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Military women who have already seen combat

military women women in combat

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#1 Nonny

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:21 AM

http://www.npr.org/2...ady-seen-combat
Maj. Hegar: A Woman Who Has Already Seen Combat

Quote

On the heels the Pentagon's decision to lift its ban on women serving in combat roles, host Scott Simon speaks with Air Force Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar. Hegar was awarded the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with a Valor Device for heroism while piloting a helicopter an aerial mission in Afghanistan in mid-2009.

When the audio and transcript become available at npr.org, I'll try to remember to post more.  I'll also post articles about other military women who have seen combat.  Please feel free to post stuff that I miss.  Thanks.
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#2 Rhea

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:05 PM

Good for her.
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#3 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:57 PM

Saw this interview on CBS:  Female veteran lauds new policy on women in combat

The article summarizes the video, but watch it if you can.



Quote

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Christine Stark while she was on deployment in Afghanistan.
/  CBS News/Personal Photo


She rose to colonel, getting shot at during two tours in Afghanistan, but even as an MP, her gender kept her from being assigned to front-line units.

Stark said she resented the restrictions in a lot of ways. "I had been born and raised that I could do anything, and then to have someone tell me because of my gender I couldn't have certain positions?" she said.


Quote

Stark said that some men in the Army will accept the decisions; others will be more resistant. "But I think it's only a matter of time before women just prove them wrong," she said.

Stark also said she had no doubt about women being able to succeed in combat arms, although she doesn't expect them to be lining up. "I think there will be some that want that opportunity, and many that don't. There's many males that don't sign up for combat arms."

That last part made me realize how ignorant I am of how the army works.  I'm curious, how much choice do soldiers get as far as where they are sent, and what type of jobs they are given?

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#4 sierraleone

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:12 AM

^ Me too. I imagine some units or type of work have different physical and medical requirements, different working conditions, etc, etc. So some men (and soon women) who try for, but don't qualify for, to combat arms, I imagine would be able to go to units/positions they would qualify for.

Edited by sierraleone, 28 January 2013 - 12:12 AM.

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#5 Nonny

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:17 AM

From the transcript of the NPR article above:

Quote

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. We begin this morning with news of a milestone for the American military. This past week, the Pentagon announced it will formally lift the restrictions on women serving in combat positions, ending a nearly 20-year ban. But women are already on the frontlines. Mary Jennings Hegar is one of those women who served bravely in dangerous places. She's a major in the Air National Guard, but in 2009, she was an Air Force helicopter pilot on her third tour in Afghanistan.
MAJOR MARY JENNINGS HEGAR: One detail that my crew from that day, we kind of tease each other about, is that I was the actually the only person who returned fire that day. The fact is I was engaging the enemy in ground combat. One of the myths is that the combat exclusion policy keeps women out of combat. So, for some reason, the dialogue in the country became: should women be allowed in combat? Women are in combat, in much bigger combat than the situation I just described, which was only 20 minutes. There's women patrolling, there's women in vehicles that hit IEDs, they're, you know, trading fire with the enemy everyday.
SIMON: Were you subsequently blocked from doing something in the armed forces because of your gender?
HEGAR: Yes. So, given the fact that I had been able to, you know, prove myself under harsh circumstances, prove my judgment, my composure, my, you know, warrior spirit, if you will, despite all this and despite the medals that came and the valor devices and everything - you know, there's a position called a combat controller. And the officer version of that is a special tactics officer. It would have been right up my alley. Despite everything that I had just proven, I was barred from even applying for that job....

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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

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All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#6 Nonny

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 08:57 AM

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 27 January 2013 - 11:57 PM, said:

Quote

Stark said that some men in the Army will accept the decisions; others will be more resistant. "But I think it's only a matter of time before women just prove them wrong," she said.

Stark also said she had no doubt about women being able to succeed in combat arms, although she doesn't expect them to be lining up. "I think there will be some that want that opportunity, and many that don't. There's many males that don't sign up for combat arms."

That last part made me realize how ignorant I am of how the army works.  I'm curious, how much choice do soldiers get as far as where they are sent, and what type of jobs they are given?

Not a whole lot.  If you are assigned as an individual, as in the Air Force, you get individual assignments, but only to bases where your specialty has a unit, large or small, but if you are assigned as a unit, as in the Army and the Marine Corps, you go where your unit is sent.

As for jobs, I don't know the current situation, but I was given a guaranteed job when I signed up, and I got to choose from a list of jobs available to me for my excellent test scores, a list much longer than it would have been if many jobs hadn't just been opened to women.  Avionics was newly opened, and that's what I chose.

From the article:

Quote

One way to measure the effect the combat ban has had on the careers of women in the Army: Women make up 14 percent of the Army, but only 7 percent of the generals.

I'll have to check my information, but I'm pretty sure most of the first female generals and admirals were nurses, and that the path had been opened for them in, I think, the late 60s, all or most other paths remaining closed.  Checking just now, I found this at the WIMSA website.  Some of the other information is outdated, but I think this is up to date:
http://www.womensmem...urces/hfaq.html

Quote

Who was the first woman General Officer?
Anna Mae Hays, Chief of the Army Nurse Corps, became a brigadier general on June 11, 1970. Minutes later, Elizabeth P. Hoisington, Director of the Women’s Army Corps, received her shoulder stars. In 1971, the Air Force promoted the director of Air Force women, Jeanne M. Holm, to brigadier general. A few months later, Ann E. Hoefly, the Chief of the Air Force Nurse Corps, became the fourth woman general. In 1972, Alene B. Duerk, Chief of the Navy Nurse Corps, received a spot promotion to become the first female rear admiral (lower half), the Navy’s equivalent to brigadier general. The Navy promoted a female line officer, Fran McKee, to flag rank in 1976. RADM McKee thus became the first Navy woman who was not a nurse to achieve star rank. Two years later in 1978, the Marine Corps promoted its Director of Information and former Director of Women Marines, Margaret Brewer, to brigadier general. Director of Information and Technology, Chief Information Officer Vivien Crae was promoted to rear admiral by the Coast Guard in 2000.

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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot



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