Women under fire

The headlines and airwaves today are filled with Leon Panetta’s announcement repealing the combat ban on women in the U.S. Military. There’s no doubt that the decision is momentous — American women now enter a very select group of women worldwide who are able to serve in front-line combat positions.

The announcement sparked debates over the impact of women in combat roles: Will the men be too chivalrous? Can women keep up with the physical demands? Will this new designation within the military help women’s equality advance?

Moreover, will this latest development help respond to the ongoing problem of sexual violence in the armed services? That’s an issue getting more attention these days following the Oscar nomination of the film, “The Invisible War.”

If you saw the Oscar-nominated film “The Hurt Locker,” you may have been left with the impression that the military’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (E.O.D) team is a men’s only club. In 2010, Need to Know traveled to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to meet two female E.O.D. specialists. In the video above, Air Force Staff Sergeant Amber Hanlon and Senior Airman Marie Martinson provide a new face for the elite bomb squad.

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Six-word memoirs: Coming home

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Ahoy, ladies! One of the Navy’s last gender barriers is broken

The Navy announced in 2010 that it would begin to train small classes of female officers for service aboard nuclear submarines, starting in 2012. Find out why this change is a global story.

More coverage of military and veterans issues.

 
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Comments

  • dizgusted

    This is the most DISGUSTING, DISTURBING and horrifying documentary I have watched in a long time!! I just got home from work ( bartender).. In which I walked home alone.. I can not imagine somebody telling me i need a “buddy system” in order to not be assaulted! I have never been so offended by a documentary in my life! My heart goes out to all the ladies and gentleman who have been surrounded by company that is suppose to keep them safe and be there watching out for them… Why worry about foreign terrorists? Your fellow comrades who are suppose to keep you your safest are your rapists…SICK, SICK, SICK!! And then it gets worse??? There is the harassment and cover-up that goes on afterwards!! It’s like being Raped over and over.. All my love goes out to all the ladies and gentlemen that wanted to just serve their country and ended up being terrorized by them.. !!! TRULY DISGUSTED