Women In CombatThe idea of women in combat is not unusual anymore.
Although American womenhave, for a long time, served as nurses, and as other roles during wartime, theywere not officially enrolled in the armed forces until World War I. “Duringthis time women served as clerks and secretaries, some being assigned totranslation, recruitment, and other tasks which were usually assigned to men”(Wekesser, 2). The women were not given rank or benefits, and after the war wasover they were not allowed to remain in the military. More than 350,000 womenserved in World War II. During this war, the military once again encouraged therecruitment of women. They established the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC),the Navy Women’s Reserve, and the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve.Order now
Any of thewomen in these organizations were given benefits and military rank. “As inWorld War I, the women served as clerks, secretaries, . . . ” (Wekesser, 2). “In 1948, a congressional law banned women from direct combat” (Wekesser,3).
They were not allowed in any jobs that were viewed as hazardously close tocombat, where the risk of capture is high. Until the late 1960’s, the statusof women in the military remained unchanged. It was then when the armed forcesbegan to open up more positions for women. The first women generals in Americanhistory were appointed in 1970. By 1976, military academies were beginning toopen their doors to women. By the end of the 1970, all of the women’sorganizations were discontinued; women and men were officially integrated withthe military.
During the Persian Gulf War, women were sent to the Middle East to”fly helicopters, service combat, refuel tankers, and load laser-guidedguns” (Johnson, 31). They were assigned to battleships, aircraft carriers, andmarine support groups. Their performance has led the world to realize that womenare extremely useful in combat, and “they brought home their changing role inthe military” (Priest, AO1). “In 1994, the Defense Department ordered allthe services to open up thousands of combat-related support jobs to women”(Priest, AO1). Today women represent more than fourteen percent of the Army’s495,000 soldiers (Newman).
The times have definitely changed over the years, andmuch more will probably come. Who knows what lies ahead?BibliographyJohnson, Julie. “The New Top Guns: In the wake of Desert Storm, the Senateclears women pilots for combat. ” Time 12 Aug. 1991: 31.
Newman, Richard J. “Army Sex Ed. 101. ” U.
S. News 11 Aug. 1997. Priest, Dana.
“In a Crunch,Ban on Women Bends. ” Washington Post 30 Dec. 1997: AO1. Wekesser, Carol, etal.
Women in the Military. Greenhaven Press, Inc, 1991.