Women in combat
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Women In Combat
One of the most powerful, reliable weapons of the armed forces is the men and women who serve their country. Women have been involved in the armed forces for many years, but the argument of whether or not men and women should be separated in military units is a debate that can cause many different reactions, including if women are even capable of combat. Although in the United States most would agree that equality between men and women is of very high importance, there are some who oppose extending these same rights to women's roles in the military. Women-in-combat is additionally controversial because it challenges the societies' perceptions of gender roles, equal opportunity, military effectiveness, and military readiness. Women should be included for all assignments to units whether it be integrated with men, or direct combat on the ground.
When discussing the history of women in combat, one may consider Joan of Arc. In 1429, at the young age of 17, she successfully led troops from France into battle against the English. (Wikipedia, 2009). Women have successfully flown combat aircraft since they were invented, as well as going to sea on Navy ships since 1977. They have commanded vessels and deployed on extended cruises throughout the entire world. In society, women hold positions such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, and even president of various companies. Some of the most finest and professional women in the workforce are serving in the armed forces. Because of these high quality and the motivation from such women, they have replaced many men in civilian work roles. Overall, women perform superbly in all types and areas of operations, including combat training.
As in any person, individual rights and personal responsibility is what defines us as who we are. A female citizen is an individual with the same responsibilities and opportunities as any male citizen to participate in what she desires, including national defense for our country. Women join the military for the same reason men do; a sense of patriotism, a love of their country, and selfless dedication to duty. When men volunteer and serve in combat units, they are rightly considered noble. But as women, egotistical measures are labeled for the exact same volunteered service. But one of the most important factors is that all service members are required to meet the same standards in determining what their jobs and assignments will be, whether you are male or female. So, a woman should be assigned to any specialty for which they can pass a test to qualify, even if that means on the front lines of the battlefield. Opponents of the concept of women in combat and serving side-by-side with the men have expressed their arguments on why they believe this. The main reason that has come up the most is that women simply do not have the physical strength and endurance needed. Men are physically more suited than women for the rigors of the battlefield. Also, women don't want the battlefield issues and the stress that comes along with the burdens of combat. Despite this, there are some women who may come small in number, have the physical strength and endurance to stand up and fight with the men. Romantic relationships and pregnancies is another main argument that concerns many. Romance within the units may undermine the morale and bring up the issue of sexual harassment. This can interfere with unit structure and can make work more difficult. The readiness of women to deploy worldwide on short notice because of pregnancy or child care concerns is examined to an extreme extent. Although, pregnancy is a concern to many, it has little bearing on military readiness.
Women will never be able to achieve complete equality unless they are given equal responsibilities within the military units. Allowing a mixed gender force keeps the military strong. Having a wider personnel base allows militaries to have the best and most effective soldiers and sailors working to end conflict quickly. Teamwork is important. The bonding that is created in training seems to be the most important of a unit's success. Women have showed the same bravery and skills as men. If the United States is to remain the world's most powerful military, we need to have the best person in each job, regardless of gender. Women are doing an outstanding job performing their current position in the military, as well as society.
Ultimately, the military mission must take precedence over defending our country, and not the gender of the soldiers and sailors. The military services are full of smart, well-trained motivated men and women. Each branch of service can better use their members in the jobs each individual is most qualified. When a mission is assigned, we need the most competent people for the job. Every service member is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom and country to be able to help fellow human beings. Women in the service merely want everyone to focus on providing the nation with the best possible defense and to agree on one simple unifying concept: "the best person for the job."
Distinguished Women of Past and Present Contributed by Danuta Bois, 1999.http://www.distinguishedwomen.com/biographies/joanarc.html
Joan of Arc. (n.d). Retrieved February 24, 2009, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_Arc
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