Marines Clash about Women in Combat
Sunday, July 08, 2012
At least one female member of the Marine Corps doesn’t believe women should be serving in combat roles for the nation’s elite fighting force.
Marine Captain Katie Petronio, a combat veteran, wrote in an editorial in the Marine Corps Gazette that women fighting alongside men will not make the Marine Corps better. She cited her own experience, which left her physically drained after months in the field while serving as an engineer officer in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I am here to tell you that we are not all created equal, and attempting to place females in the infantry will not improve the Marine Corps as the Nation’s force-in-readiness or improve our national security,” Petronio wrote.
The editorial produced a strong response from the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), an advocacy group for women in the armed forces.
“Plain and simple: If a person can meet the standards required for any occupation in the military, then they should not be disqualified due to gender,” said SWAN Policy Director Greg Jacob, a former soldier and officer with combat experience.
The controversy follows a decision in February by the Department of Defense to open up 14,000 previously closed jobs to female service members.
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-California), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, has introduced legislation (HR 5792) to encourage the Pentagon to repeal the Ground Combat Exclusion policy for female soldiers.
To Learn More:
Servicewomen’s Group Critical of Anti-’Women in Combat’ Editorial (by David Ferguson, Raw Story)
Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal (by Captain Katie Petronio, Marine Corps Gazette)
Two Female Officers Sue Pentagon for Right to Join Combat Units (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)
139 Female Soldiers Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (by David Wallechinsky and Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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