Our second group of writers will be blogging about Women and War. Journalists, experts, female soldiers and veterans share their experiences and discuss issues including women in combat, sexual assault in the military and inadequate benefits for female veterans. What do you think about women in the military? Share your thoughts, raise a question and join the conversation by leaving comments on the posts.
I've learned a lot while writing these posts, more than I really thought I would. I've had many discussions about women in the military over the years, but after participating in Women and War, I've had many more. Here are some final thoughts about our military, women soldiers and more.
Our Army is not perfect and expecting it to be so is unrealistic
Expecting us soldiers to be something we are not is also unrealistic. We are warriors. We go to war for this nation. Expecting us to play nice to appease peacenik sensibilities is not what we do. Everything the military does as an organization should be to ensure that the boots on the ground, male or female, combat arms or support, have the resources, the training and the equipment to conduct their mission and come home safely. Everything else is secondary.
Women who serve are soldiers, just like our brothers who wear the uniform
Expecting us to be treated as women first, soldiers second only highlights perceived inequalities among the ranks. All soldiers should be treated alike: fairly, impartial and in accordance with the standards and regulations. For civilians to expect or want women to be treated differently in the military is for civilians to push policies onto an organization they do not understand.
Writing about the military is not enough to understand it
I do not believe that you can truly understand the mindset that a soldier going into combat has unless you have done so yourself. People writing about the military often don't understand the military. The wars occurring today bear marked differences with wars past.
Whether you agree with women wearing the uniform or not, we are not taking it off any time soon
The fact that women are counted among our ranks as combat veterans in significant numbers changes the history of our military and our nation. We will continue to serve and continue to lead, regardless of the challenges that entails.
When I was asked to participate in Regarding War, I was stunned, then happy, then scared witless as I had to go ask permission from my unit to participate. I had to articulate why I wanted so badly to be a part of this project and I was surprised to find unanimous support for my participation among my leadership.
My thoughts here have been my own. Though I sent my blogs up the chain of command for approval, not once was I asked to change anything. For that, I am grateful. My words on this website have been as honest and clear as I could make them, and I am grateful for the opportunity to present another face to women in uniform than that presented by the mainstream media.
I hope that those who read my words here understand my point of view. I am a soldier, a mother, a wife and a daughter. I am proud of my service. While I recognize that the Army is not perfect, I hope my words here demonstrate my pride in the uniform as well as the responsibility I have as a leader to the soldiers I serve.
Army First Lieutenant and Author
Final Thoughts on Women and War »
Women in the Military: What do Women Get from the Military? »
Mothers in the Military: Punishing Mothers Who Serve »
Sex and the Military Woman: Female Soldiers Are Not Just Victims »
Women in Combat is a Moot Point »
Introductions: How We Came to Make "Lioness" »
The Combat Ban and How It Negatively Affects Women Veterans »
Introductions: Why I Had to Write About Women and War »
In Praise of Military Women: Thanks for Taking on Responsibility for Our Nation »
Representing Women Soldiers in the Media: Stop Exploiting, Start Empowering »