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Social Justice: Women Active in Military Combat

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Getting It Right With Dr Boles

Getting It Right With Dr Boles


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Announce today, December 3, 2015, women in the military can be assigned to combat roles. The announcement comes more than 20 years after women were officially excluded from serving in small ground combat units in 1994 and three years after a group of servicewomen sued the Pentagon and then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in 2012. 

Since the 1970s, women have been able to attend U.S. service academies, and that in the early 1990s women's military roles were expanded, however, each branch was allowed to make exceptions that kept women out of combat. Women can now vie for spots on Navy SEALS teams and other elite units. 

Starting today, December 3, 2015,there will be no exceptions with respect where a female solider can serve. The way implementation is handled is the key to the new policy's success.The formal announcement comes as more female service members have been training for roles on the front lines. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, have said there is concern about the ability of Marine infantry units being effective with both male and female troops. Currently, women make up less than 10 percent of Marine Corps personnel.  

 In the First World War Russia used an all-female combat unit In the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of British and German women served in combat roles in anti-aircraft units, where they shot down thousands of enemy aircraft; there was large-scale use of women near the front as medical staff and political officers and the Soviets also set up all-female sniper units and combat fighter planes.  After 1945 all female combat roles were ended in all armies.

 In Canada, in 1989, a tribunal appointed under the Canadian Human Rights Act ordered full integration of women in the Canadian Armed Forces. Submarines remained closed to women, until 2000