big West crown

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Marsh provides radio images of a ‘magical’ Aggie hoops season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Bella Vista slips past DHS softballers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B5

     
    Rec Report: Looking ahead to spring break

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    Wineaux: A local diamond in the rough, revisited

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    .

    Arts

    Steve Kiser’s work on display at Gallery 1855

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Tables available at Vinyl and Music Fair

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    ‘The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Second-rate

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    Learn from experts at ‘Art of Painting’ conference

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Tom Brousseau to visit ‘Live in the Loam’ on KDRT

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ auditions set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

    Hugh Masekela and Vusi Mahlasela celebrate Mandela’s legacy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Honey, we shrank the SUV — and Europe loves it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, March 6, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B10