This just in at Military.com:
Women have been accompanying combat troops during their raids of suspected terrorists in Iraq since 2003. The local commanders absolutely needed women to accompany the troops to help segregate women and children from men. In this capacity, the women — who had not been properly trained — were in harm’s way and were shot at. They shot back. Since 2003 the program has been embraced by the Marine Corps, who deployed trained women with their troops in Afghanistan last year. The Special Operations Command also decided to use women warriors during their special operations in the field.
As the first woman to command a U.S. Navy vessel, I am all for it. What I am not for is the fact that at least some of the women are wearing the hijab — head scarf — while on patrol.
As one person comments on the military.com site:
FEMALE WARFIGHTERS IN COMBAT IS FINE! TO MAKE THEM WEAR ARAB GARB IS AN INSULT AND A REAL SHAME. THIS SHOULD BE STOPPED AT ONCE! A PROPER UNIFORM NOT ONLY SHOWS RESPECT FOR YOU AND WHICHEVER CONTRY YOU FIGHT FOR, BUT IN COMBAT IS AN IDENTIFER. DRESS LIKE A BMO GET SHOT LIKE A BMO!
Not sure what a BMO is, but I will assume it is the enemy. Of course, not all folks cared what women wear. Many were more concerned about breaching the male domain than about military effectiveness. To that I say “get over it”. The women are needed in order to complete the mission. The women help by calming the local women’s fears, by guarding them so they cannot attack, and by respecting the local cultural norms with regard to the segregation of women and men. But the women warriors can also kick butt when required, now that they are properly trained.
I see this as a win-win for the military and for women. Fully qualified women are getting to be at the pointy end of the spear, if they desire. The military is able to fully accomplish its mission in the local communities. Without the addition of women, they would fail in winning the “hearts and minds” of the locals.