January 28, 2013 |
The road from Baghdad to Fallujah was a deadly gauntlet when Army First Lt. Viviene McNamara made the run in April 2004 and came upon an abandoned civilian convoy. Its trucks had been raked by insurgent gunfire, one driver was slumped in the cab dead, and the rest had fled. The 12 heavy-equipment transporters in McNamara's platoon became the new targets. A Marine in the group's security detail was soon hit while others ducked. McNamara returned fire from the cover of a truck.
October 27, 1994 |
The soldier stands facing the Haitian crowd, a 15-pound, belt-fed machine gun hanging hip-high. In the background, workers load trucks with what remains in a looted Port-au-Prince warehouse. Overhead, a helicopter's loudspeaker appeals for calm. As the throng presses in, the helmeted, sweating GI waves a thick bare arm in a firm and unmistakable gesture: Move Back. Instantly people do so, but with eyes fixed in wonder on the camouflaged American warrior before them, Spec. Jennie Rose.
March 14, 1991 |
The images made conservative politicians and vocal feminists wince: Mothers in combat fatigues kissing their babies goodbye. Cheery-looking Melissa Rathbun-Neely becoming America's first female prisoner of war since World War II. A female pilot, who revels in her role of delivering troops deep into Iraq, dying when her helicopter crashes in non-hostile action. (Five other women were killed in action during the Persian Gulf conflict.) As Operation Desert Shield built up and Desert Storm burst forth, senators and late-night talk show hosts debated the implications of our mothers, daughters, wives and sisters in the military - particularly since there was no line in the sand separating combat from non-combat jobs.
June 16, 1999
Always disdainful of female qualities, the military suddenly seems to value women because they are women. Yet, as NATO troops roll into Kosovo to face perhaps their toughest ever peacekeeping role, the proportion of women soldiers remains minuscule. . . . The peacekeeper must be conciliatory, patient and peaceful, but capable of controlled aggression - qualities few male military personnel exhibit. . . . Women are not only better able to control violent tendencies but are seen as less of a threat, so less likely to provoke violence.
June 19, 2013
CHRISTINE Flowers' column on sexual assaults in the military was puzzling. She seemed more concerned about not disturbing the military's "chain of command," and allowing them to continue to police themselves, than reducing vicious sexual assaults that have injured and traumatized tens of thousands of soldiers. Allowing good-old-boy organizations to police themselves doesn't work. It didn't work with the Catholic Church, and it hasn't worked with the military. The officer appointed to investigate sexual assaults in the military was himself recently charged with sexual assault - that would seem like a joke if it wasn't so serious.
November 15, 1988 |
The Army yesterday opened 11,138 jobs to women, the last step in a year- long Pentagon review that has expanded the role of women in the military. Although still banned by law from combat roles, female soldiers can now operate bulldozers, string electrical wires behind the front lines and fill numerous other jobs previously barred to them. Combined with earlier decisions by the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy, yesterday's action means more than 24,000 military occupations previously restricted to men now have been opened to women, said David J. Armor, the principal deputy assistant secretary for manpower.
January 24, 2013
ON MONDAY, President Obama hailed the pioneers who in 1848 first fought for women's rights at Seneca Falls, N.Y. On Wednesday, Obama's Pentagon sent America's female troops charging up Hamburger Hill, metaphorically speaking. Leon Panetta, the outgoing defense secretary, has decided that for the first time U.S. women troops will be eligible for front-line combat infantry or artillery jobs that have long been restricted to men - first by tradition and after 1994 by official Pentagon policy, according to multiple news accounts.
January 27, 2013
Some of the more memorable scenes from the 1986 movie Aliens depict a Marine unit with females going into combat sometime in the distant future. Fiction has become reality. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta announced Thursday that the military's ban on females serving in combat roles was being lifted. The surprising decision was recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whose chairman, Gen. Martin Dempsey, said it's time "to eliminate all unnecessary gender-based barriers. " The decision, albeit controversial, makes sense.
March 26, 1997 |
The Army, buffeted by a sexual-misconduct scandal and eager to make itself more hospitable to women, is likely soon to have its first female three-star general. Maj. Gen. Claudia J. Kennedy, an intelligence specialist and 28-year veteran, was nominated yesterday to become a lieutenant general. Kennedy, the Army's assistant deputy chief of staff for intelligence since July 1995, also is being nominated as deputy chief of staff for intelligence. Kennedy's appointment must be confirmed by the Senate.
January 26, 2013 |
BEIRUT - The Syrian government is arming and training women to fight for President Bashar al-Assad, according to video footage and activists' reports. A video posted on Russia Today's Arabic channel from the central city of Homs shows dozens of women in combat fatigues marching around a training ground carrying Kalashnikov rifles, performing drills, and chanting slogans in support of Assad. "Be prepared, Syria! Stand up, Assad!" they shout. "With our blood and our soul we protect you, Bashar.