Majority of U.S. army women say they do not want combat roles

BY Lolita C. Baldor, Associated Press  February 25, 2014 at 10:05 AM EDT
Women Attend Marine Boot Camp At Parris Island, South Carolina

Female Marine recruits fire on the rifle range during boot camp Feb. 25, 2013 at Parris Island, S.C. About six percent of enlisted Marines are female. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Preliminary results from a survey of the Army’s nearly 170,000 women show that only a small fraction of them would like to move into one of the newly opening combat jobs. Those who do want to make the move say they want a job that takes them right into the heart of battle.

That survey and others across the Army, publicly disclosed for the first time to The Associated Press, also revealed that soldiers of both genders are nervous about women entering combat jobs.

Both men and women are emphatic that the Army must not lower standards to accommodate women.

The Army emailed questionnaires to active duty, reserves and Army National Guard members to gauge soldiers’ views on bringing women into combat jobs.