American Amazons: Hiding in Plain-Jane Sight

Memorial Day — We Remember


Until last Thursday, the Pentagon barred women from roughly a quarter-million jobs involving combat. Coincidentally – but, interestingly — that’s about the same number of women who have gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 11 years.

Whatever your opinion on those two conflicts, they were the fulcrum that has lifted women into the combat arms. “Over more than a decade of war,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, before lifting the ban by scrawling his name across the bottom of a two-page order, “they have demonstrated courage and skill and patriotism.”

But this was no secret. Men and women who have served together in both war zones have been discussing it for years. Out at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, hundreds of young officers, largely from the Army, have been sitting down to talk with the Combat Studies Institute about what they experienced during their time in Afghanistan…

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