Women in the Military: The Combat Exclusion Law Essay

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The question originally posed in the Combat Exclusion Law, regarding placement of females in combat, continues to be debated as women are placed in combat roles without adequate training (Sanchez, 2011). What distinguishes some positions as being acceptable while others are not? Who has the authority to approve exceptions, and what exceptions have been made? On May 13, 2011, a bill placed before the House of Representatives addressed the issue to “repeal the ground combat exclusion policy for female members” (Sanchez, 2011, p. 1).
Political Issues or Influences
In 1973, women began to grow in numbers in the 'All-Volunteer Force' implemented under President Nixon. “In February 1988, Department of Defense (DoD) codified the Combat Exclusion Policy by adopting the ‘Risk Rule’” (Keenan, 2008, pp. 21, 22). The Risk Rule excluded woman from those assignments that placed them at risk of harm such as: “direct combat, hostile fire, or being captured” (Keenan, 2008, p. 22). The change of the feminine role in the civilian population has forced a review of their presence in the Armed Forces. As women have begun to establish their intellectual and physical ability, they have demonstrated their equality in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) (Baker II, 2006) encouraging congress to again consider placement of women in combat. These roles were reviewed after the onset of the Exclusion Law in “1967 when the statutory strengths and grade limitations were lifted” (Ferber, 1987, p. 4) as well as in 1978 when positions available to women were expanded (Ferber, 1987). In 1992 and 1993 when the “Defense Authorization Acts were implemented, congress revoked the prohibition of women’s assignments to combat aircr...

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...led from the family and the struggles at hand, the family is affected. A clear boundary is not set for these situations. A few non-peer reviewed articles discuss the barriers a mother/service member deals with daily. The service member is required to put in place a family plan to help alleviate issues that may cause conflict between the mother’s two roles. When the plan fails, conflict exists, putting the mission or family in jeopardy.

Baker II, H. (2006). Woman in Combat: A Culture Issue? United States Army War College.
Ferber, M. M. (1987). Combat Exclusion Laws for Women in the Military. United States General Accounting Office.
Keenan, J. O. (2008). The DoD combat exclusion policy: Time for a change? In M. M. Putko, & D. V. Johnson II (Eds.), Women in Combat Compendium (pp. 21-26).
Sanchez, L. (2011, May). H.R. 1928. 12th Congress 1st Session .

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