Military Women

Coast Guard: Smallest Service, Biggest Opportunities for Women

National Public Radio (NPR) recently did a segment on the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and its new superintendent, Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz. The Coast Guard has been at the forefront of expanding opportunities for women since 1977 when it opened all of its jobs to women. It even decided to admit women to the Coast Guard Academy in 1975, …

Firsts, and Nexts

As the first woman to command a commissioned Navy vessel in 1990, I have been asked to comment on many other firsts. I recently was asked by CBS News to comment on the assignment of Brigadier General Loretta Reynolds as the first female commanding general of the Marine Recruiting Depot at Parris Island, N.C. Simultaneously, I also …

Military Housing: Trials and Tribulation

Compared to many of my gay and lesbian colleagues, my time in service has treated me well. In general gay officers have it easier than our enlisted counterparts, and our options with housing play a large role.

Many newly enlisted troops are forced to live in small dorms with roommates. It’s usually not the barracks scene that …

Hey Mate: Scrapping Gender Barriers in Australia’s Military

The story seems too good to be true, at least for this old (female) salt: a truly gender-neutral military, based on capabilities and not gender!

Wow. But here’s the catch…gender norms are still being applied, and the same old anti-women-in-combat arguments are surfacing:

If I see that it’s a woman on the receiving end of

Barring Women From Combat: “This Last Vestige of Paternalism”

In 1993, I was involved in the Navy’s transition of women from non-combatant ships to combatant ships — from support craft like oilers and salvage vessels, to warships like destroyers and cruisers, in other words. Newly-elected President Clinton and his defense secretary, Les Aspin, determined — after the success of women in …

Focusing on Skills, Not Gender, in the Military

The latest issue of the Association of the United States Navy’s magazine sits down with Vice Admiral Ann Rondeau, the Navy’s senior three-star officer and president of the National Defense University, to chat about how far women have come in the military — and how far they have yet to go. She discusses the myriad of changes in …

Ahoy! The Doctor Will See You Now…

Two new voices here on Battleland — both important. Both historic. Both women.

Our newest Battleland crew member is retired U.S. Navy commander Darlene Iskra. Not only was she the first woman ever to command a Navy ship, she’s also been an answer — or is that a question? — on Jeopardy (check it out here — she’s the $1,600 clue …

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