US Military Removes Ban on Women in Combat

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In 1994, a ban has prevented women from serving in combat. However, eventually, the United States Military removed ban on Women in Combat.

US Military officially removed ban on women in combat

Officially, the US military officially removed a ban on women in combat that serving in combat roles. The US military said that anyone qualified should get an opportunity to fight on the front lines of war regardless of their sex. At a conference in Pentagon, Panetta and Martin said that women had already proved themselves in action on the battlefields in America. The move was a way of catching up with reality.

US Military Removes Ban on Women in Combat

Panetta said that the change was important for the military’s future success. Also, he said that his priorities as secretary of defense has been to delete as many barriers as possible for talented and qualified people to be able to serve this country in uniform. In fact, women are already contributing in unprecedented ways to the mission. It means that they have become an integral part of our ability to do our mission. That move does at the end of a long process of opening up the army to women and minorities. Also, allowing gay Americans to serve openly in their units. It follows a change last February which opened several 14,500 combat-related jobs to women and opened the way for a further examination about how other barriers could be brought down.

Now, the move could open up some 230,000 the new roles to women as long as they meet the exacting requirements for any post. Elsewhere around the world, women are already allowed to serve in combat roles in countries like Australia, Germany, and Canada. However, they are not allowed to do that in Britain’s armed forces. Pressure to allow women to serve in combat positions in America has been increasing over recent years. In November 2012, with the support of the American Civil Liberties Union, there were four female soldiers who announced that they were suing the Department of Defense over its restrictions on women serving in front line warfare.

The ACLU said that women had been engaged effectively on the combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan, given the nature of those two wars and the altering notion of the front line. Also, it comes as the army faces inquiries into sexual assault within its ranks. Besides, Dempsey said that opening up the army to women would actually improve the army’s culture and decrease such incidents.

The move has been welcomed by lots of think tanks and academic experts. In the respected news periodical Foreign Affairs, Professor Megan MacKenzie wrote: The Department of Defense is recognizing women’s contributions to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and acknowledging that times have changed, both in terms of the methods wars are fought and in terms of attitudes about appropriate roles for women in the forces. Also, the University of Sydney expert added: “The next battles for female soldiers are going to be ensuring that this policy is implemented effectively, stamping out any remaining sexist attitudes, and fighting to make sure that the military addresses its outstanding sexual violence issue. ”

The History of Women in combat

Now, let us take a look back at the long history of women in combat.


Based on the Greek mythology, this race of women warriors lived in the Black Sea region before Greek colonization. The Greek hero Heracles led an expedition for capturing the Amazonian queen, Hippolyte, then conquered and expelled the Amazonians from the region. The burial grounds utilized by ancient nomads called as the Sauromatians have yielded skeletons of women buried with the weapons including daggers or iron swords and bronze arrowheads. The Sauromatians were said to be descendants of the Amazons and the Scythians that lived in the 4th and 5th centuries B.C.


The Queen Boudicca led a rebellion against the Roman Empire once the death of her husband who was left their kingdom of Iceni. Her army wreaked disaster in Roman Britain, beating the Roman 9th Legion and destroying the capital at Colchester, as well as Verulamium and Londinium (London). Defeated by Paulinus’ army, Boudicca allegedly took the poison to avoid capture.


The Norse mythology celebrates its own female warriors in the form of the Valkyries. They ride horses and wear the helmets and shields. Those women were sent to battlefields to select those slain soldiers worthy of a place in Valhalla. In the fact, Viking women accompanied their men on their infamous raids in Britain starting in A.D. 900. Almost half of the bodies discovered in an examination of 14 Viking burial grounds in Britain belonged to women. Some of them were buried with their swords and shields.

Joan of Arc

The Maid of Orleans began her short life as a peasant, but grew to become the patron saint of France through her leadership on the battlefield. Believing that God had selected her to save her country during the Hundred Years’ War. She commanded the French army in its victory over English forces at Orleans in 1429 and also led King Charles VII to his coronation. Eventually, captured by her opponents and tried for witchcraft and heresy. She was burned at the stake.

Women in combat in the 20th century

During the two world wars, the constant require for troops caused several countries to temporarily ease their restrictions on women in combat. In World War I, Russia’s newly installed Provisional Government made the Women’s Battalion that attracted thousands of volunteers who saw action at the front against German troops.

During World War II, the Soviets again used to women soldiers who served as the snipers and fighter pilots. Also, England temporarily eased their restrictions, recruiting thousands of women to operate anti-aircraft guns during the Battle of Britain. As of early 2013, some countries allow women to participate in active combat roles, including Denmark, Canada, Italy, Germany and Sweden. Of course, each of these nations has taken a different approach for integration of their armed forces.

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