In January 2013, the Department of Defense lifted the ban on women serving in combat roles. While women have already served in positions that put them in harm’s way—no war can be fought without the potential for harm—the lifting of this ban means that job assessment will be based on skill, talent, and ability to perform rather than on genitalia.
CNN Special Report
According to the report above, the move is designed to level the playing field and create a gender neutral military. Women serve in all branches of the armed forces. Jobs such as assignments to submarines were once denied to women because of the disruptive potential of having a woman somewhere men would feel compelled to protect her.
In a battle, Marines, soldiers, airmen and sailors defend each other. If a man goes down, his battle brothers are going to protect him. They pick him up and bring him home. Armed forces are trained to protect each other—so having boobs doesn’t mean those instincts are going to be any less developed or any more deserved.
Leveling the playing field means the best-of-the-best get the right jobs. As a woman, I am extremely proud of this decision. Women have served our country with distinction for decades and eliminating barriers. The simple truth is that anyone serving in a combat theater is in danger—male or female.
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Jazz (No Regrets, No Surrender) and Mary (Combat Barbie) met when they were assigned to a Female Engagement Team (http://regionalcommandsouthwest.wordpress.com/about/female-engagement-team-usmc/). They conduct outreach through interaction with women and children and keep up information on local population.
In areas like Iraq and Afghanistan, women are more successful at reaching other women. They spearhead community programs to help local communities and they don’t violate the cultural standards of the local population. Mary and Jazz are very proud of their work. With the step down of Marine forces in Afghanistan, the FET teams will begin to transfer their work to local forces.
In Combat Barbie. Mary returns home for leave just in time for her tenth high school reunion. She is extremely proud of her work and whether FET teams are being stepped down or not, she has no plans to exit her service—she makes a difference every day and plans to keep doing that.
What women have made a fundamental difference in your life?
About: Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.