Women in combat?

28 01 2013

Throughout our country’s rich heritage there have been brave and self-sacrificing women serving in our military. Without their support for those in combat, many soldiers would have lost their lives. They keep the military running efficiently and provide leadership in valuable aspects of logistics. I am proud of our women soldiers, marines, airmen, and sailors who serve to protect our freedoms. I salute you and am grateful for what you do and the spirit in which you do it. I am a volunteer chaplain for both Army and Air Force personnel. I am a Veteran and chaplain at my American Legion Post. I interact with these outstanding women and have nothing but praise for their dedication to their job and the excellence in which they perform it.

What about using women in combat? It has just been authorized to use women in combat roles, a policy that this country has never had. Of course women have been in combat before, their job sometimes demands it. It was mainly as support but there are women pilots of helicopters and other air assets as well as being drivers of ground equipment. In this current war, everyone outside the wire is in a potential combat situation, including women. Does that mean we abandon all restrictions for women being in combat? Should we intentionally send them into a potential situation when their survival could hinge on her ability to march with a 50 pond backpack, carry a weapon that is added to that weight, as well as the potential for hand to hand combat?

At the expense of sounding sexist, I believe we need to rethink such options. Women are the reason why we fight. We want to protect the mother of our children, our homes, our lovers. If these women were in combat the tendency of the males would be to protect the female soldier at the expense of their life. It’s how God made us. Oh, I know military ethos that dictates never to leave behind a fallen soldier, male or female, but I think men would be distracted from their mission in being overly conscious of their women counterparts in the confusion and horror of battle. Men want to protect women not put them in danger
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Between these times of horror when facing a ruthless enemy, there are long periods of boredom, waiting, and endless training. In times of war, our God-given testosterone runs high that give us heightened awareness, added strength, and uncharacteristic courage. With this natural dimension, women look good. Rape may get to be an issue as well as pregnancy. Compromising situations will constantly be available that will again affect the mission.I know it is subjective thinking because we seldom face such situations, but we need to consider the possibility. What if a woman was taken as a prisoner? Would the enemy have an incentive to treat her as the male counterpart taken at the same time, or perhaps use rape as a method of humiliation and release?

I feel we need to get beyond the equal rights or feminism issues and look at the potential human issues that women in combat may bring into the equation. Is it really a good idea to intentially put women in combat? I think not.

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