Women in the Military: The Combat Exclusion Law Essay

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The question originally posed in the Combat Exclusion Law, regarding placement of females in combat, continues to be debated as women are placed in combat roles without adequate training (Sanchez, 2011). What distinguishes some positions as being acceptable while others are not? Who has the authority to approve exceptions, and what exceptions have been made? On May 13, 2011, a bill placed before the House of Representatives addressed the issue to “repeal the ground combat exclusion policy for female members” (Sanchez, 2011, p. 1).
Political Issues or Influences
In 1973, women began to grow in numbers in the 'All-Volunteer Force' implemented under President Nixon. “In February 1988, Department of Defense (DoD) codified the Combat
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Exceptions of “assignments to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is direct ground combat” (Keenan, 2008, p. 22) were put in place.
H.R. 1928 sought to title the bill “Women’s Fair and Equal right to Military Service Act” (Sanchez, 2011, p. 1) as more than 250,000 females had already been deployed to combat zones in the Middle East. As of May 2011,137 females had lost their lives while in combat (Sanchez, 2011). As women continue to work side by side with men, the case of equal placement continues. Contrary to that argument is the power to care for family members, specifically the children and how they are affected when their mother goes into battle.
Additional Policies that were a Result or Outcome of Combat Exclusion Law
Upon the acceptance of the Combat Exclusion Law, each military service was to define their policies to determine where females could and could not serve. What this means to the Army in particular is that “all jobs except those having the highest probability of engaging in direct combat” (Ferber, 1987, p. 4) will be opened to women in the Army. The Navy, Marines and Air Force have all had to evaluate the exclusion laws as well and establish criteria as appropriate.

The Struggle of Course of Events Involving this Issue
The ability for one to determine the roles of women in the military became skewed as warfare
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